Track Your Time For Every Client
This is the most important piece of information you can have about your jobs. If you dont know how long it took you to service the client, you dont have any idea how much you made per hour.
You dont sell maintained lawns. You sell hours of labor. This is the fundamental nature of every service industry business. When you have employees, youll be paying them by the hour.
This is the only way you can accurately compute the Only Business Stat that Matters, which we discussed with our resident job-cost guru on The Profit Roadmap.
The Reality Of Your Market And What It Means To You
Theres a funny thing about lawn care. While you dont want to compete on price thats to say you dont want to be the lowest priced guy out there you will certainly have to be competitively priced.
This means that youll want to close customers on the idea that youre competing with other landscapers on the quality of your service. However, what you need to know about lawn care customers is that they dont have much tolerance for price variations.
If the average price for an average lawn in your area is $35, then youre going to want to stay within $5 of that. Sure, there will always be idiots out there who say theyll do it for $20 but what those customers quickly find is that these low-ballers do a low-ball job of it.
Its funny how so many people will gladly pay more for quality for clothes or when they go out to eat, yet in this business, not so much. Its just a mindset, really. Yet as long as youre diligent and give them a fair bid, youre bound to do very well.
Pricing is one of those critical elements that tends to run a lot of newbies out of the business. Its not a matter of guesswork you need to have a formula for pricing.
Thats true for cutting grass, snow or leaf removal, fertilization, weeding and so on. Lucky for you, there is a way to do this that allows you to be accurate and plan for future revenue and growth as well.
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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Does Your Company Use A Gas Mower
Fluctuating gas prices will have an affect on the cost of your lawn mowing and trimming services if your service provider uses a gas mower. Some companies will reflect those prices in their cost per service each time, while other companies may update their pricing yearly. For example, a company may increase prices by $5-$10 after a year if gas prices have continued to climb, but they won’t change their prices on a week-by-week basis.
Some companies use only electrical mowers and trimmers, so fluctuations in gas prices don’t affect them. Their equipment runs from pre-charged batteries or through extension cords plugged into your electrical outlets.
Lawn Care Costs Per Month
The average cost of lawn maintenance if you have all of your maintenance services billed monthly is between $350 and $450 per month. Monthly service most often includes weekly mowing and different maintenance items based on the season. Because different services will be performed each month, your monthly service cost will be higher some months and lower on others.
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Lawn Care Price Based On Size
Even though you shouldnt price based on the square footage of the lot, knowing the size will still help you estimate the total cost of a job.
The price of lawn care is greatly affected by the size of the lawn, which will be an element you use to determine the labor that goes into it.
Now that you know what goes into the costs of lawn care services and your different pricing options lets nail down how much to charge for your services.
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Check Out The Lawn In Question
You should always check out your customers lawn before giving them a quote, regardless of whether you charge by the hour or by size.
Your customer can say they just want their lawn mowed, but once you arrive, you may notice that some extra care is required before you can mow. As a result, additional services need to be included in the estimate you offer them.
For example, you might discover that what your customer may think is overgrown grass is actually weeds, requiring weed control on top of regular mowing.
Youll want to inspect the lawn so you can assess its condition and determine what type of treatment it needs. This ensures that you deliver an accurate estimate from the beginning and avoid surprising your customer with extra charges later.
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The Lawn Care Industry
The lawn care and landscaping industry is thriving in the United States, having grown nearly 5% since 2014. In 2019 it is estimated that the annual revenue will be almost $100 Billion Dollars. With lawns covering nearly the same land area as Texas, and 40% of US households using professional lawn care services, its not hard to imagine why.
There are now over 100,000 lawn care companies servicing an ever increasing demand across the nation. So how do you know which company you can trust? Lawn Love is your solution. We partner with qualified, local professionals who offer a wide range of lawn care and snow removal services. Call us or fill out the online quote form to get started with Lawn Love today.
Weekly Lawn Care Cost
Weekly grass maintenance averages from $65 to $125 per week, depending on the size of your lawn and maintenance items involved. Your maintenance company may choose to bill you for the services performed on a specific week or include all of the seasonal items and break it out to a weekly contract price. Most often, contracts include leaf removal, mowing, fertilizing, and aeration.
