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  • Small clean up job underbid

    Hello all. I did a clean up today for some friends of mine. Ha and being a rookie on my own I realized I under bid this job. So here is what I did.

    I had to clean up dog poop or rake all of that up, (8 dogs worth.) Then take down the Christmas lights and at the end I had to rake up all the pine needles and pine cones. Not sure how to tell you the size or amount I had to do but it was a lot this isn't a small yard. Now I charged them $15/hr. for four hours. I am curious how you guys bid for a job. Should I have put certain prices on the services I offered and add hourly wage? I just want to see what you guys are charging.

    Once again sorry I don't have to size.

  • #2
    I figure how long it will take. Its hard to get it right but with time youll come close. After coming up with total hours, I times that by $65 a man hour.

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    • #3
      What Sect said. For some people (me included) it's a very hard skill to master to be able to accurately judge the difficulty and time required to complete a task.
      This skill is extremely important because it will make or break you. If you can't get it right, you will drive yourself into the ground.

      I recommend doing a specific task and timing yourself. How long does it take you to mow and trim 1/4 acre property?

      I bet you get a lot of calls about spring clean-ups. How long is it going to take you to clean up all those leaves and dead plant growth?

      Because I'm so bad with time management (thanks dad), I've started to judge things by volume. I use those Lawn & Leaf bags from Home Depot. I charge $10-15 per bag filled. I've found this to be much more accurate for me. If I see 40 bags worth of debris, then I bid $450 or something.

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      • #4
        You didn't do too bad, sometimes if you really don't know how long it will take and going by the hour is safest, but if you're using more than just a rake you should charge more to cover wear and tear on tools.

        bids however, when done right are far more profitable.
        Last edited by Von Bobbeh; 04-09-2013, 02:58 AM.

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        • #5
          Once again sorry I don't have to size.
          Can you measure it now? Even if you have to do it online via an overhead map? Knowing the sq ft of the area you cleaned will help you with your future bids when you are comparing a new job to a previous job you completed.
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          • #6
            What Sect said. For some people (me included) it's a very hard skill to master to be able to accurately judge the difficulty and time required to complete a task.
            This skill is extremely important because it will make or break you. If you can't get it right, you will drive yourself into the ground.

            I recommend doing a specific task and timing yourself. How long does it take you to mow and trim 1/4 acre property?

            I bet you get a lot of calls about spring clean-ups. How long is it going to take you to clean up all those leaves and dead plant growth?

            Because I'm so bad with time management (thanks dad), I've started to judge things by volume. I use those Lawn & Leaf bags from Home Depot. I charge $10-15 per bag filled. I've found this to be much more accurate for me. If I see 40 bags worth of debris, then I bid $450 or something.

            Quote based off what you think. If you think the work will take 2 hours, set a timer and go for it. DON'T go over the 2 hours. Then when you worked your arse off, tired, dehydrated, soaked in sweat, ask yourself....was it worth it? Or should I have quoted $X and not burnt myself out?

            That happened my first mulch job and things have been different ever since.




            Anyone know where to find that video of the guy explaining how to charge for overgrown grass and asks another company how much they would charge and they lowball....he hired them and drinks a beer.
            Last edited by LawnBoy0311; 04-09-2013, 01:13 PM.

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            • #7
              Quote based off what you think. If you think the work will take 2 hours, set a timer and go for it. DON'T go over the 2 hours. Then when you worked your arse off, tired, dehydrated, soaked in sweat, ask yourself....was it worth it? Or should I have quoted $X and not burnt myself out?

              That happened my first mulch job and things have been different ever since.




              Anyone know where to find that video of the guy explaining how to charge for overgrown grass and asks another company how much they would charge and they lowball....he hired them and drinks a beer.
              In our area (southeast missouri) from things I have learned from this forum I charge $35.00 per man per hour. Which most of the time it is just my wife and I so no payroll expense. Just did a spring clean-up for a client that took us two hours so charged her a $140.00. Did not seem to have a problem with it but don't think I could get the $65 per man per hour in our parts. Some balk at the $70.00 buck an hour but I have made up my mind not going any lower than that. Not being mean but they either take or leave it and go get a cheaper person and cheaper job!

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              • #8
                Matt, I'm curious if you ever figured out a way to measure the property you did yesterday. Also as others have said you might want to consider increasing your hourly rate, in my area for a Spring Clean Up the going rate is pretty steep, I called a competitor yesterday and he quoted me $320.00 for 4 hours, and my house sits on a 12,000 square foot lot. Not sure what all that factored, but if it was just an hourly rate that's $80 per hour.
                Last edited by GreenBlue; 04-09-2013, 09:13 PM.

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