Determine Your Hourly Rate
One of the most important factors in pricing a yard correctly is your target hourly rate. This is the first number you need to decide on before you start throwing out prices. Many operators use the âdollar per minuteâ approach or $60/hour, but I encourage you to put a bit more thought into that number. Letâs break down what can make this go up or down.
Operators with a higher experience level can command a higher hourly rate than a new operator. We all make mistakes, but itâs a pretty safe assumption that more experienced operators will make fewer mistakes like scalping the turf, messing up the edge, missing a spot, breaking windows, not blowing off everything .
I am not a fan of undercutting other operators just to pick up a new account, but I also want to say that it is totally okay to start with a lower hourly rate if you are new to the business. I believe it shows self awareness and helps set expectations for your clients. Think about itâ¦ if you came in with premium prices and offered rookie-level quality, thatâs a quick way to lose clients.
With that said, if you know you lay the straightest stripes and craft the sharpest edges, then donât undersell yourself! It doesnât matter how many years youâve been in business, quality is quality.
The point here is that your prices should reflect the quality of your work and the quality of your work should reflect your prices.
Get Experience And Have Fun
Just a fair warning: youâre going to make mistakes and thatâs okay. Remember to cut yourself some slack . Youâre the one out there grinding and working hard. Youâre the entrepreneur that is showing ambition and building something for yourself. Even though it can be stressful at times, it can also be extremely fun if you let it be. Way to go. Seriously, way to go.
If youâre looking for a way to alleviate some of the pressure of running this wildly successful business youâre building, take a look at our app that helps you get organized, increase efficiency, and get paid faster. It also does some of those fancy things I mentioned above like tracking time and generating a daily route. You can sign up in less than a minute and use the free version forever if you want. Iâll leave that up to you 🙂
How Professionals A Win Commercial Lawn Care Contract
In the corporate world, looks matter.
To win the big accounts, you must look like someone who can handle the big accounts:
- Do you have a professional website?
- Can your equipment do the job in time to make you money?
At Service Autopilot, we call that last one Job Costing.
Job Costing tells you how many labor hours it takes to do a job and how much you should charge to make a profit. Its key to making money in this industry.
If you dont know exactly how much it time it takes to maintain a property, you will lose money on your services.
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How To Bid On A Sod Installation Job Lawn Care Business
Posted: You need to see the lawn and measure it yourself, allowing for a bit of wastage here and there. If you take their word for it, price the job, pick up the sod and then turn up at the property, you will be extremely lucky if it all goes according to plan. Always price it yourself. You also need to find out whether the sod will be delivered to the …
How To Setup Recurring/vacation Lawn Mowing
Setup recurring lawn mowing and well automatically dispatch service for a set duration, at the frequency specified by you. No contract and can be cancelled at any time. This is great for vacations, or can also be setup for the entire summer season.
Important Note: The taller your grass, the more time and effort it will take to cut. If you select an infrequent service frequency , please ensure you set Current Grass Length to Long or Overgrown for accurate pricing.
- Open the MowSnowPros app and tap Create Job at the bottom of the screen
- Tap the property you want serviced
- Tap Select under Job Name and select Lawn Mowing
- Tap Next to proceed to step 2.
- Tap Select under Service Delivery and select Recurring.
- Tap Select under Start Date and End Date to tell us when you want service dispatched, if required.
- Tap Select under Cadence and select a value between 4-21 days. This is how often well send someone to perform the service.
- Tap Select under Job Attributes and check off the attributes which apply to your job.
- Tap the checkmark in the top right when you have completed your selections.
- Tap +Add Service under Add On Service to review the optional add-on services. These are available at the prices indicated.
- Add-on prices are standardized, and apply in addition to the bid price for the base job.
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Your 1st Goal: Meet With The Decision Maker
Right now, your 1st goal is to simply get your foot in the door.
For small and medium lawn or landscaping companies, networking is the only reliable way to get a commercial lawn care contract.
In other words, you have to approach them.
One solid strategy is to craft an email or a letter for each business you want to bid.
When you start sending these emails, try hanging them up in HOAs to get your name into the right hands and get them to respond to you.
Another option is to head over to the right local networking events:
- Local businesses: You’ll get to talk directly to the owner , which makes sales and upsells easier.
