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  • #16
    WOW! That's a lot to think about! It seems like you've got it all figured out! hehe One things for sure I won't be scared to give my price and stand firm...and to calculate things from all angles, to make sure I'm not short changed again!
    Whats important in these tough economic times is that you are not the person who is losing money on the job
    I don't trust anyone
    There are situations where if I have concerns about the clients intention or ability to pay once a quote / job is accepted I ask for a deposit which is normally equivalent to what any overheads ie petrol dump fees travel casual labor are going to cost before the job is started
    You can normally tell this by how the negotiation is proceeding or just their attitude to it
    If they cant pay the deposit then you may find difficulty later getting paid for the job in the end
    If you do the job then and need to wait a day or so for your own labor rate then all you are losing is your time every thing else is covered
    Finally I always make new customers pay cash Unless they are one of my Corporate Clients whom I have been dealing with for a long period I don't accept checks or credit cards
    And if they agree make sure you see the money even if you don't get it till you have done the job
    Also be careful if they agree I did one job where the client agreed to the deposit and while I was working went out and spent the deposit When they came back couldn't pay Im hard nosed and told them if job/deposit wasn't now paid in full I would dump the rubbish in the drive way suprise suprise they paid up

    If they don't have it I tell them when they do get back to me as the quote is only valid for 7 days and may increase
    Last edited by c4trash; 02-02-2009, 01:52 PM.
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    • #17
      BAHAHAHA!!! Dump the trash in their drive way!!! Well they would deserve it! That sounds like something my husband would say! LMAO
      Tianna D

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      • #18
        my normal rate...

        Average side yard in middle class subburb. Mow blow edge would be 27 to 32. but a fall clean up.. thats mow blow edge, all the leafs, shrubs. thats anywhere from $75 to $175. You gotta find the quickest ways to make steady money like clockwork. for easy basic lawn care. 40 yards a week is easy. bump it up. get in shape.

        for got to say... this is North Texas.. DFW area.

        -dank the 3rd

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        • #19
          Average side yard in middle class subburb. Mow blow edge would be 27 to 32. but a fall clean up.. thats mow blow edge, all the leafs, shrubs. thats anywhere from $75 to $175. You gotta find the quickest ways to make steady money like clockwork. for easy basic lawn care. 40 yards a week is easy. bump it up. get in shape.

          for got to say... this is North Texas.. DFW area.

          -dank the 3rd
          Ill need to know the rough area of the side yard (or see some pics of the property) and know how long you took for both the Average and fall cleanups before I comment
          Based on what some of you seem to charge when I convert $US to $NZ it seems surprising that you get any work
          Attached are some photos of a job I just finished today I charged $NZ 50 which when converted to $US 25.41 I charge $NZ 50/Hr and job using my Toro took me round 45mins
          Looking at the prices in US and doubling them over here no one pays those prices not even corporations
          I tend to keep my costs down by working smarter ie planning or scheduling jobs into different areas on different days
          Using Outlook Task Manager and Calender its simple to schedule jobs even if weather gets in the way I can reschedule (in those cases I'm into Texting and notify clients of the delay) I always find other things like maintainence or office work to do in those cases
          Attached Files
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          • #20
            You gotta find the quickest ways to make steady money like clockwork. for easy basic lawn care. 40 yards a week is easy. bump it up. get in shape.
            What do you feel is a good amount of lawns to service a week?
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            • #21
              What do you feel is a good amount of lawns to service a week?
              Thats not how my business operates
              I set myself a targeted weekly income from all sources of work
              My business income comes from numerous sources Lawns, Cleanups, Bin Hire, as well as Recycling both Scrap and other odds and ends furniture tools etc left behind by tenants
              I also do the odd repair and maintainence on mowers and weed eaters for a small fee plus parts
              I also do some graphic design of logos and business cards and now am getting into writing articles on lawn mowing and property maintainence
              Just mowing lawns would bore me to death LOL
              My whole business plan is based on only working 16 paid hours a week on Property Maintainence/ lawns to Break Even after that all jobs are Profit or I use the time for quotes and my other activities
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              • #22
                I personally think that 25 US is way too low for that job. We are just starting out mind you(January was our first month of business)...but everyone I've had a quote with has signed up for annual service. So we have 5 clients total so far. I charge 40 dollars per visit for the average suburb lawn. That includes mowing, weed eating, edging, blowing. I've never had a person complain about the price once. I think you could be making a lot more money! Have you thought about bumping your price up a bit?

                Also 30-40 clients a week would be great! How did you get all those clients? How long did it take? Any suggestions?
                Tianna D

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                • #23
                  We are just starting out mind you(January was our first month of business)...but everyone I've had a quote with has signed up for annual service.
                  This is a fascinating topic too. We talked a little bit about this in the past. One of our forum members said he wanted to fill up his mowing schedule when he first got started and tried to get 100% of the estimates he gave. Then as he went he raised his prices until he started getting to the point where he wasn't making every estimate. When he landed a higher paying customer and his schedule was full, he would get rid of a lower paying one and this is how he began to earn more profit.

