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View Full Version : got a new customer today


Frontier-Lawn
07-11-2005, 08:28 PM
3 weeks ago i was helping a friend do some pressure cleaning work for this lady in a nice development. well her lawn guy was there, and he was the rudest thing we both ever saw. i gave her my card after we were done pressure washing the driveway and pool deck. told her call me if he does not work out. well she called me today and said she wants me to do it starteng in august. i went over and talked to her he charged her $25 a week for mowing (That i can see), and heres the reason she called me. she has her bushes trimmed 2 times a year. last time it was only $100 to trim them, she told me. this time he charged her $450 for it. (60 min of work to trim bushes?) so her total was with mowing was $550 and she showed the bill to me (rule one to keep clients; dont rip them a new 1). so i got her as a client due to: 1) being frendly, & great peronality, 2) lower prices. so im chargeing her $20 a mow. & $55hr for the triming twice a year.

why is it that when people see that old people are on a fixed income the rake them over the coals?

LightningLawns
07-11-2005, 08:31 PM
so you undercut someone to get a new account? You'll regret it sooner or later.

Jpocket
07-11-2005, 08:37 PM
$20 is too low for the lawn. $25 is low but it's probably the going rate, you should have charged her $30 and trimmed the bushes for a reasonable price like $100, if it take an hour my .02

MMLawn
07-11-2005, 08:43 PM
So let me get this straight. You lowballed and exsisting LCO and you are using scrub (you know the word you were calling other LCO's on here last week that you got slammed for) HOMEOWNER equipment....that 21" Toro Home Cheapo $350 mower, cause we know that you really don't have a working 36" Scag cause you posted the rusted out non-working condition pics of it a couple weeks ago.........and this you are bragging about......


BTW, bragging about a punky $20 lawn and a $55 shrub job....heck I wouldn't even stop the truck for that. We quoted one at $900 today alone....you really must not have much of a business.

Frontier-Lawn
07-11-2005, 08:44 PM
He is always rude to her to. And he yelled at her when we were there becuase she hired my friend to pressure wash instead of him. sometimes he does not even show up im told.

Tharrell
07-11-2005, 08:45 PM
Here's a thought. Maybe she's a pita and he was trying to get her to cancel or pay up. How many times have we read on hear to overcharge a pita and if they pay, it's worth the hassle. I'd say if she is a pita, he did a good job because he got paid AND she cancelled.

lawnman_scott
07-11-2005, 08:55 PM
people are on a fixed income the rake them over the coals?I bet 3 years from now the fixed income thing will just make you mad or want to laugh. I dont know what the lawn is worth, but you could have maybe got $30 if your as sweet as you say compared to the rude guy. You arent the one to look after the sweet old lady, her kids or grandkids should. The day will come that she is no longer around and you will be mowing the house "till it sells and we will pay you", then the grandkids wont pay you, and will inherit the money you undercharged the sweet old lady. Nice isnt it? Take care of your family and let others take care of theirs.

AL Inc
07-11-2005, 09:03 PM
It is good to get new clients because you are friendly and have a good personality...it is not so good to get new clients because you have lower prices than the last guy. Not trying to beat you up, I've been there, done that, learned from my mistakes.

Frontier-Lawn
07-11-2005, 09:06 PM
So let me get this straight. You lowballed and exsisting LCO and you are using scrub (you know the word you were calling other LCO's on here last week that you got slammed for) HOMEOWNER equipment....that 21" Toro Home Cheapo $350 mower, cause we know that you really don't have a working 36" Scag cause you posted the rusted out non-working condition pics of it a couple weeks ago.........and this you are bragging about......


BTW, bragging about a punky $20 lawn and a $55 shrub job....heck I wouldn't even stop the truck for that. We quoted one at $900 today alone....you really must not have much of a business.

all i have to do is get a new deck and one new caster, and its ready to run. And i have been working on it all weekend in the garage, because of Dennis raining fri-sun. and besides we all have to start out some how. And what was your first equipment any how when you started & your prices! And i'm more interested in getting a customer base rite now. i want at least 10 customers by the end of summer. and low prices and quality work is my game plan. and I'm sorry to all i offended last week about the scrub post.

