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bobbygedd
02-17-2005, 05:26 PM
my wife sells real estate. she was driving a client to a house, and mentioned we have a lawn service. the man said he's been using the same service for 7 years, and has not had a price increase, ever :dizzy: . one gem on here admitted to not raising them in 5 years. what's the longest you've gone without increasing fees?

JB1
02-17-2005, 05:29 PM
What pound test line do you use.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-17-2005, 05:30 PM
spiderwire is the best

bobbygedd
02-17-2005, 05:30 PM
What pound test line do you use.
depends what i'm fishin for

DUSTYCEDAR
02-17-2005, 05:31 PM
troling for scuppa

rookie03
02-17-2005, 05:32 PM
I've went 2 years without raising prices. This year prices will be raised 10%. So how should I go about raising prices? What should I include in my letter as for the reason that I'm raising prices?

pjslawncare/landscap
02-17-2005, 05:32 PM
I have a couple that I havent raised for 5 or 6 years. They were easier than I first thought and I make good money and they are good people to work for. I got several of their neighbors as well now.

JustMowIt
02-17-2005, 05:35 PM
my wife sells real estate. she was driving a client to a house, and mentioned we have a lawn service. the man said he's been using the same service for 7 years, and has not had a price increase, ever :dizzy: . one gem on here admitted to not raising them in 5 years. what's the longest you've gone without increasing fees?

We never raise rates an existing customers, we reserve any changes in our terms for new customers. I have customers from 1997 when I first began mowing myself that nothing has changed since day one. I think a customer who stays around, does not complain, and pays well deserves the perk of staying at the same rate. :waving:

JB1
02-17-2005, 05:37 PM
Easy Bobby, give them a little more line before you set the hook.

grass disaster
02-17-2005, 05:39 PM
I have not raised my grandma's rates for about 10 years.

Mo Green
02-17-2005, 05:39 PM
Just keep watcin the line, the water around here is full of hungry trout.

Mark McC
02-17-2005, 05:39 PM
I'm bumping several customers $2.50 a cut if they were getting borderline prices last year. I have two or three whose rates are fine right now, so no problem. One or two are going to get a hefty hit (five bucks more per cut or better) 'cause I blew the estimate last year.

One old guy who was getting a helluva deal from me last year passed away. I knew from the get-go he was not long for this world, so I didn't mind. His wife passed away in '04 and I always visited with him for a few before trudging off to the next job. He'd have got sticker shock had he survived winter, but I'll never begrudge him. I didn't intentionally underbid him, but it happened that way, and I just let it go. God bless old Bill G.

bobbygedd
02-17-2005, 05:45 PM
justmowit, the same price? forever? for 20 years even? you'll never raise them?

Fareway Lawncare
02-17-2005, 06:22 PM
Bobby...Here's a Clue from another Guy who Doesn't have to Stock Shelves on the Side, hasn't raised rates in Seven Years, and Who Only Mows Grass....

http://www.justlawns.com/faq.htm

YardPro
02-17-2005, 06:43 PM
LOL
that's classic......
good one calvin

Henry
02-17-2005, 06:47 PM
We never raise rates an existing customers, we reserve any changes in our terms for new customers. I have customers from 1997 when I first began mowing myself that nothing has changed since day one. I think a customer who stays around, does not complain, and pays well deserves the perk of staying at the same rate. :waving:

I wish all the companies that I write checks to every month in order to keep my business running felt the same way. I've been with some of them for over 10 years and they just keep raising my rates.

bobbygedd
02-17-2005, 11:07 PM
fareway, you condone not raising rates, and cleaning leaves for grass rates. u r the classic scrub. and these companies who "mow only", at dirt cheap prices, and never raise rates, MAY BE MAKING MONEY now, but they are destroying the future of the business for generations to come. kind of like a big chemical company saving millions of dollars by dumping in the river, but then polluting it for the next 80 years

David Grass
02-18-2005, 09:37 AM
since 1988 I have only gone up once, at an average of 5 per yard, but I make a lot more per hour than I ever have. This industry has become very competitive, and it is now, all about procuring the correct mower combinations to make more money! I just added the 54 WB from Hustler, and I figure my wife and I will be at about $120.00 per hour. We live in an area that a Hell of a lot of people feel great if they are making $15.00 per hour at their jobs (mostly service industry jobs around here, and retail). Now I do increase by bidding higher on the new jobs, and I may go up again in a year or 2, but my point is, being very very fast at what you do (and I am) with the most efficient machinery is key to my success.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:44 AM
good luck david. one question i have for the "justmowit" type of business. i havn't read much on your approach to mowing, because i just don't like it. but i'm curious, how many men do you employ, what are thier average rates of pay, and how many hours do they work per week on average. are your employees full time or part time, and do you have a big employee turnover

Charles
02-18-2005, 09:47 AM
I have not raised my grandma's rates for about 10 years.

You must be waiting on that pot of gold at the end of the will?

HAHAHAHAHA

oldturf
02-18-2005, 12:32 PM
Let's see, you never give or get a raise. gasoline prices never go up, mowing equipment last forever and ever, your trim line never wears out and you don.t even have to change the oil or blades .insurance is free. Your customers stand for the fact that you must have been over-charging them for the last 7 years. Or! You are just plain nuts!!!!!

Mycannon
02-18-2005, 12:36 PM
Bobby...Here's a Clue from another Guy who Doesn't have to Stock Shelves on the Side, hasn't raised rates in Seven Years, and Who Only Mows Grass....

http://www.justlawns.com/faq.htm
These Kind of people make the lawn business look like we are not professionals. That is crazy and I feel sorry for anybody in the houston area that has to work next to these guys and have to call them competion because they are not worth anybody's worry. They will loose in the long run and I hope the worst for them. I hope your not on this site cause this should be for professionals.

crawdad
02-18-2005, 12:48 PM
These Kind of people make the lawn business look like we are not professionals. That is crazy and I feel sorry for anybody in the houston area that has to work next to these guys and have to call them competion because they are not worth anybody's worry. They will loose in the long run and I hope the worst for them. I hope your not on this site cause this should be for professionals.


"They will loose (sic) in the long run?" haha, you made a funny. That guy could buy you with his pocket change. And ya know what? He seems like a good dude, he'll answer questions about his biz, etc. He could teach you a thing or three about professionalism.
Shame on you for hoping the worst on anyone!
There is more than one right way to do some things, you know? No, you don't, I guess.
Whatever.
Crawdad

tiedeman
02-18-2005, 01:04 PM
the longest that I have gone is 4 years. But usually every customer gets their rates raised every 2 years no matter what.

JustMowIt
02-18-2005, 02:03 PM
good luck david. one question i have for the "justmowit" type of business. i havn't read much on your approach to mowing, because i just don't like it. but i'm curious, how many men do you employ, what are thier average rates of pay, and how many hours do they work per week on average. are your employees full time or part time, and do you have a big employee turnover

We certainly don't mind sharing information, but the answers to all those questions have been previously posted & were in detail, so quite lengthy.

Regarding increasing prices on existing customers, up to 20 years, I guess we should not say "never". It would really be nice to at least change the payment terms of about 500 old customers that we are still billing instead of next day AutoCharge, but as long as they are quite & pay on time, it could go on much longer than some of TJ's original 1997 customers. Additionally, unlike gas, & many other items, our market for a lawn mow has not increased much since 1997.
MJ

Soupy
02-18-2005, 02:16 PM
We never raise rates an existing customers, we reserve any changes in our terms for new customers. I have customers from 1997 when I first began mowing myself that nothing has changed since day one. I think a customer who stays around, does not complain, and pays well deserves the perk of staying at the same rate. :waving:

AMAZING!! Absolutely brilliant!!

marko
02-18-2005, 02:17 PM
Bobby do a search, It is definitely good reading. Search Justmowit. Basically they use H2B laborers, pay by the yard (gets em movin that @**) pays something like 3.25 per yard (foreman) and $2.50 for laborers. Each crew does probably 30+ lawns a day. Has 12 or so crews.
I think anyone who has the ability to set up a crew like this, has areas with 4,000 - 10,000 SF lots, that can be verified on line is missing a big opportunity. Hell, Justmowit undercut himself and advertised in the same area under a generic flier just to tighten up the routes more and capture the real cheap people! Granted it is not for everyone, but most towns have this type of market.

