What Kind Of Services Should I Offer
Most lawn care businesses have approximately 25 customers they see each week and offers services like these:
- Adding mulch
And of course, these old standbys:
- Fertilizer application
As you can see, theres plenty of landscaping services you can offer. Just remember to always provide an superior customer service experience for everyone you do business with.
Get Insured In Under 10 Minutes
Get an affordable & customized policy for as low as $25.95/month*. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.
How much you need to earn: Add up your overhead costs. This might include the cost of equipment, maintenance, fuel, and paying your employees. Add in your own salary. Then decide what rate you need to charge to pay for your expensesand still earn a profit. Remember, this is a business. Youll want to stay competitive.
An example in Bostons suburbs: According to , the average cost of lawn mowing for a medium size lawn outside of Boston is between $40 and $80 per week. The cost goes up for a larger size lawn, of course. It also costs more if I add lawn edging, shrub trimming, and other services.
A lot of companies near me ask their clients to agree to a regular weekly, biweekly, or monthly schedule. This way, they know how much work to expectand they can ensure a steady stream of income.
Heres How Ed Prices His Commercial Jobs:
After a walk around, I might decide that a property will take an hour and a half with three people. I will need one truck and one trailer, so Ill build out the quote like that. So three people on the site means Ill bill them out at $45 an hour, $45 per employee. There are three employees, so thats $135 for the job to start.
Then I consider what equipment Ill have on site. I charge two times the hourly rate of labor just to have the staff on the site. About $5 of my price ends up going to my equipment overhead.If you have little experience with pricing commercial contracts, take Eds advice and follow the same approach you would with residential clients:
Figure out how much time it will take you to do a commercial job, and then think about much money youd make on a residential job. Say its an hour and a half. If you normally do three residential jobs and bill them at $50 per job, you should be making $150 an hour to do that commercial job, or very close to that.
Recommended Reading: How Much Peat Moss For Lawn
How To Get Commercial Lawn Accounts And Landscaping Contracts
Landing a large commercial account is at the top of many landscapers wish lists.
But transitioning into the commercial landscaping market requires more than just buying larger mowers and trucks. You have to change the way you and your team manage projects to truly be successful.
Here are the dos and donts of bringing in commercial lawn accounts and landscaping contracts.
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.
Also Check: How Much To Aerate Lawn
Develop Relationships With Existing Contractors
Being a subcontractor for other contractors can increase your chances of winning bigger accounts of your own down the road. Not only does it give you the experience and client roster, which is especially important if youre just starting out, it also allows you to get your foot in the door and make new relationships.
You never know when a commercial account youre subcontracting for might become unhappy with their provider and look to you, someone who has already worked on the account who they trust and know does good lawn care. Dont pass up these low hanging fruit opportunities to build relationships and make money while youre at it!
Be As Efficient As Possible With Automation Software
The more time you devote to tedious administrative tasks, the less time you have for growing your business. Instead, streamline these tasks with automated time tracking, geofenced job sites, seamless invoicing, and more.
Hubstaff is one software that provides all of these features to landscaping companies. From one mobile app, your team can automatically track time and location using geofences you create. Youll get detailed timesheets emailed daily, from which you can pay your team and invoice clients.
New technology, whether it be software or equipment, can help your business create efficiencies. You dont want to be an employee trapped in your own business, and if you find ways to increase efficiencies, youll be more successful, said Jason Creel, owner of Alabama Lawn Care Pros, in his response to evolving tech in lawn care.
Read Also: When To Aerate Lawn In Georgia
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.
Learn How To Bid Commercial Lawn Maintenance
About this course:
Taught by excavation, landscaping, and snow removal professional Stanley Genadek, this online training course will teach you how to estimate and bid commercial lawn maintenance jobs. Stanley has included documents for download, so you can follow along as he estimates and bids a real life job. He’ll walk you through the entire process of bidding a commercial lawn maintenance job from start to finish, teaching you the seven components of a master lawn care agreement. Whether you’re new to landscaping, or a in residential lawn care and desire to get into commercial lawn care, this course is for you.
