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View Full Version : i'm offering $10 first mowings


grass disaster
03-03-2012, 09:30 PM
ok so i lost some of my good elderly accounts due to them moving to "homes"

i need something to get my foot in the door, to stand out from my competition.

i feel once i can them them to contact me i can make about 75% of my sales.

offering $10 first mowings to residential customers i think is the ticket. if nothing else it will draw some attention and hopefully steer them to my we site.



thinking of running a add saying

1 $10 mowing for new customers
call xxx
or visit my web site (http://www.grassmasterservice.com)
*please mention $10 mowing when contacting.

then when they go to my web site in place of my "quick quote" icon i could put... Get your free quote here, sign up for a $10 mowing service.

larryinalabama
03-03-2012, 09:33 PM
Thats insne

crazymike
03-03-2012, 09:38 PM
That doesn't get you long term customers.

Why not offer them 20% off there first month if they sign a monthly contract?

$10 first cut you will just get people who are going on vacation, just want a cheap cut, etc...

then they will want the next cut for cheap.

You also are giving the same discount to a customer with a 250 sq/ft long as someone with a 2000 sq/ft long.

Rethink this business strategy

grasscutter24
03-03-2012, 09:52 PM
Never give your service away like that for free. What are you going to do when one of your customers asks you about the $10 special and they want one cut for that price?

grass disaster
03-03-2012, 09:57 PM
That doesn't get you long term customers.

Why not offer them 20% off there first month if they sign a monthly contract?

$10 first cut you will just get people who are going on vacation, just want a cheap cut, etc...

then they will want the next cut for cheap.

You also are giving the same discount to a customer with a 250 sq/ft long as someone with a 2000 sq/ft long.

Rethink this business strategy

i dont do contracts for residential. no one has ever not paid me. if they want to cancel service i dont make them give me 30 days.

if they want it cut while on vacation thats great. they will know who to call and trust once they need something else.

i dont feel the 20% off thing works...what is is 20% off a millon? 20% off a $1?

grass disaster
03-03-2012, 10:10 PM
ok. i've doubled my price. :)

$20 is a much better starting point.

yes some restrictions naturally apply. this is for standard residential yards only.

f50lvr2
03-03-2012, 10:25 PM
ok. i've doubled my price. :)

$20 is a much better starting point.

yes some restrictions naturally apply. this is for standard residential yards only.

I see you're thinking in this and jumping to $20 is a much better idea. But, like others have said, without a contract, you'll probably have a lot of people just do the $20 cut and drop after that.

It is a good way to get your foot in the door, but it probably won't be a door you want to walk through.

dKoester
03-03-2012, 10:28 PM
Cheap people like coupons.

randosh4
03-03-2012, 10:56 PM
Have you lost your mind ??????????????????

crazymike
03-03-2012, 11:47 PM
i dont do contracts for residential. no one has ever not paid me. if they want to cancel service i dont make them give me 30 days.

if they want it cut while on vacation thats great. they will know who to call and trust once they need something else.

i dont feel the 20% off thing works...what is is 20% off a millon? 20% off a $1?

Just because they are on monthly doesn't mean you need to make them give you 30 days to drop you.

And the 20% does work. $20 doesn't.

$20 means you potentially lose money of varrying amounts. 20% means you only lose your profit margin.

And 20% off a million is a good thing. 20% off a dollar is also a good thing.

$20 off a million is not a good deal. $20 off a dollar means you lose money.

Either you're running a business. Or you're just cutting grass. Up to you.

With this mentality you're just cutting grass and won't make it in this tough industry.

Exact Rototilling
03-04-2012, 01:29 AM
ok. i've doubled my price. :)

$20 is a much better starting point.

yes some restrictions naturally apply. this is for standard residential yards only.

I did this $20 intro cut a few years back. I gained few decent clients however there were a considerable number of one time cheap cut people. What automatically goes through their mind is this guy will continue to show up for $20. I only put this out on smaller lawns. Offer expires when route is full. Many paid the full quote price on the first cut anyhow. Do Not give them a regular quote for service then still do a cheap first cut. If they want a quote for mowing they will have to wait until after the first cut is over or they have just skipped the cheap first cut. They can’t have it BOTH WAYS. I look at this way. it takes time to drive out for an estimate anyhow just do the first cut THEN give them the quote. Once you mow it once you have a better feel for the property. It can work to your advantage.

You need to have fine print in there for overgrown lawns etc. You need to be paid on the spot or no cut. If edges are overgrown give only a sample of blade edging.

