Better to charge per service or bundle services for a higher price?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smallstripesnc, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I'm trying to re-vamp some of my options for my existing accounts and new accounts for the new year. I currently offer Lawn maintenance (mowing, edging, etc...), hedge trimming, leaf removals, fertilization, seeding/overseeding, aeration (will be available 2013), and will offer weed control once I obtain my pesticide license which I'm going to hopefully get soon once I figure out what I need to do to get the ball rolling.

    My question is simple. Say I'm charging $30 to do the mowing, edging, etc...If they want anything else done I always price it individually and just add it to their invoice at the end of the month. Is it better to charge $40 which includes more services? Instead of just mowing for $30 they get weed control, fertilization, overseeding, and aeration for $40. If the season goes from March to October thats 32 weeks if 4 weeks in a month. Yes I know there's a few months that have 5 weeks but you get the idea. At $30 just to cut its $960 per the 32 weeks. Say at $40 the difference would be $320 more. Is it worth it to bundle the services?

    Of course I need to price to see how much it will actually cost to seed, put down the proper amount of fertilizer applications, weed control applications, lime, etc...To see if $320 is enough extra to make it worth it so I make profit.

    Any advice?
  2. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    I like charging for each individual service. Show a list of what you did so the customer knows where thier dollars are going.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    On a $30 lawn $10 extra a month I'd be losing money. Then have you figured in the cost and markup on fert, lime, weed and feed?

    It is one thing to be in business long enough to only have full service customers.

    Most customers only want edge mow blow.

    Then is that $10 going to also cover hedge, shrub, and tree pruning, and while I am at it weeding in addition to the other things that you mentioned as full service?

    I will provide the level of service the customer wants. I don't low ball. Just mow is ok. What is important is not how many hours I can bill one customer. That I have 40 hrs of billable labor every week.
  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I think offering service packages are fine as long as you know what that package is going to cost you. $10 extra per week maybe to weed the beds of a smaller landscaped property may make you extra money as once you get them out they wont grow back as fierce and may only take you 2 minutes to do. Weed control and fert cost you money, how much does it cost you to do this service? Aeration, how much does it cost you to do that service? Tree and bush trimming, etc.... Some of the bigger players on this site offer different package levels for what some of their customers may need. But I know they are thoroughly thought out and the prices they list on their websites are the "starting" prices. I think most give a discount on a bundle when they sign up for auto pay on a credit card and pay either the 1st or 15th of the month rather than at the end of the month.

    If it was me I'd figure out what each service would cost individually, add the costs up, then make a bundle with that cost as a flat monthly fee. And offer a discount for paying with a credit card on the 1st or 15th of that service month. For me I need something out of the deal if I'm giving one. This is probably where a good contract can come into play. Big jobs like first clean ups that include trimming, edging, mulch, etc.. would have to be priced separately but the maintenance on that could be a weekly/monthly charge. You wouldn't want to put a large job in a spread out payment because if someone walks you've eaten a big loss. I've thought about this kind of service too and still need to think more about it. I'm not a licensed applicator so those services are out (for now) but I like the idea of up-selling more services to take care of maintenance needs but a consistent monthly bill for them and myself. Small tasks that could bring in more money that they may never have thought of. Just gotta be a good salesmen to show the benefits of them parting with more money. Like showing them that priced individually it will cost you $XXX.XX but bundled and paid by the first of the month on your credit card will cost $XXX.XX saving you $XX.XX. Also you have to find the right customer for this.

    I think the idea is right, you just need to really sit and think about how to price it and sell it. If you add too little you'll get disgruntled and it may show up in your service because you're upset. You may even find that pricing individually is better.

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