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View Full Version : Didn't lowball, Didn't get any new accounts, i'm in a bad position


TheKingNJ
04-11-2005, 04:08 PM
Hey guys,
This is my second year in business. I give bid on a ton of accounts only got one. lost 4 accounts from last year. picked up 2 accounts over the winter. Last year it was ok only have 22 accounts but this year being in the same position, i'm going to be in some trouble. I NEED WORK. I do quality work, have a professional appearance, nice looking truck and equiptment and am friendly with all my customers. I cannot survive on the amount of work that I have. Am I doing something wrong? How can I get some more lawn work fast?
i looks like i will barly be cutting 3 days a week!

I have a few construction jobs, but after that i'm going to be in a hole.
I bid everything i get very fair but i don't seem to get any accounts.

KathysLGC
04-11-2005, 04:33 PM
It's the low ballers. We all feel it.

Charles
04-11-2005, 04:33 PM
Give it some time. The season is just starting. You will probably pick up some more accounts as the season goes along. Some of the areas of the country are just too saturated at this time. Lots of people out there willing to work for nothing too--at least until their equipment falls apart

CamLand
04-11-2005, 04:36 PM
Good advise Charles.The season is just getting going and things will pick up.Keep your head up and things will work out for you...

T Edwards
04-11-2005, 04:50 PM
"I do quality work, have a professional appearance, nice looking truck and equiptment and am friendly with all my customers."

Just keep up the good work ethic and the referrals will come. I know that's hard to stay focused on when you're 20, but no matter what line of work a person is in, the inner drive is what carries us all forward to attain our goals. What are your goals by midsummer and what will you have to do to reach them?

bobbygedd
04-11-2005, 05:06 PM
i have been getting very few calls, but i land almost every call i get. i have about a 95% success rate. for a small fee, i'll do your quotes for you. i'll speak with clients, get a signed contract for you. salesmanship, separate yourself from the herd

TheKingNJ
04-11-2005, 05:33 PM
I don't know what i'm going to do. I really don't have the accounts to keep myslef busy. Got any last minute advertising ideas?

grasswhacker
04-11-2005, 05:36 PM
I don't know what i'm going to do. I really don't have the accounts to keep myslef busy. Got any last minute advertising ideas?

Get some 18' x 24" plastic signs and put them out all over. You can get 50 1 side 1 color for under 150.00

http://www.ssgraphicsco.com/en-us/dept_197.html

ALarsh
04-11-2005, 06:00 PM
i have been getting very few calls, but i land almost every call i get. i have about a 95% success rate. for a small fee, i'll do your quotes for you. i'll speak with clients, get a signed contract for you. salesmanship, separate yourself from the herd

Please explain how you "separate yourself from the herd". Thanks.

bobbygedd
04-11-2005, 06:14 PM
sir, i have a very likable personality in person (believe it or not), i make almost all of my sales, and i am great at upselling. it is extremely rare that a client calls for just mowing, and ends up with just mowing. king, i'm not joking, i will gladly help you out in person by dealing one on one with your prospects. if you have recieved that many calls, and have been striking out, something is very wrong. i will accept only commision on the ones that sign up.

CamLand
04-11-2005, 06:16 PM
Sounds like you should put on a conference on the correct way to bid jobs

Call the program Mr.Gedds "Contract me or pay by the Shovel"

Cut
04-11-2005, 07:00 PM
Its the freaking lowballers, the nephew, or the owner himself who is taking the spirit away from lawncare. I only got 3 accounts so far because I refuse to work cheap. But at least I'm broke with pride :cool2:

packerbacker
04-11-2005, 07:08 PM
KingNJ, keep your head up! Ive picked up 8 new houses in the last few weeks. I just got another one 30 mins ago. The grass has barely started to grow. Dont worry, the calls will come in!

prizeprop
04-11-2005, 07:20 PM
KING, where are you in NJ? Not sure if its you, but are you from somerset or morris county? If so, get off the mountain and go advertise to the middle class down below. I do 20% of my work in somerset and morris counties and the other 80% in middlesex counties.Pound for pound we make more off the customers with a $350,000 house than we do on the $900,000 ones.Just try a different town thats a half hour away and try to get one whole days cutting there. And it's still early, Ive noticed that I get more new lawn cutting accounts in May than in April.

