Providing quotation to prospective clients is an important aspect of a lawn care business. If you are new to the lawn care industry, you’ll need to do some serious research before you can come up with a pricing model for all the services that you provide. Here are 4 things that you should keep in mind when establishing the prices for your lawn care services.
Know how much to charge per square foot
This is the basic factor in your pricing model that determines whether your business will be profitable in the long run.
Here is a quick way to generate some idea on how much to charge. Measure your lawn size and then call up a few reputable lawn care companies and ask for their quotations. Taking this a step further, you can ask a few of your friends to do the same and then get the feedback from them. You will have a good idea on the various pricing for different lawn size and help you determine the acceptable price range for your services.
Once you have an idea on how much to charge, set up a pricing schedule based on the type of service performed per square foot. For example, you may charge $3 per square foot for mowing and $1.50 per square foot for fertilizing. Most lawns various from a few hundred square feet to a few thousand square feet. Thus it is more convenient to set your price in terms of per hundred square feet or per thousand square feet.
Bring this pricing schedule with you whenever you meet up with your clients. It will make you look more professional and increase your credibility.
Do not quote or bid blindly
When your customers call you up to get a quotation, remember to ask for the dimension of their lawns. Do not quote off the bat blindly. Give them an initial estimate of the cost and tell them that the final pricing can only be determined after you have surveyed the site.
Try to meet up with your client and survey the actual site together. You will have a better picture on how much to quote and provide your client with a more accurate pricing. The other advantage is that you can pitch additional service at the same time. Try to pitch in a few other services like aeration, fertilizing and other add-ons but do it with a soft approach.
Cheapest isn’t always the best
As a new business owner, it is unwise to set a high price for your lawn care services. However, it is equally unwise to be the cheapest in the industry. Being too cheap can raise doubt about your personal and business credibility. Pricing your services somewhere in the middle or a notch above the average is a good starting point. Once you have proved that you are really professional and able to consistently provide a high quality of service, you can justify charging a higher price.
Do not attempt to undercut your competition with low prices. Entering a price war can hurt your business profitability and you will have a hard time staying afloat with a low profit margin. Instead, try to add value to your services without any price reduction. For example, you can provide a free soil analysis as part of your standard lawn care package.
Know your business costs
As a business owner, you need to be fully aware of all the costs involved in running your business. Your cost of doing business will depend on your business size and the type of services provided. The basic costs will include mower acquisition and maintenance, fertilizer spreader, measuring wheel and other tools required for your business.
You should also factor in the time you used for running the business. This means your personal labor cost. Unless you have an assistant, you will have to do the administrative tasks yourself. These administrative tasks include scheduling jobs, handling customer queries and complaints, preparing invoices and mailing them out and many others. The more time you spend on these administrative tasks, the less time you have to service your clients.
To grow your business, you probably have to advertise and this can constitute a significant portion of your business cost. You will have to spend time crafting up a sales message and researching good advertising sources. Put in some form of tracking mechanism so that you know which advertising sources are giving you a good return in investment and eliminate those that are not effective.
With these four tips, you should be able to come up with a good pricing model that will allow you to stay profitable and compete fairly with other lawn care companies. By consistently adding value to the services you provided, you will be able to build a large loyal customer base that will keep you in business for years to come.
About The Author Jack Greenwood is the webmaster of GreenLawnCareTips.com which provide information on lawn care and simple lawn care business tips. Sign up for your free 7-part Green Lawn Care min-course at http://greenlawncaretips.com today.