When trying to determine how much commercial landscaping costs, we often find it’s not uncommon for there to be some confusion. As a company that prides itself on transparency and educating our clients, we’ve always felt that it’s important to help explain what goes into your landscaping costs, so that there are no surprises. Of course, we also want you to have a better understanding of what you’re paying for—as a consumer of commercial landscaping services, that’s information you deserve to know.
In this article, we’ll dive into national landscaping service costs for your multi-location business. We’ll explain what factors contribute to the overall costs and why there can be some variation from location to location.
How Much Does Commercial Landscaping Cost for National Accounts?
Many of our national account clients have smaller, individual locations so the landscaping service costs might only be around $5,000 to $10,000 per year (excluding snow) for each site. But depending upon size and scope of the business, a national landscaping service cost can range anywhere between $5,000 all the way up to $60,000 per year per location (based on the majority of our National Accounts customers). Exactly what drives the cost for your national account properties will depend upon a number of factors. And this is what we want to explain for you here.
We commonly find that many national account customers assume that the landscaping cost should be nearly identical from location to location. After all, landscaping services are mostly the same no matter which location they’re being performed at, right?
Actually, this isn’t really the case at all. We want to explain what goes into the cost differentiation for national accounts.
What Causes Cost Differentiation from Location to Location for National Accounts?
So, why does the cost of landscaping services differ from one location to another?
For one, the geography itself related to the different locations can cause cost differences. The services needed in Florida, for instance, might include palm tree pruning whereas the service in Illinois might require snow removal.
These can obviously cause huge variations in cost.
Current Condition of the Property
Another factor that can differ from location to location (and impact cost) is the current condition. If you’ve previously had several smaller landscaping companies caring for all of your different locations, they could be in completely different conditions when we begin servicing them.
The starting point at which we’re beginning could also alter the price. While one location could be in really bad shape and needs an overhaul, another could be starting off in decent shape.
Wants/Needs/Expectations Related to Location
As you think about national landscaping service costs for your multi-location business, it’s a good idea to think about each location individually. We often find that there are typically different levels of expectations and different wants and needs at each individual location which can really impact the price.
For instance, we find that most multi-location businesses can break down their locations into three service expectation categories:
- The “marquee” or “flagship” locations (the premiere, top-performing ones)
- The everyday, important locations (maybe not top performers, but important to keep looking their best)
- The locations requiring the bare minimum
We find that many national accounts have already internally sorted out some form of these levels based upon how busy their different locations are and how much revenue they bring in. We can then help them to create some landscaping specs around those classifications.
For example, your marquee location might need an extra flower rotation that your poorer-performing locations may not. Of course, we recognize it’s not always so cut-and-dry. Many clients look to us for ideas that will help poor-performing locations receive a boost in business with the right landscaping appeal to attract new customers. Or, maybe it’s a location that isn’t necessarily performing the best, but it’s located near your company’s headquarters. This might be another case where it gets elevated it to top-level status.
There are obviously lots of factors that go into making landscaping decisions. As your commercial landscaping partners, we’re here to help. But the bottom line is that you can’t assume the cost of landscaping for one location will be the same at another, 100 miles away. There are many factors that go into determining individual costs per location.
Next, we’ll look more closely at what drives commercial landscaping costs overall.
What Impacts Commercial Landscaping Costs?
As a consumer of landscaping services, we understand that you want to know what you’re paying for. In fact, we commend you for taking the time to dig into this information.
Let’s talk about what factors impact commercial landscaping costs.
Labor (50 percent)
For every dollar spent on commercial landscaping services, 50 cents goes back to our team. We invest heavily in our people because we know that it’s our team that makes us great. That’s why our starting pay rate in many markets may be nearly as much as twice minimum wage. We’re hiring highly qualified people and paying them a good living wage. And if they do good work, they can expect a pay raise, too.
This is important as we also believe that paying our people well directly translates to how well they perform on your property. This is not an area to skimp. Sure, we could go out and find someone to complete the work cheaper, and that’s what a lot of companies do. But we’re also not out to behave like every other company.
Vehicles, Equipment, and Fuel (15 percent)
Another major expense is the vehicles, equipment, and fuel that we need to operate our commercial landscaping business. This is another area that impacts our results.
We have well-maintained and clean trucks that we must operate safely. We also have top-of-the-line commercial grade equipment that helps us to perform commercial landscaping in an effective way that delivers the best results.
On top of all that, we also have back-up equipment so that if a mower or another piece of equipment goes down, we won’t have to stop working. We’ll still get the job done for you.
The Remainder: Overhead and Profit (Management, Support, Reinvesting, and Some Profit)
At this point, we are already up to 65 cents on every dollar just in looking at our labor and our equipment/vehicle costs. The remaining 35 cents per dollar (or 35 percent) is a blend of the support, resources, and business management that help make our company great and of course, ideally, some profit that we can reinvest back into our company.
It’s so important to understand that if you want a company that provides a top-notch customer experience, then you can’t choose a bare-bones operation that cuts corners and doesn’t have support staff. Yes, their price may be lower, but there’s a reason why.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we aren’t only investing in the service team that works in the field but also those that work in the office or serve as account managers. We hire account managers who have 2- or 4-year horticultural (or another equivalent) degrees. These are the people who will be your main point of contact and we know how important it is that they can answer all of your questions.
This role is so vital for national accounts. After all, it’s with this single point of contact that you’ll be communicating regularly. They will be your eyes and ears on the property so that you can take that burden off of your plate.
We want you to know we’re not hiring just anyone to be a Yellowstone Landscape account manager. We’re hiring individuals who have specifically been trained in this field. But that, again, comes at a price. If you want the best experience, you need a well-trained and highly experienced account manager to be your point person.
Getting the Most Value for your Investment
Hopefully, this has provided some valuable insight that will help you better understand how pricing is determined for commercial landscaping for national accounts. We hope it has also helped clarify why the cost can differ from location to location.
When you’re investing in commercial landscaping services, it’s important that you feel you’re getting the most possible value out of your investment. That’s ultimately what it all comes down to. While it can be tempting to shop on price alone, that puts you at risk for choosing a less qualified vendor who simply threw out a low bid but isn’t going to actually give you everything you expect for your investment.
Fortunately, by making a smart and researched decision, you can understand where your money is going and how it directly turns into premium value in return.
Are you ready to feel confident in your commercial landscaping investment? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.