                  Quite fascinating!
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                  • #24
                    This is a fascinating topic too. We talked a little bit about this in the past. One of our forum members said he wanted to fill up his mowing schedule when he first got started and tried to get 100% of the estimates he gave. Then as he went he raised his prices until he started getting to the point where he wasn't making every estimate. When he landed a higher paying customer and his schedule was full, he would get rid of a lower paying one and this is how he began to earn more profit.

                    Quite fascinating!
                    Every one to their own way of doing things
                    Like I said Id get bored just doing Yards/Lawns what ever with my jobs 99 times out of 100 there is no pressure to complete them and if an urgent job comes up I can go do it the return and complete the other one
                    A word of caution to those out there be careful should your Government change the criteria for Welfare Beneficiaries or those made redundant
                    If when applying for Welfare they put on the application they pay $US XX.XX for getting the lawn mowed the government may let them buy one on them and say to them to drop you
                    This way I keep my costs to my few regular domestic customers (who have been with me since I started and always pay cash on cutting) at a reasonable rate only changing the prices as gas prices change and make any fat off the 1 offs and corporates/real estate/landlords
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                    • #25
                      If when applying for Welfare they put on the application they pay $US XX.XX for getting the lawn mowed the government may let them buy one on them and say to them to drop you
                      This way I keep my costs to my few regular domestic customers (who have been with me since I started and always pay cash on cutting)
                      Can you tell me a little more what this means? If a person is signing up for welfare and they write down in their application they pay a weekly lawn care fee, the government may have them buy a lawn mower?

                      How does that help the lawn care business owner?
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                      • #26
                        Okay, I don't cut grass, BUT I have under-bid jobs. Because I do sprinkler repair, and everything is underground, I've learned that without a "get out" you can find yourself in a no-pay job.

                        The worst one was 15 years ago. the guy had 10 non-working impact rotors. I normally charge $45 a rotor to replace each rotor, BUT from previous experience with Rainbird impacts, I assumed that they would be side mounted.

                        Since I had 10 'easy' rotors to replace I said "$45 a rotor and $20 for each swing joint (I knew due to the design and age of the system that the heads were hard piped)."

                        So $650 minus $125 for parts = about $400+ (minus overhead) for an hour for an hour and a half job. Good enough.

                        The guy says OK, I'm on my way to the airport, here is your check. Cool.

                        WRONG!!!!

                        Each head had a bag of concrete and rock poured around it (just under the turf) the size of a 55 gallon drum lid. I was breaking rocks like a convict for 10 hours! THEN, I had to load my truck with concrete, with my tailpipe scraping the ground, all the way to the dump!

                        Moral of the story? If you "flat rate" your pricing per task, include a disclaimer at the bottom stating "Standard Service".

                        Standard Service means whatever you want it to mean, but for example, if you add a spray head for $85, "standard service means 15 feet, not 300 feet around the retention pond!

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                        • #27
                          Moral of the story? If you "flat rate" your pricing per task, include a disclaimer at the bottom stating "Standard Service".

                          Standard Service means whatever you want it to mean, but for example, if you add a spray head for $85, "standard service means 15 feet, not 300 feet around the retention pond!
                          Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you had your Standard Service disclaimer and then had to recalculate a job once you found the project had gotten more complex? How did you go about handling that?
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                          • #28
                            I think the 7 multiplier is what I will use from here on out. Its hard to know exactly what or how long something like that would take, but as a general idea I think that would work. We just used the local dump to dispose of the leaf/debris bags. There was no charge. I don't know if that applies for all places, but when we pulled up the guys just asked us what was in the bags and told us which bin to put them in.

                            Does anyone think there should be an extra charge for the 2nd trip to pick up the bags?

                            There was no way we could of fit all those bags on our trailer with all our equipment.


                            www.lawnsalonforyou.com
                            yes you as a lco trying to make a profit, every trip has to count, and be in the price, also another thing alot of start ups dont think to add in the price is the cost of your bags when used, though it seems they are cheap it is still a cost to you that needs to be expensed to the job.

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                            • #29
                              Can you tell me a little more what this means? If a person is signing up for welfare and they write down in their application they pay a weekly lawn care fee, the government may have them buy a lawn mower?

                              How does that help the lawn care business owner?
                              In these tough times
                              It makes them aware that their customers may not be their customers forever and they should not be letting even their long time regulars get to far behind in their payments
                              Unless you have a good relationship with them you wont know if they are struggling financially
                              and have been laid off or been caught by the credit squeeze
                              If a domestic customer hasn't paid when the second cut is due I text them reminding them that I will be round to cut the lawn this week
                              If the customer is home I tactfully remind them they forgot to pay for the last cut based on their response I either cut the lawn or not
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