It's been over 30 yrs since I tilled gardens so as you say things have changed. And pricing can vary by region and competetion quite a bit
I would as others said start on an hourly rate. And you have to figure at least an hour on any job. Even working in town where your a few blocks from the next job you have to consider loading and unloading time plus driving between jobs so you will kill most of an hour even on a 10 minute job(set a minumum of 1 Hour). Yeah I know it is fun but you have to consider wear and repiar and or replacment of your equipment.
My lawn care business went broke when my equipment was used up and I had not banked enough for replacement by not charging enough. So don't work too cheap!
There is a thing in business I call Percieved Value. When one works too cheap the customer does not value your work. You may not even get the job if the customer thinks you doing sub-standard work based on your low price?
When you charge a fair and reasonable price(based on your market) and do good work the customer will feel like they have recieved a good deal for your work.
Back in the early 80's I did lawn care for a very wealthy woman who was very cheap. I had finished mowing her lawn and she came out and asked me to pull weeds from her flower garden. I told her I got $10 an hour to do that. She said she thought that was an awful high price. I told her if I was not worth $10 an hour I would rather go fishing. She said give me $5.00 worth of weed pulling?
Edited by JD DANNELS, April 03, 2014 - 10:42 AM.