Any reputable lawn care company just wants a chance to earn your business.
And make no mistake about it, there are plenty of reputable lawn and landscape companies out there! There are plenty of fly-by-night companies you should be weary of too.
The owner of iGoPro Lawn Supply built and sold a local lawn care business in Northern Kentucky (The metro area South of Cincinnati, OH) before starting his online store to serve his industry on a larger scale.
Ryan's Outlook When Running His Lawn Care Business
I honestly felt if we could just get our foot in the door by providing a new customer with a single service, they would see a huge difference in quality, professionalism. And realize our pricing is right in line with our competition with our level of quality noticeably better. We noticed as we are out and about serving our clients, other companies were performing work far below our standards. Our goal was to make sure our clients had a great experience and got a great value at the same time.
Many times, when we simply answered the phone, the potential new customer on the other end was in shock just because we picked up the phone! It amazed us! We heard the same thing when we responded to emails in a timely fashion. We also encouraged anyone to text us if that is their preferred method of communication.
The Are Good Lawn Services Out There
If after receiving your quote from a lawn or landscape company, you don’t truly feel that company wants to earn your business, we recommend you contact a couple more companies to save yourself much headache over the following weeks, months, and years.
Here's What Consumers Don't Know About Lawn Care Companies
Warning - some of these may shock you!
#1 - Lawn Care is a ‘Real’ Job!
Believe it or not, lawn care is a huge industry in the US and it is how many people support themselves and their families. Lots of lawn and landscape companies try to utilize the healthy bodies and the energy of high school and college kids over the summer, but plenty of full-grown adults work in the industry year round.
Roughly 60% of lawn care companies are 'owner operator' type businesses.
This means the owner is out in the field doing the work each and every day. Sometimes he has a 'helper' or two, but often it is just him. This is how he generates all of his income to support himself and often his wife and kids. It is his, or her, career and they take it very seriously.
Please, quit beating them down on price to save yourself a couple bucks! You are literally taking food out of the mouths of their children in many cases not to mention they spend far less time with their children because they are caring for your lawn and landscape!
#2 - Lawn Care People Love What They Do
It is hard to call something work when you love it!
And that is exactly how most lawn care people feel about maintaining their community's local lawns and landscapes. They often have a lot of friends in the industry and know a lot of other small business owners as well. When you choose the right local small business to care for your lawn, you will see their passion in every service performed.
Even though so many lawn service owners truly have a passion for serving their clients, we know there are still a few bad apples out there. We call them ‘fly-by-night’ companies. They are just in it to overcharge and make a quick buck.
That is why we recommend to reference reviews before hiring your service. Please keep in mind there very well could be some companies that recently opened or just got their business ‘online’ with little to no reviews that would really do a good job. Don't solely pick a company on their reviews, because reviews online can be fake albeit they are usually real and should be considered in your decision making process.
#3 - Our Prices Are Still Too Low
The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” could not be more true in the lawn and landscape industry. Most respectable lawn care services will give you the very best rate they possibly can for your specific needs and the scope of work involved in your project.
The lawn and landscape industry is super competitive. If you receive a quote that seems way too high or way too good to be true, you might want to get a couple more quotes!
Lawn care quotes should be free and come with no-obligation. That's 'most' lawn care quotes. You should expect to receive a free, no-obligation quote within 1 business day of your request. If the company fails to do this, consider finding one that 'has time' to quote work for new clients!
The exception to the 'free quote' rule are time intensive quotes such as landscape design, retaining walls and paver patios, and larger projects in general. Considerable time goes into drafting an accurate quote and the business should be charging for the quote in this scenario. Most will reduce the project total by the cost of the estimate, but this shouldn't be expected.
You can always take their quote or design and do the work yourself or hire another contractor - that is another reason why companies should charge for these type of quotes.
#4 - Lawn Equipment Is Really Expensive
The average commercial lawn mower costs $10,000 these days.
Can you even wrap your head around that!?
Some bigger manufacturers are charging closer to $20,000 for their larger machines! Battery powered zero turn commercial mowers can literally cost $30k plus!
