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View Full Version : Hello, I am new and need help with pricing!


jones26r
08-02-2007, 10:06 PM
Hello,

I just started in the lawn mowing business here in Colorado Springs, CO. I have placed a proposal at four different houses. My first two, I was bidding at .06cents per square foot. The last two, I was bidding at .04cents per square foot.

I felt even at .04cents, it looked high. The third house I placed a proposal at, I felt I could have mowed the front and back in about 1 and half hours. I gave a bid of $150.

What do you guys think? Am I too high? Am I just right? Do I need to lower my sq.ft. price?

HELP!

Thanks,

Russell

Little's
08-02-2007, 10:09 PM
I figure $1 per minute. If it takes me 1 hour, I charge $60. If they want it every week, then I charge $240 for the month.

Steve
08-03-2007, 02:37 AM
Hi Russell,

Welcome to our forum! What got you to start your own business?

One of the things we have seen talked about that might help you is this. Do you or a friend have a lawn you could call up a few lawn care operators to get a quote on? If so, get three quotes and compare them to the price you would charge to service the lawn.

jones26r
08-03-2007, 09:44 AM
I decided to start my own lawn care business as something to do to gain a little extra income. A friend out in the Western part of Colorado started a business very similar and is doing well. So, I placed an ad in my local newspaper, a ad on craigslist, and one in the Thirfty Nickel.

So far, most of my replys to my ads have come from craigslist, which is funny because it is a free ad compared to the other two.

I like the idea of charging $1 dollar per minute. I just have to get good at looking at a job and figuring how long it will take me to do the job.

I also might take the advise on getting a friends lawn or my own lawn quoted and see where they are all at.

I look forward to future comments.

Steve
08-03-2007, 01:09 PM
Quote[/b] ]So far, most of my replys to my ads have come from craigslist, which is funny because it is a free ad compared to the other two.


That is awesome! Sometimes just because you pay for an ad, doesn't make the response any better.

Quote[/b] ]
I like the idea of charging $1 dollar per minute. I just have to get good at looking at a job and figuring how long it will take me to do the job.

I think you will get the swing of it after you do a few lawns.

Quote[/b] ]I also might take the advise on getting a friends lawn or my own lawn quoted and see where they are all at.

Yea! It should give you an idea of the going rate in your area.


What are the next big plans you have for your business?

jones26r
08-10-2007, 09:48 AM
I am not sure what my next big plans are for my business.

I did create a website that talks a little about me and what I do. www.affordablelawncareservices.com

Since winter is approaching soon, I think I might focus on what I can do next year. I have thought about media mailings. I have also thought about door-to-door flyers.

Yard signs might do the trick but they can be costly.

Currently I tow all my equipment in the back of my truck, so getting a small trailer might be feasible.

Steve
08-10-2007, 10:46 AM
I like your website! Nice work!

Do you have any pictures of your current set up that you could share with us?

Will you be doing any snow plowing this winter?

jones26r
08-10-2007, 02:25 PM
I do not have any pictures at this time, but when I do, I will share with the group.

I do not plan on doing any snow plowing this winter. I thought about it, but probably will not.

Steve
08-10-2007, 02:26 PM
What about holiday lighting or decorations?

jones26r
08-10-2007, 05:45 PM
You know, I am a licensed colorado master electrician, so holiday lighting could be something I could do :-)

Last year, it snowed a lot here in Colorado Springs. So, if it does that again this year, snow plowing would be something to do.

Steve
08-10-2007, 05:47 PM
Oh Wow! Why aren't you doing more electrical work then? Wouldn't you be able to make better money doing that since there is a barrier of entry (having to spend years to get a license?)

jones26r
08-11-2007, 09:46 AM
Well, I do not like working commerical electrical. It is dirty, dangerous, and I just do not care for it.

I just wanted a change. Something different.

I did forget to mention that I will be going to school starting this fall for electrical engineering.

I still love mowing though. It is relaxing and it feels as though you have accomplished something at the end of the job.

Steve
08-11-2007, 09:58 AM
Well maybe then outdoor landscape lighting and irrigtion systems? These services need electricians to perform certain functions and you could really promote that you are licensed! Finding a niche is soooo important because you can then charge a premium for it!

What's your thoughts on that?

jones26r
08-13-2007, 11:52 AM
Well, prior to doing my lawn maintenance business, I did have my own electrical company. The money was good. Business was not however.

So, in April I decided to dissolve and become a stay-at-home parent. During this time, I wanted to do something else during the evenings, so that is when lawn maintenance came up.

It is low-cost start-up. I had most of the tools needed to run the business.

Next year, if I became real serious, I could advertise with my lawn maintenance, that I also do landscape lighting and other outdoor related things that require electrical.

Steve
08-13-2007, 12:28 PM
Yea I think that would be great! These are unique skills you have that most other lawn care business owners don't. I bet you could say you are the only lawn care operator in town with an electrician's license.

Then you could go on to say why hire a landscaper and an electrician when you offer both for one low price! Something like that.

Could you share with us some of your experience about the electrical business? What did you like or didn't you like? What was it about the industry that made it so difficult to get customers?

jones26r
08-18-2007, 07:49 AM
What made owning an electrical business difficult is that the market is saturated with electrical contractors.

I placed a phone book ad and just having the name of my business with a telephone number cost me over $80 per month. Of course, the bigger companies have full-color page ads that just drown out my little ad.

I believe to be a good electrical contractor, you have to be established for a good length of time or have a different niche. A friend owns his own company but he mostly does HVAC control work. A niche that not many other electrical contractors have.

Another problem with owning a company is that if you estimate wrong, it could hurt you. An example, my friend estimated certain breakers to cost him around $500 per breaker. My friend needed about 6 of these breakers. When he went to place the order, months later after being quoted the $500, that price was actually $5,000 per breaker. That is a huge screw up. Not only did he not get the $500 per breaker in writing, but the miscalculation will now have to come out of his pocket.

I also found that customers expect to pay for the material and not the labor. Yes, copper prices have gone up but that is life. Some customers just did not understand that.

jones26r
08-18-2007, 07:53 AM
I have some questions about lawn mowing equipment. Lately, I have been mowing lawns were the grass is above my ankle and is wet. My current mower get jammed up by this and creates clumps of grass everywhere and takes forever to finish mowing the lawn. Jobs I though should take 45 minutes to an hour, has taken me 3 hours. What mowers do you recommend to mow grass like this?

Also, I have looked into Stihl weed eaters and they seem pretty good. Any recommendations on weed eaters?

Little's
08-18-2007, 11:59 AM
Are the yards that you are mowing regular services? If you mow a lawn every 7 days, it shouldn't get long enough to clump up. That is one of the reasons a weekly service is a must for me. Talk to the owners and see if you can adjust their timer to water at a different time. A good hour will allow the water time to soak into the gound and evap. from the grass. Or set it to water just after you leave.
Most mowers will plug up if the grass is too long and wet. I did find when starting out that a mulching mower will clump up more often when the grass is wet due to the nature of the mulching process. I use a Snapper Hi-Vac mower and as long as the lawn is mowed once per week, it wont clump even if soaked.
I haven't used a Stihl wedd eater, but I have heard they are good (and hard on the pocket book also). I have been using Echo for over a year (weed eater and blower) and have not had a single problem. Great product at an easier price.
Hope this helps! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif