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View Full Version : am I being fair??


dingybigfoot
07-26-2008, 02:17 PM
Hey everyone,
I'm located in toronto, Canada. Markham area for those who know.
This is my first season. I started late, in june. I'm taking my time, I don't have any huge expectations. I plan on growing slowly. I'm sticking to residentials, and am going to plow res's only this coming winter. And next year I'll start to take on a few commercials. I have 4 accounts right now.
Anyways..
I had an estimate today. I measured her lawn, and it was 2800 sq ft in the back, and 700sq ft in the front. Total of 3500sqft. I quoted her 50 bucks for first cut front and back ( overgrown). and then 45 bucks every 10 days, seeing how its late in the season. She turns around and tells me its too much. "old guy was doing it for $30 a week, but she can't find him. and that her mother has someone who is doing lawns for $50 a month, its just a matter of getting in touch with him". Anyways she took my card and said she'll talk to her husband. I didn't budge. Do I sound reasonable? Gas is 1.25 a litre right now and it isn't a guarantee to stay that way. plus i'm legit with insurance. this **** ain't cheap!

progressivelawncare
07-26-2008, 02:25 PM
with his price being weekly and yours ten days i don't see a problem. charge what you need or your better off to be passing out flyers in the time it takes to mow the yard.

my .02

dingybigfoot
07-26-2008, 04:24 PM
thanx man!

mngrassguy
07-26-2008, 08:02 PM
No matter what your charge is, there will ALWAYS be someone cheaper. Cheaper isn't always better. In fact, it seldom is. Hold your line and keep checking back with her. Most people say "no" 3 times before they say "yes". Good luck.

Grits
07-26-2008, 09:53 PM
Don't worry about it and move on. Only you know what you have to make.

BartonLawn
07-27-2008, 01:19 PM
Hey everyone,
I'm located in toronto, Canada. Markham area for those who know.
This is my first season. I started late, in june. I'm taking my time, I don't have any huge expectations. I plan on growing slowly. I'm sticking to residentials, and am going to plow res's only this coming winter. And next year I'll start to take on a few commercials. I have 4 accounts right now.
Anyways..
I had an estimate today. I measured her lawn, and it was 2800 sq ft in the back, and 700sq ft in the front. Total of 3500sqft. I quoted her 50 bucks for first cut front and back ( overgrown). and then 45 bucks every 10 days, seeing how its late in the season. She turns around and tells me its too much. "old guy was doing it for $30 a week, but she can't find him. and that her mother has someone who is doing lawns for $50 a month, its just a matter of getting in touch with him". Anyways she took my card and said she'll talk to her husband. I didn't budge. Do I sound reasonable? Gas is 1.25 a litre right now and it isn't a guarantee to stay that way. plus i'm legit with insurance. this **** ain't cheap!

Sure sounds like a reasonable quote to me.

Like you, I just started this year. Ask yourself, do you know if the $50 per month guy even really exists? If you're offering her fair value that's all you can do. Just smile and thank them for considering you, if you're fair about things it'll work out.

Good luck.

dingybigfoot
07-27-2008, 02:17 PM
yeah!! i did find that $50 a month thing kinda hard to believe.
thats $12.50 a week. InSaNe!!

Dave_005
07-27-2008, 02:42 PM
just stick to your price, Don't EVER let a customer talk you into lowering your price. You know what you need to make. Stick to your price, if she does find someone cheaper then thats part of the Biz. Theres Always someone cheaper but cheaper doesnt mean better.

BartonLawn
07-27-2008, 02:46 PM
yeah!! i did find that $50 a month thing kinda hard to believe.
that's $12.50 a week. Insane!!

If it's convenient, do a follow up in a week or so. Either they went with the bargain basement guy, or, they may be in need of your services. :)

Allens LawnCare
07-27-2008, 02:52 PM
Completely fair....She's willing to take you on for $30 a week or $60 biweekly( your willing to take $45 bi weekly) Sounds fair to me....

ALC-GregH
07-27-2008, 11:11 PM
Completely fair....She's willing to take you on for $30 a week or $60 biweekly( your willing to take $45 bi weekly) Sounds fair to me....

Actually, his price is $15 more a month. He DID say 10 days. That would = $135 a month, she wanted him to mow each week for $30 which is $120 a month.

I would have bartered with her to try and land the account. Even at $35 a week, you'd make out good.

Allens LawnCare
07-28-2008, 08:01 AM
Actually, his price is $15 more a month. He DID say 10 days. That would = $135 a month, she wanted him to mow each week for $30 which is $120 a month.

I would have bartered with her to try and land the account. Even at $35 a week, you'd make out good.

Thanks...I did read that but most 10 day accounts turn into 12-14 which would be bi-weekly. That is unless you have 2 accounts and all the time in the world to cut on a Wed, then a Sat,Then a Tues day....and on and on

ALC-GregH
07-28-2008, 09:02 AM
I hear ya. I don't offer but weekly and bi-weekly. 10 days is out of the question for me.

coif_kid
07-29-2008, 07:51 PM
Look, I'm from your market in aurora.

That bid was very high. Your talking about 3k in lawns or about 15 minutes with a 32" mower. Even $30 would have been high in my books.

Second, don't do 10 days,. Most people want weekly or bi weekly. How are you going to fit 10 day cuts in that schedule.

I challenge anyone out there to explain clearly how charging $45 bucks for a lawn that takes 15 minutes to the very most 20 minutes a cut is worth $45 bucks. I don't even care if gas was $2 a litre.

