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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.

Am I in over my head?


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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  #1  
Old 06-04-2008, 01:59 PM
gotta_mow gotta_mow is offline
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Perhaps the simple answer is if I have to ask... I am! I am just getting started in this, trying to raise some extra money and buy equipment as I go. I have a 22" Craftsman Lawn Mower, A Craftsman trimmer and a blower. I was hoping that during my first season I would get a couple clients in average middle income houses and mow and learn the ropes.

I mowed my first customers lawn last Friday and it all went well. Well, kinda. Went well for him. I bid too low. For a weekly mow I priced him I feel fair at $30 for a .21 acre lot which has a house, garage and Very large overgrown pine tree out front. Its actually a pretty small lot. I spent way too much time on it. Better than 2 hours, because it had not been mowed in a while. Had to trim darn near the whole thing first then mow twice. I wrote it off to a learning experience. Double or tripple for overgrown lots to get them in shape. (correct me if I'm wrong). Anyway the customer was happy and signed a contract for the remainder of the season.

So here is where I may be over my head. Today I received a call from a gentleman who wants me to come out and look at his yard. Needs mowing and some bed work. I pulled his info up on the county auditors website (hoping to get an idea on the lot and stuff before I drove out there tommorow) The average price for home sales in licking county, (where this house is) was 138,000. His house is $561,000. OMG.

So now here I am little old me still learning what the heck I'm doing and I now have a monster that could make or break me. Should I back off? Should I run for the hills?

He told me it takes him about an hour to mow it with his push mower. But what about the bed work?


I need advice.

Ben
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2008, 07:03 PM
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Your not over your head. I think you just are learning the ropes. Anytime a yard has not been maintained, I always charge a clean-up fee usually anywhere from $50 to $200, then the regular monthly fee from there.
When you go to look and price the next one just be sure not to underbid yourself. Look at how long it will take you and figure $60 per hour as a starting point (just dont tell the customer that). If the yard takes you an hour to maintain per service, you can easily charge him $240 per month.
Good luck!
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:38 AM
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yeah, im with brandon... dont be intimidated!!!
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:00 AM
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This guy is probably a sweet shoe-in for referrals. I've also had problems underbidding long grass jobs. I always charge at least double, if not more. I'm also pretty bad at judging bed work, but ti usually only needs to be done once every two weeks. I kinda guesstimate how much time I would spend there and add that onto the mowing price to create a comprehensive weekly or monthly price.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:09 AM
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How much do you think you will bid on the job and how much do you really think you should bid?
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:17 AM
gotta_mow gotta_mow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ June 05 2008,3:09)]How much do you think you will bid on the job and how much do you really think you should bid?
I am pleased with the $30 a week for the first house. Sucks that I spent so much time there the first day but thats ok.

I'll have to get back with you today about the $561,000 house from today. This is the one that scares me.

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Old 06-05-2008, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I am pleased with the $30 a week for the first house. Sucks that I spent so much time there the first day but thats ok.
What would you suggest to others who find themselves in similar situations? How much extra would you recommend charging for that first time clean up?
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2008, 02:00 PM
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I would think a house in that price range would mean a big yard. Big yard= open space= easy cutting= $$ Look at this as an opportunity. You might be able to grow your business/equipment. Good Luck
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