Offering new services is a great idea to help your lawn care business grow but figuring out how to bid them can initially be tricky. Here is a hedge trimming job bid example that was discussed on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. I think seeing this example will help not only with how to estimate the amount of time the job will take to perform but also how to actually perform the job.
A lawn care business owner wrote “this is going to be my first real bid on just a hedge trimming job. A customer just called and requested a price to cut his hedges. He said they are 4-5 feet high, and about 30-45 feet long. Then he said he thought it should only take me about 15-20 minuntes. I’m not really sure why he thought it would only take 20 minutes to trim them. But he is probably like all my typical lawn care customers and doesn’t expect me to make money doing what I do.
I have yet to go out there and bid, but I don’t really know what I’m going to see when I get there. I might just have to cross my fingers and bid as I think he will want me to cut them at the same time. Should I just bid it like a lawn? Guestimate the job will take 60 minutes to trim the hedges, clean it up, and bid it for $60?
Is there a rule of thumb on how to price trimming per foot on typical hedges, especially those that can be trimmed while standing, and not needing a ladder? I have hand trimmers and a simple electric hedge trimmer to do the job with.
I didn’t discuse with him if he wants me to take the clippings, but I’m sure he will want me to handle it. I can’t just leave them on the ground. I mostly only mow lawns so offering this service is very new to me. I know how to trim, I just don’t really know how to bid it.
After some thought, instead of trying to bid and do the job all at the same time, I decided to stop over there first to get a better idea what I am bidding on. When I got there I took a few pictures and measured the total hedge length at only 30 feet.
A second lawn care business owner said “I can assure you that it will a lot longer than 15-20 minutes to complete, unless this person just wants the hedges rough cut and the clippings left on the ground. Cleanup alone for hedge trimming jobs usually takes longer than the trimming itself, so don’t forget to estimate that time in too. You can minimize your cleanup time if you lay a tarp along the bottom area of the hedges you are cutting to collect the trimmings. The tarp can then be dragged out to your trailer for disposal.
On larger jobs, I typically estimate how long everything will take, add an hour or two just for safety purposes, and multiply that by my hourly rate. After reviewing your pictures I figure it should take about an hour to do those hedges. If your trimmer cuts well, you should be able to cut it in 30 minutes and then at least another 30 minutes to clean everything up. One last thing you need to keep in mind is your drive time to and from the job. That time needs to be factored into your bid also.”