Whats your formula?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Chris Aurelio, Feb 25, 2002.

  1. Chris Aurelio

    Chris Aurelio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I am new to the buisness.This is my first post after 2 weeks of reading.My folfs are tired of me bein on the computer!well i got a question.I have bidded a couple of jobs and think that i was to high.I want to know what some of you guys formula is for cuttin a yard? I just guessed on how long it would take me and i think I have been thinkin it might take me longer that it really will! Also what do you think are the best ways to advertise for a guy that is in first year? I just bought a new John deere 36" mower.I have heard anybody mention these mowers are they any good?I am also 19 if that makes a diffrence??!!!
    Thanks guys,
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Chris- First, welcome to lawnsite. I'm a new member here too, and have learned a lot from everyone here. As far as pricing, there are so many variables. To put it simply, figure your overhead (fuel, insurance, licenses, etc) and profit you expect to make, and that should put you in the ballpark. Give your price and stick with it. Over the years, I've been friendly with other landscapers in my area and have made some good friends. This has allowed me to discuss prices with them and we help each other with estimating. We look out for each other and wouldn't consider stealing accounts. This is something you might try, but keep in mind these are CLOSE friends.
    When it comes to advertising, I had the best luck with flyers when I was starting out. Good luck in the business. Mike
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    To be effective at pricing you MUST know your costs! There are many ways to figure it. I do mine on a per stop basis. I guess this comes from my accounting background.

    Give us some idea as to what size properties you bid on and how much. This may help us give you other advice.
  4. Chris Aurelio

    Chris Aurelio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    How do i figure out my cost.the only thing i have is a 3500 mower loan for three years a 4500 truck loan for 3 years and gas $500 for insurance.I have no clue about overhaed and what that all involves and how to fiqure that into my price.That is what i need help with about you formula? i read a post with a yard size and someone was askin to help figure out a bid?Eveeryone was sayin"when i plug the numers into my formula......" !!!!this is what i want to know what is the formula that you guys in the industry use since guessing might not be working? I dont know the size of the yard just it seems it might take me two hours to trim mow edge and blow..but i might do it faster or longer.i am new at this so what or some ways to measure and plug in measurements to get an estimate.
  5. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    I use the "school of hard knocks" formula. Hard to say experince will help you price jobs .Them more you screw yourself by underbidding the more you will learn how to bid.I try an get 35.00 for 10k lawn ( about average size ) if it is bigger i adjust it .Need a measureing wheel.best way to get accurate sizes.
  6. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 214

    Buy "Estimating for Landscape and Irrigation Contractors" by Huston. Read it twice and then you'll have a bit of a handle on job costing. The best money you'll spend if you are serious.

    UTM-PIKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65


    First off, use good grammar when you type. I cant understand what you are talking about half of the time. I HATE that! Slow down and use that high school education that you just got.

    Secondly, why did you take loans out on everything??? That was probably the biggest mistake a new person could make. Shop around and you can get good deals on equipment. I just bought 2 John Deere Walk Behinds and spent around $1000 on each of them. (48in, HYDRO, electric start etc., 400 hrs) There are plenty of old trucks for under $2000 as well. I paid cash for all of my equipment and am reaping the benefits, therefore everything I make this season, is MINE.

    As far as formula, bid so you know you are making $45-$55 an hour. Everyone has there own rule of how much they want to make. Just dont undercut everyone, you screw yourself and you screw the market up.

  8. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    first of all...........................

    Now that is funny!!

    Secondly, I think that it is very difficult for someone to automatically assume that paying cash is the best way. I agree that as a startup it is not always best to invest in new equipment and have payments, but it isn't a terrible thing either. Lots of plusses to new equipment.

    Secondly, it is also very difficult to automatically say you should make 45 to 55 per hour. I disagree. That might be right for you and your market but maybe someone else's market is different.

    I think he is actually trying to figure out how to bid properties based on a formula for size??? Let's help each other not bag on each other..........
  9. Chris Aurelio

    Chris Aurelio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    for someonewho dodnt understand what i wrote u sure did writ alot and sorry erery1 isnt ask computer literate as you your honor

    dont get bitter,and hopefully you dont think i talk like that..it just comes out diffrent one the screen
  10. Chris Aurelio

    Chris Aurelio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    the truck is a 95 gmc four wheel drive with 100k miles and a 350 so i dont think it was a bad deal..plus it was my grandfathers and he babied it...no problems except belts,hoses and oil changes


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