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View Full Version : what if, you were $3 cheaper?


bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 04:15 PM
just answer the question. don't say anything else, just, answer the question. IF, the going rate in your area, for a legit business, was $30 per mow, and you came in $3 cheaper, would it help you land alot more work? yes or no?

Potomac Lawns Inc.
08-22-2005, 04:18 PM
no being $3.00 cheaper would not help us land more work

TheKingNJ
08-22-2005, 04:19 PM
no

well just saying no wasn't enough characters so i will explain. most of our lawns are 50 - 90$ per cut so we would have to be at least $10 cheaper to make a difference to a customer by price.

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 04:23 PM
ok, let me rephrase that question, to accomodate different price ranges. WHAT IF, you were 10% cheaper than your competitors, would it help you land ALOT more work?

olderthandirt
08-22-2005, 04:37 PM
ok, let me rephrase that question, to accomodate different price ranges. WHAT IF, you were 10% cheaper than your competitors, would it help you land ALOT more work?
Yes and no--
10% of a $300 mow a wk adds up to $120 a month and probably would make a diff. 10% of a $40 mow probably would not.

LawnBrother
08-22-2005, 04:45 PM
10% less? Probably would land a few more.

procut
08-22-2005, 04:49 PM
10% less? Probably would land a few more.
Same here.

HighGrass
08-22-2005, 04:55 PM
just answer the question. don't say anything else, just, answer the question. IF, the going rate in your area, for a legit business, was $30 per mow, and you came in $3 cheaper, would it help you land alot more work? yes or no?




NO (At least not where I am)

Lux Lawn
08-22-2005, 04:55 PM
ok, let me rephrase that question, to accomodate different price ranges. WHAT IF, you were 10% cheaper than your competitors, would it help you land ALOT more work?

Yes, 10 % less I think would bring in several new customers.

HOOLIE
08-22-2005, 04:56 PM
Yes. If someone is calling off a flyer or other "non-referral" advertising, price is a larger factor in their decision.

sildoc
08-22-2005, 04:57 PM
In certain areas Yes. For the most part depends if we are established in an area or not. Why would I want to bid 10% Less though? I usually end up bidding 10% more.

HighGrass
08-22-2005, 05:00 PM
ok, let me rephrase that question, to accomodate different price ranges. WHAT IF, you were 10% cheaper than your competitors, would it help you land ALOT more work?

If by "ALOT you mean 20% or more accounts, it's tough call. Most customers around here (or should I say 70%) either don't have a clue as to market value, or the going rate. Hence, they usually try to decide what they think they should pay. At least that's the way some start out. So if an average size lawn has a $%#@load of trees that you figure are going to take more time to trim around and you adjust the price say 6-8 bucks, when you tell them 49.00, you usually get a look like you just brought home their daughter.......DRunk!

So, the same person bidding 44/45 for the same lawn, probably would get the same reaction.

Remsen1
08-22-2005, 05:02 PM
some, yes. alot, no. it's a phsychological thing $27 looks like a lot less than $30. $29 might get just as many bites.

I'm thinking it would be hard to get people to switch for such a small savings, but if they are out looking $1-$3 might sway the decision.

Kelly's Landscaping
08-22-2005, 05:18 PM
Try it bobby its obvious you are running low on work you must have started 20 new threads this week and its only Monday. How do you know going rates you have your rate if its cheaper great sometimes its more what I never do is ask what the other guy charges.

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 05:23 PM
Try it bobby its obvious you are running low on work you must have started 20 new threads this week and its only Monday. How do you know going rates you have your rate if its cheaper great sometimes its more what I never do is ask what the other guy charges.
kelly, mind your manners. business is booming, and we are in the middle of a growth spurt. i want to add 80 new clients, within the next 8 months, so i'm kicking around a few ideas. i never thought about it like mac put it though, yup, on higher priced accounts, 10% adds up big. on the lawns here, 10% aint crap.

