I agree, that sounds way low. Something to think about is that if you quote a low, low price people will think that the quality is going to be the same way.
You need to figure out how much it costs you to operate per hour. Here are somethings to figure in:
-cost of equipment (Mower, blower, trimmer, truck/trailer, edgers, etc)
-fuel to travel from job to job,
-pay your self wages doing so,
When considering cost of equipment, I know you probably already own most of this equipment but just remember you will have to replace it eventually. Figure it as if you just bought the equipment solely for the purpose of the business. Then find out how much it will cost you to service it at least once or twice per year (based on the hours it will run). Don't forget buying gas for the mower, trimmer, etc.
lets say that hypothetically you are using a $1500 mower that you already own and use for your own yard. I would suggest that this this mower cost can be split up into 2 years. That brings you to $1000 yearly mower costs.
Lets say the maintenance costs are going to be $350 per year, hypothetically. If you figure that you are going to be running your mower 400 hours this season, lets estimate the gas at, say $350. Now you have $700 per year in floating costs for the mower. your total per year costs are now $1700.
$1700/400 hours=$4.25 per hour of machine operation. This is figuring only while the machine is operating.
Now do that with all your equipment. If the trimmer costs $250 (divided by 2 years), maintenance costs, fuel, trimmer line, etc. costs you $125 per year =$250 in yearly costs. Let's figure that your trimmer will run 50 hours per year. $250/50 hours= $5 per hour of operation.
other equipment total costs $250 (divided by 2 years), maintenance costs, fuel, trimmer line, etc. costs you $125 per year =$250 in yearly costs. Let's figure that this equipment will run 20 hours per year. $250/30 hours= $$8.34 per hour of operation.
If a 1/2 yard takes you 45 minutes to mow, and another 15 minutes to trim, and 10 minutes with the other equipment, your out of pocket costs are:
mower $3.75 + Trimmer $1.25 + other equipment $1.40 = $6.40 in out of pocket costs to mow that yard. This leaves $3.60 for your vehicle insurance, wear and tear, and gasoline. And you have not done more than cover your expenses, much less made any money for yourselves. Pay yourselves at least $10+ per hour......
is another thread that talks about the cost of doing business per hour. I think it is much better explained there.