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View Full Version : Does lowballing = less net profit?


privatelawn
07-11-2007, 08:09 PM
I see flyers all the time with prices alot less then mine but still mine could go up just a tad bit, if I raised my price to what the highest guys are charging would be about $10 more per month = $3 more per cut but Id also have to up the quality a bit more.

Suppose your prices are higher then mine

You = high quality service, youd charge my $50 customer $60 but spend more time to do a quality job, outcome= same profit

Does everyone really need to get quality service?

Say you have a $1000 junky car and a $100k benz, do you take both cars to the $50 car wash ? what im saying is not everyone thinks there lawn is worth $50 a week so they would settle for a non quality job.

What about when you buy medicine, top brand or generic to save a few bucks?

delphied
07-11-2007, 08:46 PM
I say that you should do what you want to do. This business is like all other businesses,every man for himself.

1MajorTom
07-11-2007, 10:49 PM
Privatelawn, you are correct.
Some people just want their grass cut by a dependable trustworthy company. So if you can sell this service to enough customers in the neighborhoods where you want to work, then you are ahead of the game.
That's what we do, we sell a dependable good service. No ruts, no tearing up the turf, grass never blown in flower beds, etc... but when we can cut a corner here and there, ex: skipping some trimming when the heat sets in, we do it. We market to a lot of older clients, with older brick homes, and that's what they want. A dependable service, and that's how we get recommended. We are in like Flynn because dependability is our game.

bigbone
07-11-2007, 11:27 PM
Exactly, I know which customers want a perfect cut and which ones don't really give a rats @$$. My philosophy is that if they don't care about their lawn then neither do I.

privatelawn
07-12-2007, 06:46 PM
I do my best to make it look as good as possible but within a time frame were I make atleast $60 an hour gross, I rarely ever get complaints, probably the biggest complaint is from not edging beds every week which is probably the only thing that makes my lawn look a bit less quality then the quality guys.

fiveoboy01
07-12-2007, 07:26 PM
Well this is where the estimating comes in, if you're looking for a target hourly rate, you need to judge the property, and get a feel for the way the customer wants the property to look.

If it's obvious that they are wanting it to look first class, and it will take you 10 minutes longer to do it, then the estimate price should reflect that.

privatelawn
07-12-2007, 07:31 PM
True, only thing is I do all estimates over the phone, I use the county website to find out the square feet etc... they also have a picture of every property on the countys website so that helps me determine price

Well this is where the estimating comes in, if you're looking for a target hourly rate, you need to judge the property, and get a feel for the way the customer wants the property to look.

If it's obvious that they are wanting it to look first class, and it will take you 10 minutes longer to do it, then the estimate price should reflect that.

fiveoboy01
07-12-2007, 07:34 PM
I have been doing more over the phone, if the customer knows the lot size, I give them a price and tell them that's what it is unless there are some nasty surprises when I get there the first time. I'll usually ask a series of questions to determine what kind of work they're looking for and the charachteristics of the property.

I still think a BETTER way to increase your net without cutting time at a property is to do anything you can to tighten your route and reduce windshield time. But I do realize this isn't always possible.

befnme
07-12-2007, 08:42 PM
Well this is where the estimating comes in, if you're looking for a target hourly rate, you need to judge the property, and get a feel for the way the customer wants the property to look.

If it's obvious that they are wanting it to look first class, and it will take you 10 minutes longer to do it, then the estimate price should reflect that.

i am not so sure i agreewith that theory. if a company comes in to a prop with 3 mowers and a 5 man crew and gets 40 bucks for a 15 min job. then some one comes up with only one mower and says " this is gonna take me an hour" then does he charge more ecause he has to do 5 times the work himself and it's gonna take 4 times longer ?

bohiaa
07-12-2007, 08:46 PM
I see flyers all the time with prices alot less then mine but still mine could go up just a tad bit, if I raised my price to what the highest guys are charging would be about $10 more per month = $3 more per cut but Id also have to up the quality a bit more.

Suppose your prices are higher then mine

You = high quality service, youd charge my $50 customer $60 but spend more time to do a quality job, outcome= same profit

Does everyone really need to get quality service?

Say you have a $1000 junky car and a $100k benz, do you take both cars to the $50 car wash ? what im saying is not everyone thinks there lawn is worth $50 a week so they would settle for a non quality job.

