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View Full Version : What would you do with this situation? Overestimated price.


QualityLawnCare4u
04-03-2005, 03:55 PM
I went to a clients house today to give a ext. on installing rocks and border around the front of her house. The area is 18 inches(1.5 ft.) by 51 ft. When I punched it in my calculator I put in 18 x 51 instead of 1.5 x 51. The rocks that she had picked out were 3$ a bag and I figured it would take 100 bags. She approved it (surprised at the price) and when I left it suddenly hit me what I had done. Should only take about 12 bags(Im saying 20 to be on the safe side). I have never messed up that bad before, Im usually good at underestimating. Should I tell her it will be cheaper or just take it in case there is something I might have missed figured. My actual cost in material is only about 176 instead of the 400 plus I had figured. Will probably take me about 4-5 hours to do, give or take a little. I take great pride in my honesty just hate to call her back and make me look stupid. On the other hand if it takes me longer than I estimated in time will come out ok. Just wanted to ask you guys who have done a lot more landscaping than me your thoughts. I have not done a whole lot of this kind of work, mostly just regular yard maintinance and did not want to loose my butt till I get better at figuring this kind of work. The lady has been a real PITA though for a new client. I quoted her around 650 for the job. I usually figure my labor around 30-35 per hour for this kind of work. I know, I know about the dollar a minute but it will not flush in my area.

grass_cuttin_fool
04-03-2005, 04:00 PM
I would try to figure a happy medium and leave yourself a cushion in case something happens and return the rest. Just tell her after double checking the figures in the office you found a mistake

sheshovel
04-03-2005, 04:11 PM
WEll 12 bags is a whole lot different than 100 bags.You say you take pride in your honesty,if you do then you would not even concider keeping the extra money.That's just like stealing from her PITA or not there are alot of PITAS out there and what a PITA is to me may not be to you and visaversa.
Now say you do steal the money from this pita and don't call her and tell her you made a mistake and it's going to be a whole lot less than you told her...Then you show up on the job with 12 bags and not 100??Don't you think she's gonna notice??Do you think she's stupid enough to not know the difference bettween you applying 12 bags and 100 bags?And not know you are cheating and lieing to her?Don't worry about looking stupid,you will be a diamond in her eyes if you call her and tell her the honest real price.
This is another example of giving a price when you are in front of the client....ALWAYS GO HOME OR GET IN YOUR TRUCK AND drive away someplace where you can think it out and add it up a few times to come up with a est.Never give a price and add stuff up with the client standing there,it's not only unprofessional it's just bad practice.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-03-2005, 04:27 PM
WEll 12 bags is a whole lot different than 100 bags.You say you take pride in your honesty,if you do then you would not even concider keeping the extra money.That's just like stealing from her PITA or not there are alot of PITAS out there and what a PITA is to me may not be to you and visaversa.
Now say you do steal the money from this pita and don't call her and tell her you made a mistake and it's going to be a whole lot less than you told her...Then you show up on the job with 12 bags and not 100??Don't you think she's gonna notice??Do you think she's stupid enough to not know the difference bettween you applying 12 bags and 100 bags?And not know you are cheating and lieing to her?Don't worry about looking stupid,you will be a diamond in her eyes if you call her and tell her the honest real price.
This is another example of giving a price when you are in front of the client....ALWAYS GO HOME OR GET IN YOUR TRUCK AND drive away someplace where you can think it out and add it up a few times to come up with a est.Never give a price and add stuff up with the client standing there,it's not only unprofessional it's just bad practice.

Sheshovel, I just called the lady back and explained to her that I dont usually give extimates without double checking first. I dropped the price down quite a bit and feel better about it.

sheshovel
04-03-2005, 04:29 PM
How did she feel about it?You still kept a bit more to cover did you not?I'm glad you did what you did that's real honesty.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-03-2005, 04:51 PM
How did she feel about it?You still kept a bit more to cover did you not?I'm glad you did what you did that's real honesty.