Toy2
08-22-2005, 05:51 PM
The answer is yes around here, that is why next year its $21.99 on all the fliers!!!!

mmacsek
08-22-2005, 06:02 PM
Yes. If someone is calling off a flyer or other "non-referral" advertising, price is a larger factor in their decision.
What Hoolie said. If I'm in the neighborhood then no. It wasn't really a black and white question. Alot of variables. Good Luck Bob

CharlieBingo
08-22-2005, 06:11 PM
It becomes a downward spiral, slippery slope. You drop %10 next guy drops %12 suddenly your working at Home Depot.
'
'

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 06:16 PM
it's like this. the "base" price, or the price of the base service, which is weekly mowing, is the one that will catch thier attention the most. i know this, cus no matter what the other prices are on the quote, they always comment like, "wow, you are $3 more than the other guy for mowing,"etc. ok, so now, if i come down to $27, that means i'm getting, over 28 weeks, $756. now, my goal of course was to get $30 per mow, a difference over 28 weeks of $84. it is real easy to hide this $84, spread out, over a few other services. jack up thier fert program by $35. jack up thier fall cleanup by $25, and thier spring cleanup by $15, and the trimming by $15, and u are there.

olderthandirt
08-22-2005, 06:35 PM
it's like this. the "base" price, or the price of the base service, which is weekly mowing, is the one that will catch thier attention the most. i know this, cus no matter what the other prices are on the quote, they always comment like, "wow, you are $3 more than the other guy for mowing,"etc. ok, so now, if i come down to $27, that means i'm getting, over 28 weeks, $756. now, my goal of course was to get $30 per mow, a difference over 28 weeks of $84. it is real easy to hide this $84, spread out, over a few other services. jack up thier fert program by $35. jack up thier fall cleanup by $25, and thier spring cleanup by $15, and the trimming by $15, and u are there.
Why not charge them $35 a mow with 1 or 2 free fert? Everyone likes FREE and at that rate you would be at $980-$30 for the bag of fert + you have the chance to sell them the rest of the fert program

SpudsM15
08-22-2005, 06:51 PM
BoB... In my area... The big lco's charge 20-22 a cut... Those guys have whole neigbhorhoods. While as the other big ones the premium guys are more like 30-35.... Both have nice properties you can see a differeance..
I try to ride the middle of the price range and stick to my guns on 25 min price... But, I think after buying the new Z I'm going to drop the lawn mowing price and jack up some of the other services to compansate....Just a mental thing. People think they are getting a deal.

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 07:19 PM
spuds, you r right. i see the big guys come in @ $18, 20, 22. sickening. i was always $30, or $28. i am trying to add alot of clients quick, and i won't go $25, but i will go $26, $27. this puts me in the middle, and my salesmanship does the rest. the lawn care industry will take a major turn in the next 10 yrs, i want to make my millions between now and then, and after that, just operate for play money. i see outfits from point pleasant (30-40 miles south of us), and from edison, and carteret (north of us) invading the area more and more. i plan to wipe them out

Guthrie&Co
08-22-2005, 07:23 PM
might get a few people in but your just cutting everyone elses throat and i dont do it. i cut a guys throat by 5 bucks once and i swore i would never do it again. yeah you get a few more client but all you have is the people who nickel and dime you when the bill comes. so in the long run it really isnt worth the 3 bucks

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 07:29 PM
might get a few people in but your just cutting everyone elses throat and i dont do it. i cut a guys throat by 5 bucks once and i swore i would never do it again. yeah you get a few more client but all you have is the people who nickel and dime you when the bill comes. so in the long run it really isnt worth the 3 bucks
that's a very intelligent post, but can you please show me in numbers? i just showed you how easy it is to create an illusion of a lower price, and not effect the bottom line, and in fact, by grouping, the amount per hour, or lawn, goes up ALOT. PLEASE SHOW ME, IN NUMBERS, WHY lowering from a standard $30, to $27, and still being higher than the big dopes, will hurt me. stop walking over the dollars, to get to the pennies

Precision
08-22-2005, 07:36 PM
Bobby,

The point of your argument is that people only know what they should be paying for mowing, so you can loss leader that and make even more by bumping up the prices on other things.

You are right. So long as your clients are forced to accept fullservice or at least some other services. If you allow only mow and blow then you just started working for free.

I just started subbing out my fert applications. I am getting $480 annually on fert for 1/4 acre and paying my sub $300. The clients are happy, the sub is happy and you know I am happy.

But what I find is the people who want fullservice aren't price conscious. they either think you will do a good job or don't. So I don't play with my prices much and try to loss lead. Signed up 2 full service and one basic this week.

