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Frontier-Lawn
12-21-2004, 11:27 AM
OK i doing some research. when do you guys raise your prices (part of the year) and by what % or $ amount.

Norm Al
12-21-2004, 11:59 AM
nobody raises their prices in the lawn business unless they are trying to get rid of an account!

everybody that says they do,,,,,you can assume they are lying to you unless they are willing to post real contracts!

Fantasy Lawns
12-21-2004, 12:48 PM
Not to pop a bubble but I just raised bout 25 resi's this year .... granted only $5 per month cept couple which got $10-15 but that's +$1500 per year .... they were all due had em since 99 .... did the same last year to another group of 25 n will do the same this year to another group of 25 .... these are all older accounts

N sorry Norm .... didn't lose one ... but I have to admitt raising prices is best way to get rid of a pita .... I have not done a commercial increase in 5 years n some of those are due .... but with the competition so thick ... I just sell "extra's" too em

June is the best time down here .... just getting hot

Lawnchoice
12-21-2004, 02:09 PM
With the increase of chemical and fuel costs, I am going to increase 5% across the board.

Last year at this time fuel was much cheaper than it is now. The same with the fertilizer.

I am surely not going to eat the increase, I pass it on to my customers. It's the way it sits with me. If you explain it to them, they will never have an issue, or most of them !

bobbygedd
12-21-2004, 02:43 PM
nobody raises their prices in the lawn business unless they are trying to get rid of an account!

everybody that says they do,,,,,you can assume they are lying to you unless they are willing to post real contracts!
norm i have one right here that went from $145 per month (2002) to $189 per month (2004). it will increase to $200 per month in 2005

Norm Al
12-21-2004, 03:21 PM
yeah but they know your competition would be charging them 250 a month so yes they are eager to pay you 200!


look a minor raise after 5 years of servicing a homeowner is the equivalent of no raise at all!


look i dont say these things to make people feel bad! this is the reality of all businesses not just the lawn business,,,,,,in MOST cases you will die mowing a lawn under your original pricing until you lose it, willingly or not willingly!<-----that really holds true for commercial propertys and most homeowners!

Soupy
12-21-2004, 03:21 PM
Every year I raise about 20-25% of my customers by $5 a cut. So every 4-5 years this is a $20 a month raise. I have not loss any customers over it. Just 3 months ago I took a PITA customer and raised her from $65 a cut to $90 a cut and surprisingly she went for it with no questions asked. Now this one was one of those take it leave it type raises that I didn't think would fly. To be honest though I was under priced to begin with by $10-$15. When she hired me I let her talk me down because she showed me were the last guy only charged $50 per cut. I originally told her $75 and she said she would meet me half way. I was in a good mood and agreed. After kicking myself in the butt week after week I decided to make the move and raise her price. I guess quality spoke and she decided $40 more per cut was worth it. I did see invoices that she was actually only paying $50 per cut before.

Soupy
12-21-2004, 03:24 PM
nobody raises their prices in the lawn business unless they are trying to get rid of an account!

everybody that says they do,,,,,you can assume they are lying to you unless they are willing to post real contracts!

I'm not going to post customer contracts on-line. But if you would like to bet me $1,000 that I am lying. I will send you proof. You would have to sign a contract first though :)

Norm Al
12-21-2004, 03:25 PM
when i talk about pricing raises, i talk about company wide not just issolated cases. as if a lawn company has a "Programed Pricing Raise" company wide, take it or leave it, cost of living increase!

Norm Al
12-21-2004, 03:26 PM
soupy you raise ALL of your customers, company wide on a set period of time and they all are cool with that?

Soupy
12-21-2004, 03:28 PM
when i talk about pricing raises, i talk about company wide not just issolated cases. as if a lawn company has a "Programed Pricing Raise" company wide, take it or leave it, cost of living increase!

I do have a policy, It just isn't all at once because I didn't obtain my customers all at once. Newer customer already had these new cost factored in to begin with.

Norm Al
12-21-2004, 03:30 PM
so every year at contract renewal time every one of your customers is prepared for and recieves a cost of living contract increase and sticks with you?

Soupy
12-21-2004, 03:46 PM
My last post explains why I don't raise everyone at once. But yes, I have a 4-5 year plan that takes care of higher cost of operation and living. 20-25% of customer per year get at least a $5 raise. I have been doing this for 14 years. $20 a month raise every 4 years is not that much.

My contracts are not yearly. They are continued until notice is given that either party wants to terminate service. This can be done anytime of the year. In the contract it says that price are subject to change.

I don't believe in forcing someone that doesn't want to do business with you any longer to have to. This is why my contracts are actually agreements.

I don't understand your last question. Do you not raise prices?

cklands
12-21-2004, 07:17 PM
nobody raises their prices in the lawn business unless they are trying to get rid of an account!




