Getting A Feel For The Work
Some of these may or may not be applicable to you, but theyll all hopefully give you some ideas
Cut a few lawns for friends and family:
When you first get started youll probably end up doing this anyway. Go to your parents home, a relative or two and maybe a couple of friends and offer to cut for them. You can give them a family discount and maybe even do a few cuts for nothing.
The idea is to establish your eye for estimating work time. Make sure that for each of these lawns, you measure out the square footage of the yard and note how much of the yard is actually grass to be cut. Also note how much trimming is required and how many edges need done.
Lets say that your moms house sits on a 75 X 75 lot. Finding the square footage is easy you just multiply the width times the length like this:
75 / 75 = 56,25.
Of course you have to account for the house, driveway, a pool, walkways, a patio, etc.
Then kind of look around and see how many bushes or planters need weed whacking.
You can even measure the edging lengths by walking along and counting steps. Figure on 3 feet per step.
So your moms house is about 2,000 square feet, has a double driveway, a curving walk to the front door and a screened in porch on the back. Theyve got hedges all around the house and a small flower bed in the front lawn. After cutting, trimming and edging and then blowing, heres what you find:
Mowing time: 20 minutes
Edging: 8 minutes
Blowing: 7 minutes
$52 X .75 = $39
First one is free:
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.
How To Make Contacts For Commercial Lawn Mowing Jobs
If you are considering a lawn mowing business startup, you will know that the more clients you serve, the more money you earn. Establishing contacts involves creating advertising materials and networking with those who need your services the most. The most difficult step is establishing your first customers. You can then use your first customers to find further contacts.
Create advertising for your business. Consider a professional printing company, which can produce smart and attractive brochures and business cards. Highlighting your professional licenses, such as your business license and fertilizer permits, will give your brochures and business cards more credibility.
Distribute your advertising materials to the people who will benefit from a lawn mowing service the most. This includes the elderly, businesspeople who are frequently out of town, and those with a second home. Locating these types of people is not as difficult as you may imagine. An unkept lawn is a good indicator. Many towns have an area with a high percentage of elderly people. Young professionals tend to live more in the center of town, and those who buy a second home will opt for homes with scenic views.
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Types Of Lawn Care Jobs: Residential And Commercial
Residential Lawn Care
When you are new to the lawn care services and do not have much experience, it is wiser to start with residential lawn care jobs. Residential lawn mowing is the easiest to get started within this business.
In this case, you will work with individual homeowners so you might face different special requests sometimes.
First, you need to figure out what others are charging for lawn mowing in your neighborhood, and then you will select a midpoint.
Commercial lawn care
Commercial lawn care services are more abundant in scale. They require more experience and also generate higher payouts. In this case, you will work with property managers and real estate boards.
Most commercial clients are straightforward and outline their expectations in their contracts. You will have explicit knowledge of what your responsibilities are and what isnt.
Avoid Lawn Care Price Increases During Selling Season
The worst time to raise prices is when all of your competitors post ads and try to steal your clients.
Try to raise prices only near the end of or after your mowing season. As a good general rule of thumb, many lawn care owners increase their prices during the end of summer or beginning of fall.
The only exception here is for no-profit or low-profit clients. In which case, feel free to raise your lawn care prices on these zero or minimal profit clients whenever.l
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The Right Way To Bid Your Next Commercial Lawn Care Contract
Here’s the dark side of commercial lawn care…
The commercial world is focused on the bottom line. They will try to skim you.
Businesses only care about the price… unless you can sell them on better service.
Your goal is to differentiate yourself. Look better than the other lawn care businesses bidding on the property.
Here are some other strategies you can use to win a commercial contract:
- Show them the value of a great-looking property. Be visual with your descriptions: What if your lawns were emerald green, and your sidewalks sparkled in the sun? Would this make your customers more likely to buy here?
- Work with your clients, not for them. Get them to collaborate on a landscape design. Ask them what they think a perfect yard looks like.
- Listen to your client. Listen to their problems, and their expectations. They will tell you what they want.
- Teach them about the pitfalls of bad landscaping: inexperienced labor, bad work, and dead lawns will make anyone think twice. Explain why they should never allow uninsured workers near their land.
- Walk in with a professional proposal. If you can hand a business owner a clean, well-formatted step-by-step proposal, you will make a great first impression.
To win your next commercial lawn care contract, you will need a good deal of salesmanship.;
Books, YouTube videos, and other B2B sales resources will help you nail the sale.
