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MitchDaniel
03-12-2008, 01:39 PM
Hello Everyone,

I've been in the lawn care business for about 4 years now, but I have a marketing question. I am considering placing a 2x4" ad in our local paper. Several other LCOs have ads in the paper, but I want to set myself apart from them. I've considered putting "10% Senior Citizen Discount" in my ad. Do you all think it would work? I definitely don't mind giving them a discount, and I thought it might be a good idea because none of the other guys have this in their ad. Thanks!

Mitch Daniel
Mitch's Mowing Service

S L C
03-12-2008, 03:00 PM
Personally, it sounds like a scam to me..... who says you aren't upping it 20% then knocking 10% for the older crowd who may be a 'little' naive and be pushovers.... whatever works for you though!! I would rather just treat everyone the same.. :confused:

abclawncare
03-12-2008, 03:48 PM
i think you will be catering to the wrong people, the people that will take you up on the offer are just trying to find the lowest $/cut. if you want to give a discount make sure it benifits you as a company like offering sign up discount. i think the customers that you want are one who will pay a resonable rate and stick with you because they know you do good work not because your the cheapest price.

ed2hess
03-12-2008, 07:11 PM
I would not give anything off for seniors ......they require more time and they are always home to watch.

landscaper22
03-12-2008, 07:41 PM
I would not offer them a discount. I would charge them 15-20% extra than my normal price and add in my fuel surcharge on top of that. That should get them calling. :laugh:
No, but really people may view this matter differently. I personally do not want to attract them. Sure I provide service for a few of them. Some are the best customers ever. But a lot of them are very irritating and hard to deal with. The general attitude is that things should be done how they were in the 1940's and for the same price you could have it done for in the 40's. No discounts.

bohiaa
03-12-2008, 07:41 PM
I have been doing it for years....

It's NOT if it works or not it's the right thing to do.

HOWEVER, If you pull up to a multi Million dollar house that's where things get sticky

Beaner
03-12-2008, 08:39 PM
I'm part time but other than 1 commercial account, all of my customers are seniors. And I like your idea. Its like having 12 grandmas!!!

landscaper22
03-12-2008, 10:01 PM
Most seniors have more money than you think. Don't let them fool you. I would not mind offering discounts, but as much as fuel and other expenses are now, I am going up in prices. I don't want to give the elders a hard time, but times are tough on everyone.

If I am going to help someone out, it will be a situation like a guy gets shipped off to fight this crazy war in Iraq and the wife and children are left without their husband and father. They can really use a discount or maybe even some work at no charge.

MOWEMJEFF
03-12-2008, 10:09 PM
DO NOT ADVERTISE TO OLD PEOPLE!!! Don't get me wrong I started off with about 5 old ladies but they're the ones I want to get rid of!!! Other then the ones that are related or know personally I don't want anymore, and the ones who are going to want the discount are definitly not the old people who take summers in Cape Cod and will want REAL landscaping. They are always home and want it done to perfection for a fraction of the cost and when you do charge them you just feel guilty. Head out to the burbs and advertise to the baby boomers. Just my 2.

MitchDaniel
03-12-2008, 10:42 PM
Thanks guys,

That's kinda what I thought too, but I figured I'd ask before I made a mistake. I'm just having a hard time wording my ad so it will "jump out" at the readers instead of being just another ad to skim over. I guess many potential customers will call several different LCOs to get estimates before they make a decision anyway, so I just need to bid smart i guess!

MOWEMJEFF
03-12-2008, 10:50 PM
Go talk to some of the large LCOs in your area some probably aren't even taking on new mowing. Thats how I got most of my accounts.

Weekes
03-13-2008, 01:11 AM
I give some Senior discounts. I don't advertise them, I just give them when I feel the situation qualifies. I don't even tell them they are getting a senior discount I call a preferred discount or something else. They know they are getting a deal, and they know why, and they appreciate it.


Some of the richest people in the world will tell you some of success has come from giving back to the community. This is my way of giving back. I can use the blessing more than the money!

avjohnson
03-13-2008, 10:32 AM
My senior customers love me. And I love them and give them good prices but with no official discount. In my case they pay immediately and take the time to appreciate what I do.

Hoots
03-13-2008, 12:49 PM
I have a hard time giving a discount at all. The cost of our equipment, fuel, yadda yadda is not discounted so we would be taking a pay cut or loss of profit.
This probably doesn't help for the ad.

On the other hand, I do believe in a referral system. Giving a gift card to a current customer who sends new business my way. This way of giving back pays bigger in the long run. Maybe its not the same "giving back", I don't know.

Try things like if you are alumni of a certain university, locally owned and operated, "insured for your protection".

There are plenty of properties out there to mow at full price, don't sell yourself short by cutting your profits by offering discounts.

Ex: $30 per cut x 35 +/- cuts per season= $1050
Minus 10%= $105 per year per customer that you are leaving on the table.

You just gave back a tank of fuel on one customer. How many discounted customers do you want to have? I'll choose 0.

Weekes
03-13-2008, 08:13 PM
Some of the richest people in the world will tell you some of success has come from giving back to the community. This is my way of giving back. I can use the blessing more than the money!

On the other hand, I do believe in a referral system. Giving a gift card to a current customer who sends new business my way. This way of giving back pays bigger in the long run. Maybe its not the same "giving back", I don't know.

For anyone else that might might not know. Theses two are completely different. One serves others, one, well, no other way of saying it serves only you.

Now Hoot, I am not trying to pick a fight, I see nothing wrong with your perspective and that is completely your choice.