TheKingNJ
04-11-2005, 08:44 PM
KING, where are you in NJ? Not sure if its you, but are you from somerset or morris county? If so, get off the mountain and go advertise to the middle class down below. I do 20% of my work in somerset and morris counties and the other 80% in middlesex counties.Pound for pound we make more off the customers with a $350,000 house than we do on the $900,000 ones.Just try a different town thats a half hour away and try to get one whole days cutting there. And it's still early, Ive noticed that I get more new lawn cutting accounts in May than in April.

Naa you got the wrong guy. I'm up in Sussex County.

MIDWEST25
04-11-2005, 08:50 PM
Take the offer and learn

Jpocket
04-11-2005, 08:57 PM
Honestly sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get the volume of accounts you need. You have to price competitively. The "high end" pricing is fine for guys who have a "name" and have been in business for years, just starting to get "big" like myself you have to adjust your pricing a bit to get the volume, if not your accounts will be far and few between for awhile. Say the going rate is $24-$28 in your area charge $28 and sell yourself, make your presentation better than Joe Blows Landscaping.

sheshovel
04-11-2005, 09:45 PM
OK let's see your in your 2nd year right?and you had 22 accounts your first year but lost 4 out of 22 that leaves you 19 accounts plus the 2 you just picked up leaves you at 21 .And you bid a whole ton of jobs and have only got 1 right.??

How are you presenting your bids?over the phone?On paper in person?How are your bids written up what are you saying to the potential customers?Who are you presenting your bids too?The owner or secretary or the housemaid or homeowner?Are you presenting them at all or just dropping them off or e-mailing or leaving them under the mat or hooked on the door?? Answer these questions and mabey you can get some help .

wherebluegrassgrows
04-11-2005, 09:47 PM
Get some 18' x 24" plastic signs and put them out all over. You can get 50 1 side 1 color for under 150.00

http://www.ssgraphicsco.com/en-us/dept_197.html

But what should you do if you spot a low baller using signs? I saw one today LAWN SERVICE
$ 19.00
# Thats right $19.00

cantoo
04-11-2005, 09:47 PM
Do your current customers know that you are looking for work? Don't let them think you are desperate or they might want you to rebid their's but let them know you are looking for more quality customers just like them. We've found that the best customers and the easiest to work for are referrals. When you are done cutting a lawn, walk to the neighbours on each side and knock on the door and ask if they would like a quote on their lawn. Make sure you have the price before you know on the door. Consider giving your current customers a discount on extra work if they can get their neighbours to sign on for cutting. Make sure the discount is for extra work and not their weekly lawn cutting, you are trying to make more money not less. Only give them discounts on the mowing if you absolutely have too for the referral. Don't go spending money you might need to keep afloat unless it's a guarantee of a paying job.

coastallandscapesolutions
04-11-2005, 09:51 PM
Don't give up. The quality will get you quality customers. Referrals are big so don't be afraid to ask your existing customers if they know someone who might need your services. Sell add on's too. Just don't give up!

fairwayCuts
04-11-2005, 09:55 PM
Keep your head up :D ! I'm in pretty much the same situation. 2nd year in, lost 2 cust, gained 4 in bids, lots of flyers out, only at about 30-40% of capacity. But.., I've been getting more calls each day it seems. The weather is breaking and people are really starting to think summer and grass and vacation and all that stuff. Someone said let your cust know you are still adding and looking for referrals. I think this is great. I've got one cust who I signed this year and she has already referred me two other cust. Maybe tell them you'll give them a free cut with a referral. Good luck!!

wherebluegrassgrows
04-11-2005, 09:59 PM
Flyers. Any spare time you have hand deliver flyers. I get the best results in neighborhoods with no mail boxes on the street. More work but better percentage. Good Luck!

Green Pastures
04-11-2005, 10:06 PM
Have you prayed about God sending some profitable work your way?

Works for me.

This is my 6th full time season and I have yet to spend a penny on advertising. Word of mouth and fliers are the only way I get business.

Hang in there. :)

TheKingNJ
04-11-2005, 10:16 PM
how am i summiting my bid?
1)well some of them i talked to the property manager.

2)Some i got "The man in charge said comeback with an estimate and leave it with me"

3) A small few I just stopped in, and dropped off as a hail Mary.

here is what my proposal consisted of.