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 08:10 PM
not a loss leader, by any stretch of the imagination. the price gets lower a couple bucks on mowing, for full serve only, but the other services are increased beyond the norm to compensate. it's a trick, like all businesses do. if it's mow only, then the price is higher, and everything is "ala carte". you don't understand, my base price will attract customers, but i make it up, cus if i even fart on thier lawn, i add a surcharge. besides, you make so much more $$ on a full serve, than a mow only. example: i charge for a grasscut, while i'm cleaning leaves. even though i was using the mower anyhow, to clean the leaves, they get charged for both. example: i charge for 2 aplications, when applying weed and feed. even though it's in the bag, mixed, and i make only one pass, they get charged for the weed, and, the feed. this is why i'd gladly come down a couple bucks to attract thier attention to the mowing price, but make it up on grouping, and on extra services, times 10

SpudsM15
08-22-2005, 09:10 PM
What has happened in my area is these companies litterly monopolize the market. Which is good and bad... I see alot of new cutters/non-legit getting screwed! They charge 25 and do it everyother week.... And they only cut...
BUt these big companies come in charge 20 bucks do everything... ANd they buy out big companies.... The reason I'm doing so well is because I give better customer service... Respond faster.... Do small things for the older folk.....etc...
You wouldn't beleive the praise I get for moving stuff around for the elderly clients... And they are the best customers hands down..... And yes it is worth my 5 min here and there...

cantoo
08-22-2005, 09:16 PM
Here's an example to consider. I used to grow apples. I decided that I would load up my truck and trailer and drive 100 miles to a huge outdoor Farmer's market and "dump" my apples for a lower price and make a quick volume profit. I got there early set up my booth and put on a price of $5.00 per bushel and would sell by the full bushel only. I sat there all day trying to sell my perfect apples for half what the other guys were selling them for. The other guys called me names that I don't want to repeat. I only sold a couple of bushels of apples. I asked a few people what the problem was and they figured because they were so cheap there must be something wrong with them and didn't buy them. I ended up taking the apples to the juice factory and barely made my gas money back.
From that point on I decided that you have to run with the pack or you will get run over. Keep the prices inline with everyone else and if you want to get more customers then do it with referrals from your good work and not by dropping prices. My father in law still says I told you so when we discuss my apple selling storey. I was young and he was old and wise, you young bucks remember that.

Howard Roark
08-22-2005, 09:25 PM
If I came in at 22 instead of 25 for a weekly mow around here I just might do better. But then again I do just fine at 25, and if you only ask 22, you'll never get 25.

:)

musselman
08-22-2005, 09:59 PM
wouldnt the union get mad if you under bidding everyone...lol
I guess if your the union boss you make up the rules.
I would get more work here if I came down in price, but I would be selling myself short because I dont do all the extras...but if you could get the same money with the extra cash for add ons and pick up extra clients I think its a great idea.

Toy2
08-22-2005, 10:04 PM
It comes down to volume, the guy in Houston with the $18.00 mow, six years at the same price????? Plus it appears he isn't getting dirty!!!!

bigjeeping
08-22-2005, 10:46 PM
Here's a little something that happened to me...

A man was currently paying 18/cut and I offered him 15/cut because I wanted another house in the area. Well, he went with it.
I'm in and out in 10 minutes and it's brought me $60/month all summer.
So if it's worth it... then underbid!

People will always go with the lowest price, unless they see that it is an obvious sacrifice of quality.

Precision
08-22-2005, 10:51 PM
Here's a little something that happened to me...

A man was currently paying 18/cut and I offered him 15/cut because I wanted another house in the area. Well, he went with it.
I'm in and out in 10 minutes and it's brought me $60/month all summer.
So if it's worth it... then underbid!

People will always go with the lowest price, unless they see that it is an obvious sacrifice of quality.


Just wondering at $15 per cut how big is the lot and are you really doing anything other than chasing cash flow?

WoodBrothersLC
08-22-2005, 11:16 PM
You'd land all the whiney old ladies that try to nickel and dime you.

