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John Burton
08-22-2003, 09:45 PM
For the new guys,
First thing is run a good and ethical business.
For all the fly by night company's out there they are called cuthroaters, you will come into contact with some one day.
Never low ball the price on a job or you will be out of business soon.
My idea is this- Price it to make money not to pay the bills.
If you low ball jobs you will only pay bills, and you will never grow into a profitable business.
Price it to make money not to pay the bills

Always reasearch, I have been in Landscape and Lawn business
for 8 years and I am still learning.

JB Ga.

Team Gopher
08-23-2003, 08:24 AM
Great insight John :)

Port City Lawncare
08-23-2003, 01:04 PM
I agree that you shouldn't low ball every yard, but maybe some of you guys who take advantage of customers who are willing to pay such high dollar amounts should start doing a better job, then you wouldn't have to have me breathing down your throat. This isn't directed at you JB personally, but you catch my drift. I worked as a foreman for 9 years before deciding to open my own business, so I know a little about complacency

DUSTYCEDAR
08-23-2003, 01:42 PM
i have found that many people have a number in there head when they get an estimate mainly on lawn mowing lets say 20 for a 1/4 acer yard because they have been paying this for years to a company doing a sloppy job. u tell them 25 or 30 and think u are ripping them off. or better yet they want it cheaper than 20.
stand you're ground on prices and u will be okpayup

chefdrp
08-23-2003, 11:35 PM
PC lawncare, you are right. they better do a better job or soeone will. I just picked up a lawn today that a lco was charging 80 bucks for. I did the lawn today in 30 min. i am charging 40 bucks.and am doing a way better job. The custumer has wanted me all summer cause she knows my work from 2 lawns down.I just got the lawn today. They are getting ot of the contract. you guys better buckle down and do some good work.

NickN
08-25-2003, 08:01 AM
Not only will you go out of business,you'll look pretty stupid in the meantime.I underbid my first account.Figured it would take me around 45 minutes to complete.I didn't take into account the low hanging limbs and steep slope in the backyard.It takes me two hours from start to finish,for $35.Yep,I take a reaming on that lawn,but I count it as a learning experience and will stick by my word and not try to increase the price.This couple lives in a very nice waterfront neighborhood,which could lead to other accounts.I just have to get with the homeowner and ask them not to tell their neighbors what I'm charging them.:)
On the bright side,she wanted her shrubs trimmed also.Priced $225 for that,giving myself 6 hours for the work.Took me 3 1/2 hours to finish,so I made up for my mistake in lawn pricing.Now she's wanting her neighbors to go in with her to have the hedges and shrubs inbetween their property trimmed.I'll price that about the same since it will involve more prep time.Not too bad for a few hours of work.

mo4do
08-28-2003, 02:49 AM
Hey Nick, I know what your talking about. I priced a yard for 50 bucks and it takes min. 2hrs. It will help if I get my new mower next year. But since I picked up this yard, I now have the neighbor and his step son across the street. They are even trying to recruit more business for me in the neiborhood. My negitive has turned into a positive.

twins_lawn_care
08-28-2003, 01:58 PM
We are starting out the same way. We quoted our very first yard for $20, which was way low, since it takes us about an hour to do it, but we have gotten nothing but compliments and referrals from it. So on top of learning how to accurately price, we've gotten a lot of work. Just goes to show quality work is the best advertising. Just make sure to charge what you deserve. No one is forcing you to accept the customer's offer of $10 below what you quote. :cool:

craigs lawncare
09-01-2003, 07:32 PM
You know what irritates the heck out of me when I am bidding lawns is finding out some scrub bids say $21 or $22 on a lawn. I mean what is up with that? In my book, it is either $20 or $25. I am waiting for the day that someone is charging $24.99.

Craig:rolleyes:

craigs lawncare
09-01-2003, 07:40 PM
You know what irritates the heck out of me when I am bidding lawns is finding out some scrub bids say $21 or $22 on a lawn. I mean what is up with that? In my book, it is either $20 or $25. I am waiting for the day that someone is charging $24.99.

Craig:rolleyes:

BSDeality
09-01-2003, 07:42 PM
i've found that shooting "off" numbers is good way to get accounts. ie, instead of saying $40, say $38 or $39. when you say $40, they think "jesus, my cable bill is only $40/mo! and they want that every week to cut my damn grass down?"

its a pychological thing.

craigs lawncare
09-01-2003, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by BSDeality
i've found that shooting "off" numbers is good way to get accounts. ie, instead of saying $40, say $38 or $39. when you say $40, they think "jesus, my cable bill is only $40/mo! and they want that every week to cut my damn grass down?"

its a pychological thing.

BSDeality, I do see where you are coming from.
For me, charging someone say $23 instead of $20 or $25 is just not practical. It creates more confusing paper work when it comes to billing. Nice round numbers makes everything much easier for me and my customers to keep track of things. To me, it would make me feel cheap to be charging say $23 or $24 instead of $20 or $25.
I figure if I am doing an adiqute job, it is not going to make a difference to my customers if they are paying me $23 or the $25 which is the way I would charge.
Craig:)

Gene $immons
09-08-2003, 09:01 PM
Here's an idea. Don't bid anything under $35 or maybe $40

Why do LCO's continually drive down the prices in this business?

$20 dollars a lawn is a **&*&** joke. I don't care if you are 10 years old, its a joke.

