Whether you’re just starting a new landscaping company or you’ve been in the lawn care industry for years, bidding new clients can be difficult if you don’t have a lawn service pricing formula already.
You need to make money and the client needs to know they’re getting a fair price for lawn mowing. Don’t sell yourself short, quoting a lawn care job might not be as difficult as you think if you a few basic things we mention below.
If you’re a one-man lawn care operation it’s simple, how much do you need to make per hour on average to put food on the table and keep your business running? Shouldn’t be hard to estimate.
Once you have a few employees or subcontractors it gets a bit trickier to estimate cost. Now you have other mouths, benefits and most likely a few federal or state-mandated costs associated with having employees. You likely now have more equipment and those additional costs as well.
Despite the number of mower operators to multiply the hourly cost by, you also need to remember travel time is important as well. You can’t just not pay your people for that time, so your hourly on-the-job cost should reflect that or have an out-of-service-area trip charge by distance.
The biggest factor for quoting lawn mowing jobs is obvious – the size of the lawn that needs to be mowed. The size of the lawn is essentially the lot size, minus the house size and any patios, driveways, walkways, landscape beds or other large obstacles. You need a minimum cost to show up to a property and then be able to determine the lawn size and an associated cost. Simply put, larger yards will take longer and cost more to mow.
Length of the grass can not only result in a much longer mow-time, but it will also put more strain on your equipment. You’ll need to sharpen your mower blade more often when mowing 10 inch grass vs 5 inch grass. Longer lawns also are notorious for causing clogs in certain mowers and machines, so account for that time before it happens!
If a property has too many obstacles, it will affect your time and efforts. Some obstacles like sprinkler heads can also increase your risk of damaging the homeowner’s property, resulting in costs to you for damages. It’s best to price it out to ensure you have enough time to be cautious of these obstacles and replace them if something were to happen.
If you’re cutting grass with a mower the time and costs are pretty static, however, if the property or wetness of the lawn requires you to start cutting areas of the grass with other equipment, your prices need to be prepared for that difference in the extra time it would take.
Once you’ve got your foot in the door, you may start offering additional lawn & yard services to your clientele. There are different costs associated with a gas-powered riding lawn mower compared to a battery-operated weed-wacker. Your pricing for each service should reflect that.
Know your market and what similar lawn care services charge for the same thing you do. If you have something extra to offer, you can sell a higher sticker price, if you want to get more jobs quicker, undercut the average cost in your market to look more appealing.
Save money and hours each week by getting a bunch of homeowners in the same area to sign up for you to cut their grass. You can reduce travel time and gas expenses which can be allocated to referral discounts and large-order pricing to attract more of these types of jobs.
Your quotes for a one-time service should ALWAYS be higher than that of recurring services. Your goal is to retain and incentivize long-term clients. It is almost always cheaper to retain mowing jobs week to week than to continually search for new clients. You can better phrase this by offering a discounted price on long-term service contracts from the start. The same idea goes for your add-on services. Potential clients love to see they save money from their valued loyalty to your business.
Posted on July 11, 2019
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