Charles
02-18-2005, 02:29 PM
Probably been said but if you dont raise your prices on a regular basis then you will be working for less money each year.
Hurts worse when you look at it that way. So actually you are taking a cut in pay each year. May be small for a year depending on the inflation rate. But like has been said our business has been really hurt by the rise in cost of fuel, health insurance and equipment. So if you havent raised you rates in the past couple of year then you are really taking a cut in pay.
Hard to go up every year. But you should really go up no later than every 3 years. The longer you waite the more you will have to go up and the more the sticker shock will effect the customer

rodfather
02-18-2005, 02:34 PM
Probably been said but if you dont raise your prices on a regular basis then you will be working for less money each year.
Hurts worse when you look at it that way. So actually you are taking a cut in pay each year. May be small for a year depending on the inflation rate. But like has been said our business has been really hurt by the rise in cost of fuel, health insurance and equipment. So if you havent raised you rates in the past couple of year then you are really taking a cut in pay.
Hard to go up every year. But you should really go up no later than every 3 years. The longer you waite the more you will have to go up and the more the sticker shock will effect the customer

Excellent points here Charles...especially about the sticker shock effect IMO.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 02:45 PM
heres the thing, i was just talkin to mac about this a few weeks ago...our grandparents, and great grandparents, did things that would BENEFIT future generations. they fought for better working conditions, fair wage, respectable treatment...the women and minorities fought for equality and rights. all of this benefited our workforce today. using the justmowit approach, i think it is regressing instead of progressing. at the low and never changing rates, i doubt he can offer his employees things like paid vacation, paid holidays, annual raises, medical coverage, you know, things that would benefit thier families. also the low low rates will contaminate the market for decades. if he is carrying 1,000 clients at rock bottom prices, that could probably be enough clientelle to carry 5-7 other small businesses at higher rates. i'm not calling justmowit a bad person, i don't know of him at all, nor am i putting him down, i just see it as "all for me, screw the rest". while that is certainly the "survival of the fittest" attitude, it wreaks havok for future generations.

crawdad
02-18-2005, 03:20 PM
heres the thing, i was just talkin to mac about this a few weeks ago...our grandparents, and great grandparents, did things that would BENEFIT future generations. they fought for better working conditions, fair wage, respectable treatment...the women and minorities fought for equality and rights. all of this benefited our workforce today. using the justmowit approach, i think it is regressing instead of progressing. at the low and never changing rates, i doubt he can offer his employees things like paid vacation, paid holidays, annual raises, medical coverage, you know, things that would benefit thier families. also the low low rates will contaminate the market for decades. if he is carrying 1,000 clients at rock bottom prices, that could probably be enough clientelle to carry 5-7 other small businesses at higher rates. i'm not calling justmowit a bad person, i don't know of him at all, nor am i putting him down, i just see it as "all for me, screw the rest". while that is certainly the "survival of the fittest" attitude, it wreaks havok for future generations.

...and you're wishing that you'd thought of it, and if you could do that where you're at...You'd turn it down, for the good of future generations of lawnboys? Ya, OK. :nono: payup :laugh:
Crawdad

marko
02-18-2005, 03:27 PM
Bobby, Go to www.justmowit.com and look at their policy page (you will love it except for the free re-cut). what you said is one way to look at it. Try looking at it this way though. You are a customer, there is no way you are going to pay Squared Away Lawn Company $32.00 to cut your yard. Would you pay $20.00? That would be saving $432 a year $12 x 36 cuts) on a service that is a luxury in these types of peoples mind in the first place. If you can make a profit and tap into a market that is unapproachable to everyone else (due to the customer not being able to afford it) is it worth it? It's like trying to get everyone to spend $30,000 on a new car. Some people have to buy and drive beaters. These guys are probably on a yard 8 - 15 minutes each with multiples on the same street. Most of the people that sign up for the service are cheap in the first place and the business philosophy is right up yours and my alley (don't tell me when to mow, don't decide when to pay me, don't come out and talk to me, don't give me the honor of begging for your continued business next spring, etc, etc, etc.), any deviations and shovel to the head and see ya later. If I could I would set up another company that would market just these kinds of accounts assuming it is profitable. If you can convert a, "I'll never hire someone to mow my yard" to a "hell, it's only 25 bucks" and grow it several years, I don't think its bad. The beauty of it is using $1,000 mowers, only taking credit cards, mowing on a set schedual - rain or shine, no trailers, and most of all, no dealing with PITA customers. These guys only want their yards cut. If they *****, drop em and move on (helpful to have a customer base of 2000+ on this though)

yrdandgardenhandyman
02-18-2005, 03:39 PM
my wife sells real estate. she was driving a client to a house, and mentioned we have a lawn service. the man said he's been using the same service for 7 years, and has not had a price increase, ever :dizzy: . one gem on here admitted to not raising them in 5 years. what's the longest you've gone without increasing fees?



Hopefully the other guy was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY overpriced to begin with.
I didn't raise prices at all this year. I may, just a wee bit, on new customers. I've been very successful at getting my costs down.
For example, instead of changing my socks everyday and wasting soap and water, I wear them till they turn to dust. When I take my shoes off and there's no sock, I know it's time to buy another.
But I digress from the original merriment for which this thread was started.
:help:

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 03:40 PM
...and you're wishing that you'd thought of it, and if you could do that where you're at...You'd turn it down, for the good of future generations of lawnboys? Ya, OK. :nono: payup :laugh:
Crawdad
so if your kids are working for $7 an hour, with no health benefits, you'd be ok with it?

crawdad
02-18-2005, 03:45 PM
so if your kids are working for $7 an hour, with no health benefits, you'd be ok with it?
What makes you think my kid would want to work for you?

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 03:55 PM
don't be a smart ass. i'm serious. if you like the way you live, you can thank the people before you who made it that way. if a guy wants to start a grass business in 15 years, he won't be able to charge more than $23 a mow. who will he BLAME for that? the rest of the world works like this: you CAN PURCHASE a low priced product, but, IT WILL BE INFERIOR IN QUALITY. is justmowit providing an inferior product? now THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE. but providing a top level service, at drastically reduced rates, kills the market.

crawdad
02-18-2005, 04:02 PM
don't be a smart ass. i'm serious. if you like the way you live, you can thank the people before you who made it that way. if a guy wants to start a grass business in 15 years, he won't be able to charge more than $23 a mow. who will he BLAME for that? the rest of the world works like this: you CAN PURCHASE a low priced product, but, IT WILL BE INFERIOR IN QUALITY. is justmowit providing an inferior product? now THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE. but providing a top level service, at drastically reduced rates, kills the market.

Ya, it does, to a point. Just like the cheap guy that you hired to work on your house, ruins the market for my son's legitimate construction business. But, like myself, he's not worried about it, as there will always be a percentage of shoppers who are swayed by price. That leaves the good customers for him. The people who call BEFORE the living room is full of insulation. :laugh:
Crawdad

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 04:12 PM
yes you're a funny man, but incapable of holding a serious conversation. i do my part where i can. one change i've made, that these so called "pros" and ipm practitioners have not, is to discontinue grub treatments as part of a standard program. my experience shows me that only a tiny percentage of lawns will have a grub problem. i could make a ton of money applying merit to all of them, but at the same time i'd be applying unnecisary chemicals, contaminating the earth. EVERYTHING YOU DO TODAY, will effect your kids, and grandkids. joke all u want, you're fking up the future for your children, and thiers.

crawdad
02-18-2005, 04:19 PM
yes you're a funny man, but incapable of holding a serious conversation. ...blah...blah...blah...
Ya, incapable of having a serious conversation WITH YOU.
I won. :waving:
I'm going outside, sit on the porch. It's almost 4:20, time for my break. :drinkup:

gramps
02-18-2005, 04:31 PM
I've went 2 years without raising prices. This year prices will be raised 10%. So how should I go about raising prices? What should I include in my letter as for the reason that I'm raising prices?
REASON EffectiveJan. !,2005 increase of 10%.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 04:42 PM
fine crawdad, you're a miserable bearded man from tennessee. and u rookie, you need to give a REASON to raise prices? tell them you need to eat , and live indoors...and not end up in tennessee

Soupy
02-18-2005, 05:02 PM
...and you're wishing that you'd thought of it, and if you could do that where you're at...You'd turn it down, for the good of future generations of lawnboys? Ya, OK. :nono: payup :laugh:
Crawdad

I would. I would not want the headaches for the amount of pay off. I would rather idolize guys like Rodfather and Jim Lewis. I bet these guys make just as much as the million dollar company with 35 employees and a ton of added expenses that comes with a business of that size. Crap, you see million dollar companies go bankrupt all the time. No, I'm not impressed at all.

I don't have respect for any large company that brings their industry down for profit. Bobby is right, but as we all know it is life and there isn't much we can do about it.

With all that said, sure we all need to raise prices. Even Walmart raises prices at some point. Anybody that thinks differently is foolish.

Fareway Lawncare
02-18-2005, 05:10 PM
What you Kids don't understand is that by not raising prices you increase density each year so in fact your hrly profits are increased. You are also able to add crews to handle the increased volume low prices bring.

Most of you don't own a self supporting business or you are forced to offer other services because you can't generate profits from just mowing.

This is the problem w/part time hacks commenting on legitimate business' like Justmowit and Justlawns who have stable well reasoned business plans for generating profits in Mowing.

kdbetters
02-18-2005, 05:10 PM
let me ask a question.

How come it seems that people who offer mow and go services are always targeted as businesses that will ruin the market or they will not make it in the long run. What actually will stop them from running their business as normal year after year. Just wanted to know, it seems like the people that always say that they will not make it are the same ones that do not like that approach. So its seems to me that, people actually don't want them to succeed instead of realistic thinking if they will make it or not. I have not really heard anyone that has said, I like their approach but it will not last long.

Also, if you look at his prices, they are standard for his area. His lowest price is $26 dollars. The doorhangers that he puts out that advertise $20 are just specials that he runs. I don't see anyone making a big deal of other people who post their advertisements on here that has other types of specials for new customers, or is it just becuse he advertises cheap mowing.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 05:18 PM
What you Kids don't understand is that by not raising prices you increase density each year so in fact your hrly profits are increased. You are also able to add crews to handle the increased volume low prices bring.

