Originally Posted by Darryl G
You never really know how a customer is going to react, even if you give them a fixed, lump sum price. I have had more than one customer claim that I was taking advantage of them when I billed them exactly what I said I would.
On the other hand, I have an account isn't all that big, 1/2 to 3/4 acre, but it has tons of mature trees, including nut trees and a big Sycamore that makes a mess with both bark and huge leaves. Lots of nooks and crannies and different yard areas. Add the hurricane mess to it (mostly sticks/twigs but a few larger branches requiring a little chain saw work) and my bill for the second service came to over $600 with tax on top of a $400 bill for the previous service. I half expected her to freak out, but I got the check yesterday with a note on it. Thank you Darryl!
I could imagine that since you are billing hourly, you probably clean all of your accounts to perfection? unlike me someone who gives a set price and really does everything in my power to go in clean up the leaves and get out within the time i had estimated or faster. I really crack that whip if we end up going over the allowed time, but when i finish on time or faster, people really are amazed at how fast and how clean everything is for the money. I go through my clean ups with speed over quality now. I used to do them with only back packs, much better job but unless you are billing hourly its not worth imo, and even if you are billing hourly I think most of my customers would feel very strongly against billing them 50 or 60 dollars per man per hour. especially when there are 2 or 3 of us on a single clean up. they would want to know how long it will take and whatever time i say they would try to hold me too it, some anyways. So i just give them a fixed price.