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6295danny
01-14-2013, 08:54 PM
I got a large apartment complex I bid on last year an think I got it for this year. I mowed it for cash last 2 months of the summer last year due to there normal lawn care guys just not showing up. Ok keep in mind I was using a 50in cub cadet z force Kohler motor stamped deck an a troy built weed wacker. It took me about 8 hours to mow it an the next day I could weed eat an blow it in about 6 hrs or less. I just started my business in the last week with a real name LLC Insurance an real equipment to mow these type of accounts. I now have all new 61in scag 2 stihl weedeaters sthil bp blowers an sthil edgers. All on a new 16ft open trailer.
Ok now that said I bid it twice because I wanted to mow it weekly but there budget was tight so I bid it for 2 mows per month the 2nd time. I will have one guy working for me to start so keep this in mind to. I bid 2500 per month for 8 months for 2 mows weedeating an blowing. I was told by one of the grounds guys that the other lawn care guys could come in early (a 2 man crew) Around 8 am an was gone by 3 or 4 pm with commercial equipment. So Is 2500 a month good for lets say 16hrs a month. An Im no spring chicken so I weedeat slower than most thats why I got a young man hired on for the summer season.. Please give me some feedback on pricing or if I chose good equipment ect ect... Thanks Cutting it Close Lawn Care.

Cashin H&P
01-14-2013, 08:59 PM
I got a large apartment complex I bid on last year an think I got it for this year. I mowed it for cash last 2 months of the summer last year due to there normal lawn care guys just not showing up. Ok keep in mind I was using a 50in cub cadet z force Kohler motor stamped deck an a troy built weed wacker. It took me about 8 hours to mow it an the next day I could weed eat an blow it in about 6 hrs or less. I just started my business in the last week with a real name LLC Insurance an real equipment to mow these type of accounts. I now have all new 61in scag 2 stihl weedeaters sthil bp blowers an sthil edgers. All on a new 16ft open trailer.
Ok now that said I bid it twice because I wanted to mow it weekly but there budget was tight so I bid it for 2 mows per month the 2nd time. I will have one guy working for me to start so keep this in mind to. I bid 2500 per month for 8 months for 2 mows weedeating an blowing. I was told by one of the grounds guys that the other lawn care guys could come in early (a 2 man crew) Around 8 am an was gone by 3 or 4 pm with commercial equipment. So Is 2500 a month good for lets say 16hrs a month. An Im no spring chicken so I weedeat slower than most thats why I got a young man hired on for the summer season.. Please give me some feedback on pricing or if I chose good equipment ect ect... Thanks Cutting it Close Lawn Care.

Do you have pics of the property? That will help us judge youe quote much better.

6295danny
01-14-2013, 09:09 PM
I dont have any pics. Sorry.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-14-2013, 09:11 PM
Do you have pics of the property? That will help us judge youe quote much better.

or actual acres and where are you located.

According to you post you were spending 14 hours there per cut. If your running 2 mower now and 2 trimmers. You should be out of there in 7 but you got a guy with you. So that brings it to 14 man hours per cut still. You should be able to cut at least 2 hours of your mowing time with the scag but I would bid it based on what you used last year anyway.

Even at 28 hours, $2500 doesnt sound bad at all. Now do you have to do fall/spring clean ups, mulch, bush trimming, etc?

Cashin H&P
01-14-2013, 09:12 PM
I dont have any pics. Sorry.

Well then it will be really hard to tell you how if your pricing is in the ball park. But from what it sounds like you know how long your there and what your costs are. If your making money the go with it.

6295danny
01-14-2013, 09:19 PM
It only took 2 guys 7 or 8 hours to mow an weedeat it from the other crew. I had residential equipment last year. Im looking at me an another guy spending 16hrs a month there for 2500 bucks.. Last year it was just me no help an I was doing it all. An I had a cub cadet ztr that mows this south MS grass at 3 mph tops. I would guess 15 to 20 acres max. And about 10 big duplexs on it. Big circle drive in the center an lots of parking area.

bruces
01-14-2013, 09:26 PM
you need to figure out your true costs ,desired profits,and your time to complete these jobs before you can figure out a price ,and certainly not a single one of us can help you properly without all the info .Actually I am wrong ,5dollarlowballerlawnchild has a magical formula he got of a little ceasers commercial .