I was considering doing an upgraded version of this at $25 intro cut, $30 for a corner and $35 up to half acre. But what is happening now is there are legitimate long time companies in my area that are full service now putting quotes for mow and trim at $24.99 regular weekly service that I mow for $35.

Sure enough another lawnsite member put a $24.99 door hanger :hammerhead: on one of my clients lawns last Spring that I mowed for $35.

MarkintheGarden
03-04-2012, 02:31 AM
ok so i lost some of my good elderly accounts due to them moving to "homes"

i need something to get my foot in the door, to stand out from my competition.

i feel once i can them them to contact me i can make about 75% of my sales.

offering $10 first mowings to residential customers i think is the ticket. if nothing else it will draw some attention and hopefully steer them to my we site.



thinking of running a add saying

1 $10 mowing for new customers
call xxx
or visit my web site (http://www.grassmasterservice.com)
*please mention $10 mowing when contacting.

then when they go to my web site in place of my "quick quote" icon i could put... Get your free quote here, sign up for a $10 mowing service.

I understand you want to add customers and do it quickly, as you said you want to stand out. I think that this is the wrong way to stand out.

The customers you want are not interested in a one time cheap cut, they want a pro who will provide good reliable service.

Getting your foot in the door is a matter of good timing. Getting back to the customer when the iron is hot and delivering before it gets cooled off. What you should want is customers who can afford your services and will become accustomed to paying for the quality service. A big discount will attract people who cannot afford your services and will never provide a profitable cash flow.

Now come off the ledge, and step back in where it is safe!

MarkintheGarden
03-04-2012, 02:35 AM
Sure enough another lawnsite member put a $24.99 door hanger :hammerhead: on one of my clients lawns last Spring that I mowed for $35.


What happened? Did you loose the client to the lower bid? Or did you see the door hanger first and get rid of it? Or did the client ignore the lower quote and stay with the service he was happy with?

Exact Rototilling
03-04-2012, 02:54 AM
What happened? Did you loose the client to the lower bid? Or did you see the door hanger first and get rid of it? Or did the client ignore the lower quote and stay with the service he was happy with?

No she stuck with me. She thought the quote was ridiculously low and almost comical and desperate. I still have the door hanger. :laugh: In fact she is getting a price increase to $40 or $45 per mow or a prepay discount not sure yet. The grassy swell is a PITA and a corner lot grassy swell to boot. The rest of the lawn is manageable and small but it’s over fertilized and mulch mowing is more of a hassle than bagging frankly.

I like the first cut idea at a lower price but it needs to be firmly phrased they are forfeiting a quote for service until after the lawn is mowed. I think this is best left on a coupon type offer. It is a zero obligation offer but truly geared towards those looking for continued service.

Cummins343
03-04-2012, 03:38 AM
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to survive in todays economy.

grass disaster
03-04-2012, 07:34 AM
I did this $20 intro cut a few years back. I gained few decent clients however there were a considerable number of one time cheap cut people. What automatically goes through their mind is this guy will continue to show up for $20. I only put this out on smaller lawns. Offer expires when route is full. Many paid the full quote price on the first cut anyhow. Do Not give them a regular quote for service then still do a cheap first cut. If they want a quote for mowing they will have to wait until after the first cut is over or they have just skipped the cheap first cut. They can’t have it BOTH WAYS. I look at this way. it takes time to drive out for an estimate anyhow just do the first cut THEN give them the quote. Once you mow it once you have a better feel for the property. It can work to your advantage.

You need to have fine print in there for overgrown lawns etc. You need to be paid on the spot or no cut. If edges are overgrown give only a sample of blade edging.

I was considering doing an upgraded version of this at $25 intro cut, $30 for a corner and $35 up to half acre. But what is happening now is there are legitimate long time companies in my area that are full service now putting quotes for mow and trim at $24.99 regular weekly service that I mow for $35.

Sure enough another lawnsite member put a $24.99 door hanger :hammerhead: on one of my clients lawns last Spring that I mowed for $35.

This is what I was thinking. Its a easy way for me to cut the lawn then make a quote. No more guess work. And I've been doing this for over 15 years. So I'm not going to run myself broke. Yes 1/4 lots only.
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chipk1
03-04-2012, 09:33 AM
Why not offer incentives for your current customers to get you referrals? Maybe 1 free month if referral stays with you at least 6 months? OR something like that anyway?

Reward your good customers. If you do good work, they will become your best evangelists with a bit of nudging.

Exact Rototilling
03-04-2012, 11:16 AM
Why not offer incentives for your current customers to get you referrals? Maybe 1 free month if referral stays with you at least 6 months? OR something like that anyway?

