whole hog


LawnSite Senior Member
I have been asked to bid 4 apartment complexes, as I am part time in this and already have all I can do by myself, I will have to hire some help, get workmans comp. take out taxes, the whole shoting match.<p>Heres my concern, the guy that did 2 of the complexes last year told me it took him 14 hours to do them, He didnt edge though and the new owners want it done. there is alot of it to be done. I think I can do it in about the same amount of time. His charge was 237.00. To me that is very underpriced.<br>I normally get 25.00 per man hour, so we are talking a difference of 113.00 thats almost half again more! Am I right in sticking to my price or was he just making wadges?<p>Ive been doing this for several years but that was for &quot;extra money,&quot; and Ive done well. But now other people are going to count on me for their living.<p>Heck I dont know what Im asking here. <p>Am I heading in the right direction??<p>Am I about to bite off more then I can chew??<p>Ive had one bussiness need to file bankruptcy and dont want another.<p>Any comments??


LawnSite Bronze Member
I think you definitely need to think more about this. It would be damn hard for me to justify paying others when you are still working another job. Another thing, if you are only going to bill $25/hour this will never cover the added expenses of an employee. Charge at least $45 for you and an employee.


LawnSite Senior Member
Nat<p>I would suggest you keep your day job until you get a chance to take some basic accounting classes. The prices you give for your time qualifies your mowing as a hobby.<p>All business are required by the tax code to show a profit. From my 27 years of experience in contracting, the biggest error I have seen contractors make is mistaking cash flow as profit. We had 3 people approach us last fall about buying their &quot;lawn business&quot;. We looked at their numbers. One guy actually, after subtracting for cost, was making $1.00/hour. That was on his best job. The reason they were selling: equipment was old and wore out and they couldn't afford new.<p>Remember, what you are selling is your time plus you are renting all your tools to your customers. This includes your truck, trailer and everything else you use. Find out what commercial rental space runs for and include this in your numbers if you are running your bus. out of your home. Look at it this way, anything you don't pass on the cost to the customer, you are letting the customer use for free.<p>The Univ. of Georgia, College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences has an excellent, inexpensive estimating program. Go to the top of this page and check out Mr. Nilsson's Book Store, another excellent source of info.<p>Good luck


LawnSite Silver Member
naturalawn--with out more facts it's hard to give good advice. but here goes. those numbers don't sound good to me at all. I wont go into the details because you've already gotten some good advice. if it figures right I might bid somewhere around $237 per complex.<p>I have a &quot;friend&quot; in the buisness that always works real cheap. when someone turns me down because my price is too high, I always recommend this guy. why? why not? he's about dead from working too hard and I'm still in good shape. we both make about the same living. I only work alot less! good luck.<p>GEO


LawnSite Senior Member
Perhaps the simplest way to figure it out<br>might be to just triple or quadruple the<br>wages cost for your employee.After,of course<br>working out the man hours required.Good luck<br>with the job. I always like to see a person<br>&quot;take the plunge&quot; into full time business.<br>
Before you decide to start to bring on workers maybe take a good look at how much time you have spend on each job figure your daily cost all the cost overhead and all. Then look at what your cost will be with 1 worker. Then see if you can afford to pay for a worker. If your only going to need a worker because of a few bids that you have but are not sure on the price bid them where you have to be and no less. If your to high Owell you still have the work to keep you busy. If it just for a couple jobs then you better start looking for more work if you get those bids since in this day and age labor is HARD to find and keep and you will lose them Quick if they dont get at least 40 or more hours in. Just take a good look at every factor first before your working your ass off to pay for a labor.

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