Having your own lawn mowing service can be a great way to supplement your income or run as a full-time business. If you do an excellent job, your name will get around and can end up with more work than you can handle. While this is a desirable prospect, you have to make sure you’re charging the right amount.
So, how do you price lawn mowing? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. There are many factors that will go into your considerations. First will be the cost of fuel along with how much you paid for the mower. Then you want to think about what other people charge in your area for lawn mowing services. But there are others too.
What Goes Into Pricing for Lawn Mowing?
There are several components that you should mull over when deciding how much to charge for lawn mowing. Will it be better for you to charge per hour, per job or for the total amount of acreage? There’s more about charging methods below.
Overhead & Operational Costs
But there are other crucial factors too. Operational costs and overhead will be one of the topmost considerations here. Total up everything you spend on your business. This will include the cost of the mower, gasoline, travel expenses, insurance and anything else you pay for.
Then configure how much of this should go into how much you charge customers for your mowing services. You’ll do this by dividing your total overhead costs by the average number of bookings you get each month.
For larger mowing service operations, where there’s a stand-alone location along with employees, taxes will also enter into the picture. Equipment rentals or purchases along with driven miles, wages, independent contractors and depreciation are tax-deductible items. Keeping detailed, itemized lists of these things will help get you the most out of forking over your earnings.
Area of Service
Also consider the location where you’re mowing. Because the cost of services and goods will vary greatly between different areas, the cost will fluctuate. While some may charge $50 for a single mow job in Indianapolis, another may cost as much as $25 per hour of mowing in Chicago.
Labor, Experience & Training
Your labor and how much it’s worth will be another thing to factor into how much you charge people for mowing. Experience, skills and training are a vital part of this.
For instance, if you’re a teenager just starting out, you don’t have the skills or experience yet built up. So you won’t be able to charge very much. But, if you’ve been mowing lawns for 10 years and you’re in high demand, you can charge more.
What Is the Average Price Range Most People Charge for Lawn Mowing Services?
The US national average for how much people charge for their lawn care services can be as little as $50 or as much as $250. This is the typical amount for a single job, whether charging by the hour or some other arrangement.
To make themselves more desirable, many pros will also offer things like trimming, fertilizing, aeration and pesticide treatments. They’ll charge anywhere between $125 and $430 for these services.
What Are the Different Ways You Can Charge for Lawn Mowing Services?
There are three typical ways in which you can charge customers for mowing: per hour, per square foot and a flat fee. The determining factor here will be how much you think you need to charge across all jobs, no matter how simple or complex the job may be.
As the most common method used to charge for lawn mowing, it’s the most straightforward and the easiest to estimate. While most professionals will charge between $25 and $60 per hour, novices will charge $5 to $20 per hour.
You can figure this based on the fact that the average lawn in the US has 10,000 square feet. Therefore, if you charge $15 per hour and you know it takes you two hours to mow that size lawn, you’ll earn $30. Such a pricing method will ensure you’re compensated for your time and you won’t have to work out any additional fees.
Charging by Square Footage
For a more accurate and exact pricing in relationship to your needs and costs, charging per square foot is ideal. However, this is going to require that you also make out an accurate quote and already understand how long any given lawn will take you.
While it is a very time-consuming way to create an estimate for customers, it offers for more solid predictions of profits and losses. For example, if you’re looking to get $50 per hour without charging that outright, then you can charge per square foot instead.
If the lawn is 10,000 square feet, you’ll charge $0.50 per square foot to meet your $50 per hour goal. The problem with this is that it doesn’t take into account any unexpected surprises, hilly terrain or other unforeseen issues. These kinds of things will take additional time and what you’re charging may not compensate for it all.
When you charge a blanket price, it’s convenient for everyone. But a flat rate may be better when you have a recurring job. This is because you’ll already know how long it will take you to mow the lawn and what kind of issues to anticipate.
If you go this route as your standard pricing practice, you may short change yourself on some lawns. Alternatively, you may end up charging someone too much who may not entirely be able to afford it.
The key to success with charging a flat fee is understanding how much you want to earn per hour so that it’s profitable and worth your time. Therefore, if your bottom line is $50 per hour, you will have to know how much ground you can cover within one hour and compare it to how many hours the average lawn takes you to mow.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.