Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

Need Help Breaking "Per Hour" Barrier... Please Help


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:38 AM
IVPropertyMaintenance's Avatar
IVPropertyMaintenance IVPropertyMaintenance is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cave Junction, OR
Posts: 26
Rep Power: 3
IVPropertyMaintenance is on a distinguished road
Default Need Help Breaking "Per Hour" Barrier... Please Help

Alright so my rookie mistakes are catching up to me. I started my business in the Spring of last year (2011). The valley I live in has a relatively low population and the average wages are low. Therefore, I found out what competitor are charging and established my going rate based on that. A couple of the local "competitors" who were also one man crews we charging between $15-20/hr. They have been around for a while and are pretty well established so I figured with me just starting out I would go on the low end. I chose $15/hr to be my charging wage for yard care services.

This was fine but definitely not making the money I should be making. Now I am going into this new year with a bunch of customers that are used to paying $15/hr when I need more to keep my head above water. During the winter, I devised some service packages that charge customers a monthly rate that is spread through all 12 months. This was a nice change I think because it will ensure me income throughout the winter as well. Anyways, so I switched a lot of them onto that which is good, but there are still customers that are not going to like to hear the more per hour story.

Also, I have already found myself telling customers $15/hr this year, just out of instinct! I live a pretty modest lifestyle and don't need to get rich off this, but an extra $5/hr this year would really help out. Any ideas on making the transition, or should I just go to bidding job?

One idea I had is to tell my customers that I will work for $15/hr but if i'm running equipment (which is almost all the time) I will be charging an extra $5/hr for gas and wear & tear on the equipment.

I don't know guys, inspire me....
__________________
IV Property Maintenance
Providing Quality and Reliability
www.ivpropertymaintenance.com
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-22-2012, 01:38 PM
CS-LawnService CS-LawnService is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Paw Paw West Virginia
Age: 50
Posts: 133
Rep Power: 4
CS-LawnService is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I never give a price per hour I just figure the cost of the job and give them the total in the estimate no need for them to know i make 45 an hour on there lawn
__________________
Chris Hoeltke
serving Winchester Virginia and surrounding areas
C&S Lawn Service

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-22-2012, 01:44 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,516
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Here is my view and others may see it differently.

Last year seems to have been a year where you attracted customers with price first and quality somewhere after that.

Since these are price conscious customers, there is a good chance they won't pay more. We have seen this happen to others on the forum and when they tried to raise their prices to that customer base, the customers left in droves, so be prepared for that. I wouldn't try to increase my prices across the board with all of them or you might find yourself without customers. Try raising your prices with smaller groups at first.

You also will need to find new customers this year that are not price focused and are more focused on quality. Quality focused customers would be easier to raise prices on as long as the quality was there.

Does this help?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-22-2012, 04:57 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 73
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 10
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Raising prices is no fun.

What sucks, is that I have had certain clients for so long, I take pride knowing I've been their guy for years... Raising the prices would take that away from me LOL.

If you really underbid a job, accept cash only, and pocket that crap. Maybe even use it to hire a couple of Mexicans to increase your productivity.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-22-2012, 05:28 PM
willshome willshome is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mass
Posts: 865
Rep Power: 0
willshome is on a distinguished road
Default

I lock in my customers that have be with me sense the start at my lowest price and new customers pay normal rate. This is a thanks for helping me start-up and make a name for my business.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-22-2012, 05:50 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

Charging by the hour is easy. It's also crazy.
You're going to screw yourself in a big way if you continue that way.

Price it at what you need to be paid to do it and be done with it.

I try to make between $30 and $60 "an hour" on jobs - I sure as heck am not telling a client that. Even at $30/hr, I'm not making much, but it sure SOUNDS like it to a client. Hourly rates scare clients away because they compare them to what THEY make "per hour".

Also, people want to know "What will it cost to do the job?" - period.
How long it takes you to do said job is irrelevant and your client shouldn't be left wondering what it will cost, and be sitting there with a stopwatch trying to figure it out while you work.


