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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Setting prices in your area?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 10-03-2010, 03:05 PM
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Default Setting prices in your area?

How do you do it? I mean I dont care how good the work is some people, a lot of people for that matter just refuse to pay $40 per week to have there lawn mowed, If you can not remain competitive with other operators you wont last long. The only thing I could think of is to put the truck out on the farm and call the local guys to come give me a quote. I can take the highest and lowest quote and shoot for the middle however I have never once had a local lawn care company call me back or return emails. Any advice on how to get them out to get quotes or what other methods to set your price?
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:08 PM
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Funny you should say this.. I just started asking back a few months ago, and you will be suprized what people will tell you when you catch them off guard.. Just ask them (1) Have you had service prior to now? (2) How much did they charge you?

I would say about 80% will answer you .. And tell you what you need to do so that you can keep them happy.

Matt


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Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
How do you do it? I mean I dont care how good the work is some people, a lot of people for that matter just refuse to pay $40 per week to have there lawn mowed, If you can not remain competitive with other operators you wont last long. The only thing I could think of is to put the truck out on the farm and call the local guys to come give me a quote. I can take the highest and lowest quote and shoot for the middle however I have never once had a local lawn care company call me back or return emails. Any advice on how to get them out to get quotes or what other methods to set your price?
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:35 PM
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well thats the hard part, i have one account who had it done before and i already know that price. the others are comercial who use to have employees do it. sence calls are not coming in i have nobody to ask what they were paying.
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:52 PM
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well thats the hard part, i have one account who had it done before and i already know that price. the others are comercial who use to have employees do it. sence calls are not coming in i have nobody to ask what they were paying.
I break them down and use a multiplier... So for example, a 16 building apartment complex, I figure out in detail how long it will take to Mow, Edge, Trim, Cust Bushes and the price for each then I multiply by the number of buildings...

Once you start to break it down, then you can add in cost for blades, wire, maintance labor, and start to figure out the real cost of what things are going to take you to get them done..

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Old 10-03-2010, 11:45 PM
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Funny you should say this.. I just started asking back a few months ago, and you will be suprized what people will tell you when you catch them off guard.. Just ask them (1) Have you had service prior to now? (2) How much did they charge you?
What got you to start asking this question?

Also what kinds of funny things have you heard them say?
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:34 AM
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I break them down and use a multiplier... So for example, a 16 building apartment complex, I figure out in detail how long it will take to Mow, Edge, Trim, Cust Bushes and the price for each then I multiply by the number of buildings...

Once you start to break it down, then you can add in cost for blades, wire, maintance labor, and start to figure out the real cost of what things are going to take you to get them done..

Matt
The thing is I am not having trouble with commercial properties. I usually tell them $35 per hour flat rate unless its a one time small job then I just pretty much spit out what I want to make. The problem is residential properties. If the going rate is $15 per lawn then no way in hell am I going to get work charging $40. None of the local guys will call me back to see what they charge and no customers will even call let alone let me ask what they are paying now.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:46 AM
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What other services can you offer, you know how to do, that may require an additional piece of equipment, that clients may or do want? Even if you had to rent something until the cash flow and profit was there to buy a piece of your own.

We now have very few lawn care contracts, the ones I have are very large in size, I sold over 90 accounts about two months ago as I found the serious money was in other services homeowners need, demand is there, we had the equipment or I simply bought it.

At this stage, when it comes to a property there is not one thing we do not offer when it comes to landscaping/yardcare/hardscaping. It's October and we are still pressure washing, I had to shut that down in mid September last year due to the temps, I had four staff all weekend doing nothing but pressure washing and at least here there is serious money in this.

The requests for garden tilling are pouring in but as I posted in another thread we are not taking additional jobs this season, we simply can't.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:02 AM
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As far as what I can do, well I can do pretty much anything the dosent require a license from the state. I know what you mean about larger jobs. I have been focusing on those as well. My smallest lawn I do now is 1/2 acre. The largest is about an acre, maybe a bit more and the absolute largest job I am doing or have ever done is clear cutting a half mile of river bank, larger jobs really do pay better but in my area they are few and far between. The half acre I do every 2 weeks from Spring until Fall, the 1 acre I do once per month from winter until spring and the biggest job the county will only allocate $500 per month for that so I can not count on that to pay the bills as that's only one hard days work or 2 lazy days work each month.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:25 PM
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What got you to start asking this question?

Also what kinds of funny things have you heard them say?
I don't know why I started asking. I beleave it was a large apartment complex that I really really wanted so I ask, what do you want to pay?

I got one account cause the guys kept mowing and getting grass in the dog water bowl.. So I just have the water bowl refilled after every mow.. He has called serveral time to tell me how he can't belease my crew takes time to check the dogs water and refill it..

I had another account tell me that the city kept getting on to him cause the ally way was not mowed.. So I make sure that it gets done everytime.

They tell you the little things that you need to know about then, but that for some reason they never would have told you. They give me crazy prices also.. I have one lady with a 100 sq ft yard getting charged $65 a week to mow it.. and When I told her that I would do it for $25 I thought she was going to cry.

Just start asking and you will get some good information!

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Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
The thing is I am not having trouble with commercial properties. I usually tell them $35 per hour flat rate unless its a one time small job then I just pretty much spit out what I want to make. The problem is residential properties. If the going rate is $15 per lawn then no way in hell am I going to get work charging $40. None of the local guys will call me back to see what they charge and no customers will even call let alone let me ask what they are paying now.
I had a few areas like that also.. You just do not know.. The way to do it.. Is to figure you want to loose 10-15% of all your bids.. This makes sure that you are not over priced but that you are not to under priced... So just drop the price to $35 .. then try again.. If you start getting every bid, go up to $38 ... If you loose the next two ten drop a little again..
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
As far as what I can do, well I can do pretty much anything the dosent require a license from the state. I know what you mean about larger jobs. I have been focusing on those as well. My smallest lawn I do now is 1/2 acre. The largest is about an acre, maybe a bit more and the absolute largest job I am doing or have ever done is clear cutting a half mile of river bank, larger jobs really do pay better but in my area they are few and far between. The half acre I do every 2 weeks from Spring until Fall, the 1 acre I do once per month from winter until spring and the biggest job the county will only allocate $500 per month for that so I can not count on that to pay the bills as that's only one hard days work or 2 lazy days work each month.
OK, this may sound stupid but I am out of the box in marketing, we all have clients that are special to us, we also have friends in our network and we all need to make money. Ask the clients you are comfortable with a simple question "I am looking at expanding my business and what I offer as I can do a lot of things, what do you think would be a good idea?" Corney, perhaps, does it work, YES, your clients know what they want, we know what they need, there is a bridge and if you find it, you will have the business you need.
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