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View Full Version : Minimum Charge/Is this a good idea???


new lawn
08-16-2000, 06:43 AM
Why is it when I call any other service to come out to my house they can charge a $50-$75 "Service Charge" But somehow this doesn't apply to Lawn Service guys. Why is it that Lawn service isn't considered to be a real service like my T.V. repair man who has a $70.00 minimun? I have spoke to some Lawn Care business owners in Michigan and some have said that "Yes" they too set minimums. If this is true what is a good minimum charge to just pull up and drop the gate? $15,$20,$25????? I feel this would help answer that question asked by all residential customers in the spring "How much do you charge." You would simply be able to say "Well it will cost you at least $25.00 for me to come out." If Other service companies can do it why can't we set a minimum charges???? What do you think?????

KirbysLawn
08-16-2000, 09:25 AM
You can set a minimum! Some of us do have minimums, mine is $35.00. With that being said, I do charge a few accounts $25.00. :confused: If you know what you need to make an hour to survive and about how long it will take you to do an average size lawn, then you can figure your "minimum". If you are just getting started I don't recommend setting a high minimum because you are probably looking for all the work you can get.

As for the TV and other repairman, most states require them to be licensed, insured, and bonded to perform those duties, we are not. :( Yes, there are "scrub" (sorry the best word I could find) TV repairmen, electricians, plumbers, and so on, but not at the ratio as we have in the lawn maintenance field. Also, these folks mentioned above don't advertise their services in the phone book!

Until our field requires people to be licensed we are going to have to deal with all kinds, learn to like it. If you decide to set a "minimum" be prepared to occasionally loose the opportunity to do a job. Hope that helps a little.

Ray

Kevin
08-16-2000, 09:27 AM
When a customer asks How much for me, ask them their address, tell them you'll be out tonite,will they be home? If they are serious they will say ok. If someone won't take that then tell them My minimum is 25-30-35- for a 5000 sq foot yard or what your rates are. Hope that helps!

lawrence stone
08-16-2000, 09:31 AM
Kirby wrote:

>Some of us do have minimums, mine is $35.00. With that being said, I do charge a few accounts $25.00.

Are you sure you don't have any $22 jobs?

[Edited by lawrence stone on 08-16-2000 at 01:21 PM]

Lazer
08-16-2000, 09:34 AM
The difference is your TV repairman doesn't come to your house every week. He needs to be called, schedule a time when you'll be home and perform a service YOU CAN'T.

Anybody can cut grass and the fact you show up 30 times/season produces economies of scale that allows you to work for less $.

Having said that, certainly you should have a minimum fee.

KirbysLawn
08-16-2000, 09:41 AM
Stone let me check..........................nope I don't, and your point? Why don't you contribute to the discussion instead of making another pointless post? Give him your opinion about the topic.

Lazer, one more post until 1000!


[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-16-2000 at 08:20 PM]

new lawn
08-16-2000, 01:20 PM
Thanks for all your input. This is the best site on the net!

Lanelle
08-16-2000, 09:56 PM
Establishing a minimum also helps you do jobs of at least the size that you want to do--whatever that is. For example, we don't want to mow individual townhouse yards, so we set a minimum that is way above the average charge for those. Don't want to do small lawns? Set the minimum high enough to weed them out.

Toddppm
08-16-2000, 10:00 PM
I have a$25 minimum for mowing , will go up next year. on another note as soon as busy season started for all the other work like landscaping and tree work i set a minimum of $250(also going up next year). weeded out a lot of bs people right off the bat. Even when some people that started off only wanting a little job done , heard that, they added some work to get it to the min. and then some!

