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tlg
02-06-2009, 10:45 PM
If you did a price increase how much? If you did no increase Why not?

turfsolutions
02-06-2009, 10:52 PM
I have been in business for 13 seasons and have raised prices every year across the board with the exception of a select few customers. This year however, I am not raising prices. 2 reasons. The first obvious one is the extremely shaky economy. The second is gas prices and some product prices are down.

rcreech
02-06-2009, 11:00 PM
I have raised my prices every year 5%....and did again this year!

Figure I need a raise just like everyone else!

With that said...I could probably lose about 15 or my avg size customers and "break even" on my sales dollars. With that said I will make the same money and do less work!

Working smarter and not harder!

Plus...fert is still up and who knows where fuel will be this summer!

I paid over $4 for gas all last year and never passed anything on to the customer. This year it is not going to happen!

jbturf
02-06-2009, 11:03 PM
from what ive seen so far, material cost is gonna be pretty close to last year,
or what i was paying last year. i decided on a 1-3% increase for this year.
instead of doing a set % increase across the board, i went through every single customer and only upped the accts with high material cost vs labor 3% and
kept a few low material cost accts the same as last year, and average accts 1-2%.

ted putnam
02-06-2009, 11:22 PM
None this year. I had a pretty sizeable increase last year because I saw the "writing on the wall" and covered myself pretty well.

I made so much money , I had to take a Business trip down to Florida to look at some used sprayers Disney World had for sale.:rolleyes: :laugh: :laugh:


First part's true...second part's BS.
Seriously, the economy is sucking so hard that I wanted to give my customers one less thing to worry about as far as "inflation"...hoping we can ride the storm out together.:usflag:

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
02-06-2009, 11:55 PM
As a rule, no increases this year. I raised prices substantially last year & pre-ordered first 3 rounds close to '07 prices:)

Our county has the highest unemployment rate in the state: >15% :dizzy:
I'm afraid to see what this season will bring. Oh well, this is nothing like our grandparents went through in the great depression! We'll just keep workin away:usflag:

MStine315
02-07-2009, 12:04 AM
I went 5%. Last year I went 8% and in 06 4%. Fert. is locked in at 07 pricing as of last week. I toyed with no increase but I know I'm low to start with. I get flyers from the national companies that make me feel very comfortable with 5%. I hate to say it, but I'd rather lose a few and make more profit at the end of the year.

mngrassguy
02-07-2009, 02:57 AM
I raised price on about 20% of my customers this year. I do a per man hour estimate on each customer. Anybody under $200/hr got an increase. I had a very substantial increase last year so I can keep my increases down this year.

ant
02-07-2009, 08:15 AM
none for me.. i am raping them as it is... LOL


only kidding ...
some are getting a incerase...

turfsolutions
02-07-2009, 04:03 PM
none for me.. i am raping them as it is... LOL


only kidding ...
some are getting a incerase...

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Good one Ant. It all depends on your situation and how you compare pricewise with your competition. I am on the high end compared to my competition so I have to be within reason. I will go through my list and raise a few of the lower priced customers, but thats about it price raise wise.

americanlawn
02-07-2009, 04:22 PM
We raised prices on some accounts by 10%. Others were left the same. We went through each account to determine "time, bookwork, difficulty factor, & material".

Many small lawns went up in price. 2 reasons: it takes the same amount of time to drive there, shedule their app, and enter their payment (office staff) as it does for large accounts.

We also tracked the number of "service calls" --- this alone can make or break a company (time, fuel, and material).

We also took into account whether the lawn could be treated with a "ride-on" or had to be "hand-pushed" or sprayed.

Had a customer write in saying fert prices are down, so he expected a discount. Problem is....we're paying more than a dollar (per bag) more for our Round-one fert+pre product than we did a year ago. We never raised prices last year when fuel prices rose to nearly $4.00 per gallon. BTW we have no employees that expect to receive a lower income than years prior. :laugh:

ted putnam
02-07-2009, 04:39 PM
We raised prices on some accounts by 10%. Others were left the same. We went through each account to determine "time, bookwork, difficulty factor, & material".

Many small lawns went up in price. 2 reasons: it takes the same amount of time to drive there, shedule their app, and enter their payment (office staff) as it does for large accounts.

We also tracked the number of "service calls" --- this alone can make or break a company (time, fuel, and material).

We also took into account whether the lawn could be treated with a "ride-on" or had to be "hand-pushed" or sprayed.