Reward your good customers. If you do good work, they will become your best evangelists with a bit of nudging.

I would consider that for a one time service say lawn aeration but mowing accounts just need to be all in the sale area. The added drive time just kills profits on.just mowing.

I'm considering canceling lawn service to an area that is furthest from where I live even though I have 3 accounts close together. Time will tell.
Posted via Mobile Device

blake101
03-04-2012, 11:22 AM
And that is crazy.

Exact Rototilling
03-04-2012, 12:06 PM
And that is crazy.
What is crazier even is .... I’m considering quitting my other low over head business that Grosses me $20 – $24,000 per year and I don't have to leave the house for 10 – 20 hours of work per week @ $30 per hour. :hammerhead:

MarkintheGarden
03-04-2012, 12:14 PM
No she stuck with me. She thought the quote was ridiculously low and almost comical and desperate. I still have the door hanger. :laugh: In fact she is getting a price increase to $40 or $45 per mow or a prepay discount not sure yet. The grassy swell is a PITA and a corner lot grassy swell to boot. The rest of the lawn is manageable and small but it’s over fertilized and mulch mowing is more of a hassle than bagging frankly.

I like the first cut idea at a lower price but it needs to be firmly phrased they are forfeiting a quote for service until after the lawn is mowed. I think this is best left on a coupon type offer. It is a zero obligation offer but truly geared towards those looking for continued service.

And this illustrates the point that I made. Customers are not just looking to save money, and good lawn mowing services are not just mow and blow.
The lowballer that put the doorhanger with the 24.99 quote on this customer's door would not do as good a job.

Go look inside a fine restaurant filled with people spending 30.00 each for a good meal. Do you think that these people do not know that they could eat fast food for 8.00 each?

Directing your advertisements toward people who are looking for a quality continued service is one thing. Directing your advertisement toward people looking for low prices is another thing. Sure, you can do both, but it seems to me that you will do better focusing on one or the other.

Glenn Lawn Care
03-04-2012, 02:03 PM
This is not a good idea in my option!

Daily Lawn/Landscape
03-04-2012, 02:06 PM
And this illustrates the point that I made. Customers are not just looking to save money, and good lawn mowing services are not just mow and blow.
The lowballer that put the doorhanger with the 24.99 quote on this customer's door would not do as good a job.

Go look inside a fine restaurant filled with people spending 30.00 each for a good meal. Do you think that these people do not know that they could eat fast food for 8.00 each?

Directing your advertisements toward people who are looking for a quality continued service is one thing. Directing your advertisement toward people looking for low prices is another thing. Sure, you can do both, but it seems to me that you will do better focusing on one or the other.

Very good advice!

jackal
03-04-2012, 02:26 PM
This is what I was thinking. Its a easy way for me to cut the lawn then make a quote. No more guess work. And I've been doing this for over 15 years. So I'm not going to run myself broke. Yes 1/4 lots only.
Posted via Mobile Device

15 yrs in business you should be getting enough referals from existing customers or their neighbors.

Here's what I like to do. If its a fifteen minute job in a decent hood cut it for $20. Do a really good job pretty soon you'll have four on the same street. Cut all four in an hour and never move the truck.

Exact Rototilling
03-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Unless a client sees your work on a ZERO obligation first cut, regardless of price $20 whatever, how are they going to know what your quality is like. Unless...they have seen your work else where. This has worked both ways for me. Neighbors of my clients will often say, “hey your lawn service makes your lawn look the best on the block”. This has happened countless times.

In another thread I posed the issue of intro or demo cuts and I was frankly criticized ....um.....hey “we all know what a mowed lawn looks like”....all things being equall sure good point. But I'm NOT equall. :nono:

My quality is really better. My mowers don’t rut, I use only WB’s at under 400 pounds, sharp blades daily, I bag in the early morning dew and damp conditions and only mulch mow when lawns dry out.

If I won the lottery and hired a lawn service I would NOT hire them unless their quality of cut and burn scalp free edging matched mine. I don’t get the price shoppers getting multiple quotes with out see the actual work on their own lawn or else where.....? :hammerhead:

Only a few other LCO’s in my area can match my edging which is clean cut vertical and summer “burn free” and no scalping into the crowns. This is huge problem in hiring and finding someone who can edge like me. Most cutters here scalp mow and rarely cut above 2.5”. My default height is 3.0” and if the client will tolerate it in the summer I go 3.5” and even 4"

CozyHollow
03-04-2012, 03:14 PM
That doesn't get you long term customers.