Cashin H&P
01-14-2013, 09:28 PM
you need to figure out your true costs ,desired profits,and your time to complete these jobs before you can figure out a price ,and certainly not a single one of us can help you properly without all the info .Actually I am wrong ,5dollarlowballerlawnchild has a magical formula he got of a little ceasers commercial .

Im sure he will be around soon enough to give his "advice"

jrayb39667
01-14-2013, 09:34 PM
,5dollarlowballerlawnchild has a magical formula he got of a little ceasers commercial .

This made me literally LOL!!!

6295danny
01-14-2013, 09:36 PM
Ok U must not have read my first post. Im new never done this for a living. I was using crap equipment last summer. Now I have commercial. I have no idea on what gas prices will run in new equipment. I took me 2 days alone for one cutting with crappy epuipment. Took the old lawn care crew 7hrs with 2 guys an commercial equipment. All I can go off of is its gonna take me 16hrs a month to cut it. Me an one helper ill be paying. Thats all the info I got...

bruces
01-14-2013, 09:37 PM
I still think its cheese playing with us

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-14-2013, 09:44 PM
It only took 2 guys 7 or 8 hours to mow an weedeat it from the other crew. I had residential equipment last year. Im looking at me an another guy spending 16hrs a month there for 2500 bucks.. Last year it was just me no help an I was doing it all. An I had a cub cadet ztr that mows this south MS grass at 3 mph tops. I would guess 15 to 20 acres max. And about 10 big duplexs on it. Big circle drive in the center an lots of parking area.

I understand that but you have to figure your mans hours into this too. Yes youll technically be there for 14-16 hours a month but with another guy with you its 28-32 hours per month. Get it?

Now do you have to do any other maintenance there? or do you just cut?

You really need to measure properties you bid. Theres no way that cub was cutting 2 acres a hour.

bruces
01-14-2013, 09:46 PM
I did read your first post ,but cant for the life of me figure what the other guys times mean for you ,unless your equipment is the same size and capable of cutting at the same speed his times are good only as a loose guide .Also,it wouldnt surprise me if your informant might of fudged the times a little just to get a better bid from you .

6295danny
01-14-2013, 09:47 PM
Ok let me be honest I got a local lawn care guy to bid it lol. An thats how I got 2500 for 2 cuttings a month. After i bid an got the job I feel I am charging to much. I thought about 60hr is a fair price. 16hrs a month at 60 bucks a hour is only a little under a grand. How this other crew got 2500 a month is why Im asking. Huge price difference from my estimates... I dont wanna low ball but I dont wanna over charge either. This is just for mowing weedeating an blowing thats it. Thats all they wanted. An Yea I have 2 acres I live on an i mow it in a hour with the cub.... All day every day i have been using it on my 2 acres for 5 years now.

Cashin H&P
01-14-2013, 09:50 PM
Ok let me be honest I got a local lawn care guy to bid it lol. An thats how I got 2500 for 2 cuttings a month. After i bid an got the job I feel I am charging to much. I thought about 60hr is a fair price. 16hrs a month at 60 bucks a hour is only a little under a grand. How this other crew got 2500 a month is why Im asking. Huge price difference from my estimates... I dont wanna low ball but I dont wanna over charge either.

So your pissed your charginh to much?

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-14-2013, 09:54 PM
Ok let me be honest I got a local lawn care guy to bid it lol. An thats how I got 2500 for 2 cuttings a month. After i bid an got the job I feel I am charging to much. I thought about 60hr is a fair price. 16hrs a month at 60 bucks a hour is only a little under a grand. How this other crew got 2500 a month is why Im asking. Huge price difference from my estimates... I dont wanna low ball but I dont wanna over charge either.

again unless your helper is your other hand its 32 man hours a month. This is getting old already.

And how did you figure what to charge when you cut it?

Well you wouldnt have been hired if your were over.

6295danny
01-14-2013, 09:55 PM
So your pissed your charginh to much?

No not pissed but dont wanna be the bad guy an over price. Wanna be fair is all. I wanna keep people comen back to me for there lawn care needs.

6295danny
01-14-2013, 09:59 PM
again unless your helper is your other hand its 32 man hours a month. This is getting old already.

And how did you figure what to charge when you cut it?