LightningLawns
07-11-2005, 09:09 PM
your game plan is all wrong, since you will be charging low prices your quality will go way down when you realize you could be getting a lot more than you are. You will begin to hate mowing the yards you underbid on, and start to slack on the attention to detail you once had with those yards.

Frontier-Lawn
07-11-2005, 09:17 PM
so i suck on the finances/operations side but am good in the work/ people relations side. no one is good at everything.

LightningLawns
07-11-2005, 09:19 PM
You'll learn from your mistakes as a lot of us do in this business.

qps
07-11-2005, 09:20 PM
so you undercut someone to get a new account? You'll regret it sooner or later.


First mistake, undercutting.....how can you cut a lawn for 20.00??? you must not have business insurance...I don't get it...if you have a 21" pushmower, home cheapo weed eater and blower, your in business.....I don't consider these legit business's.....there..."Yeah I mow a few yards on the side" which is o.k....just don't refer to yourself as a "business".

lawnman_scott
07-11-2005, 09:23 PM
BTW, bragging about a punky $20 lawn and a $55 shrub job....heck I wouldn't even stop the truck for that. We quoted one at $900 today alone....you really must not have much of a business.
In his defence, he hasnt been around for 26 years either.

Frontier-Lawn
07-11-2005, 09:30 PM
my costs are:

bizz insure $33 month ($400 month)
county licenince $14 year
state fictuice name $50 once every 5 years


truck is under the peronal car insure.

grassmanvt
07-11-2005, 09:51 PM
You'll learn from your mistakes as a lot of us do in this business.

I'll second that. Don't become another "I'll do it better for less" guy. It sounds like a good idea now but when you are overbooked, doing great work, and still not making any money it becomes you undercut or offered super deals or specials to get those customers, you'll have to make the change then or get ot like so many others. I might sound a bit cut and dry but, it's so much easier to do things the right way when you start then try and change or implement policies or rates later. I know a LOT of things that I wish I had done different when I started, letting customers set the price and playing the hero are a couple of them. Anyhow, congrars on the new account anyway and keep pluggin' away.

Appalachian landscape
07-11-2005, 10:46 PM
I've went through this before. $25 lawn wants an estimate because the last guy is a cheese head, I now have the account for $30 because I do better work and am reliable. If reliability isn't worth $20 extra a month, I don't know what is. Don't do a better job for less money.

Precision
07-11-2005, 10:47 PM
i want at least 10 customers by the end of summer. and low prices and quality work is my game plan. and I'm sorry to all i offended last week about the scrub post.

Great 10 low paying customers. where is that going to get you? So at $800 per month in summer and $240 in the winter you will be living high on the hog hoof.

Quality work demands at least market prices. Not a discount of 20%. That 20% was probably the profit.

Good luck, You'll NEED it.

Precision
07-11-2005, 10:51 PM
my costs are:

bizz insure $33 month ($400 month)
county licenince $14 year
state fictuice name $50 once every 5 years


truck is under the peronal car insure.

truck -- you are naked

you forgot a few costs:
like gas, blades, repair, maintenance, new equipment, accountant and 14,000 other things.

South Florida Lawns
07-11-2005, 10:53 PM
I think I missed something. I have mostly small yards close together, the going rate is $72 to $110 a month in my area. I have a few that are less and some of the commercial accounts are more. Sure you will get every one for cheap prices but its not good to leave money on the table if you know what I mean.

South Florida Lawns
07-11-2005, 10:59 PM
a while back on how a guy undercut major commercial bids back in 94 and 95 he lost almost everything. He was a big operation and was spending more than he was making even with multiple crews, Winter came and the bills did not stop.

qps
07-11-2005, 11:37 PM
my costs are:

bizz insure $33 month ($400 month)
county licenince $14 year
state fictuice name $50 once every 5 years


truck is under the peronal car insure.