Residential Vs Commercial Landscaping
Before jumping into commercial work, you need to do your homework.Its a totally different animal, says Gib Durden, vice president of business development at HighGrove Partners in Austell, Georgia. Its still cutting grass, pruning and planting flowers, but commercial landscaping is a totally different mindset.Switching between it and residential work can be difficult. Dont try intermingling the same guys doing commercial and residential work, says Jim Schill, vice president of Schill Grounds Management in North Ridgeville, Ohio.One major variant is that you rarely deal with the owner in commercial work. Your point of contact is probably not the decision maker, could be replaced at any time and has little say in what gets approved, says Terry Delany, president of ServFM in Fayetteville, Arkansas.Profit margins are typically lower with commercial, but they are counter-weighted by higher contract dollar amounts. Its a low-margin, high-quantity set-up, Delany says.For all of the things that are more difficult with commercial landscaping, its still easier, he adds.
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How To Estimate Landscaping Jobs In 7 Steps: A Simple Guide
Estimating landscaping jobs correctly is key to running a profitable business. Statistics show that most contractors only make a profit on three out of every five jobs. They lose money on one and break even on the other, according to Total Landscape Care.
Learning to accurately bid on landscaping work will ensure youre making a profit on every job you do.
Need a landscaping estimating template? Estimate smarter and faster with FreshBooks professional estimating software. Send estimates online in a flash and easily convert them to invoices when the jobs done.
FreshBooks, from invoicing to payments and everything in between. Try It Free
In this article, well cover:
Your Questions On How To Start A Lawn Care Business: Answered
It might sound like a lot but just take it step-by-step, and you can do it! If it feels a little bit overwhelming, our advice is to find experts who can help.
For example, buying insurance doesnt really sound like fun but its part of running a successful lawn care business. A liability policy helps cover costs in case of an accident and shows prospective clients youre a serious professional.
And it can be fast and easy when you work with the right team, like the experts at Simply Business.
Most of all, insurance gives you peace of mind, so you can focus on the most important thing your new lawn care business!
We wish you the best of luck starting your lawn care business. If you need more help or advice on starting and growing your lawn care service, download our FREE guide on how to start a business. Its chock full of advice on everything you need to know about starting a business, with advice including:
How to get a business licenseHow to find the best name for your businessAn in-depth guide to finding your first customersHow to make the most of online marketingAnd more!
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The Basics Of Landscaping
Landscapers come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, but they all share one thing in common: a genuine love of the outdoors and growing things. It’s what drives them to spend most of every day on the job covered in dirt. It induces them to learn the Latin names of plants, shrubs and trees-on purpose. And it makes them gleefully haul around 45-gallon containers like it’s child’s play rather than actual work. Sound like fun? Then you’ve come to the right place.
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There are numerous ways you can forge a business in either residential or commercial landscaping-or both. Some of the fields require more than just a love of gardening to succeed-they also require experience and formal education. The major career paths for landscapers include:
Gardener/groundskeeper: This type of green industry professional is usually in charge of keeping up appearances-he or she may care for plants and other greenery, and may perform that work in a garden, greenhouse or work shed. What sets gardeners and groundskeepers apart from other landscape professionals is that they normally don’t do any design work; rather, they tend existing landscapes, although they may render other services like applying pesticides and herbicides, mowing lawns, doing spring and fall cleanups, composting, etc. They need a good working knowledge of horticulture and plant varieties.
How Low Can I Bid Before I Lose Money
Winning a bid is often a matter of offering the lowest prices. But some victories are not worth it.
Take the scientific approach.
Measure the property yourself.
Note all of the irregularities that will slow you down or cause you problems.
If you cant win a bid without underpricing yourself, then its not worth it.
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First Set A Price For Lawn Mowing Services
Wondering how much lawn care costs, including mowing? Short answer, it depends. Here are a few factors that can influence what you charge:
Your experience: Seasoned lawn care professionals can charge more for their services. But when youre building your customer base, you may need to start with a lower price point. Then, once you get a few customers under your belt, you can raise them incrementally.
The location of your business: Theres an amount that people in your area are willing to pay for lawn care services. Do some research to find out that amount. Higher-end neighborhoods and businesses will often pay more. Meanwhile, lower-income neighborhoods usually want lower pricesor they might not need your services at all. Call a few lawn care companies in your area. Ask their prices. Then use those numbers as a starting point on how to price your lawn care services.