What about when you buy medicine, top brand or generic to save a few bucks?



this is No car wash

privatelawn
07-12-2007, 08:50 PM
What is that supposed to mean? I guess id understand it as you only have 1 service and thats top quality service or no service at all?

this is No car wash

MOturkey
07-12-2007, 09:38 PM
Some people take pride in their lawns. Some don't. Some people take pride in their work. Some don't.

fiveoboy01
07-12-2007, 09:46 PM
Some people take pride in their lawns. Some don't. Some people take pride in their work. Some don't.


I'd agree with that. I treat every lawn as if the customer was anal, whether they are or not. It's my name stuck on it and I have no idea who's looking at it.

lifetree
07-12-2007, 09:48 PM
Generally speaking, by definition, the less you charge means the less net revenue ... therefore, less net profit.

fiveoboy01
07-12-2007, 09:51 PM
i am not so sure i agreewith that theory. if a company comes in to a prop with 3 mowers and a 5 man crew and gets 40 bucks for a 15 min job. then some one comes up with only one mower and says " this is gonna take me an hour" then does he charge more ecause he has to do 5 times the work himself and it's gonna take 4 times longer ?

Flawed comparison.

The 5-man crew represents MUCH more overhead. Paying 5 guys, the costs of 3 mowers, etc.

Regardless of whether it's solo or 5 guys, your example(of a lawn that a solo operator could mow/trim blow in an hour) should be a 60-75 dollar lawn, not a 40 dollar one.

Roger
07-12-2007, 10:38 PM
Exactly, I know which customers want a perfect cut and which ones don't really give a rats @$$. My philosophy is that if they don't care about their lawn then neither do I.

Whoa!!! Do you not have pride in your work?

How many threads are on LS that discuss how to get work, "how does my flier look?," "what about my doorhanger," "where can I advertise," and the like. The best flier, the best doorhanger, the best advertisement, you can develop is the finished result when you leave a property.

I regard every finished property as my "marketing brochure." My total direct advertising cost for ten years is $18, the money I spent for one ad in a local paper ten years ago. I have no fliers, no brochures, no doorhangers, no YP ad, no local newspaper ads. And, I have no shortage of work, rather a waiting list to "make my lawn look like theirs."

The best potential customer you have in the neighborhood may be driving by the shoddy work, and wondering where they could find somebody else to do their work. If you take no care in what your work looks like, your business will never get a shot at the potential work. And, you will be spending time and effort in a marketing campaign, wondering how to get new customers.

fiveoboy01
07-12-2007, 10:47 PM
Bravo! Excellent post.

:clapping:

coonman
07-12-2007, 11:21 PM
Whoa!!! Do you not have pride in your work?

How many threads are on LS that discuss how to get work, "how does my flier look?," "what about my doorhanger," "where can I advertise," and the like. The best flier, the best doorhanger, the best advertisement, you can develop is the finished result when you leave a property.

I regard every finished property as my "marketing brochure." My total direct advertising cost for ten years is $18, the money I spent for one ad in a local paper ten years ago. I have no fliers, no brochures, no doorhangers, no YP ad, no local newspaper ads. And, I have no shortage of work, rather a waiting list to "make my lawn look like theirs."

The best potential customer you have in the neighborhood may be driving by the shoddy work, and wondering where they could find somebody else to do their work. If you take no care in what your work looks like, your business will never get a shot at the potential work. And, you will be spending time and effort in a marketing campaign, wondering how to get new customers.

Well said, I had a first time customer a week ago stop me before mowing his yard the second time. He said the edge looks great and to skip it if I want to save time and energy. I told him I don't like leaving a yard without a fresh cut edge. To me that sets the lawn off more than anything else. I do every lawn the same, mow, edge, trim everything that needs it and blow edges out and the driveway and walk clean. What do you really save by skipping any of that. Maybe 5 min or so. Its not worth it to me to skip any of it. Over the years I have picked up many of neighbors lawns because I kept an otherwise junky lawn looking top notch. After a while the neighbors will come over and ask if I can make their lawn look like that. I can't leave a lawn without it looking good even if the homeowner does not care.

GreenT
07-12-2007, 11:28 PM
Mow, edge, trim, blow (including beds, window sills,etc), and walk around inspection before pulling up gate.

EVERYTIME.