I was serious about the giving back thing, ever hear of Two Men and a Truck moving company. The story behind that company is quite interesting. The owner, who now makes millions each year of her franchises, frequently offers her trucks and crews free of no charge to worthy causes. I'm sure it costs her gas and other stuff, but she sees greater rewards.

I don't offer many, but they do pay off. This year with the help of one of my senior discount clients I landed a $700 a month account.

So last year I left $105 on the table with that discount, in return for taking $6,000 off the table this year and hopefully longer as I tend to keep that account as long as I can.

Another client I have (he has 3 properties, with more coming in the future) I gained cuzz he liked how nice I was to his 80 year old mother, again one of my senior discounts who really appreciates the $105 I leave on her table each year.

These two examples alone and I am actually profiting off my discounts.



I don't offer them a often, I have very few of them; but I am glad to be blessed at staying in business and being able to offer them.

bohiaa
03-13-2008, 08:43 PM
Funny How some WONT give the discount, BUT if there's a pretty blond there or down the street that likes to sun bathe, the price goes down......... ( 0 ) ( 0 )


V

Hoots
03-13-2008, 09:42 PM
Funny How some WONT give the discount, BUT if there's a pretty blond there or down the street that likes to sun bathe, the price goes down......... ( 0 ) ( 0 )


V

Have you been following me? lol

Hoots
03-13-2008, 09:54 PM
I understand the giving back, but you can't afford to do it too soon. Once you have 100s of accounts and your business is doing great, you can do the freebies etc. I know we will all get old sooner or later and I will want a discount too. As of right now I like to choose 0 discounts but between my first and last post of today I went to bid for the uncle of a multi-year customer. I did agree to a bi-weekly mowing even though it is against everything everyone knows on this site, it does not always work. I did it as a favor to my other customer.

I too should turn a profit on this property. When we were finished talking we went to another house there and may have signed another one up, she just needed to talk to her husband. This elderly man took me to another property to help me before I had even cut one blade of grass.

Can I afford to do this all the time, probably not but I will try within reason.

Dynamic
03-14-2008, 07:37 AM
Its funny how this proposed discount for seniors works. I do alot of residentials for seniors and I got all of these by joining a local community care, but it always comes up "Do you provide seniors discount" and I always say no. I tell them that my discount is the fact that I am here on a schedule and a 10% of nothing is still nothing. I am upfront on the fact if it makes them feel all warm inside that there getting a discount on a small lot then I will give them 50% off of $70 and that still gets us at my $35 minimum. Discounts are a joke in the lawncare world unless for a marketing scheme which can only get you in trouble if you give your proposed discount to one nieghbour and both nieghbours start talking and you gave the same price.

DaveinSWFL
03-14-2008, 07:41 AM
I don't understand the whole senior discount deal. Taco bell gives a free drink to all seniors with a purchase. They come in get their 1 taco or 1 bean burrito and free drink. Total spent, about a buck. A family of 6 comes in and spends $20 plus and no freebies for them. They are usually the folks that need the break. I have a few that I service for free that are in serious trouble financially. One is a forner NYPD officer that was injured in the line of duty. He is my age and was just put in Hospice recently. His wife works multiple jobs to make ends meet. I feel doing the lawn is the least I could do.

AI Inc
03-14-2008, 07:55 AM
I give discounts to 4 customers. I is cheif of detectives in the town my foreman lives in. One is building inspector in the town I work out of and 2 are senior citizens.

Dynamic
03-14-2008, 09:26 PM
I don't understand the whole senior discount deal. Taco bell gives a free drink to all seniors with a purchase. They come in get their 1 taco or 1 bean burrito and free drink. Total spent, about a buck. A family of 6 comes in and spends $20 plus and no freebies for them. They are usually the folks that need the break. I have a few that I service for free that are in serious trouble financially. One is a forner NYPD officer that was injured in the line of duty. He is my age and was just put in Hospice recently. His wife works multiple jobs to make ends meet. I feel doing the lawn is the least I could do.

This is the best statement that I have seen on lawnsit so far. My friends and I have discussed this many of times and we always wonder why do seniors get the discounts. It should be the young family, it should be the single mother/father who works there arse off and still can't get ahead. Not to be completely ignorant but seniors have had there whole lives to save for there retirement and the ways they chose to live there lifestyle in retirement. The other person that bothers me when they ask for discounts is the fat welfare person, you know darn well that if they got some drive and excercise (cutting there own lawn) then they wouldn't be such a burden to themselves and needing that discount. One thing americans are smart about is the whole foodstamp system as her(Canada) we pay them so much to be on welfare that you need to make more than $13.00 per hour to make it worth your while to get off the system. Again that is why I do not offer discounts.

grimmy7
03-14-2008, 10:02 PM
When I first started most of my customers were elderly. It is now 10 years in the running and they are still loyal. Yes, I have lost some, however replacements came whether be residental or commerical. I love being outdoors and being of service to all.
Discounts no, just treat people fairly. It is wonderful feeling to see them smile and appreciate what you do for them. Yes, there are some that are grouchy, hey who isn't. People skills is part of the business.
After all is said and done do what is right and your return will be tenfold.

Remember if we continue to stay above ground, we will be there someday.

Just my DUECE!!

corey4671
03-14-2008, 10:09 PM
I would not offer them a discount. I would charge them 15-20% extra than my normal price and add in my fuel surcharge on top of that. That should get them calling. :laugh:
No, but really people may view this matter differently. I personally do not want to attract them. Sure I provide service for a few of them. Some are the best customers ever. But a lot of them are very irritating and hard to deal with. The general attitude is that things should be done how they were in the 1940's and for the same price you could have it done for in the 40's. No discounts.

TRU DAT!! That's 80% of the population around here.