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lawnkingforever
03-03-2012, 09:54 AM
I just got done with my spring letter that I will be mailing out next week. I decided to raise the price of mowing services pretty much across the board. Most of the increases were $3 while a few were $5. I am also for the first time offering a prepayment option. Option 1 will be a 5% discount with payment for the entire season being received by April 1st. The 2nd option will be a 3% discount, with the customer sending in half by April 1st and the 2nd installment in midseason. Both options are based on 28 mows. Even though I have many longtime customers that are very happy with my service, I anticipate losing a couple of customers over the increase. For some people it it always about the money all the time.
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ringahding
03-03-2012, 10:01 AM
You almost have to. I have offered existing customers the opportunity to jump on last year's rates, by opting to prepay. Thus far 10% of the customers contacted have responded, but all were made aware of increases and fuel surcharges.

Richard Martin
03-03-2012, 10:01 AM
I'm going up by a small amount on about 1/2 of my customers. Just enough to cover gas.

Darryl G
03-03-2012, 10:12 AM
I'm defintely going up on most of my accounts this season. I think I've been too kind to some of my customers, having not raised their prices for a few years. I did raise my labor rates for extras last season but none of my lawn prices. I have a few lawns that are just plain under priced as well, one commercial account in particular that I'm only getting $50 for and should be more like $75. But I do his house too and that lawn is priced where it should be...don't want end up losing them both.

headz77
03-03-2012, 10:44 AM
I raised most of ours by 5%. A few clients had to go up even more. I lost 3 clients, none very desirable. Everyone else seemed to understand- they see the price of gas.
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Exact Rototilling
03-03-2012, 11:01 AM
You almost have to. I have offered existing customers the opportunity to jump on last year's rates, by opting to prepay. Thus far 10% of the customers contacted have responded, but all were made aware of increases and fuel surcharges.
That was going to be my plan. Prepay to lock in last years rates. Isn't that kind of like holding your client hostage....?


In all the years I've been on lawnsite I've never seen a thread where a poster said "I raised my rates across the board and lost almost all my clients now I'm broke"....?

Roughly 40% of my clients are getting increases but I'm prepared to have to replace most of them.
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ALEX'S LANDSCAPING
03-03-2012, 11:15 AM
I will be rasing my prices by 5.00 bucks to cover for gas.
For example:
A lawn that is $30.00 will become -> $35.00 + 13% tax

Five Points
03-03-2012, 12:53 PM
I'm putting prices up a few bucks per cut on most of them. Also going to try and switch to a contract for six months rather than by the cut. I will give people the option to stay with price per cut cut. but I think this is the way to go. then just up it it abit per yr. any comments?
Springs not to far now. think I'll be going in two weeks by the look of the forecast.

scotts lawn care
03-03-2012, 12:55 PM
I increased my prices on all my customers last season. I wont be this year.

bohiaa
03-03-2012, 02:01 PM
You may want to reconsider that PRE PAY.

at 3% you will be loosing money.


if you raise your prices 5% then offer a 3% savings your only increasing your revinew by 2%. with fuel increase of expected 50% this summer you are now loosing 48 % of your revinew.

if your like me I pay 51% taxes by your math you would be at a loss of 99%


Best of luck

yardguy28
03-03-2012, 02:07 PM
i'm using 2 diff fuel chargesvthis year.

one for if gas reaches $4 a gallon and another for if it reaches $5 a gallon.

Mahoney3223
03-03-2012, 02:09 PM
Fuel Surcharges. I've used them since 2008.

yardguy28
03-03-2012, 02:25 PM
i did my 1st fuel charge last season for if gas hit $4 a gallon. never had to use it.

RLS24
03-03-2012, 04:56 PM
i did my 1st fuel charge last season for if gas hit $4 a gallon. never had to use it.

I did that too, and used it the first month of service. Then gas was always like $3.80-$3.99 a gallon the rest of the summer so really it didnt work so I am removing that from my contract.

This year I am raising 3/4 of my customers prices by roughly 10%. So a $30 lawn will be $33, and a $25 lawn would be $27.50 but I'm just rounding that up to $28 .00. Like others have said, it's unavoidable in this day and age with fuel prices. Sure, I can go out and buy the latest in lawn mower fuel technology with EFI engines and propane power, but then my overhead goes through the roof and my prices will go up anyway!

