What’s your minimum price to mow a lawn?

Setting a minimum price to mow a lawn is very important. No matter what the size of the property, you are going to have a certain amount of expenses just to show up to the lawn and lower your landscaping trailer gate. Knowing your expenses can help you determine a minimum price to mow a lawn but it is also helpful to hear how others charge for lawn mowing.

If you haven’t already done so take a moment to play around with our online lawn care business calculators. They will get you thinking about how much your overhead is and how much you need to charge per hour.

Minimum lawn care price

Minimum lawn care price

Ultimately you want to know what your expenses are. Then you want to figure out how much you need to charge per hour to cover those expenses and make a profit.

When you are first getting started you see a lot of lawn care business owners not sure of what their expenses are so they shoot for a $45 to $60 an hour range when they are bidding. But as you are in business longer you learn more what YOU need to be profitable and you base your prices on what YOU need. Not what others need.

You should consider experimenting when you give your bids, and do it in person. See how the homeowner reacts to your bid. If they sign up on the spot, great! If they don’t, try and figure out why they aren’t. Ask them what you could do to get them to agree.

The more you ask your potential customers, the more you will learn.

Don’t let this be a mystery. Ask them what you need to do to resolve the issue so you can perform their yard service.

Let’s jump to a discussion on this topic at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum where one of our members asked “What should the minimum charge be per lawn? I have it set at $35.00 to cut, trim, and bag the grass.”

One lawn care business owner responded by saying “The way I set my minimum price is with a stop charge which I add to the amount I ask per 1,000 square feet of lawn. The stop charge is the amount I want to drive there, unload my equipment and load it up again to go to the next one. I doubt you’d sell a city lot at $35. I do some houses that are 800 square feet each. Each one takes me about 10 total minutes including weed whacking and blowing. Even asking $14 each that extrapolates to $84 per hour.

The stop charge plus certain dollar amount per 1,000 square feet or yard makes the smaller lawns more profitable especially if you line up more than one at one stop.”

Another lawn care business owner said “I charge a minimum of $35.00 per lawn…never any less. There are some companies in my area that charge $50.00 minimum…which is ridiculous in my opinion. If you have the quality to back up what you are charging you’ll never have a problem.”

A third offered “I have experience bidding and I can definitely recommend handing the proposal to the customer in person rather than mailing or faxing. It gives you the opportunity to gauge their response and discuss the bid. I also believe in the good - better - best bid. Good being a basic job, and best being the premier. I believe this is the way to go.”

And here is one final opinion “There is a difference between what a person charges and what a person makes. On the same yard it is possible that one person would charge $35 and make $25 and another person would have to charge $50 to make $25.

I believe there are a lot of people doing ‘lawn care’ that have no idea what they are making. They ‘think’ they are making decent money. But what they are really doing is living on borrowed time. They aren’t putting money away for repairs and/or replacement of equipment. They aren’t putting money away for the winter when things get slow, but payments are still due. They may not be carrying business insurance, they may not be declaring anything on taxes.

In a nutshell, total up all your fixed costs, get a good estimate on your floating expenses, add some for equipment repair and replacements and then add 10% for all stuff you forgot. Now these costs are basically going to remain the same if you work part time or full time. (yes you are going to have to replace something sooner if you use it daily as opposed to twice a week, but that is why we added the 10%) Now, break this cost down to a weekly basis. (Example, if insurance is $520, it is $10 a week)

The number you get is what you have to make each and every week to cover your cost. Okay, you’re almost done. Now, add to your cost what you want to make that week and you’ve now got a number to work with. With this number in mind, ask yourself…. how many of this type of lawns could I mow in day? If you can do 5 in a day and are going to work 6 days… then 5 X 6 = 30 so your needed number divided by 30 gives you what you should be charging for that particular size lawn.

I admit this is an over generalization, but it will point you in the right direction.”

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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