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  • mulch quote

    I have a question regarding a mulch quote. I went to home of someone getting several quotes on mulch. I was told the industry standard for quoting is about $100.00 per yard. I went to a persons home for a quote. it was for 9 yards of mulch (he also wants all his beds edged). Given my costs of $24 per yard plus delivery plus an extra worker. $290.20 mulch plus delivery then the extra worker $135. Total cost $425.20. I told him $900 he said no way, I was way to high he had gotton a quote for $600. I said well I would go with that person. I cannot afford to make $175.00 for a day of working. I didn't give him my costs. Then he said how about $700 I told him I would get back to him. I don't know if he really has some quotes for a lower price or he is just B.S.ing me. I guess my question is do you stick to your guns and pass on this job or try to negoiate the price?

  • #2
    Personally we would have quoted this job at $649.80 plus tax, my cost on mulch is $36.10 delivered, min 3 yd order.

    One worker can do 18 yds a day fairly easy, or at least the staff I hire do including travel, average size around here seems to be 4 yards.

    Andy
    Andy
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

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    • #3
      Is this US dollars or Canadian? No way could I lay 18 yards a day something must be wrong here?

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      • #4
        Is this US dollars or Canadian? No way could I lay 18 yards a day something must be wrong here?
        Canadian, a tandum truck here will bring an 18 yard load, anything over three yards I have one of our tractors with a loader on site, one employee will move the product to beds using the loader which carries 1/2 yard, while another spreads it out, I have two crews that have done two truck loads a day. With a little practice you can get good enough to spread a bucket load to cut down spreading time with a rake or shovel, works great. This is only mulch, top soil is a whole different story due to the weight, it takes a lot longer.

        If staff are loading from the house and taking to sites, anything 3 yards and under, they generally do on average 9 yards a day, we work 10 hour days, sometimes 12 depending on the job.

        It depends too on the size of the beds and how difficult they are to get to, this is in ideal situations.
        Andy
        Halifax, Nova Scotia

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        • #5
          If staff are loading from the house and taking to sites, anything 3 yards and under, they generally do on average 9 yards a day, we work 10 hour days, sometimes 12 depending on the job.
          When you say if they are loading from the mouse, do you mean from the home office or the customer's house?

          Also if it is less than 3 yards, do you then just manually use a wheelbarrow to move the mulch from truck to bed?

          How many staff members is needed to spread out the 9 yards per day on the smaller loads?
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          • #6
            When you say if they are loading from the mouse, do you mean from the home office or the customer's house?

            Also if it is less than 3 yards, do you then just manually use a wheelbarrow to move the mulch from truck to bed?

            How many staff members is needed to spread out the 9 yards per day on the smaller loads?
            Loading from the home office, we have a tractor that stays here that has a loader.

            3 yards or less would be a wheel barrow, a crew is almost two people, sometimes three, never one.

            9 yards would be two people and there would be a loader on site.

            We use dump trailers with fairly wide wheels, an ATV turf tire, I had them built, if it's a big job we have two ATV/tractor pull trailers with dumps where we can attach to an ATV or tractor, load from the clients yard and take to an area needed. Every yard or job is different, I bought equipment to cut time and to avoid excess back work for the employees. Sometimes we have a lot of machines on site, takes some planning.

            For example every Sunday I write my supplier and tell them what is needed where, they are always on time which is great.

            Then when I prepare daily work orders it has a list of what is required at every site, and in the cast of tractors, loaders, trailers, which one is needed and for how long. It takes me about three hours to plan the week on Sundays, I take into consideration the weather also.

            Then I confirm to each client via email when we will be there, a recap of what we are doing, a copy of the invoice with a reminder to have payment ready for when the staff are finished, if they will not be home, we have a generic place on every job site where money can left and it works perfect.
            Andy
            Halifax, Nova Scotia

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            • #7
              Steve,

              What do you think about my original quote? Do I come down to make less or just stick by my guns? I think $100 per yard is the industry standard. What do you think?

              Tom

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              • #8
                I told him $900 he said no way, I was way to high he had gotton a quote for $600. I said well I would go with that person. I cannot afford to make $175.00 for a day of working. I didn't give him my costs. Then he said how about $700 I told him I would get back to him. I don't know if he really has some quotes for a lower price or he is just B.S.ing me. I guess my question is do you stick to your guns and pass on this job or try to negoiate the price?
                I think first off, you are way ahead of the game because you know your costs. Most business owners don't and they just shoot from the hip when it comes to creating a bid.

                There are going to be jobs that you will be on within a range of what YOU need to make. Some of the jobs you will get because of your 'economies of scale', you can do something faster, better, stronger, cheaper than a competitor.

                There will be other jobs that you just won't be able to compete on because the competitor will have the advantage.

                On top of all that there are plenty of people who will do jobs at break even or even at a loss and not know it until much later.

                Do I come down to make less or just stick by my guns? I think $100 per yard is the industry standard. What do you think?
                This is how I would weigh it. Can you make the job profitable?