-Mark Wood

Remsen1
08-23-2005, 11:23 AM
it's like this. the "base" price, or the price of the base service, which is weekly mowing, is the one that will catch thier attention the most. i know this, cus no matter what the other prices are on the quote, they always comment like, "wow, you are $3 more than the other guy for mowing,"etc. ok, so now, if i come down to $27, that means i'm getting, over 28 weeks, $756. now, my goal of course was to get $30 per mow, a difference over 28 weeks of $84. it is real easy to hide this $84, spread out, over a few other services. jack up thier fert program by $35. jack up thier fall cleanup by $25, and thier spring cleanup by $15, and the trimming by $15, and u are there.

Yah, but will they buy fert, and will they pay for a fall cleanup etc. these cannot be easily answered. Also $84 x 80 new customer is $6720. But also $756 x 80 is $60,480 that you didn't have before. Focus on the net of that first before you start worrying on how to compensate for the $6720.

Olderthandirt could be right, a free FERT may be cheaper for you than cutting your price by $3 and it also helps ensure that they get some FERT which makes the yard look nicer and can also be addictive :)

You could even go back to spreading kitty litter :) J/K :)

jtrice11
08-23-2005, 11:45 AM
just answer the question. don't say anything else, just, answer the question. IF, the going rate in your area, for a legit business, was $30 per mow, and you came in $3 cheaper, would it help you land alot more work? yes or no?

No, its not enough of a difference for a homeowner to switch.

65hoss
08-23-2005, 12:04 PM
Or get it $3 cheaper and add a $3 per cut fuel surcharge. haha.

Guthrie&Co
08-23-2005, 03:12 PM
Yah, but will they buy fert, and will they pay for a fall cleanup etc. these cannot be easily answered. Also $84 x 80 new customer is $6720. But also $756 x 80 is $60,480 that you didn't have before. Focus on the net of that first before you start worrying on how to compensate for the $6720.

Olderthandirt could be right, a free FERT may be cheaper for you than cutting your price by $3 and it also helps ensure that they get some FERT which makes the yard look nicer and can also be addictive :)

You could even go back to spreading kitty litter :) J/K :)
bobby that plan could go south really quick when the client doesnt want the other services. then your just out of more cash. but on the other hand if you sign them to a 12 month flat rate and your making it up elsewhere then it might wash.

i am going to stand on the postion that your going to get a few clients in on the cheaper price but the will tend to nickel and dime every bill. thus taking you and your time away from other clients that are willing to pay for good services. not to mention the missed oportunties that came along and you couldnt get to. i just dont think it would be worth it. plus i dont even unload for less than 45 anyway

topsites
08-23-2005, 03:45 PM
NO (At least not where I am)

Where I am, a lower price DOES increase the YES/NO ratio but does NOT increase the amount of incoming calls in the short term.
In the long term, a lower price DOES increase calls but it's a real pita at that point because I feel like I'm running on a treadmill - working my tail off and getting nowhere and last but not least EVERY effin' time some maintenance needs done I *HAVE* to do it myself because I can't afford to pay someone else to do it AND I have to do it for FREE while I'd like to get paid SOME money for doing what they charge me 50 dollars/hour or more to do... And IF something goes VERY wrong then I am in dire straits.
Meanwhile, the lower price gets me a TON more exigent customers, which is best defined as the condition of being in need of immediate assistance: distress, emergency, hot water, trouble <- And that is the dictionary definition, lol !... Once my prices are back to normal, the afore-mentioned problem melts away considerably.
Of course, now the low-ballers fill my schedule and take up my time and guess WHO calls while I'm working my tail off? Yes, a GOOD paying customer but I'm too busy so I can't take care of that.
So maybe the lower prices increase demand but honestly, Thanks but no thanks.

topsites
08-23-2005, 04:11 PM
If by "ALOT you mean 20% or more accounts, it's tough call. Most customers around here (or should I say 70%) either don't have a clue as to market value, or the going rate. Hence, they usually try to decide what they think they should pay. At least that's the way some start out. So if an average size lawn has a $%#@load of trees that you figure are going to take more time to trim around and you adjust the price say 6-8 bucks, when you tell them 49.00, you usually get a look like you just brought home their daughter.......DRunk!

So, the same person bidding 44/45 for the same lawn, probably would get the same reaction.

That brings up an excellent point and it is funny you notice the look, the only difference is it always makes me feel like I'm handing them their dead cat.