Most of you don't own a self supporting business or you are forced to offer other services because you can't generate profits from just mowing.

This is the problem w/part time hacks commenting on legitimate business' like Justmowit and Justlawns who have stable well reasoned business plans for generating profits in Mowing.
hey gump, why don't u just lower your prices to $5 a mow? get 40,000 clients, and take over the planet

marko
02-18-2005, 05:22 PM
They don't say they wont make it, they don't like the prices they set for an area. The ones that they say wont make it are the boneheads that come in a neighborhood @ $20.00 and get 40 yards. To do it @ $20 you need a plan and super high volume. 40 at $20.00 sounds good enough to get the McDonalds guy to buy a $100 mower, make $800/week ($20/hr), keep in mind they are not paying taxes, then get to the end of the season and not have any income, any money to replace equipment, etc.

bigdaddyspags
02-18-2005, 05:29 PM
I lower prices every year to try and get my old customers to stay with me. Works pretty well so far. It seems to make my customers happier and more willing to stay onboard. I usually make up the difference when they ask me to do some little extras and tip me for it.

rodfather
02-18-2005, 05:42 PM
I lower prices every year to try and get my old customers to stay with me. Works pretty well so far. It seems to make my customers happier and more willing to stay onboard. I usually make up the difference when they ask me to do some little extras and tip me for it.

Now, that is a different approach :dizzy:

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 05:45 PM
I lower prices every year to try and get my old customers to stay with me. Works pretty well so far. It seems to make my customers happier and more willing to stay onboard. I usually make up the difference when they ask me to do some little extras and tip me for it.
that's it, that's the last straw, i'm gonna open a hot dog stand

Soupy
02-18-2005, 05:49 PM
let me ask a question.

How come it seems that people who offer mow and go services are always targeted as businesses that will ruin the market or they will not make it in the long run. What actually will stop them from running their business as normal year after year. Just wanted to know, it seems like the people that always say that they will not make it are the same ones that do not like that approach. So its seems to me that, people actually don't want them to succeed instead of realistic thinking if they will make it or not. I have not really heard anyone that has said, I like their approach but it will not last long.

Also, if you look at his prices, they are standard for his area. His lowest price is $26 dollars. The doorhangers that he puts out that advertise $20 are just specials that he runs. I don't see anyone making a big deal of other people who post their advertisements on here that has other types of specials for new customers, or is it just becuse he advertises cheap mowing.

This thread is about raising prices. There isn't nothing wrong with mow and go, it's the not raising prises part that isn't right.

Oh! How do you run a $20 special on mow and go. If you are not adding extras to offset the price then how do you call it a special, especially if you never raise prices.

It's not about the cost of the cut either. If you can charge $20 per cut and profit, great. But you can not expect to make the same profit per cut if you don't raise price with inflation.

rodfather
02-18-2005, 05:49 PM
that's it, that's the last straw, i'm gonna open a hot dog stand

BG, if you are as successful as Hot Dog Johnnie's on the way to the Poconos, please invite me on your yacht once in awhile down in the Grand Caymens...or your house alongside Vail.

JB1
02-18-2005, 05:55 PM
Bobby, you don't even need a pole, they just keep jumping in the boat.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 05:57 PM
that's it, that's the last straw, i'm gonna open a hot dog stand

Good idea.. I bet if you sell hot dogs for 25 cents, you will sell a lot of them :laugh:.

rodfather
02-18-2005, 05:59 PM
I lower prices every year to try and get my old customers to stay with me.

Gee, I wonder if the gas companies will lower their prices each year so we don't go back to riding horses to get around.

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-18-2005, 06:04 PM
This whole thread is the difference in perception of the "technician" types vs. the entrepreneurial" types.

The technician needs the higher prices to pay him a decent salary because he is doing most of the work, if not all the work. The entrepreneur wants to build and duplicate money making systems that build him wealth. These two types do not get along very well.

rodfather
02-18-2005, 06:11 PM
This whole thread is the difference in perception of the "technician" types vs. the entrepreneurial" types.

The technician needs the higher prices to pay him a decent salary because he is doing most of the work, if not all the work. The entrepreneur wants to build and duplicate money making systems that build him wealth. These two types do not get along very well.

I need both...high prices to compensate my people well and wealth to make me happy. What does that make me John?

Soupy
02-18-2005, 06:12 PM
This whole thread is the difference in perception of the "technician" types vs. the entrepreneurial" types.

The technician needs the higher prices to pay him a decent salary because he is doing most of the work, if not all the work. The entrepreneur wants to build and duplicate money making systems that build him wealth. These two types do not get along very well.

Are you saying entrepreneur's think they don't need to raise prices? Drug dealers even understand the concept of raising prices! It's really not that hard to understand.

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-18-2005, 06:16 PM
Are you saying entrepreneur's think they don't need to raise prices? Drug dealers even understand the concept of raising prices! It's really not that hard to understand.

It is not always necessary to raise prices to make more money. Have you ever heard of a cell phone? My first cell/truck phone cost me $1500 installed. Now I can buy them for $30 dollars. The rates keep going down too. What exactly is it you can't understand?

It's all just a game. Learn to adapt to the market and make money. Volume is not a bad thing. Without it very few on this board would be able to afford a car.

kdbetters
02-18-2005, 06:18 PM
This thread is about raising prices. There isn't nothing wrong with mow and go, it's the not raising prises part that isn't right.

Oh! How do you run a $20 special on mow and go. If you are not adding extras to offset the price then how do you call it a special, especially if you never raise prices.

It's not about the cost of the cut either. If you can charge $20 per cut and profit, great. But you can not expect to make the same profit per cut if you don't raise price with inflation.

Running specials is not always about offsetting price, there could be several reasons for a company to run specials.

1. To offer an incentive to acquire customers
2. To get rid of overstocked or out of date items
3. To be competitve with similiar competition
4. To draw interest to a new item, service, or division
5. To test a market and its demand and supply

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-18-2005, 06:44 PM
I need both...high prices to compensate my people well and wealth to make me happy. What does that make me John?

A entrepreneur/manager who has learned to control the technician within and then hired other techs that don't need the high salary and who are comfortable with what the market will pay them? How did I do?

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 06:50 PM
entrepreneur- a body of land surrounded by water on 3 sides

Soupy
02-18-2005, 06:50 PM
It is not always necessary to raise prices to make more money. Have you ever heard of a cell phone? What exactly is it you can't understand?

Apples and oranges... I thought this forum was about lawn care? Your talking about a new market that took high prices and lowered them to compete and is making up the lost in quantity. How many of these cell phone companies are getting swallowed up by the bigger guy? Don't expect prices to never rise on these cell phones either. Cable companies use to be the same way. I don't see my cable bill going down, or even staying the same year after year.

Lets come back to reality. The thread isn't about profit in quantity. But lets look at that for a minute. Lets say your company cuts 3000 lawns at a profit of $5 per cut. Are you saying that you should not raise prices and just take a cut and only make $4 per cut, but add more customers to balance things out. Are you saying you should just keep doing this until you are eventually cutting a billion lawns and only making 25 cents per cut. I would hope not. I would hope that you would come to the conclusion that you need to raise rates eventually.

Any customer that doesn't understand a rate increase after 7 years will be more then made up for by the ones that do understand.

lpwhandyman
02-18-2005, 07:00 PM
Open up a weiner stand..........oh I can't stop laughing. You want that dog hot? That'll be an upcharge. You want a bun for that..........of course it doesn't come with a bun.....that'll cost ya extra. Of course ketchup and mustard is extra. You want relish? Go back to (insert your state here) and dig some up with the shovel I'm about to hit you over the head with.
If you want to raise YOUR prices, then you're the boss and you tell YOUR customers that's the way it's gonna be. Who cares if someone 10 states away is keeping them the same, raising them or lowering them. It's your business and you run it the way you want. I'm so tired of the bashing on here. Let's learn from each other.
So I'm thinking of trying another setup this year with double blades. Last time I tried it, the blades wouldn't stay like this +. Any tips on how to keep them put?

wbw
02-18-2005, 07:01 PM
I need both...high prices to compensate my people well and wealth to make me happy. What does that make me John?


THE EXCEPTION

wbw
02-18-2005, 07:05 PM
Are you saying entrepreneur's think they don't need to raise prices? Drug dealers even understand the concept of raising prices! It's really not that hard to understand.


Cocaine is far less expensive than it used to be. Pretty stupid drug dealers.

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-18-2005, 07:05 PM
Apples and oranges... I thought this forum was about lawn care? Your talking about a new market that took high prices and lowered them to compete and is making up the lost in quantity. How many of these cell phone companies are getting swallowed up by the bigger guy? Don't expect prices to never rise on these cell phones either. Cable companies use to be the same way. I don't see my cable bill going down, or even staying the same year after year.

Lets come back to reality. The thread isn't about profit in quantity. But lets look at that for a minute. Lets say your company cuts 3000 lawns at a profit of $5 per cut. Are you saying that you should not raise prices and just take a cut and only make $4 per cut, but add more customers to balance things out. Are you saying you should just keep doing this until you are eventually cutting a billion lawns and only making 25 cents per cut. I would hope not. I would hope that you would come to the conclusion that you need to raise rates eventually.

