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  • Pricing!!!!

    I need help pricing tree and shrub installation and sod installation. I don't want to charge by the hour so I figure for the sod I would charge by the sq.ft, and charge a rate for each shrub and one tree.

    What should I charge?

  • #2
    I need help pricing tree and shrub installation and sod installation. I don't want to charge by the hour so I figure for the sod I would charge by the sq.ft, and charge a rate for each shrub and one tree.

    What should I charge?
    I normally charge double for install if I have to pay $20 for a shrub then I charge the cust. $40 total and guarantee this plant for one year! some things you will make more on and others not as much but you won't get burned this way and the cust. has a warranty.You can do the sod this way as well just be sure that you add a pick-up charge for some things to cover gas etc. such as sod that is so heavy!
    Also let your cust. know how much they can save this way because you can buy plants for less and or how your plants that you purchase are of better quality

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    • #3
      I normally charge double for install if I have to pay $20 for a shrub then I charge the cust. $40 total and guarantee this plant for one year!
      Would there be any other fees associated with this or is that it?

      Also what % off retail should a lawn care business owner be looking to pay for plants?
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      • #4
        You can always add cost to your bid by charging extra for edging beds. Upcharge for price paid for mulch(if I feel the cust. can pay the price I'll charge the cust. bag price for mulch but buy bulk this way you can install for no extra install charge over the plant charge. Depends on how many plants are put in.) also you need to amend the soil around each planting to insure that these plants last and won't need to be replaced. charge your cost for soil additives.
        as far as buying your plants I always deal with 2 0r 3 nurseries in my area get a price sheet at the beginning of the season from each and find out which plants that they are going to be pushing through the season due to any overabundance and try to work these plants into your jobs.I never pay more than 75% of retail if they ask for more tell them what you'll pay and let them say yes or know

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        • #5
          and find out which plants that they are going to be pushing through the season due to any overabundance and try to work these plants into your jobs.
          That is fascinating! Do the nurseries know this at the beginning of the season? Will they tell you of the different plants that might be on sale at different times during the season?

          What % off retail do you look for when they offer specials?
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          • #6
            Yes they do know if they have been in business for awhile. They should know in advance what the local growers are going to have available and which plants may be more scarce. The nurseries that I deal with normally will let me know if they have an over-stock on a particular item and if they have something that can be substituted for an unavailable plant on my list.
            All of this helps the seller also he just wants to move stock preferably what he has on hand.
            also while I'm there picking out stock I always ask if they have any damaged or sub par plants that they may want to get rid of If I feel that I can save the plant and sell it later I'll give as little as 10% of there original price and include these plants in my bids next year

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            • #7
              Most of my plants run $2 for 1 gal and $5 for 3 gal and $15 for 7 gal. I at least double that. On 1 gal I charge 5 each min with 1 year warnty. I chrge .75 sqft on sod plus amend or dump fees. If I know a client is tight then I will give them the option of buying small trees from a box store. Then I charge for just digging the hole and let them deal with their own waranty. I also include a few more of every plant in my bids just in case as well. I hate to be 3 shrubs short then have to give a bill higher than the quote. I at least double my mulch and soil cost. If just one yard of it I charge probly 75%.

              On many jobs I will look at my profit, if I feel I've made a killing, then I can offer a better deal on extra work.

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              • #8
                On many jobs I will look at my profit, if I feel I've made a killing, then I can offer a better deal on extra work.
                Do you have a % that you shoot for to try and get upsells and extra work?

                Like for instance 50% of the jobs you like to have extra work on? Or more or less?

                Do you find there are a bunch of specific types of jobs that often can be sold as extra work?
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                • #9
                  What I'm talking about is like this job I did a while back. The total job was bid at 3000 for the plants and mulch. Out of that 3000 I made 2000 on a 2 day job. Being that I made some killer money, I moved a few sago palms and used his bucket to smooth 3 yds of soil, I did'nt charg him extra for those. Even though they were not in the bid, I was happy with what I made.

                  How did I make so much??? Well I keep price list from at least 15 nurseries. I also go to the box stores alot. I know bougainvilla goes for 25 each at the box store. I can find them for 6 bucks each. So I bid the job at 30 each because I'm using my highiest price. Same with other plants as well.

