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  • labor rate

    Hello to all. *I am new to this forum and am wondering if a i can get some help on hour to determine an hourly rate to charge for lawn care for residential and commerical jobs. *I understand that i need to figure in my expenses but i am not sure on how to come up with an hourly labor rate. *Like what is fair to charge for my time. *This is the part i dont know how to figure out. *Another question is their any place i can go to to figure out the average amount of time a tank of gas will last in my mower and weed eater. *I have a commerical snapper 48 inch sit on zero turn mower and commerical stihl blower and weed eater. *I also do snow removal and already know the cost per mile to drive my truck. Like i said i just am not sure on the hourly labor rate or whether i should use maybe a diffrent cost system to charge per job. I am looking for the rate to cut grass by the way. This might help to let you know what i am talking about exactly.*Any and all help appreciated thanks
    I am also from Butler county ohio if that would help in determining a cost rate
    Thanks
    Lyndale




  • #2
    Hi Lyndale,

    Welcome to the Gopher Forum.

    How long have you been in business?

    What promted you to start a lawn care business?

    What are some of your goals? Basicly where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

    Do you have a marketing plan in place, if so what type of marketing are you looking to do?

    I'm not to far from you, I'm located in Northern KY.
    So I could help some with your questions but I would like to know a like about your business and what you are expecting from it.

    Thanks Tim

    Comment


    • #3
      I would charge by the sq ft. for mowing lawns not by the hour.
      But you can base your sqft figure off of a price per hour that you want to make.

      Figure out your expenses and whatever else you need to figure into your rate.
      Then measure off a lot and time yourself mowing it and you will get a idea of how long it takes you to mow say 5000 sqft or an acre at a flat rate.
      You can then break it down and figure your mowing rate similar to that.
      Sometimes guys add extra $$ for obstacles they have to go around like trees or beds.

      Hope i didn't confuse you and this helps.
      Rob
      Green Image Lawn & Landscape

      \"If you don't feel the same way about Friday nights as you do Sunday nights, then you are not doing the right thing.\"

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Lyndale!

        Welcome to our forum! Tim asked you some important questions that will help get you answers.
        - 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


        • #5
          I just did this last night I figured $40hr mowing $30hr trimming $25hr edge and $25hr for blowing.
          if I spend 15 min on mower it is $10, 15min trimming $7.50, 10min edging $5.00 and 10min blowing $5.00. So $27.50 for a trailer size lot...seems fair to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Tim,
            Thanks for your help in this problem.

            I have been in business for 3 years. I done a lot of residential and some smaller commerical jobs but this past january of 07 i had some major surguries done and had to let go almost all my work. Now i want to comeback but want a lot more commerical work. My goal is to make enough money off lawn care to make it my full year around job. I also do snow removal and i have gone out and got about 7 jobs this year for snow. Right I am not doing any marketing because i was also wondering what type of marketing would be the best to use like radio, signs, etc. Any info on how to price shrubs trimming, mulching would be of great help. My problem is on a reasonable labor rate to charge.
            I started doing lawn care because i have cut grass for long. My yard is over an acre and i have always cut my grandparents as well.

            Thanks for the help,
            Lyndale

            Comment


            • #7
              See that a lot of people are recominding to do bidding by sq.ft. but how do you measure that in a timely matter? Also is it more effective in getting a price? Because right now I do an hourly rate trying to make about $30.

              Comment


              • #8
                Quote[/b] ]See that a lot of people are recominding to do bidding by sq.ft. but how do you measure that in a timely matter? Also is it more effective in getting a price? Because right now I do an hourly rate trying to make about $30.
                You wont be very profitable mowing per hour.
                You have to know the sqft for when you do bigger lots. A bigger lawn will actually look bigger than it is. Using sqft. you can be more accurate so you don't over bid or under bid. and more consistent


                Use a measuring wheel for measuring in a timely manner.
                Rob
                Green Image Lawn & Landscape

                \"If you don't feel the same way about Friday nights as you do Sunday nights, then you are not doing the right thing.\"

                Comment


                • #9
                  How do I measure the sq.ft. with a wheel? And do you know where I could pick one up at?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Quote[/b] ]How do I measure the sq.ft. with a wheel? And do you know where I could pick one up at?
                    Andrew,
                    You should be able to get a measuring wheel at any hardware store or a store like Home Depot.

                    To get the sqft. -
                    If the property is a irregular shape then dvide into seperate squares or rectangles.
                    Measure the length write it down.
                    Measure the width and write it down.

                    Multiply length x width and thats your sqft.