Any customer that doesn't understand a rate increase after 7 years will be more then made up for by the ones that do understand.

I am not saying that rates should never be raised. But they do not always need to be raised. For instance; I have a customer that I bill $160 per hour and another that I bill $31 per hour. I know this because I do job costing that enables me to know what I am making down to the minute for each of these jobs. Now if my billable rate is $60 dollars per hour, do I need to raise the first job just for the sake of raising prices? Or do I raise the rate of the second job?

When a company gets bigger these job costs might break down to revenue per day for a route and the same philosophy applies. What are the numbers? And are we making the same profit percentage? The numbers are the common denominator for any business that seeks to make a profit and that is reality Soupy.

Of course my original statement was simply to draw attention to the different perceptions of a "Technician" type vs the Entrepreneur" type and was not meant to be offensive.

By the way, I would enjoy making 25 cents per lawn on a billion lawns. I am surprised that you would not?!?

Soupy
02-18-2005, 07:07 PM
Running specials is not always about offsetting price, there could be several reasons for a company to run specials.

1. To offer an incentive to acquire customers
2. To get rid of overstocked or out of date items
3. To be competitve with similiar competition
4. To draw interest to a new item, service, or division
5. To test a market and its demand and supply

1. If you acquire a customer for $20 per cut and you offer nothing else, then your price is $20 per cut. There isn't nothing special about it. You can't say that your lowest price is $26 but then have customers paying $20.

2. What overstock or out of date item are you selling for $20 per cut?

3. Never said anything about having competitive prices. But it would hardly qualify as a special. A price is just that unless it is for a short time and you will eventual raise it. If a LCO offered me x amount of cuts and $20 and told me that after that the price would be $26. Well then that would be a special.

4. Same as 1 and 3.

5. Again, the $20 cut is the price of service. This one does make more sense, but unless you raise your price down the road. It's not a special, It just a price of service.


I'm not going to argue with you guys over this. I have better things to do. If you want to enlighten me about something. Please don't use scenarios that don't fit with the discussion. I'm all ears and am willing to be educated. I'm not going to argue about Cell phones, or the special the local store is selling dog food for. I don't care if he is getting rid of overstock, or to trying to get new customers to try their product. If it doesn't fit with the discussion, don't address me about it.

wbw
02-18-2005, 07:09 PM
By the way, I would enjoy making 25 cents per lawn on a billion lawns. I am surprised that you would not?!?[/QUOTE]


But that is only $250,000,000.00 per week profit. Now come on who would want to try to scrape by on that?

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-18-2005, 07:10 PM
1. I'm not going to argue with you guys over this. I have better things to do. If you want to enlighten me about something. Please don't use scenarios that don't fit with the discussion. I'm all ears and am willing to be educated. I'm not going to argue about Cell phones, or the special the local store is selling dog food for. I don't care if he is getting rid of overstock, or to trying to get new customers to try their product. If it doesn't fit with the discussion, don't address me about it.

That is fairly narrow minded, don't ya think? There is a lot to learn about business outside of lawncare. Lawncare is just the product/service.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:14 PM
meatheads, that's what they are. u r talking about drug dealers, retail businesses, alot of things. other businesses have a LARGE product line, they sell lots of different things, that can offset one another , and still allow them to keep the same prices, or hardly ever raise them. when your product line consists of ONLY one or two products, YOU MUST INCREASE fees. if you have employees, and are offering them the benefits of a real job, and you don't raise fees, how are you keeping your employees? the only answer here is, the big volume companies must be treating thier employees like dogs.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 07:14 PM
I am not saying that rates should never be raised. But they do not always need to be raised. For instance; I have a customer that I bill $160 per hour and another that I bill $31 per hour. I know this because I do job costing that enables me to know what I am making down to the minute for each of these jobs. Now if my billable rate is $60 dollars per hour, do I need to raise the first job just for the sake of raising prices? Or do I raise the rate of the second job?

When a company gets bigger these job costs might break down to revenue per day for a route and the same philosophy applies. What are the numbers? And are we making the same profit percentage? The numbers are the common denominator for any business that seeks to make a profit and that is reality Soupy.

Of course my original statement was simply to draw attention to the different perceptions of a "Technician" type vs the Entrepreneur" type and was not meant to be offensive.

By the way, I would enjoy making 25 cents per lawn on a billion lawns. I am surprised that you would not?!?

Ok, I see were you are coming from. I thought you were agreeing with TJ about not raising rates on old customers and only raising rates on new. To answer your question, yes I believe you should raise the rate. You are in business to make money. Why let this one customer off on a lower rate and the sacrifice of new customers. If your rate is $60 per hour, then charge that. Don't make the guy at $120 cover this customers cost.

Edit: I believe that if you do have a business set up for quantity. You more then anyone needs to raise rates from time to time. Because these types of business are set up on low profit per customer already.

I hope you were joking about cutting a billion lawns for 25 cents profit. The headaches that came with that would not be worth it. Why not aim for a 1/2 billion at 50 cents :)

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:17 PM
ok, SOMEBODY ANSWER ME THIS , you are comparing lawn mowing to other businesses.fine, what other businesses have a product line, that consists of ONLY ONE PRODUCT, OR SERVICE, and does not raise rates?

kipcom
02-18-2005, 07:18 PM
WAAAaaaaaa.......WAAAaaaaaa :cry:

Just another whorthless bunch of crying..........

How about some real world discussions ? Oh wait, this is the USA

SAY WHAT U WANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cool2:

kipcom
02-18-2005, 07:19 PM
ok, SOMEBODY ANSWER ME THIS , you are comparing lawn mowing to other businesses.fine, what other businesses have a product line, that consists of ONLY ONE PRODUCT, OR SERVICE, and does not raise rates?


Ummmm The water company ? The Electric company ? can I keep going ? :p

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:21 PM
Ummmm The water company ? The Electric company ? can I keep going ? :p
i said ONE product fool. pse&g offers many services

jasonnau
02-18-2005, 07:21 PM
I discount them each year for being good customers.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 07:22 PM
Ummmm The water company ? The Electric company ? can I keep going ? :p

But they raise prices. At least in my neck of the woods.

Also, who is crying? This is a real discussion, and a dam good one at that. We all have something we can learn from each other.

Sounds like you are the one crying about us having a discussion. Stay out if you don't want to play.

lpwhandyman
02-18-2005, 07:23 PM
i said ONE product fool. pse&g offers many services

Didn't your momma teach you anything about name calling? welcome to lawnbitching.com

kipcom
02-18-2005, 07:24 PM
But they raise prices. At least in my neck of the woods.

Also, who is crying? This is a real discussion, and a dam good one at that. We all have something we can learn from each other.

Sounds like you are the one crying about us having a discussion. Stay out if you don't want to play.


Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :cry:

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:31 PM
Didn't your momma teach you anything about name calling? welcome to lawnbitching.com
yea, while i was humpin her

Soupy
02-18-2005, 07:39 PM
That is fairly narrow minded, don't ya think? There is a lot to learn about business outside of lawncare. Lawncare is just the product/service.

I agree, but this thread isn't about that. It is about lawn care and raising prices. If you feel like starting a new thread to discuss business ideas. I am game. Like I said earlier, I am always willing to be educated and even prove wrong.

jasonnau
02-18-2005, 07:50 PM
I think we all need spring to get here already. If everyone were working, we'd be too tired to be bitchin at each other.

That's my thought anyway.

JustMowIt
02-18-2005, 07:56 PM
These Kind of people make the lawn business look like we are not professionals. That is crazy and I feel sorry for anybody in the houston area that has to work next to these guys and have to call them competion because they are not worth anybody's worry. They will loose in the long run and I hope the worst for them. I hope your not on this site cause this should be for professionals.

I have spoken with the owner of Just Lawns in Houston, and he has been in business for many years, and I would say there is a 99% chance that he nets atleast 4 times what most lawnsite members do!

I am not trying to down the lawnsite community, but i get sick of hearing lco's that run down "mow only" operations that are obviously very successful.

There are way too many jealous babies on lawnsite :cry:

Money is money, whether you sell a lot of services to a few customers, or mow only to hundreds of customers.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 08:00 PM
Open up a weiner stand..........oh I can't stop laughing. You want that dog hot? That'll be an upcharge. You want a bun for that..........of course it doesn't come with a bun.....that'll cost ya extra. Of course ketchup and mustard is extra. You want relish? Go back to (insert your state here) and dig some up with the shovel I'm about to hit you over the head with.
If you want to raise YOUR prices, then you're the boss and you tell YOUR customers that's the way it's gonna be. Who cares if someone 10 states away is keeping them the same, raising them or lowering them. It's your business and you run it the way you want. I'm so tired of the bashing on here. Let's learn from each other.
So I'm thinking of trying another setup this year with double blades. Last time I tried it, the blades wouldn't stay like this +. Any tips on how to keep them put?

I must have been the only one that viewed this thread as a real discussion. I know there was some guys that popped in with some rude comments, but adding to them doesn't help.

I didn't see anyone crying except from the guys posting these comments.

