Business question

PTmowerMech

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Not sure if I mentioned it before but the business name is " Bert's Mobile Mower Repairs" .
The MOBILE is the important bit.
The workshop is in an old farm house on a farm but because I am MOBILE I did not need to get a a license or approval which I would not get because it is a farm.
There is no signage on the workshop, just on the sides of the trailers parked behind the fence & visible from the street .
Thus the free pick up & delivery, the Penrith dealers charge between $ 90 & $ 120 each way.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
Increase your labour rate to at a minimum 1/2 what the shops charge.
You can adjust the hours so the actual price to the customer.
It makes you look like you are competiant .
I circumvent this by using set fees for various common jobs that are about 2/3 the shop price.
Thanks for that. I was thinking about putting a sign out front. BUT, also thought about the tax collector seeing it. LOL..

And the labor rate thing, that's pretty smart. If I noted it at $60hr, doesn't necessarily mean I'm gonna charge that much. Like right now, I'm running a winter special of $15 oil change and blade sharpening. That's labor only. Trying to coax some folks to get their mowers out a little early. The weeds are green & growing.
Oil changes aren't going to actually take more than about 10 to 15 minutes. That includes sharpening the (2) blades. Unless King Kong installed the blades.
Valve adjustments are usually about $35. Unless the valve covers come off clean.
I usually only get into the full labor rate when I'm having to chase wires, weld decks, valve jobs and things of that nature that takes an actual hour or more to do.
 

Hammermechanicman

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the local deere dealer has a box truck completely outfitted for mobile mower service. The owner almost begged me to be a mobile tech since i retired. Why should i work 40+ hours a week for a third of what i made before i retired. He hasn't has a mobile tech for years. PT don't undervalue yourself. At 35 an hour be sure to bill all the time and set a minimum of $20. I sharpen blades at $7/blade and $7/chain off the saw $10/chain on saw. Any work on equipment is $20 minimum. I also have a small standard markup on parts. It takes time to lookup parts and place orders. I also have a pickup and delivery charge.
 

PTmowerMech

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the local deere dealer has a box truck completely outfitted for mobile mower service. The owner almost begged me to be a mobile tech since i retired. Why should i work 40+ hours a week for a third of what i made before i retired. He hasn't has a mobile tech for years. PT don't undervalue yourself. At 35 an hour be sure to bill all the time and set a minimum of $20. I sharpen blades at $7/blade and $7/chain off the saw $10/chain on saw. Any work on equipment is $20 minimum. I also have a small standard markup on parts. It takes time to lookup parts and place orders. I also have a pickup and delivery charge.
I'm new to the area, so I gotta keep that in mind. Barely anyone knows me.
 

Hammermechanicman

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Advertise, warranty your work, be honest and treat people fairly. You will develop a reputation. People would rather pay more for honest quality service than a lower price for poor service. Word of mouth in a small community will make or break you. One of the things I do is pressure wash all the mowers i service and then spray them down with WD40 and wipe them down. Makes equipment look really good. I buy WD40 by the gallon. Customers love the way that old mower looks when i drop it off. Don't be afraid to invest in tools. I probably have $15K worth of tools in the shop and that is not a lot by some shop standards.
 

bertsmobile1

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Thanks for that. I was thinking about putting a sign out front. BUT, also thought about the tax collector seeing it. LOL..

And the labor rate thing, that's pretty smart. If I noted it at $60hr, doesn't necessarily mean I'm gonna charge that much. Like right now, I'm running a winter special of $15 oil change and blade sharpening. That's labor only. Trying to coax some folks to get their mowers out a little early. The weeds are green & growing.
Oil changes aren't going to actually take more than about 10 to 15 minutes. That includes sharpening the (2) blades. Unless King Kong installed the blades.
Valve adjustments are usually about $35. Unless the valve covers come off clean.
I usually only get into the full labor rate when I'm having to chase wires, weld decks, valve jobs and things of that nature that takes an actual hour or more to do.