Well I didn't think chargen another 60hr for one helper was fair price. Im not paying my helper that much by far. I just cut it for a grand a month last summer an they put gas in my equipment. I didn't know any different. I thought maken a extra grand a month in just 2 weekends was good. I never ran a business so I had know idea

6295danny
01-14-2013, 10:02 PM
Well I didn't think chargen another 60hr for one helper was fair price. Im not paying my helper that much by far. I just cut it for a grand a month last summer an they put gas in my equipment. I didn't know any different. I thought maken a extra grand a month in just 2 weekends was good. I never ran a business so I had know idea

So ur saying I need to charge 120 hr if I have a helper?

Cashin H&P
01-14-2013, 10:04 PM
So you dont like to make money? Thats what Im getting from this.

Im done here, good luck, when you get your profit fell free to send it my way if you want.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-14-2013, 10:06 PM
Well I didn't think chargen another 60hr for one helper was fair price.

So ur saying I need to charge 120 hr if I have a helper?


If your charging $60 a hour then with 5 employees its $300 a hour. I mean you could give em a break and charge $100 a hour for 2 guys but most charge the same per hour charge per employee. We just calculate man hours. A hour for every man every hour there.

Youll find workers comp starts at about $1500 a year and goes up for every $1000 in payroll. So theres additional expenses to having a helper. Its not as easy as I'm paying 10 a hour, it cost 10 a hour. It really cost 20 a hour and with fuel probably 30 a hour and so on.

6295danny
01-14-2013, 10:14 PM
Ill figure it either way. Sorry if this is getting old but u keep replyn. Anyone else charge by the hour. How do you do it an be fair but profit.

6295danny
01-14-2013, 10:16 PM
If your charging $60 a hour then with 5 employees its $300 a hour. I mean you could give em a break and charge $100 a hour for 2 guys but most charge the same per hour charge per employee. We just calculate man hours. A hour for every man every hour there.

Youll find workers comp starts at about $1500 a year and goes up for every $1000 in payroll. So theres additional expenses to having a helper. Its not as easy as I'm paying 10 a hour, it cost 10 a hour. It really cost 20 a hour and with fuel probably 30 a hour and so on.

Ok got ya. Glad I didn't just bid for the 60hr...

6295danny
01-14-2013, 10:37 PM
Ok got ya. Glad I didn't just bid for the 60hr...

I never considered workers comp.... How does that work. Guessing its different state by state right. I think I was just reading unless ya have over 3 workers working full time, workers comp doesn't apply to my business. I wanna be sure tho. This is why I ask so many Questions.. I have no Idea how to run a business. Im a little worried here to be honest.
I do measure small residental lawns but when I measured this place the math didn't add up. Does now but hourly seems to be just as good as measuring. An quicker on these larger places. Ill do both ways a while an see what one works best for me.

SomrakLC
01-14-2013, 11:31 PM
take the time it took you by yourself and cut it in half since there will be another person.

6295danny
01-15-2013, 02:50 AM
take the time it took you by yourself and cut it in half since there will be another person.

Well that would work if I was using the same equipment. I have upgraded from a cub cadet 50 ztr stamped deck I use for my own yard. POS the hydros suck. To a scag turf tiger 61in deck. I was also usen a cheap curved shaft troy built weedeater now I have straight shaft 100cc sthils. I was usen a weed eater brand blower now got a sthil 600 mag.. I never used this equipment really since there is no grass to cut right now. I did try the mower out a little is some dead stuff an it cut the dead stuff 3 times faster than my cub and looked better at that. So all that is out the window.

Steve
01-15-2013, 01:59 PM
Danny,

This discussion is a great example of why it is more ideal to start with mowing residential properties by yourself first. When you do this, you learn bidding basics. You learn how much you need to charge to operate per hour and you don't need a staff to complicate things.

Now that you are in this situation, I want to point a few things out. Don't worry if you are charging too much. If the customer agrees to the price, it's not too much for them. If your bid was too much, they would go with someone else.

Second, we can't tell you what your operating expenses are. That is based on your situation. How much are your expenses per year divided by how many man hours a year are you working. I know you aren't going to be able to answer this at the moment because it is all new.

When you start with smaller properties, you minimize the potential damage you can cause your business by underbidding because it's a small property that won't take too much time and not much in the way of equipment.

When you start with larger properties, you spend more time at the property and need more expensive equipment. If all of this is not paid for by a properly priced bid, it is a lot easier to find yourself not making anything or losing money while working on that property.

