Pricing lawn care and yard cleanups.

How to price lawn mowing or a yard cleanup seems to be one of the more popular questions asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Many new lawn care business owners tend to be lost with this and understandably so, it can be very difficult to wrap your mind around proper bidding concepts.

To help shed more light on this topic, a lawn care business owner shared with us how he comes up with the prices he charges. As you will see here, there is a method to it and it is scientific. If you find yourself on a job site guessing what you should charge, you need to rethink your bidding procedures.

He wrote “I hear a lot of talk about HOW to bid this and HOW to bid that or is this a good price to charge for this, is this to much or to little?

I know that every job is different, but the pricing shouldn’t change. Providing you have set up a standards price list for service you’ll be providing when you began your business venture. This list should have been one of the first things done before even bidding to the first customer. With out a price list how will you know what amount to charge for each service you provide?

When choosing the Services you are going to provide you should have a price to go along with that service. Now there are different charges for added difficulty, say you charge $45 min for cutting up to 3000 sq ft of level to slightly rolling lawn. Add $10.00 to that for every extra 1000 sq. ft and $5 for every step UP of difficulty. (excessive trees, extended plant areas, hilly or steep ditches that require more trimming time).

Lets say you have been cutting and some small landscaping details all summer and you have a customer ask for a fall clean up. You should have a good idea of how long it will take to clean up the leafs.

If not here is a common rule; For every 1000 sq.ft. of yard it should take 1 man 1.5 hrs. @ your hourly rate, if he/she is to blow into wind row and remove. (NOTE: to some who didn’t or don’t know wind rows are faster and easier to manage and pick up). To clarify, a wind row is when you blow all grass clipping or leafs into a long narrow row, insted of one or to big piles, this makes it easier to clean up and is faster all around.

Clean up around plant areas for every 500 sq. ft. should take 1 man 1.5 hrs. to hand rake and blow into yard. Also you would want to add gutter clean out in this automatically at a rate of $1.00 per Ln. ft., now you will have dumping charges for this, if you don’t have a place to dump for free, this charge should be 1.85 times the cost of dumping at your local dump and this will cover expenses (dump charges, fuel & time). ex. dump charge cost $85.00 x 1.85 = $157.25 now lets put this all together and see what comes of it.

4000 sq ft of yard = 6 man hrs @ $45 per hr.= $270.00
1000 sq ft of plant area = 3 man hrs @ $45 per hr = $135.00
60 Ln ft. of gutter = $1.00 per Ln ft. x 60 Ln ft. = $60.00
Dump/Removal Charge = $85 @ 1.85 multiplier = $157.25

Total Charges for the clean up $622.25 not bad for a days work. If you have an extra hand you should be able to complete this in 4 hours. Pay you helper $8 - $10 per hour if you have more jobs for that day or just pay them $100 bucks for that job.

Lets look @ the Profit & Loss Statement for this job;
Fuel Cost Truck & Blowers $30
Dumping Charge $85
Extra Labor $100
Total Expense $215.00

P&L = $407.25 you just made $100.00 per hour by using a helper. The P&L will go up only slightly if you do this on your own.

The point I’m trying to make is set your prices and stick to them. every job is different but the hourly charges per man hour and flat rates should stay the same for every customer, if you charge one customer one thing and then charge another a different amount for the same job this will put doubt in their mind.

ex. Customer calls wants the patio pressure washed the patio is of normal dirtiness and it is 10×15 = 150 sq ft you charge this customer $1.00 per sq ft. equaling $150.00 they tell a neighbor and their deck is of equal dirtiness and it is 8×20 = 160 sq ft you charge them $1.50 per sq ft. equaling $240.00 this customer is not going to be happy and probably wont call you back nor will the first customer because you have put doubt into their minds of is this guy for real is he just throwing #’s out there or what.

Don’t ever leave room for doubt or a question of your integrity as a business owner/operator. YOU WILL lose if you do.”

Pricing lawn care and yard cleanups - GopherHaul 65 Start a lawn care business show.

Pricing lawn care and yard cleanups GopherHaul 65 lawn care business podcast.

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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