Using a measuring wheel to estimate lawn mowing jobs.

If you want to improve your lawn care profits, you should invest in a surveyors measuring wheel. This simple tool can help you become consistent in your bidding prices. As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, this is one of those tricks of the trade most new entrepreneurs don’t even think of using but once they do, they wish they had done it from the start.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I just recently bought a measuring wheel and wanted to know if anyone else uses one to bid lawn mowing jobs? I haven’t used it yet because I have no clue to how one would come up with a sq. foot price. I know the wheel will not take into fact of trees, slops, etc. but I could work around that. My wife who manages the books for our business feels that using it would help me be more consistent in my bidding prices as the square footage does not lie.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I currently only use a measuring wheel when I am measuring out beds to do mulch jobs. When it comes to quoting for mowing jobs, I just do a visual and say this will take me so long so this is what I will charge. I have been in the business a while and I have learned to eyeball mowing jobs. Although earlier in my career I did use a measuring wheel on my lawn care estimates and you are right, they will help you become more consistent in your pricing.

Using a surveyor's measuring wheel.

Using a surveyor's measuring wheel.

To be accurate with your lawn care bids you need to know your overhead costs. You also need to know how much you need to make per hour to keep your operation profitable.

Knowing such figures will allow you to come up with a minimum price you need to charge just to show up to a persons house, regardless of the size. From there you will have to charge an additional fee based on the sq ft of the property that is to be mowed.

Once you measure out the property, you will come up with a square footage. Take that sq ft and compare it to a property you already mow and know how long it takes you to complete. If the  property you are bidding on is 10% or 20% bigger than your comparable property, you will need to increase that time by the 10% or 20% amount. If the property is smaller then it will take less time.

Take that time to mow, multiply it by your costs per hour and then add your base figure you charge to show up and you will get your bid price.

The goal of all this is to be making a consistent amount per time spent mowing whether it’s on a large property or a small one. So for instance, if you ideally want to charge $60 an hour and one job takes 30 minutes, you should be charging $30. If another job takes 90 minutes, you should be charging $90. At the end of the month, regardless of the size lawns you are mowing day in and day out, if your schedule is full, you should be making similar amounts of money each day.

A big trap new lawn care businesses tend to find themselves in is they bid smaller jobs higher and bid larger jobs lower than what they should. They pull up to a new customer’s house with a large property and get excited thinking about all the money they will make on it but they don’t take into account how long the job will take them. Using a measuring wheel forces a business owner to pull their head out of the clouds and compare this property to a known property to get a real workable price for the job.

So measure out your lawns more often and make more consistent profits. You should also experiment with the online lawn care business calculators to see how important it is to know the size of the property and how that equates to time spent servicing it.”

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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