When pricing lawn care it is important to shop around and get different prices from numerous companies within your area. It is important to remember that cheaper is not always better and sometimes the price really is too good to be true. Every industry has their own tricks of the trade or sales gimmicks to lure customers in but most of those tricks are easily debunked with some careful consideration and comparisons.
Cheap or Free Applications
Marketing is how companies reach out to potential customers and reel them in by advertising their special or discounted pricing. Two of the biggest marketing schemes in lawn care are “your first application at a discounted rate” or “first application free when you buy the program”. Unfortunately, each of those sales gimmicks has a catch.
Typically, when a company offers an application at a discounted rate, that offer is only available to customers will 5000 square feet of lawn, or less. The average homeowner does not fall into this category, as most subdivision lawns, especially newly constructed ones, range from 8000 – 12000 square feet. So while you may think you are getting a deal, the bill may be a shock when it arrives.
When a company offers a free application, it is important to remember that they usually try to make up the cost over the course of other applications. This is where comparison pricing from other companies really comes into play. Company A may be offering their 6-step lawn care program for $54.75 per application, with the 1st one free for an annual cost of $273.75 for the 1st year. Come the 2nd year, pricing usually remains the same minus the free application, resulting in an annual cost of $328.50. Company B, not offering a free application, may charge $47.75 per application, with an annual cost of $286.50 per year, for both year 1 and 2. When looking at the big picture and at a 2 year program, Company A’s total cost would be $602.25 and Company B’s would be $573.00, a $29.25 difference with the ‘free application’ company truly being the more expensive of the two.
When it comes to the lawn care industry, it is no different than any other industry or company and how each owner has their own way of running their company. Of course, all companies will tell you that their way of doing things is better than other companies, which isn’t always true. The best example of this comes to the battle of granular applications vs. liquid applications. In all actuality, these applications do the exact same thing and when applied properly by trained professionals, either is a good choice.
The choice of liquid vs. granular is more of a personal preference and when it comes to companies; it’s all based on the investment the company has made in their equipment. Rarely will you find a company that offers both types of fertilizer applications due to the investment costs in machinery and training.
Number of Application
While the number of lawn care applications per year may not be a sales gimmick, it is worth mentioning when talking about pricing. Every company varies on the number of applications they do per year and that plays a huge factor when comparing prices. Company A may off a price of $42.00 per application and do 5 applications per year while Company B might offer $36.00 per application but do 7 applications throughout the year. While the ‘per application’ price might say “go with company B” the annual cost says otherwise because Company A has an annual cost of $210.00 and Company B has an annual cost of $252.00.
Sum it up
In the end, most lawn care companies will be priced about the same and competitively with each other. When pricing a lawn care company, it is important to look at all of the factors and determine the pricing as an annual total rather than a per application total. As always, when searching for lawn care company, ask lots of questions and do your research about the companies.
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.