Why not offer them 20% off there first month if they sign a monthly contract?

$10 first cut you will just get people who are going on vacation, just want a cheap cut, etc...

then they will want the next cut for cheap.

You also are giving the same discount to a customer with a 250 sq/ft long as someone with a 2000 sq/ft long.

Rethink this business strategy

You inspire me bro.
Read some of your posts...thanks man!

american dream
03-04-2012, 03:20 PM
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to survive in todays economy.

With this attitude you only put yourself in a more desperate situation! People need to stop driving prices down,this is not 1985 it's 2012 put your prices in line.

205mx
03-04-2012, 03:58 PM
grass disaster you are a grass disaster.

MarkintheGarden
03-04-2012, 04:04 PM
Unless a client sees your work on a ZERO obligation first cut, regardless of price $20 whatever, how are they going to know what your quality is like. Unless...they have seen your work else where. This has worked both ways for me. Neighbors of my clients will often say, “hey your lawn service makes your lawn look the best on the block”. This has happened countless times.

In another thread I posed the issue of intro or demo cuts and I was frankly criticized ....um.....hey “we all know what a mowed lawn looks like”....all things being equall sure good point. But I'm NOT equall. :nono:

My quality is really better. My mowers don’t rut, I use only WB’s at under 400 pounds, sharp blades daily, I bag in the early morning dew and damp conditions and only mulch mow when lawns dry out.

If I won the lottery and hired a lawn service I would NOT hire them unless their quality of cut and burn scalp free edging matched mine. I don’t get the price shoppers getting multiple quotes with out see the actual work on their own lawn or else where.....? :hammerhead:

Only a few other LCO’s in my area can match my edging which is clean cut vertical and summer “burn free” and no scalping into the crowns. This is huge problem in hiring and finding someone who can edge like me. Most cutters here scalp mow and rarely cut above 2.5”. My default height is 3.0” and if the client will tolerate it in the summer I go 3.5” and even 4"

The thing is that a customer who responds to the cheapest offer would not appreciate all the things you do to make it the best service available. In fact, these kind of details do not mean much if the lawn is in lousy condition before you mow. A customer that calls you because you offered a big discount or low rate, will likely have a poor lawn.

There is the other side of every coin, cause many customers are not too interested in having the best lawn on the block. They just want the minimum service that they need. Providing affordable lawn services and focusing on high volume is a very good business plan. If you operate your business efficiently you can do well financially.

Good advertisement and special offers can be a win win situation. In any business you can have high volume by beating the competiions prices. But you have to still make some profit, so you have to win also. In the case discussed here, I would be glad to do a discounted rate for a new customer who happens to live next door to a current account. So, I would make offers of a first time low rate only in person and only to people who own property where I know I am going to be already.

crazymike
03-04-2012, 04:11 PM
You inspire me bro.
Read some of your posts...thanks man!

thanks.

when I first started in this business I failed at a lot of things.

Everything needs to be thought through. Certain things might seem like a good idea at the time, but you need to think everything through.

I see so many people who think because they constantly have all this money coming in, that they are making good money. Within a year or two, they're gone or deeply in debt. Or working way harder for less than they would make elsewhere when you count the hours.

grass disaster
03-04-2012, 05:14 PM
grass disaster you are a grass disaster.

thanks!*trucewhiteflag*

Ghopper3345
03-04-2012, 05:37 PM
You got to be nuts to cut a lawn for $20.00. When you say I have to just survive. That's great because your cost yourself more money in the long run. Equipment is not worth anything. Raise your prices and your standards
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CozyHollow
03-04-2012, 07:01 PM
...this is not 1985 it's 2012 put your prices in line.

1985...EXACTLY bro. Times have DRASTICALLY changed and so have prices.

LawncareAmericaLLC
03-05-2012, 01:06 PM
If u want to get in the door try offering a gift certificate to a local company. Dinner, movie or something like that. Offer a 25.00 gift card to a local diner or to the mall. That way your keeping money in the community and local business will help promote you. Barter system works great in Michigan. Sign up for yrly contract receive a 25.00 gift card to local buisness or whatever. Good luck

Lefet2
03-05-2012, 01:08 PM
15 lawns @ $20 a cut =$300. 15 lawns @ $35 a cut = $525. It may take a little longer to get those lawns but at the end of the day you can make a decent living without having to cut a million lawns a day. I'm sure you can make money at 20 a cut but you have to kill yourself to do it. You need alot of lawns at that rate.

CozyHollow
03-05-2012, 05:42 PM
The moral of the thread is PATIENCE.

