If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
First off, figure out how long your season is in weeks.
You have fixed costs like payments for the mower, truck, trailer, trimmers, edgers, liability insurance for the business and truck, business cards, other print shop stuff, uniforms, blade sharpening, scheduled maint costs, gas for mowers, trimmers, truck, and so forth. Add up everything you can think off you will have to pay for or buy for the season. Don't forget gas cans, spools of line, spare blades, spark plugs, and lots more.
Take the total fixed expenses and divide it by the length of the season and that will get you in the ball park what you need to make just to cover expenses each week. Add 15% because everybody forgets something. Break that down by the number of days you intend to work to give you a daily figure.
How much do you want to make that sticks to your pocket by the end of the week? Break it down by the number of days you will mow and add that to the fixed expenses. Now you have figures to work with.
If you are just starting out, count on a loss. Seldom does anybody get the week filled up right out of the gate. You have competition to contend with and rates that may not get you where you want to be.
Don't be afraid to ask around what people are paying for rates. Good place to get answers is the mower shop where you buy or get stuff serviced. They are pretty good about being in the loop. Ask a neighbor who is currently being serviced. Ask the competition you are friendly with.
Don't be afraid to time yourself at jobs to see how long it takes. Try it with your own yard. Won't take long to figure out how much you can trim or edge in 15 to 30 minutes. Ditto for the mowers.
Figure travel times for getting there, going to the next lawn, lunch, disposal, etc., and you have an idea how many lawns per day you can do. By yourself I would think 6 to 8 lawns a day is easy enough provided they are average size and not too far apart.
The clients in my neck of the woods don't blink at prices from $35 for a typical suburban yard, $75 or more for a bigger one. You will probably find it holds true for you too.