Haven't really gotten any residential calls. I'm in the directory of services in my local paper along with 13 other companies. I've gotten 1 call and got the job.

lawnprosteveo
04-11-2005, 10:22 PM
This is what I have figured out...This is my third year in the business. I started out with my prices just a little low. (not on purpose, I was just ignorant). I built up alot of new accounts. I was always particular on what the yard looked like. I insisted it look like the pics on this website (very nice!).
Now this year rolls around. I am seeing signs and ads saying some idiot will mow any yard in my neighborhood for $10!!!! These are about 5-8K sq ft. Noone used to mow for less than $25.
I saw the guy mowing last week. He looks like he came from the homeless shelter. His equip looks like 2nd hand residential equip. He cuts everything short....real short....I mean scalps the fu** out of it. Even fescue.
But people use him...Ive lost a couple to him.
But hey, its a free country...I just hope gas goes to $4.50 per gallon and then he can net about $1.75 per yard.....

GrassBustersLawn
04-11-2005, 10:55 PM
Were your quotes done in person? I don't even bother doing them unless I can actually see the client. I don't leave written estimates, it is a waste of time. You have got to sell YOURSELF & YOUR COMPANY, otherwise they are just going to buy LOW PRICE!

Mike

TheKingNJ
04-11-2005, 10:58 PM
does my contract look good?

NNJLandman
04-11-2005, 11:05 PM
Hey man dont worry work will come. I ran an ad in the papper for 1 month, during that time i got a call here and there, then about a week or 2 after it stopped, i got flooded with calls, people might take some time to call you. Wait til there grass gets high and they dont wanna get out in the hot sun and cut it theyll call you. The commercial accounts always get lowballed so dont worry about it, it happens.

Jeff

nitrotim
04-11-2005, 11:24 PM
Give it some time. The season is just starting. You will probably pick up some more accounts as the season goes along. Some of the areas of the country are just too saturated at this time. Lots of people out there willing to work for nothing too--at least until their equipment falls apart

Three weeks ago I was scared that I wasn't going to have enough work. This week I am scared that I have to much. I am looking for at least one helper now. King I am below trenton and I know that if your north of there your season might not be in full swing yet. It'll come don't worry. (I know easy for me to say right)

Lawn-Scapes
04-11-2005, 11:40 PM
You should hit the residential marked hard with fliers. Then hit the same houses again 2 -3 weeks later. Run a special on mulch or another service... Good luck.

lawn_pro
04-12-2005, 05:09 AM
I don't think your contract/proposal looks that bad, how are you presenting it? You might just be getting low-balled by other companies? How are you advertising? Try doorhangers or flyers, if you have to put an ad in the local newspaper. Get your name put on the local city venders list or call around to various small business groups and try to join. Keep your head up and stick to your prices.

scraper69
04-12-2005, 06:37 AM
If you voted for Dubuya in the last presidential election, then it is your fault.
The economy in whole - everywhere is in bad shape because of him, many people losing their jobs and they think, "lawn service is an easy entry bus. to get into and make $$$ .. I too see tons of lowballers around here. I wont compete at their level. Rather sleep in. :sleeping:

Mo Green
04-12-2005, 07:15 AM
Do your current customers know that you are looking for work? Don't let them think you are desperate or they might want you to rebid their's but let them know you are looking for more quality customers just like them. We've found that the best customers and the easiest to work for are referrals. When you are done cutting a lawn, walk to the neighbours on each side and knock on the door and ask if they would like a quote on their lawn. Make sure you have the price before you know on the door. Consider giving your current customers a discount on extra work if they can get their neighbours to sign on for cutting. Make sure the discount is for extra work and not their weekly lawn cutting, you are trying to make more money not less. Only give them discounts on the mowing if you absolutely have too for the referral. Don't go spending money you might need to keep afloat unless it's a guarantee of a paying job.
Exactly. Current satisfied customers are the best advertisement.

