Should I raise lawn care prices mid-season?

Many times when a new lawn care business gets started, they tend to under price their services. In order to jump start their lawn care business, they figure if they undercut the aver price to mow a lawn, they will quickly fill up their customer base. While this tends to work for an initial jolt, the down side to it is you then find yourself with a lawn care customer base full of low profit or unprofitable lawns. If you find yourself in this situation, how do you deal with it?

One of the member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wrote “I need some advice guys!

The first few lawn care customers I signed up I in a way… low balled. I read on here that the average rate for mowing was $40 so that’s what I charged….BUT the first few customers are military and as a marketing strategy, they get 10% off. Bringing there rate to $35. My husband is a Ranger in the US Army so I don’t mind giving the discount.

Now I have way more lawn care clients (most of them with much smaller yard) and none of them pay that little. I start at $45 and up now. Discount or not. The question is….can I raise their prices in the middle of the season? Or should I just stick it out until next year and then raise those folks. All of them are in an annual agreement with us. Their yards take a bit more time than anticipated and I think they should pay more. I don’t want to risk losing them, or make them feel like we are not true to our word and change there agreement in the middle of the season.

What do you guys think?”

Tom suggested “I never think it is a good idea to raise prices in the middle of the season. Put yourself in the lawn care customer’s shoes. Would you want to be told the price is going up in the middle of the mowing season? I would suck it up for this year and do a great job for those lawn care customers. Then next season raise them a few bucks but don’t shock them unless you don’t need them. Hopefully they will be pleased enough with your services that a increase won’t bother them. Remember there are a lot of lawn care business owners and low ballers out there trying to get your accounts!! I only raise prices in the middle of the season for pain in the a-ss clients I don’t want. The low ballers can have them.”

This is a milestone in your business I hope you are aware of that! You are filling your customer base and you are now looking to get more profit out of them! Congratulations!

I agree I wouldn’t raise prices mid mowing season unless they are a problem customers. I’d wait until the end of the season. If you start finding you are getting more profitable customers, you could always potentially drop a not so profitable one if they are too far out of the way. Or send them to another lawn care business in the area. Ultimately you want tight routes with high profits.

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