If you are just getting your business started and a customer either wants bi-weekly lawn mowing or none at all, most will take the bi-weekly job. However as you grow, you are going to want to either transition those customers to weekly lawn service or drop them from your route. As we will see here in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you just can’t make a living by servicing only by-weekly customers.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I am wondering if it would be better to price my lawns based on monthly service or yearly service? All of my lawns are done on a bi-weekly basis, however 85% of them could be done once a week. What would be the best route to go? Would it be better to give them a quote for every month of service or for a year of lawn care?
Should I initially ask the customer if they are looking for a monthly or yearly quote? I already had 4 residential customers ask what I charge per month.”
A second lawn care business owner responded “I think it depends on who the client is.
Some people are OK with hearing ‘It will be $35 a week’, but if you say ‘ it will be $140 a month’, the wheels start turning, and they wonder if they want to spend that much.
Monthly pricing and even giving the customer a price for yearly lawn care becomes less of an issue in upscale areas, as they tend to not be as sticker shocked. Plus, you can also offer a slight discount if the customer prepays for the year. Having cash in hand early in the season can really be helpful.”
A second lawn care business owner said “weekly pricing seems to go over a lot easier than monthly or yearly.
You really need to get away from bi-weekly cuts as you’ll never make a living that way. I’d give them a price, say $45 or $50 a cut if it’s bi-weekly and $35 for weekly cuts, that way you win either way. Bi weekly cuts are hard on equipment, labor and your time. Don’t let people take advantage of you because they will!”
A third shared “I don’t live in a climate where bi-weekly mowing is an option except when it hits 95 degrees in July, Aug. Then I have a couple of them that ask me to skip their property while the grass is dormant. It’s not been a problem though this year with over 70 inches of rain. I did have one customer who wanted bi-weekly mowing and but it just added time to my visit because I had to double cut it every time. I told her to line up another company for service next year.
We charge by the week, that way in the 5 week months, we don’t lose any money on that last cut. I have 10 big commercial properties that we re-arranged the schedule in order to get (2) 5 week months in on this summer. That equals more profit.
Another idea you might try is offering 12 month payment plan. That way you have steady income all season, even in the off months. We do not offer snow plowing so it is income in our down time. Sell yourself as a professional and charge well for everything you do!”
A fourth said “I work in the south and during the mowing season I do not cut bi-weekly as it takes more time to perform. During the non-mowing season I charge the same amount monthly as all my customers are on yearly contracts. In the spring and fall I include additional non-mowing services like fall / spring leaf clean-ups and gutter cleaning. Fertilizing, weed control, insect control are all extras, that are sold along with a yearly contract.
I have found that I have reduced the number of annoying clients and increased my income by 2 or 3 times by doing things this way.
I get everyone to sign contracts, no matter what part of the season they start service.”
Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.