pcnservices
04-12-2005, 08:18 AM
You should hit the residential marked hard with fliers. Then hit the same houses again 2 -3 weeks later. Run a special on mulch or another service... Good luck.
King,
Have you come up with an action plan yet? You're getting alot of good advice - and motivation here.
I particularly like Lawn-Scapes's idea of running a special on mulch jobs. That's not too hard or very heavy work and is a good money maker. Opening yourself up for doing any other services except for just mowing will also land you a few more accounts. When I started out I even offered window washing. I'll NEVER do it again, but it kept my cashflow going and grew my business. I also listed myself at the office of the aging (they dont pay too good though, but it's a start)
I also posted some pull tabs on notice boards at stores, post office, bars, restuarants, etc. That got me the most jobs.
Good luck. Remember: perserverance pays off!
PC

hnter
04-12-2005, 11:15 AM
you have some typos in the cover letter and check the contract for spelling (rainstorm=one word)...not that any of this is killing you, but i hate to see spelling and grammatical errors in documents (as opposed to online forum responses)...just something i noticed...

Lawn Boy
04-12-2005, 12:16 PM
A lot of times its not even the low ballers it could be someone that knows someone in that business. It happend to me twice this year, so I understand. It really makes you mad, and you feel like its something you are doing, just have to keep trying. Good Luck!!!

BigMack
04-12-2005, 01:45 PM
If we do not charge whaT you do , we are lowballers.. Well with 3 machines and working alone I can do lawns for 20.00. And make money

paponte
04-12-2005, 08:04 PM
Do yourself a favor and GET OUT OF THE COMMERCIAL ESTIMATES!! There's no money in commercial accounts anymore. Last year I bid 3 commercial accounts and they ALL said we were double of what everyone else was, but yet that ALL wanted to award us the bid if we could do something with the price. Needless to say, I don't work for $20hr.

Like others said, hit houses with flyers or even go door to door on the weekends. Talking to an actual person, you always have better results. Also try and sell full service contracts. This way you are busy all season around. Sell your existing accounts on new services. Biggest mistake alot of companies make is looking for new accounts, instead of selling more services to their existing customers. :)

TheKingNJ
04-12-2005, 09:19 PM
Yeah that is the plan, i'm going to drop all the flyers i can in news paper boxes. my area is to rural to go from door to door and leave at the front door. I got and EconoLodge today though. Wow did they want an Econo Price with that, well I flexed my bid alittle but i will still make my money.

joeg2246
04-13-2005, 02:39 AM
King,
I would never leave a contract with a customer. Nothing wrong with the flyer. The one thing to definately do is to let everyone you meet know "Who you are, What you do and Where you do it". Make sure and do your estimate with the prospective client and go over it thoroughly with them. Let them know how you arrived at you end quote. Don't take NO for an answer. If they say "well I need to think about it" you say "what is there to think about". Believe me the only thing they are thinking about is why the hell does this cost so much!!!! Nothing wrong with adding in a little extra so if you do get the "thinking about" excuse you can trim a bit off and make them happy, that is a win win situation. If they are ok with the initial estimate that is just better for you.
Good Luck hope I helped you som anyway.
Joe

DND Outdoor
04-13-2005, 07:50 AM
I hear you guys, I have lost several jobs to extremely low bids. I know I can't get the prices some talk about hear but I have been competitive. I even lost my own subdivision property because they said I was too high and this was after the guy last year quit showing up so they had to call me to knock down 2.5 acres that wasn't mowed for weeks. I bid $125 a week because the area is open without alot of obstacles and because being my own sub I wanted it to look good so I was going to put in some extra. My bid included giving the sub some alternate services to level some of the park area because it is in such rough shape and rutted due to kids turfing it with their vehicles. I was PO'd after I agreed to do all that and bailed the sub out last year then got tossed aside for the lowest bid. I would have bid even lower if they would have asked for mowing only and I know the company that got the job isn't doing more than just mowing, not at $70 a week. Oh well thats the game but no way I stay afloat and do it for that price. It will be interesting to see if the new company stays after they realize how hard the property is to mow because it is so rough that you have to go really slow, theres no mowing a full throttle and getting in and out with this property. OK Sorry just venting but I understand your concern, I am hurting for more weekly customers although I am getting good results on spring cleanup. But like the guys said grass is just starting to grow especially for us further North.

Jusmowin
04-13-2005, 08:49 AM
King, I had that problem last year. SO, I put out fliers this year with prices on them and have picked up 11 new accounts so far out of 18 calls, but with the prices posted the customer can deside if they want to pay your price or call the low ball scrub who is doing this for beer money and wont be around after the first hot day because they have to sweat for their money. I also always remind them that I am a legit biz and have been doing this for awhile. Dont be affarid to sell yourself but make sure to deliver what you sell!

