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  • Minimum charge per lawn?

    What should the minimum charge be per lawn..

    I have it set at $35.00 ??

    Cut, Trim ,Bagged..

    Cheers,
    Shaun

  • #2
    The way I set my minimum price is with a stop charge which I add to the amount I ask per 1000 square feet. The stop charge is the amount I want to drive there, unload my equipment and load it up again to go to the next one. I doubt you'd sell a city lot at $35. I do some houses that are 800 square feet each. Each one takes me about 10 total minutes including weed whacking and blowing. Even asking $14 each that extrapolates to $84 per hour.

    The stop charge plus certain amount per 1000 square feet makes the smaller lawns more profitable especially if you line up more than one at one stop.

    Why are you bagging?
    Last edited by mark123; 07-30-2009, 03:32 PM.
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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    • #3
      The way I set my minimum price is with a stop charge which I add to the amount I ask per 1000 square feet. The stop charge is the amount I want to drive there, unload my equipment and load it up again to go to the next one. I doubt you'd sell a city lot at $35. I do some houses that are 800 square feet each. Each one takes me about 10 total minutes including weed whacking and blowing. Even asking $14 each that extrapolates to $84 per hour.

      The stop charge plus certain amount per 1000 square feet makes the smaller lawns more profitable especially if you line up more than one at one stop.

      Why are you bagging?
      When I say bagging..On my mowers we have bags..so we just remove all the cuttings..no racking..

      Some say you should price each lawn by the minute..??

      Shaun

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      • #4
        When I say bagging..On my mowers we have bags..so we just remove all the cuttings..no racking..
        I have no idea what racking is but bagging the clippings is detrimental to the and is more work. I can't see an upside to doing it.

        Some say you should price each lawn by the minute..??
        By the minute or by the square foot. Each square foot takes a certain amount of time so area is time and time is area, right.
        Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi shaunster,

          Have you gotten a chance to play around with our business calculators yet?

          They will get you thinking about how much your overhead is and how much you need to charge per hour.

          Ultimately you want to know what your expenses are. Then you want to figure out how much you need to charge per hour to cover those expenses and make a profit.

          When you are first getting started you see a lot of business owners not sure of what their expenses are so they shoot for a $45 to $60 an hour range when they are bidding. But as you are in business longer you learn more what YOU need to be profitable and you base your prices on what YOU need. Not what others need.

          Does this help?
          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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          • #6
            Hi shaunster,

            Have you gotten a chance to play around with our business calculators yet?

            They will get you thinking about how much your overhead is and how much you need to charge per hour.

            Ultimately you want to know what your expenses are. Then you want to figure out how much you need to charge per hour to cover those expenses and make a profit.

            When you are first getting started you see a lot of business owners not sure of what their expenses are so they shoot for a $45 to $60 an hour range when they are bidding. But as you are in business longer you learn more what YOU need to be profitable and you base your prices on what YOU need. Not what others need.

            Does this help?
            Thanks guys for your response..

            And yes Steve this whole forum has been a great spot for guys like me that are just starting out..I'm up here in Nova Scotia, Canada so the season is short..

            I may be over pricing some of my jobs and in return is why I'm not getting them..I'll take a look at the business calculators ..

            Thanks again,
            Shaun

            Comment


            • #7
              I may be over pricing some of my jobs and in return is why I'm not getting them..I'll take a look at the business calculators ..
              Well if you want to experiment, when you give your bids, do it in person. See how the homeowner reacts to your bid. If they sign up on the spot, great! If they don't, try and figure out why they aren't. Ask them what you could do to get them to agree.

              The more you ask your potential customers, the more you will learn.

              Don't let this be a mystery. Ask them what you need to do to resolve the issue so you can perform their yard service.

              I'd love to hear what happens from this.

              Keep me posted.
              - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
              Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well if you want to experiment, when you give your bids, do it in person. See how the homeowner reacts to your bid. If they sign up on the spot, great! If they don't, try and figure out why they aren't. Ask them what you could do to get them to agree.

                The more you ask your potential customers, the more you will learn.

                Don't let this be a mystery. Ask them what you need to do to resolve the issue so you can perform their yard service.

                I'd love to hear what happens from this.

                Keep me posted.
                We will..