You suck on spelling too!....just kidding...I need some of that $33 mon "bizz" insure.....maybe business insurance.... :)

Runner
07-12-2005, 12:11 AM
your best bet by far would be to go to her now and tell here you made a grave mistake on the pricing. Yuo need 30 bucks per cut. If she was paying 25 and you are going to offer a better service and reliabilty, you should be getting more. 20 bucks will NOT cut it. People pay that to the neighbor kid to cut their lawn using THEIR mower and gas. There is no way you will make a business out of this at 20 bucks a pop. By the time you spend your time and gas to drive over there, spend your time and gas doing it, and drive away, you made how much? Then, yuo have to bill her. you haven't even paid your office expenses yet, let alone building and electric. In this case, you could go flip some burgers,...the money is better... MUCH better. It's better you learn now and do it right from the beginning than to waste a bunch of time spinning your wheels.

MMLawn
07-12-2005, 12:15 AM
In his defence, he hasnt been around for 26 years either.

Agreed, but he won't be either when he charges $20 for a job that he knows is selling for at least $25 and $55 for one that he knows just when for $100 and $450.

kclawnmowerman
07-12-2005, 01:36 AM
3 weeks ago i was helping a friend do some pressure cleaning work for this lady in a nice development. well her lawn guy was there, and he was the rudest thing we both ever saw. i gave her my card after we were done pressure washing the driveway and pool deck. told her call me if he does not work out. well she called me today and said she wants me to do it starteng in august. i went over and talked to her he charged her $25 a week for mowing (That i can see), and heres the reason she called me. she has her bushes trimmed 2 times a year. last time it was only $100 to trim them, she told me. this time he charged her $450 for it. (60 min of work to trim bushes?) so her total was with mowing was $550 and she showed the bill to me (rule one to keep clients; dont rip them a new 1). so i got her as a client due to: 1) being frendly, & great peronality, 2) lower prices. so im chargeing her $20 a mow. & $55hr for the triming twice a year.

why is it that when people see that old people are on a fixed income the rake them over the coals?

Im not new here i just made a new name. But last week i also recall you said a guy that had a push mower that worked from sun up to sun down was a scrub. If you worked any holidays he was a scrub. But then to find out you have a cheap azz push mower , some bull trimmer and no telling what kind of blower. What gives you the right to call someone a scrub? And then to lowball to get the lco account? If the lady really liked you that much and you had any type of common sence you would of told her you would be more responsible and do a great job for 35.00 but instead you go cheaper? That my friend is worse than the guy you seen with a push mower in the back of his truck. I also seen the pic to that scag mower you had you would be better off buying a used one on ebay. If i pulled up to one of my customers in my upscale neighborhoods with that rusted out bucket i would be fired. Thats not even good scrap. So before you go on here bragging about how you lowballed another company please think first.

You have alot of things to learn. By the way you will be working from sun up to sun down if you have more than 10 or 15 lawns to push mow. So like you said last week about the other guy being a scrub looks like you were just explaining your self. Dont mean to sound rude here but people who live in a glass house shouldnt throw stones, looks like you have allready threw tomany.

Up North
07-12-2005, 10:29 AM
Frontier I give you credit for getting out and trying to start a business. Many of the younger generation would rather sit around and do nothing hoping someone will hand them their future on a silver platter. But take the advice of some of the seasoned pros here. There are so many facets of a business, many of which people never even think of or know about until they enter a business. One of the things is recognizing opportunities, this new customer you got is a great example. She wasn't happy with her previous LCO, you should have been able to bump her up to $30 a cut vs. $20 on the basis you will give her a better job. The old saying "you get what you pay for" holds true in most cases.

As far as your equipment goes, I'm not going to knock it because many of us started in similar fashion. But the knock on scrub LCO's last week was not cool. Especially when some LCO's that see you out there might think the same as you did...another scrub. Just having insurance doesn't make a pro, much, much more goes into it then that. I'm only in my second season myself and have tons of stuff to learn yet.

Good luck Frontier, you have one of the best resources available to you here with Lawnsite. It can be a tremendous help in being successful if used the right way.