What happened over time I found out I get that SAME look whether I charge 5 bucks more OR less, regardless. So in the end I got tired of it, if they're going to give me that stupid look anyway then I'm going to quote STANDARD prices and stick to my guns.
Then I also found out when they want a low price I used to think that by lowering the price I could land the job BUT dig this example:
Say the fair price for a yard would be 30 dollars.
IF they are low-ballers, they're thinking along the lines of 15-20 dollars.
Now IF I think that by quoting a lower price then I will land the job and I quote them 25, guess what? I'm at my LOWEST and can not go any lower but NOW I am within 'haggling' range and sure enough on TOP of me giving them my lowest price NOW the haggling begins when I could've been on my way to giving ANOTHER estimate already.
That crap used to frustrate me to no end because after it was all said and done the answer was either still NO anyhow *OR* then I'd end up working for dirt and either getting PISSED OFF *OR* justifying it (yeah it'll be ok, it's not so bad, etc, etc, LOL!)
Now quote them 30 and SOMETIMES the haggling begins but what I learned works great when I see the low-balling coming is to UP the price by 10% which in my case brings the price to $35 and now dig diz:
- I am OUT of haggling range, the higher price shuts them up immediately and instead of the 'drunk daughter' look all I get now is the blank eyes of disbelief.
- At this point, the joke is over IMMEDIATELY and I have my answer.

I'll start another thread on this YES vs. NO thing.

bobbygedd
08-23-2005, 04:44 PM
all this over $3? take this into consideration........my records indicate that when pulling up to a stop, there is a certain amount of time involved in -getting out of the truck, dropping the gate, unloading the mower, starting it, doing the mow, putting mower back on trailer, etc, etc, etc. EACH ADDITIONAL LAWN at the same stop takes an average of ONLY eight minutes !!!! cutting one lawn, with the loading, unloading, starting, etc etc takes only about 15-20 minutes. EACH ADDITIONAL LAWN at that very same stop, takes ONLY AN ADDITIONAL 8 minutes. so, if being more competative on my mowing price can get me 3, 4, 5, 6 at a stop, i'll make up that $3 bucks easily, and then some on the extras. think about it, 8 minutes for $27. that's more than $3 a minute on that property!!! think with your head, not your behind. i'll still be higher than alot of guys, but lower than i was. i once had a shot at 5 properties on the same street. i said $30, no, i aint budging, $30, period. i blew it! they all wanted the extras at my price, but the $30 was too high. if i wasn't so arrogent, i would have come down to $27, and made a mint on these properties.

stevesmowing
08-23-2005, 04:54 PM
it seems like there are so many people mowing now that the prices are not being driven up like everything else is supply and demand type of thing so I think overall this would not help

Toy2
08-23-2005, 05:06 PM
Around here the Mexican "Cowboys" as some LCO's call them have the area all to themselves, I'm sure he is doing duplex lots for $10.00 to $15.00 a pop, he is in with the rental companies, so he is banking it, he has a nice home, 3 or 4 Ford 4 doors and a bunch of Scags, plus his guys all wear the same polo with the cowboy hats.....so yes people want something for nothing....will I lower the price......yes, its either that and mow...or sit here and post!!! :blob3:

RedWingsDet
08-23-2005, 07:01 PM
$3 no. $5 would help us gain alot of work. But by doing so, we would be working for less money, meaning it'd take 5 extra lawns to make up the loss of one account. It wouldnt be worth it I dont think, unless your were new to the business and were not established. To bad the average lawn cut isnt 30. Most of these guys are anywhere from 12-20 around my area. Its sad. Oh well, thats life.

bobbygedd
08-23-2005, 08:58 PM
premier, you can't LOSE what you never had. you would not be losing money, you'd just be charging less, which, could actually mean making more. using my time sheets, i know, that each neighbor i add, at $27, will take only 8 additional minutes. i used to have a firm $30 minimum, i can't tell you how many lawns i could have had if i would have lowered it to $27. by flyering only your exsisting service areas, and being a bit more competitive on your prices, you can make ALOT more money. everyone talks about "a dollar a minute" while on site mowing. my records show that each property added, to an exsisting stop, takes 8 minutes, for $27, or, more than $3 per minute, OR, if you must , more than $180 per hr!! call me what you want, my calculator don't lie

