There are many situations you will run into as a lawn care business owner where you may wonder if you should be charging extra for certain services. A member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum had an interesting question along these lines when he asked “if you are providing lawn care for a customer and a storm occurs that causes sticks and leaves to fall on the lawn, you obviously can’t cut the lawn with out moving the debris first. How do you go about charging extra for yard clean up? Or do you even charge them?
I guess I am stuck on at what point do you start charging extra for picking up and blowing leaves.”
One lawn care business owner shared “here is what I do. When I give a bid for yard service, I try to figure these things in to my bid from the beginning. I will look at the property and evaluate how many trees there are, what kinds of trees, etc. For example Willows are especially messy to work with. When I calculate my service charge it includes the cleanup costs year round. So my price might seem a little high through the summer months, but it evens out through the messy winter months. I try not to charge for cutting only, I try to charge for maintaining the yard.”
Another lawn care business owner had an opposing view. “I’ve found from my bidding experience, for it to be different. If I include everything from trimming, pruning, weeding & clean ups all in one price, I miss a lot of bids. But those customers who go with it also want their entire property to look picture perfect all year round & tend to nagg you to death about every little thing. When this happens, there can be times where I only get half my mowing list done for the day. If this repeats everyday, I just can’t catch up.
My normal lawn care service are mow, edge, trim, and blow off. All extras are separately requested/suggested, sold, invoiced & scheduled.
People understand that extra work above & beyond our agreement means an additional charge.
But when someone wants say trimming included in a monthly service bill, I look and say ok this will cost $150 to trim say 4 times a year. If I add $600 to the total for the year & divide by 12 right it becomes an extra $50 a month fee. From my experience, the customers simply won’t pay it. Instead, they want to haggle it down & add $20-30 a month & then if I agree they drive me nuts all year with ‘trim this up again ok? Aren’t you gonna hit those bushes again, it’s been 3 weeks…’ It drives me nuts.
But if I keep the services separate, most customers will let it go until the landscaping is getting a little nuts. So I maybe only get to trim it 3 times a year but I will charge more since it’s overgrown.
When I handle my billing like this, the customer is happy & I get all the ‘WOW, It looks much better, thank you so much’ type gratitude. They get their landscape maintained when they deam it’s ready to be maintained (& don’t expect anything in between), & I still paid for trimming a years worth of landscape growth.
Which way is ultimately better is up for individual decision, but my vote is to separate the services and bill for them.”
How to estimate year round lawn care - GopherHaul 64 Lawn Care Estimate Show
How to estimate year round lawn care - GopherHaul 64 Lawn Care Podcast Show