"It will cost $35 to mow, trim, and blow any clippings from hard surfaces."

One day it may take you 30 minutes (yay!) to do that lawn and another it may take 45 because you did a little extra, or had an equipment problem... why bother with an hourly rate? By doing so, you never get to enjoy a bigger profit because you were able to complete the job faster than expected.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:41 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 1,912
Rep Power: 0
SECTLANDSCAPING is on a distinguished road
Default

I agree with Hedge,

If I was making $15/hour I would quit. I pay guys between $12-$15 hour. The first leaf clean up I did I bid at $300 and it took me and my friend 10 hours. Boy was I a sucker.

hourly rates suck... The worst part is there watching what time you show up and leave. I would consider adding a stop charge or a higher first hour. This is what plumbers, carpenters do. $125 to show up then $75 a hour after.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-22-2012, 07:17 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

I have many jobs that take me 30 minutes.

So if I were to charge "$15/hr", I'd be asking just $7.50 to mow those lawns?


This does not compute. Yeah, I'd quit too.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-29-2012, 08:14 PM
sunsetlandscaping sunsetlandscaping is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 75
Rep Power: 3
sunsetlandscaping is on a distinguished road
Default

Boy oh boy, how many times have I been down this road? More than I can count on my hand. Before I was just trying to complicate things. And it is confusing at first, until you get a feel for it. Try mowing your own grass or a friends and keep track of the time. Then, get a measuring wheel and figure out how many sq. ft. it was you just mowed, and you will get the hang of it. I'm not saying to take a measuring wheel with you to every job, but when your first starting out, it might be the thing to do. Hell, I might even do it this year to refresh my memory.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-31-2012, 01:20 PM
thom thom is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northern Ohio
Posts: 106
Rep Power: 4
thom is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVPropertyMaintenance View Post
Alright so my rookie mistakes are catching up to me. I started my business in the Spring of last year (2011). The valley I live in has a relatively low population and the average wages are low. Therefore, I found out what competitor are charging and established my going rate based on that. A couple of the local "competitors" who were also one man crews we charging between $15-20/hr. They have been around for a while and are pretty well established so I figured with me just starting out I would go on the low end. I chose $15/hr to be my charging wage for yard care services.

This was fine but definitely not making the money I should be making. Now I am going into this new year with a bunch of customers that are used to paying $15/hr when I need more to keep my head above water. During the winter, I devised some service packages that charge customers a monthly rate that is spread through all 12 months. This was a nice change I think because it will ensure me income throughout the winter as well. Anyways, so I switched a lot of them onto that which is good, but there are still customers that are not going to like to hear the more per hour story.

Also, I have already found myself telling customers $15/hr this year, just out of instinct! I live a pretty modest lifestyle and don't need to get rich off this, but an extra $5/hr this year would really help out. Any ideas on making the transition, or should I just go to bidding job?

One idea I had is to tell my customers that I will work for $15/hr but if i'm running equipment (which is almost all the time) I will be charging an extra $5/hr for gas and wear & tear on the equipment.

I don't know guys, inspire me....

Dont quote an hourly rate.Bid the job to make monry.If a customer wants to know how many hours you are billing for,tell them you dont have a set number of hours for the job.
Get a signed contract.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
cheap lawn customers, price vs quality

