Selling Fertilizer Apps

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Ditta&Sons, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    next year I will definitely try the 'buy 3 and get one free' special deal. Right now, however, I'm looking for other ways to beef up my sales figures and I think fert apps are a great way to do that without having to commit too much time to new work.
    If i could declare in the ad that a certain square footage lot would be X amount of dollars, I could also avoid the time spent to view the property and take measurements by giving the client an idea of how much it will cost.
    I am pricing a 5000 square foot lot at $40 for a fert app. I buy the fert at $20-30 for 55lb bags, depending on NPK rate. I thought this was a fair price to charge, any thoughts? Am I too low?
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    There is company in my area that gives away free fert on the first visit.

    The entire price per application is a tough sell. Many folks immediately go into bean count mode and want to pick and choose.

    I basically sell the entire a package. I don't want clients who scalp mow down below 2.5", water ever evening, refuse to have their lawn aerated because it was already done 5 years ago.

    I'm only interested in upselling a package bundled deal. My lawns that I control are head and shoulders better than their neighboring lawns. :)
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  3. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 165

    I think you're a bit low. We do a 1.6 markup on fert (not sure what quantity you buy in, but we buy bulk and are able then to charge this markup). That would put you at $32 t $48 dollars per bag, just in product cost on a one bag lawn. You've then got to cover your labor as well.

    Also, alot of guys charge a minimum service call charge to spread (usually an hour charge even if it only takes 15 minutes to spread).
    I take my time spreading, hand sprinkle corners (i use organic), and I also go over everything twice from different angles to get an even spread. Looks way better once its kicked in.

    I think you could definitely stand to charge some more.
  4. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    Thanks for your opinions guys, I appreciate it
  5. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Aw geez guys, do it like the big boys and just charge by the app. Avg the cost and make it easy for the consumer. Trust me you can do it. $40 for 5k and materials eat 25%-38% of your sales price? Get a handle on your complete costs of doing business. Then develop sales pricing to recover costs and generate a profit.
  6. TMN Guy

    TMN Guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Find out what your competition is doing, find their angle and see if it is something you can do for a comparable price. If it is, be competitive and match their price.

    This past spring, it seemed like I was getting a fertilizer app ad in the mail every day. I kept each one just in case I wanted to add that service later on.
  7. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    TMN Guy, great advise. I was told by a new customer, that her price was $400 for 4 treatments per year for about 8k sq ft. of lawns. I can beat that price into the ground and make a good profit on labour and product

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