Off topic, but to show I am a nice guy. I will answer your last question. If you have a 5/8" center hole, you can buy the adapter from Dixie Chopper. I think I paid $15 a piece for mine several years ago. The price might have went up a little though :). If that is not an option then a decent air compressor should do the trick. I don't see the adapter anymore and just tighten the blades with an impact wrench.

lawncare4u
02-18-2005, 08:00 PM
my wife sells real estate. she was driving a client to a house, and mentioned we have a lawn service. the man said he's been using the same service for 7 years, and has not had a price increase, ever :dizzy: . one gem on here admitted to not raising them in 5 years. what's the longest you've gone without increasing fees?


Should raise them 2 times per year! :waving:

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 08:08 PM
Should raise them 2 times per year! :waving:
i do, it's called a "surcharge"

LawnsUnlimited
02-18-2005, 08:20 PM
yea, while i was humpin her

I have sit here over four years under 2 names observing, as you can see i dont really post or reply. I have sit here seen how you comment on things,and that last response is PURE IGNORANT. What kind of MAN makes a responses like that?You can attack me personally like you do everyone else makes me no difference fact is thats a punk comment.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 08:35 PM
gee, i feel terrible about this. how about my other comments, how do you feel about those?

kdbetters
02-18-2005, 08:44 PM
1. If you acquire a customer for $20 per cut and you offer nothing else, then your price is $20 per cut. There isn't nothing special about it. You can't say that your lowest price is $26 but then have customers paying $20.

2. What overstock or out of date item are you selling for $20 per cut?

3. Never said anything about having competitive prices. But it would hardly qualify as a special. A price is just that unless it is for a short time and you will eventual raise it. If a LCO offered me x amount of cuts and $20 and told me that after that the price would be $26. Well then that would be a special.

4. Same as 1 and 3.

5. Again, the $20 cut is the price of service. This one does make more sense, but unless you raise your price down the road. It's not a special, It just a price of service.


I'm not going to argue with you guys over this. I have better things to do. If you want to enlighten me about something. Please don't use scenarios that don't fit with the discussion. I'm all ears and am willing to be educated. I'm not going to argue about Cell phones, or the special the local store is selling dog food for. I don't care if he is getting rid of overstock, or to trying to get new customers to try their product. If it doesn't fit with the discussion, don't address me about it.

First we need to know the definition of special, which is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional:. So basically if my common or usual price is $26 then yes it is a special price $20 that I am offering to that potential customer. Also if I'm mowing a lawn($20), and the next door neighbors come up and say well can you cut my lawn. I say yes that would be $25, and they say well you only charge them $20. I say well they signed up when I was running a special. Do you get the idea, you as a business owner can make whatever type of special or promotion you want it to be. You are right I dont want to argue over something this petty either, but prices always seem to be a touchy subject.

Also, this is a lawn care forum and not forums for other kinds of business, however some concepts of business are universal, no matter what field your in.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 08:47 PM
I have spoken with the owner of Just Lawns in Houston, and he has been in business for many years, and I would say there is a 99% chance that he nets atleast 4 times what most lawnsite members do!

I am not trying to down the lawnsite community, but i get sick of hearing lco's that run down "mow only" operations that are obviously very successful.

There are way too many jealous babies on lawnsite :cry:

Money is money, whether you sell a lot of services to a few customers, or mow only to hundreds of customers.

Yes, that member made a very rude comment to you. Most members on this site don't condone behavior like that. Sure, sometimes the discussions will get heated and a comment will fly out, but to wish bad things onto someone personally is totally out of line.

To try and get this conversation back on track. Can anyone point out an expense for LCO's that has not went up in the last 7 years?

Fareway Lawncare
02-18-2005, 09:03 PM
Not Raising Prices and Low Prices brings you Route Density which Increases Hrly.... and allows you to Add More Mowing Crews......Inflation is Irrelevant.

Again this is not a Concept Easily Understood by Part Time Hacks or Guys who have to Supplement Mowing Income w/Low Rent Landscape Jobs.

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:13 PM
ok, SOMEBODY ANSWER ME THIS , you are comparing lawn mowing to other businesses.fine, what other businesses have a product line, that consists of ONLY ONE PRODUCT, OR SERVICE, and does not raise rates?


i'll do you one better

COMPUTERS

computers and electronics get cheaper and cheaper for the same product.

buy the newest dvd player and pay $250.00
wait a year and the same unit will be $100.00

i

Soupy
02-18-2005, 09:14 PM
First we need to know the definition of special, which is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional:. So basically if my common or usual price is $26 then yes it is a special price $20 that I am offering to that potential customer. Also if I'm mowing a lawn($20), and the next door neighbors come up and say well can you cut my lawn. I say yes that would be $25, and they say well you only charge them $20. I say well they signed up when I was running a special. Do you get the idea, you as a business owner can make whatever type of special or promotion you want it to be. You are right I dont want to argue over something this petty either, but prices always seem to be a touchy subject.

Also, this is a lawn care forum and not forums for other kinds of business, however some concepts of business are universal, no matter what field your in.

Yes, prices are a touchy subject, and Yes, some concepts do work for other business. I think some times we get into the moment and start talking about industries that have no comparison too.

You see a lot of talk on these forums about how much there is to learn. I agree with that and it takes conversation for this to happen.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:17 PM
i'll do you one better

COMPUTERS

computers and electronics get cheaper and cheaper for the same product.

buy the newest dvd player and pay $250.00
wait a year and the same unit will be $100.00

i
yes, and in a short time it will be obsolete, and a new product will take its place.

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:17 PM
By the way, I would enjoy making 25 cents per lawn on a billion lawns. I am surprised that you would not?!?


But that is only $250,000,000.00 per week profit. Now come on who would want to try to scrape by on that?[/QUOTE]

you're going WAY ofer bobby's head.

first off he can't count to a million

next you're introducing an advanced business strategy of low margin volume business vs high margin small business. l

wal mart has been pretty successful with this concept.

and to any of those out there who crack on just mow it's philosiphy think about this.

if he gets 10 % of the 1.4 million per year, then he makes $140K/year without ever toughing a mower.

now can YOU operate on just 10% of your business?????
bobby for example does less than 100K/year in business
if he kept only 10% he woould have to get a second job ..... well a third job i guess since he has a second already..
that would onlt be 10K per year.

as a business grows it's margins can become much smaller and still be very successful

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:20 PM
walmart product line is huge, fool

LawnsUnlimited
02-18-2005, 09:22 PM
gee, i feel terrible about this. how about my other comments, how do you feel about those?

Bobby, to answer your question,you make some damn good points over the years,you tell about things that happen to you and have seen in this industry that alot of these guys think your full of sh*t but unless you been in business for long time and most of all done alot of business that nothing is surprising, and 3rd you do have a passion for this industry that few on here have, but in saying this you do tend to attack personally.Just my 2 cents worth.


Steve

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:24 PM
thank you for the compliment

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:24 PM
you're the fool bobby,
you just made my point...

if you can use a locked in rate guarantee to generate lots of business, then it is a good strategy..

but what would you know about being successful with a business.
just mow it doesn't have to get a grocery bagging job to pay his bills through the winter ......FOOL

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:27 PM
you're the fool bobby,
you just made my point...

if you can use a locked in rate guarantee to generate lots of business, then it is a good strategy..

but what would you know about being successful with a business.
just mow it doesn't have to get a grocery bagging job to pay his bills through the winter ......FOOL
shut up. i saw your picture the other day, you look like the greasy haired little boy i shared a cell with. i used to make him wash my underwear in the sink, then wear them on his head till they were dry

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:27 PM
Bobby, to answer your question,you make some damn good points over the years,you tell about things that happen to you and have seen in this industry that alot of these guys think your full of sh*t but unless you been in business for long time and most of all done alot of business that nothing is surprising, and 3rd you do have a passion for this industry that few on here have, but in saying this you do tend to attack personally.Just my 2 cents worth.


Steve

how long have you been around with all 11 posts????

bobby's full of BS
anybody who takes his business advise is headed down the same road he has gone... to the supermarket to get a second job.


i will admit though that he is very talented at stirring things up.
the past few days have been kinda dull around here with bobby working doubles at the local food lion.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:29 PM
shut up. i saw your picture the other day, you look like the greasy haired little boy i shared a cell with. i used to make him wash my underwear in the sink, then wear them on his head till they were dry
and if you were my cell mate, you'd have the same job

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:32 PM
shut up. i saw your picture the other day, you look like the greasy haired little boy i shared a cell with. i used to make him wash my underwear in the sink, then wear them on his head till they were dry

so you were his woman...

come on bobblehead. these are the personal attacks that make you look like even more of a fool than you really are.

you'll really have to come up with a better attack strategy. I could care less what you think. You're nothing more than the guy that will be asking me " paper or plastic" when you finish the long day at the supermarket, then have to go out and work mowing lawns for four more hours.
you're going the wrong way up the business growth ladder. you're supposed to be part time first, then full time later, not the other way around...

