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Tips On Better Quoting

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Dan Clynk
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Tips On Better Quoting
#1

I have had my own business now since March 2015 and I am still getting stuck getting my quotes right at times. The tricky ones are the over grown lawns and knowing a fair way to price it. 

 

I seem to not get the price right, I usually look at the sized of the area, thickness of the growth and double what I would normally charge. Then when I come to doing the job, im slogging my guts out and carting the clippings away shaking my head. 

 

I am thinking of making a check list for quotes with reminders what to look for, so I can get a fairer quote for me. Anyone else do the same ? Anyone have a Clippings minimum removal charge, if so, do you base it on your min hourly rate ?

 

I guess we all can't get every job, and some people just want it done for nothing.

 

Dan  


Posted 07 August 2016 - 10:47 AM

martin89
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Tips On Better Quoting
#2

Take a good look around, take a note of type of grass etc & take pictures of the job, don't quote on the spot if you can, grab there email & say you will email a quote later that evening. Have another look at the pictures that evening then decide on a quote. when you do the job time yourself. do this with different size/type lawns then you can look back to as a reference. over time youll soon get better & will be able to easily quote on the spot


Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:32 AM

Lucky
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Tips On Better Quoting
#3

You will get better at it. I normally quote over grown stuff high.

 

If it looks like it will take 2 hrs i call it 1/2 a day for eg.

 

I try not to remove or catch any clippings.


Posted 07 August 2016 - 12:50 PM

drewebb
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Tips On Better Quoting
#4

I like the high stuff ( everyone has versions of high) because there isnt really a ''set'' fee ( unlike the week/fortnight mow). Often they only want it down and like Lucky i very very rarely take away clippings.

 

So pretend it,s a normal mow and then double/triple it.

 

Slogging your guts out is not on  :)  nothing wrong with a bit/lot of sweat though.Work smarter not harder.

 

Remember you cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear. If it,s bad whatever you do will improve it and may be a good repeat job.

And as Martin89 said take photo,s.

 

Personally i like to know i,ve got the job before i leave, once you leave maybe the other bloke will turn up.
 


Posted 07 August 2016 - 02:23 PM

Steve1962
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Tips On Better Quoting
#5

Nice website Colonel would you mind telling how much it cost?
Posted 07 August 2016 - 02:52 PM

crocster
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Tips On Better Quoting
#6

I have had my own business now since March 2015 and I am still getting stuck getting my quotes right at times. The tricky ones are the over grown lawns and knowing a fair way to price it. 

 

I seem to not get the price right, I usually look at the sized of the area, thickness of the growth and double what I would normally charge. Then when I come to doing the job, im slogging my guts out and carting the clippings away shaking my head. 

 

I am thinking of making a check list for quotes with reminders what to look for, so I can get a fairer quote for me. Anyone else do the same ? Anyone have a Clippings minimum removal charge, if so, do you base it on your min hourly rate ?

 

I guess we all can't get every job, and some people just want it done for nothing.

 

Dan  

Same here with the cleanups Dan, although I am getting better at it. And it really is the most important part of the job - a good quote and you're relaxed and able to do a top quality job - get it wrong and you're stressed and looking for ways to minimise your loss.

 

My best quotes happen when I really take the time to thoroughly walk the site - leave the owner behind and have a good look around - hidden surprises like waterlogged patches, BBQ tools, kids toys, car parts etc will usually be spotted and you can see whether it's just long and wispy or long and thick - whether you can cut and catch or whether you'll have to slash it first and then mow over.

 

Clippings are a pain - most overgrown jobs I take them but I allow for an extra hour plus tips fees in the quote if they want them removed. I put an ad on Gumtree to give clippings away to gardeners close by and I've got 3 places I can drop now which has made a huge difference but they're still a pain - I'm buying an HRX217 in spring based on reports here of it's mulching ability and the versamow system.

 

Worst case is I tell them an hourly rate and give an estimate of the time - but I'm doing that much less now.

Cheers

Croc


Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:31 PM

Dan Clynk
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Tips On Better Quoting
#7

Nice website Colonel would you mind telling how much it cost?

Nothing mate, bloke won't take any money for it. It is something he likes to tinker with. 


Posted 08 August 2016 - 08:47 AM

Dan Clynk
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Tips On Better Quoting
#8

Same here with the cleanups Dan, although I am getting better at it. And it really is the most important part of the job - a good quote and you're relaxed and able to do a top quality job - get it wrong and you're stressed and looking for ways to minimise your loss.

 

My best quotes happen when I really take the time to thoroughly walk the site - leave the owner behind and have a good look around - hidden surprises like waterlogged patches, BBQ tools, kids toys, car parts etc will usually be spotted and you can see whether it's just long and wispy or long and thick - whether you can cut and catch or whether you'll have to slash it first and then mow over.

 

Clippings are a pain - most overgrown jobs I take them but I allow for an extra hour plus tips fees in the quote if they want them removed. I put an ad on Gumtree to give clippings away to gardeners close by and I've got 3 places I can drop now which has made a huge difference but they're still a pain - I'm buying an HRX217 in spring based on reports here of it's mulching ability and the versamow system.

 

Worst case is I tell them an hourly rate and give an estimate of the time - but I'm doing that much less now.

Cheers

Croc

That one line Croc - "your stressed and trying to minimize your loss" Very true mate.  


