How to set your lawn care prices.

Setting prices for your different services can be extremely tough or incredibly easy depending on how you do it. Some services will make you great profits, while others won’t make any money at all. To figure out which services to offer and at what prices they should be, all you have to do is follow these tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Once you have this dialed in, your business should grow and grow.

One lawn care business owner wrote “setting prices in your area, how do you do it? I don’t care how good the work is, some people, a lot of people for that matter just refuse to pay $40 per week to have their lawn mowed. If you can not remain competitive with other operators in your area you won’t last long. The only thing I could think of is to call the local guys to come give me a quote at my house. I can take the highest and lowest quote and shoot for the middle however I have never once had a local lawn care company call me back or return emails. Any advice on how to get them out to get quotes or what other methods to set your price?

The thing is, I am not having trouble with commercial properties. I usually tell them $35 per hour flat rate unless it’s a one time small job, then I just pretty much spit out what I want to make. The problem for me is residential property pricing. If the going rate is $15 per lawn then there is no way in hell am I going to get work charging $40.

A second lawn care business owner said “to gain more feedback, I just recently started asking customers (1) Have you had lawn care service prior to now? (2) How much did they charge you? You would be surprised what people will tell you when you catch them off guard.. Just ask them. I would say about 80% will answer you and tell you what you need to do so that you can keep them happy.

For larger properties, including commercial ones, I break them down to sizes I am used to working on and then I use a multiplier. So for example, with a 16 building apartment complex, I figure out in detail how long it will take to mow, edge, trim, cut bushes, and the price for each. Then I will multiply that price by the number of buildings I am bidding on.

Once you start to break it down, then you can add in cost for blades, wire, maintenance labor, and start to figure out the real cost of what things are going to take you to get them done.

It’s amazing what type of valuable feedback you will get from customers if you just ask. I got one mowing account because the previous lawn crew kept mowing and getting grass in the dog water bowl. So I just have the water bowl refilled after every mow. He has called serveral time to tell me how he can’t believe my crew takes time to check the dogs water and refill it. I had another account tell me that the city kept getting on to him cause the ally way was not mowed. So I make sure that it gets done every time.

You may think customers will try to lowball you when they tell you the price they have paid for mowing, but people will give me crazy high prices too. I have one lady with a 100 sq. ft. yard who was paying $65 a week to mow it. When I told her that I would do it for $25, I thought she was going to cry.

You just do not know. As far as what percentage of bids I win or lose I try to figure I want to lose 10-15% of all my bids. This helps me makes sure that I am not over priced but that I am also not too under priced. If you start getting every bid, go up on your price. If you lose the next two out of ten bids, drop the price a little.”

A third business owner said “you may want to consider what other services can you offer. Choose services you know how to do, that may require an additional piece of equipment. Even if you had to rent something until the cash flow and profit was there to buy a piece of your own.

Because mowing residential lawns in my area is so competitive and cheaply priced, I now have very few lawn care contracts. The ones I have are very large in size. I sold over 90 accounts about two months ago as I found the serious money was in other services homeowners need. Demand was there for additional services so either I had the equipment or I simply bought it.

At this stage, when it comes to a property there is not one I can’t do when it comes to landscaping/yardcare/hardscaping. It’s October and we are still pressure washing. I have four staff all weekend doing nothing but pressure washing and there is serious money in this. The requests for garden tilling are pouring now too but I am not taking on such additional jobs this season because we simply don’t have the time.

We all have clients that are special to us, we also have friends in our network, and we all need to make money. Ask the clients you are comfortable with a simple question ‘I am wanting to expand my business and what I offer, as I can do a lot of things, what do you think would be a good idea?’ It does it work. Your clients know what they want. We know what they need. There is a bridge out there that will make it work and if you question enough, you will find it and have the business you need.”

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Check out the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum for great prices on new and used lawn care equipment:

Chain Saw

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Multi Attachment Trimmers

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String Trimmer

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Trencher
Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success