As with most trades, we calculate our billing based on something we call “man hours.” Yes, we also employee women haha, man hours is simply a more convenient and smoother sounding term then human hours. Anyways, we get asked ALOT about how our man hours work and there tends to be much confusion on this topic -so much so -I decided to write this. I hope it proves to be a helpful exercise.
For ease of explanation, I’m going to focus on our mowing service. We currently charge $45/hr for mowing in the Cowichan Valley. If a customer, lets call him Jerry, is being charged $45/visit, it is because that is how long it it takes for 1 human to mow, trim, and edge his property. We run a busy business and often mow dozens of lawns a day so we work in crews of 4. This means our friend Jerry’s lawn will be mowed by 4 humans, not 1.. This is where the man hour confusion often begins. If 4 paid-by-the-hr-humans mow Jerry’s lawn, how long would you expect it take them? If you said 1 hr, you are wrong haha. With 4 humans, it should take no more than 15 minutes a visit. 4 humans x 15 min= 1 hr. If it does take longer then 15 min, like 1 hr for instance, Jerry is not being charged near enough which means Lush isn’t able to pay its hard working employees and no one wants that! Lush pays its employees an average of $18/hr which means in this case, Lush, would be paying an average of $72/hr in employees salaries to mow Jerry’s $45 lawn not to mention other expenses like fuel, equipment, insurance, WCB etc. Although Jerry would be happy and we’d be happy that Jerry is happy, our accountants would be sad. We believe Jerry, our employees and Lush can all be happy. And that is why we charge based on the smart system of man hours.
Hope this helps! See you on the lawns 🙂