MMLawn
04-13-2005, 10:31 AM
Yesterday long after you had posted this thread that you couldn't get accts and couldn't make any money and didn't know why you posted this response below in a thread where Lawnman_Scott ask what would you charge for this lawn.

what would i charge? 35 , i don't open my trailer for anything less.
what its worth? maybe 25, i'll be in and out in 10 min with my rider.

Well, this is why you can't get more business! You even admitted it your post that it was only a $25 lawn but you would quote $35 which is a 40% higher price than it should be be your own admission just because of your Mindset!! You MUST get out of that "I don't drop my gate for less than $35" mindset! Everytime I hear that I laugh because I know those folks will be out of business sooner than later. I personally know of 2 different LCO's that said that here last and and this year they are out of business and I know because I ended up with all of one of their accts! As a matter of fact that one LCO was part-time and had 10 accts. Three of them side by side and he was chargng them that same $35 min. Well they are $25 accts period and that is even a little high as they are tiny lawns, in and out in 8 minutes. They came to me AFTER the other LCO told them he was out of business because I also cut 5 lawns on the same street. I told them $25 each because that is what they were worth! It was a good deal for me and a good deal for them. Did I leave money on the table? NO, and here's why. Any true LCO that knows the business would know that these were $25 lawns so as soon as aone of them approached these clients with the "correct" price I would have been gone anyway, so I charged the right price to begin with. It's okay to have an amount that you draw the line at that you are willing to do business at, we all do probably. For me it depends on the varibles, like are we already in that area, what is the drive time, what is my COST of doing this lawn, etc. But, to set that price without ever seeing and lawn, esp at $35 as that is a tad high for many smaller yards then I think is a mistake on your part and now you are suffering for it. Now for me personally I probably would not go below $20 for any lawn, but at the same time I never go looking at a lawn with that my first thought. But to say "I'll never drop my gate for less than $XX amount", you'll never hear that comes across my lips and I don't think you'd hear any truly successful LCO say it either. For your own good RETHINK this and Good luck.

lawn_pro
04-14-2005, 04:30 AM
Yeah that is the plan, i'm going to drop all the flyers i can in news paper boxes. my area is to rural to go from door to door and leave at the front door. I got and EconoLodge today though. Wow did they want an Econo Price with that, well I flexed my bid alittle but i will still make my money.

Congrats on the new account

bobbygedd
04-14-2005, 04:40 AM
king, on that "i won't drop my gate for anything less than ...." well, i used to have that attitue, and it cost me alot of customers. one time i decided my rock bottom minimum was $30. i put flyers out, and got calls from 6 prospects in one neighborhood. a couple of these lawns were 2000 sq ft, and they all wanted full service. they were all willing to bite on all my prices except the $30 grasscut. if i lowered it to $25, i'd have been in. but i was stubborn as hell, and wouldn't budge. that was a mistake. you have to remember we are doing small to medium residentials. our competitors are doing nice work at $18, $20, $22. if you can get in at $25, $26, you're still making more than them, and keeping tight routes and selling many extras. i still get $30-$35 for most lawns 3.5-7k, but am now willing to come down to $25-$27 for 2-3k properties. it's still very profitable.

sheshovel
04-15-2005, 02:00 AM
I agree dont worry .But I do not think simply sending an agreement or dropping one off is going to get you work.That contract is for jobs YOU HaVe already landed and are in your hand.That is not a proposal,that's a contract you have them agree to .A preposal is where you actually meet with the potential client,look at the job and give them a bid in wrighting the they sign the contract.I will answer more tommorrow I am tierd tonight.

nobagger
04-15-2005, 05:54 PM
I don't know what i'm going to do. I really don't have the accounts to keep myslef busy. Got any last minute advertising ideas?
King I'm kinda in the same boat. We DID a lot of sub-contracting last year and the same guy said he was going to use us again this year, he had me bid on over 100 lawns, so I couldn't and didn't want anymore so I didn't bid any separate from his. So now he pulls the rug out from under us and i am scrambling for customers. I am trying a lowest price guarantee with some stipulations. Ad comes out next week so hopefully.... Have you tried fliers? If not make some up and saturate your target areas.