RedWingsDet
08-24-2005, 12:04 AM
premier, you can't LOSE what you never had. you would not be losing money, you'd just be charging less, which, could actually mean making more. using my time sheets, i know, that each neighbor i add, at $27, will take only 8 additional minutes. i used to have a firm $30 minimum, i can't tell you how many lawns i could have had if i would have lowered it to $27. by flyering only your exsisting service areas, and being a bit more competitive on your prices, you can make ALOT more money. everyone talks about "a dollar a minute" while on site mowing. my records show that each property added, to an exsisting stop, takes 8 minutes, for $27, or, more than $3 per minute, OR, if you must , more than $180 per hr!! call me what you want, my calculator don't lie

so for my lawns, my average time it takes is 8 minutes, no joke. I get anywhere from 15-25. So I guess thats good.

Evergreenpros
08-24-2005, 01:56 AM
kelly, mind your manners. business is booming, and we are in the middle of a growth spurt. i want to add 80 new clients, within the next 8 months, so i'm kicking around a few ideas. i never thought about it like mac put it though, yup, on higher priced accounts, 10% adds up big. on the lawns here, 10% aint crap.


Never lower your price if your pricing scheme is working. I would say your's is working if your are growing. It's better to keep the prices the same or raise them and use the extra revenue for more advertising. You will come out ahead in the long run.

If you want to try out how price sensitive your market is, give generous 1st time mow coupons.

Lowering prices, as a general rule, is only used in do or die situations. It's the "hail mary" of business.

I'm assuming mowing is 90%+ of your business? If you used mowing to generate leads for more profitable services then it might be smart to lower your price, otherwise it's not.

Brianslawn
08-24-2005, 02:32 AM
hey booby... if your desperate for work... you can help us catch up on weekends. i'll even pay you the current local going rate for midget labor! :cool2:

2k1yzfr1
08-30-2005, 12:52 AM
Do the best quality of work and the price you charge will not matter. If a client drops you to save $12 a month are they worth having in the first place??


TOY2 If you want yards put fliers on every door in Hewitt from Texas street to Bonham and advertise 21.99 mowing. I will assure you will get 30-50 yards all bringing you in 43.98 a month. You or I cannot compete with high volume cutters like Expert or Javier or "Cowboy" as you call him so why even try?? If you start passing out $21.99 fliers you will pick up every tightass that wants his yard mowed every 3-4 weeks weather it needs it or not. Let them get all the $50 a month crap yards and focus on higher end residentials.

topsites
08-30-2005, 01:33 AM
all this over $3? take this into consideration........my records indicate that when pulling up to a stop, there is a certain amount of time involved in -getting out of the truck, dropping the gate, unloading the mower, starting it, doing the mow, putting mower back on trailer, etc, etc, etc. EACH ADDITIONAL LAWN at the same stop takes an average of ONLY eight minutes !!!! cutting one lawn, with the loading, unloading, starting, etc etc takes only about 15-20 minutes. EACH ADDITIONAL LAWN at that very same stop, takes ONLY AN ADDITIONAL 8 minutes. so, if being more competative on my mowing price can get me 3, 4, 5, 6 at a stop, i'll make up that $3 bucks easily, and then some on the extras. think about it, 8 minutes for $27. that's more than $3 a minute on that property!!! think with your head, not your behind. i'll still be higher than alot of guys, but lower than i was. i once had a shot at 5 properties on the same street. i said $30, no, i aint budging, $30, period. i blew it! they all wanted the extras at my price, but the $30 was too high. if i wasn't so arrogent, i would have come down to $27, and made a mint on these properties.

ok d@mmit but you keep throwing in curveballs, the thread STARTED with you saying 'would $3 off land us MORE work', it never mentioned ducks-in-a-row properties, see?

I mean I have 2 yards side-by-side and I can get $30 each easy while $35 isn't out of range. Meanwhile it's two elderly ladies who get along fine and I treat BOTH their props as ONE big lot because yes, I can literally cut them both in one fell swoop with only ONE stop and nevermind 8 minutes, the two yards are connected! Now I gave THEM a deal of 50 dollars for BOTH so long I can do them BOTH at the same time, otherwise it's $30 each. Now there's a sweet deal but it's off the topic-starter.

topsites
08-30-2005, 01:49 AM
Here's a little something that happened to me...