Sheshovel, she just called me back and basically called me a crook. She said the price I gave her few weeks back was only 300-350. I reminded her that was for mulch, not decorative rocks! I reminded her that she also added several things to it like differnet border, mulch around trees in front yard. I think Im going to pass on this one, I dont like my integrity questioned. Oh, to answer your question about how she liked me going down, did not faze her a bit, acted like I was cheating her. I explained to her that is why I like to set down and go over everything first before giving a quote. Will never quote no one again without studying it real good first. I did tell her that before my price was final wanted to go over it will good and I EMPHASIZED before I left that it was only a rough estimate. Wont do that again (like above poster said)

PTP
04-03-2005, 05:01 PM
We often like to think that those that do the right thing are rewarded in some ways but the truth is that there is often a personal cost. You did the right thing. It is better to be a hardworking-poorman with integrity than someone who has a little extra but yet is a thief.

HOOLIE
04-03-2005, 05:11 PM
I don't do a whole lot of landscaping either, aside from mulch. I probably would have done the job, see how long it took, then give her a break on the price accordingly. Normally I enjoy making as much profit as I can, but if it's a case of miscalculating to the extreme, I would refund a portion of it.

Like you said, you quoted her a price for the entire job, not per bag of rocks, so I'd do the job first and see how it goes.

neversatisfiedj
04-03-2005, 05:26 PM
Make it up to her - you will get it back in the end.

Coffeecraver
04-03-2005, 08:13 PM
You know what you have to do !

:rolleyes:

QualityLawnCare4u
04-03-2005, 09:26 PM
I went to a clients house today to give a ext. on installing rocks and border around the front of her house. The area is 18 inches(1.5 ft.) by 51 ft. When I punched it in my calculator I put in 18 x 51 instead of 1.5 x 51. The rocks that she had picked out were 3$ a bag and I figured it would take 100 bags. She approved it (surprised at the price) and when I left it suddenly hit me what I had done. Should only take about 12 bags(Im saying 20 to be on the safe side). I have never messed up that bad before, Im usually good at underestimating. Should I tell her it will be cheaper or just take it in case there is something I might have missed figured. My actual cost in material is only about 176 instead of the 400 plus I had figured. Will probably take me about 4-5 hours to do, give or take a little. I take great pride in my honesty just hate to call her back and make me look stupid. On the other hand if it takes me longer than I estimated in time will come out ok. Just wanted to ask you guys who have done a lot more landscaping than me your thoughts. I have not done a whole lot of this kind of work, mostly just regular yard maintinance and did not want to loose my butt till I get better at figuring this kind of work. The lady has been a real PITA though for a new client. I quoted her around 650 for the job. I usually figure my labor around 30-35 per hour for this kind of work. I know, I know about the dollar a minute but it will not flush in my area.

I see LS changed the senior and new member thing. Guess someone did not like the old ones.

grass_cuttin_fool
04-03-2005, 09:35 PM
I see LS changed the senior and new member thing. Guess someone did not like the old ones.


this post explains it


http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=101935

Adamma Landscape Group
04-03-2005, 10:48 PM
Hardworking Poorman,
Sorry for your story. Customers like honest people and people they can depend upon. What you do next time is to measure everything and then calculate and re-calculate and check before you submit your bid. Business is a relationship and not just making money. How would you feel if the big multinational grocery chain sell you steak for $100 and you went home and cook it. Then the next day the store manager call you and say sorry the steak was $10. Would you not feel the same way as the lady?

sheshovel
04-04-2005, 12:10 AM
Sheshovel, she just called me back and basically called me a crook. She said the price I gave her few weeks back was only 300-350. I reminded her that was for mulch, not decorative rocks! I reminded her that she also added several things to it like differnet border, mulch around trees in front yard. I think Im going to pass on this one, I dont like my integrity questioned. Oh, to answer your question about how she liked me going down, did not faze her a bit, acted like I was cheating her. I explained to her that is why I like to set down and go over everything first before giving a quote. Will never quote no one again without studying it real good first. I did tell her that before my price was final wanted to go over it will good and I EMPHASIZED before I left that it was only a rough estimate. Wont do that again (like above poster said)