Advertise the SNOT out of your business...plug along ALL SEASON LONG. Don't just cover an area one time with flyers or postcards. Hit the same areas bi-weekly or even monthly ALL SEASON LONG..people will get the hint that "this guy" (grass disaster) really WANTS TO work.

I'm TELLIN' ya! People WANT TO SEE someone GIVING their all and once you LAND an account or two, hone your craft with the time you'll have...because before you know it g d, you'll be ducking the phone because "they'll" be calling you CONSTANTLY!

Bro, IT WILL HAPPEN! It just takes some time that's all.

(I get most my info. from local landscapers cause I ask everyone I see...)

MarkintheGarden
03-05-2012, 07:49 PM
The moral of the thread is PATIENCE.

Advertise the SNOT out of your business...plug along ALL SEASON LONG. Don't just cover an area one time with flyers or postcards. Hit the same areas bi-weekly or even monthly ALL SEASON LONG..people will get the hint that "this guy" (grass disaster) really WANTS TO work.

I'm TELLIN' ya! People WANT TO SEE someone GIVING their all and once you LAND an account or two, hone your craft with the time you'll have...because before you know it g d, you'll be ducking the phone because "they'll" be calling you CONSTANTLY!

Bro, IT WILL HAPPEN! It just takes some time that's all.

(I get most my info. from local landscapers cause I ask everyone I see...)

True dat! Twelve years in business, and I have done very little advertisement the last five.

andyslawncare
03-06-2012, 08:39 PM
Bad idea! $10 barley covers fuel on some of my residential accounts. Quality work is what will set you apart from your competition, not a lower price. You'll go broke. I sometimes advertise a free month of service in mailers during the fall in order to increase sales during the winter, but that requires a 12 month contract and the accounts usually end up paying $200 or more/month. Demand is enough to find work in the spring; don't give your labor away. What if all they want is one cut??? How do you afford to live for $10??

inzane
12-15-2012, 09:32 AM
well i must be nuts. i am offering one free cut to anyone who signs up for turf care and weekly mowing together, of course.. its only up to 1/4 acre lots, new customer only, and its not the first cut. so they'd have to stick with me for a while to get the free cut. I'm only trying this on the first 100 doorhangers though. i don't want to work for cheap or free either..

after reading this thread, i think there has to be a better way.. without selling myself short, or working for free.

205mx
12-15-2012, 10:30 AM
Usually people done need much incentive. They either want the grass cut or they don't. If your price is fair, they'll go ahead and have you start. I was doing the 20% off first cut when I first started. Honestly didn't seem like that was the reason anyone became a full time client.
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jrs.landscaping
12-15-2012, 07:47 PM
There was an ad in the local paper for a guy mowing lawns for $15. I seriously thought about calling him to do mine because he would be cheaper than what I could do it for :dizzy:

205mx
12-15-2012, 08:28 PM
Cheaper than hiring someone lol!!!!
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Above Par Lawns
12-15-2012, 08:43 PM
I offer a free soil test to my customers for signing up for either a month to month service plan or spring/fall cleanups. It costs me around $12.00 but i feel it's worth it. The fact is, that everyone loves a deal and wants to feel like they are getting something in return (like QUALITY service isn't enough). But you have taken it to the extreme by offering $10, even $20 dollars cuts. There's no way you're making money on that and i hope you're not edging/blowing as well for that price. I'd try something else. Don't sell yourself short man.
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Above Par Lawns
12-15-2012, 08:47 PM
My logic behind the free soil test is that you'll get business off of that. They always call and say"what does all this mean?" That's where you sell them on the next job.
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inzane
12-15-2012, 08:51 PM
thats how it is on craigslist. its hard to believe what people will be willing to do these days for so cheap.. with gas prices the way they are. 10 to 15 dollars and hour for leaf cleanup or mowing is almost the going rate on there. makes me sick!

There was an ad in the local paper for a guy mowing lawns for $15. I seriously thought about calling him to do mine because he would be cheaper than what I could do it for :dizzy:

H & M Yard Improvements
12-16-2012, 01:01 AM
Sounds like the op isn't legit! Either that or he's totally gone mad! I could never stay in business with $10-$20 cuts!
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-16-2012, 02:35 AM
I had this discussion on another thread, I totally bewilders me that guys think that because they have little or so called "NO OVERHEAD" that allows them to work for virtually free, some are actually paying the customer to work by the time they are done, it's absolutly redicalous to be out there working for pennies on the dollar, I wish these guys would get the hell out of this business and go back to work for wal mart. Leave these cheap ass people to cut their own lawn, quit trying to service every tom dick and harry on the block! leav'em alone! they don't deserve our service's just like everybody don't deserve to live in a million dollar house, focus your business on the people that can truly afford our service not the ones that live in the hood. Sorry for the rant I'm done now.