It is a perception thing you right down $ 35 / hr and most are going to think you have no idea what you are doing.
I have a couple of old scheduled fee service books ( warranty work ) and regardless of how long a job takes, in most cases the customer gets the scheduled hours @ $ 60/ hr
I do not sharpen blades, except for the commercial customers who drop off a 1/2 dozen sets every week.
Min fee is $ 30
Fitting fee of parts supplied by customer is $ 20
Chain saw prices are about the same as Hammer adjusted for Aus $ / USA $.
Commercial customers get them done for $ 5,00 a hit if they drop them off on their peg.
I sharpen then then put them back on the peg & they toss the cash in the letterbox.

Same as Hammer, I hit the gear with cheap spray degreaser, followed by a pressure wash and a finish off with Innox or silicon spray.
Innox & WD 40 get bought in 5 gallon drums & i use a triger sprayer, pressure sprayer & oil can to apply it depending upon the job at hand.
The local cheap car parts retailers regularly sell degreaser for $ 1.00 / can so I buy a couple of cartons at that price.
For hand helds a spray with the degreaser followed by a rinse from a pump up sprayer works wonders & costs next to nothing .
If foam prefilters are not falling apart they get a run through the ultrasonic cleaner then returned to the customer with instruction to swap & wash them monthly.
 

Hammermechanicman

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Wow Bert, you don't sharpen blades except commercial customers. I sharpen lots of blades. I used to use a Bradley S20 grinder. Does a good job on flat blades but takes too long to sharpen a blade and won't do mulching blades. I switched to the All American Sharpener. It uses a 4.5" angle grinder. Now i can sharpen a blade in seconds not minutes. A little technique sensitive but once you figure it out it works great and fast. 36 And 60 grit flap discs are cheap.



One of the best things i bought for the shop. At 62 years old this thing is my friend. Between this and an impact gun and the All American Sharpener i can do blades quick.

 
Last edited:

PTmowerMech

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It is a perception thing you right down $ 35 / hr and most are going to think you have no idea what you are doing.
I have a couple of old scheduled fee service books ( warranty work ) and regardless of how long a job takes, in most cases the customer gets the scheduled hours @ $ 60/ hr
I do not sharpen blades, except for the commercial customers who drop off a 1/2 dozen sets every week.
Min fee is $ 30
Fitting fee of parts supplied by customer is $ 20
Chain saw prices are about the same as Hammer adjusted for Aus $ / USA $.
Commercial customers get them done for $ 5,00 a hit if they drop them off on their peg.
I sharpen then then put them back on the peg & they toss the cash in the letterbox.

Same as Hammer, I hit the gear with cheap spray degreaser, followed by a pressure wash and a finish off with Innox or silicon spray.
Innox & WD 40 get bought in 5 gallon drums & i use a triger sprayer, pressure sprayer & oil can to apply it depending upon the job at hand.
The local cheap car parts retailers regularly sell degreaser for $ 1.00 / can so I buy a couple of cartons at that price.
For hand helds a spray with the degreaser followed by a rinse from a pump up sprayer works wonders & costs next to nothing .
If foam prefilters are not falling apart they get a run through the ultrasonic cleaner then returned to the customer with instruction to swap & wash them monthly.
I was just trying to find labor rates on the shops around here, (online) and could only find 2 that was within an hours drive from here. And both were $35 to $45hr. I'm gonna stick with the $35hr.
The equipment washing, I used to do that at my old shop. But the few that I didn't get a chance to wash, the customers didn't even care. Everything I touched, got wiped down or blown off (the deck).
The used equipment I sell, is usually spotless. Top to bottom.

BTW, I didn't know you could put those pre filters in the ultrasonic. I'll have to give that a shot. I've got a couple I washed with dawn dish soap and water. But they don't look clean.
 

ILENGINE

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I don;t know where you are PTmowermech, but that sounds low for most areas. In my area the range is $68-125
 

Rivets

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In my area we are the same hourly rates as IL posted. Pick up and delivery ranges from free (new large units) to $150 (large units over 75 miles).
 
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