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.
Professional Commercial Lawn Care In Cedar Rapids
Lawns play an essential role in the presentation of businesses. A well-kept lawn says a lot about a companys attention to detail and commitment to its responsibilities. We at Gregs Lawn & Landscaping understand these parallels and we can help you use them to your advantage. Our over 37 years of experience has given us the best insights into modern lawns. Our commercial property lawn care in Cedar Rapids promises complete maintenance of your landscape. You can also promote environmental awareness through our green practices.
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Before these tasks take up too much of your time and resources, call us. We take pride in how weve helped many organizations, like yours, to maintain their landscape while they focus on more important aspects of business operations.
What Can You Expect To Spend For Lawn Care For Your Business
First, lets define lawn care.
Its very common even within the landscaping industry to lump all turf services together as lawn care. However, we prefer to use language in a more precise manner.
When we speak of lawn care, we are referring to turf treatment services that keep your grass in optimal health. These include:
- Soil pH testing and balancing
- Fertilizer applications, and
- Fungicide, pesticide, and herbicide treatments.
Just to be clear, landscape management or maintenance packages often include many services above and beyond lawn care.
When you purchase landscape maintenance, you can choose either dedicated lawn care services or a more full-service package to best match your maintenance needs.
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How To Raise Your Lawn Care Pricing Without Losing Great Clients
No one and I mean no one wants to pay more for anything.
Youre raising my prices? My yard didnt get any bigger, so why should it cost more?
The stubborn client is every lawn care business’ worst nightmare. As a result, many lawn care business owners are afraid that a simple lawn care pricing increase will bring out the worst in people.
And it will
if you dont do it right.
- How high is too high?
- What number should you aim for?
- When should you raise prices, and how frequently?
Use these 5 simple steps to properly raise your lawn care prices without losing your best clients.
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.
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The Farison Lawn Care Program Guarantee
The experienced pros at Farison Lawn Care feel you need at least two weeks to notice the effects of The Farison Lawn Care Program. However, if unsightly weeds still crop up and ruin the look of your lawn, well be happy to come out and reapply the application for free. Your satisfaction is our number one concern, so give us a call if you arent completely pleased with the results.
Also, co-founder Dan Farison would be delighted to come out and perform an onsite consultation for free. With our years of experience providing Kentucky lawn care services, Dan knows how to care for the lawns in our area to bring out the very best in each yard. Imagine having that kind of lawn care experience at your disposal at no extra charge! Call the experts at Farison Lawn Care today.
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.
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How To Choose A Lawn Care Company
If youre concerned about lawn care cost and management today, it might be tempting to do all of the work yourself. It can be relaxing for some people to work outside, but todays lifestyle requirements dont always leave enough time to do the work on the proper schedule.
Several lawn care companies will compete for your business. You could settle for the lowest price, but that doesnt mean youll receive the work quality you want.
When youre ready to turn your lawn care and landscaping over to the pros, here are some tips to help you choose the right company.
The Advantages Of Working On Commercial Contracts
I always liked commercial work because youve got a contract. You know how often youre supposed to visit in a month, what height youre supposed to cut the grass to, what your responsibilities are, and what your responsibilities arent, Ed explains.
Your client will be clear about their expectations, so your focus should be making note of that, and giving that information to your crew. If something goes wrong, there is inclement weather, or you need to return to finish the job, all you need to do is talk to the property manager.
So long as you care about their property, build a relationship, and do what they ask, youre golden.
Since youre dealing with a professional business, getting paid is a bit more predictable. That means youre not waiting for paychecks, and you dont need to re-send an invoice. Its very straightforward.
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Peoria Commercial Lawn Maintenance Rates
*These rates are current for 2020. New rates available upon request. These rates are a guideline and do not represent the actual estimate that will be provided once one of our professionals reviews your property.
- Seasonal contracts receive a 10% discount
- All Web rates are projected estimates and subject to change.
- Extra costs for trimming around fences and other obstacles may apply, but will be identified in estimates.
- Estimates for commercial leaf blowing and commercial leaf clean up are available upon request.