H & M Yard Improvements
12-16-2012, 06:56 AM
I had this discussion on another thread, I totally bewilders me that guys think that because they have little or so called "NO OVERHEAD" that allows them to work for virtually free, some are actually paying the customer to work by the time they are done, it's absolutly redicalous to be out there working for pennies on the dollar, I wish these guys would get the hell out of this business and go back to work for wal mart. Leave these cheap ass people to cut their own lawn, quit trying to service every tom dick and harry on the block! leav'em alone! they don't deserve our service's just like everybody don't deserve to live in a million dollar house, focus your business on the people that can truly afford our service not the ones that live in the hood. Sorry for the rant I'm done now.

Well said!
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Will P.C.
12-16-2012, 02:38 PM
Unfortunately, 10 bucks for a first cut isn't much of a special in my area. At any given time, there might be 2-3 guys offering this service. Numerous guys are doing a full service job for 24.99 on a standard 35-50 dollar yard.

For the type of people that would use a lawn service, they are already prepared to spend the $50 every other week for lawn service and don't go around trolling Craigslist and coupons for some special deal.

Considering the amount of time and money you would spend doing, the ROI is very little.

ryde307
12-16-2012, 04:21 PM
I think most have misunderstood the original post, or maybe I did but the OP is stating first 1 time cut for 10$.
I don't know your location but example here is we average 25 mowings a season. Your basic yard costs $35. 25x$35=875. minus 1 free $35= $840 / by 25 mowings New price is $33.60. I have lost $1.40 per week on the cut. Not much money to gain a customer. Most spend considerably more for customer acquisition.

Just to really get you going we ran an ad for a 2 week period this spring for 1 month of free mowing. If you are just giving the free or discounted mowing away and not signing some type of term contract, then yes you just lost money. We gave away your last month of mowing free with the 1 year commitment. Most then signed up for 3-4 other services that have higher profit margins. (this was the point) For the deal to be valid you had to stay committed all season. As well as the last month of mowing for us is pretty easy with very little lawn growth from week to week. This has it being or lowest overhead month. I can assure you we did well with every customer we signed up this way and made money on these home along with increasing profits on existing with tighter routes.

H & M Yard Improvements
12-16-2012, 09:27 PM
I think most have misunderstood the original post, or maybe I did but the OP is stating first 1 time cut for 10$.
I don't know your location but example here is we average 25 mowings a season. Your basic yard costs $35. 25x$35=875. minus 1 free $35= $840 / by 25 mowings New price is $33.60. I have lost $1.40 per week on the cut. Not much money to gain a customer. Most spend considerably more for customer acquisition.

Just to really get you going we ran an ad for a 2 week period this spring for 1 month of free mowing. If you are just giving the free or discounted mowing away and not signing some type of term contract, then yes you just lost money. We gave away your last month of mowing free with the 1 year commitment. Most then signed up for 3-4 other services that have higher profit margins. (this was the point) For the deal to be valid you had to stay committed all season. As well as the last month of mowing for us is pretty easy with very little lawn growth from week to week. This has it being or lowest overhead month. I can assure you we did well with every customer we signed up this way and made money on these home along with increasing profits on existing with tighter routes.

If he charges $10.00 for a first cut the customers that he may get will expect the same price all the time. Either that or they will just use him for that one time and move on and expect to get the same price from the next LCO. it's ludicrous prices like this that make it harder and harder for other companies to make a living in this industry! i can't see how this op can pay for his fuel, insurance, taxes, maintenance etc by charging $10.00 a cut. Sounds to me like he's paying them to mow their lawn! I don't think he will be in buisness very long. Just my 2 cents!.
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ryde307
12-17-2012, 05:58 PM
Again, this is not true.^ Have you tried this? Again we did this only far more extreme in giving away a free month of mowing. If you sell it as hey I will cut your lawn for $10 for you to try it out and see from there then yes you may end up in the situations you explain.
If you do go that route then yes you have a poor thought out plan. If you use this to get customers to call and get started then up sell and sign them up for early service this is an easy win.
If I give away my first mowing for $10 and sell the customer on $36 a week mowing for the summer, you now sell full price mowing for $35 a week who wins? Who had an incentive for the customer to call to begin with? Which one do you think has more people calling asking questions about other services you may offer?