With all that said....

I mowed it for cash last 2 months of the summer last year keep in mind I was using a 50in mower. It took me about 8 hours to mow and I could weed eat an blow it in about 6 hrs or less.

So this job has taken you 14 man hours to do.

I bid $2500 per month for mowing twice a month

Let's do some math here.

It takes you 14 man hours per service. Multiply that by 2 mowings per month.

So we are at 28 man hours per month.

$2500 / 28 man hours = $89 per man hour.

If you are making $89 per man hour, I would venture to guess you will be alright with the job.

Now the question is, does this look right to you? Are these hours right?

LawnBoy0311
01-15-2013, 04:27 PM
I am very confused. What is he asking again???


Oh wait, I think I got it.


Well.....


Wait a sec. Who's on first?

6295danny
01-16-2013, 07:59 AM
Danny,

This discussion is a great example of why it is more ideal to start with mowing residential properties by yourself first. When you do this, you learn bidding basics. You learn how much you need to charge to operate per hour and you don't need a staff to complicate things.

Now that you are in this situation, I want to point a few things out. Don't worry if you are charging too much. If the customer agrees to the price, it's not too much for them. If your bid was too much, they would go with someone else.

Second, we can't tell you what your operating expenses are. That is based on your situation. How much are your expenses per year divided by how many man hours a year are you working. I know you aren't going to be able to answer this at the moment because it is all new.

When you start with smaller properties, you minimize the potential damage you can cause your business by underbidding because it's a small property that won't take too much time and not much in the way of equipment.

When you start with larger properties, you spend more time at the property and need more expensive equipment. If all of this is not paid for by a properly priced bid, it is a lot easier to find yourself not making anything or losing money while working on that property.

With all that said....



So this job has taken you 14 man hours to do.



Let's do some math here.

It takes you 14 man hours per service. Multiply that by 2 mowings per month.

So we are at 28 man hours per month.

$2500 / 28 man hours = $89 per man hour.

If you are making $89 per man hour, I would venture to guess you will be alright with the job.

Now the question is, does this look right to you? Are these hours right?

Yea Steve that all sounds about right. I would like to have some more residential yards but alot of those are taken here by school kids. Funny thing is the reason I got the job is because im the only one that bid. along with about 5 other large properties i just got. An I have people calling me wanting bids on other commercial properties bc there where no one putting in bids on them. I guess ill jump into it all out an hope for the best. I just made a connection today with a old friend that has a lawn care service here local an is helping me with the bids. He has been mowing for 20 years now so hes steering me in the right path I hope. Thanks everyone for your info. Ill will get back with everyone later in the year on this topic an let you guys know if i survive or go broke..

Steve
01-16-2013, 01:56 PM
I look forwards to hearing your view on servicing these properties once you get on them. How big they are in sqft, how long they took to service etc. Your reflections on the whole process once you get on them will surely be interesting.

6295danny
01-16-2013, 04:29 PM
Not sure on the square footage of all of them. The biggest one I got is 15 acres but when we measured what had to be mowed it was more like 6 acres. I had the square footage just dont remember it right of hand. All I measured what had to be trimmed blown an edged. Then I figured a rough estimate on hrs to get my bid. I think I got it now. I was thinking to hard on something that was very simple.
I used your estimating software to get my totals. I like it alot an its almost exactly what I figure with out it but your way is much faster. Thanks everyone.

6295danny
01-17-2013, 09:10 AM
This is what Im using now..

stevef1201
09-25-2014, 06:40 AM
No not pissed but dont wanna be the bad guy an over price. Wanna be fair is all. I wanna keep people comen back to me for there lawn care needs.

Fair is I make money, **** everybody else

ExtremeLawncareServices
09-25-2014, 10:24 AM
I take it Danny is no longer with us? Out of business?

stevef1201
09-25-2014, 05:52 PM
I take it Danny is no longer with us? Out of business?

Either that or so busy trying to make money with 0 profit he has no time to do anything else including sleep

Steve
09-29-2014, 03:22 PM
This brings up a very important point. The vast majority of new businesses end up failing with the biggest reason being the inability to make a profit.

There are many members that join on here who we won't hear from again after a certain point because they underbid their work.

As a reader, please think about this when you are out there bidding. If you aren't making a profit, reconsider your bid price.