How To Raise Prices
It’s hard to raise prices for existing clients but not impossible. Customers often expect price increases. Your success depends on how you frame it.4
You’ll read a lot of articles online recommending you thoroughly explain your price increase to your customers in the name of transparency. I wouldn’t. What makes you think your customers want to hear your justification for charging them more?
My business coach recently raised his hourly rates substantially. I didn’t need to ask him why. I’m smart enough to know he wants to make more money by capitalizing on the demand for his consulting. Kudos to him. No explanation needed.
Your customers and clients don’t want to hear about how “your costs have gone up”. It’s not their problem.
All this said, you do need to communicate your price increase properly. Here are some best practices for doing that:
1. Take your time implementing the transition.
Roll it out slowly over several months if you can, starting with a small group of customers who can provide valuable feedback. This is a great way to measure resistance before rolling out an increase to your entire customer base.
2. Honor existing contracts and give plenty of notice.
Please don’t “surprise” your customers with a sudden increase in their service price. This is when you piss them off. It comes across as arbitrary and poorly executed.
But, you say, “Chris, if I give them three months heads up then they’re going to shop around for a cheaper lawn service!“
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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?
How Much Do Commercial Lawn Care Services Cost
In business, appearances count. You wouldnt show up at a client presentation wearing an old T-shirt and ripped jeans.
So why would you allow your first impression of your business be a patchy, weedy lawn?
For many businesses, the need to maintain their property to professional standards makes lawn care a necessity. And that means, figuring out how to budget for it.
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The Standard Bidding Unit The Man Hour
In order to take the big mystery out of bidding for jobs, were going to help you to create a standard unit of measure.
Something that you use as a guide whenever you price a new clients weekly lawn mowing visits or a shrub pruning job for example.
The biggest key behind this unit is having a fairly good understanding of how much time something is going to take.
Thats the tricky part at least in the beginning. But thats what your first 10 customers are really for they allow you to get a good feel for the work and how to gauge the amount of time a lawn or other project will take. A little later on, Ill go into some ideas thatll help you better guestimate your time and how to really hone your instincts so you can be right on the money.
Now I know that Ive mentioned before that thinking of yourself as an hourly employee is no longer acceptable. Youre in business now, and its not how much money you make per hour, its how much your business makes per hour. Its a subtle difference but its an important one. The difference between an hourly wage and a man hour can mean tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to you.
The reason that you use the man hour as your basis or as your standard unit of measure is that this will always be your basis.
So how do you figure this out?
Well, lets start with your $5,000 per month salary or $60,000 per year. At a regular 40 hour per week job, you can figure out your yearly salary by multiplying your hourly wage by 2,000.
Things To Keep In Mind When Budgeting For Commercial Lawn Care Services Costs
Before beginning any turf care program, it is important to have realistic expectations.
Here are a few points to keep in mind as you budget for lawn care:
Understand first that you are dealing with natural conditions. 100% weed control may not be a realistic or cost effective goal, depending on your budget and the needs of your business.
Lawn care programs are most effective when combined with proper cultural practices. These include proper mowing, adequate irrigation, proper timing of irrigation to prevent chemical volatilization, and other concerns.
Its impossible to achieve an ideal lawn without getting the soil right first. Soil sampling will indicate curative steps that enhance the effects of any fertilization program.
Selecting a comprehensive program is generally more cost effective than purchasing just one or two applications. A fertile healthy lawn can help out-compete weeds and act as a preventative. Pre-emergent treatments in the long haul are less costly and keep the appearance of the lawn better throughout the season instead of just relying on post emergent herbicides.
Timing and consistency make a difference. Ideal timing for applications depends on horticultural windows centered around weed germination periods and optimal uptake of nutrients. MIssing applications for any reason can lessen the results of the entire program.
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Cost Of Winterizing Your Lawn
Depending on where you live, you may need to winterize your lawn for the harsh winter weather. Winterizing your lawn will ensure the lawn your worked so hard to keep healthy and beautiful does not die from the first snow, and can also prevent dead spots or the unappealing brown spots that we all see too often at the beginning of spring.
The average cost for winterizing a lawn is about $400, but the price can vary drastically depending on where you live and the size of your lawn. If you have a lawn care provider you can ask them about their winterizing process and what your lawn would need, or you can find a lawn care professional today to take on the job.
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:
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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.