What was the second quote you gave her?I've got this job pricing out at
Just rocks no border cuz don't have info on your border material )
24 bags with a@ $3.00 a bag and double that for your profit on materials with my co tax at .0775%=$156.00 + pick-up and delivery guessing on how far you have to go to p/up& delvr $65.00 includes load&unload,
then labor to apply to a preped clean bed at 4 hours (what you said it would take you not including the delivery)I would charge your labor $200.00
= you get part of delivery what you don't use in gas gives you a total of around $421.00 to $425.00 and you make a nice profit
.That's at 45 an hour //your paying aprox $78.00 for the rock and the rest is yours what you spend on gas,oil ectsay $25.00
leaves you a profit of $300 to $322,then add your boarder charge.
Don't hand this job to someone else just cuz she got you miffed.She's trying to play a little game that older ladies like to do and that is,..I'm on a fixed income,I have this much to spend on this,if I can get it lower I will try my best cus==z whatevers left is mine to be friviolis with.
I recommend taking the work if she still wants you to do it after the last call.
This is how we learn to deal with difficult people.
Go do the job with a smile on your face and a great attitude every time she scowls at you or complains about how much you are costing her just smile away and nod your head and get it done.
Get 1/2 the $ up front to put her on your list and write up an est and have her sign and date it that the work is approved

QualityLawnCare4u
04-04-2005, 01:57 AM
What was the second quote you gave her?I've got this job pricing out at
Just rocks no border cuz don't have info on your border material )
24 bags with a@ $3.00 a bag and double that for your profit on materials with my co tax at .0775%=$156.00 + pick-up and delivery guessing on how far you have to go to p/up& delvr $65.00 includes load&unload,
then labor to apply to a preped clean bed at 4 hours (what you said it would take you not including the delivery)I would charge your labor $200.00
= you get part of delivery what you don't use in gas gives you a total of around $421.00 to $425.00 and you make a nice profit
.That's at 45 an hour //your paying aprox $78.00 for the rock and the rest is yours what you spend on gas,oil ectsay $25.00
leaves you a profit of $300 to $322,then add your boarder charge.
Don't hand this job to someone else just cuz she got you miffed.She's trying to play a little game that older ladies like to do and that is,..I'm on a fixed income,I have this much to spend on this,if I can get it lower I will try my best cus==z whatevers left is mine to be friviolis with.
I recommend taking the work if she still wants you to do it after the last call.
This is how we learn to deal with difficult people.
Go do the job with a smile on your face and a great attitude every time she scowls at you or complains about how much you are costing her just smile away and nod your head and get it done.
Get 1/2 the $ up front to put her on your list and write up an est and have her sign and date it that the work is approved

Sheshovel. my corrected price was 475, that is for the rocks,border,screen, and 12 bags of mulch she wanted. I feel like Im cutting it real close.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-04-2005, 02:00 AM
Hardworking Poorman,
Sorry for your story. Customers like honest people and people they can depend upon. What you do next time is to measure everything and then calculate and re-calculate and check before you submit your bid. Business is a relationship and not just making money. How would you feel if the big multinational grocery chain sell you steak for $100 and you went home and cook it. Then the next day the store manager call you and say sorry the steak was $10. Would you not feel the same way as the lady?

Adamma, I take great pride in my honesty. That is why I called her back and corrected my mistake. Im still not exactly sure to a tee how many rocks it will take(you would have to see where Im putting it). I think 20 bags is cutting it real close, I feel safer with 25.

sheshovel
04-04-2005, 11:39 AM
Ive got it at 24 bags. Did you read my last post carefully?
What do you mean "screen"?.............................................Geeeze I think I waisted my time on this one lol!

precisioncut
04-04-2005, 02:04 PM
If she accepted the bid as is, do it for that much. Then when you give her the invoice, knock it down to where you feel comfortable and explain what happened. She will love your honesty and the price reduction.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-04-2005, 03:21 PM
Ive got it at 24 bags. Did you read my last post carefully?
What do you mean "screen"?.............................................Geeeze I think I waisted my time on this one lol!

sheshovel, I read fine :D Im talking about the landscaping screen you put under the rocks to keep weeds from coming thru, she wanted that installed plus 15 bags of mulch and other material. The 475 is cutting it real close. BTW, your the second female that has questioned my intelligence LOL :D You and Tara must be kin. (Im assuming from your name your female, if not, sorry).
Sorry Tara, had to throw that in, pickin on ya! Any of you ladies that have been married more than 2 years should know by now that us men are stupid and we get dumber every day :D :D My wife reminds me every day!