                    Now you have your sqft. So if you have 3000sqft., then you can charge x amount for 3000sqft.
                    Then add on for trimming, edging, blowing, and anything else you might want to factor in to the cost.

                    Figure out how long it takes you mow a certain amount of sqft., with each one of your different size mowers.
                    This is pretty close to how I do it.
                    Others might do it different
                    Rob
                    Green Image Lawn & Landscape

                    \"If you don't feel the same way about Friday nights as you do Sunday nights, then you are not doing the right thing.\"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks fourseasons,
                      I'm going to try it out, it seems like it would be a better way to make it more accurate in getting the right cost.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Andrew,

                        A lot of forum members now are able to use satellite images to come up with bids. It seems to be a faster way to find the sq. ft. of the property to be serviced.

                        Check out this video from Keith, it may open your eyes to a new way of doing things.

                        http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum....;t=6426

                        Quote[/b] ]Right I am not doing any marketing because i was also wondering what type of marketing would be the best to use like radio, signs, etc.
                        As far as marketing goes, I don't think many lawn care business owners are using radio, but can you explain to us what kind of signs do you mean?

                        Radio ads aren't targeted to your specific audience, they hit everyone, whether they have a lawn or not. You want to market only to people you want to sell too.

                        You could get more bang for your buck by handing out flyers in your area or door hangers or sending out postcards.

                        Give us some of your reflections on all that.
                        - 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 have passed out some flyers and i want to try again but i did not get any work off flyer last year. I tried putting and a add in the paper twice but only got like one maybe two jobs from it in two years. I have tried door to door but not much help their either. A lot of competition in this area as well too.

                          I really want to get into the commerical area now. I want to figure out the labor to charge. I was also wondering how you use square feet to charge. Is this only to charge labor to the job or to charge for the total job? To me it would be simpler to charge per hour for all your expenses except for maybe the labor. Like to charge for gas expense and oil change and stuff per hour because you can see how many hours one tank of gas will last and charge this to the client and you know how many hours til your mower needs an oil change so charge your client for the amount of hours used to cover its portion of the oil change cost. Simpler to me but just my thoughts. Like I said though I want to learn how to bid commercial jobs so if anyone could help me I would truely appreciate it. If anybody with an understanding of this would care I woulld not mind talking about it over the phone since it would be easier and faster. If anybody would have the time please let me know and I will call your # or you could call me.

                          Thanks to all
                          Lyndale

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Quote[/b] ]A lot of forum members now are able to use satellite images to come up with bids. It seems to be a faster way to find the sq. ft. of the property to be serviced.

                            Check out this video from Keith, it may open your eyes to a new way of doing things.

                            http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum....;t=6426

                            Quote
                            Right I am not doing any marketing because i was also wondering what type of marketing would be the best to use like radio, signs, etc.


                            As far as marketing goes, I don't think many lawn care business owners are using radio, but can you explain to us what kind of signs do you mean?

                            Radio ads aren't targeted to your specific audience, they hit everyone, whether they have a lawn or not. You want to market only to people you want to sell too.

                            You could get more bang for your buck by handing out flyers in your area or door hangers or sending out postcards.

                            Give us some of your reflections on all that.
                            I never saw that video. I missed it some how. thats pretty cool. But if someone calls you for a estimate on a small residential property its not that hard to just measure it with a wheel. takes about 5 min if that usually.

                            I disagree with Steve on the radio. But first of all its very expensive and it covers to broad of an area. I listen to the AM stations all the time and they are full of advertisements from roofers, contractors, and window people. Not everyone owns a home and needs a roof or windows either. The radio host always endorses it to and usually the people listening are loyal listeners so they trust the referral. But the person thats listening might have a brother that needs some work done and would reccommend you off of the radio ad.
                            The AM stations here cover almost all of western washington so that might be a disadvantage unless you live in the most populated areas like I do. I think about advertising on the radio all the time but I can't afford it;
                            Its got to be very expensive.

                            But yes probably more bang for the buck with flyers or whatever
                            Rob
                            Green Image Lawn & Landscape

                            \"If you don't feel the same way about Friday nights as you do Sunday nights, then you are not doing the right thing.\"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Lyndale,

                              Quote[/b] ]I have passed out some flyers and i want to try again but i did not get any work off flyer last year. I tried putting and a add in the paper twice but only got like one maybe two jobs from it in two years. I have tried door to door but not much help their either. A lot of competition in this area as well too.
                              Have you also considered craigslist.com? It's free and a lot of people are getting jobs through it? What about marketing through myspace?
                              - 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

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