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.
Do Gas Mowers Play A Part In The Cost Of Mowing A Lawn
One aspect that often goes overlooked by professionals and customers alike is the cost of running a gas mower. Many companies are moving away from gas mowers to avoid fluctuations in their service pricing.
Since these mowers run on gas, international gas prices will impact the cost. It might only be by a few dollars, but if the markets spike or drop, customers will see it in their pricing.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Professional Lawn Mowing Service For Your Customers
Both customers and businesses need to know why anyone would hire a professional lawn mowing service when itâs a job that homeowners can do themselves.
Lawn mowing is hard work, takes a lot of time, and the equipment can be expensive. If someone works a busy schedule or doesnât have the equipment, a professional like you can keep their yard as green as a leprechaun. Plus, if a person lives in a part of the country with an inconsistent climate, managing the seasonal needs of a lawn is something that should be left to the professionals.
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Lawn Care Pricing Chart
Most homeowners underestimate how much time and effort it takes to properly maintain a lawn. For most people, cutting the grass alone isnât enough to make their lawns stand out among their neighbors.
Anyone whoâs houseproud needs to consider all the other services that go beyond simple lawn mowing.
Hereâs a lawn care pricing chart to give you an idea of what it costs for some of the most popular lawn care services.
- Landscape Edging – $700-$1,700
- Winterization – $80-$380
- Watering – $50-$400
Professionals may choose to offer deep discounts for purchasing multiple services all at once. It really depends on how much time the job is likely to take and the specifics of the homeowner, especially with major landscaping jobs.
Measurement Assistant: The Only Lawn Care Estimator Youll Ever Need
How much time are you spending on lawn care estimates for potential customers? For most professional landscaping companies, it takes a large chunk of time. First, you take a 10-minute phone call, then you drive 20 minutes to their property to spend 30 minutes measuring and figuring, and by the time you get back to your office, youve worked an hour and a half for free.
Dont get us wrong, investing in a thorough estimate is critical to making a profit, but is there a faster way to get the same information? Lets look at what lawn mowing business owners are doing to speed up the process.
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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.
Lawn Mowing Service Pricing And Installation Cost Checklist
- Expect the Lawn Mowing Service prices to fluctuate between various companies each and every company have different operation expenses and over-head.
- Try to get prices in late Fall, early winter you should expect aggressive pricing discounts by waiting for a contractors down season.
- Try to budget and additional 7-15% more on top of what our calculator gives out for Lawn Mowing Service costs.
- Visit every supply house that sell your particular brand of Lawn Fertilization Service tools and try to negotiate a better price with each supplier I save on average 20%.
- Lawn Mowing Service isnt an easy task to perform and can leave you with a sore back. You might find it more cost effective to hire a landscaping company to perform the work for you. Landscaping companies will most always get better prices on Lawn Mowing Service saving your back and additional costs of Lawn Mowing Service, so shop around, ask your neighbors if they can recommend someone.
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How To Save Money On Lawn Care Services
If you love the idea of professional lawn care but not the added household expense, think strategically about signing on for the long term with a lawn company. Lawn mowing is a competitive business, says one lawn care pro. As a result, many companies will negotiate discounts and deals based on frequency of visits.
If you are planning to become a regular customer, ask about package rates and bundling lawn mowing and trimming with other lawn care services such as landscaping and fertilization. Lawn care pros benefit by providing you with multiple services, your pocketbook benefits from the discounts, and your lawn benefits from the holistic care.
How To Price Apartment Lawn Care
Posted: Feb 04, 2021 · Estimate the Lawn Care Service Time Walk the apartments and start calculating your average service times based on property sizes youve done before. In other words, break down the apartment complex into smaller sections so you can estimate on smaller, bite sized property sizes .
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Include Your Profit Margins
Your profit margin is what makes sure you earn money from each job and that you make enough to cover costs. If you forget to account for your profit margin, you risk:
- Undercutting yourself and paying out of pocket to finish a job
- Having to increase your pricing for the next job
- Not making enough to cover your expenses or to pay yourself
Including your profit margin in your estimate ensures that you are making a profit from each job.
Add it to the total cost of a service after your expenses, like overhead, labor, and materials.
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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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.
How Companies In Three Revenue Tiers Price Their Mowing Jobs
If youre like a lot of landscape businesses, pricing your mowing jobs may be a sore spot. There are quite a few factors that go into pricing and most of them are going up. In fact, 66 percent of landscape professionals answering a recent Turf survey say they are raising mowing/maintenance prices this year. Of those raising prices, the average increase is 5.8 percent.
From rising labor wages to higher equipment costs, all of the signs seem to be pointing toward raising mowing prices, but its not always easy to do. The problem with pricing jobs is that everyone is afraid, says Dan Gordon, certified public accountant and managing member of TurfBooks. Mostly, theyre afraid of losing business. So, even companies that are raising their prices often arent always doing it in a meaningful way. Theyre really squeezing their profits because theyre afraid of raising prices too high.
Of all of the factors that come into play with the decision to raise prices, Gordon says that labor is by far the most significant.
We reached out to three different landscape business owners in three tiers to determine how theyre pricing jobs. Interestingly, at all ends of the revenue spectrum, the contractors we spoke to did raise prices this year.
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Find Your Lawn Or Lot Size Online
Posted: Calculate the square footage of your lawn, lot or yard using satellite maps from Google. Our online lawn measurement app is great for home landscaping projects like laying sod or lawn care treatments. Find this free tool useful? Help keep me caffeinated and. Buy me a coffee.