Had a customer write in saying fert prices are down, so he expected a discount. Problem is....we're paying more than a dollar (per bag) more for our Round-one fert+pre product than we did a year ago. We never raised prices last year when fuel prices rose to nearly $4.00 per gallon. BTW we have no employees that expect to receive a lower income than years prior. :laugh:

All excellent points and good reasons for a price increase. I had a 15% across the board increase last year and my main competitor is a company almost exactly the same size as yours. They had no price increase this year. I know this through several reliable sources. These two reasons were the deciding factors for me. Gotta stay competitive in price as well as service.

americanlawn
02-07-2009, 04:56 PM
Ditto --- yet many folks say we don't have a business degree. :laugh: I have one from the U of IA, but common sense is much more valuable than any degree. Nowadays common sence prevails. :usflag:

tlg
02-07-2009, 10:04 PM
I expected this topic to have some differing opinions. All the reasons stated for or against price increases are really good points. Each new season I take a look at the numbers it always leads to some sort of increase ( at least for the last 8 years ). We ended up with a 1 to 3 % increase overall. Large commercial accounts were looked at individually and priced to make sure are margin is being met. We actually expect to raise prices every year now no matter what happens. I also expect to lose some customers over the increase but make up whatever we lose on the increase anyway. Less customers with more profit. What a concept.

turfsolutions
02-08-2009, 11:59 AM
I think this thread may be a whole lot more interesting in about 3 months. By then we will know how this economy is going to effect our end of the industry and our pricing. Hopefully not too much so we can all make a good buck.

whoopassonthebluegrass
02-08-2009, 12:13 PM
Like Larry, I rebuilt my pricing system. Most got a price hike, some as high as 30% ( I decided to quit grandfathering in my oooooold accounts that I've been rewarding since year one), with most being somewhere around 10%...

lawn king
02-08-2009, 04:10 PM
We increased 5% on lawn programs & increased tractor service to $75. per hour, 5 hour minimum.

rcreech
02-08-2009, 04:25 PM
We increased 5% on lawn programs & increased tractor service to $75. per hour, 5 hour minimum.

Lawn King,

What do you consider "tractor service"?

Thanks,
RC

lawn king
02-08-2009, 04:35 PM
Brush hogging, snowblowing,york raking, loader work,etc.

rcreech
02-08-2009, 05:11 PM
Brush hogging, snowblowing,york raking, loader work,etc.

Thanks!

Just curious.

tlg
02-09-2009, 12:38 AM
I think this thread may be a whole lot more interesting in about 3 months. By then we will know how this economy is going to effect our end of the industry and our pricing. Hopefully not too much so we can all make a good buck.

Our fert cost are pretty much locked in for the season with our early order. Fuel cost would be a problem if they go up. We got through 2008 with high fuel cost and we survived. We took a hit but we survived.

mngrassguy
02-09-2009, 01:52 AM
I'm tossing this around...what if I didn't raise my price but asked for an increase?

Dear customer, Due to the poor economy coming into 2009, We've decided NOT to increase our prices this year. However, because of rapidly rising costs of doing business, we are asking for a voluntary increase. If you feel our service is adding value to your home, please add 5-10% onto your invoice. Thank-you for your patronage and loyalty during these tough times. We look forward to providing the same high quality service this year as as in the past no matter what you decide.

Thank-you

I'm laughing now but would it work?

1.2.3. green
02-09-2009, 01:59 AM
I think it would make the customer uncomfortable asking them to do that. If you need it ask for it

mngrassguy
02-09-2009, 02:53 AM
Ya, your right. It was my wife's idea. :laugh: She saw some news story somewhere about a resturant that doesn't charge people. They just asks for donations. I should NEVER talk business with the wife.lol

whoopassonthebluegrass
02-09-2009, 10:45 AM
I'm tossing this around...what if I didn't raise my price but asked for an increase?

I suspect people'd lose respect for you AND stiff you. Are you the owner of this company or not? :laugh::laugh::laugh:

garydale
02-09-2009, 10:54 AM
Wec went with 2.5%. We also looked real hard at our actual costs per account.
That resulted in a few large increases and some with no price increase.

mikesturf
02-11-2009, 12:00 PM
I'm tossing this around...what if I didn't raise my price but asked for an increase?

Dear customer, Due to the poor economy coming into 2009, We've decided NOT to increase our prices this year. However, because of rapidly rising costs of doing business, we are asking for a voluntary increase. If you feel our service is adding value to your home, please add 5-10% onto your invoice. Thank-you for your patronage and loyalty during these tough times. We look forward to providing the same high quality service this year as as in the past no matter what you decide.

Thank-you

I'm laughing now but would it work?

I think Obama, Congress, the IRS and the banks may try that.

RegalLawnCare.Com
03-01-2009, 06:39 AM
I had intended to raise prices on about 2/3rds of my customers but backed off on that first because of the reduction in gas prices. I DID add a clause to the contract that states if the price of 87 Octane fuel goes above $3.50 per/gallon then the price per/cut would be subject to a 10% increase. The second reason I didn't raise prices is the economy. In fact, to try to gain market share and because competition around here is lowering prices, we are offering a 'stimulus special' between now and mid-May - $30 per/cut + 2 cuts free...I know it's a very low price, but the competition is going low too. With these customers I'm sure that we'll be raising prices next year, probably 10%. My crews work on a % basis, so lowering prices for me doesn't hurt my profit margin quite as much as if I were paying a straight hourly wage.