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Snowman
03-24-2011, 02:28 PM
I'm new here and like everyone else that was at one time, am still getting used to the site. I plow snow...a lot of snow. I live in the UP of MI by WI border. My plowing business is going well except for the fluctuating gas prices which definately stresses me out after giving seasonal rates. I don't use a detailed contract because i really haven't found one i like. I try to keep things real with my customers by being upfront and open with them and ask them to be the same way with me, which with new customers is a slippery slope. I am trying to start up Lawncare for summertime income and could really use some help on what to charge in this area keeping in mind the economy is severely depressed here with barely any jobs other then bartending or working at menial pay bigboxes. Anyone got some help for a newb from this area?

Steve
03-24-2011, 06:11 PM
Welcome to our forum!

You have to check around and see what your competitors are charging but we have seen a national average of about $45 per man hour when it comes to lawn care. So from there, you can figure out how long it will take you to mow the lawn and then apply that rate if you want to.

Also, consider using the lawn care estimators (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299) on the site. They will help you estimate lawns.

I don't use a detailed contract because i really haven't found one i like. I try to keep things real with my customers by being upfront and open with them and ask them to be the same way with me, which with new customers is a slippery slope.

What kinds of problems have you found yourself running into with some of those customers?

Snowman
03-24-2011, 10:59 PM
Welcome to our forum!

You have to check around and see what your competitors are charging but we have seen a national average of about $45 per man hour when it comes to lawn care. So from there, you can figure out how long it will take you to mow the lawn and then apply that rate if you want to.

Also, consider using the lawn care estimators (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299) on the site. They will help you estimate lawns.



What kinds of problems have you found yourself running into with some of those customers?

Thank you for your reply Steve. One of the biggest problems is that the customer tries to squeeze just one more thing (or 2) for you to do also such as use the bagger and haul the clippings for the same price when my mower is a mulching mower, or mow a soggy, boggy lawn that should have been mowed a week before that. I actually got my rider stuck twice. Both of these accounts only want things done when they call and it's obvious they are trying to get 2 cuttings done for 1. I raised my price on the place i got my mower stuck at and told the person I won't jeopardize my equipment anymore, but i think i am still too cheap. I want to be fair with them, and look forward to them calling on me again, but mainly just because i'm starting out and have payments to make on equipment. I have thought about buying an aerator, roller and dethatcher in hopes of drumming up some new accounts, but i have no idea what to charge for a 3 package deal like that. I live in a small community so it's hard to get people to jump the fence because it seems like everyone is related to everyone except me since i'm a transplant as they put it. Your lawn care estimator is a nice tool, now i just need to start finding out what others in the area are charging for each item to set it up. Can you give me the national averages on that too for a benchmark? Thank you for your help!

Steve
03-26-2011, 07:57 AM
Can you give me the national averages on that too for a benchmark? Thank you for your help!

Well the $45 would be the national average per hour for mowing.

One of the biggest problems is that the customer tries to squeeze just one more thing (or 2) for you to do

I would think you could face this in snow plowing as well. Have you? How did you handle it there?

also such as use the bagger and haul the clippings for the same price when my mower is a mulching mower, or mow a soggy, boggy lawn that should have been mowed a week before that.

I would think, you need to survey the property and if you feel it is too soggy, don't mow on that day. You don't want to leave the property in worse condition than when you got there.

Snowman
03-26-2011, 02:11 PM
Well the $45 would be the national average per hour for mowing.



I would think you could face this in snow plowing as well. Have you? How did you handle it there?



I would think, you need to survey the property and if you feel it is too soggy, don't mow on that day. You don't want to leave the property in worse condition than when you got there.

Ya well the problem with it is that it's soggy all the time. Even if I use the weedeater there (and it's a large area 10x75) my feet sink in too. It should be turned into a rice patty.

Steve
03-27-2011, 08:40 AM
Is there something you can do to help them improve the drainage of their property? Could that be an upsell?