There’s quite a bit of money to be made in an aeration service and it can be really great to get into. Offering it to customers can be a great addition to your staple lawn care service to help it grow. Your customers are probably already concerned with having a healthy, green that looks the best in their neighborhood so providing another service that can accomplish this is a natural upsell and therefore it’s a great way to earn some extra profit.
Aeration is usually done twice a year, once in the spring and the fall although it can also be done in the summer. If you’re already providing a lawn mowing service, adding aeration isn’t too difficult but getting your pricing right will be essential to your success.
The price you charge will ultimately depend on…
- The location
- The size of the lawn
- How long it takes you to finish the job
Know Your Numbers
The amount of you should charge ultimately depends on knowing how much you need to make per day to cover your expenses such as equipment, gas and leave you with enough profit so that the job is worthwhile. You might also need to put some money aside for a winter fund is lawn care is your main gig, so make sure you factor in every single expense.
Set a Minimum Price
You need to guarantee a certain amount of income anytime you go to aerate. It shouldn’t matter how small a particular job is.
Here are some of the factors that you’ll want to consider when figuring out how much to charge for an aeration job.
Find Out What Going Rate Is for Aeration in Your Area
One of the best things you can do is research what people are paying for aeration. Price can vary across the country.
Most landscaping companies will price for a certain number of square feet.
Obviously the larger the lawn is, the higher the cost will be.
Just to throw a rough number out there, the going rate seems to be about $15 per 1000 square feet. That number will vary across the country. Also, higher end lawn care companies might charge a different rate to smaller start-ups.
Don’t Price Too Low
While it can be tempting to undercut the competition, you run the risk of inviting too many cheap customers that aren’t going to ask for any of your other services. It’s also much less likely that you’re going to turn them into regular clients that you can rely on for a long period of time.
You can also end up alienating yourself from higher paying customers who may be willing to pay a little extra for a quality service so make sure to charge what you’re worth and don’t worry about. They won’t last long, trust me.
Once you’ve figured out what the going rate is your area, you’ll then need to consider other factors that can. The rate you charge doesn’t have to be fixed so you’ll need to consider the variables that increase or decrease your rate.
Here are some of the things to consider…
Do You Already Own an Aerator?
Aerators can be very expensive to buy. Some of the good ones will set you back thousands of dollars so you might not be willing to take a hit like that early on if you’re just starting out offering this service. Furthermore, most customers will not want their lawns to be aerated outside of the spring/fall so you might not be getting the most out of the machine all season long.
I’d recommend finding a place that you can rent from first. A lot of these aerators are available to rent at reasonable rates. It’s common to rent an aerator for $75 a day. You can often find a weekly rental for around $200.
If you’re inclined to buy, I’d recommend getting a feel of how much it costs to rent first. You can then run some numbers through your head and see what’s worth it to you.
If you rent an aerator, you don’t have to worry about maintenance expenses…
After you’ve completed the job and payed the rental fee, all of the money goes straight into your pocket. You don’t have to worry about lots of extra hidden costs like repairs or oil changes for your machine. You can just return it back at the end of your rental agreement and not worry about it again.
Purchasing an Aerator May Save You Money in the Long Run
Once you get more established, you can figure out whether it might be worth purchasing an aerator instead. In the long term, you might be able to make more money by avoiding rental fees. If you own your own aerator, you can also do lots of unscheduled jobs. There’s no point going to rent an aerator for the odd job because the rental fees take all of the profit out of it.
Of course, you always have to option of renting your own aerator out to other people if you feel like you’re not getting the use out of it.
What Type of Aerator Will You Be Using?
I should start of buying saying that I’d always recommend core aeration. Pulling plugs is much more effective way to get air, water and nutrients into the soil than spike aeration. Core aeration machines are available in a variety of different models, some are much more efficient than others.
As stand on aerator can save you a lot of time. Using a walk behind can be pretty tough on you physically which can slow you down. A lot of the walk behind aerators are not exactly fast and they aren’t always easy to turn so you might want to consider a stand on aerator if you’re going for a lot of volume. If you’re able to knock out multiple lawns quickly, you might be able to get away with charging a slightly lower rate.
Grouping Lawn Services Together
By adding in aerating, you can actually charge less while increasing your overall profit.
If you’re going to a certain property to provide an aeration service, it’s unlikely that’s the only service they will want from you. They will probably want other services too so you’re best to take advantage of spending as long as you can at a single property to reduce travel time and cost.
I’ve found that adding overseeding to fall aerations to be highly profitable. It’s a great way to put some extra money in your pocket for the time that you’re at the property.
Other Things to Consider – Time Is Money!
Even you if you have great equipment, some properties can be problematic…
Does the Yard Have a Lot of Obstacles?
Some yards might have a lot of different obstacles you need to get around. A yard might have a lot of trees, flower beds or a sprinkler system that requires flagging before you start. If this the case, you’re probably going to have to raise the price up because of the added time it’s going to cost you. On the hand, you might be able to charge a lower rate if the lawn fairly small and flat with little in your way.
Is the Lawn’s Soil Hard-Packed?
One of the things about aerating is that It requires the ground to be a little damp. If there is some moisture in the turf, it’s much easier to pull up the plugs. If you’re dealing with a lawn that’s as hard as a brick and you have to give it some water before you aerate, you obviously won’t be able to charge the same amount for a yard that is immediately ready to aerate.
Sometimes you’re better off seeing a yard before you give a price.