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 09:36 PM
first of all, you greasy haired little boy, you are not half the businessman i am. you keep insisting you are so much better than me, i beg to differ. how far you've come, has alot to do with where you started from. you had a 10 length head start, and you're still behind me.

earthandturf
02-18-2005, 09:44 PM
The one thing that determines the price of anything is supply and demand. We see this constantly on this site by the wide discrepancy in prices we charge in various geographical locations. Some areas are saturated with LCOs, and /or the demand cannot support a high price. Others can get more for there services because of lower supply and/ or a higher demand for their services. I agree that you should raise prices when necessary, but that is just one way to increase profits. Any good busineesman knows that they need to be creative and explore every avenue available to them to cut costs and be more efficient. This being said, offering quality and knowledge in your field allows you to charge more and be more profitable also. You can raise prices and retain your customers if you offer something that is important to your customers that your competition doesn't, this includes such things as reliability, responsiveness, competence, communication, credibility, knowledge and trustworthyness. Oh, and it helps if you make their property look awesome! I raise prices as needed when all other measures are exhausted. Currently all my lawns are from 5k to 40k and my prices range from a minimum of $30 to a maximum of $50, and yes some will be seeing increases this year along with increases for fertilizing.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 09:45 PM
Not Raising Prices and Low Prices brings you Route Density which Increases Hrly.... and allows you to Add More Mowing Crews......Inflation is Irrelevant.

Again this is not a Concept Easily Understood by Part Time Hacks or Guys who have to Supplement Mowing Income w/Low Rent Landscape Jobs.


That is correct, but it seems inflation still has something to do with it. I had a teacher that once said that if you are not netting more money then you are paying out. Then you are working for the business rather then the business working for you. I don't totally agree with his idea, but it does make you think. Who is profiting most from my business? Hopefully the answer is me the owner.

I once worked for a business were I was the highest paid worker. I used to joke about how I made more money then the owners and that they were actually working for me (this business had millions tied up into it). It wasn't really all that funny because that business eventually failed. The real sad part, is that there are a lot of business like this. It isn't always the business owners fault, eventually certain industries crumble and there isn't any hope to make any money. I think this is what Bobby is so passionate about. He has real concerns that the industry that he loves so much will crumble so low, that it will be near impossible to make any money.

Soupy
02-18-2005, 10:02 PM
Wow, I started my last post and walked away for a few minutes. I come back to find out this thread has hit bottom.

I must have missed something because I never seen Bobby attack JustMowit. It is funny how everyone thinks they know all about justmowits business. All we really know is he grossed 1.4 million last year. had a little over 2000 customers (a lot biweekly) and employees 35 people. I believe I read that him and his dad are partners? If so, are we splitting that $140K? With that said, I can care less about justmowit operation. It isn't any of my business what he/they make.

Why can't we ever have a simple conversation? Bobby started this thread off politely. Not saying that gives him the right to start slinging mud later. But I truly believe Bobby wanted to have a conversation. He didn't come down hard on Justmowit when he said he didn't raise prices (we still haven't gotten any logic from justmowit on that comment, but his dad seemed to understand that they might actually need to raise prices at some point).

It's the same oh crap every time. You Bobby haters come in and blow any chance at a real conversation. If you guys don't like Bobby, what is so hard about you guys staying out of his threads.

YardPro
02-18-2005, 10:10 PM
first of all, you greasy haired little boy, you are not half the businessman i am. you keep insisting you are so much better than me, i beg to differ. how far you've come, has alot to do with where you started from. you had a 10 length head start, and you're still behind me.


LOL i don't have to have a second job.....
you're a GREAT businessman bobby. four years in business and you're relegated to bagging groceries 40 hrs a week and, by your own words, this new full time job not affecting your mowing schedule.

sounds like you have built quite the empire there bobby..

YardPro
02-18-2005, 10:14 PM
T I think this is what Bobby is so passionate about. He has real concerns that the industry that he loves so much will crumble so low, that it will be near impossible to make any money.


you need to quit taking drugs...
bobby does not LOVE this industry. he got fired from his last few jobs and this was the lowest cost startup business. this was the only way he could be his own boss....

i guess your idolization of bobby is why you fail to see his personal attacks, and that all these " bobby haters" as you call them are merely not putting up with his crap, to us OR when he does it to others.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 10:16 PM
first of all, little greasy haired boy, i work 9 months a year, perhaps 30 hrs a week. YOU, on the other hand live in an area where you work 12 months a year. if you have to work all year, so be it. why do you live in an area that forces you to work all year round? you couldn't make it here son, face it. you couldn't hold a candle to my ass, so stop the personal attacks. by the way, after seeing your picture, i see where the 265 lbs is, you have hips and leggs like my aunt jeannie

Soupy
02-18-2005, 10:25 PM
you need to quit taking drugs...
bobby does not LOVE this industry. he got fired from his last few jobs and this was the lowest cost startup business. this was the only way he could be his own boss....

i guess your idolization of bobby is why you fail to see his personal attacks, and that all these " bobby haters" as you call them are merely not putting up with his crap, to us OR when he does it to others.


I do see his personal attacks and I do not agree with them. But he isn't the one that throws the fist mud ball. Did I personally attack you? Why are you implying I am on drugs? For the record, I do not do drugs. I know, you were just stating that I was crazy and won't hold it as a personal attack. If you are not going to take his crap, then don't communicate with him. That would be the fastest way to stop the mud fight.

For the record, I don't idolize Bobby either. He started a conversation and was behaving nicely. Then the mud slinger's came along and got him going. If i am sitting on the porch minding my own business and someone throws a mud ball at me, then I am going to throw one back. Hopefully mine will be bigger and more hurtful. If I hurt someone, does it make it right that he started? No. But it doesn't change the fact that I was minding my own business and someone came along and started a fight.

I'm out of here.... You boys have fun playing in the mud!!

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 10:32 PM
yardpro is a fountain of misinformation. he makes stuff up, and he's not even good at it. my employment history consists of 2 jobs, 21 yrs in the printing industry. i left one job to work for a competitor, then left the competitor to run my business. i make a fine living working 30 hrs a week, 9 months a year. yardpro is terribly jealous, he works 12 months a year, 50-60 hrs a week, and sends his wife to work because he can't afford benefits for his family. and you're right soupy, i come in here, minding my own business, and get attacked by these rabid pitbulls. i just may make him wear my underwear on his head

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 11:00 PM
i honstly was not bashing justmowit (at least not intentionally). i was however very curious about how well he takes care of his employees. i honestly can't see how you can provide employees with a decent wage, benefit package, etc on the type of business strategy he uses. i never got an answer.

tinman
02-18-2005, 11:02 PM
I lower prices every year to try and get my old customers to stay with me. Works pretty well so far. It seems to make my customers happier and more willing to stay onboard. I usually make up the difference when they ask me to do some little extras and tip me for it.
What the hell? :blob3: :blob3: How many years b4 the mowing is free? :p

bigdaddyspags
02-18-2005, 11:24 PM
What the hell? :blob3: :blob3: How many years b4 the mowing is free? :p
How many people think i was being serious?? I just wanted to give bobby something to complain about. We know he never has anything to complain about.........

MOlawnman
02-19-2005, 12:36 AM
I think this thread took about 45 minutes to read through!! This is craziness. Sometimes the posts on this site make me wonder why I even come here. However there can be wealth of info here that can be of good use.

As far as raising prices.....Intelligent people (which I think many people are) cannot and do not expect you to work for the same rate year after year after year. You guys do not give your clients enough credit. I had a client that actually asked me to raise my rate last year. She understood as all (and I do mean all) of my residential clients do that I am here to make a profit and that there will be a price increase eventually.

To guarantee your clients that you will not raise prices ever is in my opinion just plain silly. When you develop rapport and trust with your clients then you will live a much happier life and prosper in this business for many years to come.

Remember that this is supposed to be a professional field and forum and that is not what this thread is at current!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just my opinion.

jajwrigh
02-19-2005, 01:59 AM
What pound test line do you use.

I enjoy Trilene XL for everything....

Evergreenpros
02-19-2005, 02:09 AM
I've went 2 years without raising prices. This year prices will be raised 10%. So how should I go about raising prices? What should I include in my letter as for the reason that I'm raising prices?


It's best to not give a reason, in my experience. Just write a nice letter saying that the price of your service will increase to $XX.XX or whatever. Most people are smart enough to figure the rest out. I get notices from companies every year of price increases, but never a reason for it.

Soupy
02-19-2005, 03:34 AM
i honstly was not bashing justmowit (at least not intentionally). i was however very curious about how well he takes care of his employees. i honestly can't see how you can provide employees with a decent wage, benefit package, etc on the type of business strategy he uses. i never got an answer.

Bobby, justmowit can correct me if I am wrong. He has stated that he uses the H2B program. It's basically a program that allows temporary visa's to foreigners for the sole purpose to come to this country and work. They can only work for so many months and then must return home. I'll let him explain the pay because I don't want to accidentally give wrong info on someone else business.

rodfather
02-19-2005, 09:38 AM
A entrepreneur/manager who has learned to control the technician within and then hired other techs that don't need the high salary and who are comfortable with what the market will pay them? How did I do?

I like it.

HOMER
02-19-2005, 10:21 AM
I agree that prices should be increased every so often. I've found if you divide your customers by 4..........increase 1/4 th this quarter, the next 4th the next quarter.......so on so forth............you tend to test the waters and see the response. If you lose one or two with each increase then your better prepared to deal with the minimal losses rather than losing 10-12 which could affect your cash flow. End result is, by the end of the year you've increased revenue, weeded out some bad accounts, and had time to replace them with higher $$$$$ accounts. All new accounts are priced at a higher rate anyway......unless it's just a simple lawn in an area that I'm already in.