- How to bid commercial lawn maintenance in the following areas:
- Lawn mowing and trimming
- Edging, bed and shrub care
- Spring and fall clean up
- Chemical application for weed control
You May Like: How To Kill Wild Violet Weeds In Lawn
Education Requirements For Landscaping Jobs
The great thing about the landscaping industry is the variety of jobs availablesome requiring horticultural experience and landscaping knowledge, others demanding sales background, and plenty that are open to someone who is finishing school and/or does not have formal landscape training. Education requirements for landscaping jobs depend entirely on the job title and role.
Heres an overview of the education requirements you can expect for common landscaping jobs.
Commercial Lawn Mowing Contracts
Lets talk about commercial lawn mowing contracts, and in particular how you can secure some nice-paying commercial grass cutting jobs. This article should give you the basics you need to at least get your foot in the door of a possible customer and make you competitive in your bid. If you have more questions, you can call us at 991-4318. We are Keiths Tractor Mowing in Fort Worth, Texas, and we would be happy to share our knowledge about acreage mowing and experience with you.
How to find commercial lawn mowing services
Do you want the easy way or the hard way? The easy way is to become involved in your local business community. Belonging to the area Chamber of Commerce will go a long way towards securing your first commercial lawn mowing job. Sign up for other business-related organizations as well. Get to know local business owners. Tell them what you do. Secure their trust. Do not push for business at first. This is all about networking and gaining a trusted position in the community.
Too slow for you? Social media will also help. Set up a website if you dont have one already. Keep that website current. Share photos of jobs you have done in the past. Think of what makes you unique in lot mowing and tout those skills. Again, this will take time, but it will be time worth spending in the long run.
How to bid for a commercial lawn mowing contract
Don’t Miss: Greenworks Lawn
Offer Custom Services By Neighborhood
Not all neighborhoods are created equal. Take the time to consider each areas specific landscaping needs so you can tailor your direct mail, emails, or ads accordingly.
Plus, people will notice the personalization. Recognizing the unique needs of an individual can help your business stand out from the competition. Tailor your offerings, and you may see more inquiries roll in than if you ran a one-size-fits-all campaign.
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:
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of White Dutch Clover
A Combination Of Diy And Pay
Its hard to do everything yourself, so most lawn mowers tend to work with a combination of the DIY approach and the get-my-customers-for-me approach. Theres no right or wrong option. It just depends on how you much you enjoy chasing customers versus how much youd rather be mowing lawns versus how much you like juggling the two marketing options. Its your lawn mowing business, so its totally up to you!
Go The Extra Mile When Placing Bids
Placing bids on commercial lawn care projects consists of much more than simply sliding a number across the desk on a piece of paper. This part of the process can make or break your plans for landing the account, so its wise to take it seriously. Make sure that you get your bid in professionally by following the basics: have a good website, good looking company optics , and the proper proposal.
Do your homework, so you know exactly how low you can bid before youre paying out of pocket and get information on the competition and how many others are bidding so you know how competitive you need to be in your pricing. Some good questions to ask yourself include:
- How many competitors are submitting proposals?
- Will you need to buy new equipment or hire more team members for this account?
- What are the upsell possibilities?
- How long has the prospect been in business?
- How often do they switch landscape contractors?
Don’t Miss: Does Lowes Rent Riding Lawn Mowers
Ramp Up Your Marketing Efforts
Many lawn care professionals overlook advertising efforts.
Smaller teams might not have the time or resources to devote to advertising, and they stick to free or low-cost channels like Craigslist or their local Nextdoor page.
While it doesnt hurt to get your name in as many local public spaces as possible, there are more marketing strategies to consider to bring in leads and clients.
- Vehicle advertising and signage can be easily created by your local print shop or even ordered online for around $100. A large magnetic sign turns your service vehicle into a moving billboard. Put your brand name, website, and phone number prominently on the vehicles you bring to job sites so that potential customers can see who their neighbors are trusting for landscaping.
- Direct mail and door hangers are ideal for introducing yourself to new neighborhoods. Door hangers, postcards, and fliers are incredibly cost-effective, and they can cost as little as a couple pennies apiece to make.These are also a great place to advertise any tailored offers or services you have for specific neighborhoods or business. Research the area and tweak offers to fit specific needs, such as lawn care for neighborhoods and gardens for condo buildings.
- Take your lawn care company online. Ninety-one percent of consumers search the internet for local goods and services.
