There are three simple steps you can take to improve the profitability of your lawn care business. They don’t require you to go out and spend more money on marketing or buy expensive new mowing equipment. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, a few internal tweaks on the way you operate your business is all it takes to make a huge difference in profits.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I made a lot of money this season so far, and have just now slowed down enough to talk about it. It was pretty hard to grow the lawn service to the size it is now but things seem to be getting easier with improved word of mouth advertising I am getting.
What I did to help me make more money this year was to stop low balling bids and get my rates up. So now I have my rates higher. Today I advertise a single lawn mowing as $30, and monthly contracts starting at $80. Sure I get less customers, but you have to charge what you need or your business isn’t going to last long.
The first year I got started, I charged $20 a cut and $70 for a monthly contract. Needless to say, I didn’t have money to cover my taxes at the end of the year, so I made the determination that even though I want to be easy on the people I service, I also have to pass on tax expenses etc. to them and charge the higher rates or my business was going to get into trouble with the IRS.
Another thing I did this year was to harness employees more, and to make sure the workers weren’t some ‘rent a bum’ type character, but instead was a quality worker who could do a lot. I just don’t have the patience anymore to deal with the guy who only wants to work a couple days a month and sleep in the rest. If I want my business to grow, I need to hire real workers who can perform day in and day out.
Never under charge for your lawn care services, and get as many lawn care contracts as possible to keep income coming in during the winter months. The first winter I had one contract that paid $70 a month and I was really hurting for money. This winter I will have more than enough cash to keep me from having to use credit cards to survive.
I have learned a lot about selling lawn care contracts too. What I have found is that you normally don’t want to try and talk people into a contract, but instead, present them a deal where they ask for it. Some people just like the contract system because of the lower flat monthly rate all year long. It is just easier for them to budget it. Once I explain to a new customer the benefits of a lawn care contract, they tend to want to sign right up.
When it comes to price increases, each year I will only raise my prices slightly for my faithful customers. With my new customers I tend to experiment more freely with higher rates to see what the market will bare. Periodically I will review all my customers to find if any are being undercharged and then I’ll just ask the customer I feel I’m under charging, for an increase.
If I raise the rates on everyone at once I risk a rebellion that could close down my service. But by surgically getting the rates up as needed, my business is in no danger even if some rebel and I lose their business because if a few leave, I know I can replace them with higher paying new customers.
These are the three biggest steps I have taken to increase my earnings this year by about 30%! Now that I have found these to be the key to my success, I will continue to get more higher paying customers, utilize contracts, and harness my employees to the best of their abilities.”
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