On top of the cost of the equipment, it is going to also have a fuel and maintenance cost. Not to mention they have to pay employees to operate the equipment and maintain the equipment!
The consensus among business owners is that our customers simply don’t know how much the tools we use cost because they are used to the cost of residential grade equipment. And that makes total sense. Now you know though!
This is why you may feel that a quote you received is higher than you expected. It is simply because the company has to cover their cost to provide the service and produce a reasonable profit. There is no point to be in business if you don't produce a reasonable profit! Every business does it, don't beat up your lawn care guy because he wants to do this too.
#5 - 30-40% of Every Dollar We Make Goes To Insurance & Taxes
Since most people in America have a 'regular job' they do not know all of the costs associated with running a business.
It is pretty obvious that the lawn and landscape industry is a labor-intensive industry. Payroll is a lawn care companies’ largest expense 99% of the time if the company does have employees.
Rent can also be a very large expense but many smaller to medium-sized companies have been able to keep this cost down by operating out of their home. Large storage units are another less expensive option when compared to renting warehouse space.
Insurance and taxes are unavoidable and they really add up!
First, if the lawn care company you are considering hiring does not have insurance, this is a huge red flag and it would be in your best interest to not hire this company! If something were to happen, it could be devastating. We don’t want to see that happen.
All businesses should be paying taxes.
Our industry is notorious for companies offering ‘cash discounts.’ Although this can be tempting, it is taking money out of the local school systems and the fund for road repairs and other important things like these. We frown on this type of business in our industry and hope you do too.
Often, the companies that don’t have insurance are the same ones that are not a legitimate business. This allows them to offer services significantly cheaper that companies that play by the rules.
You can safely estimate 30-40% of every dollar you pay a lawn service goes to pay their taxes alone! That doesn't account for paying their employees, equipment costs, insurance, and all other costs!
#6 - It's About Impossible To Find Quality Employees
Well, you have probably heard this! It is not a secret. Every type of business is having trouble with employees with the government paying people more not to work than they ever made working.
Finding employees is hands down the hardest part of running any lawn care business.
It is not a secret anymore that the work ethic in America is dwindling, but it is happening very fast in the lawn care industry. Add the fact that our business is seasonal, you have to deal with the weather affecting your schedule, and it simply doesn’t require any ‘special’ skills, it is very hard to attract an ‘ideal’ employee.
We think it is safe to say, if you ever have an issue with a service performed by your lawn service, the owner of that company would probably really appreciate the details of your issue so he can address this with his team and correct it moving forward. If it is happening on your lawn, it is happening on others! Managing/overseeing employees as they work is very difficult with multiple crews and each service taking place at a different location.
#7 - Dealing With Rain Delays And Equipment Breakdowns And More Wears Lawn Care Company Owners Out
Since we work on our clients’ properties, we naturally have vehicles to get our equipment and team to job sites. When you take everything into consideration, there are really a lot of moving parts within any lawn and landscape company.
From maintenance to scheduling to invoicing and on and on!
If you ever have any issue with your service, we kindly ask you bring it to the owners attention! They can’t read minds! Most lawn care companies 'do the best they can' and it is your job as a consumer to identify a company that really cares so these unavoidable issues don't keep your lawn from being mowed for weeks at a time.
Lawn services do their very best to keep everything on track as they deal with the weather, flat tires, blown engines, no-calls/no-shows, and the rest of the joys of running a lawn care company! Ask the owner of your lawn care company what their accounts receivable is currently at...you might want to be sitting down when you hear the answer!
Please Do Something Nice For Your Lawn Service
The moral of the story is this, please act like a reasonable human being when communicating with your lawn service provider!
If you have picked the wrong company, cancel your service after lining up a new service provider. You might be surprised how hard it is to find a company you feel can actually do a better job.
Little things go a long way. The next time you are home, please bring out a bottle of water or snack for your lawn care crew. You can't imagine how far a little gesture like this will go with them. If you have a couple extra bucks, throw the guys some lunch money or simply give them a tip.
I guarantee you will notice an improvement in your service if you were experiencing any issues in the first place!