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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.

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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.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2009, 09:24 AM
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This is a very fascinating topic. It seems as if when you bid leaf cleanup services you need to use a multiplier on what your initially time estimate is.

If you think it will take 1 hour, multiply that by 7 or something similar to it.

On the bright side, this was a fairly quick project that you didn't have to outlay any cash on. I do appreciate you sharing with us your insight on this experience.

Did you have to dump these leaves anywhere? Were there any other costs you feel you need to add in the future?
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2009, 10:04 AM
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I think the 7 multiplier is what I will use from here on out. Its hard to know exactly what or how long something like that would take, but as a general idea I think that would work. We just used the local dump to dispose of the leaf/debris bags. There was no charge. I don't know if that applies for all places, but when we pulled up the guys just asked us what was in the bags and told us which bin to put them in.

Does anyone think there should be an extra charge for the 2nd trip to pick up the bags?

There was no way we could of fit all those bags on our trailer with all our equipment.


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  #13  
Old 02-01-2009, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnsalonforyou View Post
I think the 7 multiplier is what I will use from here on out. Its hard to know exactly what or how long something like that would take, but as a general idea I think that would work. We just used the local dump to dispose of the leaf/debris bags. There was no charge. I don't know if that applies for all places, but when we pulled up the guys just asked us what was in the bags and told us which bin to put them in.

Does anyone think there should be an extra charge for the 2nd trip to pick up the bags?

There was no way we could of fit all those bags on our trailer with all our equipment.


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Quoting rubbish or cleanups is a science and requires careful thinking regardless of size of the job
Using a multiplier doesn't always work unless your charge out rate includes rubbish removal

While you may on occasions get to dump things for free there is still a cost involved for both the vehicle and your time carting it there and any unloading time and if you dont pay these its profit But it is a mistake not to include them then have to pay these when you get to the landfill only to discover you cant then go back to customer and ask them to pay them

I keep a list of the local landfill charges from within my region and when quoting add these in to my quotes This is because some charge /cu yd some /trailer load or weight

I prefer the method I use its more efficient to calculate your labor and dump fees separate
I use a calculation as follows
$s/Trailer Load =(Vehicle Running Costs/Mile X Estimated Distance in miles return Job to Landfill) + (Max price from landfill/trailer ) + Labor time unloading

Remember in your case sounds as though it was 2 trips
Regardless of size of the job I have a min charge / load/job equivalent to what it costs to empty the trailer at the landfill + 1 hrs labor

That way if you are doing 2 0r 3 jobs before the trailer is filled you are coving your costs

Sometimes if its a big job like removing concrete, or rubbish I do a rough calculation of the cubic yards then before quoting check what the price of an equivalent skip is from the local bin hire company and say to the customer at this point I maybe using a skip so it will either be the labor plus the skip price or labor plus X no's of trailer loads at $Xs

My reason for this is that these companies have the cost of removing rubbish down to a science
If the customer thinks your price is excessive give them the phone no for the bin company tell them to order a bin and you will supply the labor only

I use skips on numerous occasions and now get a good discount on them (this is not passed on to the customer If they want a receipt they order and pay for them) The reason is if you give them the receipt you cant claim it in your taxes as an expense

Its all a matter of negotiating the price with the customer
You are not in business to lose on any deal and if customers don't like your price suggest they get another quote or work out how long it would take them to do the job including any trailer skip hire and landfill fees (once they do that your price seems more realistic)

If they accept your price you then need to decide if you are going to use your trailer or a skip
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2009, 09:58 AM
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WOW! That's a lot to think about! It seems like you've got it all figured out! hehe One things for sure I won't be scared to give my price and stand firm...and to calculate things from all angles, to make sure I'm not short changed again!
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
WOW! That's a lot to think about! It seems like you've got it all figured out! hehe One things for sure I won't be scared to give my price and stand firm...and to calculate things from all angles, to make sure I'm not short changed again!
Great! Next time you do a clean up, let us know how the bidding process went compared with your first time. Also tell us how the customer reacted to the bid.
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2009, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by lawnsalonforyou View Post
WOW! That's a lot to think about! It seems like you've got it all figured out! hehe One things for sure I won't be scared to give my price and stand firm...and to calculate things from all angles, to make sure I'm not short changed again!
Whats important in these tough economic times is that you are not the person who is losing money on the job
I don't trust anyone
There are situations where if I have concerns about the clients intention or ability to pay once a quote / job is accepted I ask for a deposit which is normally equivalent to what any overheads ie petrol dump fees travel casual labor are going to cost before the job is started
You can normally tell this by how the negotiation is proceeding or just their attitude to it
If they cant pay the deposit then you may find difficulty later getting paid for the job in the end
If you do the job then and need to wait a day or so for your own labor rate then all you are losing is your time every thing else is covered
Finally I always make new customers pay cash Unless they are one of my Corporate Clients whom I have been dealing with for a long period I don't accept checks or credit cards
And if they agree make sure you see the money even if you don't get it till you have done the job
Also be careful if they agree I did one job where the client agreed to the deposit and while I was working went out and spent the deposit When they came back couldn't pay Im hard nosed and told them if job/deposit wasn't now paid in full I would dump the rubbish in the drive way suprise suprise they paid up

If they don't have it I tell them when they do get back to me as the quote is only valid for 7 days and may increase
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2009, 10:32 PM
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BAHAHAHA!!! Dump the trash in their drive way!!! Well they would deserve it! That sounds like something my husband would say! LMAO
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  #18  
Old 02-03-2009, 03:08 AM
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Exclamation my normal rate...

Average side yard in middle class subburb. Mow blow edge would be 27 to 32. but a fall clean up.. thats mow blow edge, all the leafs, shrubs. thats anywhere from $75 to $175. You gotta find the quickest ways to make steady money like clockwork. for easy basic lawn care. 40 yards a week is easy. bump it up. get in shape.

for got to say... this is North Texas.. DFW area.

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  #19  
Old 02-03-2009, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dank the 3rd View Post
Average side yard in middle class subburb. Mow blow edge would be 27 to 32. but a fall clean up.. thats mow blow edge, all the leafs, shrubs. thats anywhere from $75 to $175. You gotta find the quickest ways to make steady money like clockwork. for easy basic lawn care. 40 yards a week is easy. bump it up. get in shape.

for got to say... this is North Texas.. DFW area.

-dank the 3rd
Ill need to know the rough area of the side yard (or see some pics of the property) and know how long you took for both the Average and fall cleanups before I comment
Based on what some of you seem to charge when I convert $US to $NZ it seems surprising that you get any work
Attached are some photos of a job I just finished today I charged $NZ 50 which when converted to $US 25.41 I charge $NZ 50/Hr and job using my Toro took me round 45mins
Looking at the prices in US and doubling them over here no one pays those prices not even corporations
I tend to keep my costs down by working smarter ie planning or scheduling jobs into different areas on different days
Using Outlook Task Manager and Calender its simple to schedule jobs even if weather gets in the way I can reschedule (in those cases I'm into Texting and notify clients of the delay) I always find other things like maintainence or office work to do in those cases
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0156.jpg (65.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0156a.jpg (51.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0157.jpg (61.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0157a.jpg (51.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0160b.jpg (51.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0160.jpg (54.0 KB, 8 views)
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2009, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
You gotta find the quickest ways to make steady money like clockwork. for easy basic lawn care. 40 yards a week is easy. bump it up. get in shape.
What do you feel is a good amount of lawns to service a week?
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