People have to be understanding about it, we are not running a non-for-profit charitable business here. We're all out here to make money (theoretically :laugh: ) and no matter how much you sugar coat it, thats what it is. Realistically, the price of EVERYTHING has gone up in the last 10-15 years, except lawn maintenance. The price of trucks has doubled, as has the price of mowers, the price of fuel has quadrupled at least, but yet we are still mowing lawns for $25 that we were mowing for $25 15 years ago. Part of it is our own fault as an industry for not sticking to our guns and raising the rates over time, and part of it is the economy resulting in everybody and their brother going into the lawn mowing business for peanuts to try and make ends meat when they lost their union factory job. Ok I'm off my soapbox now :)

yardguy28
03-03-2012, 05:41 PM
guess since i do this business more to be happy than make money i can afford to consider the hardship raising my prices might be for most of my clients.

exactly, everything is going up. our services get tacked onto an already long list on thing people struggle to afford. some who need someone to cut there grass like senior citizens and the disabled.

since one of my primary business expenses is fuel a fuel charge is the way to compensate for that. the price per mow already covers some fuel, maintenance, etc.

in the short 6 years i've been in business supplies (filters, oil, belts, etc) haven't gone up much. but fuel sure has. so since the price per mow covers all that except for the increase in fuel a fuel charge makes sense for me

GMLC
03-04-2012, 07:02 AM
I will be doing the same as I did last year. All my current customers prices won't change. All my new estimates are about 10 percent higher than they use to be.
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chipk1
03-04-2012, 09:42 AM
You may want to reconsider that PRE PAY.

at 3% you will be loosing money.


if you raise your prices 5% then offer a 3% savings your only increasing your revinew by 2%. with fuel increase of expected 50% this summer you are now loosing 48 % of your revinew.

if your like me I pay 51% taxes by your math you would be at a loss of 99%


Best of luck

Dude, 51% taxes! Incorporate and get a CPA. They will cut that down to 10%. Well worth the money. I know, I was stubborn in insistently doing my own taxes and now that I finally gave in, I am still kicking myself in the behind. Although, my CPA was able to amend a few years back and got some of it back.

chipk1
03-04-2012, 09:56 AM
Fuel Surcharges. I've used them since 2008.

When gas spiked upward from 2.50, I started charging a 3.00 per month surcharge. As of Jan 1, I finally just integrated it into the regular price. If gas crosses 4.00 for more than a month I will do it again.

I am also looking forward to getting some more accounts. Only because some LCO's around here think customers are really stupid and thought they could raise prices by 10.00 per month a few years ago citing increased fuel costs as the reason. Come on, 10.00? Even if you used 1/2 gallon per service including transportation and equipment, that is only .50 - 1.00 per cut.

Anyway, thanks for the extra accounts. Greed and trying to capitalize on fuel prices for extra profit in this competitive business will kill you. Especially when you think your customers are too stupid to see it coming.

Ghopper3345
03-04-2012, 06:51 PM
I raise prices every year. I job cost ever single job if they are under my hour rate. You get raised. They if you are a good customer u get raise 1% per year. I dropped all my prepay discounts. Never lock in prices for the year!! When food goes up what do you do???? You pay more!!! Don't be the customers friend. Just take a food look around and and ask yourself what other landscaper has a huge home and no stress and a great life. Very few if any. And thats why we all need to keep raseing pricing and turn in the guys that are working out of their cars and low balling!!
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yardguy28
03-04-2012, 07:00 PM
well since I'm not looking for a huge house or to live like others in my industry that explains why in the 6 years I've been in business I haven't raised prices on a single client.

I did raise prices 2 years for any new clients but so far all my clients are locked into the price they hired me at.

yes prices of everything goes up and for me that just means I get less spending money but I'm fine with that to a certain degree. if things ever get to prices where I have absolutely no spending and would struggle to pay expenses then I will raise prices.

Ghopper3345
03-04-2012, 07:08 PM
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Ghopper3345
03-04-2012, 07:11 PM
My point is that it is very tough to make it good in this field and no one says you need to live in a huge house to be happy. But what you just said does not make any sen e to
Me at all. You would be better working for someone or getting a easier line of business. Every one thinks the landscaper make a ton
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yardguy28
03-04-2012, 11:14 PM
My point is that it is very tough to make it good in this field and no one says you need to live in a huge house to be happy. But what you just said does not make any sen e to
Me at all. You would be better working for someone or getting a easier line of business. Every one thinks the landscaper make a ton
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and get stuck doing work I don't like? I don't think so......

I started this business for one reason and one reason only. to finally have a career I enjoy. to finally have a job I absolutely love to be able to wake up in the morning and actually want to work or look forward to it.

I only offer the services I enjoy or don't mind doing. I only take on as much work as I can handle. I only work for who I want to work for. I only work the jobs I want to work.

can't do any of that working for someone else.

as for making money as long as my business stays where it's at or improves I'm make plenty of money for my wants and needs.