Should you charge commercial lawn care customers less than residential?

Should a lawn care company charge more for one type of customer over another? Will residential customers pay more for mowing than commercial clients or possibly is it the other way around? That is a question many new entrepreneurs ponder and ask on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Here we see some great insight as to how you can make the most money from both.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I was wondering if I get a homeowner’s association contract to mow, should I charge them commercial or residential prices? My commercial prices are generally cheaper.

I try to keep my commercial lawn care accounts cheaper than residential accounts for the simple fact that commercial properties are USUALLY bigger than my residential properties.

One customer, who is a local HOA President, complained to me about his other landscaping company raising their prices up 50% on him and that’s why he called me. I went out and measured all the areas and then emailed him my bid. He immediately called me back to come and start mowing. The grass was pretty high in some of the areas that I cut. One spot was taller than me. After I cut it, I realized that I should have charged him a lot more.

But we all learn from our mistakes and try not to let them happen again. Right now, I’m charging him residential prices for the areas. I do a great job and have been complimented by lots of the neighbors that live in the neighborhood. Everything is running smoothly and I’ve given him a lot of freebies this past summer (just little things like spraying a rock drain area for weeds and pulling a handful of weeds in a playground).

I’m slowly building and loving working for myself. It sure beats the unemployment line or looking for a sucky low paying job where you’re not appreciated.

When I first started mowing, it was only for a small portion of the HOA entrance and a 1.75 acre playground area. So I charged the residential price. Then he added that there were other spots people were complaining about that were general areas. So I started cutting them. As time went on, there were even more areas added. The HOA President was pretty new to all the things about the community and wasn’t sure of all the places that the previous lawn care company had cut. So as of right now, he’s paying residential prices for all the areas that I cut. He never mentioned to me how many people were cutting these area previously or how long it would take them. I know it takes me (alone) 6 hours to do all the mowing, trimming, weeding, etc.

One thing that I am definitely changing next mowing season is that if I have grass more than 6 inches tall, there is going to be a fee for every 3 inches extra. I have to change my blades on my mower to cut this high grass and it tears up my mower doing it. I have learned that about the mowing. I never ran into this problem before when I had cut grass - until this year.

This HOA president has since signed up for weekly cuts. Everyone in the neighborhood loves how I cut the park and they say that the other people never picked up the trash before cutting, they would just run it over. That is one of my pet peeves about people that mow. How hard is it to pick up a piece of trash?

He has mentioned to me that he was going to drop some of the areas next year. I told him we will need to get together before the season to decide which spots are being eliminated and which ones are staying. He’s a nice guy too. So I am just not sure what to do with my bid, any help would be greatly appreciated.

A second lawn care business owner said “it doesn’t matter who they are, everyone gets the same price per hour in my book. Your overhead and operating costs aren’t dependent on whether you are mowing a residential or commercial customer.

If you are looking to make more money on these jobs, you need to look for upgradable moments. We use lawn care maintenance as a sales opportunity or as we call them upgradeable moments. I have learned that if you give everyone a fair price and excellent service residential and commercial you will have many more customers than you have hours in the day. Each of those customers have hundreds or thousands of extra dollars they will happily give you for the services they need.

Upgradeable moments can consist of selling the customer flowers, shrubs, mulch, using contacts in other industries such as roofers to gain easy profit without a major change to the time on property anything they need we are there one stop shop for their home or whatever whenever =$$$$. Getting customers to agree to upgrades is the easy part. Point out what they need and give them the best service for a great price and you will gain their trust and judgement.”

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
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A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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