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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.

First time plowing


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 09-01-2008, 01:03 PM
RonJohnLawnCare
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Default First time plowing

Hi i am getting into commercial accounts and iam not really sure how much to charge for plowing. I was wondering if i could get some ideas about charging for townhomes and normal parking lots. Thanks
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:10 AM
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Hi Ron,

Here is a post from our friend Tim in another thread. Maybe it will be helpful to you in your pricing.

Quote:
"$25 is ok but I charge $35 min for 1/2 hour $1 per min after first 1/2 hour. Salt/Ice melt is extra $10.00 and leave a 5 gal. bucket of salt for them to use if you can't get to them right away on the next snow fall.

Equipment to use on resi customers is a medium 24" to larger 30"+ walkbehind snow thrower. This way if the car is in the drive you can get around it with out it having to be moved.

Larger jobs Long Drives a Quad with plow and spreader works real nice. Charge more for the quad jobs."
Does this help you come up with a price for what you want to do?
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:20 PM
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Hi Ron and thanks for the quote Steve.

Here are some revisions I have made for this season.

Plow Truck $85/hr
ATV/Lawn tractor with plow $75/hr
Hand Shovel/ Blower-thrower $40/hr
Snow Melt Application and Materials $45/hr + $1.25 per lb. (No Plowing Required)
Magnesium Chloride (pre Treatment) $12 per Gal.
Skid-steer Market Price (currently $95/hr.)
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:40 PM
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I can't tell you how much to charge but I can say this is what I do after last year. These may sound like do and dont's for you but they are my do and dont's for you to adopt or not.

Do not do one price fits all season. Per push only.
Do not charge less than $25 per push.
Do charge for any extras like salting or shoveling.
Do not take on customers that are not apart of your regular route. No "I'll call when I need you" people. Let their neighbors and family ruin their trucks for no money.
Do not get too far out- this one is a big one. I took an account based on size and money last year. Many times I got there and it didn't even snow! I had 5-6 inches where I was.
Do get your accounts in place before it snows so you can mark hazards. That ditch doesn't look as scary once it full of fluffy snow.
Do start today. Put up your flyers, cards & signs now. Do not wait.

I decide how much I need to make per event and fill my route accordingly. For example, if I need to make $500, that will be my goal and going over is just fine with me. The key is not to make an 12 hour shift out of it. That would upset your customers. Currently I have 15-20 accounts, I am sealing the deals starting this week. Then I will determine the $ amounts, and time it will take me and go from there.
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Old 09-07-2008, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Do get your accounts in place before it snows so you can mark hazards. That ditch doesn't look as scary once it full of fluffy snow.
What do you suggest to do when it comes to marking hazards? How is the best way to go about this?

Quote:
The key is not to make an 12 hour shift out of it. That would upset your customers.
What is the maximum amount of time you should be spending doing this?
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:32 PM
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The beautiful thing about digital cameras these days is the photos can be printed at home and then discarded. I take a photo of the account and put it in a binder in my truck to refer to after I cannot see anything becasue of the snow. I also buy furring strips from Lowe's and cut them in half (with a point). Then I drive it into the ground near something I should be aware of - say that ditch. Trust me, driveways and such get pretty big in winter because it's push - push - push. It keeps me from taking liberties of going too far that I shouldn't take. Anyway I buy some of the fluorescent orange paint and paint the tips that I can see. Make sure they are tall enough to see after you get 4 feet of snow. I try to get them back in the spring but if they come up missing, then thats OK because it costs me next to nothing to make them.

Well I am still learning but I think getting to that last account 8 hours later may get some people up in arms. I watch the news and when they say the snow will out of the area by 7am, I try and make it so that I am at the last account right at 7am. This can get tricky but thats what I did last year.
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