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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.

Spring Cleanup


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 03-06-2009, 07:56 AM
lakeeffect lakeeffect is offline
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Default Spring Cleanup

I am just getting my feet wet with the Lawn Care part of the business, mainly a big plowing contractor. I have been asked by a few of the Commercial accounts I have bid to include a spring cleanup. Is there a general rule of thumb as to what would be included in this? I also don't have a clue as to what to charge for something like this? I am in Central New York area (Syracuse) if that helps. I thought bidding commercial plowing accounts was a pain. By the way the calculators on here are GREAT!
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:44 AM
McBride Services McBride Services is offline
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I Put out flyers that said we did flower bed cleanups for spring.

We had no clue what to bid on these jobs, but one particular neighborhood we received about 10 calls. I went to the first house and she had a tremendous amount of weeds. So I told her $1500 to clean out the beds and put down fresh mulch (25 bags at $4 per). She talked me down to $1200 for the front and back yards. We did em, she paid, now we got 3 others right around her at the same price.

This has been very good for us. I wish we had more. We did end up having to use 45 bags of mulch, but It only takes a two man crew about 9 or 10 hours.

Last edited by McBride Services; 03-06-2009 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:02 AM
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WOW! 1,200 dollars for flower bed clean up?!? That's amazing that you would be able to charge that price!

Where are you located?? How large are the beds that you doing? What does the clean up include?? Just weed pulling or tilling...do you add more flowers or shrubs??

I'm very interested in this...its seems like 1,200 dollars is A LOT to pay for a flower bed to be cleaned...but Kudos to you for getting these clients!!!
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:43 AM
McBride Services McBride Services is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnsalonforyou View Post
WOW! 1,200 dollars for flower bed clean up?!? That's amazing that you would be able to charge that price!

Where are you located?? How large are the beds that you doing? What does the clean up include?? Just weed pulling or tilling...do you add more flowers or shrubs??

I'm very interested in this...its seems like 1,200 dollars is A LOT to pay for a flower bed to be cleaned...but Kudos to you for getting these clients!!!
Located in Lousiana, just outside Baton Rouge.

We just pulled weeds, cut new edges, and remulched the beds. There is a lot of bed area though. It took 2250 lbs of mulch to make a new top layer, there was already a decent base. My net profit after everything was only about $400 bucks charging the $1200. but that is for one day, so it's pretty good.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:47 PM
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McBride,

Now that you are doing a couple of these, do you feel you have come up with a way to bid them that you and your customer are comfortable with? Do you have any pics of before and after of any of these jobs?

How do you suggest sizing up these jobs now?


Quote:
WOW! 1,200 dollars for flower bed clean up?!? That's amazing that you would be able to charge that price!
Tianna, before reading this, how much would you have bid on the same project? I think this will help others see the price differences that exist.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:47 PM
McBride Services McBride Services is offline
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McBride,

Now that you are doing a couple of these, do you feel you have come up with a way to bid them that you and your customer are comfortable with? Do you have any pics of before and after of any of these jobs?

How do you suggest sizing up these jobs now?



I was a sales manager before this economy cost me my job. I use the same bidding style now that I used then. Read and react.

First, I know what a days labor cost me per man, then I figure out what the materials are gonna cost, then take into account that I, personally, have to net a minimum of $300 per day to break even.

Now knowing all of this, I read my customer to see which ones I can charge a little more than others. I never get greedy, but never short myself either.

I have been telling my clients up front that I guarantee I will not be the cheapest, and that I am going to be closer to the high side, but not the highest either.

Then I watch my guys like a hawk to make sure that the customer has absolutely nothing but good things to say about my work.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:50 PM
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That is fascinating! When you present your cost initially, have you figured out what % of the customers sign up right away and what % need a little more price adjusting before they sign up?
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:20 PM
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That is fascinating! When you present your cost initially, have you figured out what % of the customers sign up right away and what % need a little more price adjusting before they sign up?
Well, I have been building fences for almost a year full time. I have no clue what that percentage is, but I'd say of the ones I actually get to stand in front on and look in the eye, about 45%.

So far with the lawn stuff, I have bid about 35 jobs or so, and we have gotten 11 cleanups or flower bed jobs.

I am not doing so great at getting long term contracts. I only have 4 so far. One is a friend of my wife, and the others are commercial accounts from a guy I've known for 15 years. I am still trying to figure this one out. I am hoping it is more timing than anything else.

We shall see.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:10 PM
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Oh! interesting!

Quote:
I was a sales manager before this economy cost me my job. I use the same bidding style now that I used then. Read and react.
What types of sales lessons do you feel you learned from being a sales manager that you have been able to utilize with the lawn care business? Where do you think most new lawn care business owners fail when it comes to sales?
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:06 AM
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I just recently did a job similar to this...on Wed. We re-mulched...added a plastic edging to the mulch beds...there were no weeds to be pulled. Mowed..weed eated...edged..fertilized and blew off the hard surfaces when we were done. It took us an hour and 1/2 to do all this. There are only the two of us. We charged 189.50. We made $80. The rest went to supplies. Do you think I under bid this job? The yard was extremely small...so were the beds we only needed 18 bags of mulch. The plastic edging was a breeze we used our edger to till a trench and just popped it in. I felt good when I left, but now I'm thinking maybe we aren't charging enough?

When ever we do a job that involves a lot of physical labor ie hauling bags of mulch... we charge 20 an hour vs the 15 for mowing jobs.
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