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nautica1580
04-11-2008, 10:51 PM
Hello Fellas. How many of you guys have done price increases due to the fuel situation? Did you mail out letters with the bills or see the customers in person? How many customers did you lose due to the increase? I have been trying to hold off as long as possible but with season fast approaching I am going to have to go up on my monthly rates. If you have already done this and have a copy of the letter you sent saved on your computer could you PM me with it or email it to me. I just want to get an idea how the rest of you guys are handling this. I am just afraid with all the illegals passing out fliers each week for cheaper than I already am I will lose work because of it. Guess I cant have the best of both worlds. Cant wait to hear everyones responses/suggestions/and experiences with this lately.

Tim

snowjeep
04-11-2008, 11:30 PM
I add a fuel sur-charge if gas goes to a certain price. Like this seasons contracts has a fuel sur-charge if gas goes over $3.55. Small lots are $1.00 per cut large lots $2.00 per cut. Gas was at about $3.30 when contracts were signed and lost no one.

LushGreenLawn
04-12-2008, 12:54 AM
If your going to raise rates, I would not blame it on fuel. If by some miricle fuel prices drop back to below what they were when you raised rates, grandpa is going to want to know why you didn't drop your price.

With price increases, make it short and sweet. Price is increasing due to increased costs that we, unfortunatly, can no longer continue to absorb.

Jb3NH
04-12-2008, 01:32 AM
I add a fuel sur-charge if gas goes to a certain price. Like this seasons contracts has a fuel sur-charge if gas goes over $3.55. Small lots are $1.00 per cut large lots $2.00 per cut. Gas was at about $3.30 when contracts were signed and lost no one.

Absoulutely have to incorporate a way to recoop fuel cost. I'm upfront with my customers and what i say and put in writing is something to the effect of if fuel goes over 3.50 a gallon at ( and i give them gas station i use and theres a highly visible highway sign there on a heavily traveled route) then i have to raise my mow rate. I use a percentage rate increase. I've never had a problem with any customer. Part of the thing you have to figure in, is that people are paying for more than just you mowin the grass. They want You. And you are the person that shows up every time you need you. Dependability and Reliability is key.

ed2hess
04-12-2008, 01:54 AM
Prices going down not up....best way to lose accounts is to raise the price when everybody is putting out doorhangers in the spring. Out of curiosity how much do you think the increased gas prices cost you on a yard?

BillyRgn
04-12-2008, 04:01 PM
This is what i sent last year, i did not raise the prices on all my customers, just the ones who i have been doing for a while, and the customers who i am charging to little, i attached this little note with the first invoice
Due to the rising cost of doing business (fuel, oil, insurance, etc.), we were forced to raise are rates this year in order to provide the same quality of service that we have been providing you with for the past several years. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter, please feel free to call us at any time at (203) 619-****.
Thank You
Billy Regan President Billy's Landscaping

nautica1580
04-12-2008, 07:35 PM
edhess2. Alot of my older customers have had the same prices for the past 5 years. 5 years ago gas was 1.50 a gallon. I believe considering that, I think it costs me 1.00 more in gas each time I mow, could even be alittle more. By me raising rates, it doesnt mean I'm making more, I'm making the same profit. My fuel bill has raised a bunch, so its time were I am forced to do something. As far as the guys leaving fliers, dont understand how they are able to mow for the prices they are doing. They are 10-15 cheaper than me on most yards, some even more. I am enclosing a letter with this months billing going up only 5.00 a month. Like I stated earlier, just dont have a choice at this point.

ed2hess
04-12-2008, 10:56 PM
edhess2. Alot of my older customers have had the same prices for the past 5 years. 5 years ago gas was 1.50 a gallon. I believe considering that, I think it costs me 1.00 more in gas each time I mow, could even be alittle more. By me raising rates, it doesnt mean I'm making more, I'm making the same profit. My fuel bill has raised a bunch, so its time were I am forced to do something. As far as the guys leaving fliers, dont understand how they are able to mow for the prices they are doing. They are 10-15 cheaper than me on most yards, some even more. I am enclosing a letter with this months billing going up only 5.00 a month. Like I stated earlier, just dont have a choice at this point.