- HOAs: Talk to HOAs and other Real Estate groups. You can find these by searching HOA or Real Estate Groups in .
- BOMA: Set up a meeting with your citys Building Owners and Managers Association.
- Chamber of Commerce Meetings, CEO Forums, and other networking events will help you meet potential clients, especially if your town has a commercial district or sector with above average commercial density.
When all else fails
it’s time for some cold, hard knocks.
Drive around and look for properties that need fixing. When you see a business that could use your services, go knock on their door and introduce yourself. This one works very well if you are good at in-person sales.
Estimating The Time To Complete A Yard
No two lots are the same, even if they have the same square footage. You have to take into account a number of factors that can make a significant difference in the time it takes you to complete .
Use a âBenchmark Yardâ
A benchmark is simply something that you use as a point of reference for other items of a similar nature. I like to apply that strategy to bidding by visualizing one of my clientâs yards thatâs fairly average difficulty, meaning there arenât many obstacles and itâs pretty easy to complete. This is my benchmark yard.
The key to having an accurate benchmark is that you have to track your time for that yard. You can literally start a stopwatch on your phone or in the Check app to do this.
As Iâm walking around other properties and estimating how long it will take me to complete, I can envision how aspects of that yard are either easier or harder than my benchmark yard. Is it bigger or smaller than my benchmark? Does it have more or less obstacles? You get the picture.
As you get to know your clientâs yards better, you can use all of them as benchmarks for new properties youâre bidding. You can have a feel for which one of your clientsâ yards is most similar to the one you are bidding and tweak the price accordingly. I guess thatâs just a fancy way of saying that the more experience you have, the easier it is to price yards in the future.
Size of the Property
Go With Your Gut
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Finally Keep Up With Market Changes
Every year, or even every quarter, look into how much other companies charge for similar services. Once you build your client base, you can also ask how they feel about your services. Youll want to know if they think your prices are fair and reasonable, and how much theyre willing to pay.
If a few customers decide to leave you, ask them why. Take note if its because your prices are too high. You may want to make a change. Alternatively, you can also offer a seasonal deal or package.
When it comes to how to price your lawn care, do what you can to serve your clients, offer them great quality, and stay profitable. And above all, remember prices can change. Keep up with the market and youâll keep your business going strong.
*Monthly payment calculations do not include initial premium down payment and may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January â December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison . After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of newsworthy crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, Ive owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When Im not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, youll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
How To Get Started With Commercial Lawn Care Contracts
Commercial lawn care contracts are centered around building relationships. From the very beginning, you should be focused on getting to know the property managers and real estate board members in your service area.
1. Make contact with them.
You can do this through phone calls, emails, postcards and flyers, or meetings.
Even though some property managers wont necessarily be looking for a contractor right now, they might be in the future. The objective is to build a relationship so you can ensure youre the one who gets the job.
2. Make sure you have quality references from previous clients.
Ed explains that referrals are one of the most important parts of landing commercial clients.
If they offer a fixed contract, theyll want an established company for it. Theyre not just going to hire anybody to do it. They want to see a reputation.
Most commercial clients will want to call the property managers youve worked with in the past. So, tailor the references you give based on the client for the best results.
For example, if youre trying to land a contract with a condo property manager, try to find a referral from another condo property manager youve worked for before.
How to get started without commercial experience
If you dont have referrals yet, Ed suggests getting your name out there by doing some basic industry discovery.
Ed explains that you should start by assuring them that youre not trying to win their business, but just trying to learn about the industry.
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How To Bid A Lawn Care Job
Properly bidding a lawn care and landscaping contract involves a fine balance between covering your costs and knowing how much your customer will pay. Underbidding is one of the biggest problems that new lawn care business owners face.
The StartALawnCareBusiness.com estimating guidebooks give you extensive information and examples on how to bid lawn care jobs. Whether you are doing simple grass cutting or installing intricate landscapes, you must know how to properly bid your jobs or you risk going out of business. Below are 3 simple guidelines to follow.
Can I Upsell Work To Make A Profit On This Contract
Maybe you lose money on the mowing, but you can make 200% on the fertilization package.
In this instance, you might be able to accept the job with the right upsells.
Keep in mind, even when you’re dealing with a high-profit job, you should ALWAYS be looking for ways to upselleveryone.
