A lawn mowing business can be a lucrative venture if you earn a reputation as someone who does an excellent job. However, no matter how good your work is, people must be able to afford you. That’s not to say you must give your work away, but be sure you set a price that is high enough to make you a fair amount of money, but low enough so people feel it’s worth it.
The Drop-Gate Fee
A drop-gate fee is a fee that you will charge, regardless of the size of the job, for simply pulling up to the residence and dropping the gate on your mower trailer. In other words, this is a minimum service charge, according to How-To-Start-A-Lawn-Care-Business.com.
Decide on a rate that will make it worthwhile for you to show up on a scheduled day even if it means a trip across the county where you have no other work that day. Usually a $25 fee should cover it. You can certainly charge more or less, but this should be the base you will begin all quotes from.
All lawns are not created equal. Therefore you shouldn’t be expected to do them all for the same price. There are a number of factors involved in making a quote for a potential client. Consider each one before committing to a fee.
Estimate how much time it will take from the time you roll the mower off the trailer to the time you roll it back on. Will this take 20 minutes? Will it take an hour or more? It is important to make a good guess so that you can figure out how much you should charge.
Choose an hourly rate for lawn mowing. This should not include trimming with a weed eater or clipping hedges. Let’s assume you choose $20 per hour.
If you estimate a job at a small residence will take 20 minutes, then divide your $20 rate by three and round up to the next dollar. This would make your fee $6.66, then rounded up to $7.
Add the drop gate fee ($25) to the hourly rate and the total for the job is $32. If the job was estimated at an hour, the total would be $45.
Many people will want you to trim or shape hedges too. If you are equipped and willing to do so, this is an excellent opportunity to make more money.
Charge an additional hourly rate for trimming services that is at least equal to the mowing rate. Another half hour of trimming, added to the one-hour example above, would bring your fdd up by another $10, raising the total to $55.
You may adjust your hourly rate to compensate for other factors that may make the job more inconvenient or less profitable.
Increase your hourly rate if the location is far out of your way, the lawn has an abnormal amount of obstacles to work around, the client's personality is difficult to deal with, or any other intangible factors. Your rate may be adjusted down if, for example, the client is your best friend or next-door neighbor.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.