We all have some acounts that make up for other accounts...........if you run this cycle every couple of years and time it with something your customers can relate to......such as another hike in gas prices......then they generally won't question why your raising rates.......they see it themselves at the pumps. payup

Mo Green
02-19-2005, 01:48 PM
Good advice Homer.

marko
02-19-2005, 06:40 PM
Bobby, Go back read my posts. All the answers are there. If you do the search I swear it will be good reading for you. He lays his whole plan out and answers questions. It is there for the taking. I believe it dtarted with DFW and something about fliers.

ksmmoto
02-20-2005, 10:18 PM
I am new to this site so please don't eat me up too bad. Also I am not getting in the LCO business so I won't compete with anyone.

Prices do come down with time as business technology advances. Lawn mowing has advanced as well, ztr's, string trimmers and blowers come to mind. This helps more work to be done with less time. In fact, I think most LCO's wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the equipment advances.

In the future, things could change even greater, making the price raising moot. What if robotic/gps mowers become perfected? At first the price of this equipment would be high and LCO's would buy them and be able to do much more with much less or almost no labor. As the price drops, personal units will take over and people will let their robot mow and not hire anyone.

Maybe what I said sounds far fetched, but time will tell. No use fighting over a future that is almost impossible to predict.

ksmmoto

Soupy
02-20-2005, 11:19 PM
I am new to this site so please don't eat me up too bad. Also I am not getting in the LCO business so I won't compete with anyone.

Prices do come down with time as business technology advances. Lawn mowing has advanced as well, ztr's, string trimmers and blowers come to mind. This helps more work to be done with less time. In fact, I think most LCO's wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the equipment advances.

In the future, things could change even greater, making the price raising moot. What if robotic/gps mowers become perfected? At first the price of this equipment would be high and LCO's would buy them and be able to do much more with much less or almost no labor. As the price drops, personal units will take over and people will let their robot mow and not hire anyone.

Maybe what I said sounds far fetched, but time will tell. No use fighting over a future that is almost impossible to predict.

ksmmoto

If the new technology (I really haven't seen any real new technology in 25 years) of ZTR's or any advance mower for that matter would ever drop to the price of a 21" push mower your theory may be correct. Instead the cost has risen over the past 25 years though.

That is the whole argument. The price of operating is going up, not down. A more efficient business can offer services at a cheaper price. No arguing that. But as their cost climb they should still raise their rate.

I think some people are confusing this thread with cheap prices, which it has nothing to do with the actual price. It is about maintaining profits.

You are right, it isn't worth arguing because only a couple of people think it isn't necessary to raise prices. I could care less if these guys want to just add work to their schedule every time their cost go up. I highly doubt to many of these guys are charging the same price my grand parents paid 30 years ago anyway. But yet they say it is not necessary to raise prices. Ok.

Let me ask you this question, Just for conversation. If you started maintaining John Does lawn for $25 and you were using a 21" push mower and took 1 hour to cut. Should you lower his price because you purchased a mower that cut your time to 30 minutes? Lets say you said no. Do you think this guy would expect his price to stay at $25 for ever? Or do you think he would understand a slight increase from time to time?

While I am raising prices and not losing customers, the select few can just keep adding extra work to maintain profits.

Quick Example and I am done. Lets say a guy with 2000 customers raises rates by $1. That would be about 8 grand a month. That company would have to lose 66 $30 customer (266 monthly cuts) to break even. The good thing would be that they have 66 customers not using resources too. So they would have to lose probably 150 customer before it would matter. Do you really think 150 customers will notice or even care about a $1 price increase? Do you think every time their operating cost go up by $1 a lawn they should just add 150 customers to maintain profit.?

Edit: The above example is based on a company that has never raised prices. I could see losing 150 customers if one was to abuse the $1 raise. But breaking even and cutting 150 less customers wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. These are just examples, If someone that doesn't raise rates ever is making a 50% profit :) then it would take less customers. I used 150 because I don't know what a company like this is making % wise off of each customer.

LawnsUnlimited
02-21-2005, 07:46 AM
how long have you been around with all 11 posts????

bobby's full of BS
anybody who takes his business advise is headed down the same road he has gone... to the supermarket to get a second job.


i will admit though that he is very talented at stirring things up.
the past few days have been kinda dull around here with bobby working doubles at the local food lion.

How long have i been around with 11 posts???? I got couple questions for you? CAN YOU READ? I SAID I HAVE OBSERVED FOR 4 YEARS UNDER 2 NAMES,further more i dont waste my time responding to 99.9 of this BULLSHIT ON HERE,this site is just amusing to me,but anytime you would like to go 1on1 about green industry now that might be something i would respond to.I did that once several years ago with a guy 70% of the guys on here worshiped and made him look like a fool,so to finally answer your question,i dont give damn if i have 1 post what does that have to do with observing for quite some time?

YardPro
02-21-2005, 08:13 AM
so why do you keep changing names? what's with that. Can you not make up your mind? or you just enough garbage that you feel that you have change persona's.

as far as the going head to head with someone worshiped. sorry but i'm not that well liked here, so you won't get that same scenerio, but i'll go knowledge to knowledge any time. I doubt the outcome will be the same.

And my comment was based on the fact that you have obviously not been very active here on a regular basis if you think bobby is the guy to take advise from.

he was constantly having problems, wasn't making it and now has had to take a full time job to make ends meet. Why not take the advise of someone who has been SUCCESFUL and built a reputable, profitable business?

i was assuming that you were not here much to think that bobby is someone whose advise is really sound... If you have been here a while, and have actually paid attention to his demise, and STILL think his advise is good, then you must be pretty thickheaded.

LawnsUnlimited
02-21-2005, 09:09 AM
so why do you keep changing names? what's with that. Can you not make up your mind? or you just enough garbage that you feel that you have change persona's.

as far as the going head to head with someone worshiped. sorry but i'm not that well liked here, so you won't get that same scenerio, but i'll go knowledge to knowledge any time. I doubt the outcome will be the same.

And my comment was based on the fact that you have obviously not been very active here on a regular basis if you think bobby is the guy to take advise from.

he was constantly having problems, wasn't making it and now has had to take a full time job to make ends meet. Why not take the advise of someone who has been SUCCESFUL and built a reputable, profitable business?

i was assuming that you were not here much to think that bobby is someone whose advise is really sound... If you have been here a while, and have actually paid attention to his demise, and STILL think his advise is good, then you must be pretty thickheaded.

See there my turf brethren you dont have your facts straight,1st off changing names? or as you said it QUOTE " WHY DO YOU KEEP CHANGING NAMES" now lets look at facts in four years i have had 2 names the 1st is was the name i started with NOT MY BUSINESS NAME, 2nd is MY BUSINESS NAME like i said i come here to amuse myself with these threads and posts,IN THE WINTER BY THE WAY when i have nothing to do but TO COLLECT MY FAT CHECKS i get on here from time to time to amuse myself with this site and the people NOT in the season.Now to bobby when did i sayi agreed with bobby? I said he tells about the off the wall bullshit that contractors have to deal with from time to time and most think he is full of sh*t, and that those people dont have clue, why?Because when you deal with the public EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED from time to time,and just so happens i dont agree with majority INCLUDING bobby on this THREAD, i just so happen i dont have to raise my prices MOST of the time i didnt say never. NEVER WILL I SAY NEVER THAT WOULD BE FOOLISH.In saying that if you priced a certain way you would not have to raise prices THAT is a fact, BUT 90% can NOT do that for various reasons i will NOT take time to go into that,but a select FEW of us do not need to raise prices THAT IS A FACT and YES THAT IS A DAMN GOOD FEELING.Now to you and I, instead of tic for tac lets just do this if you want to run your mouth, I WILL PUT TITLE OF MY PERSONAL TRUCK VS EQUAL VALUE, i have offered this several times over years to other lcos in my area that run their mouth and also employees but when all is said in done the never want to do that i as a person would be willing to do that BECAUSE ITS A CALCULATED RISK AND FROM WHAT I SEE THE NUMBERS ARE IN MY FAVOR, now what i suggest is lets put GROSS AND NET NUMBERS vs each other, and to give you a heads up my two largest contracts 1) is OVER six figures and other is right at 6 figures with all extras included, JACK THAT IS JUST 2 of my contracts i had many more :waving: it does not take a FOOL to figure out that only a select few contractors WILL EVER GET A OPPORTUNITY TO EVEN BID ON THESE TYPES LET ALONE LAND THEM so in saying this YOU HAVE TO BE **** HOT TO HAVE 1 LET ALONE TWO OF THESE TYPE OF ACCOUNTS. Thank you and have a nice day! :cool2:

bobbygedd
02-21-2005, 09:17 AM
lawnsunlimited, don't even bother with the guy (yardpro) he's such a loser that he works all year round, 12-16 hrs a day, and can't even afford health benefits. his mommy paid his way through school. don't even pay attention to him. it makes him feel good to pick on me. he even tried to stump me with a stupid question about calculating fert useage. then i came back with a question about homogenous , and he was stumped.