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Learn How To Set Lawn Care Pricing To Earn The Most Profit For Your Business
I receive a ton of questions, and I would say in the top two or three is, how do I price? How do I know exactly what I should charge? I think this is the right question to be asking. The dilemma is that I struggle with giving the exact price and here is why.
I can give you exact pricing, but its a cop out for me to do that. Thats the easy solution for me. The problem is, Im very concerned with giving you accurate advice. I dont want to be wrong. I dont want to screw up your business, and I want to give you wise advice. Giving you the exact price to charge is not wise advice.
In this video, Im going to show you exactly why. Im going to show you the factors that go into pricing and why I cant give you the exact price. Im going to tell you exactly how to figure out the best pricing for you. Im going to show you numbers and how to do it. Youre going to learn how to price. Once youve priced your work, Im going to show you exactly how to figure out of its profitable. Im also going to show you how to figure out your pricing by square foot. Basically Im going to show you how to do it, and Im going to show you how you continue to look at your pricing as your business grows.
Now, to do this Ive got to go through a few points so this is going to be a three-part video. Im going to go through and talk about pricing, and then Im going to show you how to do it. Im going to show you actual numbers.
Cost Of Fertilizing Your Lawn
Your lawn needs the proper nutrients to look its best and your soil does not always have enough nutrients. This is where fertilizer comes in. Fertilizing your lawn is the best way to improve the health and appearance of your lawn.Fertilizers contain the necessary minerals and nutrients that your grass needs to grow to its full potential. But it is important to note that different types of grass require different fertilizers.
- The minimum cost for lawn fertilizer is $0.08/sf
- The maximum cost for lawn fertilizer is $0.48/sf
If you do not have the time or the tools to fertilize your lawn on your own, you can hire a contractor to do the job. If you hire a contractor, the cost of fertilizing your lawn is about $12-$15/hr. You can also hire a lawn care expert or professional lawn care company, which will bring your lawn fertilizing cost up to about $60 per hour, on average. The more experience someone has, the more it will cost. That said, if you go with an expert you will do the least amount of work and you will likely get the best results.
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But This All Depends On Your Pricing Structure Of Course
The right prices can help you earn new business, retain customers, and grow in your market. On the flip side, a bad pricing structure can cause your business to go under and fast. No pressure, of course
But seriously, I want to help you set up your lawn care business for success. To help, Ive put together a guide for pricing lawn care services. Ready to get started? Get your pen and paper out!
How You Can Keep Your Lawn Healthy Year
If a healthy lawn is what you want, then year-round maintenance is vital. Your lawn needs different treatments and maintenance depending on the season to ensure that it is properly prepared for the months when it is at its peak for growing. Below you will see some of the most common maintenance tasks performed during each season of the year.
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Protect Your Lawn Care Business From Potential Liability
Since the best clients care about lawn care businesses being licensed, bonded, and insured, they’re willing to pay more for your lawn care services.
Plus, mistakes happen and just one lawsuit can break your business.
In other words, you have zero excuses to avoid it, and you NEED to get your lawn care business licensed, bonded, and insured BEFORE you service another property.
Plus, if you’re licensed, bonded, and insured, you can easily charge more for your lawn care service.
After all, the best clients don’t want to hire a lawn care business that doesn’t protect itself.
To find out more about protecting your lawn care business, read our complete guide.
How Much To Charge For Lawn Care Jobs
How much should I charge for
- Mowing a yard?
- Removing bushes and adding flowers?
There is a very simple answer to every single one of these questions.
- Time spent on the job
- Your clients
This is why you should NEVER copy your competitors pricing. You will lose money.
Plus, there’s a decent change that your competitors copied their competitors, and theyre losing money right now.
The ONLY way to properly price your lawn care services is to know your numbers.
So, you must ask yourself:How can I maximize my profits AND the value I give to my clients?
This is called The Pricing Sweet Spot. This magic number allows you to make your clients extremely happy and puts a healthy amount of cash in your pocket after every job.