A great job costing tool, like Service Autopilot, will be able to tell you if a job is worth it.
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Capture Labor Costs For Your Lawn Care Service
You work for a living, so it is critical to charge for your landscaping and lawn care services. On the Skynova bid template, you can charge per service or hour or day worked. Input labor costs similarly to how you captured supplies in the previous step.
Underneath “Item,” click on “Service,” “Hours,” or “Days” and describe the labor. For example, a mowing job may take you an hour at $20. Select “Hours” from the “Item” menu. Include the description . Add “20” under “Unit Price” and “2” under “Quantity” to arrive at a total amount of $40.
Where specialist subcontractor services are used, add a description of the specific services, such as “pest control,” “electricians,” or “stonemasons.” Follow the process above to include separate labor charges at different unit prices and quantities to complete this step of your bid estimate. “Expenses” can also be found under the “Item” drop-down menu when you need to include other costs related to your landscaping bid.
Free Lawn Care Bid Template
To grow your lawn care business, you’ll need to attract customers, and one way of doing this is by submitting appealing bids. If you’ve been using Microsoft Excel or Word template file formats to draft bids from scratch, you’ve probably wasted a lot of time.
Skynova can help you take back time with our lawn care bid software, which you can send to your customer via a private link or as a printable PDF. Once the bid is accepted, Skynova will automatically convert it into an invoice template, streamlining most of the necessary paperwork.
Skynova enables rapid bid creation, automatic invoice conversion, and customization. And easy online editing, sending, and storing of customer details make tracing and problem-solving simple when you use Skynova.
What’s the result? You have more time to focus on maintaining your lawn care business with a bid sheet template that works for you. If you’re a lawn care professional, check out the template we’ve made below just for your business:
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Details About How To Properly Bid Lawn Mowing Jobs
Career growth isnt the only reason many people work in the how to properly bid lawn mowing jobs field. Its also a field that lets you help many people. We have already gathered 204 of how to properly bid lawn mowing jobs that you can use as an helpful resources to attribute to your career selection. View more
Calculate Your Rate When You Have Employees
Employees can speed up your operation tenfold. But, theres an art to pricing out their labor.
Jason explains that when including labor in your price, you should consider how much effort is required per person.
When I say $60 per hour, Im talking about the rate per person. So if you have a two-man crew, youre looking at $120 per hour. If you have a three-man crew, $180 per hour. If Ive got a two-man crew and were cutting grass and it took us 30 minutes to cut, thats a $60 lawn. Although it took half the time to mow this lawn, it required two times the effort for labor for Jasons team.
Or, you can take Edwards approach:
We bid per hour. I like to walk the site, get the job requirements, and decide how long and how much labor it will take. For example, a job might take an hour and a half with three people. So Ill bill three people on the site at $45 an hour, $45 per employee, so that $135 for labor alone.
Notice that this price doesnt include overhead, equipment, and materials costs yet.
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How To Price Lawn Mowing Jobs
Pricing lawn mowing jobs is difficult. We walk you through how your equipment, hourly rates, minimums, experience, frequency, route density and more can affect your pricing.
Would you believe that many lawn care operators are underbidding yards by 20%, costing them potentially thousands of dollars every single year? In my conversations with dozens of operators, Iâve unfortunately found this to be true.
If youâve been mowing grass for a while and feel like thatâs you, itâs not too late! Keep reading and we can walk through this together.
If youâre just starting out, then letâs get this right from day one so you donât leave money on the table. And be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Starting a Lawn Care Business if you haven’t already.
Fortunately, there are a few simple best practices weâre about to unpack that will be helpful guide rails as you get experience pricing yards.
Using these tips, I have been able to get 20%, and sometimes 50% OVER my target rate. Iâll explain how below. Toward the end of this article, weâll take all of the tactics and boil it down into an example to show how this all works.
To stay on topic, weâll give pointers on how to price lawn mowing jobs, not landscaping jobs.
Letâs dive in.
How To Write A Commercial Lawn Care Bid
Posted: Sep 26, 2017 · To secure jobs, a business owner must be able to write a commercial lawn care bid. Create a header and title for your bid. Use Microsoft Word or a similar word-processing program to do this. The heading should have your company name, address and contact information presented in a clean, professional-looking manner.
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