I raise all my set prices (mowing, and mulching) every year by 3-5%. I have never lost an account because I raised their price by 5%. I can't believe if you picked up a new account this spring and where going to charge them $30 per cut that 5 years from now you would still be charging them the same thing. ;)

Norm Al
12-21-2004, 11:11 PM
so what your saying is "i raise both of my accounts each year".....?

cklands
12-22-2004, 12:33 PM
Yah, I only have two accounts, give me a break. No what I'm saying is that my mowing and mulching accounts get raised every year because they are the only prices hat are set in stone. Mulching has to get raised simply because my supplier raises his prices so why should I have to cover the cost increase. All the other serivces are billed by the hour.
Personally I don't see how you can not raise your prices to cover costs. If you are charging someone X amount for a service, that amount will not cover the same costs 3 years from now. I would be willing to bet that most everyone here raises their prices in one way or another.

i_plant_art
12-22-2004, 12:46 PM
i usually raise between 2% and 8% per year. insurance goes up, gas has gone up greatly (65% from march to nov. of this year 1.45 up to 2.20 for diesel) everyone gets an increase no matter what. not only has gas and insurance gone up but you also have to look at the things most forget ... tires go up, oil is up, trans.fluid is up, etc etc you get the point look at home much airlines have gone up in the last year. i hear about them going up all the time. sure some will cancel b/c your competition doesnt go up or is cheaper, but in the long run they will go out of business, and those who arent going up dont realize how much it costs to operate thier business anyhow and "think" they are making money but really arent only b/c they dont track thier numbers...... sorry for ramblings just thought that i would share why i go up ...

Landscare
12-22-2004, 02:51 PM
2% across the board company wide per year, Commercial accounts. You have to raise your prices or else you will go out of busniness. Do you think that the mower you are running always cost x amount??

DennisF
12-22-2004, 03:35 PM
Here in the Sunshine State mowing prices are very low. Prices today are about the same as they were 10 years ago. If you try to raise prices you'll get under-bid by an illegal LCO. I've seen it happen here plenty of times.

I tried to raise prices at the start of 2004 by a paltry $2.00 per week for my average customer and was met with a lot of customers complaining my prices were too high. I lost about 10 lawns to low priced LCO's.

There are a lot of retired people here living on fixed incomes and they don't want to pay much for lawn service. There is also a lot of grass cutters here that are willing to cut lawns for $15-$20 a pop which makes the problem worse.

In this area of the country you have to be real careful with pricing and raising prices or you can price yourself right out of business.

Norm Al
12-22-2004, 04:14 PM
dennisf is obviously the most honest man on lawnsite!

Soupy
12-22-2004, 04:15 PM
You can only get by without raising prices for so long. At the rate inflation is rising, I expect all these LCO to be out of business soon.

Norm Al
12-22-2004, 04:38 PM
not true soupy!

ALL companys/industrys are doing twice as much work for half the money today,,,,than they were doin it for 15 years ago!

so how is that possible?

cklands
12-22-2004, 04:39 PM
Prices today are about the same as they were 10 years ago. If you try to raise prices you'll get under-bid by an illegal LCO.




That really sucks.
You always run the risk of losing the acount if you raise your prices. I am in the same boat here. There are plenty of "grasscutters" out there around here also that can always come in cheaper. In my opinion you have to prove to the customer that you are worth the extra $. Personally I am not interested in the account that just want the grass cut every week. I go after the accounts that want a complete landscape management program. Again this is just my opinion and it works for me and many other LCO's in my area that I am friends with. Maybe it's just our area.

Soupy
12-22-2004, 04:53 PM
not true soupy!

ALL companys/industrys are doing twice as much work for half the money today,,,,than they were doin it for 15 years ago!

so how is that possible?

I guess it sucks to own a lco in Florida. I would think Snow Ski's are cheaper to buy in Colorado then Hawaii.

Norm Al
12-22-2004, 05:19 PM
competition!


thats why sno skis are cheaper in colorado than hawaii!

i find it hard to believe that after 911 that ALL areas within the usa dont have serious competitors in the lawn a cleaning industrys!

DennisF
12-22-2004, 05:32 PM
I guess it sucks to own a lco in Florida. I would think Snow Ski's are cheaper to buy in Colorado then Hawaii.



It's not all that bad here. You can make a living at it if you operate efficiently and are willing to take on a lot of lawns. I'm doing 63 lawns solo. You just can't expect to get $30 for a 10-12k lawn. It's not going to happen. At least not where I'm at.

Believe me...If I could find 40 lawns close together, that I could get $25-$30 each... I would be one happy solo LCO.

cklands
12-22-2004, 06:00 PM
guess it sucks to own a lco in Florida

I would say you must be right. And here I thought that there would be a boat load of money to be made in FL. Guess I will stay right here in NE. I can't imagine not being able to get $30 for a 10-12K lawn. ;)

Soupy
12-22-2004, 06:05 PM
competition!


thats why sno skis are cheaper in colorado than hawaii!

i find it hard to believe that after 911 that ALL areas within the usa dont have serious competitors in the lawn a cleaning industrys!

Sure there is competition, but we all still raise prices. The only two people that have said they don't raise prices live in Florida. I'm not calling you a lier because I believe you. I just don't understand why you are calling everyone else a lier.

LLandscaping
12-22-2004, 06:18 PM
We added a increase this year to some clients because fuel went up but in general we only go up on a few every year, the ones that we think dont produce enough profit. We usually just try to weed-out the customers we dont want at the beginning of the following year.

YardPro
12-22-2004, 06:39 PM
It's not all that bad here. You can make a living at it if you operate efficiently and are willing to take on a lot of lawns. I'm doing 63 lawns solo. You just can't expect to get $30 for a 10-12k lawn. It's not going to happen. At least not where I'm at.

Believe me...If I could find 40 lawns close together, that I could get $25-$30 each... I would be one happy solo LCO.

that sucks
here we are getting $35.00 for lawns half that size.