Pricing lawn care services: Lawn mowing pricing formula

Lawn care is an essential part of home maintenance that can’t be neglected. That being said, many people don’t enjoy or are incapable of mowing their lawns.

Running a lawn care business allows you to provide lawn mowing services to those unable to take care of their lawns or who want a professional to ensure their yards are always in the best shape.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to price lawn care services in way that attracts new customers and drives revenue. Keep reading for a lawn mowing pricing formula that’s a sure-fire way to price your jobs right every time.
Here’s a preview of what you’ll learn:

Table of contents

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Ways to charge lawn mowing services

There are several ways you can go about pricing lawn and landscaping services. The two most popular ways to charge for lawn mowing jobs are by size of the lot and per hour.

Let’s take a closer look at both of these pricing options.

By size

Pricing by square footage requires you to take accurate measurements of the lot, which many lawn mowing professionals find to be an inefficient pricing method.

The one exception is if you’re dealing with a larger property that spans several acres. Charging a flat fee per acreage may be more beneficial and save you time when creating an estimate.

Otherwise, charging per hour will give you the best estimate and is the easiest method to add to your lawn mowing pricing formula.

Per hour

Many lawn care professionals prefer to price by the hour instead of lot size, as it gives a more accurate estimate of costs.

Depending on where you’re working, you can charge anywhere from $25 to $60 an hour for lawn mowing. Be sure to account for your travel time and equipment prep work when charging per hour though.

Of course, pricing is more complicated than figuring out an hourly charge. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at how to price lawn mowing services.

How to price lawn mowing services

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Coming up with competitive prices requires a lot of research and a thorough understanding of both your business and target customers.

However, once you find the prices that work for you, you’ll:

  • Find more opportunities.
  • Drive business growth.
  • Retain more customers.

Follow the steps below to price your lawn mowing services efficiently and accurately every time!

Step 1: Calculate your hourly labor rate

Labor costs are most businesses ’ biggest expense. So, it’s smart to start here to figure out how much to charge for lawn mowing.

You can find your hourly labor rate per worker and per job by considering these factors:

  • The average rate for lawn care services in your area.
  • How much you pay your employees per hour.
  • Your desired profit margin.

It’s important to note that pricing by the hour does not mean that you have to communicate your hourly charge to your customer.

You can plug your hourly rates into your lawn mowing pricing formula to help you figure out what prices make sense for your business and present the total to your customer.

Step 2: Check out the lawn in question

You should always check out your customer’s lawn before giving them a quote, regardless of whether you charge by the hour or by size.

Your customer can say they just want their lawn mowed, but once you arrive, you may notice that some extra care is required before you can mow. As a result, additional services need to be included in the estimate you offer them.

For example, you might discover that what your customer may think is overgrown grass is actually weeds, requiring weed control on top of regular mowing.

You’ll want to inspect the lawn so you can assess its condition and determine what type of treatment it needs. This ensures that you deliver an accurate estimate from the beginning and avoid surprising your customer with extra charges later.

Step 3: Decide how many employees

You know that your labor rate will be the largest factor in determining your lawn care prices, so your focus should also be on what influences your labor rate. In this case, that would be your employees.

And since you wouldn’t be able to grow as quickly without your employees, pricing their labor takes skill.

When you assess a job for a potential client, determine how many workers it will take to complete the job in a reasonable amount of time.

To get your total labor rate, add each employee’s hourly rate to get your total hourly labor rate. Then multiply that by the number of hours the job will take to complete.

For example, let’s say a job takes two hours for two of your employees to complete, and you pay each of them $40 an hour.

$40 x 2 employees = $80 hourly rate
$80 x 2 hours = $160 total price of the job

Remember, $160 does not include factors such as special services, a markup for profit, or overhead as labor costs are only one part of the lawn mowing pricing formula needed to create estimates.

Step 4: Consider special services and materials

Image credit: LawnCare via Pixabay

Lawn care isn’t just mowing grass. As you know, a lot goes into maintaining a lawn, and therefore, a variety of services that your business could offer.

Additional lawn services include:

You should price each of these additional services separately instead of putting them together in one lump sum. This ensures that you account for all elements of the job.

Not only do these services require different types of labor, but they also require different materials that affect the total price of the job.