DOLMARatOS
07-12-2007, 11:42 PM
We try to make EVERY lawn look perfect. Period. I've been doing work for around 10 years and my finished lawn is my AD sign.

We do offer an incentive plan for customers in areas that we want to culitvate. We offer to knock off $5-10 per month to allow us to place out small durable signs in the yard for 7 days per month in prominent areas. Most people ask us if they can have some cards, or a sign, etc. I guess they see it as a display of status. "Hey look at me...I've got enough money to not sweat my azz off as I mow the yard."

We don't advertise, or even have our # in the phone book. All of our trucks are very plain grey with only the minimum amount of signage (Company name smallest size and DOT # as required).

Word of mouth and the "Wow" factor of seeing a job well-done are THE BEST advertising an LCO or Landscaper can EVER do. Do you trust the name in the ad in the paper or the fact that your neighbor's yard looks like green carpet. I pressure wash a few decks, sidewalks, spot treat driveway stains with Simple Green, offer suggestions for proper paint care on houses, etc. Customer's get what they pay for in this business but even my mow-trim-blow and go customers get treated as though they are my only account. Employees either get it or they don't, if they don't......they aren't employed here.

bigbone
07-13-2007, 12:04 AM
Whoa!!! Do you not have pride in your work?

How many threads are on LS that discuss how to get work, "how does my flier look?," "what about my doorhanger," "where can I advertise," and the like. The best flier, the best doorhanger, the best advertisement, you can develop is the finished result when you leave a property.

I regard every finished property as my "marketing brochure." My total direct advertising cost for ten years is $18, the money I spent for one ad in a local paper ten years ago. I have no fliers, no brochures, no doorhangers, no YP ad, no local newspaper ads. And, I have no shortage of work, rather a waiting list to "make my lawn look like theirs."

The best potential customer you have in the neighborhood may be driving by the shoddy work, and wondering where they could find somebody else to do their work. If you take no care in what your work looks like, your business will never get a shot at the potential work. And, you will be spending time and effort in a marketing campaign, wondering how to get new customers.

Let me explain a little better. I ALWAYS do a good job on every lawn, but I was talking about some lawns that I do that aren't really lawns but patches of dirt and weeds. These are the people who don't care what their lawn looks like and they only have lawn service because they are too lazy to do it themselves and they don't want the city to mow if for them for $250. Trust me, no matter how many extras I do for them nobody is gonna drive by and say, "wow, I need to hire that guy cause that lawn looks great"

privatelawn
07-13-2007, 04:42 AM
Those 5 minutes saved = alot to me when the average lawn takes 15 minutes including drive time... I try to find every minute I can possibly save, we do about 30 lawns per 8 hr day with a crew of 2, if I spent 3 more minutes per home thats an extra 1.5 hrs spent per day or...

30 lawns per day at 15 minutes = 450 minutes per day
spend an extra 3 minutes on each home and
25 lawns per day at 18 minutes = 450 minutes per day

30 x $24 per cut = $720 per day
25 x id have to charge $28.80 per cut to gross the same $720 per day

Its almost worthless trying to calculate the advantages of 1 or another because of so many factors, example 25 cuts per day might spend less gas on the equipment but because of the higher price per cut I may have less customers and more drive time, more gas on the truck etc... More advertising cost.

We do a great job with everyones lawn but lets say compared to most lco's we try to save a few minutes per home which ends up being

less blowing
edge beds once every other week instead of weekly (some of you probably never do but here in florida most do weekly)

Anyways the quality outcome is hardly noticeable


Some of you guys say because of your quality you get new customers without advertising... These lawns around here are so small that its hard to notice 1 lawn better looking then the next. I get new customers by being dependable and showing up every week but based on quality I just dont think 95% of the homeowners can tell the difference from 1 lco to the next.



Well said, I had a first time customer a week ago stop me before mowing his yard the second time. He said the edge looks great and to skip it if I want to save time and energy. I told him I don't like leaving a yard without a fresh cut edge. To me that sets the lawn off more than anything else. I do every lawn the same, mow, edge, trim everything that needs it and blow edges out and the driveway and walk clean. What do you really save by skipping any of that. Maybe 5 min or so. Its not worth it to me to skip any of it. Over the years I have picked up many of neighbors lawns because I kept an otherwise junky lawn looking top notch. After a while the neighbors will come over and ask if I can make their lawn look like that. I can't leave a lawn without it looking good even if the homeowner does not care.