                  Now on a smaller job or one with plants that cant be marked up so much like hawthorn, you have to charge for more to make the same money. So on this type of jobI may have charged another 100 for the 3yd to be spread, 100 each to move the sago's, then a delivery charge, sod removal charge, dump charge, and maybe just gen labor charge.

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                  • #10
                    What I'm talking about is like this job I did a while back. The total job was bid at 3000 for the plants and mulch. Out of that 3000 I made 2000 on a 2 day job.
                    Do you find this is something that a newer lawn care business owner or landscaper probably couldn't do because they would be more desperate for work? And possibly because of that, they would bid the job a lot lower?

                    Well I keep price list from at least 15 nurseries. I also go to the box stores alot. I know bougainvilla goes for 25 each at the box store. I can find them for 6 bucks each. So I bid the job at 30 each because I'm using my highiest price.
                    How often do the customers want to see how much they are being charged per plant versus a bid total ?
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                    • #11
                      Well a smaller comp could do it. But they would need to have options for buying and know which plants have more value. I like to watch the box stores for this. Canna lilly's can go for 15 at the box store and I can get them for 5. So instead of just doubling my price I bump it up to match or be a bit higher than they can get it for. When I first talk to the client I tell them that they can buy a 1gal for 5 bucks and plant it or they can pay me the same 5 and I'll pick it up and plant it. They pay 8.99 for 3 gal and I can give them the plant in the ground for 10.00 in most cases. I always ask for a budget before I design a landscape. You need them to understand that budget controls every thing. Not just the size of the bed but plant type and size plant size. It controls the uniqueness as well. I can bring you lantana as a ground cover to be kept under 3 ft. 5 bucks each. Or I can bring you coontie palms at 50 each. I can do an azeala at 5 each. Or knock out rose for 20 each. I can bring you a crepemyrtle for 100 or a little gem magnolia for 200. This is also true with plant size. A plant in 3 gal will be 10 but that same plant in 7 gal will be 30

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                      • #12
                        I always ask for a budget before I design a landscape.
                        This sounds like a great starting point. From this do you offer multiple design concepts or do you try and sell just one?

                        Is it a good idea then to show a break down with price for each item used or is it better to submit a bid with just one price?
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                        • #13
                          It's not the design as much as plant choice. A viburnum, ligustrum, and jap blue berry all serve the same purpose. 2 of thos every one has, one will cost a bit more. So I will design a landscape then sit down and pick the plants. If you know every thing their looking for then one design should be fine. It's just a matter of picking the plants to fill the space. Most folks will let you know where they want shade or a screen or what not. You listen and take noted, then give them what they want. Bring them plant pics and specs and let them choose. Alot of folks will up their budget to get what they want with in reason you just have to show them what they want.

                          I usually break it down like so

                          5 3gal azeals @ $10.00 each = $50.00
                          10 1gal lantana @ $5.00 each + $50.00
                          1 yd mini pine bark @ $ 65.00 = $65.00
                          1 30gal Cassea @ $ 200.00 = $200.00
                          2 Hr Gen labor @ $ 40.00 = $80.00

                          Total $ 445.00

                          Of that I would make right at $270.00. Since the job is small I added in the labor and might add another 30 in here or there to make me 300 for the job

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                          • #14
                            I usually break it down like so

                            5 3gal azeals @ $10.00 each = $50.00
                            10 1gal lantana @ $5.00 each + $50.00
                            1 yd mini pine bark @ $ 65.00 = $65.00
                            1 30gal Cassea @ $ 200.00 = $200.00
                            2 Hr Gen labor @ $ 40.00 = $80.00

                            Total $ 445.00
                            What is the benefit to presenting the bid with each plant price shown vs just showing one price for the entire bid?

                            Have you ever found that customers may look at the bid and decide to cut certain things out due to the price?
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                            • #15
                              Never had a problem. In fact It seems to be a harder sale to say I'm billing 40hr per guy. You cant just cut things out of a design unless you want holes in the beds. This is why you need every thing layed out in the first conversation. If you have a 3000 budget and I bring you a design for that, you do the job or I take my design and go about my business. This is also why they pick their plants. They pick the budget, they pick the plants, they pick the ground cover.

                              Theres nothing for them to complain about

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