                Cheers!,
                Shaun

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks guys for your response..

                  And yes Steve this whole forum has been a great spot for guys like me that are just starting out..I'm up here in Nova Scotia, Canada so the season is short..

                  I may be over pricing some of my jobs and in return is why I'm not getting them..I'll take a look at the business calculators ..

                  Thanks again,
                  Shaun
                  I welcome another Canadian onto this forum I am from Northern Ontario, just to let you know

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I charge a minimum of $35.00 per lawn...never any less. There are some companies in my area that charge $50.00 minimum...which is ridiculous IMO. If you have the quality to back up what you are charging you'll never have a problem.

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                    • #11
                      Great advice Steve! I have experience bidding HVAC installs and I can definitely recommend handing the proposal to the customer rather than mailing or faxing. Just as you say it gives you the opportunity to gauge their response and discuss the bid. I also believe in the good - better - best bid. Good being a basic job, and best being the premier. I believe this would work with lawn service as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have experience bidding HVAC installs and I can definitely recommend handing the proposal to the customer rather than mailing or faxing. Just as you say it gives you the opportunity to gauge their response and discuss the bid. I also believe in the good - better - best bid. Good being a basic job, and best being the premier. I believe this would work with lawn service as well.
                        Hi Tim,

                        What has been your experience in the past with this. Do you have any stories that stand out of different situations you have found yourself in when dealing with customers?

                        Did you try to upsell the customer who only wants the cheap service? Or how do you handle all this?

                        When it came to presenting bids, what worked best and what didn't work too well at all?
                        - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                        Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I also believe in the good - better - best bid. Good being a basic job, and best being the premier. I believe this would work with lawn service as well.
                          Should all our work not be Premier? We are not cable TV for crying out loud. I simply give an honest price for good honest work. I don't even offer contracts as being a consumer myself if someone wants me to sign a 2 year agreement "Dish network, ATT exc exc" I tell them to shove there agreement. If I paid someone to do a service and it was not to my liking because I didn't pay for the premier package there but would be down the road and have a bad name to boot. I would suspect someone who would offer such a package would be because they really don't want to work.
                          White Company

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                          • #14

                            Did you try to upsell the customer who only wants the cheap service? Or how do you handle all this?
                            Steve. Personally I find good honest work up sells itself. When I normally do a bid my clients ask all sorts of questions. Basically I tell them it will cost X amount to get the lawn taken care of and all other work will be on a per hour basis with a 2 hour minimum depending of course on the hourly rate I would charge. For example a $20 per hour rate would have a minimum but a $70 or so for running the chipper or whatever would have no minimum. Basically I find that when you do good work and show respect and care for your clients and there property they really don't care what your rates are, they like you so they pay you. A thought comes to mind. A lack of options is not a good thing to be in our industry. I have found if you take just 10 minutes to talk to a client about the weather they will be your client for life.
                            White Company

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is a difference between what a person charges and what a person makes. On the same yard it is possible that one person would charge $35 and make $25 and another person would have to charge $50 to make $25.

                              I believe there are a lot of people doing "lawn care" that have no idea what they are making. They "think" they are making decent money. But what they are really doing is living on borrowed time. They aren't putting money away for repairs and/or replacement of equipment. They aren't putting money away for the winter when things get slow, but payments are still due. They may not be carrying business insurance, they may not be declaring anything on taxes.

                              In a nutshell, total up all your fixed costs, get a good estimate on your floating expenses, add some for equipment repair and replacements and then add 10% for all stuff you forgot. Now these costs are basically going to remain the same if you work part time or full time. (yes you are going to have to replace something sooner if you use it daily as opposed to twice a week, but that is why we added the 10%) Now, break this cost down to a weekly basis. (Example, if insurance is $520, it is $10 a week, easy uh)

                              The number you get is what you have to make each and every week to cover your cost. Okay, you're almost done. Now, add to your cost what you want to make that week and you've now got a number to work with. With this number in mind, ask yourself.... how many of this type of lawns could I mow in day? If you can do 5 in a day and are going to work 6 days... then 5 X 6 = 30 so your needed number divided by 30 gives you what you should be charging for that particular size lawn.

                              I admit this is an over generalization, but it will point you in the right direction.

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