JDUtah
07-29-2008, 08:42 PM
I challenge anyone out there to explain clearly how charging $45 bucks for a lawn that takes 15 minutes to the very most 20 minutes a cut is worth $45 bucks. I don't even care if gas was $2 a litre.

That's simple... If she pays it, it's worth it. Are you an idoit? :hammerhead::hammerhead:

He isn't hurting for the work and is smart to get high payers from the beginnning.

Your the one that brought up gas prices, you pay the current price, well then to you gas must be worth the current price. Fair price is whatever the buyer is willing to pay. Now if you charge more, you better do a better job our your fired, but CHARGE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!

coif_kid
07-29-2008, 08:45 PM
Can't call me an idiot when she didn't pay it. He did not get the lawn.
So instead of working for 90 - 120 gross an hour he doesn't work and makes no money. Does that make sense to you?

JDUtah
07-29-2008, 08:51 PM
If he is shooting for more /hr then that, yes it makes perfect sense.

Like I said, he isn't banking on his mowing income to survive, so it's gravy money. You can say no to gravy money if it isn't enough. His free time is worth more then that to him, I assume... in which case, good on him!!!!!!

jwalker17
12-30-2008, 11:34 AM
im from all of your areas. I currently snow plow in markham, and I have on/off maintenance/landscaping for the last 5-6years from downtown toronto all the way to sutton (one-time high pay jobs). I'm starting solo this comming 2009 spring season. for lawns like that, maybe $45.00 for a FIRST cut which would include edging, blowing, etc. (makes your job easier in the long run) is fine. but $30.00/wk is what I'm aiming for.

Eventually I am going to work my way north, but for now in north york!

Even in dense areas, $25.00/week would work if you have like 5 on one block

Dave_005
12-30-2008, 02:42 PM
its simple to me. it's worth whatever your customer is willing to pay. if i bid $40 on a lawn and the customer accepts that price then thats what its worth wether it takes 40 mins or 5 mins. it's worth whatever Your customer is willing to pay... like you sell a mower that You think is worth $5,000 but if no one wants to pay more then $2,500 then thats what its worth. it's only worth what someone is willing to pay.

jwalker17
12-30-2008, 02:46 PM
its simple to me. it's worth whatever your customer is willing to pay. if i bid $40 on a lawn and the customer accepts that price then thats what its worth wether it takes 40 mins or 5 mins. it's worth whatever Your customer is willing to pay... like you sell a mower that You think is worth $5,000 but if no one wants to pay more then $2,500 then thats what its worth. it's only worth what someone is willing to pay.

I agree 100%. For now; since this is going to be my first year starting out. I rather start off average, do a little extra, and allow myself the option to build a relationship before I up rates at every house. $2.00/wk = $8.00/month x 100 clients adds up nicely once I have their relationship :)

Big Bad Bob
12-30-2008, 09:16 PM
I agree 100%. For now; since this is going to be my first year starting out. I rather start off average, do a little extra, and allow myself the option to build a relationship before I up rates at every house. $2.00/wk = $8.00/month x 100 clients adds up nicely once I have their relationship :)

Just remember. You MUST be a better salesperson than the customer and your competition. And you NEED to have a minimum. If the lawn takes 5 minutes you still have the same expenses in insurance and gas and equipment to get there as a lawn that takes an hour to do. In my case the minimum is $30.00. And that is for anything less than 30 minutes to mow and trim. As I said, even if it takes only 5 minutes to mow and trim, $30.00. I know my costs and I try to keep them down but some costs are fixed and MUST be covered. And there are costs that are hard to account for. Such as equipment maintenance and replacement, trimmer line, gas, mower blades.

jwalker17
12-31-2008, 06:50 PM
definately,
I know my expenses and I'm looking to work at the average rate ($25-$35.00/lawn). I don't want to be pushing my luck by providing the same mow n' go for $5-$10 more without them already knowing me.

Expenses covered by lawn 15/week approximately on solo operation for now.

Big C
12-31-2008, 08:27 PM
I would charge $35 for every 10 days for 3500 sqft....so to me $45 is a little high, but who am I to tell you how to run your business or what to charge.....I hope you get it...Good Luck

Big Bad Bob
12-31-2008, 08:41 PM
I would charge $35 for every 10 days for 3500 sqft....so to me $45 is a little high, but who am I to tell you how to run your business or what to charge.....I hope you get it...Good Luck

Just remember, everyones costs are different. Every area is different. Charge what you need to. Charge what you can get.
If the best in your area is $15.00 per 1/4 acre and you can make a profit then go with the flow. If you can't, you have 3 choices. Lower your costs so you make a profit. Move to a better area or change your line of work. Sometimes it's simply location, location, location.
Also, if you can charge $100.00 per 1/4 acre and the customers are willing to pay and you can make a profit then good for you. That's not gouging. That's getting what you can get.

Big C
12-31-2008, 08:53 PM
Just remember, everyones costs are different. Every area is different. Charge what you need to. Charge what you can get.
If the best in your area is $15.00 per 1/4 acre and you can make a profit then go with the flow. If you can't, you have 3 choices. Lower your costs so you make a profit. Move to a better area or change your line of work. Sometimes it's simply location, location, location.
Also, if you can charge $100.00 per 1/4 acre and the customers are willing to pay and you can make a profit then good for you. That's not gouging. That's getting what you can get.

I agree 100%