Need help with the business side of lawn apps.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by b121774, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. b121774

    b121774 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I own a succesful maintenance company but want to branch out into lawn and ornamental apps. I have a lawn program and know exactly how to perform the work but have no idea on how to estimate each job. Also what computer program should I get. Is there somewhere I can purchase templates? I use quickbooks for my landscape company. Any help is appreciated and I am willing to pay someone to guide me in the right direction. There is no other company in this area that does lawn apps. so I can't get any advice locally.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,810

    Rumors say that a major company charges $22 base fee (overhead) and $6 for each thousand sqft. But it all depends on your overhead, chemical costs and expenses for labor.
  3. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Sounds about right. Riggle

    I had a person request a quote Monday. 12,000 square feet of grass, done by Scott's.. charged $35 per app, 5 apps. per year

    Apparently the big companies got in a price war a few years ago on this property. The owner tells Scott's they will renew, but only if at the same rate as the year before. IMO that's insanely cheap.
  4. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    The first step will be knowing all your cost to treat a lawn. Most pricing on lawn applications are based on your cost to treat per 1000 sq ft. Most companies start with a minimum charge for an average size lawn ( say 5k for instance). Once you establish a minimum charge the best method for bidding new jobs is to have a set price per 1000 sq ft. Charge your minimum plus so much per 1000sq ft after that. Let's say your base price is $40 for 5k. Your cost to treat 1000 sq ft is $5.00. A 6K lawn would be $45.00. Pretty simple once you establish a formula. To help figure that minimum charge it best to figure your cost to get to the job and overhead first, then figure your material cost per 1000sq ft. as well as an acceptable profit margin. Make sure you know ALL your cost. You may have to break it all down to price out each application separately as the cost inputs will be different for individual applications if there are different materials used. You may also want to come up with an average cost to treat 1000sq ft after taking all that into account and price your applications accordingly.
  5. Perfect Image TLM

    Perfect Image TLM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Man I couldn't even make anything for that price!
  6. Lawnmasters

    Lawnmasters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Your cost's will vary from property to property, but we make it simple and charge 50.00 minimum for 10K or less, and 6.00 per K over 10K. This makes it easy to figure them all.
  7. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I'd have to say at that price, I would lose less money if I just gave the guy $35 bucks and told him to hire scotts.
    Unless my only material cost was a flag and an invoice:hammerhead:
  8. b121774

    b121774 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    This was what I was looking for. In my county most lawns average around 1000 sq ft. so a $50 minimum would be to high. This seems right in the ballpark. Overhead is low since I will be doing all the app's and I already have all the equipment, licensing and insurance.

    Anyone have sample flyer's or door hanger's I could take a peak at? How bout contract's or invoicing. I guess I could still just use quickbooks. Years ago I worked for a lawn app company and each morning they gave me a stack of invoices that were 2 peice carbon's and I would leave them in the door after the app. How does that work? Just like what my bug guy gives me when he treats my home.
  9. b121774

    b121774 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Here's my pricing that I figured out:
    $29 minimum up to 3000 sq.ft.
    $5 per additional 1000 sq. ft.

    So a 10,000 sq.ft. lawn would be $64

    Does that seem high or low?

    most lawns will be in the 1000 to 2000 sq ft range.
  10. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Your price for 10K looks good to me. Where do you find all the 1k and to 2k lawns??? You should make big money on these as it should only take a few minutes to treat one. At $29.00 per app up to 3k and a tight route your margin should be great. The money has always been in doing small lawns and lots of production. There is very little material cost, time to treat is minimal and they are easy on the applicator. :)

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