I saw some losers ad in the newspaper that read "name the price, and i'll cut your grass" moron

Hawkeye5
09-12-2003, 04:21 PM
Like most the other people when they first started I also under-bid a job. At least it was a $35 bid! That said, I've been told I do a much better job than the last LCO plus I have picked up additional accounts, including the clients daughter @ $55 per cut. Some times it works out, but if you don't learn how to bid and provide a quality service you will become prey for the low ballers or go broke.

tiedeman
09-18-2003, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Gene $immons
Here's an idea. Don't bid anything under $35 or maybe $40

Why do LCO's continually drive down the prices in this business?

$20 dollars a lawn is a **&*&** joke. I don't care if you are 10 years old, its a joke.

I saw some losers ad in the newspaper that read "name the price, and i'll cut your grass" moron

the pricing of lawns though does vary in different locations just as salary does as well. When you tell someone don't bid under $35 for a city that only has a population of about 2,000 people then that is too high for them, now go to a large city, say around 100,000 or more, then $35 is fine and is considered a good rate. It just depends

brentsawyer
09-26-2003, 09:21 PM
Question for you who say below $35 is too low. How much do you earn average hourly and how loyal are your customers. I will often bid $28 or $33 or the likes. I usually do this on lawns where I think that $30 or $35 is too high for them and I won't get it. Plus it sure beats $25 or $30 especially when you are doing 2,500 lawns per year. That extra $3 is all of a sudden $7,500 and look, I just paid for my new mower. Back to the hourly thing. As far as getting $35 min for a lawn when I can may do it for $33 or so, I often spend only a minute or two in the truck between many lawns and sometimes need a breather since I don't have any windshield time and end up averaging close to $70-75/hr. Now that is not bad and I hate to say it but more mowing accounts means more very profitable side work, especially landscaping.

craigs lawncare
09-27-2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by brentsawyer
Question for you who say below $35 is too low. How much do you earn average hourly and how loyal are your customers. I will often bid $28 or $33 or the likes. I usually do this on lawns where I think that $30 or $35 is too high for them and I won't get it. Plus it sure beats $25 or $30 especially when you are doing 2,500 lawns per year. That extra $3 is all of a sudden $7,500 and look, I just paid for my new mower. Back to the hourly thing. As far as getting $35 min for a lawn when I can may do it for $33 or so, I often spend only a minute or two in the truck between many lawns and sometimes need a breather since I don't have any windshield time and end up averaging close to $70-75/hr. Now that is not bad and I hate to say it but more mowing accounts means more very profitable side work, especially landscaping.

Brent, :)

I do see your point in the pricing but if say you are pricing a lawn that you feel is a "$33" lawn, do you really think charging two more dollars, $35 is going to make a difference?
If that customer is that cheap, then I don't want them and you shouldn't either.
If $2 dollars is the deciding factor for that customer then what happens as your operations costs increase? As soon as you raise your price to cover costs they are going to dump you. You can forget about doing extra work for them involving landscaping. His lawn will never look good because he/she is to tight to put any money into it.
Chances are this customer will be the one that is never happy with the way you are mowing it because they already feel they are paying to much to have their grass cut.
I don't do this for a living. I have another full time job and do this on the side. My time is to valuable to be underbidding jobs. If one of my customers decided to dump me or hire someone else because they are $2 cheaper, I would wish them well and be on my way.
We are our own worst enemy when it comes to income.

Craig

LawnLad
09-27-2003, 12:47 PM
Here is a link to a discussion about pricing in our industry. The first post is a reprinted article worth reading... what follows is a good discussion.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28446&highlight=Rebirth+of+ethics

brentsawyer
09-27-2003, 03:45 PM
Good point. But have you thought of it the other way around. A $25 yard that you price @$27-28. I have several like this. Most are great money makers since they take 15-20min and are $28 or so and are w/in less than a block from another.

craigs lawncare
09-28-2003, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by brentsawyer
Good point. But have you thought of it the other way around. A $25 yard that you price @$27-28. I have several like this. Most are great money makers since they take 15-20min and are $28 or so and are w/in less than a block from another.

Brent, :)

Again, I do understand your point and you have to do what you have to, to survive.
In my opinion, what you are doing is low balling.
I have a few customers that I charge $35 per cut.
If I went to them at the beginning of next season and said something like, I am going to have to raise our current agreement price from $35 to $37 I would get some strange looks.
My customers would have a much better understanding of a $5 price increase rather than a two or three dollar increase. In my opinion, it would be a customer relations set-back for me.
I have been mowing almost all of my current lawns since I started eight or nine years ago and I have complete trust with my customers. You are better off raising them $5 one time rather than one or two dollars every year. It does not matter how little you raise their fee, all people remember is that you have gradually increased their weekly bill. This method has worked well for me.
If your customers like your service than they will gladly pay the $5 increase. You may be surprised.
:)
Craig

crawdad
09-29-2003, 08:14 AM
Here's what happens when you lowball...the 40/hr ad was in the paper early this season, followed quickly by the 35/hr ad. Look what's there now! 30 bucks an hour to bush-hog!These guys will beat themselves down to min. wage. The guy advertising 30 will break something, go out of business, and the people who read the paper will think bush hogging is only worth 30.

Taken from todays paper....

BUSHOGGING $40 Hr. or estimate Call xxx-xxxx


BUSHHOGGING (4x4) $35 hr or by job xxx-xxxx

FALL CLEAN-UP Mowing, shrubbery, leaf. Also bushhogging $30 hr. Free est. xxx-xxxx