How much do you consider your labor worth? And if the increase is $1 why are you raising $5 that is a large amount. Most professional companies use a fuel charge that is a small percentage of the bill and the customer doesn't notice it as much.

nautica1580
04-12-2008, 11:21 PM
Edhess2. I do it as a monthly-year around service. 5.00 a month comes out to a $1.25 surcharge for fuel each cut. As I stated, i figured it to be right around 1.00 each yard its costing me so I am right at that number. Have you not done a rate increase?

milkie62
04-21-2008, 02:38 AM
Like the one post said you cannot blame all increases on fuel because if by some congressional act gas goes back down to under 2/gal in order to be fair you would have to drop your prices.I am in favor of a surcharge on the bill if you need to get more.That way if prices go down for fuel you are still getting your lawn price.

mngrassguy
04-21-2008, 03:15 AM
I raised prices 5-10% this year and lost very few. Everyone knows all prices are going up. Why should lawn maint be any different?

BillyRgn
04-22-2008, 01:00 AM
Totally could not beleave what happened today, i've been starting to do the first cuts on some of my lawns and i had two customers raise the price on there own, the first one told me he was going to pay me $45.00 per cut instead of $40.00, because he realises that it cost me more to cut his lawn. the second one said she was giving me an extra $5.00 per cut because she says she knows its hard for everyone, and there is no reason i should have to charge her the same amount. Now all i have to do is clone these customers to replace all my other customers that think my price should go down because everything is more expensive

bruno_rs
04-22-2008, 01:58 AM
Totally could not beleave what happened today, i've been starting to do the first cuts on some of my lawns and i had two customers raise the price on there own, the first one told me he was going to pay me $45.00 per cut instead of $40.00, because he realises that it cost me more to cut his lawn. the second one said she was giving me an extra $5.00 per cut because she says she knows its hard for everyone, and there is no reason i should have to charge her the same amount. Now all i have to do is clone these customers to replace all my other customers that think my price should go down because everything is more expensive

hey billy, now that's a VALUED/PREFERRED customer! we all wish our customers were so understanding.

how are you going to handle fuel and overall increases that go along with it? back when fuel "spiked" over 2.00, i increased my fee 5.00 across the board. every one of my customers had no problem with it however with diesel probably hitting 5.00 this season and gas 4.00+, i'm concerned with what may happen, IF i increase accordingly.

most of my lawns are over 3 acres and i do not have a brand new fuel efficient ztr and/or truck. with the gallons i use, to do the lawn and get the equipment on site, it will be at least a $10-15 increase out of my pocket per property. with the economy in the toilet i'm concerned with losing customers ... i know for a fact there are other guys, in my area, DROPPING prices! talk about cutting throats.

this is the 1st time, in all the years doing this, that i've started out with such a "light" schedule AND worried about what's to come. i just spoke with a buddy who owns a local garden center and he too is so slow he had to lay off some of his guys. scary thing is, we're in a pretty affluent area and none of us thought this "lull" could ever happen here.

good for you guys out there kickin it... hopefully things will change for the better here soon. have a good one.

mngrassguy
04-22-2008, 03:48 AM
Important News Flash!


Amoco announced today: They are going to start playing porn at the gas pump so you can watch somebody else get screwed instead of you!!!

Atlantic Lawn
04-22-2008, 07:34 AM
Now That's Good...

ed2hess
04-23-2008, 08:56 PM
Edhess2. I do it as a monthly-year around service. 5.00 a month comes out to a $1.25 surcharge for fuel each cut. As I stated, i figured it to be right around 1.00 each yard its costing me so I am right at that number. Have you not done a rate increase?

No increases in 3 years most prices on commercial go down every year. We do have a small surcharge for fuel. Residential prices went from $30 average down a couple dollars this year, advertisement by major playes.

topsites
04-24-2008, 11:17 AM
I'm not saying don't raise your prices, but I would advise careful use of the word 'fuel' as the reason for it.

btw yesterday... $65 at the pump, wasn't even near empty, and just for the truck.

larryinalabama
04-24-2008, 11:44 AM
This gas thing is killing me, Im part time with only 8 accounts, Ive been doing 2 per day, but im thinking of doing 4 per day or just d othem all on Saturday.

lawnman_scott
04-24-2008, 11:34 PM
Like the one post said you cannot blame all increases on fuel because if by some congressional act gas goes back down to under 2/gal in order to be fair you would have to drop your prices.I am in favor of a surcharge on the bill if you need to get more.That way if prices go down for fuel you are still getting your lawn price.Andyou would be paying 1/2 what you are now for fuel. And I think the odds of gas going to $2 a gallon is about the same as the world coming to an edn. Well maybe not that high.

Enzo
04-24-2008, 11:39 PM
I just finished filling my truck up at $3.71 a gallion for regular unleaded. It cost me $95 to go from a quarter of a tank to a full tank. My prices are very cheap, but I am increasing next season for sure.

