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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2011, 11:22 AM
Emar Emar is offline
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set a price for corner lots. personally, i will not go under $40 for a corner lot. Some nieghborhoods have $35 corner lots but thats the cheapes i mow for. Once you establish a rate and figure how much time it will take you to cut a huge yard and then a small yard. you can always meet in the middle. the standard price for mowing a yard is most likely $30 on avg. find ways to add incentives to your customers that other lawn co. arent doing. for instance....free fertilizing. i know its expensive to do but maybe start by offering it once a year. do little things to gain that trust and to be more competetive in different ways than pricing. then when and if you raise prices next year...they will remember it and know that they can trust your honestly and work. if they are just looking for the cheapest cut...i wouldnt even bother...customers who look for cheap service often end up being a pain. they want too many free bees. nothing wrong with doing a lil extra but theres some out there who lowball...lowballers!! haha!
Well put, you dont want to deal with low ball customers anyways.
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2011, 01:00 PM
resq31 resq31 is offline
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This is a great thread to read, absolutely why I enjoy being on this site. As far as difficulty goes with pricing and not knowing exactly how much times its going to take, I have the same exact issue......and what a relief seeing that its elsewhere also. I completely empathize with the difficulty of wondering what some of the other 'big' companies would charge. I want as many accounts as I can handle and still have the time to provide the best service possible. However since I dont have nearly as many of a majority of you guys, I still have some to keep busy as couple days a week. Finding that thresh hold is going to take some time, and I do welcome it. I am constantly wondering if I gave a prospective client a competative price as soon as I "blert out" to them what the price will be. Then I immediatley start getting worried that I am going to get spit on, laughed at or told to go 'bleep something". But fortunately it has not happened yet, slowly starting to gain the confidence, and really just trying to not worry about what another company would offer the same services for. I do the best that I can when I am there, and luckily so far, everyone has given great feedback expressing how great the lawns look.
Just yesterday I looked at a property, about 3/4 acre of mowing. ALOT of this is on STEEP hillside. No danger of me falling down, all I would do is roll into the neighbors flat yard. But my problem was looking at this property and having even a small clue at how long it would take. I will probalby be doing this property tomorrow, given that her husband approves the price. So if this was a flat lot with easy access, 35 is what I would of went for. But with the hills, the trees, and the gated "dog area", its prob going to take well over an hour. So I went with alomst double the price......so to sum it up, I completely feel your pain, but I think with more time and experience, you and I both will have our costs figured out to the hour, and have a muhc more confident time pricing jobs and estimating the time. Sorry so long winded here, but this is how it got typed on the computer, lol
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  #23  
Old 05-11-2011, 02:44 PM
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I am constantly wondering if I gave a prospective client a competative price as soon as I "blert out" to them what the price will be. Then I immediatley start getting worried that I am going to get spit on, laughed at or told to go 'bleep something".
What is your view on why you fear this would happen? Also, do you feel this fear ultimately makes you lower your prices in your head before you give it to the customer?

How can a business owner overcome this?
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  #24  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:42 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What is your view on why you fear this would happen? Also, do you feel this fear ultimately makes you lower your prices in your head before you give it to the customer?

How can a business owner overcome this?
I'm still a noob and I think the same way, so I'll add my thoughts...

Since I don't have a firm grasp on what the market will bear, I find I often quote a price that is lower than I would like. It's simple really... when you are new, you need customers, and getting told "no", isn't what you want to happen.

That said, I'm starting to quote what I think I DESERVE for doing the job.
This comes after screwing myself one too many times. I started thinking about how this "$45 job" that I'm only getting $30 for is going to be a real mother#^@&#% when it's a scorching 90 day.

Besides, what's the worst they can do? Say that your price is too high?
If so, then ask what they were paying previously, or what figure they had in mind... ponder it a second (you can scratch your chin for added effect), and say, "I can work with you on that". Make a counter offer, or throw in something extra. Inquire as to the "legitimacy" of the guy who was cutting it for less - was he INSURED? I sure as hell am not going to try to compete on price alone with some college kid with a mower sticking out of his trunk.

Lastly, when one person says "no", there is always another person waiting in line. After you get a decent amount of clients, you can really start to be choosy - why take the $15 bi-freaking-weekly (read, cheap a$$) client, when you can fill that spot with someone willing to pay what you need to survive?



Damn. I'm starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about. LOL!
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  #25  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:55 PM
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I keep a box of index cards. On 1 side I put square footage in one corner and price I SHOULD have charged in another ( we time everything to get accurate price info). Backside has address and any info that impacted the price - hills, ditches, fenced in areas w/width of gate,lots to trim around, etc. they are sorted by the square footage. Anytime we quote something new we measure it with a wheel (nice one is about $60) and get the index cards out for reference. It makes bidding a lot easier over time and the routine makes you look more professional. When we adjust prices at the beginning of the season we adjust all the index cards too.
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  #26  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
I'm still a noob and I think the same way, so I'll add my thoughts...

Since I don't have a firm grasp on what the market will bear, I find I often quote a price that is lower than I would like. It's simple really... when you are new, you need customers, and getting told "no", isn't what you want to happen.

That said, I'm starting to quote what I think I DESERVE for doing the job.
This comes after screwing myself one too many times. I started thinking about how this "$45 job" that I'm only getting $30 for is going to be a real mother#^@&#% when it's a scorching 90 day.

Besides, what's the worst they can do? Say that your price is too high?
If so, then ask what they were paying previously, or what figure they had in mind... ponder it a second (you can scratch your chin for added effect), and say, "I can work with you on that". Make a counter offer, or throw in something extra. Inquire as to the "legitimacy" of the guy who was cutting it for less - was he INSURED? I sure as hell am not going to try to compete on price alone with some college kid with a mower sticking out of his trunk.

Lastly, when one person says "no", there is always another person waiting in line. After you get a decent amount of clients, you can really start to be choosy - why take the $15 bi-freaking-weekly (read, cheap a$$) client, when you can fill that spot with someone willing to pay what you need to survive?



Damn. I'm starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about. LOL!
Good stuff Hedgemaster. I'm getting a lot more confidence as well. I think we started around the same time. I don't do anything based on what others offer. Right now I just figure out how much time it is going to take me and then go with what I want to earn on an hourly basis.

Matt
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  #27  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:49 AM
resq31 resq31 is offline
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For me, I would say I have given a few a lower price. But its strange, I dont think I should be in fear of what I dont know. Being what someone else would propose for a price, because I have no idea what anyone around here charges. So, I am trying to keep it realistic and worth my time. I dont mind doing small things extra and 'free' for bonus points......I am just excited about what is to come!!
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  #28  
Old 05-15-2011, 05:53 AM
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I think that 35.00 weekly or 40.00 weekly is fine because you estimated the job at about 40 mins. so if you charge a 1.00 per minute that comes to 40.00
I think that you could live with 35-40.00 per service on this job.
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  #29  
Old 05-15-2011, 02:43 PM
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I think your price of $150 seems pretty fair and legit. Of course it goes according to where your from and your market. I don't know if you will get it. I know in my area that price would have been fine 5 years ago but now they could probably get it done for $80.00. I know this sounds strange getting lower instead of higher but it seems my market has been hit pretty hard by the recession and it seems as though everyone who lost their jobs went and bought a mower and due to desperation to find work have slashed prices. I have actually seen flyers on driveways offering cuts as low as $8. Where are you from and let us know if you get it.
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  #30  
Old 05-15-2011, 07:32 PM
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I'd charge $35.00
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