QualityLawnCare4u
04-04-2005, 03:37 PM
I went to Lowes to get material today, drive time was 1 hour, took 1.5 hours in store were so busy, and then went to house to unload, another half hour. Now that 475 aint looking to good when I go back to install it unless I can do it in 4 hours and she has already added some more little things she wants done and is still griping about the 475! The 650 is looking better all the time. Its hard to factor in the going to get and wait in line factor. The material came to 180 bucks and may still have to get some more rocks. already 3 hours invested now add my 4 hour install and that comes to 7 hours. 475-180 (not counting gas) leaves 295 divided by 7 and that is about 42 bucks a hour. Not bad but you still have to factor in unseen things. When I laid out the bags of rocks I could tell that it is not enough. Im saying at least 12-15 more bags.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-04-2005, 05:27 PM
sheshovel, I read fine :D Im talking about the landscaping screen you put under the rocks to keep weeds from coming thru, she wanted that installed plus 15 bags of mulch and other material. The 475 is cutting it real close. BTW, your the second female that has questioned my intelligence LOL :D You and Tara must be kin. (Im assuming from your name your female, if not, sorry).
Sorry Tara, had to throw that in, pickin on ya! Any of you ladies that have been married more than 2 years should know by now that us men are stupid and we get dumber every day :D :D My wife reminds me every day!

Sheshovel , thanks for the figures.
Sorry, did not mean to be rude. Just came in and my butt was dragging from all the manual labor and I needed a short nap. Im sorta like my son when I get tired, not real pleasant. :waving: Now, Im fixing to go back and start on this job since Im fed and rested up!

AEW
04-04-2005, 05:33 PM
Good for you to let her know...it is worth it even if you dont get the extra money. Through your honesty she may give a good referal to someone and youll land an awesome job somewhere. It is always good to be honest.

And dont worry about the dollar a minute rule..I only use that when I am mowing and using machinery. I am not so sure it applies when landscaping...at least for me it doesnt.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-04-2005, 08:19 PM
Well, here is a followup on the job, it has turned into a bad dream. When I went to drive down the border she wanted their was an old comcrete foundation where a house was built before (how ht h## was I suppose to know that) and a bunch of busted of boulders to go with it. Im now going to have to go and find something else to use. Ive already got 5 hours in it and it will at least take me another 5 or 6 hours. :angry:

GreenMonster
04-04-2005, 11:25 PM
I guess by now you know that if she accepted the original price, you should have let it play out, and discount it after if applicable.

Now, you're cutting into your profit cuz you're a nice guy. Lesson learned, right?

Put the shoe on the other foot.... If you had quoted $300 then asked her for another $175 afterward, you think she would have been ok with that?

sheshovel
04-05-2005, 01:07 AM
No No just tell her what you ran into(you should have checked it out better before)and tell her that because you will have to remove boulders it's gonna be more labor hence more$$ if she gripes tell her she should have informed you there was a foundation there.Your buying by the bag and not by bulk you are gonna have to stand in line like a homeowner instead of having it deliverd from a rockyard or picking it up yourself in your truckt like a landscaper.Everytime she tries to add little thinga on just immediately say that's going to have to be paid xtra ontop of my estimate,and she will stop that real quick...I told you 24 bags!!

QualityLawnCare4u
04-05-2005, 03:41 PM
Well, here is the followup on this nitemare. I started on it this morning and had to go get 25 more bags of rocks. I wound up with about 300 bucks worth of material and 12 hours in it. Half of the 12 was windshield time. She comes out and looks at it and said it looks great but she wanted the rocks to come to the top of the border, about another 40 bags of rocks. Whoever put that one bag would cover 9 sq.ft is full of s%%t, try about 2 sq.ft. She wanted to know how much she owed me up to this point and I told her it was 595 plus extra for the other rocks. She give me my check (which I did not look at) and when I got in truck to leave ran me down and wanted to know if I was going to blow off the drive. I told her I usually blow it off when I mow but did it anyway. I get to the bank and the check is for 495! :angry: That leaves me about 195 for my gas and time, h@ll no! Tried to call back but no answer. I decided that this client will have to go. I had 4 yards I could have done today and made a whole lot more profit than this. I decided there will be no more landscaping for me. I do a lot better doing what I was doing. When I finished this job was so tired after unloading the last bag of rocks was stumbling. Was a dam good learning experience.