TOOMUCHWALKING
04-26-2008, 02:34 AM
I'm going up 10% across the board. Fuel isn't the only thing on the increase; there might even be some in there for me !

greasy_gun
04-26-2008, 10:54 AM
Why oil could hit $180 a barrel

Yikes! Oil at $117 a barrel. It has to go down from here, right?

Wrong. In the short term -- say, the next two years or so -- we're looking at bad news about global oil supply that could take the price of a barrel of crude to $180.

Needless to say, today's $3.50-a-gallon gasoline would look cheap if oil prices hit $180 a barrel. At that price for a barrel of oil, gasoline would cost somewhere north of $5.50 a gallon.

amor4421
04-26-2008, 11:34 AM
I would think we can raise prices due to gas and ins. and other factors, But when the time comes and gas prices start to go back down customers will expect our prices to go back down also. I know its hard right now but if you raise then you must also drop when things get better. jmo

bruno_rs
04-26-2008, 11:58 AM
Why oil could hit $180 a barrel

Yikes! Oil at $117 a barrel. It has to go down from here, right?

Wrong. In the short term -- say, the next two years or so -- we're looking at bad news about global oil supply that could take the price of a barrel of crude to $180.

Needless to say, today's $3.50-a-gallon gasoline would look cheap if oil prices hit $180 a barrel. At that price for a barrel of oil, gasoline would cost somewhere north of $5.50 a gallon.

hey grease, this whole oil thing is BULLS#!T!!! there is NO oil shortage, just a bunch of CRIMINALS "speculating" on wall street and the dirty FAT CAT oil ceo's and board members "feeding" their GREED at the total expense of the american and/or world consumer. what these A$$holes are doing is completely self absorbed, unpatriotic AND CRIMINAL... does anyone honestly believe there is NO insider trading and/or collusion going on here?!? why is it exxon mobil has turned profits like this civilized world has never seen before... is it not, they simply tripled their price of fuel? how about the price of diesel... it takes far less to refine than reg gasoline, yet it is .80 higher than hi-test!

i'm tired of hearing about supply and demand! is there more demand?... sure there is BUT, this "crisis" is being "FUELED" by the scummy suppliers and/or OPEC members who are simply turning off their "spickets" to falsely increase demand. personally, i can't wait to be weened off their oil... i'm looking forward to the day their "product" is worthless and these SC#MB@GS no longer have anything to offer the world. let them eat their sand and drink their oil! it's real gratification, on part of the suadi's... we literally and/or physically save their lives when saddam husain invated kuwait and how do they thank us... when there is no longer a threat, they JACK up our oil prices!!!

this country is in serious trouble and/or jeopardy and unfortuanetly no one is doing ANYTHING about it! bush, cheney and all the fools (republican AND democrats) in washington CAN'T do anything about it? NO... they WON'T do anything about it! why... most politicians and/or "heavy hitters" are fully "vested" in oil and do not want to get off the "money ride", just yet. my sincere hope is that all of these P.O.S.'s, who have "sold out" this country and/or the average us citizen, are RUINED when the demand tanks and their investment is not worth the paper it's printed on!!!

quite honestly, i have been looking into "alternatives" and hopefully ,if all goes well, will be running most of my equipment on alt fuels real soon. time for a change in this great country AND "we the people" need to take it back from the FOOLS in control right now! just my .02. good luck to you all. have a good one.

topsites
04-26-2008, 12:18 PM
You DO know, cost reductions are a constant part of doing business.
Now there's nothing you or I or most folks we know can do about the price of fuel, it is what it is and such is life.

But what can be done is reduce both operating costs (for your business) and don't forget cost of living as well (since the business invariably has to pay for this).

Because you have to ask yourself, before we ask for an increase from the customer, what have WE done to deserve it?
So, give yourself a raise, but this time around do it by figuring out how to get the job done for less from your end of things.

Keep in mind it still has to look as good as before.

.............
Other stuff: Dang I need to get paid for this advice.

hey grease, this whole oil thing is BULLS#!T!!! there is NO oil shortage, just a bunch of CRIMINALS "speculating" on wall street and the dirty FAT CAT oil ceo's and board members "feeding" their GREED at the total expense of the american and/or world consumer. what these A$$holes are doing is completely self absorbed, unpatriotic AND CRIMINAL... does anyone honestly believe there is NO insider trading and/or collusion going on here?!?

Oy man don't get me started lol I hear ya!
It's even funnier thou, *I* can increase the price of fuel by stepping DOWN on the gas pedal.
See, now I shouldn't do it but I can play that stupid game, too.
A load of crap, all it is.