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View Full Version : Letting customer know your hourly rate? Yes or no?


ratchetmaster2
04-03-2013, 01:13 AM
As a rule of thumb, I try to make at least $1/minute of work on site. I know a lot of you guys will agree with me, and most of you make much more than that.
Of course, I don't always meet that goal, but I try.

Now, my question is, do you tell your customer this? I've had several [potential] customers ask me "oh, what's your hourly rate?" Of course, I always switch around to "give me your address and I'll come out for an estimate." Because I don't think it would be a good idea to tell them I charge $60/hour.

My thinking is this: Most people would not be willing to pay $60/hour if they knew it. People would say "that's 2-3 times what I make!!". And what's worse is, I'm 18 years old making that much money, when people twice my age would kill for $60/hour.

Also, what about invoices? Do you just type "mulching - $400" or do you type "mulching 4 hours @ $60/hour = $240"?
Or do you go for something like "mulching 10yd @ $90/yard"?
What about something like clean-up, or weeding?

I get this question very frequently and I would like to better know how to answer it.

LawnBoy0311
04-03-2013, 07:41 AM
As a rule of thumb, I try to make at least $1/minute of work on site. I know a lot of you guys will agree with me, and most of you make much more than that.
Of course, I don't always meet that goal, but I try.

Now, my question is, do you tell your customer this? I've had several [potential] customers ask me "oh, what's your hourly rate?" Of course, I always switch around to "give me your address and I'll come out for an estimate." Because I don't think it would be a good idea to tell them I charge $60/hour.

My thinking is this: Most people would not be willing to pay $60/hour if they knew it. People would say "that's 2-3 times what I make!!". And what's worse is, I'm 18 years old making that much money, when people twice my age would kill for $60/hour.

Also, what about invoices? Do you just type "mulching - $400" or do you type "mulching 4 hours @ $60/hour = $240"?
Or do you go for something like "mulching 10yd @ $90/yard"?
What about something like clean-up, or weeding?

I get this question very frequently and I would like to better know how to answer it.

I will never tell anyone my hourly rate. Never ever ever. I gave a quote to a business owner, he broke it down hourly and said he doesn't pay his employees that much money. I said good luck and walked away. The grass infront of his business is now way overgrown and looks terrible. He'll be getting a fine by the city this year for sure.

Invoice- I put the job and the total. For example the one I did yesterday:

Shrub trimming $85
Mulch $180

stevef1201
04-03-2013, 07:43 AM
I NEVER tell my hourly rate. Mostly because its different for different type of work. I charge more for hedge trimming, high hedge trimming, tree work etc. I tell then its a set rate per whatever the work is ie square footage for mowing, number and height of shrubs, length of and height of hedges etc.
Don't let it bother you if they say they can get done cheaper, let em.

willshome
04-03-2013, 08:25 AM
And what's worse is, I'm 18 years old making that much money, when people twice my age would kill for $60/hour.


don't forget most people 2X your age can't handle doing this job all day. The easiest part of our day is the hardest part of most peoples.

It's not like your making $60 an hour once you add in travel time, time bidding jobs, fixing tools, fuel, insurance, paper work, marketing, research, non paying customers......

bid/bill jobs not hours Customers don't understand the cost of billing $60 an hour

grass guru
04-03-2013, 11:13 AM
Never tell hourly rate, how much material is needed, or how long it will take.they will use it against you.
If they figure your hourly rate out, and tell you thats a ridiculous price, then tell them "ok, you can pay me $15/hr, but you also have to pay my fuel costs, my disability insurance, my income taxes, my liability insurance, my commercial auto insurance, my unemployment insurance, my equiptment repairs/maintenance, my shop mortgage, my office supplies, my office heat, my office electric, my receptionists/secretary, my helpers, and their income taxes. That will be another $120,000. Or you can pay me what I quoted you, and I will pay all of that. Oh, and I will hope to make $12/hr after all those expenses."
That may put things into perspective for them.
Also, people may be asking you that if they know your age. Sad, but people think that the younger you are, the cheaper you will be.
If someone asks you hourly rate, you can just tell them you dont charge by the hour, you charge by the size of the job, and the quality/quantity of material(s) used.

SNethercutt
04-03-2013, 11:39 AM
Politely tell them its rude to ask what someone is paid. That you have bid the job to be able to cover materials and what you need to ear to make a profit on the job and nothing more.

If they do calculate it out and say something, tell them that the company they work for likely charges someone else $60+ hr for their time but only pays them $20. You chose to be that person charging $60 a hour and paying an employee or two $10 an hour. Bottom line its none of their business and rude rude rude for anyone to ask.

When I sit down with the guys around me who I have learned from who have succeful businesses we do talk money but its amoungst business and we all accept that.

If I had a customer ask me an hourly rate I would like eat their face like the guy in Florida.

Never let your customer know your hourly price. Given them a job total. A normal person doesn't break things down like we do. OK I pay this and that and insurance and gas and equipment and so on. So I have to make xx.xx. your customer just sees, he is charging me $80 an hour and feels like they got fudged.