Originally Posted by Lodzin
I'm still tossing around exactly how much I want to charge in. This is my chosen profession, I'm not going through two years of school to fail at it, but a minimum initial investment would be good, especially considering I don't posses a pot to urininate in and would have to borrow. On the other hand this area has several large, slick management operations that I think I'd have a hard time competing with if I showed up on a old broken down John Deer riding mower... Thoughts?
In these new days, everyone is looking for a bargain.
The reason why your competitors feel the need to charge so much, is because they have a lot of expenses to cover.
So you only really need to charge enough to maintain your business.
___The best way to charge per lawn, is by playing out a scenario of you doing the work in your head.
In a perfect world... a lawn would be a flat rectangle with zero obstacles.
You must charge by the size of the lawn, and by the cons of it.
Look out for;
Fast Growing Grass
1) I see the perfect lawn, but I am unable to use my tractor in the backyard due to a small gate opening. = I lose time, and the job becomes less attractive.
2) The lawn is small, not much to cut - but in order to get into the backyard I have to drag my mower through a bumpy pathway, sometimes my lawn mower gets stuck and I have to lift it over the stones as they are not level.
3) I can do this lawn in 15 minutes, but my customer wants it done their way - this job now takes me 30 minutes
4) The lawn is perfect, though there is always dog crap I end up stepping in or riding my lawn mower through.
those are minor examples.
Charging is all about knowing the details.
I charge a lot for one property because the front yard is a very steep hill - it's a pain in the arse as they also have 3 trees spread 10 feet away from each other... This is a double whammy!
Though I took a chance with my tractor, and I have gotten used to riding on a deathly angle. This property took me 1 full hour before, now it takes 30 minutes.
Imagine if I put my price low, because I had a tractor and the job was easy? What if my tractor broke, the job would become difficult and worthless.
So when giving an estimate, always play out the worst case scenario - every job estimated is imagined done with a walk behind with a bagger.
Imagine removing the bag every few stripes and emptying it into a garbage bag - that's dreadful.
CHARGE FOR IT - I'm saying all this as a precaution. That's how you succeed IMHO!