A man was currently paying 18/cut and I offered him 15/cut because I wanted another house in the area. Well, he went with it.
I'm in and out in 10 minutes and it's brought me $60/month all summer.
So if it's worth it... then underbid!

People will always go with the lowest price, unless they see that it is an obvious sacrifice of quality.

It takes at LEAST 60 seconds from the time the engine is off / gear is in park to where the mower is physically chomping GRASS and I can assure you that is VERY fast. It takes ANOTHER 2 MINUTES to load the Wb and start the weed-eater while the wb runs on cool-down then shuts off right as the weed-eater reaches op-temp and there's 3 minutes. Ok, I'll bite and assume you cut in 4 minutes, weed-eat in 2 and blow-down in whatever time is left.
10 minutes ...
So then, do you drive around for free?

I did a lot of that, it's how I got a trailer park lot for 20 bucks which also takes 10 minutes and that one I don't mind as it came around at a time when I NEEDED the money and I don't drop customers over this, she's a decent lady and she's my customer today BUT...

Now I don't lower my tailgate for less than 30 dollars because I got sick and tired of that waste-of-time+fuel Mickey Mouse postage-stamp horsecrap that is the rough equivalent of me taking a Formula 1 to the Go-Kart track! What the hell you gonna call an 18-wheeler next time you need someone to transport a bag of groceries ??? Honestly it don't really matter to me but the 5, 10 and 15 dollar stuff just ain't worth it, not to me.

topsites
08-30-2005, 02:07 AM
it seems like there are so many people mowing now that the prices are not being driven up like everything else is supply and demand type of thing so I think overall this would not help

That's the first sensible thing in this whole thread.
Battle inflation, SET a STANDARD - Quote HIGHER prices.

topsites
08-30-2005, 02:20 AM
This is the part I don't get... Here we got guys bragging off 80k/year SOLO in Florida with 40k take home and then this stuff... It don't make no sense guys.


Do I need to tell you the secret of HOW and WHOM to quote prices to?

WEED out your customers not just by their personality but also by the JOB. It's not a matter of whether the yard has rocks, or many trees, or what the problem is per se... It is a matter of do I want to work for THIS lady with THIS yard with THESE Rocks and my machines for the money SHE's willing to pay AND for what she expects? It is a matter of how LONG it's going to take, how RISKY it is (yes, rocks means risk of damage to a machine or self) and how COOL the customer is (I like the ones who are not too picky myself). It is a matter if I like the way she looks at me (and NO it's not THAT look that matters, matter of fact if THAT look comes around business is OVER), it is a matter of how well we got along on the phone and it is a matter of whether she's pretty cool or just some arrogant, smart b!7ch as well... Sorry ladies, it's the SAME way when the customer is a guy, calls me a 'dude' and offers me a beer and is gonna be all buddy-buddy? I don't think so. But that's just me, maybe for you it works different, I dunno... So for me, I SELECT those customers I want to work FOR *WITH* the jobs I WANT to DO!
So I Quote HIGH to those I don't want to work for OR don't want the job, quote lower to those I want, and there you go. If you don't want to play this game for fear of being called unfair, well MOST of the time the reason the price is TOO high is NOT because it's any HIGHER, it's just too high for THEM, so tough luck. I'll be real blunt, if the job is a pita or it involves me going 'omg i dun wanna do this' then the price goes UP so as to give me the EXTRA incentive I am going to NEED to go out there in case they say YES !
See I quote a HIGH price sometimes because I am HOPING they say NO because it's NOT something I WANT to DO! You gotta love it.

Let my put it another way: Yes, SOMETIMES one of my regulars gets on my nerves, but it is a rare event and it is even rarer they get on my LAST nerve.
In my book, my regular customers are GOLD and they take Priority ALWAYS - NOBODY steps in front of the line and NOBODY gets any work done until my regular customers are taken care of. Gee, my regulars must be pretty good.

It's not because I'm that good or they're that sweet, it's because we get along and because I handpick my customers AND I tell my customers they should do likewise, the BEST lawncare person to pick is one with whom you get along sort of like a friend but not quite (no cauz it's a business). Price DOES matter but it isn't the only deciding factor, not in my book. In the end, MOST dig it and by that I mean 9 out of 10 people I don't work for.

