How to Price Landscaping Jobs [7-Step Pricing Plan]

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The landscaping industry in the United States is expected to reach $115.6 billion in 2022, and scale at a 4.5% CAGR in the coming years. With such market potential, it’s never been more crucial for landscapers to master how to price landscaping jobs and nail these piling landscaping projects.

However, a booming market also means a rise in demand and competition. Some contractors even manipulate their prices and sell their services at lower rates to attract clients, to the detriment of their business profits.

And they can do this because, unlike other service industries, the landscaping industry sets prices according to each landscaping job. Different landscaping tasks require varying levels of resources, and a job can turn expensive when you don’t pay attention to your customer’s requirements.

But this shouldn’t be your reality. Therefore, you should learn how to price landscaping jobs effectively to avoid compromising your business and stand out from the competition. First, you have to know what elements to consider when estimating landscaping jobs. This is the foundation of every pricing and any subsequent bid.

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7 Steps to Price Landscaping Jobs for Profit

As mentioned earlier, your landscaping estimate must consider certain factors before the final summation. We have arranged these factors into simple steps below to help you create a perfect landscaping estimate. Along with this, you must also know how to manage a landscaping business so that you can thrive and beat your competitors.

how to price landscaping jobs: steps to price landscaping jobs for profit

1. Get a brief about the job

Before you start the estimation process for that landscaping job, you need to understand the brief and the scope of the project. Get in touch with your clients through their preferred communication channels and ask them specific questions, such as:

  • What is the size of the project site?
  • Where is the job site?
  • Is there a time constraint?
  • Are there any safety hazards or accessibility issues?
  • What landscaping services do they want?
  • Do they have any special requests?
  • What materials do they plan to use?

Answering these specific queries can help you get a clear idea about the project as well as the estimated price.

YoYou can advise your clients on areas that’ll require specific changes based on your experience and knowledge of the industry. You can also try to upsell them on your different landscaping services. These tactics not only increase your profits but also showcase your expertise by helping your clients solve their lesser-known landscaping problems.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Create a question checklist for every client so you’re sure you understand the job before setting your price.

2. Ask clients about their budget

Your final estimate will be completely useless if it’s way above your client’s budget. On the other hand, underpricing might make you look cheap and unprofessional. You need to ask your client about their budget so you can deliver a tailored estimate. Once you have the client’s requirements and their budget, you can also decide if this landscaping job is a good fit or not.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Ask about any money constraints. A budget is not a death sentence. You can go with it or try to convince your client that they’d get better results when they increase their budget.

3. Know your labor rates

Total labor costs might be the most vital component of your landscaping job estimate. You can calculate your labor costs by multiplying the average market wage rate with the total number of hours required for the landscaping project. Or just use your rates if you already pay your team a certain amount.

You can choose to charge hourly or take a lump sum for the project. However, based on general preference, project scope, and expertise, hourly rates are usually better than fixed rates. There’s less pressure on your team to complete the project faster, and your team can take their time to produce the best results.

Moreover, unforeseen situations may delay the completion of the landscaping task. This gives hourly-based pricing a slight edge over the fixed rates. To get an accurate or near-accurate estimate of your labor costs, you should use the following steps:

Calculate the number of hours for completing the landscaping task

Determine the hours your team can take to complete the task. You can do this by estimating how long it’ll take one team member to complete the work, then multiplying the time by the number of people you have.

For example, if one person takes 40 hours on the job, that’ll be 200 labor hours with a team of 5. Of course, this changes with the difficulty level of any part of the project. You can also use tracking software to help you estimate the average hours your team takes to complete the task.

Calculate the labor cost per hour

Now that you have the total hours down, you need to calculate the total labor cost per hour, which includes salaries, insurance, and other employee expenses. You can do this by calculating the normal weekly workers’ compensation for a single on-ground employee and then dividing it by the total number of hours they work in a week.

For instance, if the average weekly expense is $4000 every week, and they worked for 40 hours, then their hourly rate per week would be $400/hr. You can use this rate and multiply it by the number of people on your team to get a rough estimate of the total labor cost per hour.

You can also check the national average hourly wage of employees in your city, and calculate & add a markup to reflect benefits, tax, and other extraneous expenses. Once you have your total hourly labor rate, you can calculate the overall labor cost for that project by multiplying the total labor hours with the hourly labor cost.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Knowing labor rates helps you pitch an accurate estimate. Remember that this varies according to your workforce’s level of experience.

4. Know the material costs

Once you have the client’s requirements for a particular project, you have an idea about the list of materials required for completing the required task. You need to add the cost of landscaping materials to your cost estimation.

You can purchase some commonly used materials, like compost, floodlights, cement, lawn turf, gravel, boulders, landscaping rock, timber, and fertilizer in bulk. This helps you offer decent discounts to your customers.

Here’s a neat trick to make material costs look less daunting; offer a lower price for the materials, and then spread the discount across your service pricing. You can also convince the client to pay more for higher-priced and higher-quality materials. Make sure the overall material cost is balanced. It should be affordable but also profitable.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Knowing the material rates can help you pitch different price packages. This also helps you determine your final bid price.

5. Calculate overhead

Calculating overhead costs is a vital component contractors miss. Your estimate must include taxes, equipment repair, vehicle expenses, advertising, legal fees, office rent, equipment cost, business insurance, internet bills, utilities, insurance, and other less apparent expenses.

