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Hello all! I am new to this site, but have dove in head first. I am using one of Dan Miller's business ideas (well I will use some of the other ideas but will start with this one). I am going to install tractor tires as playground equipment for personal use. My quandary is what to charge. Dan suggested $500 and up as a package deal. That seems a bit expensive to me, but I have no frame of reference upon which draw. I will have help occasionally from an uncle and will see about hiring a helper so I will have expenses. I have a potential customer already. Any ideas on prices to charge as well as what do I pay a helper? Do I pay hourly or by the job. 

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It's really hard to answer that question, I checked around for prices in my area and there aren't a lot of people that do the tire playground idea.  So, you are in an interesting predicament.

My advice when it comes to situations like this is to simply charge three times your cost of the project.  So, if it costs your 300 dollars to make the playground, then you should charge 900 to the customer.  You may need to play around with the numbers during the initial phase of the business, but I know it's much easier to come down on price rather than go up in price.

In the initial start up phase of the business, it may be much easier to outsource work.  Depending on the helper's job, you can go either hourly or by the job.  A laborer is much cheaper to get, but it will take time to train them so hourly is best.  Someone who has some experience in getting the job done maybe more interested in paying for by the job, because they know they make more money getting quality projects done in a short amount of time.

So, the job cost is 1/3, pay yourself and your helper 1/3, and 1/3 goes to profit and expanding the business and building retained earnings.  This is probably why Dan suggests a $500 and up package deal.

Regardless of how much you charge your customer remember this: "Be undeniably good!" (quote by Steve Martin).  Your craft, style, and creativity should be poured out into this project.  Clients thank you in dollars and referrals.  So, make sure that no matter what, do your best work every time.

Is there any businesses you could contact that are not in your potential business area?  If you were to contact a business that does this in a non-competing area (say 100 miles away or in another state), you may be able to ascertain a baseline price.  Of course you would have to take into account specific economic realities in your area as opposed to theirs, but that would give you at least a place to start from.

The good thing is that you would be dealing product that would cost roughly the same for them as it does for you, so you would be able to figure out specific profit margins.

As to paying a helper, there are drawbacks to each.  I would pay by the job at first until you get some knowledge of how long the install will take, then you can best predict how much it will cost to pay people.  Also, just a suggestion but check at a local college or community college for some help, these students may be a little cheaper to hire and will be more flexible in schedule.

I am not well versed in this business, but it sounds like you already have a few people who are interested in taking advantage of your services.  Have you quoted them a price?  I would start with the $500 cost and if you are getting flooded w/ customers, you may want to raise that price quickly.  In business it is all trial and error....the most important thing is that you got started!  Great Job!


Also, pay your helper per job.  If you pay him by the hour he/she is not going to be motivated to get in and get out.



Thank you all for responding. Much to process and decide on! Very excited for the future!

How much to install a swing or set up a swing set? I'd compare this to that. If you can't find that out, I'd say go with a flat rate per hour. I'd guess somewhere between $50-75 (the going average handyman rate in my area..check yours to see). Hope this helps! 

Thank you Jim, good idea.

I would suggest not getting sucked into the $/hour mentality. You have something people want and is not readily available. I would have no idea where to get a tractor tire or how much it is worth. Therefore, I wouldn't give people any indication of how the price is broken down. I would stick with package pricing like Dan suggested.

I can tell you from experience, once people have any sort of breakdown of your pricing they will use it against you. You will get sucked into competing with yourself. Not a pleasant place to be. 

Having multiple packages is also a good idea. People like choices. When faced with yes or no there first instinct is to say no. When faced with 3 options and no they are more comfortable saying yes to one of the three. Sounds weird, but I have found it to be true in my own business.

If you were to have an option for a tire only, price the tire to be only slightly less than the installed price even though it will be a much higher margin (profit for you). This will give you two things 1)people will have the perception that the tire is of a high value and 2) it will steer people toward the installed option (if it's only $XX to install I might as well do that) which will allow you to provide your entire service for people and make you look like a hero and earn you more referrals. And hey, if they don't want it installed you will still make a nice profit.

Good luck with your new business!

Neil, very good advice. Thank you.

I like what Neil is getting at as well. I'd say use the 50-75 per hour as a starting point for your calculation as to what you would get as a minimum. Gotta have a baseline to gauge from IMO. Best of luck and I think this is a great idea. 


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