Lawn Service Pricing Made Simple
Every legitimate lawn care service must know how to establish lawn service pricing that is ethical, fair, and priced right for a profit.
When I first started my lawn mowing business back in 1994, I didn't know how to accurately estimate the costs and time it would take to mow and trim a lawn.
Experience has changed that.
In my early days, I borrowed a book from my friend titled
"How to Make Big Money Mowing Small Lawns" by Robert A. Welcome.
In addition to my friends advice, this book was all I had for advice about this business.
Measuring The Lawn
Whether you mow, fertilize, thatch, or aerate them, you will need to know the size of the area you will be servicing.
In the old days, I needed to go out and measure the customer's lawn with a measuring wheel (available at hardware stores) and then calculate the square footage.
Today you can measure the square footage from your home based business office. Satellite photos and online county land records make that possible.
Still it is best to go out and look your customer's property over and establish a rapport with your customer. You will need to add into your estimate, the road frontage and ditch areas since your customer will expect you to service that area even though they don't own it.
Calculating The Square Footage
Basic math is necessary to calculate the square footage of a lawn. All lawns, even if they are irregular in shape, can be broken down into rectangles, squares, circles, or triangles.
There is 43,560 square feet in an acre. The formulas you need to know in order to calculate square footage are:
Below is a picture of a property's dimensions (not to scale). The dimensions are 150 ft. x 175 ft. x 225 ft. x 129 ft. x 70 ft. Can you figure out the square footage?
The answer, rounded, is 37,266 square feet or 0.86 acres.
Now that you know the square footage of the property, how long is it going to take you to mow it? That depends upon your deck size, and number of obstacles you need to cut or trim around.
You can roughly estimate the time it takes to mow the lawn by referring to your lawn mower's manufacturer specs. John Deere, I know, published the data on their brochures.
I can mow an acre using a 54 inch deck in about 1 hour. My 0.7 acre lawn plus ditch lines takes me about 1 hour with a 48 inch deck with some inefficient tight areas that requires me to drive over the same areas.
A 2 acre property can take 2.5 hours to mow and trim when there are lots trees to trim around with a string trimmer.
You will have legitimate expenses that you need to figure into your lawn service pricing.
Expenses like fuel costs for your equipment and vehicles, liability insurance, labor costs, unemployment insurance for employees (if you have them), travel time, office overhead, equipment maintenance, interest paid on any loans, and repairs to budget into your estimate for lawn service pricing.
You will need to allocate the estimated or actual costs across all the properties you service.
Not so easy is it? That is where lawn care software can help you. Some have modules that will help you price your services. You can also use a Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet.
Once you know your costs per hour or acre, then you can calculate the price for the job and add your profit margin for the estimate you give your customer. For very small properties like a mobile home, you may have to have a minimum charge to just come out.
I think you can see why record keeping is so important. If you estimate low this year, your data will help you to adjust prices next year.
What I have described here in this article is only one approach to pricing your lawn care. To explore other ways to price your product or service for maximal profits, I highly recommend you
download and read the FREE eBook titled " Make Your Price Sell! The Masters Course.
It is only 41 pages long. It is the definitive work on setting your perfect price. It is written by Dr. Ken Evoy. Ken knows from experience, the proper price to set for maximum profits. Get your copy now! It is FREE!
Good luck on your legitimate home business and profitable lawn service pricing.
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