Buck

nocutting
07-12-2005, 11:22 AM
I think I missed something. I have mostly small yards close together, the going rate is $72 to $110 a month in my area. I have a few that are less and some of the commercial accounts are more. Sure you will get every one for cheap prices but its not good to leave money on the table if you know what I mean.
Hi, ......we all start out about the same........its good that your lawns are close together, but the reality is that , now you can make less money per hour faster?......the other side of the coin is that I'd also rather be working than not!!!!.....The key for you is to now start up-selling your clients to other services......by the end of the year you'll know who to keep, & who not to renew.Its really that simple....."good Luck" :)

1MajorTom
07-22-2005, 05:43 PM
Im not new here i just made a new name.

Go back to your old name, this one has been deactivated.

BigChaz
07-22-2005, 06:21 PM
my costs are:

bizz insure $33 month ($400 month)
county licenince $14 year
state fictuice name $50 once every 5 years


truck is under the peronal car insure.

It wont let me Pm you, so would you mind telling me about ure insurance.

What kind of coverage do you have?
And who are you purchasing it through?

Frontier-Lawn
07-22-2005, 09:41 PM
its from trustway a local company. and $300,000 General Liability @ $400 year and i do all the maintenance myself. i also just landed a local restaurant and his personal home also. (friends with his wife) So I'm back in the game. (ps. i get free draft now :D ) so i'm not going to give up yet after all.

topsites
07-22-2005, 09:49 PM
so you undercut someone to get a new account? You'll regret it sooner or later.

I agree, that crap gonna come around smack you in the arse, lol.

topsites
07-22-2005, 09:54 PM
He is always rude to her to. And he yelled at her when we were there becuase she hired my friend to pressure wash instead of him. sometimes he does not even show up im told.

That's all really NONE of your business. Had she fired him and hired you with OUT you influencing, then that would've been a different story...
It's just like when a customer wants a good price so they get all smart and make the usual influential bs comments thinking this helps, but you see now I KNOW they're low-balling, so I usually jack the price up another 20 or 40 percent just to cut the bull... And maybe, just maybe the other LCO was doing just that: cutting the bull. And yes I get rude to cut the crap sometimes, too.

topsites
07-22-2005, 10:00 PM
I've went through this before. $25 lawn wants an estimate because the last guy is a cheese head, I now have the account for $30 because I do better work and am reliable. If reliability isn't worth $20 extra a month, I don't know what is. Don't do a better job for less money.

I used to do that better for less thing until I got real tired of doing my own maintenance for free and HAVING to do my own maintenance because I couldn't afford to have anyone else fix it.... The guys at the dealership charge 50+ / hour labor to work on my equipment when I can't fix it... Now even if I CAN fix it (usually I can), shouldn't I get paid for that, too?

topsites
07-22-2005, 10:03 PM
truck -- you are naked

you forgot a few costs:
like gas, blades, repair, maintenance, new equipment, accountant and 14,000 other things.

Not necessarily, my truck is covered under personal and the insco. is aware how it is being used, but if HIS insco is not aware what the truck is being used for then that could be real trouble.

Far as the other part, you are correct.

slt40
07-22-2005, 10:04 PM
even stihls,---- we are all tryng to make a living out here---mowing cheaper is driving the cost of the service down---
do what you have to do to get started--but you better learn quick.---
my customers biggest complaint---your guys are in & out of here in 7 minutes----I park 50K worth of equipment in front of your house with $60 man hours of labor working---it better be under 10 minutes for a $30 lawn!!!!

topsites
07-22-2005, 10:04 PM
Agreed, but he won't be either when he charges $20 for a job that he knows is selling for at least $25 and $55 for one that he knows just when for $100 and $450.

Then again, I did a *LOT* of work my first year for $15-$20/hour, thou most of it really was not so much by choice.
But yes, it never hurts to quote higher prices ... They might say no for a while but eventually it catches on and in the end you may have less work but when you DO work, at least you get PAID. That, and regardless of amount, the price quoted sets a standard, quote too low a price and the standard goes down the tubes.