Including the weekly overhead cost can help you achieve a break-even point. You will also need to include certain non billable expenses in your overhead costs, like holidays, employee training, and traveling time. This way, you can come to a balanced and accurate estimation.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Calculating overheads provides you a safety net if the project is under budget. It also covers the miscellaneous expenses for doing the job.

6. Get quotes for subcontractor fees

Most times, delegating is the best way to provide the best services to your customer while handling multiple projects simultaneously. So, hiring subcontractors is a good strategy.

You can also include a subcontractor if the project scale is large and you have a limited team. Just ask the subcontractor for a quote to add to your project estimate.

Getting subcontractor quotes before pricing your services is a good idea if you don’t want to pay the subcontractors out of your pocket.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Getting subcontractor quotes before pricing your services is a good idea if you don’t want to pay the subcontractors out of your pocket.

7. Add markup to the subtotal

The last step in estimating your landscaping job is to determine your profit margin and add a specific markup percentage to the project’s overall cost. Your profit margin is your net sales revenue minus the material, labor, and overhead costs.

The higher the margin, the more profit you rake in. You can widen this margin with a markup. A markup is an amount you add to the cost once the overall cost is calculated. You can add it to the final estimate or to individual segments.

📝 Key Takeaways:

Don’t submit your estimate without first analyzing your profit margin and adding a markup.

💡 Tip:

You need to ensure that you don’t overprice your estimate because it will increase the chance of losing your prospect to other landscaping businesses and minimize the chance of converting your prospect into a long-term client. You also don’t want to underprice your landscaping job estimate.

Sum Up to Get the Total Landscaping Cost Estimate

Once you find the overall cost of your landscaping business operations for a particular project and know your markup and profit margins, you need to sum up the total to finalize the estimate.

You can choose a manual estimation process or the latest modernized automation process. Calculating the sum yourself is time-consuming and often inaccurate. You cannot afford to make mistakes while estimating landscaping jobs.

We recommend you choose a professional estimation software that can help you bypass the drawbacks of manual processing and give you an accurate total price after estimating.

Integrating a powerful estimation software can help remove the inefficiencies and errors in the estimation process, maintain a secure record of previous estimates, and save time, effort, and resources.

You can choose a desirable landscaping template to create professional estimates and include vital details that can help you get the job.

Also, you can get detailed information about your previous jobs within a few clicks, which can help you plan your future landscaping estimates better. An estimation software also helps you file your taxes easily and makes it easier for your account management team to handle the year-end accounting.

But only a handful of estimation software can offer you quality features that help you stand out in the landscaping and deliver an excellent customer experience to your clients. Our team has filtered the best estimation software features and put them all in one nifty digital tool that can be accessed from your smartphone and other devices.

Frequently Asked Questions
    1. How to estimate a landscaping job?

      You can estimate a landscaping job by analyzing key elements like weekly labor hours, material cost, and overhead. You also need to choose whether you want to follow a fixed or hourly pricing method. We recommend you choose hourly-based pricing to holistically cover your expenses and achieve a better final price.

    1. What’s the average rate per hour that a landscaper can charge?

      The landscaper’s average per hour price can differ from state to state in the United States due to the variation in demand. But on average, the overall landscape cost can be between $50 and $100 per hour depending on the scale of operations, demand, and project complexity.

    1. Why choose software for creating landscaping estimates?

      Choosing estimation software for your landscaping business can help you achieve accurate estimates of the total cost of a job. With prospects looking for quick and reliable estimation processing, powerful software can help you meet their desired requests and attract more clients. You can create quick estimates based on these requirements and send them to your prospective client within a few clicks. You can check the history of your estimates and keep an overview of your operations. You can also make changes to the estimation while reviewing it to ensure that you maintain a competitive edge.

    1. What is the best estimation software?

      InvoiceOwl is the leading estimation and invoicing software in the landscaping business. You can minimize your dependency on manual processing and quickly automate your finance management system without any hassle. InvoiceOwl sends real-time, quick notifications to your clients with well-vetted estimates and invoices that can be reviewed and approved quickly. Overall, InvoiceOwl saves you time, effort, and resources, which can be redirected to other business operations that target your business goals.

  1. Is the landscaping business profitable?

    Yes. The demand for quality landscaping services is rising, and there are a lot of opportunities for you to make great profits. You need to offer premium landscaping services for commercial landscaping jobs and residential ones too. You can do small maintenance landscaping and other landscaping work at reasonable prices while you eye bigger projects. And if you’re a professional landscaping company, you can also use different advanced technologies and tools to enhance your overall business productivity and minimize the cost of operations.

Start Estimating Landscaping Jobs With InvoiceOwl

InvoiceOwl is the leading landscaping estimation and invoicing software for contractors. You can create quick invoices and quickly send them to your clients for instant updates on their decisions.

You can choose from different templates available on the software to simplify the estimation process and produce a professional document. InvoiceOwl offers a wide range of features, like record-keeping, invoicing, and sales reports generation.

The InvoiceOwl interface is smooth and easy to use. This makes it easier for your team to use the tool without any supervision. It is also one of the most affordable estimation software in the market, making it perfect for small businesses in the landscaping space.

You can rely on InvoiceOwl to help you prepare complex and sophisticated estimates for both residential projects and large-scale commercial landscaping jobs.

Access the and take your landscaping estimation and invoicing operations to a whole new level.

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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