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How Much to Charge

with Keith Kalfas
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How much to charge your landscape customers? Here are some tips if you are new. Here are tips from Keith Kalfas of Landscaping Employee Employee Trap and Window Cleaning

Hey guys what's going on? It's Keith Kalfas again and today I want to talk a little bit about pricing and what to charge when getting your own landscaping business off the ground. The reason I'm making these videos is because these are a lot of the same questions I had - a lot of the same frustrations that I had in the beginning. So I'm basically going to tell you, when I had a job I made like $15 an hour. So I thought that when I started my business as long as I can charge a customer enough to make $15 an hour then I'd be okay. Well I was absolutely wrong and I learned a painful lesson. When after the cost of just say gas, travel time, my own labor, I realized I was making a lot less than that. So I said, you know what $25 an hour no $35 an hour. I said $35 an hour. That's a lot and I felt unworthy of making $35 an hour because I had never made that in my life. Then I realized that's how much my business is charging-is $35 an hour. 

So yeah, I take it you've done landscaping before. You have trimmed shrubs, you've pulled the weeds or whatever you do in the landscape field so you know how long it takes to do something. From your experience, when you're walking the property with the customer, this is what I would do. Now I'm so good that I can add it up in my head as we're walking the property. [When] I'm giving the customer a quote I can give them a price like that. But what I would do, I would say give me a couple minutes. [They] let me walk the property again with my notepad and I would add it up. This is going to take me this long, this is going to take me an hour and I would go 0.5 hour, 1 hour, 1.5. I say this would take me 3.5 hours. I'd pull out my phone real quick pull out the calculator app and I say okay 3.5 hours times $35 an hour and then I would give them the price. Now, when you have an employee working - my guys got paid 10 bucks an hour. Catcher is $20 an hour for them each because for drive time against like things like that. I'm going to be making money off that so sometimes on bigger jobs on charging $25 an hour each for them. So if I've got two guys working with me I'm charging $85 an hour. Now I thought, I can't tell my customer… you don't ever tell a customer how much it is per hour. You add it up and you tell them how much for the job because you never let your customer know what you charge per hour they're gonna freak out. You know some might not but the average customer will, so I say $85 an hour and then I'd come up with a price. Then I would just bite my nails I'm like, “I can't tell the customers 450 dollars to trim the shrubs and do this and this and this and take the debris away.” 

It's funny thing-if you do it with confidence-when you tell them the price… “Yes your total price today is $450,” whether you have it in a contract or you know in an estimate or it whatever you do is you got to do with confidence. Same to do it with confidence versus feeling confidence is a whole different story because I had no confidence in the beginning. I was scared shitless because I had never hired anybody to do my landscaping. So when people hired me to do their landscaping I just couldn't see how somebody could fork over that much money. Today we do jobs in the several thousand dollar range and it's nothing you just calibrate to that customer. When you're starting out and you tell the customer the price, if you really believe in your heart and in your confidence that you're worth it and you deserve it and your quality of work is there and you stand behind your work you're going to get every single time. 

So I hope that the video made sense and I'll be posting more videos on what to charge and how to charge for instance when I went up counting shrubs by the size of shrub, a small shrub four dollars larger six dollars 8, 12, 16, 20 up to $200 for a long straw hedge. Then when you get into trees you're looking at you know that's a whole different story. I'm going to give as much information as I can. I've actually got to the point now where I can just look at something and know how much it cost but you got to get going don't wait till you're good to get going just get going and then you'll get good. It's gonna be painful, you're gonna fall, you're gonna trip, you're going to come home miserable, but you got to keep pushing through and build that confidence It'll get to a point where it's just unconscious competence you do it automatically and you build from there you keep expanding you keep pushing your comfort zone and that's it. So I'm keep Kalfas and thank you.