How To Get 50 New Customers For Your Lawn Care Business
New lawn care business owners are constantly writing me and asking how they can gain new clients. When responding to these questions, I like to give specific examples a lawn care business owner could do today or tomorrow to help them achieve their goals. Here is a specific example of how one lawn care business owner marketed his business and gained over 50 new lawn care customers in less than 5 months.
Recently on our lawn care business forum, a new member Egreen wrote and said “This is my first season in business. Last winter I called several businesses ex. gas stations,7-11 small shopping centers in my area and explained to the manager that I was NOT trying to sell them anything. I told them I was considering a lawn care business and was taking a survey about their current lawn care service provider. This allowed me to build a rapport with the business owner. I asked who serviced their property, how often, how much they charged and if they were happy with the service provided. Before hanging up I told them if I considered opening shop I would call them and let them know how it was going.
Now any lawn care business owner that has been around for a few seasons knows the return they will make on many marketing strategies. For instance passing out lawn care service flyers in your neighborhood may help you get a 2 to 3 % response. But can you imagine landing 11 out of 12 accounts you targeted? That is an amazing response!
Don’t Miss: Lawn Mowing Estimates
The Cons Of Lawn Mowing For Money
- Expensive start-up-costs: If your child needs to purchase a lawnmower, it could be an expensive job to start. You could let them use your mower to get started or help them purchase one secondhand.
- Safety: Make sure that your child understands how to operate a lawn mower with caution. Anytime a child operates machinery, there is the possibility of injury. Create a plan for your child in case he has an emergency.
- Limited ages: Lawn mowing is appropriate for older children who can operate a lawn mower safely. Younger children may want to consider raking instead.
- Competition: There could be stiff competition for lawn mowing jobs if they are all interested in the same job. Encourage your child to get creative to land repeat jobs.
- Weather: Rain can cause a problem for a lawn mowing business so can drought. Help your child create a backup plan for getting lawn mowing jobs done when there is inclement weather.
What Not To Do When Expanding Into Commercial Lawn And Landscaping Work
Part of taking the right steps to be successful in the commercial landscaping market means avoiding some costly pitfalls.When youre first starting out, it may be tempting to buy a job to get a foothold with an account. But, thats a lose-lose situation. Stick to your set profit margins.You also have to educate your employees. Just because your sales team is good at landing residential accounts doesnt mean theyll be as successful in the commercial sector. In fact, without the right training, they will probably fail miserably and quit, Delany says.Commercial lawn accounts and landscaping contracts can bring in large checks, but make sure your business isnt too dependent on one account. You need to have a good mix of property types. You dont want to have all of your eggs in one basket, Schill says.With the right business tools and preparation, you can make commercial accounts a profitable part of your landscaping company.If you have the patience and are willing to deal with slow payments and losing/replacing large accounts, Delany says, go commercial.
Want more sales insight and advice? Enter your email below to receive new articles instantly . And be sure to check out our Tip Sheet with practical advice on how to market and sell commercial landscaping work.
Also Check: Does Lowes Rent Riding Lawn Mowers
How To Price Residential Snow Plowing Jobs
With winter here and a lot of people losing their jobs, many are looking for ways to make money and offering snow plowing or snow shovelling services is a great way to get started.
I was contacted by a new lawn care and snow plowing business owner and he asked I have always wanted to start my own snow removal and lawncare business but I guess you would say Im green when it comes to it. I kinda have a good idea on what I need on the lawn care side but I would really appericiate any help I could get with the snow removal side any and all help would be great I already have a snowplow on my atv but I know thats not gonna cut it.
Any help with types of equipment and help with salting,sanding, and how to price snow plowing jobs? I would like the jump on and hopefully get in sometime this winter. The problem is I live in northwest Indiana and the winter snow events are scattered and hard to predict.
First off you should find a bigger snow plowing company in your area and sub contract for them doing side walks. Maybe charge $20 – 30 an hour. The beauty about this is no extra snow plowing equipment is needed.
As far as estimating for your snow removal services, here are some ideas on residential snow removal prices.
Charge Labor + Material when it comes to snow
- $110.00 hr Atv with plow
- $40.00 hr Shoveling
- $12.00ea 50 lbs Salt bags
- $20.00ea 50lbs Calcium bags
- .25 hr Atv with plow $27.50
- .50 hr Shoveling Labor $20.00
- .25 hr Salting $10.00