                If you are saying

                I cannot afford to make $175.00 for a day of working.
                Then don't do the job, it's not going to work out for your benefit.

                If however you are free that day and can get him to a price where you can get the profit you need to operate, then do it.

                Not every job will be a good fit for you and for the customer.



                I think $100 per yard is the industry standard.
                Knowing this is helpful to compare your costs to it but there will be times when you can't operate at the industry standard. Your expenses may be too high or you are not set up to profit on certain specific services.

                Say for instance you ask me to make you a bottle of Coke. And you tell me the industry standard is $1.00 and you won't pay more than that.

                Well, I am going to have to spend time trying to come up with a formula that tastes like coke. Then I am going to have to figure out how to form a bottle that looks like Coke's. Then I am going to have to figure out how to put the label on it to look like Coke's and when it's all said and done I will probably spend $50,000 to $100,000 grand on trying to make one bottle of Coke to sell to you.

                I just don't have an infrastructure set up to compete.

                The same can hold true with mulch. There are companies out there that show up in a big truck and have a long hose and can just blow mulch right where it needs to be and can charge a fraction of what a lawn care business owner would need to charge to manually do the job.

                Is this customer bs'ing? Who knows. I think you need to stick with the price that covers your expenses and brings you the profit % you need to operate or there is no point in doing it. You could be doing another job that gets you what you need.

                Does this help?
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                • #9
                  Steve,

                  Thanks alot that really helps. The down side to me in this business is doing mulch and collections. The guy I used to work for said use $100.00 as a rule of thumb when you calculate the job. At the end of the day when your dead beat then the $600.00 dollars you made makes it all worth while. I don't want to be the guy thats so high I am screwing my customers. But I am not about to make mim wage on a job either. I pay my parttime help very well $15 and they really are great to work with. This guy just made it out like I was gouging the hell out of him. I said look go with the other guys if your looking for a cheap price. I'm not the cheapest but I'm not the most expensive either. I am getting about 30% of the mulch quotes that I give out. The ones I get are from people who don't get other quotes. So I want to be fair but I also need to make a living as well. I am just trying to see what the industry standards in the business are.

                  Thanks

                  Tom

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                  • #10
                    I am getting about 30% of the mulch quotes that I give out. The ones I get are from people who don't get other quotes.
                    Out of the mulch quotes you give out, how many are to existing customers as upsells?
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                    • #11
                      just my 2 cents

                      I went to a persons home for a quote. it was for 9 yards of mulch (he also wants all his beds edged). Given my costs of $24 per yard plus delivery plus an extra worker. $290.20 mulch plus delivery then the extra worker $135. Total cost $425.20. I told him $900 he said no way, I was way to high he had gotton a quote for $600. I said well I would go with that person. I cannot afford to make $175.00 for a day of working. I didn't give him my costs. Then he said how about $700 I told him I would get back to him. I don't know if he really has some quotes for a lower price or he is just B.S.ing me. I guess my question is do you stick to your guns and pass on this job or try to negoiate the price?

                      Do the take away sales pitch on him, Say with out edging your beds we can do it for X amount, dont back down on a sale, he wants the work done, you have him in the position to raise the price since he said will you do it for 700, tell him 800 or where ever you think you need to be to be profitable. alittle negotiation never hurt anyone!

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                      • #12
                        30 yds mulch

                        I have a job for a neighbor that he wants 30 yards of mulch spread. I only have a wheelbarrow, which I can load and spread myself 2 yards in 1 hour. I am charging him the price of the mulch, doubled. If mulch cost $24 yard, then I charge $24 a yard to spread.

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                        • #13
                          I have a job for a neighbor that he wants 30 yards of mulch spread. I only have a wheelbarrow, which I can load and spread myself 2 yards in 1 hour. I am charging him the price of the mulch, doubled. If mulch cost $24 yard, then I charge $24 a yard to spread.

                          Jimmy53,

                          First, I hope that in your name that the 53 doesn’t represent your age... LOL J/K. MYSELF being 43 to lay down 30 yards. w/ a wheelbarrow would kill me.

                          Secondly, if your clients needs 30 yard of mulch,
                          1.They have a lot of beds and stuff to mulch.
                          2.They have no grass to mow at the residence, hence the need to mulch the lawn.
                          3.You are doing a commercial account and it calls for that much.

                          Lastly, I think that you are under pricing yourself for double the cost for your labor. $24. is not enough. I figure that it will be at least a two day job to do by your self.
                          I generally charge "between" $75 – $100 per yard to install. That price is with the cost of the mulch with very little clean up if any to the area that needs mulch. If I have to do a major clean up then there is a per hour clean up rate also. There is a pick up or delivery charge added into the cost of the total price per yard. My mulch man will delivery to me a yard (which it never is) to a full dump truck for $25 per occurrence. That’s cheap but he makes his on me and others by the frequency we order from him.

                          This is just food for thought but you know what you have to make on this job for your profit.

                          John

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