H & M Yard Improvements
12-17-2012, 06:06 PM
$35 a week? Yikes!
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ryde307
12-17-2012, 06:10 PM
$35 a week? Yikes!
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I guess I am confused on that post?

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 07:12 PM
I think most have misunderstood the original post, or maybe I did but the OP is stating first 1 time cut for 10$.
I don't know your location but example here is we average 25 mowings a season. Your basic yard costs $35. 25x$35=875. minus 1 free $35= $840 / by 25 mowings New price is $33.60. I have lost $1.40 per week on the cut. Not much money to gain a customer. Most spend considerably more for customer acquisition.

Just to really get you going we ran an ad for a 2 week period this spring for 1 month of free mowing. If you are just giving the free or discounted mowing away and not signing some type of term contract, then yes you just lost money. We gave away your last month of mowing free with the 1 year commitment. Most then signed up for 3-4 other services that have higher profit margins. (this was the point) For the deal to be valid you had to stay committed all season. As well as the last month of mowing for us is pretty easy with very little lawn growth from week to week. This has it being or lowest overhead month. I can assure you we did well with every customer we signed up this way and made money on these home along with increasing profits on existing with tighter routes.

I like this idea, one reason it would be good for us is the last month of cutting is Nov and we go to bi-weekly that month, so it would really be only two free cuts.

andyslawncare
12-17-2012, 07:53 PM
no monetary offer can tell them about quality. How about offering quality and guaranteed time per service? This is crazy talk; please don't tell us that you gained 3 new customers in response, most of us know that type. Not a good idea if you want to make money

Will P.C.
12-17-2012, 08:22 PM
$35 a week? Yikes!
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I did not post this earlier, but nothing inherently wrong with 10 dollar cuts to get your foot in the door. It can't be as succint as "Call me, $10 mow and blow"

You have to figure out a clever campaign where they committ. Some guys are excellent salesman and they might be able to gain a paver patio, snowplowing, install, or whatever job that much more profitable than cutting grass.

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 08:33 PM
no monetary offer can tell them about quality. How about offering quality and guaranteed time per service? This is crazy talk; please don't tell us that you gained 3 new customers in response, most of us know that type. Not a good idea if you want to make money

The problem is Quality is subjective at best, I don't care if you have the best quality out there, I know ours is pretty damn good from the reviews and feedback we get from our customers, but there is always those few that it doesn't matter how good you are they will tear you apart. "FREE" is the most powerful word in marketing and in this case is used as a call to action, and used to get the calls flowing which most of us need after a few months off, You can preach quality all day long but if the phone isn't ringing you have no chance to prove it.

Orderlawncareonline
12-17-2012, 10:09 PM
I think that is a good idea for the short term but will cause you problems in the long run. My first lawn care company we took the lowballing approach and gained many customers fast. We soon figured out we weren't making any money we were actually loosing money. As soon as we went up on our prices we lost almost all our customers. The lesson i learned was price should never be used in gaining customers. Give a percent off for the first mow and throw in a referral program and that should help but stay away from the lowballing even if it's the first mow. Imagine if you get 500 customers at that price. Your loosing thousands and thousands of dollars.

H & M Yard Improvements
12-17-2012, 10:27 PM
I think that is a good idea for the short term but will cause you problems in the long run. My first lawn care company we took the lowballing approach and gained many customers fast. We soon figured out we weren't making any money we were actually loosing money. As soon as we went up on our prices we lost almost all our customers. The lesson i learned was price should never be used in gaining customers. Give a percent off for the first mow and throw in a referral program and that should help but stay away from the lowballing even if it's the first mow. Imagine if you get 500 customers at that price. Your loosing thousands and thousands of dollars.

That's what I'm saying. Imagine if just for the sake of argument that they do get tons of customers with that approach. When the leaves start falling in the fall, they may piss off and lose a majority of their customers when they want their lawns clean and the LCO can't do a hundred clean ups in a week.
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cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 10:38 PM
I think that is a good idea for the short term but will cause you problems in the long run. My first lawn care company we took the lowballing approach and gained many customers fast. We soon figured out we weren't making any money we were actually loosing money. As soon as we went up on our prices we lost almost all our customers. The lesson i learned was price should never be used in gaining customers. Give a percent off for the first mow and throw in a referral program and that should help but stay away from the lowballing even if it's the first mow. Imagine if you get 500 customers at that price. Your loosing thousands and thousands of dollars.

I agree, but this technique isn't about lowballing, it's about getting the phone to ring so you can get in front of customers and sell your services at your normal rate which hopefully isn't at money losing level, at least mine aren't, isn't two free cuts worth a years worth of service at normal rates plus the chance to upsell even more profitable services.

