How To Quote For Lawn Care Jobs

When starting a lawn care business, one of the first things that you need to know is how to estimate and quote for your services. Take note that no two lawns are the same. Some only require small touches, while others require you to put in a considerable amount of effort to get the job done.

Travel costs are also a factor. These factors largely influence the amount of equipment, products, labor, and time you need to complete a job.

In order to quote properly for lawn care jobs, you need to identify and understand the operating costs of each individual job and factor them into each quote you make.

This means taking a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t an option at all. The ability to create accurate quotes for jobs ensures success, growth and profit. Here’s a simple guide on how to do it right:

Know the value of your time and your business

If you’re doing it alone, business operations can be quite simple as it’s easier to manage just yourself. All you need to consider is how much you need to make per hour to run the business and make an acceptable profit.

However, this changes considerably when you have a few field service agents, and the process of creating quotes becomes a bit more tricky. This is because you have to consider paying yourself, your team, equipment and daily expenses, and administrative costs. (1)

This is when you would be well advised to consider using specialist management software tailored specifically to lawn care businesses such as this one from Jobber. The software is designed, among other things, to helps streamline your quotation process by having all the information you need in one place.

It also helps reduce administrative headaches. It’s the first and crucial step to creating better quotes since it’ll help you understand all aspects of completing a job. (2)

Know the services you offer

The lawn care services you’ll provide will also determine the amount you put on the quote. That’s why it’s best to always have a lawn care services list for faster quoting. By having one, you can determine the cost of each service by its complexity. Some services will give you a more challenging time completing than others.

Services such as using a mower to cut grass take a bit of time to complete, in addition to the equipment costs. You need to consider everything involved in completing a particular service and the different levels of complexities.

Quoting by service makes things easier. What you do is find out which services the client needs and quantify them. Of course, you also need to add the associated charges.

Develop a quoting process

Guesswork when creating your service quotes is never a good thing. You can’t afford to prepare a quote and put the amounts you want ‘just because.’ Guessing won’t foster good business.

Also, preparing quotes without a specific guideline can cost you massively down the line. For example, losing USD$20 for each job you quote will end up costing you a considerable amount in lost revenue.

After you’ve examined your business and identified its needs, commit to developing a quoting process. This helps ensure that your employees can accurately create quotes in your absence, and generate revenue in doing so.

Know the parts of a lawn care quote

When it comes to the meat of it, you need to know the things to include in the lawn care quote. The first is a minimum price for any lawn. Since some clients might only require partial lawn care, you need to have the bare minimum you can charge for any service for it to be worth your time.

Here are the main things to consider:

 icon-angle-right Property location

Even when preparing a quote for the simplest lawn care job you can find, if you need to drive for an hour to get there, factor this into the cost of the job. Your every hour counts. So, if you’re going to be driving for an hour to get to the property, the hour must be worth something. (1)

In this case, here are two reasons you can engage the client and prepare a quote for them:

  • You’ll include the lost revenue in the drive time in the quote.
  • There’s a potential for business growth. If you’re going to a property with the prospect of new business or leads for further business, then it might be worth the time.

Having said that, any other time you spend traveling to a location isn’t business-friendly. From the quoting process you developed, it becomes easier to charge per location. This is because you know which area coverage to charge what amount. The best practice is to charge by the mileage from your base location.

 icon-angle-right Lawn care service time

When creating a lawn care quote, the amount of time you’ll need to complete the service is the largest consideration.

Getting the time estimate right is the tricky part. This is because you can have a larger lawn with short grass and no obstacles, or the opposite which requires more time and work. (3)

One of the best ways to start figuring out the time needed is by measuring the property in square feet. (1) For clarity, the lawn size is the lot size without considering the house, driveways, landscape beds, patios, and other large obstacles.

 icon-angle-right Service frequency

The next thing to consider when quoting your lawn care services is how frequently the lawn is serviced. A property that you service often is significantly different from the one you visit every once in a while.

Here are the things to note on a lawn that’s regularly serviced:

  • The grass won’t be too long, so it won’t take up much of your time
  • The trimmed areas and edges will be only a little overgrown
  • Since you frequent the area, it becomes easy to schedule with other clients in that locality
  • It’s easier to schedule regular services

In this case, your quote price and, eventually, the invoices for the job will be determined by the above factors and the frequency of the services. It can be either weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.

Software such as the one provided by Jobber mentioned above are effective at helping you estimate and quote your jobs quickly to win you the business faster and in turn, get paid faster.

Conclusion

Creating excellent lawn service quotes requires looking deep into your business and understanding what it takes to complete each job. As you can see above, many factors come into play, and any small error can cause your business to lose money or clients.

Also, always review your quoting process to fit into the market and current business needs. Always charge what you think is reasonable in a situation without hurting your business or the client.

References:

  1. “How To Set Lawn Care Pricing & Quotes” https://insights.workwave.com/industry/lawn-landscape/lawn-care-pricing-estimates-guide/
  2. “3 Tasks Lawn Care Business Software Can Automate” https://arborgold.com/blog/build-your-business/3-tasks-lawn-care-business-software-can-automate/
  3. “How to Price Lawn Mowing Jobs” https://www.hellocheck.co/articles/how-to-price-lawn-mowing-jobs#part-4
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