Soupy
02-21-2005, 09:57 AM
LawnsUnlimited, At first you said that Bobby brought up some good points. I guess you were talking about in other threads, because I thought you might have agreed with him on this topic at first. But you said you do not need to raise prices, but then say you wouldn't say never. My question is how many years, or at what point do/would you consider it is time to raise rates? Basically, How much of an increase per hour/jobs is acceptable before you decide it is time to raise rates?

No one has answered my earlier question. Can anyone name an expense that LCO's have that has Not went up in 7 years?

bobbygedd
02-21-2005, 10:10 AM
all expenses have gone up. especially if you're using employees. if you are not raising fees, it means you are treating your employees poorly. there is no way you are giving them decent working conditions if u never raise rates. secondly, equipment did get better, making you more efficient, BUT, IT ALSO COST MORE MONEY to buy, more money to insure, more money to repair, and there is still the matter of weather, it still rains, you still have excessive growth, you still have excessive heat/non growth. carrying more clients at lower rates puts other would be lco's out of business. instead of 2,000 lawns being divided into 10 different businesses, it is being pennied to death, by one business owner, and since these low prices can't provide a nice salary for employees, they are reaching out TO ANOTHER COUNTRY to people who will work under these sub standard conditions. i hate the whole thing. there are so many variables in this business, it is the only nickle and dime service business in the world that is drastically effected by weather. i know sooo many guys who went under because of thier inability to raise rates, and fear of charging surcharges. bottom line...when it cost you more money to do the job, it must cost the customer more money to have the job done! period

LawnsUnlimited
02-21-2005, 12:26 PM
LawnsUnlimited, At first you said that Bobby brought up some good points. I guess you were talking about in other threads, because I thought you might have agreed with him on this topic at first. But you said you do not need to raise prices, but then say you wouldn't say never. My question is how many years, or at what point do/would you consider it is time to raise rates? Basically, How much of an increase per hour/jobs is acceptable before you decide it is time to raise rates?

No one has answered my earlier question. Can anyone name an expense that LCO's have that has Not went up in 7 years?
Its raining cats in dogs were im at so im going to try to help you best i can even though I HONESTLY DO NOT WANT TO DO THESE for various reasons.yes i did say bobby has brought up some good points over years just like others on here BUT then he has posted and commented on things thats way OVER his head just like 99.9 of the rest of you, thats not trying to hurt anybody's feelings THIS IS A FACT.Here is what i see the majority of lco do need to raise there price from year to year or every couple to 3 years, why is this? I'll tell you why lets take a $50 residential yard we will do several scenarios, 1)you go bid that yard and you feel you need the workso you bid it and get at $40 a cut well your $10 below fair market value of that yard are you losing your ass? not necessarily various reasons 1)add more yards in that area make tight route,or strive to become perfect on that yard most fell to realize this what i mean by that is get your time down as low as possible such as eliminate double walking with trimmer or blower probably have saved yourself 5 to 7 minutes of time on those grounds, on bigger grounds you would be amazed how much time you save by a near perfect pattern.So in saying this that lco definitely has to raise prices.2) Lco bids $50 gets it turns profit over next couple years fuel, labor, equipment ect. goes up he has to gradually raise over time to keep current with what he wants net wise. 3)lco gets that same yard for $60 for certain reasons so now he got padding to work with over SEVERAL years.
Now let me give you a factual example of 1 of my accounts i consider smaller on commercial.Its a restaurant, thats a full maintenance contract year round.A guy like many of you has a job decide he doesnt like it for various reasons has little money saved up decides he going be his own boss goes buy walkbehind and some 2 cycle equip and NOW he is TURF MAN he lands this new resaurant for average or below average price, i can not honestly say what his price is, so he goes to maintaing grounds for couple years they dont go up in quality nor grounds go to **** right away, no what happen is they slightly go down hill in mean time place gets a new general manger in thats **** hot about same time this guy lands a FIREFIGHTER JOB IN NEXT COUNTY OVER, so now he just blowing **** out, So new manger calls the 3 top lcos to bid on his place, my company was 1 of the 3 I really did not need the work at time or the extra revenue so i measured property looked everything over and bid I thought was a fairly high price , went and presented bid to him did my best to sell package he ask were do we sign I showed him we signed on spot in his parking lot, turned around and asked him do you mind me asking what the 2 other bids were? He said sure so and sowas 325 a month so and so was 275 a month after picking my jaw up off ground i say umm jack im $150 a month year round higher than next closest bid why did you decide to go with my company he said 1) i stare at your grounds across street daily, 2)You gave me a game plan short term and long term 3) You were more ORGANIZED. Steve he said the money never was a issue i want to know that my grounds will be done professional and on time and FIREMAN FRED DAMN SURE NOT GOING DO THAT and other 2 i did not have confidence in, Steve i dont make money having to deal with this stuff i make my money managing inside store, and you promised i would have a smile on my face coming down street looking at my grounds , Steve THAT IS WORTH THE DIFFERENCE. NOW i have a question for all you ummmm is there any reason i need to raise my price? :cool2:

Soupy
02-21-2005, 01:38 PM
LawnsUnlimited, Just so you know, I am not trying to argue with you. Just having conversation. With that said, I am a little confused. First let me say that this has nothing to do with profit, it is all about maintaining profit. You mentioned that even the $50 dollar guy should raise rates after so many years. So you do agree? That is what I am confused about.

I don't care what anyone is making on each job. I don't care who is making the most net profit either. It doesn't matter if you are cutting 10 lawns or a million lawns. I am talking about maintaining profit without adding work load to offset a decrease in profit. No employee working for the man is going to except less pay year after year. Why should we? I'm not talking about raising prices every single year or every time a slight increase of operating cost rise. It is impossible to not have a slight change in profits at all times. We are talking about a guy that has not raised rates in 7 years on previous customers. That guy is taking a big hit on those customers. I don't care if he is still profiting off of them, the fact is that he is profiting considerably less. He has taken a cut in pay.

I agree with your efficiency statements. But it really has nothing to do with the discussion. Remember we are not talking about who can offer the lowest price.

You used a efficient company as an example. Just because this guy is efficient you think he should continue to make less and less each year and only maintain profit by adding more work to offset profits. I believe that efficiency should be rewarded to the company and not the customer anyway. It shouldn't matter if I take 1 hr or 10 minutes. The customer should pay what the work is worth. But that is another thread and topic.

Again, this has nothing to do with a price being $40 or $100. It has to do with you going in and bidding what you want for the job. So you get what you want and feel you need to profit at your expectations. Should you not stay competitive with your wants and needs.

I do understand/agree completely with the idea of pricing the job based on the fact that you will need room to breath for a # of years before raising prices. It is impossible to maintain a perfect % of profit at any given time. The thread started with a guy that has not raised in 7 years.

I think you agree with me on this, but it is hard to tell.

I will end with this. I completely understand that a person can make less each year off of previous customers and by adding more customers and efficiencies he can increase his net profits every year. But at what cost? Can you do this without added hours and cost to you. Can you do it without adding investment expenses causing you to actually get less return per dollar and less return per work load? Why would you want to when most customers will understand after you have proven your service to them. Have you guys had problems losing customers over a increase?

I guess I don't understand the logic because I have not had a negative response to raising prices.

Also, Bobby, did this guy say what he would have done if his price would have went up slightly? I wonder if he was bragging that he was still paying the same price?

bobbygedd
02-21-2005, 01:54 PM
soupy, i was waiting for someone to ask that. the man said he just started giving the lawnguy an extra $10 a week, because he felt so bad that the lawnguy WAS TOO STUPID to raise the fee. i'm appauled at the amount of people who don't increase fees, don't add weather surcharges, and try to justify it. i never could understand how someone COULD NOT MAKE ALOT OF MONEY in this business, but now i see why.

Soupy
02-21-2005, 06:11 PM
I just finished getting my carpets cleaned. I use this company all the time between 3 homes. We regularly have the traffic areas cleaned which always fall under the minimum. This company cleans carpets better then anyone we have tried. Anyway, today was a first at this house and after I showed him the area, I said that I assumed it would fall under the minimum charge. He said yes, but we have raised our minimum from $65 to $75 since we seen you last. He goes on to say I will only charge you the $65 this time since you are a good customer. I told him not to worry about it and that I would pay the $75 now and make a note of the new price.

Now that is a $10 increase since we used them last month. We have been using them for a couple of years. I wonder what makes these guys think they can raise by $10. Well I will tell you. Great service followed by a great reputation/image. By the way, the guy that does the carpets for me all the time (not the owner) worked at TGCL for 4 years before quiting to take this job. We always have something to talk about. He keeps in contact with the guys there and he always has a new story to tell me.

Well I immediately thought of this thread and thought I would share this info with you guys. I wish it was the owner that was doing my carpet. I would have picked his brain a little about what made him raise the rate. I'm sure it would be the typical cost of operation along with a story about how it was long overdue and he thought long and hard and decided there was no way around it. Who knows, maybe Rug Doctor raised their rental fees and he figured he would cash in. None the less I doubt he will lose any customers over it.

MOlawnman
02-22-2005, 01:47 PM
Soupy, well said.

As for Lawnsunlimited----Your kind of talk on this site should not be tolerated at any expense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe you should go back to observing if you have nothing good to say!!!!!!!!!!!!