There are only so many times you can mow a lawn per year. That amount of mowings will generate a certain amount of money. Now since you are already at these properties and generating income. It makes sense to try and upsell you customer base on additional service, like for instance, aeration. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we look into how some entrepreneurs charge and market this service in order to make more money from the same customer base. They also use their aeration marketing to attract mowing customers as well.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I am wanting to offer aeration services this year but I don’t really know anything about it. I have some questions that maybe you can help me get started. What should I be charging per 1,000 sq ft to aerate? Does that include two passes? Who is responsible to flag the sprinkler heads if they are installed on the customer’s property and how much should I charge for that?”
A second lawn care business owner responded “I am guessing you mean the irrigation heads so you don’t damage them when you pass by with the aerator? Nothing like putting a tine through a sprinkler head. Anyone who offers this service has been there. My view is that it is worth the troubles to just have it included in your price for aerating. Most newer irrigation installations will have a layout of the heads or just run the system for a few minutes to determine where they are, then you can flag them.
The aerator I have I can aerate about 6,000-8,000 sq.ft/hr. Now that is just all straight runs. Then you have trees, garden beds, drives, walkways, etc…
When you calculate all of that you are probably looking at an average of 4,000 sq.ft/hr. Now 4,000 sq.ft is a lawn 64′ x 64′ but by the time you show up, mark sprinkler heads, unload, aerate, and reload you are looking at a good 1.25 hours…times that by your labor rate and you’re off.
I would also have a minimum charge for aerating, probably 1 hour. It’s not worth your time to show up and make 2 passes and reload and go and bill for 15 minutes of work. ”
A third shared “aeration service is one of my favorites. Using the machine is not easy, but it’s worth it. Spring and fall are the best time to perform the service. I recommend you not charge by square feet if the property is over 9,000 sq ft otherwise charge by the service and try to sell fertilizing with it. If you don’t have a fertilizing license then use organic. Just by aerating you add great benefits to the soil.
I perform aeration by myself and make a special flyer for it. One in spring that charges full price $150.00 including organic fertilizer for a lot under 9,000 square feet, if it goes over that I charge an extra $20.00 to $50.00. I also have a flyer in the fall which I offer 25% OFF. I am currently using a 530 bluebird aerator that uses weight. It’s a beast my friend. Next year I will look into one more mechanical machine that won’t rely on weight.
The machine does all the work and you just have to learn how to handle it. Last year in the fall, I sold aeration for $75.00 including fertilizer. This fall since my customers are more into their yards thanks to all the rain we have gotten lately, I will experiment and advertise this service at $50.00 just for the aeration itself. I want to build a solid clientele for this service and am fine tuning my marketing message to find that sweet spot.”
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