Fertlizing Program

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeffclc, Jan 13, 2000.

  1. jeffclc

    jeffclc Guest
    Messages: 0

    I have put together a program to market to customers offering fertlizing and control. I have staged three levels of service, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.<p>The silver program consists of the following:<br>#1 fertlizer plus pre emergent crabgrass<br>#2 Weed and Feed<br>#3 Fertlizer<br>#4 Fertlizer plus weed control if needed<br>#5 fertlizer<p>The Silver program is the same but includes the grub dontrol with the #3 application.<p>The Gold program is the same as the silver, but also includes areation, liming if needed, and a soil test.<p>All programs include spot spraying for weeds as needed.<p>According to what U have heard, possibly here, materials should be about 20-30% of your cost. <p>I got prices of the materials that I would need to do the above work, and came up with the following figures:<br>For 10,000 square feet of turf:<br>Bronze-$61.77 x 5 apps=$308.85/year<br>Silver-$79.28 x 5 apps=$396.40/year<br>Gold-$97.28 x 5 apps=$486.40/year<p>I got the numbers by figuring out my yearly material costs, then mutiplying by 4 (this gives me material costs at 25%, right in the middle of the scale). I then calculated a yearly cost for the entire program, then divided by 5 applications.<p>Do these prices sound too high, too low, right in the ballpark? What about the programs that I have outlined? I am going to explain them a little further in detail in my marketing materials to customers.<p>Are you guys charging the same amount for each app, or having varied prices for each app, depending on the cost of the material? Seems like it can be much simpler to charge the same for each app, then you don't have a customer wanting to drop an app because of a high price.<p>So lets hear it, am I in line with what others are charging? <p>PS I know that the correct way to figure your prices based on material and time, and figure your hourly rate according to your individual expenses, but I would like to get an idea if I am in the ball park.
  2. Kenr427

    Kenr427 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Your not far off, but I would figure your costs by each 1000 square feet then have a min price.(what does it cost you to just go to the house), I charge a 25.00 stop charge which covers insurance, fuel, etc...<p>Also, aeration should be priced seperate, with a min. charge of 75.00 for 3000 to 4000 square feet. It takes you longer to aerate than to do the apps, so you need to make the same amount of money, plus there is the possibilty of damaging sprinkler heads, I also make it clear that I am not responsible for broken lines as they should be buried deep enough anyway.<p>Good luck
  3. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    Your system is good. Two things:<p>1.) In my experience, keep it simple. I might consider having 2 basic plans and adding services as needed. I also don't know if it's wise to have the grub control automatically included. Why? 1. Who knows if you'll need it? You don't want to apply a pesticide just to charge for it. 2. It's generally more expensive of a product that is SO EASY to add on by simply showing the homeowner the grubs in your hand. They'll pay anything to get rid of them. You can charge more and be environmentally sound at the same time.<p>2.) As far as your pricing, it's good for a mowing contractor. Generally customers would prefer to have 1 contractor do it all and mowing contractors can charge more for fertilizing than fertilizer only clients. IF you are going to compete with TruGreen and others by doing treatments only, those prices aren't going to be competitive. In my market, for example, TruGreen gets $34.00 for a 7,000 sq. ft. lawn. $41.00 for a 10,000 sq. ft. lawn, etc.<p>Just my $0.02

    DBALLARD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    jeffclc<br>If you are doing 5 apps, when are you doing them? What months? I'm just starting out and need any help I can get.<br>
  5. tim

    tim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    D Ballard, It depends on the type of grass. I see you are in NC. I am in SC. So you deal with both warm and cool season grasses. We are fortunate because the fertilizing business is a year around opportunity in the Carolinas. I just finished another round on my fescue lawns last week.
  6. Kenr427

    Kenr427 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Lazer,<p>Your right about the grub control in most areas, but this area has a history of grub problems. Of course if your doing maintenance every week, I agree, you'll be there to see if grubs are active.<p>As far as competing with TruGreen...there is no competition, they stink and most people realize this, could explain why the stock of Service Master is dropping so much (their parent co,) They made a big mistake by putting sales in front of good service, and aquiring Lawn Care Co.'s to show big sales so they could meet the sales goal they set during the aquisition of Chemlawn. Most of the Top Managers got the big pay off from achieving this &quot;false growth&quot; and moved along with quite a few dollars I might add. It was know as the circle of 5 and was kept very secretive. Bob Wanzer, the old regional manager of New York was one of the recipients. <p>Just a little info to feed on, and do not let TruGreen keep you from getting your price, most will pay for a good job. Another little way to get TruGreen customers is to let them know you won't telephone solicite them....most of sick of the phone calls.<p>Ken
  7. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    You're Right Ken,<p>but TruGreen started here. I know some of the principals who got it off the ground. I'd suspect they do a better job here than some other branches. While I do charge more than they do, it's always wise to keep mindful of what they have going on.<p>Frankly, you could have a huge business just servicing disgruntled ex-TruGreen customers.<p>Thanx for your input,<p>Carl
  8. TheLawnRanger

    TheLawnRanger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    check out this site.Lots of good information.<p>http://cumberland.ces.state.nc.us/fertpage/fertmain.html<br>
  9. Cannonturf

    Cannonturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    A question I have is what extent do guys go through for fertilizing.Do you do a one app. fits all like tru-green, or do you do like I do? I will do a soil test to find out what is needed.The soils here differ from sand,clay,rich black dirt to God knows what.<br>It pays to put down what is needed and not what is already in abundents.I have had to have special blends made to get the ratio I needed.It's a litle extra work but your lawns will show it.
  10. Kenr427

    Kenr427 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Cannonturf,<p>I do soil testing as well for my customers. Mainly the chief concerns is soil Ph levels, since most of the soils here a generally the same profile type. Having custom blends for each customer is too cost prohibitive here. My large commercial customers, such as my soccer field complex, I do soil testing every year to monitor nutrient needs and Ph levels and apply according to the needs from the results.<p>Kenr

Share This Page