H & M Yard Improvements
12-17-2012, 10:55 PM
I still think its a headache waiting to happen. I prefer the grow slow approach rather than shoot for a goal of 50-100 clients the first year or so.
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Will P.C.
12-17-2012, 11:21 PM
The problem is Quality is subjective at best, I don't care if you have the best quality out there, I know ours is pretty damn good from the reviews and feedback we get from our customers, but there is always those few that it doesn't matter how good you are they will tear you apart. "FREE" is the most powerful word in marketing and in this case is used as a call to action, and used to get the calls flowing which most of us need after a few months off, You can preach quality all day long but if the phone isn't ringing you have no chance to prove it.

I agree with you mate. I always read guys posting about how great there 'quality' is and how they sale customers on there 'super quality' Lets not get it twisted, we are talking about cutting grass. I always believed you are selling reliability first meaning the customer has enough faith in you, your crews, and your equipment to know you will show up each week on Friday and make there yard look presentable. How many yards during the dead of summer are even in the position to look like Turner Field due to lack of water, fert, and problem spots? The people that have those 'perfect' yards always seem to cut themsevles.

dstifel
12-17-2012, 11:21 PM
i did this technique last year but did 10$ under 2000 15$ under 5000 and 20$ limit of one acre. Had about twenty yards i cut i believe all of them at the 15 or 20$ id have to double check. Walked away with 7 new customers that signed for last summer and are already signed up for next year. Im running it again this spring. If i cut 13 yards for little to no profit and walk away with 7 long term customers i will do it all day long, but I'm young and have no overhead and not a lot to loose maybe in 5-10 years ill think i was crazy as well.

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 11:48 PM
i did this technique last year but did 10$ under 2000 15$ under 5000 and 20$ limit of one acre. Had about twenty yards i cut i believe all of them at the 15 or 20$ id have to double check. Walked away with 7 new customers that signed for last summer and are already signed up for next year. Im running it again this spring. If i cut 13 yards for little to no profit and walk away with 7 long term customers i will do it all day long, but I'm young and have no overhead and not a lot to loose maybe in 5-10 years ill think i was crazy as well.

I don't even know what a less than 2000 yard looks like, not sure we even have any, at least not in any subdivisions we would market to. Even if we did run into one I wouldn't do it for $10, why would you charge such a lowball rate? your losing money. we have some 5k yards but they are $40-$45, this is what kills me, young and no overhead is no excuse for lowballing

dstifel
12-18-2012, 12:32 AM
My rates are not lowballing it's a marketing scheme. Those 7 yards I got the lowest I charge on weekly basis I'd 40$. Don't be so quick to judge I pay taxes ins whiole nine yards. I'm 21 and own my own house probably got it from lowballing right?
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H & M Yard Improvements
12-18-2012, 08:06 AM
Anyone that says they have no overhead is kidding themselves.
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jrs.landscaping
12-18-2012, 02:10 PM
Anyone that says they have no overhead is kidding themselves.
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I find it comical to be honest with you. We lost a bid to a guy with "no overhead because his mowers were paid off." He was 60% cheaper than us because he wanted the work. I was told he was mowing until 10PM with his truck lights on the fields :dizzy:. Needless to say 2 years later and he was bankrupt and we were back mowing. The whole no overhead thought process is a joke, EVERYONE who operates a business has overhead.

Darryl G
12-18-2012, 02:24 PM
On occasion I have offered to mow a lawn free or at a bargain price when I have considerable uncertainty about how long a lawn will take to mow and I really want it. I'd rather eat a few dollars once than over and over. Over time I can usually get my time down 15% to 20% from what my first mow was, but I price it based on that first mow anyway. I've never offered a "foot in the door" discount...it's always been a case-by-case decision. I think I've gotten every one of those jobs....they get to see my work and I get to price it based on real data rather than an estimate.

Darryl G
12-18-2012, 02:25 PM
Anyone that says they have no overhead is kidding themselves.
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I have really low overhead....my office is in the basement...watch your head!!!

H & M Yard Improvements
12-18-2012, 02:39 PM
I have really low overhead....my office is in the basement...watch your head!!!

Lmao Darryl!
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dstifel
12-18-2012, 02:49 PM
Ok ig low overhead is a better statement. But all my stuff is paid for and I work a full time job. So I have little to no overhead. If I shut down tommorow it would affect my standard of living but would not put me bankrupt out on the street. If you read my post I admitted that someday I will be on your guys ends but for now it's getting me accounts at a much more effective rate then ads or door flyers.
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