Scotts' Yard Care
07-22-2005, 10:35 PM
We recently bid a job for 30-35$ that would have taken us at least 30-40 minutes. The place isn't that large but it has a tremendous amount of trimming plus two to three gates that would slow us down also. Another service came in and is probably doing it for 20$ or so. This is how it is around our area and the man who turned down our bid is an insurance agent
rolling in money. I wish the low bidder the best of luck but we simply couldn't see doing it for less than our quote.

bobbygedd
07-22-2005, 10:43 PM
you don't want to build a client base by low prices. this is a weak client base. they will drop you, or you will drop them when you understand you need to make more, in 3 yrs you wont have any of these clients. you want to start now, and build it so that 4, 5, 6 yrs from now you still have the same clients you started with, plus of course new ones.

topsites
07-22-2005, 11:12 PM
We recently bid a job for 30-35$ that would have taken us at least 30-40 minutes. The place isn't that large but it has a tremendous amount of trimming plus two to three gates that would slow us down also. Another service came in and is probably doing it for 20$ or so. This is how it is around our area and the man who turned down our bid is an insurance agent
rolling in money. I wish the low bidder the best of luck but we simply couldn't see doing it for less than our quote.

LOL I had a lady last year I gave an estimate to, ended up hiring a guy she said would do it cheaper... Guess who she called this year because guess who wasn't doing lawncare no more? You guessed it, I got the account a year later at the original price quoted (as it was still fair by me).

And you are correct on your other post about the building of the client-base. Even today I sometimes quote too low a price, and guess who comes off the list, sooner or later? Yes because I really CAN'T work that cheap, and although a few do stay, it's only those willing to pay a little more later. That, and then you get no respect: They still want all the buttkissing and all that extra stuff as IF they were paying full price. Now it can really tick you off if they low-balled YOU but if it was me who gave them the price to begin with, guess who feels stupid?

befnme
07-24-2005, 12:46 AM
Got 1 Question For Ya .are You Out Here To Cut Grass Or To Make Money? Nuff Said!!

Mo Green
07-24-2005, 01:40 AM
its from trustway a local company. and $300,000 General Liability @ $400 year and i do all the maintenance myself. i also just landed a local restaurant and his personal home also. (friends with his wife) So I'm back in the game. (ps. i get free draft now :D ) so i'm not going to give up yet after all.
You may want to consider raising that to 1 million. If you were to sling a rock and hit someone, causing serious injury, $300,000 will only be a drop in the bucket compared to what the hospital bill may be.

lawncare4u
07-24-2005, 10:06 AM
You sound like what a friend of mine told me about a guy who cut prices from $25.oo down to $10.00 so he would have a (quote ) big customer base/30 yards in neighbor hood for an amazing $300.00 minus expences...........lasted 1 season/and why cut a $100.00 prunning job to $110.00 for 2 prunnings and a $25.00 mow to $20.00,face you're on your way OUT!

jtrice11
07-24-2005, 10:29 AM
3 weeks ago i was helping a friend do some pressure cleaning work for this lady in a nice development. well her lawn guy was there, and he was the rudest thing we both ever saw. i gave her my card after we were done pressure washing the driveway and pool deck. told her call me if he does not work out. well she called me today and said she wants me to do it starteng in august. i went over and talked to her he charged her $25 a week for mowing (That i can see), and heres the reason she called me. she has her bushes trimmed 2 times a year. last time it was only $100 to trim them, she told me. this time he charged her $450 for it. (60 min of work to trim bushes?) so her total was with mowing was $550 and she showed the bill to me (rule one to keep clients; dont rip them a new 1). so i got her as a client due to: 1) being frendly, & great peronality, 2) lower prices. so im chargeing her $20 a mow. & $55hr for the triming twice a year.

why is it that when people see that old people are on a fixed income the rake them over the coals?

You missed a nice opportunity there. Sounds like she was willing to pay a fair price for good service as opposed to poor service and being raped for the trimming. You could have done 30-35 per cut and a hundred and half for the trimming. Do it with a smile and a handshake and it would have been a nice acquisition for you.