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Cost To Maintain A Lawn
These estimates are for BASIC work performed in serviceable conditions by qualified trade professionals using MID GRADE materials. Work not mentioned on this page and/or work using master craftsman, premium materials and project supervision will result in HIGHER COSTS! Explore the full range of lawn care service new installation labor options and material prices here.
These estimates are NOT substitutes for written quotes from trade professionals. Homewyse strongly recommends that you contact reputable professionals for accurate assessments of work required and costs for your project – before making any decisions or commitments.
The cost estimate includes:
- Costs for local material / equipment delivery to and service provider transportation to and from the job site.
- Costs to prepare the worksite for Lawn Maintenance, including costs to protect existing structure, finishes, materials and components.
- Labor setup time, mobilization time and minimum hourly charges that are commonly included for small Lawn Maintenance jobs.
The cost estimate does NOT include:
Monthly Lawn Service Cost
You can expect to pay an average of $200 to $250 a month for monthly lawn care on a 3,000 to 5,000 sq.ft. area if you contract for a monthly service. A monthly contract allows you to get lower rates than you would for a one-time service. Keep in mind that monthly service plans are only for weekly or biweekly mows and services. Most companies do not offer plans with three-week or monthly mows.
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Lawn Service Cost By Type Of Service
Mowing is not the only service that these professionals usually provide, nor is it the only service your lawn may require. Your yard maintenance cost may include many maintenance tasks that may be used to help bring your lawn back to a healthy state, prepare it for the upcoming season, or reduce the risk of weeds, pests, and other intrusions into your yard that can damage its aesthetic. Below, you will see the average lawn maintenance cost based on the most common maintenance tasks that may be combined with your mowing to keep the outdoor of your home as beautiful and healthy as possible.
|$1,200 – $2,000|
Calculate Your Hourly Labor Rate
How much are you going to charge per person, per hour for the average job? This number should be based on things like the going rate in your area, how much money you want to earn per hour, and how much youre paying your employees.
If youre just starting off, look at the work and estimate the time it will take you to complete the job. Then consider how much you want to make per hour.
Pricing by the hour makes sense because lot size isnt always an accurate pricing metric. For example, garden homes might take you half an hour to complete, even if they are the same size as a quarter-acre lot, which could take you 45 minutes to complete.
Jason Creel explains that your hourly rate is important, but you shouldnt communicate it to your clients.
Lets just say that your hourly rate is $60 per hour. Now, youre not going to speak to the customer and say, hey, I charge $60 an hour, so Im going to time myself when I cut your grass, and then multiply that by 60. Youll quickly learn how to estimate and then multiply that in your mind.
Pro tip: if youre just starting out and not sure about how long a lawn will take, keep track of the time it takes you to complete the job using time tracking software or a stopwatch. From there, find the average of your labor hours over time before figuring out exactly what speed you work at.
Prefer watching a video? Jason Creel talks about pricing out lawn care services below:
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Lawn Mowing Cost Per Week
Regular lawn mowing once a week will run you an average of $30 to $80 per visit. Weekly costs are generally calculated based on the property size and type of work being done. Weekly mowing service is the most common contract option, especially during peak growing season, normally the spring and summer. This is because your lawn will grow faster, and the watering, sunshine, and fertilizer continue to nourish it.
How Is My Invoice Calculated
We calculate the time on site by multiplying the number of staff who service your property by our hourly rate, from the time they arrive on site until the time they depart.
We then add a standard fifteen minutes travel time for each of two staff. The travel time is the same whether you have one, two or three staff working on your property.
Finally, we add any additional charges for supplies or non-standard equipment.
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Download Your Free Lawn Care Estimate Template Now
Alright, youve got it downloaded, heres how it works:
Theres room for six services on the estimate. In the table on the right, you input the relevant square footage amount. If all your services work off of turf square footage, this number could be the same all the way down the column.
There are tables on the second worksheet that compute your rate from what you provide in the Client Size table.
All of the service rates are added up and the total is the bolded number at the bottom of the column.