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When giving an estimate/bid.....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MudslinginFX4, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    lets say a customer calls, wants full maintenance, and you run over there to get measurements and price out the yard. When putting everything together and giving them a price do you list out each individual service seperatly or do you just give them a dollar figure and tell them what will be done for that amount? I currently list out ALL of our regular services and give them a price for each and every one, but this is taking a long time and I also feel like it's giving them the choice to choose the services we are the cheapest on and find someone else for the rest.

    Another thing... do you offer everything BUT mowing for customers? I have some customers who want to do the mowing themselves but don't want the hassle of trimming shrubs, pinestraw, mulch, etc.. what do you do with them? Turn them down unless you cut or take on the account? I have been taking on several of these accounts that I feel can make me the most money and turning away the rest.
  2. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I list everything seperatly if I consider it a different service. Lawn care is a service, shrub pruning, mulching, or whatever else. I don't put edging $10, mowing $20, blowing $10 I consider all of these to be lawn service. I'll do just about anything the customer wants as long as I feel I'm getting the money I need for the job. I'm kind of like a restraunt with how I think, "no substitutions" or "substitute for $x.xx" . I feel like I'm offering a package deal, and if you don't want the package or combo price, you'll pay a little more. Go to mickey d's and order a burger and fries, it costs almost as much as the value meal.
  3. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    OK, thats exactly what I do. It seems like I am loosing a lot more bids this year then I have in previous years. I know I'm not the cheapest out there (more on the high end of prices) but I don't ever remember only landing about 1/4 of the estimates that I do. Maybe it's because this area seems to have so much more competition this year. I'm bidding on 6 mini storage places right now as one contract owned by the same people and I'm reading over last years contract and the landscaper is only charging $25/hour for additional services! I charge $55/hour for the first guy and $35 for every other guy!
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    ECM try making package prices, i.e.- we have package pricing for mowing only but it includes, mowing, trimming, edging and final clean up. I tell them that price then I go into seperate services.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    In our price quote we provide a detailed list of services that will be performed. We then provide the total cost and a required deposit amount...unless lawn maintenance...no deposit required.

    Those that call back or start asking for everything to get broken down I generally lump them into two categories (1) Didn't think it would cost that much and bit off more than they can chew/afford or (2) are price shopping...which I try and avoid.
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I list services in categories

    Mowing: to include mowing, edging, weed eating, blowing
    Weed control: exactly that
    Ornamental and shrub trimming: periodic trimming year round
    Fert: a 5 app synthetic program
    irrigation maintenance: quarterly zone, saturation and head check
    mulch: 2 applications annually Mar and Nov

    I break out each category then give a 10% discount if you get all categories.The 10% is built into the price. No freebies here.
    On resi I leave mulching out of the package deal and have it as an ala carte option.

    This way they can pick and their services if they want, but they know it is costing more.

    I also front load the mowing. Say it should be $110 to mow I charge $130 for that and say it should be $50 for trimming I charge $40 for that. That way it seems like the add ons are cheap. I also only aim for 30-40% close rate.
  7. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,149

    I was just having this conversation the other day.

    I currently list spring (leftover leaves from the fall) and fall clean up (basically leaf removal) separately our proposals. I am wondering if I should include these in our weekly/monthly prices and include them in the "mowing" category. The problem I have with this is then is it drives up our mowing rates and customers may not take the time to realize they are receiving much more service than they might be from "the other guy" and I don't want them to be scared off by a marginally higher rate than they might have seen on another proposal.

    On the other hand, I get the feeling that quite a few of newer LCO's in the industry do not take into account the amount of time and labor involved in proper leaf clean up and are not even charging additional fees for these services. So I am also trying to avoid having my proposal in front of the customer with an "extra" charge on it for fall clean up.

    Obviosuly not all properties require an extensive fall clean up, or very little if any spring clean up, so it may be easy to hide $1-$2 on a weekly rate but if the property/neighborhood is scattered with mature trees then it becomes more of an issue.

    I also would appreciate your comments on this topic. Thanks.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    We try to do full service maintenance to the property. One price all inclusive.
    We do some only mowing but only because they are old accounts. All new we shoot for full service.

    The cost of mulch is not in the contract on most because it can change from year to year as to how much they need. Or some have an "up to # " and charge for over that. We have a HOA that states-- "contract includes 540 bales of pine needles, A charge of $7.00 per bale will be added over that".

    We also add for the cost of seasonal flowers, but only the material. The labor to maintain the beds is included.

    We do sell mulch or any other landscape job to any one.
    We also do a lot of aeration to customers that do not use us for any other service.
    We do lawncare for people that cut their own grass.

    As far as a proposal, we always add it all in and give one price.
    But I have given some full service proposal along with a lawncare proposal,
    but only if they ask.
  9. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Thanks guys for the great replys... this was exactly what I was looking for! It looks like I'm doing what many of you are, but it sure is a pain sometimes when bidding showing the customer everything. I guess it's better to do it once then to have to go back and price something out later.
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Make it a practice to measure everything about a job the first time you are out. You do not need to give the price right now but at least you can know the answer if it comes up later.

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