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HOMER
06-28-2001, 09:26 PM
In a continuing effort to streamline my micro-mini operation (ha ha ) I sent out letters today to 3 of my commercial properties telling them about my substantial increase..........beginning July 1. I'm sure they will not want to pay the extra $150.00 per month that I am requesting and that is somewhat the point. Rather than dump them I intend to give them the opportunity to either pay the price I am now asking or find someone else.

The "luck" I was referring too is replacing the $545.00 a month I know I'm about to lose. These properties are some I have had since 98 and bid too low. Takes us a lot of time to complete each one and our little 2 person crew can't handle the size anymore. The mowing is a piece of cake, the trimming is the killer.

I sent another letter to a seasonal commercial prop today as well. I asked for an additional $25.00 per cut to make it an even $100.00 or else I would have to bow out and let somebody else do this one too. I'm sure he'll bow me right on out cause he's so tight he squeaks.........but this is another one I thought I wanted.......till I did it. It grew........and grew........and grew some more. 2.5 hrs later I'm done.........all for a whopping $75.00!!!!!!!!! I did it to myself though. Not so much the size of the property but the Zoysia grass that is a bear to cut and make look like I want it to.

Lesson here is think before you bid. Don't pay for the mistakes year after year, correct them as soon as you can.

Bright spot is I asked one of my best customers for an increase and she said just let her know! I will be adding services to 2 commercial prop's that they own and plan on re-working the financial arrangement. Thats going to take a hunk out of the $545.00 deficit but times are tight, need all I can get right now.

Measure twice........cut once. Take your time on the way to the top, think smart and bid smarter!

Toroguy
06-28-2001, 10:21 PM
Wise words HOMER,
Good luck, as many have mentioned before, it always seems like when a customer is dropped, a new one is around the corner.

John DiMartino
06-28-2001, 10:23 PM
Good luck Homer,I always come out on top when I trim the bad accounts.

Eric ELM
06-28-2001, 10:33 PM
Homer, best of luck on this. I hope you find so many good accounts that you have to get me to come down there this winter to help you. :)

I'll forget this plowing thing, I'd rather mow. :D

cantoo
06-28-2001, 11:22 PM
Homer, on some of these kinds of properties I find it is better to cut it once then give them a price. I have been stung before on these ones, they look good then you start cutting and it never seems to end. Then the next time you go there you try to drive faster cut corners etc until you finally hate cutting the property. I would rather cut the property for "free" and then know how much I need to charge than to guess low and try to raise it later. last year we told a few people who called us that we would be too expensive for the type of property they have and gave them some numbers to call of cheaper guys.

joshua
06-29-2001, 12:37 AM
homer , good luck to you, you'll get more jobs to replace those others if they do decide not to pay what you deserve. don't sweat it, you do good work and people notice that, and that alone will get you more work. also great advice on the bidding.

Columbia Turf
06-29-2001, 03:08 AM
HOMER, Good luck on the change. I to have weathered similar situations. Couple years ago, "lost" or "got rid of" a very substantial account. Prices were way to old, the next year had the best year ever. now everybody is happy,,,,,,almost.

65hoss
06-29-2001, 06:00 AM
Sounds like good business decisions. Good luck Homer!:blob3:

KD'sLawns
06-29-2001, 07:38 AM
Best of Luck Homer. I know that they can be a pain in the back and I agree with your method. Who knows they may decide that they like your work enough to keep you around.

David Haggerty
06-29-2001, 08:03 AM
I hear what you're saying, I hate raising rates too. But it's kind of scary to have four up in the air at one time. I'd have raised 'em one at a time and waited for an answer from the first one before going to the next one. I know it seems like you'd just be dragging out the agony of raising rates, but I know with me, that my attitude changes with each "taker" or "refusal".
Dave

CLARKE
06-29-2001, 11:38 AM
Good luck, things alway come out ahead in the end.
good choise stop beating yourself up on the trimming.

cp
06-29-2001, 02:59 PM
Good Luck Homer,

Your in a win/win situation when you go that route. You get what you want either way...

The other jobs will come...

HOMER
06-30-2001, 11:13 PM
Well out of the 4 letters I sent I had a response today. The one that I jumped $25.00 a cut accepted it! I like this! I might try it some more.

Now for the other 3!!!!!!

swn
07-01-2001, 01:13 AM
Good luck with the other 3 Homer. Way to go on adding $25 to that account. Thanks for the good advice on the bidding.

Finecut
07-01-2001, 08:51 AM
Homer,

There's an old saying...Don't get rid of one girl friend until you've got another...Don't quit your job until you have got another. If you need to raise the price on some of your other customers, you might just sent those letters out one at a time and wait and see how they respond. It would sure be easier on the pocketbook to replace one at a time...than scrambling to replace perhaps two or three customers. Good luck!

HOMER
07-01-2001, 10:27 AM
We like to live on the edge man! If they all dump me then that gives me motivation to implement some of my marketing strategies-----and I don't know what they will be till the time comes...............man, living dangerously is exhilerating. Last year we dumped right at $1000.00 a month:eek: but survived any way. Just gotta pick and choose, mold this business so that I can run it and it doesn't run me. Since the letters went out I've already knocked the $545.00 deficit down to $275.00. I can make that up easily by spending more time on my seasonals and by winter should have more business to overcome the loss totally. Since the Veterinarian took his new price I will cut it more often. One more cut per month is another $100.00 so in reality I'm only down $175.00...............it's all good! At least everythin I do now I'll feel good about doing and won't dread going.

"IF YOU DREAD IT--------SHED IT"

My old saying, sometimes it needs repeating.

kutnkru
07-01-2001, 10:22 PM
Yo! Homer.

Glad to see that things are working out for you Buddy Row!! I always thought that it was only polite to at least offer them the name of a friend or two whom they could turn to, so I wouldnt feel I had just left them cold for not bidding it right the first time - My Bad.:rolleyes:

I am thinking about trying your strategy because we too have bid a property and won this spring where the extra add-ons are eating up the clock, not to mention we have quite been able to break even on the original bid.

Thanks for the incentive to "Get Rid Of That Losing Bid!" :D

Kris

crazygator
07-02-2001, 12:03 AM
Homer, I hope the other 3 come through for you too! And if they don't and you get too many more to replace, you can just hire me. I'm in Tennessee so not too far...LOL! Good luck!

CSRA Landscaping
07-02-2001, 12:11 AM
Good luck, Homie! I lost one that payed $1k per month and that hurt but the Lord has provided enough to cover for it. Still a little tight but def. getting better. I'm stuck right now with a commercial that I underbid by at least $110 per month, probably closer to $175.

HOMER
07-11-2001, 02:19 AM
Well I'm beginning to like this even mo better. One of the accounts today decided to pay me more money and shrink the amount of area I was covering. My old time was 2.5 hrs per trip and now I feel confient that we can do it in 1.0. Didn't get the full price but a compromise was made and we're still in business.