How to Price Lawn Care Services
Ensure competitive pricing, plus a beautifully manicured lawn
By Sylvia Cochran
Business-owners and homeowners who learn how to price lawn care services while inviting bids from professionals make sure that they get a fair price. They are also more likely to get the services they want and not pay for those they can do without. Professional lawn care providers price their services according to material and labor costs, competitors' offers and a varying profit margin.
- What You Need to Know
- Basic lawn care includes mowing, edging and associated cleanup.
- Some professionals include seasonal lawn fertilizer application into their estimates, while others offer this service at an extra charge.
- Depending on when homeowners price lawn care services, the mowing frequency determines the first charge, but future mowing frequency changes may cause the number to go up or down.
Evaluate current and recurring lawn care needs. If weeds are a persistent problem, find out which lawn care professionals also offer weeding as part of their standard or expanded services. Other services some businesses offer are thatching, core aerating and shrub pruning as well as sprinkler maintenance. Mowing, edging, and cleanup are standard.
Determine the mowing frequency of the lawn. Cool-season grass grows more rapidly during the spring and fall; during these times the lawn care professionals may need to come by to mow more often. Warm season grass grows the most during the summer; the lawn care service provider needs to mow this lawn more often during the warm season.
Invite bids and ask for explanations of service terms. Although mowing and edging sound pretty straightforward, it is common business practice in the lawn care industry to only do touch-up services when possible. This protects the grass from being cut too short, but it might give the business- or homeowner the false impression that a professional renders a full service during each visit.
Talk to neighbors and friends about their costs for lawn care. It is much easier to price lawn care services for a property when the property owner knows how much others with similarly sized and set-up lots pay. Even if there is a range of prices for similar services, it makes it obvious if a professional bids closer to the top or the bottom of the going rate.
Pay extra for professional licenses and insurance policies. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between a worker -- without a business license -- who only has a truck and some lawn care equipment, and a business that runs professional crews, which are properly insured. The latter protects the business-owner or homeowner from incurring any liability for when there is property damage to a neighbor's car or yard and it will also avoid any lawsuits in case of personal injuries. It is worthwhile to pay a bit extra to the company that must offset the cost of operating a licensed business.
About the Author
Sylvia Cochran is a regular contributor to DexKnows, specializing in home and garden.
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