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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.

i just started trying to stir up 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.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:39 PM
sasquatchmonk
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Question i just started trying to stir up business

hey yall,
just a couple of questions for ya....as of right now, the only lawn equipment i do have is a push mower, so i just started advertising not to long ago for spring. so question 1 is, alot of people are charging by the hour, so you just estimate how long the yard will take you to complete the job? my dad says i should atleast be making 35 an hour. but like i said the only equipment i have is a push mower. i do plan on getting a blower and trimmer. question 2 is should i have every one of my customers sign a contract? i mean is that something you want to throw in somebodies face on your first official job? thanks for your time guys!
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
just a couple of questions for ya....as of right now, the only lawn equipment i do have is a push mower, so i just started advertising not to long ago for spring. so question 1 is, alot of people are charging by the hour, so you just estimate how long the yard will take you to complete the job? my dad says i should atleast be making 35 an hour. but like i said the only equipment i have is a push mower. i do plan on getting a blower and trimmer. question 2 is should i have every one of my customers sign a contract? i mean is that something you want to throw in somebodies face on your first official job? thanks for your time guys!
Great questions and here is my view on things.

If you check the average lawn care price page here you will find what others are charging per hour.

It doesn't matter what equipment you have as long as you can satisfy the customer and get paid. If you can do it with less equipment, good for you because you will make a greater profit.

And yes basically you should get a feel for how long it will take you to mower a certain size lawn and charge based on a price you want to hit per hour. You don't have to tell the customer the hourly price, just give them the price for the job.

Quote:
should i have every one of my customers sign a contract?
If you are just getting started, I wouldn't bother. Just experiment with your prices and then later you can use 'agreements' instead of 'contracts.' They are the same thing but it's easier to get it signed when you say ok here is my lawn care agreement to make sure I am providing you with all the services you need.

How is all that? What are you thinking about it?
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:57 PM
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All this is great information. thank you so much. But, I have another. Since I talked to you, I have invested in some equipment. Trimmer, edger, blower, and my wife got me a riding mower for my Birthday!! It was awesome. anyway, now that i have a riding mower, if i was charging someone say....$35 dollars for one hour that I mowed with the push mower. then i go mowing with the riding mower...that takes less time. charge the same right? should i just base my mowing on the push mower and charge that rate?
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:44 PM
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Well ultimately you want to base your price on your overhead while keeping it in check with the local competition.

You want to always try and charge the most you can. So I wouldnt charge any less now that you can mow faster.

Does this help?
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:24 PM
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Lightbulb Estimating.

Estimating is a balance between cost per minute and cost per square foot. Once you establish a base rate you should not fall below that rate irrespective of if you are charging per minute or per square foot.

Imagine you started cutting the grass with a pair of scissors. It would take you all day (or days), right? Yet, you would still only be able to charge your base rate of, let's say, $35 for the entire job. No customer is going to pay you $1000 to cut their yard simply because you are doing it with a pair of scissors.

Now that you have upgraded to better equipment, you should still charge congruently with your base rate. The only difference is you are now able to do much more work in the same amount of time. Therefore, you make more money per minute by doing a greater amount of sq. feet per minute.

This is the incentive for you to continue growing your business and buying better equipment.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by sasquatchmonk View Post
should i just base my mowing on the push mower and charge that rate?
In one word: "no". There was a previous discussion that went in great depth on how to determine the cost of operating your business so that you know if you are making or losing money. for example, if your equipment costs you an average of $2000 to own and maintain per year you need to make sire that this equipment brings in more than $2000.

So back to your question, the reason I say no, is because you now have a greater investment to look at.

If I find that thread I will link to it so you can read the content of that thread. It had lots of great info on how to determine your cost. When cst is a known factor you can determine your rate by deciding how much percentage of the cost needs to be added for your profit.

Here is one link that should help.
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