sheshovel
04-05-2005, 04:55 PM
well that's why I suggested you take the job,as a eye opening learning experience.At least the check was signed!When a client stops you while you are working and wants to pay you,stop right then and make out the bill and reciept(My bills have 3 corbonless copies)I write pd in full or whatever else is owed then.This gives you a chance to look the check over and make sure it is correct.
If the a client stops you to pay you and your not ready to make out the bill cuz it might be more $ for more labor tell them exactly that and let them go do whatever they have to do if they have to leave.And make later arrangements for pay or bill them.I'm somewhat confused why you would overestamate work ,not check it out completely,use bagged rock and miscalculate amount needed then pick it up yourself,underestimate by 4 or 5 hours how long it was gonna take you,And not find out the complete total wants of the cust before starting the work,then not look at the check when paid.Alot of this nightmare was your fault not the PITAS you need to face up to that fact.Regardless if your just gonna mow or not

QualityLawnCare4u
04-05-2005, 07:31 PM
Well, let me see if I can un-confuse you. I have NEVER had a request to use rocks before (mulch I could have figured to a tee). On the bag it said 9 sq.ft, not 2 sq.ft.! That was what messed me up big time. I had no idea that every person (all 30,000) would be out shopping today for landscaping materieal. I handed the lady a bill and explained the amount to her and APOLOGIZED that is was running this much but reminded her that from the beginning that I could not say to a penny how much (my first price was 650 and wished I had left it at that) but being Im a nice (translated, dumba@@) lowered it BECAUSE the rocks were suppose to cover NINE sq.ft! This messed me up badly. Ok, so Im a idiot, Ill bite the bullit on this one LOL this was sorta new territory for me, territory I dont care about venturing into again. BTW, I did not deposit the check and will not till its made the correct amount. Do you understand now?

QualityLawnCare4u
04-05-2005, 07:49 PM
Just got off the phone with the lady, thought bill said 495. Also wanted to pay me for the other rocks. I told her it would take at least another 35 bags and she offered to pay me for the rocks ONLY! I reminded her that I do not go pick up material and install it for cost!! This lady is trying to sh%% me and I know it! I figured her out, wants it done for cost of material only. Wanted to get rest of my money before I drop her though. She was going to pay me the 100 plus another 105 for 35 bags of rocks. Suuureee, I can drive to the store,stand in line, waste another 2 hours windshield time, go to her house and install (about another 3 hours total) and do it for cost of material! People sieze to amaze me.

sheshovel
04-06-2005, 03:26 AM
well if shes gonna pay the xtra $100.00 labor then pay for the xtra rock too,your at $795.00 and that's over your 1st est.The only thing you lost on is windshield time and wait at the store time.So you dident get as screwed as you thought huh?

QualityLawnCare4u
04-06-2005, 09:02 AM
well if shes gonna pay the xtra $100.00 labor then pay for the xtra rock too,your at $795.00 and that's over your 1st est.The only thing you lost on is windshield time and wait at the store time.So you dident get as screwed as you thought huh?

After material I will have about 385 left over for 15 hours of work.Comes out to about 25 per hour, no, not bad for my area. I just have a REAL uneasy feeling about this lady. I see her calling every other day complaining every times a rock gets a speck of dirt.... you know the kind, will never be happy unless complaining.

impactlandscaping
04-07-2005, 12:19 AM
Hey Danny, long time..Some of life's hardest lessons learned are also the costliest. I would suggest before you do another install job, to get a contract of some sort, even a carbonless set from Office Depot or Staples. Write out in explicit detail what will be done, how, and when. Specify the materials used, and on most of those generic proposal forms, there is an addendum for material costs and the like. Anything over the original agreement should be processed as an add on, and authorized on a Change of Work Order only. This way the client knows if they add on or want to change something after you are there, they are going to have to pay accordingly. I started charging a crew pull off charge 2 years ago for things like you experienced. If we are at a site, and they want extra items added after the fact, and can't wait a few weeks, we do a COWO, and they are charged a fee of $ 300.00 for a two man crew for up to an extra 3 hours of work while on site, or if I have to bring someone else in to help finish the add-ons. This is to compensate for "opportunity time", which you lost by not getting to do the other 4 lawns. Installs are a learning curve if you have never done many large ones, but once you get the right forms and agreements in place, it's like butta...best of luck Dan!

