As a lawn care service provider, one of the most important admin tasks that you have is to provide clear, timely, and accurate estimates to your clients.
It can be challenging to come up with a consistent method for pricing lawn care jobs that can be used by your staff. That’s where bid templates can come in handy.
We spoke to Mike Rorie, who has been involved in the green industry for over 30 years. He started his commercial grounds company, GroundMasters Inc, with one truck, and grew it to a multi-branch, regional platform before selling to a national provider in 2006. He’s now the CEO of GIS Dynamics, parent company of the Go iLawn online property measuring system.
This expert's tips will help you to learn:
What is a lawn care bid template?
A lawn care bid template is a customizable document that you can use to create estimates to send to clients. It includes an approximate cost for labor, supplies, property size, and overhead costs, as well as any taxes, discounts, etc.
Once completed, you can send the bid template to your client to give them a professional and clear quote for the job they want you to complete.
How to quote a lawn care job
Quoting a lawn care job can be broken down into four steps:
- Know your production factors
- Measure the property
- Account for overhead costs
- Understand the full scope of work
“Production factors are the foundation of all estimates. You’re going to use these again and again for every estimate you create, so it’s important that you take the time to figure out how long something takes, and how much material you’ll need,” Mike advises.
This means knowing how much material you’ll need to complete the job, and how long it will take to apply. Mike suggests a few different ways to determine your material needs for a job:
- Ask your equipment and material manufacturers. Generally, manufacturers will have estimates they can share with you to help you get a feel for how much material you’ll need for a job.
- Track all your jobs. Take a look at previous jobs where the materials have been used and pay attention to the property size, amount of material used, and your (or your crews) time on the job.
To make estimating production costs easier in the future, Mike suggests that you make note of some benchmark figures you can work off down the road.
For example, if you know how much fertilizer it would take to spray a 1000 SQFT lot, you can use that number to tell you if your estimate is on track.
Pro tip: accurate measurements are key. Your main concern should be how big the property is, and the actual amount of turf you’re applying the materials (like fertilizer or herbicide) to.
The bigger the yard, the more of the product you’re using. That’s your biggest expense. Pricing in this case is strictly based on square footage.
The size of the property you’re working on is one of the biggest and most basic factors in accurately estimating a job.
Mike suggests checking whether you can measure the property online before you visit the site.
“You’ll have more time while you’re at the property to inspect the conditions of the turf and look for diseases and undesirable conditions that can be remedied with a program.”
Overhead costs are made up of things like employee wages, fuel costs, driving time, office space, and other general costs.
Mike points out:
“the geographic location of a property is a big factor when preparing an estimate in determining the time it will take you to service a property.”
He recommends to focus on your geographical ‘sweet spot’ and to only take bigger jobs or multiple jobs outside of that area. This way, you’ll ensure that any additional costs associated with jobs outside of your service area are worth it.
Scope of work
The scope of work refers to what type of job the client is requesting.
For example, taking a basic job that’s within your service area and skillset may be a no brainer.
But, Mike cautions:
“agreeing to perform a service that isn’t in your wheelhouse or sweet spot can be cumbersome and end up costing you time and even money.”
Pro tip:consider subcontracting special services out if they aren’t in your wheelhouse. That way, you can still offer the service, keep the client, and build relationships with other service providers in the area.
Access the bid and quote template below:
How to use a free lawn care bid template
Every lawn care bid template should include fields for property size, materials, labor, taxes, fees, and additional costs. You should customize your bid template each time you estimate a new job for a client.
How to use Jobber’s free lawn care bid template:
- Download the PDF version of the template to your computer or tablet
- Save it as a new file
- Open a new copy of the saved file for each quote you want to create
- Customize the fields (for example rock beds, prune trees, spring cleanup, fertilizer, and overseeding) based on the job you are estimating
- Calculate the total materials, labor, and time required, then add on taxes, fees, discounts, etc.
- Save it as a new file with a unique name (Mowing Quote 00721.MaisieTurner.PDF)
Make sure to keep your estimates organized by saving them in a specific folder on your computer. This way, if you need to refer to one in the future, it will be easy to find.
When to send a bid to a client
After you have customized and completed your bid, you need to send it to the client.
While there are a variety of ways to send the bid, we strongly suggest you send it via email or text. This way, you’ll have a record of it being sent and can use it to follow-up in the future if need be. Plus, it won’t get lost in the mail.
Regardless of how you choose to send your lawn care bid sheet, when you send it is very important.
The best times to send a quote to a client are:
- At the end of the estimate appointment (if you’ve been filling out your bid onsite as you go through the property)
- Right after you meet with the client or at a reasonable time within 24 hours
Ideally, you want to send your estimate within 24 hours of visiting the client’s property. This helps to ensure that neither of you forget any important details, like extra fees or discounts that were agreed to.
Interested in moving beyond templates?
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