If you work with businesses or residents: Most commercial businesses who value quality are willing to pay top dollar. Homeowners, on the other hand, may be more budget conscious. Caveatall of this depends on your area, of course. Poke around. Do some research. Find out which clients are willing to pay more in your area.
Nailing Your Pricing Strategy For High Margins With Less Mistakes
Youre just about ready to go out there and start growing a thriving new business!
However, this chapter is a critical key to making sure that you succeed. In fact, I can safely say that this is the most important chapter of this blueprint.
Whats that? Ive already said that a few times?
Youre right and thats because all of these chapters are the most important. I called this a blueprint for a reason. When a construction crew puts up a building, they base everything they do off of an engineers blueprint. Every single piece of that plan is required to make sure the building is solid.
Leave out an important support pylon on the ground floor and that 23rd floor will come crashing down.
Thats what these chapters are the support structures that go into making your lawn care company a solid structure thatll last for years to come.
The way that you price your services is absolutely critical to your success.
Price yourself too high and you wont be able to close enough new customer to sustain yourself. Price yourself too low and youll find that youre working your Mean Green off and not making any more than any old dead end job.
The bad news is that there really is no exact formula to figure this out. Even more bad news is that you will make some mistakes. The good news, though, is that this isnt a big deal. Youre going to get good at pricing your services by doing it.
Maybe youll go over or under but with a little experience, youll very quickly develop a feel for it.
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Why Higher Prices Will Get You More Clients
If you follow our blog, you will hear this again and again: Premium is the best strategy for most lawn care business owners.
Seek to be the highest-quality service in your area. After all, premium services will bring in premium clients, which means premium profits.
Dont be the cheapest guy on the block. Be the most valuable.;
Years ago, a tech company decided to enter the laptop market.;
Their competitors clashed over more memory, more power, lower prices.;
Inch by inch, they fought a battle nobody could win.
So, this tech company went the opposite direction and didnt focus on low prices or low production costs.
They went all out and made sleek, user-friendly laptops. Their laptops looked like they came from the future, and it was exactly what people wanted.
Today, you know this company as Apple, and their premium pricing strategy was a huge success. Most recently, Apple reported an impressive 42.5% in gross margin.
You too can be the Apple of lawn care or landscaping in your area. You can live out The Pareto Principle in your market to increase your profits.
Bottom Line: Make yourself unique. Differentiate yourself from the competition. People should see the quality in everything you do your performance, your customer service, and your lawn care prices.
Professional Commercial Mowing In Perth Wa
Maintaining turf in the Western Australian climate is challenging. At Environmental Industries, our turf maintenance & grass cutting contractors are specialists in their fields and understand what it takes to maintain a well-trimmed lawn, keep it healthy, and thrive.
Our team of professionals will determine how often and to what length your turf needs to be cut to maintain it to optimal health and keep your business or commercial lawns looking great all year round.
We are well equipped to mow and maintain all lawn to an exceptional and consistent standard. Our modern and up-to-date equipment allows us to achieve exceptional detail required for many commercial jobs. Whether its with our Reelmaster 5010 hybrid reel mower with auto steer, our Groundsmaster 5900 rotary mower, or anything in between, we have the right mowing machine for the right job.
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How To Start A Lawn Care Or Landscaping Business
Cutting the grass isn’t for teenagers anymore. Put your landscaping and lawn-care skills to work by starting a lucrative business.
Editor’s note: This article was excerpted from our Lawn Care/Landscaping start-up guide, available from the Entrepreneur Bookstore.
When you think back to the long, lazy summers of your youth, chances are some time was spent trudging along behind a lawn mower, pushing with all your might and sweating profusely, just so you could make a few bucks to buy some baseball cards or a really cool bike. You may have occasionally mowed down a few pansies or zebra-striped a lawn, but you sure were proud when the homeowner came to the door, surveyed your handiwork, and forked over the agreed-upon fee.
Mowing lawns or landscaping residential or commercial properties for a living will give you that same sense of pride-while earning you some pretty serious cash.
The ProsThere are many advantages to running a homebased lawn care or landscaping service. You’re master of your own destiny, and you can devote as much or as little time to the business as you want. You have a short commute to work if you’re based in your own community. You can work at your own pace and at virtually any time during regular daylight hours. You also can enjoy the fresh air, get a good cardiovascular workout, and bulk up your muscles.
- Lawn mowing/maintenance
- Landscape architecture services