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Part Timers", "Low Ballers" & Self Employed doug1980 General Talk 22 07-24-2011 05:32 PM
Starting a Lawn Care Business with "Lawns of Wealth" startlawnbusiness Promote your products or services 0 09-08-2010 03:29 PM
Have you seen "Simply Mowing" door hanger/flyer template? akg62 Starting a lawn care business. 1 04-17-2009 02:02 PM
NEEDED: 1 landscaping company to profile LocalAdLink's "Geo-targeting" advertising Green_Day Promote your products or services 10 04-08-2009 09:48 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
Yesterday 08:07 AM
Yesterday 11:08 PM
by Chilehead
2 113
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:41 PM
Yesterday 11:06 PM
by Chilehead
9 316
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
Yesterday 01:23 PM
Yesterday 06:56 PM
by Matther777
2 127
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 09:19 PM
Yesterday 06:40 PM
by robert8509
7 210
hey everyone
robert8509
10-22-2014 08:16 PM
Yesterday 06:16 PM
by robert8509
5 160
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
10-20-2014 06:33 AM
Yesterday 05:55 PM
by biglee
13 420
My Newest Toy (B.P....
Dan Tanner
Yesterday 05:50 PM
Yesterday 05:50 PM
by Dan Tanner
0 79
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
Yesterday 03:33 PM
by TNTurf
10 835
Hi from SoCal
Jmoney
Yesterday 11:29 AM
Yesterday 12:51 PM
by Steve
1 90
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
Yesterday 12:33 PM
by Steve
5 539
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
Yesterday 06:12 AM
by ringahding1
4 368
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
10-21-2014 06:20 AM
Yesterday 05:13 AM
by ringahding1
5 259
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
10-22-2014 01:27 PM
by Steve
6 434
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
10-22-2014 01:23 PM
by Steve
3 410
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:59 PM
10-22-2014 01:19 PM
by Steve
1 185
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
10-22-2014 08:51 AM
by ringahding1
12 1,549
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
10-22-2014 07:47 AM
by ringahding1
4 1,366
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
10-21-2014 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 686
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
10-21-2014 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 538
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
10-21-2014 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 11,443
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
10-21-2014 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 288
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
10-20-2014 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 1,844
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
10-20-2014 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,346
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
10-20-2014 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 256
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
10-20-2014 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 328
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
10-20-2014 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 776
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
10-20-2014 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,231
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
10-20-2014 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 516
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
10-20-2014 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 359
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 695
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 1,000
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,364
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 721
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-15-2014 06:43 PM
by NHray
1,190 340,267
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 445
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,542
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,553
Apartment Complex and...
lxarth
06-22-2011 01:10 PM
10-14-2014 06:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
42 9,642
I LOVE hedge trimming
stevef1201
10-13-2014 09:05 AM
10-14-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
5 580
Help with seeder...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-09-2014 07:39 AM
10-13-2014 08:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 741
The Market watch
WesleySnips
10-12-2014 08:47 PM
10-13-2014 05:40 PM
by SGL1
3 581
Help pricing a large...
Bradcook21
10-07-2014 06:49 AM
10-13-2014 02:00 PM
by Steve
7 926
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 04:24 PM
10-13-2014 06:46 AM
by Billy Goat
19 1,580
Acerage Rake
acrajchel
04-23-2014 07:23 PM
10-12-2014 10:53 PM
by SGL1
2 894
John Deere z235 Deck
WesleySnips
09-29-2014 06:02 PM
10-12-2014 06:20 PM
by kslawn
25 1,703
Credit card contract
SGL1
10-06-2014 05:31 PM
10-12-2014 03:40 PM
by SGL1
18 1,117
Truck craft dump bed...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-04-2014 08:41 PM
10-10-2014 11:35 AM
by Steve
7 1,024
First Time River Rock...
berryjam
10-09-2014 06:09 PM
10-10-2014 11:08 AM
by Steve
2 665
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 09:51 PM
10-10-2014 11:03 AM
by Steve
1 655
Question?what should I...
dalvan0
09-24-2014 11:10 PM
10-09-2014 05:58 PM
by kslawn
28 2,194
» Popular Tags
4wd apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying bob villa bush charge christmas commercial deliquentaccounts demonstration exmark ferris first truck georgia gopherhaul gravely hardscapes hills holiday honda how much to charge how to hydraulic labor cost landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business book lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business marketing mechanic monthly mowing mulch mulch price new business patio install podcast property management company push versus ride savannah scag scag v-ride seo shell snow plowing starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business stihl sulky toro tractor auger trailer mate pro tree truck new used landscape walker won't return wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy