As the price of fuel, materials, and labor costs increase, many lawn care professionals consider raising their prices.
Are you one of them? If not, you should be.
Being one of the higher priced lawn care companies in your town is not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be shunned by your neighbors and driven out of town. And it certainly doesn’t mean you’re going to lose work, or not win the next job.
What it does mean is that you price your jobs by the QUALITY of your work.
Some people base quality of lawn care on the price that’s charged. If you charge low prices, people will think your work is cheap. And if you’re pricing your services at the bottom of barrel… your clients are going to be bottom of the barrel clients.
Let’s take a deeper look into some of the questions you might have on why higher prices are better, when to raise them, and how to do it.
1. First off, you may ask, “How do I know it’s time to raise my pricing?”
If you find yourself thinking any of the following thoughts, it may be time to raise your lawn care prices:
- You’re the cheapest lawn care business in town.
- It took you way longer to mow that yard than what you estimated.
- Your prospects ask, “Yeah, but are you any good?” when you give them an estimate.
- Your pricing is too ancient (think, “I created this pricing chart in 2009” or “When gas was only $2.29” ancient)
- You wish you could fire 30% or more of your clients because they’re just not worth the constant headaches.
To be absolutely certain, audit your clients and your jobs, which we’ll talk about next.
2. “Ugh, I hate math. How much more should I charge?”
Start by tracking your time FOR EVERY CLIENT. You’ll need to know how long each job takes in man hours.
You’ll also need to know these operational costs:
- Drive time
- Equipment maintenance
- Cost of labor
- Even your own salary
Want a free tool to help you?
Download our free 10-Minute Lawn Care Pricing Tool. This will allow you to:
- Find your pricing averages
- Identify which jobs are profitable – and which ones aren’t
- Determine how high your prices should be to guarantee you make the profit you deserve on every single job
Want a great lawn care software that will automatically price your jobs for you? Watch this free webinar to see how it works in Service Autopilot.
Once your costs are calculated, you’ll get a clearer picture on how much each job costs to execute it. Now add more money to that number to make it profitable.
You now know the minimum number you should charge. But don’t do one blanket price. Be sure to charge more for larger properties.
3. “What about my competitors’ pricing? Should I be watching them?”
YES! Research your competitors. Know their pricing and what makes them different from you… what makes them stand out vs. you.
But whatever you do, DON’T try to copy them. You don’t know their numbers or situation…
…and there’s a strong chance they don’t know their own numbers, either. So pay attention, but remember: YOU are the leader of your own business.
4. “And my clients? Do they have a say in this?”
Yes… and no.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your clients what they value most in a lawn care service – and what they value most in you.
- Ask your best clients (that you have a great rapport with) what they are willing to pay to get a feel for your pricing.
- Test different pricing with your unprofitable clients on a monthly or quarterly basis, then get their feedback.
- Just don’t keep the same cheap pricing because you’re afraid that your clients are going to walk.
If you price yourself just right – more than your competitors and showing great value, but not so high that they think you’re crazy – you may lose a few bad ones along the way, but you’ll retain the cream of the crop clients.
5. “So you’re telling me that higher really is better?”
Yes, yes it is.
To be profitable, you must understand this:
Premium services lead to premium clients. While you’re getting better clients, your competitors are getting the bottom of the barrel.
Go look for that 20% of clients that produce 80% of your revenue and give them the rockstar treatment they deserve. You should strive to be the highest-quality lawn care service in your area.
Be valuable, but NOT cheap. With quality, usually comes a higher price.
Once you’ve found your top 10%, go find the 20% of clients that cause 80% of your problems… and raise their rates or send them packing.
Don’t feel guilty about charging them more. One of the biggest problems we face is finding value in ourselves. If you see value in yourself, your clients will recognize the value you bring to them.
And whatever you do, don’t copy the pricing of the lowballers in your area – the ones who just want to “get the job done” and don’t focus on the quality of their work.
6. “Ok, smarty pants, how do I raise prices and not tick off my clients?”
That’s the $20 million question!
You can raise prices on your unprofitable clients first and test a small group… but DON’T do during the height of your selling season.
If you want to know why, check out these 5 Key Steps to Raise Your Lawn Care and Landscaping Prices…and Keep Your Clients. It’ll give you a much more in-depth look into the best way to raise your pricing – PLUS a free price increase letter template!
Raising your prices doesn’t have to be scary if you time it right. But it WILL be more profitable to your business.
Having a more profitable pricing structure not only increases your sales, but it also helps out your reputation. You want to be known as the service where “you get what you pay for” – and that “get” is fantastic lawn care service for a fair and honest price.
Lisa Marino is a copywriter for Service Autopilot. She uses her 15+ years in direct marketing, sales, and product development to push entrepreneurs beyond their limits. She's passionate about helping others grow their businesses through time-tested marketing techniques. When not writing, you can find her belting out a mean Stevie Nicks at a local karaoke night.Author's Website