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Check Target Hourly Rate Calculator

Price with confidence after determining your Target Hourly Rate with the Check Target Hourly Rate Calculator

Last updated on
June 1, 2022

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Target Hourly Rate Calculator

How Do I Price Lawn Mowing Jobs?

Are you just starting your lawn mowing business and wondering, “How much should I charge to cut a yard?” Or are you a yard maintenance veteran but not super confident in your pricing? If you answered yes, this is the article for you. To state the obvious, you need to price out your lawn mowing properties at an amount that you can pay your bills and yourself.  We created the Check Hourly Rate Calculator for solo or single truck operators to generate a Target Hourly Rate (THR) to price lawn care jobs confidently.  If you already feel good about your current pricing, scroll to the bottom and try our pricing tool to confirm your pricing awesomeness!

Most small businesses fail because they run out of cash, and the owners can’t pay themselves or their bills. At Check, our mission is to champion you, the operator. Of course, we want you to be able to pay your bills, but we also want you to grow your wealth through your lawn care business. Using the Check Hourly Rate Calculator is an essential step to achieving those goals.

Starting with the question, “How much do you want to make in your lawn care business?”

Many folks ask us, “How much money can I make with a lawn care business?”  A better question is, “How much do you need to make for it to be worth it?”  If you aren’t personally making good money cutting grass, you aren’t going to do it for long. It’s hard work with long hours in harsh conditions.  The amount you need to earn is going to be different for everyone. A 16-year-old cutting grass as a summer job doesn’t need as much income as a 40-year-old with a family of 3. So stop right here and take a minute to think about a weekly income amount that would make running a yard care maintenance business worth it for you. Now, remember that number. We’re going to use it in a bit.  

Besides paying yourself weekly, you also need to consider an additional profit amount to keep from the business.  Having a profit that you earn allows you to one day replace yourself as the day-to-day manager of the company but still have income from what you started.

How much does it cost to run a lawn care business?

Once you know how much money you want to make with the lawn care business, the next step is to figure out how much it will cost to operate. The Check Hourly Rate Calculator will ask you to estimate your monthly expenses for fuel, equipment loans, etc. If you haven’t started, you can make your best guess, so don’t stress over it. It also includes essential expenses like taxes and insurance. Don’t tell anyone, but when I first started, I didn’t account for taxes or insurance (insert face). As a result, I got hit with a nasty tax bill from the IRS at the end of the year. Oof! Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Regarding insurance, just get it. It is not expensive. I’ve seen ads for coverage for as little as thirty bucks a month. I’d also prefer it if you didn’t ask me how I know how much double hung french doors cost to replace :sob:.

What to do with the results of the Check Hourly Rate Calculator

Once you answer all of the questions, the Check Hourly Rate Calculator will give you a number.  If you feel like that number is too low, then figure out if you missed an expense or maybe you need to pay yourself more. On the other hand, if the number feels high, you consider doing one or all of the following:

  • Improve your route density.
  • Increase your efficiency and speed.
  • Lower your expenses.

With your THR figured out, you can take that number and just multiply it by how long you think a yard will take you to complete.  Don’t want to do the math? Then, head on over to our pricing sheet, where we’ve done the math for you. (link here)

Does this lawn pricing calculator actually work?

You might be asking yourself, “will this calculator actually work?”  In short, yes. I used a much simpler version successfully for years. If you know your THR and roughly how long it will take to complete a yard (TTC), the formula is simply to multiply your THR by the TTC, and you get the price for the yard.  Using your calculated THR means you know you’re getting paid, and your bills are getting paid.

However, there is one critical thing you must know.  This calculator isn’t something you use once and forget about it.  Your THR will change over time. For example, as you get more experienced, your TTC will decrease.  You could reduce your prices because your TTC went down, but we recommend paying yourself more because you have more experience.  In this case, you can increase your THR.

Another thing that will increase THR is adding more equipment.  Adding more powerful or more efficient equipment will usually decrease your TTC. However, increased costs are associated with that equipment, necessitating an increase in THR.  

There are plenty of other things we could have worked into this calculator. Still, we guarantee that it will help you gain more insights into what your THR should be so you can run a profitable and successful lawn care business. So, if you’ve made it this far, hop back up to the top of the page and fill out the form to unlock the Check Target Hourly Rate Calculator.

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