With spring fast approaching, is the lawncare company you are using having a price increase and you are struggling to understand why? If so, this article is for you.
I usually start my blog articles with a search of the web to research what is being said. When I Googled “lawncare price increases” it gave many strategies on how much to increase and when to increase but not much on the why. In my 29 years in the industry, I have witnesses good reasons and then ones that just made me shake my head. Here’s what I have learned and witnessed:
- Product Prices. The biggest one to fluctuate is fertilizer. Supply as well as demand and fuel costs play a key role in the price of fertilizer. For the first time in several years, the price of fertilizer is slightly climbing according to an article I read in Agweb.com from October. I was also able to verify with Green Meadow’s owner, Nate Bahler, that the pricing he is getting for our spring 2019 product is slightly up.
- Insurance. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Benefits Survey released 2018, since 2008, average family premiums have jumped 55%; twice as fast as workers' earnings and three times as fast as inflation. This year workers are once again getting hit with more of the costs of their coverage in the form of higher premiums and higher deductibles.
- Lawn Originally Under-Priced. This is the one that I have seen over and over happen throughout my 29 years in the lawncare industry. The “Sales-person” lowers the square footage of your lawn which lowers the price and you think it’s a great deal and sign up. Then the “Service person” treats your property and uses way too much product on your lawn because it is under measured and that throws up the “Red-Flag” … Under-priced lawn! What does that mean? In most cases, until that square footage and price are adjusted, the hard-working Service person will resent you and your lawn because it negatively effects his ability to hit his production goal and every company, I have ever worked for has one. This leads to corners being cut and poor results. So now, you’re not happy and neither is the Service-person; classic Lose-Lose. Bottom line, check your square footage. There is a great online tool you can use to do that. Here’s a link: https://www.mapdevelopers.com/area_finder.php
- Experienced & Educated Staff. Keeping well trained and knowledgeable staff will drive up the cost of your service. If you see the same Service-person year after year and the results and customer service are really good, a price increase is likely in the future and well earned. If the opposite is true and the price keeps going up, now’s when you have to ask the question, “am I getting what I am paying for”? This industry has many applicators in it and the truly effective ones are great at customer service and problem solving.
- Just wants to make more profits. So, when very few or even worse none of the above 4 listed are driving a price increase, you have to wonder, “why should I pay more? Sometimes it’s as simple as the owner of the company wants to live a bigger lifestyle. Is this a bad thing? I can honestly say that I have met a few, very humble and honest owners that I feel were due and some that were just a little bit greedy.
Bottom Line, this is now my 4th Blog Article I have ever written and the conclusion is usually the same, WHO DO YOU TRUST? Read the reviews, check with family, see who your neighbors are working with and get a few estimates from a "Trusted Company”.