How To Increase Prices For Your Landscaping Services

Read Time9 minutes

PublishedMarch 15, 2024

How To Increase Prices For Your Landscaping Services

Landscaping businesses must deliver high-quality service to lawn care customers while balancing cost-effectiveness. As companies enter new growth stages, price adjustments become an inevitable aspect of sustainable scaling.

Increasing landscaping prices without diminishing customer loyalty involves more than just changing invoice numbers. It's an intricate process of clear communication, demonstration of value, and understanding the market's evolving demands.

A company’s profit margins shrink when the costs for business expenses rise, such as:

  • Labor

  • Equipment

  • Overhead

  • Materials and supplies

To continue operating profitably and generate capital to fuel growth, the price of a company’s services must also rise over time.

Helping customers understand and adjust to rising costs is a necessary part of running a successful landscaping business and a process that doesn’t have to be painful.

When to increase landscaping prices

Every business life cycle includes a period where prices need to increase. To drive new growth, your bottom line must remain steadily in the black, even as the costs rise.

→ Increasing costs isn’t without risk; even the slightest bump could turn some customers off and lead them to look at other options. 

A landscaping company may need to adjust prices for many reasons, whether they need to adapt to new circumstances or are simply deciding between implementing new prices or experiencing negative growth.

Keep reading for an overview of some factors that go into a pricing strategy.

No sustainable profitability

A business can’t operate for long if expenses exceed profits. A lawn care service operation’s budget has to support a variety of expenses and investments, including:

  • Equipment such as mowers, trimmers, edgers, spreaders and more

  • Chemicals and fertilizer

  • Transportation and fuel costs

  • Worker salaries

  • Storage

  • Office space and utilities

  • Insurance

  • Local and state fees

That’s just the beginning. Business owners need to earn enough profit to cover operating expenses and payroll while building a buffer in case of seasonal slowdown, sudden expenses, or growth opportunities.

Businesses need to grow, and a flat bottom line hinders healthy operations. A wide variety of factors play into price increases. Here is a look at some of them.

Increased operational costs

Suppliers face the same market factors as businesses in the green industry. They occasionally need to raise service prices to meet their budgets and turn a profit. As a result, business operational costs go up.

  • A chemical shortage can mildly strain purchasing in the short term, but extended supply chain issues significantly stress any budget.

  • Equipment needs to be repaired and replaced. Even when buying used or in bulk, prices will increase over time.

Increasing the costs of your services is a natural effect of growing expenses.

Investing in skilled labor

Finding enough workers to overcome a labor shortage is an ongoing challenge for lawn care companies. Keeping skilled labor can be even more difficult.

A skilled workforce requires training, support, and veteran employees who can train new hires on company processes to maintain efficiency through onboarding.

Workers want competitive hourly rates, excellent benefits, strong work culture, safe working conditions, reliable schedules, and autonomy.

Investing in the right people can cost a little more but provides better financial security than suffering high turnover and is critical to delivering great customer service.  

Charging higher prices for landscaping services can provide the capital you need to attract and keep skilled workers in your market.

Introducing new and improved services or technologies

New services and innovative techniques drive the competitive landscaping market forward. You need to invest in new technologies to stay on the cutting edge of the industry.

Enhancing services and equipment provides an opportunity to offer new services to customers, but it also costs money. Raising the price of services can help offset the costs of improvements. 

You can raise rates for the enhanced services alone, giving customers the chance to choose to pay a higher rate for more advanced services.

Rising inflation rates and the cost of living

Sometimes, the need to raise prices lies outside of anyone’s control. It’s simply about reacting to time and the economy. 

Expenses are always higher than they were last year. Supplies and equipment cost a little more. Labor costs increase. Rent and taxes always go up. Prices need to adjust with it.

The challenge remains to roll out higher prices without losing customers.

How to raise landscaping prices without losing customers

When you deliver reliability and quality to every property at every appointment, you establish a foundation of trust with your customer base. Clients with lawn care maintenance contracts know the value of your services, so they’ll have confidence that the higher rates are still fair and competitive in your market.

Be honest and upfront with customers that you’re accurately pricing your services.

Good business means putting trust in your client list.

Provide advance notice

Nobody wants to learn about a price increase after the fact. A credit card statement isn’t a vehicle for communication.

Use a change in lawn care pricing as an opportunity to talk with customers. A simple letter lets people know prices will increase on a specific date. Personal conversations with more significant or long-term clients can soften the impact.

Implementing a buffer of several months between announcing the increase and implementing it gives customers a chance to plan accordingly.

Clearly explain the reasons behind the price hike

People expect prices to increase. The more context you can provide, the better.

If you do annual rate increases, use the announcement to:

  • Describe the improvements your business has made over the past year, such as buying new equipment and adding additional services.

  • Highlight new products and packages you offer and how they can get the most for their money.

  • Feature discount opportunities, such as for long-term contracts and customer referrals.

Break down the factors that influence price adjustments. Being transparent and honest builds trust with customers and continues to build long-term relationships.

