View Full Version : need your opinion?
02-14-2004, 08:57 PM
Have been mowing this paticular yard since 1995 and keep in mind that we also maintain a cemetary that this same customer owns. Toward the end of last season on the last two mowings that i did for him he asked me to start bagging his lawn(we always mulched his lawn) My question is, right now we are pretty high priced on his property. would you raise the price or just be a good boy and eat it? also keep in mind that the cemetary is very profitable for us and I am thinking about raising the cemetary.
Cut 2 Please
02-14-2004, 09:09 PM
Raise the price. Bagging is a pain.
02-14-2004, 09:13 PM
Eat it! He has been loyal since '95 and sometimes you have to treat special customers a little more than others.
02-14-2004, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by workaholic
My question is, right now we are pretty high priced on his property. would you raise the price or just be a good boy and eat it? also keep in mind that the cemetary is very profitable for us and I am thinking about raising the cemetary.
If your making a good profit on him and he's been with you since 95, eat it.
02-14-2004, 09:28 PM
If the account has been profitable since 95 I would eat it. If its something you see as a account that is "important" then I would jus keep with it, maybe you can dump the clippings somwhere around the cemetary, sometimes the have a small maintenance yard with dirt etc.
MandT Lawn Care
02-14-2004, 09:38 PM
eat it. good customers are good profit is harder to find . somewhere down the road you'll make it up on that customer.
02-14-2004, 09:39 PM
I agree, eat it. Maybe catch every other week or skip bagging in the summer months if you can. Try telling him, sure we will bag in the heavy growth months for no extra charge but we cannot afford to do it all year round, then maybe he will offer to pay a little extra for bagging year round. Then you are both happy.
02-14-2004, 09:39 PM
I agree, eat it! If your already making a good profit it couldn't be that much more of a PITA to bag it.
02-14-2004, 09:57 PM
I think you should charge a fair price for bagging. Eating it is not good buisness. How can you add a service and not adjust your price accordingly. Add a small charge when collecting clippings. If he has been with you since 95 he will understand, you have to charge more. I have seen alot of companies add on small things and not bill extra, next thing you know you are doing a ton of small things and getting screwed. And then customers dont understand, because you always did it befor and never charged extra. He will understand, if not he can try to find someone else, however no on will provide him the service yo can.
02-14-2004, 10:10 PM
Ask him why he'd like you to bag it. Are the clippings visible to him? I always try to make it "look" bagged by double cutting, mowing w/ an OCDC and if the clippings are still visible, then I bag. Some places have easy access to dumping the clippings. Others I've got to put in bags at the curb. It does take a bit longer, but leaving the place neat is important and the customer does notice things like that. I've picked up a few accounts just because I make it looked bagged. Maybe figure out how much more it cost's you to bag it and if you haven't raised your price since '95, inform the customer of this(I'm sure he knows) and that you'd only be charging extra to bag. He'll get what he wants and you'll get an increase.
02-14-2004, 10:16 PM
How big is the property you're bagging? If it's not much grass eat it. Any sizable amount explain how much of a pain it is to get rid of clippings. Even if you have a place to dispose of free of charge now, that can change in a heartbeat. Been there , done that. Matt
02-15-2004, 09:20 AM
I agree with Stan. Find out why he is asking you to bag now. maybe he just heard from his cousins brother -in law , or someone that you should always bag the grass. We know this isn't so. Explain to him the benefits of NOT bagging and all the nutrients you lose when you bag the grass. Make sure that the lawn still looks good even if not bagged. If there is too much clippings on to the bag or double cut. If you priced it based on not bagging and now you will be bagging then YEs the price should go up. You need to cover the extra work, time and disposal of the grass.
02-15-2004, 09:55 AM
DON'T EAT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why in gods name should you eat that extra cost????????? Because you make a profit on the other properties? That's what it's about, profit. Any reasonable individual would understand you are doing something EXTRA in relation to the original agreement, compensation needs to be addressed for the additional service. I'm sorry, but just because you have a loyal customer, and you supposedly make good profit on another property, doesn't mean you should bend over on a different property they have. Poor advice from some of you.