Standardized Pricing Across The Board
We standardize our pricing to make it simple and fair for our clients, and add to our efficiency.
Many companies would be timid to release their prices to everyone, however that is not the case for myself or Ankeny Lawn and Landscapes.
We know that price is what begins the buying decision, however it is the value received that creates lifetime customers. Here are the standardized prices we use for lawn mowing, based upon square footage. There are many variables that will increase or decrease the price but these are the general guidelines we use.
- Sq. Footage of LawnWeekly Service
- Less Than 7000$35
Here are some of the variables that will affect the price:
- Shape: A perfectly rectangular lawn will take a considerable amount of time less to mow in comparison to an odd shaped lawn with flowerbeds and obstacles scattered throughout.
- Access & Fences: Small gates into backyards keep us from using larger mowing equipment, and increases the time it takes to mow the backyard if it is fenced in. To keep a neat fence-line, we must also trim around the entirety of it. Long driveways or addresses with limited parking for our truck and trailer setup, also increase the time it takes to perform service. A lawn right next to where the trailer parks is going to cost less.
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Cost Effective Ways To Estimate Lawn Care Jobs
Posted: Combining A Lawn Care Estimate With Contracts After you qualify the client, then you can sign a contract to help them with engineering and designing the project. If youre new to using lawn maintenance contracts, there are many resources online that you can reference, including entire templates already pre-made.
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Pricing A Job Advicefor New Start
Pricing a job is one of the more difficult things for new start-ups. You don’t want to over-charge, but you don’t want to under-charge either. If your price is too high, people will look to someone else. If it is too low, you may not make enough profit to keep you going. It is hard to raise your prices once they are established without upsetting your customers.
This page is designed to get you to think outside the box and look at the effects of pricing a job incorrectly. It hopefully will show you how to save money on expenses and get the price you need.
The first thing you have probably noticed is that lawn care these days is extremely competitive making pricing a job intimidating at first. Our economy is not helping. What adds to the complexity is that many individuals have started a part-time lawn mowing business to help bring in extra money. They often work under the table just for the cash. Some of these have made a practice of pricing low to get the job. However, while it is great for the customer, a lot of customers are aware of this and understand that people that are not in it for the long haul are often not in business long. You will see why as you read this.
Secondly, it is important to know that times have changed and price really does matters more than ever. People are now geared to look for a low price, especially people on fixed incomes. Who can blame them?
More discriminating customers will want good quality, but still are on the lookout for a decent price.
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Dont Forget To Price Special Services And Materials Differently
Special services like mowing, mulching, and weed control and fertilization application should be priced accordingly, rather than lumped into one cost.
Jason explains that these are actually very different services because they require different types of labor.
Weed control and fertilization, for example, is typically a one-person operation, so your labor is cut downand that one person can actually generate a lot more revenue than one person can mowing, he explains.
But there are expenses in the weed control: the actual fertilizer, weed control product, labor, and drive timeall those things are factors.
The main thing Im concerned with is how big the actual yard is, and the actual amount of turf that Im going to be applying the fertilizer or herbicide to. The bigger the yard, the more of the product Im using. Thats my biggest expense, Jason explains.
So, Im pricing strictly based on the square footage. I need to get an accurate measurement of the square footage of the lawn so that I know how to price it. Then I use a pricing chart that shows square footage from 2,000 square feet all the way up to 30,000 square feet.
I can then look at my pricing chart and give them a price quickly. So as the square footage goes up, the price per square foot actually goes down.
Tips While Making An Estimate
Estimates are the last barrier for prospects to trust and turn into customers. Here are some essential points to keep in mind to make an estimate that your prospects can rest assured of.
Is the estimate easy to understand?
Make sure you can see the essential parts in an instant. The estimated amount will come to your eyes first, but you need to write the details clearly to understand the rationale clearly.
If there is any miscalculation with the items to be confirmed, it may cause trouble later. You can avoid problems by creating an easy-to-understand estimate for each opportunity step.
Is there a basis for estimating the delivery date and price?
It is a common problem that the delivery date and price stated in the estimate deviate from reality. Sales reps should not overdo it to get an order. The delivery date and price of the estimate will be decided in consultation with the person in charge of development and the person in charge of the entire project.
If you find that the delivery date and price set in the estimate cannot be completed in the middle of the process, we will consult with the customer again at that stage and approve the change in the delivery date and the billing amount.
Can you provide it as soon as requested?
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What Type Of Grass Do You Have
There are two main categories of lawn grass: cool-season, which typically grow during early spring and fall, and warm-season, which flourish during late spring and summer. Popular cool-season grasses include rye, Kentucky bluegrass and fescues. Two examples of warm-season grasses include Bermuda and zoysia grass.
Each of these different types of grass require different lawn care regimens. For example, lawn care pros will typically cut Kentucky bluegrass shorter during warm weather than Bermuda grass. The different types of grasses also have different sun and shade needs, different needs for fertilization and watering, and even different needs for how often to cut during cool or warm months.
All these factors are compounded by your geographic region and local climate. By working with a lawn care professional you can be sure your grass will get the proper attention and treatment to allow it to flourish.
Start A Lawn Care Business
Posted: The Lawn Care Business Training Guide shows you how to build a client list, estimate your jobs, bid contracts, do the work quickly & efficiently, buy the right equipment, and make more money with your Lawn Care Business. The Lawn Care Business Guide & Estimating Software teaches you how to operate your own successful Lawn Care Business.
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