Posted 08 August 2016 - 09:44 AM

zippy one
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Tips On Better Quoting
#9

Some good reading-yes-if you can walk around and take your time without owner with you-make your mind up in peace-like has been mentioned- kids toys BBQ tools etc and worst of all DOG BONES! quote more for all these-time to pick up,and there's always one dog bone you miss seeing-not good for your mower or shins. I try to aim for 'Hyacinth Bouquet' range customers these days. Be sure of yourself- and 'if in doubt-leave it out' sometimes its best to let some jobs go by.But if pressed put high quote in.  The above post and quote from 'Croc' is very spot on.


Posted 03 September 2016 - 11:16 AM

drewebb
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Tips On Better Quoting
#10

sometimes its best to let some jobs go by.But if pressed put high quote in.  .

 

 

Done that more than once when i didnt want the job. Ring ring, ring ring.... can you come and do it now please :wacko:


Posted 03 September 2016 - 12:16 PM

john22
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Tips On Better Quoting
#11

Another one to take care with is the quote you did 2 months ago and heard nothing then you get the call to do it and nothing has been done since and they expect you to honour your quote for the now 6ft high grass. :angry:


Posted 03 September 2016 - 02:08 PM

harry
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Tips On Better Quoting
#12

Quoting on a fixed price is something that comes with experience ..careful time spent on evaluating the job is very important and for major clean ups like garden rejuvenation i always say i will email my quote.this allows me to take pics and sit home with a cold beer and think about the process and how long and what costs are involved. obviously with lawn mowing you have to do the quote there and then .. one off jobs demand at least 3 times the normal cut plus tip fees and time taken to get rid of it..

Remember if you do under quote its only your time (assuming itd a lawn mow ) so you are not losing any money ..what comes around goes around as how many of you over quote and get the job , so many times i allowed 3 hours and its taken only 1.5 hrs ..it balances out at the end but its nice to get it right most of the time ...Experience 


Posted 03 September 2016 - 05:00 PM

GreenT
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Tips On Better Quoting
#13

Quoting right takes time. I just make sure I give them a quote in writing with an expiration date. So many times they call in summer 2 weeks later saying go ahead.
Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:27 AM

Shooter
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Tips On Better Quoting
#14

For what it's worth fella's I time all my jobs at least 3 times ( that way you get an average mow time of all your jobs, Funny how a few extra beverages the night before slows down the mow times ;-) ) any how once I have this info I can look at a job and compare it with one or two I already have that are similar.

I add time for D.O.D. (degrees of difficulty) such as trees to trim around, inset pavers or paths, steps, inclines etc and then I add a 5% contingency.

I always quote Face to face, never over the phone so I can see if my price gives them a jolt or not, if they say "yes" without too much of a hesitation that's when I start to worry :-), If  they say something like "That's more than I thought it would be, I ask how much they expected and take it from there, If they are in the ball park I assess how much I want the job or not.

Every six months I do a re time just to see if "I've still got the pace" and remember if you don't miss out on a few jobs your probably too cheap.

As a friend once said, "I rather go broke sitting on my #### drinking beer than go broke flogging myself to death"

Cheers

Shooter


Posted 29 September 2016 - 05:49 PM

Lucky
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Tips On Better Quoting
#15

"I rather go broke sitting on my #### drinking beer than go broke flogging myself to death" -

 

I like that quote!


Posted 30 September 2016 - 01:11 PM

Arfa Brayne
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Tips On Better Quoting
#16

Remember to include on the quote, the amount of growth quoted, whether or not you're moving around clutter (yard furniture) and whether your removing cuttings or not.

A quote is there also to protect you from "assumed extras" like having to shift box trailers or piles of renovation materials etc.

If it's a detailed quote, both parties know what they have agreed on.


Posted 02 October 2016 - 04:40 PM

"Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew in boiling water.
Sip on your 'T, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.


greenfingers2017
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Tips On Better Quoting
#17

With overgrown lawns you might also want to factor in the potential for repeat business. Well at least you need to weigh this up and if there is potential for it then you might want to price it more keenly with a discount than if there is no opportunity for repeat work. If you put in a good shift at a good price they are more likely to want to come back to you to keep the Lawn in the good condition that you have restored it to.
Posted 24 January 2017 - 05:23 PM

Dan Clynk
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Tips On Better Quoting
#18

With overgrown lawns you might also want to factor in the potential for repeat business. Well at least you need to weigh this up and if there is potential for it then you might want to price it more keenly with a discount than if there is no opportunity for repeat work. If you put in a good shift at a good price they are more likely to want to come back to you to keep the Lawn in the good condition that you have restored it to.

I have had this hope in the 2 years I have been mowing. Rarely have I found do they become a scheduled customer. They seem to fall back to there old ways. 

 

Dan


Posted 24 January 2017 - 11:25 PM

formally just lawns
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Tips On Better Quoting
#19

Take a good look around, take a note of type of grass etc & take pictures of the job, don't quote on the spot if you can, grab there email & say you will email a quote later that evening. Have another look at the pictures that evening then decide on a quote. when you do the job time yourself. do this with different size/type lawns then you can look back to as a reference. over time youll soon get better & will be able to easily quote on the spot

this.

 

i found myself always underqouting annd being pissed at myself  untill i stopped doing on the spot qoutes.

 

another thing to avoid if you get business of facebook is qouting based on pics they send you,  i did that ONCE and arrived the day after they sent the pics to find they had send some old pics and expected me to honor the qoute 

 

as for the clippings  i used to take them away,  now i take away about 10% if that,  rest is either setting the hrr to multch or catching and using their green bin,   1 customer has me dump the grass behind his shed he has in the back corner of the yard


Posted 25 January 2017 - 12:46 PM

formally just lawns
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Tips On Better Quoting
#20

Funny how a few extra beverages the night before slows down the mow times ;-) ) 

haha  your not wrong


Posted 25 January 2017 - 12:49 PM




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