How to Bid For Landscaping Jobs

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Blog summary

Accurately estimating the landscaping jobs is the key to improving your bidding. So, are you looking to win more projects for your business? Then read on to find exactly what you need to do.

đź“ťKey Takeaways:
  • Depending on factors influencing the price, like the type, scope, and operational expenses of the project, you should bid on every job differently.
  • Depending on the landscaping costs, you can request payments.

Usually, three out of five jobs are profitable for contractors, as per statistics shared by Total Landscape Care. So what about the other two? 

Well, one turns out to be a loss-making deal whereas the other one barely breaks even, the same data shows.

Thus, learning how to bid on landscaping jobs accurately is essential to making a profit on each job you complete.

However, to ease the process of estimating prices for landscaping projects, getting professional estimation software can be a huge relief.

What are Landscaping Jobs?

The landscaper’s job is to design, construct, maintain, and beautify the landscapes of gardens, parks, property buildings, outdoor exhibitions, and other outdoor areas. They ensure: 

  • Plants are growing
  • Outdoors are kept clean
  • Overgrown hedges are pruned

Moreover, landscapers supervise maintenance repairs, generators, outdoor furniture, and landscape structures, among other things.

A Guide to Bid For Landscaping Jobs in 4 Simple Ways

1. Consult the client

To start with the landscaping job bidding process, the first thing to be done is to talk with the client and understand their needs. Ask lots of questions before you begin your estimate.

Consult the client

Measure the property yourself when you visit it. Identify the materials, subcontractors, and extra labor needed for the job and develop a plan to complete it.

The following factors should be considered when landscaping:

  • The client’s design style or style preference (Japanese, for example)
  • There are certain features required, such as a stone pathway
  • Plant types and materials needed
  • Location
  • Soil quality
  • Removing or adding soil
  • Seeding vs. sod
  • Regrade or slope the land
  • The current state of the yard
  • Plants or features like pathways or patios need to be removed 

2. Calculate the cost of the project

To properly estimate your landscaping job, you need to consider several different costs. Small businesses often underestimate the costs they incur for overhead, materials, and other expenses associated with running their businesses.

According to Total Landscape Care, if you don’t do this, it is likely that you will not be making a profit even after you add a markup to your invoices.

To make a good estimate, you must conduct thorough research and consider all vital aspects before coming up with a quote. Let’s examine each cost in more detail.

  • Labor cost

    You will have to multiply the hourly rate of your workers, the number of workers employed for the job, and daily working hours to get the total amount you have to spend on labor.

    Furthermore, labor costs vary widely based on location. Before making an estimate, research the ongoing labor costs in your area.

    Labor costs vary from state to state. As a result, we will use a national average of $13.73.

  • Material cost

    By the measurements of the site, you can list out all your requirements for the project. As a result, you can calculate the total material cost according to your requirements. 

    In addition, the cost of the material varies based on the client’s requirements. As the complexity of the task increases, so will the number of requirements that must be met. 

    Make sure you are accurate on this and always keep room for a sudden change in the cost of the material so you can cope with it.

  • Subcontractor cost

    There is nothing complicated about this part of the job. Contact your trusted contractor immediately after you have received the project. 

    Describe the project and ask them to quote you a price for it. Get your estimate ready by adding the price to the project’s total cost.

  • Overhead cost

    The overhead costs may be one of those expenses that newcomers tend to overlook, and it may be normal for them to miss out on them.

    Advertisement, office rent, equipment repairs and maintenance, accountants and insurance, vehicles, and gas are some of the overhead costs associated with your business. 

    To recoup lawn care business expenses, you need to include your overhead costs in your estimate. 

    Those who miss out on this have a huge chance that even if you add the markup to the sales, you may not be able to generate enough profit.

3. Add your markup

First, you have to add to the total cost of the job you will do, and the markup needs to be added on top. In this way, you will always be able to make a profit from your landscaping business.

Residential landscaping jobs should be marked up by 15 to 20% and commercial landscaping jobs by 10 to 15%, according to Lawn & Landscape.

Landscape maintenance work can be charged at a markup of 10% – 12%. both for residential and commercial properties.

4. Calculate the total price

To determine your landscaping quote for a customer, add up all the costs listed above plus your markup.

Calculate the total price

If your state requires sales tax, add it to the estimate.

Win Clients Through Accurate Estimates

Creating and sending accurate estimates was never easier before. Try InvoiceOwl for free to see how simple it is.

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Tips to Choose the Right Landscaping Jobs for Your Company

If you have a serious need for lawn care leads yet don’t have a lot of time on your hands, there are ways to increase the flow of new lawn care prospects quickly. To jump-start your lead generation process, you can do a few things to get things going.

1. Off-season is the best time to promote your landscaping services

Most landscapers start to promote in the spring. However, it is too late for that. Early advertising to potential customers can give you an advantage over your competition. Launch your marketing campaigns during the cold season, when the trees are bare.

Off season is the best time to promote your landscaping services

Take advantage of winter trade shows, and home shows to promote your business. Having your name in the minds of potential customers will make calling easier when the time comes.

2. Give free consultations

Provide prospective clients with free consultations. It would be great if you could schedule a time when you can go through their yard with them. Then provide your expertise depending on what you think would be best to do with it.

As a result, you gain a significant competitive advantage. Trust is ultimately what makes a customer choose a company. After meeting you in person and walking through their property, they are more likely to trust you.

3. Make use of customers’ yards

The best way to advertise your company is through current customers who have their yards beautified by you. Provide your company’s contact information and a logo on large and bold signs that tell people you did the landscaping work. 

In other words, rather than just promising a yard, show that you have already done it for your previous clients.

4. Reward referrals

As in any business, referrals are an integral part of the success of your business, but when you’re in a field like landscaping, they’re essential. 

Reward referrals

After completing a job, you can politely ask your customer if they would be willing to refer you to someone. Most of the time, they are happy to help you.

To boost referrals, even more, you might also want to reward them. For example, if a customer brings you another customer, you could provide him with extra services, such as an extra free visit for lawn maintenance.

5. Incentivize reviews

Offer rewards not only for referrals, but you may also want to offer rewards for reviews as well. People seeking affordable landscaping services online can expect good reviews about your business. 

Landscape businesses with poor ratings will likely raise a red flag with customers. Instead, they’ll move on to the next lawn care service.

Once in a while, if a customer leaves a positive review, you can arbitrarily offer him an extra service (although do not offer a reward for every review, as this violates the terms of service of review sites).

Bid With Accuracies, Not Errors

Digitize your estimation process with InvoiceOwl and create professional estimates to win more jobs.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How do I estimate the cost of landscaping?

    To estimate the cost of landscaping, follow these steps:

    • Research the site that requires landscaping services
    • Create a blueprint
    • Calculate the timeline of the project
    • Determine the several costs involved, including material and overhead costs
    • Calculate the total amount

  2. How do you write a bid for lawn service?

    You may be required to provide a bid for your lawn services. Consider it as an application for a job. If your bid looks unprofessional, you may lose your job. Keeping it neat, clean, professional, and efficient reflects the kind of business you run. So:

    • Design a landscaping invoice sample
    • Describe yourself in detail
    • Provide a list of your services
    • Verify your pricing
    • Offer upsells
    • Provide testimonials and references


The most challenging part of your landscaping job is understanding the duration of a project and continually improving your bidding process. 

The more you continuously work on improving your landscaping bids, the more you can enjoy high profits and happy clients.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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