nocutting
04-07-2005, 01:06 AM
Sometimes its better to go with your gut instint and than add 15-20% for error on the labour.....Take trim / shapeing, if the client says just bag it and leave it on the curb?[ to save money}...My responce is that I can trim / shape for $XXXX.XX and you can clean up the mess & you can handle it anyway you want to!!! Why would you want to pay me to rake , bag and haul your waste around? or tale my price that can include trimming and a dump charge [ which includes clean-up, travel time and the actual dump fee]....If you had wanted to be that "Nice Guy" on the rock job you could have ordered it from a stone yard and she could have paid for it directly [ plus the stone guys would have told you how much to order based on the sq. footage and the depth]...."Food for thought"...Its best if you dont get the client to involved, as you now loss the profit you could have made on the stone......Landscapeing I like to earn about 100-150 per man hour , above the material cost [ which i usally double].....Dont give up on landscapeing, just "Stop Doin It For Free"- a lesson learned, regards Saxon :cool2:

sheshovel
04-07-2005, 02:47 AM
OK my last post on this thread ..here goes.If there is ever a next time.
#1-Don't quote the job intell you have thouroughly checked it out.That means if you have to put a shovel in the ground to see if there are buried foundations or whatever you do it.
It means you stop by the store and spend $3.00 on a bag of rock she wants,at the same time ask if they deliver-Take it to the job and spread it to see how much a bags going to cover.
:dizzy: and find out exactly what she wants.
#2-Then you go home and figure out what the materials are gonna be
(never believe whats written on the bag)And you have already been to the store so you know how busy it is,how long it takes you back and forth,and you have the stuff delivered if at all possible.
Then you figure your labor and remember when you first start out it's almost always gonna take you twice as long as you think it will.It always looks so much easier than it actually is.
Then you mark up your materials 20% or double or whatever then you add it all up with gas going to and from the job ect.
#5Then you take a loooong loook at it and do it all again.
#6Then you give the customer the price AND#7 add that if there are any unforseen problems or xtra labor is needed the charges will go up also. Sheshovel :dizzy:

QualityLawnCare4u
04-07-2005, 09:51 AM
OK my last post on this thread ..here goes.If there is ever a next time.
#1-Don't quote the job intell you have thouroughly checked it out.That means if you have to put a shovel in the ground to see if there are buried foundations or whatever you do it.
It means you stop by the store and spend $3.00 on a bag of rock she wants,at the same time ask if they deliver-Take it to the job and spread it to see how much a bags going to cover.
:dizzy: and find out exactly what she wants.
#2-Then you go home and figure out what the materials are gonna be
(never believe whats written on the bag)And you have already been to the store so you know how busy it is,how long it takes you back and forth,and you have the stuff delivered if at all possible.
Then you figure your labor and remember when you first start out it's almost always gonna take you twice as long as you think it will.It always looks so much easier than it actually is.
Then you mark up your materials 20% or double or whatever then you add it all up with gas going to and from the job ect.
#5Then you take a loooong loook at it and do it all again.
#6Then you give the customer the price AND#7 add that if there are any unforseen problems or xtra labor is needed the charges will go up also. Sheshovel :dizzy:

Excellent advice sheshovel, this was a good learning experience. The total bill came to 720 (more than the orginal quote because of the extras) when I was finished. I had around 300 in material and about 15 hours of HARD labor.

pagefault
04-08-2005, 03:15 PM
My experience, from every service industry from law offices, to apartment make-ready, to computer service, is that once you give certain people something for nothing, they decide that you don't value your own time and that they don't need to either. Once they get one thing for free, they expect everything for free.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't give people a break here and there. I am careful to watch for signs that the relationship has shifted from me offering a discount or an extra, to the customer demanding it. Once they start demanding, I put the breaks on, HARD. If they keep demanding, I move on.

