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atylawncare
04-16-2011, 01:53 PM
I have a question when your first starting out and your not good at telling how long it would take to do a yard should you do a first cut for free then give a price until you get the hang of it or should you give a price and tell the customer the price may go up or may even go down ? And also when your seeding a yard should you wait for another day to fertilize ?

Hedgemaster
04-16-2011, 03:34 PM
I'm playing with that idea as well, but you have to be careful that you don't get screwed too badly.

Go for a "free first cut" and you may find a yard that looks like a meadow that hasn't been cut in a year. Will that really be worth doing for free? Especially if you aren't locking them into a contract - once they get their free cut out of you, will they call you back?

I'm in the same boat with pricing. It's hard to do it accurately until you screw yourself over a few times and learn that it takes "this much" time when you thought it would take "that much" time.

Rather than a "free" first cut, I am considering a $10 first cut. That way, my fuel is at least covered, and it will give me a feel for how long it takes to do the job in order to give them an accurate quote for future jobs.
The drawback is that $10 doesn't look as good as "FREE" when people are browsing ads.

Tough call either way

Tom53
04-16-2011, 05:37 PM
Instead of a straight $10 first cut, maybe word it like:

First cut as low as $10 for new customer discount!

atylawncare
04-16-2011, 07:09 PM
I wish i could get them to sign the contract before the first free cut but then theres the problem if they dont agree on the price i like that idea Tom

cleancutlawncare5382
04-16-2011, 08:59 PM
Here's a quick chart I take with me on quotes.
Basicly I quickly figure up how many square feet the property is and pull the $ quote from the chart. I did some studies last year and figured i could mow 170 sqft per minute with 21" mower.

So far it has worked well for me.

Hedgemaster
04-17-2011, 01:44 PM
I went to give an estimate today and I tried my "discounted first cut" offer.

I winged it, but I explained that I was considering posting an offer on craigslist for a discounted first cut. I Offered to cut the yard for $20 the first time (tomorrow - weather permitting), and would give her an accurate estimate for future cuts after getting a feel for everything that will be involved with her property. She was agreeable.

The front is (according to her) 100'w x 75' from street to the house. The side is about 6 'wide x 30' along the house, and the back is a thin strip along the back of the house maybe 8-10' wide.
The front is a rolling slope up to the house - not too steep, but not flat at all, and there are about 5 mature trees to mow around, with some bumpy (roots) areas.

I'm guessing it will take between 45 mins to an hour for the first cut and the number in my head while looking at the job was $40-$45.

I guess we will see how it goes.

Hedgemaster
04-18-2011, 04:06 PM
I went to give an estimate today and I tried my "discounted first cut" offer.

I winged it, but I explained that I was considering posting an offer on craigslist for a discounted first cut. I Offered to cut the yard for $20 the first time (tomorrow - weather permitting), and would give her an accurate estimate for future cuts after getting a feel for everything that will be involved with her property. She was agreeable.

The front is (according to her) 100'w x 75' from street to the house. The side is about 6 'wide x 30' along the house, and the back is a thin strip along the back of the house maybe 8-10' wide.
The front is a rolling slope up to the house - not too steep, but not flat at all, and there are about 5 mature trees to mow around, with some bumpy (roots) areas.

I'm guessing it will take between 45 mins to an hour for the first cut and the number in my head while looking at the job was $40-$45.

I guess we will see how it goes.


Well, I did this job today.

It took me:

Trimming - 20 minutes
I trimmed around eight trees, around 2 drain pipes in yard, along street and some of the hill where an old tree stump made it tough to get to with the mower. Trimmed the perimeter along a wall/fence, and along the walkway that wrapped around the house.

Mowing - 35 minutes

Blowing - 5 minutes

Total time - 1 hour


The trimming will not take as long after the first cut - it was pretty high in spots, and the mowing time may be able to be shortened over time as I "learn the yard", so I'm figuring it should end up taking about 40-45 minutes.

I was thinking of asking $40-$45 If she's willing to pay cash, I'll go with $40.

This isn't going to be a "contract", but rather a "cut as needed" client.
Maybe during the fast growing season here, it will be once a week, but as it slows down, more likely every two weeks. Also, she isn't concerned with trimming (it's sort of "woodsy"), so I could reduce the amount of trimming to just along the sidewalk for the most part.

Any thoughts on my price quote?

LawnMoore
04-18-2011, 06:40 PM
I do 35$ minimum.

1/4 to 1/2 acre is 35$ minimum Can go up to 50 with alot of obstacles.

Acreage is also 35 minimum for 3+ acres only mowed, such as 5 acres of horse field = 35 an acre, no trimming, mow and go!

1 acre residential yards i have a 50 minimum on, with minimal trimming and egding (can go up to as much as 75 with a lot of trimming needed)

Thats my base prices, good luck!

brian'slawncare
04-18-2011, 06:45 PM
i give people a half off mow for the first time...draws em in then they keep me

cleancutlawncare5382
04-18-2011, 08:15 PM
Mowing - 35 minutes

Blowing - 5 minutes

Total time - 1 hour


I was thinking of asking $40-$45 If she's willing to pay cash, I'll go with $40.

Any thoughts on my price quote?

Hedge I live about 2 hours north of you, I would shoot for about $35 for 60 minutes work. Sometimes a little better / sometimes worse.

I would think in you're area you shouldn't have any trouble getting you're price.

Hedgemaster
04-18-2011, 09:20 PM
Hedge I live about 2 hours north of you, I would shoot for about $35 for 60 minutes work. Sometimes a little better / sometimes worse.

I would think in you're area you shouldn't have any trouble getting you're price.

Thanks for your reply - I got it. :)

$40 cash payment on weekly basis until growth slows, then bi-weekly.



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