Because otherwise, WHY own your own business? If you'll help everybody and anybody that comes along then as far as I'm concerned, you're STILL thinking like an employee.

over 3 dollars... I still trip out some guys price off-the-wall like that, ALL my prices end in 5 or 0, ALL of them. 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and so on. I dun charge no 32 you can forget that and forget 26 and 37 also.

jpmako
08-30-2005, 08:34 AM
$3.00 off my prices would probably land me a lot of new accounts.
Here's the problem, These new accounts would be in the next town over working for people that I personally dislike very much. On top of that these new accounts would not generate enough side work to cover the loss of $12.00 a month. Most of the accounts that I could have would be Mow, Blow and Go accounts and that would be it. Another problem is that they would NOT sign a monthly service agreement. They only want it every other week.
So here is my plan.
Keep the clients that I have happy and Sell Sell Sell. The more money that I generate from them the better. Most of them are full service accounts.
I know of at least two LCO's that want out and they both have nice businesses that pretty much run themselves so I am gonna try and get both of them over the winter.

Almost every night I think about where I want to be next year.
The one thing that disgusts me like no other is the the way everybody drives prices down and thinks volume over quality. This industry is taking a beating.
What everyone needs to do is start thinking outside the box and use what is called good salesmanship. A good salesman can land better accounts at a higher price. It is not impossible to do so try that first. Then if all else fails,
lower your prices on mowing, and make it up somewhere else.

Jason

Toy2
08-30-2005, 10:32 AM
Price it, I just got my carpets cleaned, the van said $39.99 for 3 rooms, halls free, my final bill, $75.00....I had to the have the rest cleaned which added to the bill???? So if you say a mow, just a mow is $18.00, great, you cut and go, if you want to edge, its $5.00, blow. $3.00....see where this is going, its just using the lure to get business.....it falls back to JustMow its style...the sad thing about it all is that I'm sittin home while he's at the bank!!!!

GrassBustersLawn
08-30-2005, 10:33 AM
YES. I think $3 off would land me MORE accounts. It would also LOSE me 10% of my PROFIT. A trade off that I AM NOT WILLING TO MAKE! I'm not willing to work just as hard for 10% LESS PROFIT. EXPENSES are STILL THE SAME for a $27 job as they are for a $30 job.

In my own neighborhood I charge $35 a yard. I've been contacted by people using another LCO, with whom they are not satisfied...not trimming completely, not coming by regularly. He charges $28. They decided to STAY WITH HIM for $7 rather than switch. I decided to STAY WITH MY PRICE rather than pick up a job that would REDUCE MY PROFIT POTENTIAL BY 20%!!! I don't know what HIS overhead is. HELL, he probably doesn't know what HIS overhead is! But I know mine & I know I want to get paid to work & not DONATE my TIME & LABOR & RESOURCES!

Mike

LCME
08-30-2005, 12:00 PM
No. 10% cheaper did not work for me here.

Trevors Lawn Care
08-30-2005, 12:33 PM
just answer the question. don't say anything else, just, answer the question. IF, the going rate in your area, for a legit business, was $30 per mow, and you came in $3 cheaper, would it help you land alot more work? yes or no?

Probably not, in fact, it would just put me in line with most of the competition around here

Trevor

bobbygedd
08-30-2005, 01:18 PM
i think that everytime i log onto lawnsite, my computer should automatically spit out 2 aspirin, and a glass of water, cus YOU PEOPLE GIVE ME A HEADACHE!!. so, you still think that you should charge 50% more than your competitors, but do a A+ job, and THIS, will lead you to your pot of gold? you can't posibly understand, that by CHARGING $3 less, you are not MAKING $3 less, you are actually making MORE by attracting more clientelle in your immediate area. i'd rather have 4 at each stop, for $27, than one at each stop, for $30. but hey, if you really need that 3 bucks, do what u gotta do. biggest lawnboy mistake, is thinking pennies are dollars, and not being able to envision what it's like to make (clear) $120k, $150k, $200k. i had a very well known, self proclaimed success from lawnsite once tell me, he is a great success, and in his "best years", cleared 40 grand. FOURTY GRAND, what the HELL is FOURTY GRAND???????? my paperboy makes more than that. i give more than that out in tips. PELEEEEAAAAASE :help: :cry: