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  • Charging for soil testing

    Just curious of what you would charge for soil testing. The ones at my county extension are 20 bucks, but I don't want to be to expensive. What would be a good price and mark up. I think 15% mark up would suffice?

  • #2
    What kind of tests will you be including?

    Will this be as an upsell or will it be used as a way to attract new customers?
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    • #3
      Well, mostly an upsell. When I get a call from someone how needs grass cut, and I get there and the yard is patchy; I recommend over seeding, but, I also recommend PH testing, because what is the point of doing all that work and only have some grass germinate? If you can find out what you soil is lacking, and put it in the "ideal" lawn category, wouldn't anyone do the same? Some people, and I am guilty of it too, of just throwing down fertilizer with seed and just hoping for the best.

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      • #4
        Certain tests you can perform right there in front of the customer and this can not only be helpful but also add to your sales presentation. When you are the only lawn care company that shows up and performs a soil test, they are most certainly going to be impressed. Then you can explain the importance of proper pH for their soil and how it effects the lawns health. You could also point out how others may try and treat a lawn with fertilizer without first knowing what is wrong. This is another great selling point for you.

        To perform the pH test, it really should cost you next to nothing.

        As you said about the county extension office, they charge about $20 but do you need all the results they give you? Could you get by with some of the simple tests like soil pH?

        What's your view on that?
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        • #5
          A ph test on the spot might impress, but a follow up test from a lab is extremely important. Besides the macro, the micro nutrients are just as important also base saturation knowledge

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          • #6
            A ph test on the spot might impress, but a follow up test from a lab is extremely important. Besides the macro, the micro nutrients are just as important also base saturation knowledge
            Have you had situations where you took soil samples to a lab and learned something new about what the lawn needed that helped you fix a situation it was having?

            If so, what kinds of lawn or soil treatments did you provide after seeing the lab tests?
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            • #7
              Sure like magnesium a macro and boron a micro
              As in soil amendment products I make my own,

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              • #8
                I charge $30 for a soil test. The test costs $9 + $5 to check organic matter and the shipping to Penn State is usually around $4.
                Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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                • #9
                  Why not figure it in to the cost of the overseeding? the upsell would be what you would need to do based on the results of the test. Just a different angle to think about.
                  Evansville Lawn Mowing
                  Newburgh Lawn Care

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                  • #10
                    That's a good idea and could be a great sales point as well. I bet very few others do this as a part of the service.
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                    • #11
                      What is your time worth?

                      I utilize soil tests with ALL of my lawn rehab projects. How do you know what the soil needs to support a healthy turf? I take multiple cores with a soil probe and send it off to the lab. I have the results back in a week or so and explain the best course of action to the customer. This takes time and knowledge. Each have a value that should not be ignored. I charge $65 per test. Not one customer has ever questioned or complained because I explain that their lawn is unique, has different needs, and does not benefit from a cookie cutter approach.

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                      • #12
                        I charge $65 per test. Not one customer has ever questioned or complained because I explain that their lawn is unique, has different needs, and does not benefit from a cookie cutter approach.
                        What do you feel is the best way to go about presenting and selling the tests to the customer?

                        Do you just include that you perform tests when you show up for the estimate? I think a lot of new lawn care business owners aren't sure the best way to package this all together.
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