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knowing your cost?


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2012, 11:40 PM
gwoodcutter gwoodcutter is offline
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Oh, 2 other question. In one of your examples you in an earlier question Steve you said if you bought a mower for a $1000.00 and it was built to run for a 1000 hours. How do you know that information about it's running life? And lastly! When coming up with your cost to charge/operate, which method of charging do you use: Per hour, Man hours. Or is it a job by job situation? Thanks
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2012, 08:07 PM
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1.How do you calculate man hours? I don't think we talked about this in our earlier discussions. If i hire someone and it is just the 2 of us, how do i know how much time it is going to take for the 2 of us to do x amount of townhouse space?!!
First you need to break down the job. How much of an area of mowing, how many linear feet of trimming, edging.

Each job has to be broken down to bid on it.

Let's see that in your next post and then you can start to compare the amount of time it takes you to perform these services at other sites and scale it up to perform it on this one. You can also use the mowing estimators on here to help.

Quote:
2. How do you go about estimating total space, when in a townhouse community there is all these little patches of grass, not a solid section of grass that you can say, 'i can cut that in 30 minutes, that'll be x amount.'
Are there a lot of similar sized small areas? Can you measure the size of one and figure out how long it would take to mow, then scale it up to the total number of sizes of those areas at the condo complex?

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3. On jobs such as trimming hedges, flower beds, etc., how do you price that out? Will this one be answered by the answers from # 1 and 2? I'd really like to get this and i feel like i would be getting "there" if i had this.
Start small. How long would it take you to trim a smaller area of bushes that you can more easily estimate? Then multiply that by how many like areas there are.

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4. One other thing. I am seriously considering purchasing the Gopher Billing & Scheduling software for my business! It looks like what i need at this point, (basic) and is really affordable.
5. Can you customize the invoices in the software? Are there templates to choose from? Thanks.
You can change some of the background if you use preprinted paper. You can move some of the address areas to fit into certain envelopes and you can include a graphic logo.

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Anyway, thanks again for all you guys support and help!
You are welcome.
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2012, 08:12 PM
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Steve you said if you bought a mower for a $1000.00 and it was built to run for a 1000 hours. How do you know that information about it's running life?
Well, you could ask the salesman you buy it from, look on the website, or maybe estimate it to be 200 for a consumer unit? 2,000-3,000 for a commercial unit?

Unless anyone else has suggestions on that.

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And lastly! When coming up with your cost to charge/operate, which method of charging do you use: Per hour, Man hours. Or is it a job by job situation? Thanks
As you add employees, you are going to be adding more expenses.

When you figure out your overhead, your operating costs, your employee costs, you can come up with a figure you need to make as a whole per hour for any job you perform.

Does that help?
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2012, 06:01 AM
OziGardenGuy OziGardenGuy is offline
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Steve's advice is level-headed and very good.

If you want to estimate the life of a piece of equipment, use the warranty period. So, if a mower has a one year commercial warranty, then its maximum life would be:

8 hours per day x 220* working days = 1760 hours.

It's a really rough guide, but at least it lets you amortise the probable cost per hour of machine life. Don't forget to add back repairs and maintenance expense, including oil, air filters, blades, spark plugs, known wear and consumable parts, etc. It can take a bit of research to get all the details from forums and the supplier, but once you have built a spreadsheet to do it and you can identify the costs, it is easier for the next piece of machinery.

Best of luck and every wish for success!

Cheers - OziGardenGuy aka My Garden Guy.

* I use 220 days because it allows for weekends, your own holidays, public holidays, a week of sickness per year, etc. You may need to adjust that for your own area and weather conditions, etc.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
First you need to break down the job. How much of an area of mowing, how many linear feet of trimming, edging.

Each job has to be broken down to bid on it.

Let's see that in your next post and then you can start to compare the amount of time it takes you to perform these services at other sites and scale it up to perform it on this one. You can also use the mowing estimators on here to help.



Are there a lot of similar sized small areas? Can you measure the size of one and figure out how long it would take to mow, then scale it up to the total number of sizes of those areas at the condo complex?



Start small. How long would it take you to trim a smaller area of bushes that you can more easily estimate? Then multiply that by how many like areas there are.



You can change some of the background if you use preprinted paper. You can move some of the address areas to fit into certain envelopes and you can include a graphic logo.


You are welcome.
So you are saying i would have to physically go out and measure every sq. ft. of this property? I'm not saying that i wouldn't, i just have done yards where you look at it and say $40.00 and that was it. I guess you are saying that this is a different animal than your standard residential yard? There is a ton of edging space, weedeating space, and i drove through again today, and the trimming of hedges, man even with help i'd be there a couple days it seems.

Thanks.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2012, 05:25 PM
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So you are saying i would have to physically go out and measure every sq. ft. of this property?
You could measure one area and then multiply it by the amount of other similar areas on the property.

But ultimately if you want to be accurate, you have to know how much area you are mowing. When you guess, especially early on, there is a tendency to guess low and underbid.
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:56 PM
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Hey guys. I have bid on the town houses and have been told that my bid looks good. The other thing they have asked for is trimming of hedges and dead heading of the crepe myrtles before spring. Do I need to get a total of area of hedges to bid that? Like length, height, and depth of each section of hedge? Or do I look at sections and say, "this will take an hour, so apply my hourly rate to each section?" I think I am close to getting this deal, I just need to get close with the hedges and crepes! Thanks again for any advice.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Do I need to get a total of area of hedges to bid that? Like length, height, and depth of each section of hedge? Or do I look at sections and say, "this will take an hour, so apply my hourly rate to each section?"
It all comes down to time. As you trim more hedges, you will find that it will take you X amount of time to trim X ft of hedges based on their size and height. So when you look at it, compare it to some of your previous hedge trimming jobs, then scale it up depending on the size of it.

Does this help?
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:41 AM
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Yeah, that helps. I'm just going to go with x amount of hedges/$ amount/Hr. That seems to make more sense to me. Wish me luck! I'll come back when i find out.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:53 AM
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I look forwards to your updates. Also, keep us posted on how long you thought the job would take and how long it ultimately did take after all is said and done.
Then tell us why you feel there was a difference.

Take pictures too!
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