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Quoting?

12415395292?profile=RESIZE_710xHi there chaps I'm a relatively new grass cutting business and I've always struggled with quoting. For example if you wouldn't mind saying how much you think this cut would cost. Here's a couple of pictures. Thinks I'm finding quoting quite hard to get to grips with.  Thank you really appreciate it. 

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  • Richard, yes quoting is difficult when you are new to the trade. I see an issue with the job as it's listed on mybuider , why would you do that? It might work in your favour as it"s not a buiding job, but suspect that the customer is looking for the cheapest price and it will attract the Ford Fiesta with  B&Q mower in the boot brigade who will do it for £15.

    Your quote should be based on - How long will it take me to get there, how long to do the job, is access ok, can I leave waste there ? Looking at photo it seems 30 minutes would be ample to mow it, so you should price it on a minimum charge of 1 hour to take into account travelling, loading, unloading etc. Not just the mowing time.The recognised charge on the forum for mowing is £1 per minute so we arrive at £30 if my estimate of how long it will take to mow is accurate, then add £5 for travelling etc. £35/hr should be your minimum charge. DO NOT tell the customer the hourly rate. Your work should be price work only ! You should not go anywhere for less than £35 even for a 5 minute job, any enquiries you get by phone etc tell them that £35 is your minimum charge and you will not waste your time on looking at jobs where they want to pay £10 to £15.

    Remember £35 is not what you earn, take 30% off for tax and NI, and less fuel, insurance, repairs etc. It's a business you are running not a charity, let the B&Q gardeners get on with it and be prepared to walk away if you can't make money.

    After 40 years in the trade, we still make mistakes pricing work, but as long as you are right most of the time thaf's all that matters.

    Hope that helps.

     

     

  • PRO

    Don't think anyone can add to what Peter has said, all spot on, everyone's overheads are different but if anyone is charging less than £35.00 for getting a mower out they are devaluing the trade

     

    • I must be devaluing the trade then lol!!  If there's other work you're doing nearby +  I'd reckon this would take 20 minutes maximum, I'd be quite happy with £20.... let's not kid ourselves... this really isn't a skilled job requiring expensive equiment.    Where I live, there's no way anyone would entertain £35 for a smal lawn like that.  As you're starting up, you really need to attract a decent number of customers and I'm pretty sure £35 would put them off.  Unfortunately, as Peter says, you will be competing against "B & Q gardeners"... can't be avoided.......... so if you want the work, you'll have to price competitively . 

      • At £20 less tax& NI that's £14 less fuel and other costs you'd be lucky to net £11 which is less than national minimum wage, why bother?

        • PRO

          Working for less than £35.00 you become a busy fool, at £20.00 what if the customer comes out and starts chewing your ear off, what if you hit something in the lawn that damages your blade or covers it in cat crap. What should have taken half an hour has now took an hour. If customers won't pay £35.00 you've got the wrong kind of customers if your service is good there will always be customers willing to pay £35.00 for a lawn cut. Maybe you should try just increasing your prices on a few quotes and see how it goes you may be surprised

        • PRO

          Nit picking here but £11 for 20 minutes work is more than £11 for 60 minutes work  

          If the job is part of your days total earnings nearby to where you are working and you are in your stride with adrenalin pumping it's more than £11 I think this is what Graham means .

          If it's your only job then £35 if it's negotiable and if you are established it gives you the confidence to turn work away but if starting out building your client base and the garden is in a prominent position very often other potential customers might enquire about your services .

          My view is if your not mowing and have no other work then what else are you doing which is adding value .

          Sometimes just turning up to a job creates lessons we can learn from but also unexpected opportunities  

           

          • With respect, you can"t price a job in the hope that either more work comes from the client or neighbours. As Jake says if they won't pay £35 they aren't the right customers, we only have a few at that price point but we are vat registered so they are paying £35 plus vat - £42 and are happy to pay for a reliable professional service. What would you rather have 3 customers paying £35 = £105 or 5 customers paying £20 = £100, a bank manager said to us a long time ago "if you're busy all the time you're too cheap " !  

            • PRO

              I agree Peter we need to charge what we need .

              My point is if when starting out you cannot command your asking price as I found out years ago I needed £20 per hour but my market place was somehow used to paying £12 per hour .

              Some jobs I accepted at £12 per hour in the right location because I discovered it was easier to negotiate £20 per hour when in motion and visible to interested onlookers rather than sitting in the van sulking .

              I decided to see the glass as half full rather than half empty and used the £12 per hour opportunity as leverage .

              I charge  day rate now as I rarely get involved with small jobs .

              The job in question I would be charging for an initial spring tidy before committing to a lawn cut quote .

               

      • If you work for peanuts it's not just yourself you're selling short, it's everyone else who's trying to make a living.

        • Well put, some responses seem to have no sense of their self worth or the true costs of running a business and as you say it devalues the trade generally giving customers low price expectations. Just come out of Aldi who are recruiting part time assistants at £12.40 hr when you add in pension contributions, holiday and sick pay and the only cost is getting to work that must be getting close to £20 hr.

          This fascination with well it's a low skill set and I'm happy with £20 only seems to exist at the domestic end of the market, the majority of our work is commercial where clients appreciate and value the services the trade offer and are happy to pay rates in excess of £100 plus per hour on price work.

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