Discuss these special services with your customer beforehand to ensure that you’re both on the same page.

Step 5: Don’t forget overhead and equipment

Once you’ve calculated the cost of labor, you will factor in overhead and other costs.

Your lawn care company’s overhead costs may include:

  • Administrative staff.
  • Office space.
  • Vehicle maintenance.
  • Other bills (phone, internet, etc.)
  • Equipment.

After labor, your business’s second-largest expense is equipment. Just like labor, equipment costs money, so you have to make sure that you’re always in a position to maintain or replace it if necessary.

As a result, equipment should always be factored into your overhead costs. You should markup anywhere from 11 – 50% to cover your total overhead costs.

From there, add a markup for profit. Your markup should be based on how much profit you are looking to make from every job and is determined by your other expenses.

Before arriving at a final price, double-check that you’ve included every element of the job in your calculation and have priced any special factors correctly.
To give your customer an idea of your prices beforehand, you can create a lawn care price sheet.

Lawn care price sheet

A lawn care price sheet lets your customer know your prices in advance and gives you a baseline to help develop accurate estimates for your customers.

To create your lawn care price sheet, you should use a lawn mowing pricing formula to determine your prices.

Here’s what your lawn mowing pricing formula will look like:

Hourly labor rate (# of hours) + overhead + profits + taxes = Total job price

By using this formula, you’ll quickly determine the price of all types of jobs to deliver the best service possible.

Lawn care price based on size

Even though you shouldn’t price based on the square footage of the lot, knowing the size will still help you estimate the total cost of a job.

The price of lawn care is greatly affected by the size of the lawn, which will be an element you use to determine the labor that goes into it.

Now that you know what goes into the costs of lawn care services and your different pricing options let’s nail down how much to charge for your services.

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How much to charge for lawn mowing

Now for the most difficult part: figuring out how much to charge for lawn mowing services.

You shouldn’t strive to offer the cheapest lawn mowing service in your area, but you also don’t want to be the priciest in your area either.

Mowing is one of the most common lawn care services you can offer, but even the price of a simple lawn mowing job isn’t always that straightforward.

The average cost of lawn mowing is $61. However, there are many factors to consider that may make the price of a job more or less expensive.

What influences lawn mowing costs?

There are several lawn mowing cost factors to consider when pricing your jobs.

For example, does your lawn mowing service only include lawn mowing, or will you offer other services such as leaf removal and clean-up as part of a package?

Other factors to consider include:

  • Size of the yard.
  • Services required.
  • Number of employees needed.
  • Regional climate.
  • Location of the job site.
  • Local weather conditions.

It’s important to note that location plays an important role in determining the cost of lawn care.

As a result, you should price differently for residential and commercial properties. The same goes for warmer climates where grass may grow quicker and colder climates that require winterization.

When to adjust your lawn care service pricing

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You should always adjust your pricing as the demand and the average lawn care prices in your area change, and your business needs evolve.

Here are some examples of when you should adjust your lawn care pricing:

  • If you want to target specific neighborhoods with different demographics.
  • If you want to add discounts or promotions as part of your marketing strategy.
  • The seasons are changing, and you are transitioning to winterization or snow removal jobs.

From time to time, step back and take a look at how your business is performing. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you making as much profit as you were hoping to make?
  • Have your expenses increased?
  • Is your customer base growing?

If you keep these questions at the back of your mind, you’ll prevent your business from falling behind. Make sure you make these updates to your lawn mowing pricing formula as well!

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Lawn mowing pricing formula FAQ

Here are some additional questions you may have on lawn care services:

How much should I charge for mowing lawns?

The average price of lawn mowing services is $61 per visit. However, several factors influence this price, including:

  • Size of the lot.
  • Condition of the lawn.
  • Additional services required.

The best way to get an accurate estimate is to visit your customer to check out what needs to be done and discuss your services with them.

What are the average acreage mowing prices?

For customers with large properties, charging per acre may be the best option for a quick and accurate estimate.

Although prices differ, you should expect to charge around $175 per acre for mowing alone. However, that bill can quickly add up if additional landscaping is involved.

Large properties that only require mowing don’t require as much prep time or edging, so it’s possible to charge less than the average per acre for large yards and still make a profit.

Image credit: Tomasz Zajda via Adobe Stock

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