TheKingNJ
04-15-2005, 08:02 PM
Yesterday long after you had posted this thread that you couldn't get accts and couldn't make any money and didn't know why you posted this response below in a thread where Lawnman_Scott ask what would you charge for this lawn.



Well, this is why you can't get more business! You even admitted it your post that it was only a $25 lawn but you would quote $35 which is a 40% higher price than it should be be your own admission just because of your Mindset!! You MUST get out of that "I don't drop my gate for less than $35" mindset! Everytime I hear that I laugh because I know those folks will be out of business sooner than later. I personally know of 2 different LCO's that said that here last and and this year they are out of business and I know because I ended up with all of one of their accts! As a matter of fact that one LCO was part-time and had 10 accts. Three of them side by side and he was chargng them that same $35 min. Well they are $25 accts period and that is even a little high as they are tiny lawns, in and out in 8 minutes. They came to me AFTER the other LCO told them he was out of business because I also cut 5 lawns on the same street. I told them $25 each because that is what they were worth! It was a good deal for me and a good deal for them. Did I leave money on the table? NO, and here's why. Any true LCO that knows the business would know that these were $25 lawns so as soon as aone of them approached these clients with the "correct" price I would have been gone anyway, so I charged the right price to begin with. It's okay to have an amount that you draw the line at that you are willing to do business at, we all do probably. For me it depends on the varibles, like are we already in that area, what is the drive time, what is my COST of doing this lawn, etc. But, to set that price without ever seeing and lawn, esp at $35 as that is a tad high for many smaller yards then I think is a mistake on your part and now you are suffering for it. Now for me personally I probably would not go below $20 for any lawn, but at the same time I never go looking at a lawn with that my first thought. But to say "I'll never drop my gate for less than $XX amount", you'll never hear that comes across my lips and I don't think you'd hear any truly successful LCO say it either. For your own good RETHINK this and Good luck.

To follow up on that, my area really donen't have any yards that small and everything is very spaced out. Unless it's close to another house that i'm cutting its really not worth the drive time fore me. If it was next store to another account i had, yes i'd probally do it for 20 or 25. I have Hit rock bottom on one account for 30 bucks but i was in and out in 15 min.

Turfdude
04-15-2005, 08:28 PM
King,
I looked over your maint agreement. I think you should separate out the bed weeding, pruning & tree trimming. You won't really be addressing most of these items weekly. Quote these items separately as side items. Even if you only sell full service accounts, its still better to quote these separately so they can budget for those services for those months. Also, I applaud you for sticking to a minimum drop gate fee. Reason being, it takes the same amount of unload/load time at a 1000 sq ft lawn as it does an acre or more lawn. I'm not saying be the highest priced guy in town, but talk to a few other LCO's in the neighborhood who offer the same quality work as you, who are insured and who run a legitimate business. I have found that to work very effectively. I have 10 of my competitors on Nextel DC, as well as another 4 on cellphone. Believe me, there is enough work out there for everyone. The thing you don't want to let happen is your market price to go down. IF your services are truely better than the competition, then you will be able to command a higher price for the right clientele. Yes, ask your clients for referals and maybe offer them a free mowing for anyone who signs up for a years services. Do not get tricked into the "group" discount rate thing either. Quote every property independently. I agree w/ MM to an extent that if the lawn is a $35 lawn, don't quote $45, but I disagree w/ BG who feels he has to lower a price to gain a client. Oh yeah, he may want to be your commision based salesman, but after he lands you 20 accounts at $10,or $12 below your norma fee and takes his cut, you may as well close your doors.
On any other thread, this guy blasts low-balling "scrubs", now he's finally admitting he is one. Now we know why he dumps in the stealth of night.

bobbygedd
04-16-2005, 07:04 AM
turfgirl, quit looking for trouble. didn't you tell me you install stone for $50 a ton? i get 3x that amount. go ahead, take advice on this subject from turfgirl, and you will perish like the rest of them. a $30 minimum stop on a 2k-4k residential will get you NOTHING , no clients. $27, and $28, is STILL higher than your competitors, but it just "sounds" different to a perspective client. turflady is pulling your leg btw on his "min stop fees", i live in new jersey, i am familiar with new jersey, in SOUTH JERSEY, the average salary is welfare, the middle class folks make minimum wage, and the high end trailer owners travel north, driving hours a day, just to make $15 an hour.