Personalize messages to individual clients

Take time introducing and explaining rate increases with larger and long-standing clients. An extra email or a few minutes on the phone can go a long way to maintaining your important customer relationships.

By grouping customers into different buckets, you can tailor your communication to fit different situations without writing a new email for every entry in your CRM.

Using cloud-based management software, such as Aspire, makes it easy to send emails personalized with the customer’s name.

Then, consider what’s relevant to the customer—homeowners and commercial property owners have different expectations from lawn service providers. Someone needing a residential lawn mowed and trimmed doesn’t require a breakdown of the full-service or per-acre package changes.

Consider implementing gradual price increases over a specified period

Prices that go up slowly over time provide a runway for change.  That approach also can offer an opportunity for service expansion and contract renewals.

Prices shouldn’t rise for customers in the middle of a contract, but be sure to include them in the announcement email for rate increases so they can prepare for new terms with the next contract.

If customers are currently on a month-to-month agreement or have contracts for a shorter length of service, consider offering a yearlong contract at a reduced rate. This can turn raising prices into opportunities to grow your maintenance contracts.

The slow season is usually ideal for implementing higher prices, such as notifying customers of increases in rates for lawn mowing jobs during the fall or winter so people get used to it before those prices take effect.

Introduce loyalty programs or discounts for long-term clients

Loyal, long-term customers are your foundation. While raising rates can be a pain point for your existing customers, it is also an opportunity to reinforce your commitment to client relationships.

Identify the accounts that are so large or important that grandfathering them into the lower price point outweighs the risk of losing them to a competitor. 

Other options include:

  • Offer an additional trial service or consultation as part of a transition. 

  • Extend current pricing with the referral of new customers.

  • Combine an existing service with a new service for a discounted rate.

  • Offer a discount on mulch or other materials with an extended service plan.

Show your appreciation to existing customers who have been with you for a while, and they’ll reward you with continued loyalty.

Act on feedback during the communication process

Raising rates might result in bad Yelp reviews or negative posts on social media. Be open with customers and welcome their honesty.

Make sure to ask your field service technicians what they hear. They’re out there daily and likely hear directly from the customer more than you do, including if customers plan to stop service for a while to readjust their budgets. 

Consider using discounts or rewards to entice them back if you need the business, but be sure to welcome their return no matter what.

Keep reading for examples of telling customers about upcoming price increases.

Landscaping price-increase letter samples

Customer communication can be as simple as an email announcing increases, a personal letter addressing specific service changes, or one-on-one conversations with big accounts. 

The more personalized you can make it, the better. But how you communicate is ultimately up to you.

Here are two templates you can adjust to fit your situation.

Sample letter #1

Email subject line: [Company name] announces price increases

[Client name],

[Company name] is committed to providing you with the lawn care industry’s top customer service. As of [date], we will increase prices to ensure this continued quality.

You will continue to receive the same great lawn care service at a new rate of [$xxx] per [month/year]. 

Visit our website to see all of the services we offer to maintain a healthy and vibrant lawn. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us.

[Company owner/operator name]

Sample letter #2

Email subject line: [Company name] price adjustment

[Client name],

Due to a variety of factors, [Company name] will be raising its prices by [percentage] starting [date].

We are proud to have maintained our price structure for multiple years; however, the current cost of materials and providing our workforce with a competitive wage require us to raise rates.

Be assured [Company name] remains committed to providing you with the best lawn care service in the region. This price increase will help us maintain our high level of service as we grow and offer even more opportunities for you, our valued customer.

Visit or website or call us at [###-###-####] if you have any questions.

Thank you for your continued business. 

[Company owner/operator name]

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Learn more about building a thriving landscaping business

The key to sustained growth is anticipating challenges and reacting to market influences.

New technology and process innovation drives change in the green industry. Growth-oriented business owners need to keep up with those changes and anticipate them to stand out from the competition. 

Growth requires capital and communicating price changes while delivering outstanding service, which builds loyal customers and momentum to scale.

Lawn maintenance companies that manage to raise prices well maintain their customer base and attract new clients to meet growth goals.

Visit the Aspire blog to learn more best practices about owning and operating a lawn care service business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is a good profit margin for a landscaping company?

Successful lawn care and landscaping companies typically operate with a 15% to 45% profit margin. 

Profit margin is calculated by taking your gross earnings and deducting all operating expenses, such as workforce, materials, equipment, and overhead costs.

Q2. Do you need to raise your landscaping prices to keep up with inflation?

That depends on your initial profit margin, but typically yes.

Sudden inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages can quickly drive price increases. 

Slow and steady rises in inflation can also cause businesses to increase prices over time.

Q3. What are some profitable landscaping services?

Profitable landscaping services typically offered by successful lawn care businesses include:

  • Mowing and trimming

  • Weeding and weed prevention

  • Raking and yard clean-up

  • Color application and flower maintenance

  • Tree care and trimming

  • Fertilizer and chemical application

  • Irrigation

  • Seasonal services, such as snow removal

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