Thanks again for all the interesting replies. Let me say mine are contracts you dream about. They treat me like a department head instead of a vendor. My bills go straight to their accounts payable department without crossing anyones' desk. Extras are never questioned. In return I give them service like I was their own personal groundskeeper.
People ask me "How do you get jobs like that?" My response is that you have to earn the customers' loyalty. You have to deserve loyalty to get it. I always give them 110% of every dollar they spend.
I've been mowing this particular property 30 years. This new corporate takeover makes them the third owner.
This is just a little test. 5% is nothing. Two years ago at the beginning of the recession they came to me in a bit of a panic. "All departments have to reduce costs by 50%!" They were ready to let me go and hire some guy on a YardMan tractor to cut the front lawn. Other departments were cutting personnel left and right!
My response was, "You really don't want to let property maintenance deteriorate because it'll cost more than you save to restore it. I'll cut costs by 50% for the rest of the summer." The plant manager agreed and I saw when he walked away that he was smiling! It cost me a few bucks for a million dollars worth of good will. And saved my job. And kept MY lawn from getting all overgrown.
It's really difficult to keep jobs with new ownership or new management. The new guy always has a "better way of doing things". I'm going to show them all the cooperation I can.
Can I afford it? Heck! I was making pretty good profit at 50%!
My question at the beginning of this thread was, "Could you? Would you?"
I ain't gettin rich with this business philosophy. Never thought I would. But I'm living a pretty good lifestyle. I'm writing this from my winter residence in Florida.