I can understand doing it once for the guy, that's understandable. A show of appreciation for his loyalty is good. Just make sure he is told this as well. It sets a tone that you appreciate all the business and you can do it this once as a show of your appreciation. We have done this in the past for customers that are very good. We'll bag for a special gathering they have at their home. Even then I hate doing that in fear of them getting used to freebies. In order for us to do it they have to be very good customers in order for me not to charge them. They are made perfectly clear why we are doing it as well as it's a one time deal. To start bagging a property every week while keeping the price the same, that's crazy. I don't care how large the property is or if you can leave the clippings on their property.
Simply put, you are doing an additional service to the original agreement. We are service providers! We need to be compensated for our service. Our time and labor costs US money and we need to recover those expenses. We do that by charging for these said services!
02-15-2004, 07:15 PM
The property is 10,000 sq ft and semi rolling to level, the thing about this guy is when we first started with him he asked us to just bag around the peremeter of the house which is what i bid on. And when we mowed the rest of the property we mulched it and neaver did we leave it look bad, the whole yard looked bagged. I think he thinks i should just do what he wants with out charging him. He does have me kinda pinned to the wall because he knows were profitable maintaining his cemetary and knows i need that income.
02-15-2004, 07:34 PM
10,000 sq ft, charge extra. When I first replied and said if it is small I thought you meant postage stamp. One bag from a 21" mower. The biggest hassle ( depending on the property layout) is grass disposal. Don't forget there is dump fees, drive time and unloading.( that is the last thing I want to do at the end of the day) I bag pretty much grass because the customer insists and very few contractors bag. Good luck with your decision! Matt
MandT Lawn Care
02-15-2004, 07:50 PM
same here 10,000 square? i could see a bag or two but thats alot of extra time.that you could be doing someone elses.
also is the bagging a one time deal or does he want it from here out.
02-15-2004, 07:53 PM
If you give in here it may set the tone for the future.
Always get a change order with changes!
Adjust the price, there is a chance he is trying to shake you and try something new.
If you raise the price then you will open that window, without breaking the contract.
Extra work is extra time & money.
02-17-2004, 08:35 PM
Thanks, Im going to bump it 5.00, I know its not alot but its better then losing both accounts....
02-18-2004, 01:21 AM
If you give in here it may set the tone for the future. I disagree with this attitude. I just consider things like this going the extra mile. Now, once in a while people do abuse the fact that you are willing to go the extra mile on occasion for them. And that's when I'd finally lay down the law and say, "Hey, I've been throwing in these extras for you at no charge for some time now but I can't continue to keep including more and more extras without charging more money. It does take time to do these things and my time is worth something."
But in my experience, most people do NOT abuse the going-the-extra-mile thing. They appreciate you making an extra effort for them. They realize you're doing something that is out of the norm for you and they reward that by referring you to others.
To bag for just two months? On a loyal customer of 9 years? One who also controls a big profitable commercial account you do? You gotta be kidding me! I'd eat it in a heartbeat. And judging from the response to this thread - so would most people.
Be careful - guys like us are your competition. Keep gouging this guy for petty stuff and he may go to one of us and stay there for 20 years!
02-18-2004, 06:47 AM
"He does have me kinda pinned to the wall because he knows were profitable maintaining his cemetary and knows i need that income."
This statement indicates that workaholic is concerned he may be taken advantage of. And that is what I based my reply on.
Who knows the client better.
This may indicate that he may have been taken advantage of before.
Do you think the client cannot see this?
"I disagree with this attitude. I just consider things like this going the extra mile. Now, once in a while people do abuse the fact that you are willing to go the extra mile on occasion for them. And that's when I'd finally lay down the law and say, "Hey, I've been throwing in these extras for you at no charge for some time now but I can't continue to keep including more and more extras without charging more money. It does take time to do these things and my time is worth something."
When there is a change create a change order,and charge accordingly. Be upfront in the beginning 2 months of free baging
cost time and money, To give extras once in a while is one thing at free will. But changes the client makes that are for more than a one time basis they need to be charged for, they are not of free will.
Will the bagging be part of the contract renewal at no charge as well? If so it is more than 2 months you are dealing with.
As I stated (If you give in here it may set the tone for the future.)
Business is business
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