Many MANY years ago, I worked for a friend who was starting a law practice. He, like many people, thought it was silly for an attorney to start the clock every time the phone rang. It wasn't long before we had clients who called every day for and "update" and came by the office every week. We could barely keep our heads above water, because we spent so much time talking to clients that we could not keep on top of more than a handful of cases.

When we stopped talking for free, (most) people stopped calling every day. The result? He now represents 10x more clients and does not even advertise. All of his business is from word of mouth now, because his clients are so happy with his results.

The circumstances are a little different in each business, but the end result is the same: when people demand free work, nobody wins.

pagefault
04-08-2005, 03:41 PM
I put the breaks on, HARD.

Brakes

I must have been hoping to get a break...

QualityLawnCare4u
04-08-2005, 04:50 PM
Hey Danny, long time..Some of life's hardest lessons learned are also the costliest. I would suggest before you do another install job, to get a contract of some sort, even a carbonless set from Office Depot or Staples. Write out in explicit detail what will be done, how, and when. Specify the materials used, and on most of those generic proposal forms, there is an addendum for material costs and the like. Anything over the original agreement should be processed as an add on, and authorized on a Change of Work Order only. This way the client knows if they add on or want to change something after you are there, they are going to have to pay accordingly. I started charging a crew pull off charge 2 years ago for things like you experienced. If we are at a site, and they want extra items added after the fact, and can't wait a few weeks, we do a COWO, and they are charged a fee of $ 300.00 for a two man crew for up to an extra 3 hours of work while on site, or if I have to bring someone else in to help finish the add-ons. This is to compensate for "opportunity time", which you lost by not getting to do the other 4 lawns. Installs are a learning curve if you have never done many large ones, but once you get the right forms and agreements in place, it's like butta...best of luck Dan!

Thanks Impact, and good to hear from you!

QualityLawnCare4u
04-08-2005, 04:50 PM
Sometimes its better to go with your gut instint and than add 15-20% for error on the labour.....Take trim / shapeing, if the client says just bag it and leave it on the curb?[ to save money}...My responce is that I can trim / shape for $XXXX.XX and you can clean up the mess & you can handle it anyway you want to!!! Why would you want to pay me to rake , bag and haul your waste around? or tale my price that can include trimming and a dump charge [ which includes clean-up, travel time and the actual dump fee]....If you had wanted to be that "Nice Guy" on the rock job you could have ordered it from a stone yard and she could have paid for it directly [ plus the stone guys would have told you how much to order based on the sq. footage and the depth]...."Food for thought"...Its best if you dont get the client to involved, as you now loss the profit you could have made on the stone......Landscapeing I like to earn about 100-150 per man hour , above the material cost [ which i usally double].....Dont give up on landscapeing, just "Stop Doin It For Free"- a lesson learned, regards Saxon :cool2:

I learned a lot from thos job, was a real eye opener!

larz
05-02-2005, 05:54 PM
Well, here is the followup on this nitemare. I started on it this morning and had to go get 25 more bags of rocks. I wound up with about 300 bucks worth of material and 12 hours in it. Half of the 12 was windshield time. She comes out and looks at it and said it looks great but she wanted the rocks to come to the top of the border, about another 40 bags of rocks. Whoever put that one bag would cover 9 sq.ft is full of s%%t, try about 2 sq.ft. She wanted to know how much she owed me up to this point and I told her it was 595 plus extra for the other rocks. She give me my check (which I did not look at) and when I got in truck to leave ran me down and wanted to know if I was going to blow off the drive. I told her I usually blow it off when I mow but did it anyway. I get to the bank and the check is for 495! :angry: That leaves me about 195 for my gas and time, h@ll no! Tried to call back but no answer. I decided that this client will have to go. I had 4 yards I could have done today and made a whole lot more profit than this. I decided there will be no more landscaping for me. I do a lot better doing what I was doing. When I finished this job was so tired after unloading the last bag of rocks was stumbling. Was a dam good learning experience.

Sounds like your confusing 9 sq ft with 9 cubic ft
9 sq ft of 2" rock is only 1.5 cubic ft, bidding is not only an art, but requires good math skills, no offense intended