Scag48
08-16-2000, 10:10 PM
My minimum sucks. In my town my minimum is $7.50 believe it or not. Any higher than that and I wouldn't have any business. I don't have very much overhead and the town is full of cheap people. Put the two together and you've got a low minimum. I'd have to agree with the other guys. TV dudes have to be licensed and have to be called and have to run a busy, different people every day schedule. Believe me, your minimum will probably be better than mine.

bob
08-16-2000, 10:23 PM
I try to have a minimum of $22 and a maximum of .....well I haven't hit that number yet!

raymow
08-16-2000, 10:31 PM
i charge a min. of 20.--
years previous it was 15.-- but do to the price of diesel
and labor it was time to raise.
a min.is a good idea .

slingshot
08-16-2000, 11:14 PM
so kirby, that would make your minimum 25.00 not 35.00

greenngrow
08-16-2000, 11:21 PM
AFTER READING ALL THE POSTS IT LOOKS LIKE THAT THE MIN CHARGE IS 25.00 INSTEAD OF 35.00. IT LOOKS LIKE THAT WE ALL HAVE THAT NEED TO GET THE BUSINESS ATTITUDE. WE SET ONE PRICE AND TALK OUT ANOTHER PART OF YOUR BODY. iF YOU HAVE A MIN. LET IT BE THE MIN.

AS I SEE IT WITH INCREASE GAS AND EPA LOOKING AT US HARDER WE NEED TO BE FIRM IN OUR PRICING.

I REALIZE THAT WE HAVE THE BUDDY BUDDY DEALS, BUT I THINK THAT 35.00 IS FAIR.

I DON'T THINK THEY HAVE DROP THE PRICE OF GAS, MOWEERS, OR ANYTHING ELSE FOR THAT MATTER.

MY OPINION TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT OR LEAVE IT.

MOW ED
08-17-2000, 08:20 AM
I use 20 as my minimum.

Something else to think about is a show-up charge for your customers. If you cut the same properties on the same day of the week (barring rain) then you should have a show-up charge if you can't mow when you show up, and to go one step further you should think of charging close to double for the next week. This helps remind the homeowner to call you to inform you of any projects that are going on around their home that may prevent you from mowing. (roofing,various carpentry projects, driveway repaving, sidewalk construction) Good Luck.

Charles
08-17-2000, 08:37 AM
I shoot for 35$ minimum.

excel25
08-17-2000, 08:52 AM
Still do my first customer for $20.00. Everything now is $35.00 or up.

TGCummings
08-17-2000, 10:44 AM
I don't have a minimum, but I don't work "per cut" anyway. I set a flat, monthly rate and make that whether I get a chance to mow or not. I have a "monthly" minimum of $21 for bi-weekly lawns and $30 for weekly lawns. The lawns that get that price are of the 5-15 minute variety, of which there are thousands in our little community.

Out here, you don't see as many of those big-acreage yards like Matilda's so you cut what you can get. I make some of my best "per hour" money on little $30-$45 dollar/month jobbers, plus get extra work from them as well.

Now, that's just to date. I'm currently looking to be bigger & better and am scoping out new areas in my city. Like I said, there just aren't a lot of the "Matilda" jobs in my town, but there are some, and I'm looking to fetch me some. Maybe, if the turnaround in the next year is right and I find enough juice neighborhoods, I can start to set minimums like you have in the North, South, & East.

Anyone else out here in the West have a similar setup? Do you find any of those big, Southern-style yards in your neighborhood?

-TGC

Acute Cut
08-17-2000, 11:18 AM
My minimum is 20$. That being said, i do have one 15$ lawn. It takes me and one other guy 3 minutes TOTAL to do the lawn. I still feel like i might be getting the better deal.

Next year we will be implimenting the flat monthly rates to all my customers. They all know that if they dont want me to mow (grass not growing or something) then they have to call me the day before. This is killing me! It turned my normally 8 hour day into 3 hours. My per hour employee doesnt like it any either.

BUT, there is the "big lawn guy" in our city that is somehow able to (and successful) charge a high rate and get the people to pay ALL YEAR AROUND! One lawn that i recieved was an X-customer of his. She says she paid 150$ a month all year around. And on top of that they rarely came and always did a horrible job. I charge her 100$ a month and am there like clockwork every week. What am i doing wrong? I WISH i got paid all year around!

Have a good one ya'll.

thelawnguy
08-17-2000, 11:01 PM
"My minimum is 20$. That being said, i do have one 15$ lawn."

So your minimum is $15.

C'mon guys, if we cant be honest and straightforward here at our forum, what the heck are we all doing here anyhow? Accurate information is the only thing that will help our businesses grow.