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  #21  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:31 PM
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RSK Property Maintenance RSK Property Maintenance is offline
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i do round to the nearest $5 increment, and my prices have gone up quite a few times since i started cutting lawns in 04 i have 1 lawn that started at 35 dollars a cut, now its at 50 and its been at 50 for close to 5 years now, but i can get it done in 20 mins its flat with minimal obstacles so i just keep the price where it is. I do a great job and they pay on time, usually as soon as they are home, and its one of my neighbors.
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  #22  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:05 AM
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Woody82986 Woody82986 is offline
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Most of my actual prices are on a whole dollar mark, like $25 or $28 or $42. But it doesn't really matter in the end for me since sales tax gets added to the invoice before it gets sent out. I know some of y'all don't have to collect sales tax for your services though so it makes things simpler to deal with.
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:20 AM
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OakNut OakNut is online now
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Thanks for the input thus far, everyone. I appreciate it.

In addition to wondering how common it was to have "odd" billing amounts, I wondered if there were any "issues" to be aware this way. (as opposed to $5 increments)


I'm going to double check my mowing times on each property for the remainder of the season to see how they compare to early on and start evaluating which jobs need to be adjusted for next season.
Everyone seems happy with my work, so I'm confident that the majority will not balk over a $2/$3, or in some cases, even a $5 increase.
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:31 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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I record the start and end times on all of my properties to the minute at every visit. I also record my "split times", being how long the mow took and how long the trim/blow took. Sometimes I even record the trim and blow separately. I also use them to see which prices need to be adjusted prior to the start of the next season. I have some accounts with quite a bit of pavement and I have a habit of underestimating how long the blow will take me or downright neglecting to factor it in.
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  #25  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:46 AM
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OakNut OakNut is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl gesner View Post
I record the start and end times on all of my properties to the minute at every visit. I also record my "split times", being how long the mow took and how long the trim/blow took. Sometimes I even record the trim and blow separately. I also use them to see which prices need to be adjusted prior to the start of the next season. I have some accounts with quite a bit of pavement and I have a habit of underestimating how long the blow will take me or downright neglecting to factor it in.
I did that last season and at the start of this season, but got away from doing it.
I usually did the same - note the time for trim/mow/blow.
Then I started noting the "arrival time" and "loaded up time" as well because that is good to know as well.
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  #26  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:01 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Yup. Sometimes I'm surprised at what my travel times are between places that I consider close too.

I was used to keeping a detailed log in my former career so it's second nature to me to record my day in detail, and it's quite usefull on the rare occasion that a customer claims I didn't service their account on a date I invoiced them for, claiming they were home all day and I wasn't there. "In fact Mrs. Jones, I arrived at 10:32 am and mowed your lawn at 3.0 inches with my Turf Tracer HP mower, finished mowing and began trimming at 11:04, started blowing he pavement at 11:13 and departed at 11:18. I collected an armload of sticks and disposed of them at no charge and pulled some weeds from the flower garden on the left side of your front door, also at no charge. Would you like me to fax you a copy of my log book?" Does the trick every time.
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:44 PM
underESTIMATED underESTIMATED is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl gesner View Post
Yup. Sometimes I'm surprised at what my travel times are between places that I consider close too.

I was used to keeping a detailed log in my former career so it's second nature to me to record my day in detail, and it's quite usefull on the rare occasion that a customer claims I didn't service their account on a date I invoiced them for, claiming they were home all day and I wasn't there. "In fact Mrs. Jones, I arrived at 10:32 am and mowed your lawn at 3.0 inches with my Turf Tracer HP mower, finished mowing and began trimming at 11:04, started blowing he pavement at 11:13 and departed at 11:18. I collected an armload of sticks and disposed of them at no charge and pulled some weeds from the flower garden on the left side of your front door, also at no charge. Would you like me to fax you a copy of my log book?" Does the trick every time.
Im not that detailed in my log, but like you, have a habit of covering my ass (and basically for future data review) when/if customers question something.

I basically wanted to know more for plowing...so I carried alot of those details over to my lawn logs as well. (Weather, mow height, abnormalities about this day than the norm, etc etc).



As far as price, i stuck with the $5 round off because of clique. But I agree, to some price conscious customers, $31 and $35 price could land you the job. In the grand scheme of things that $120 at the end of the season of $$ lost, may be referred to 3 of the family members and make up that difference on them or same logic applies.
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:49 PM
underESTIMATED underESTIMATED is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakNut View Post
I don't "have" to collect at time of service, but by doing so, I don't need to send out invoices and such. I assume that at some point I may find it more desirable to go that route, but currently it works quite well.
It's actually not very often that someone forgets to leave payment "under the mat" either. Many write a check every week - makes no sense to me. I'd just pay for the whole month if I were the one writing checks, but that's me.

As for writing "one check a month", I think there are always customers who are OK with spending $35/week, but when they see $140, they start to think "Hmmm... maybe I will just cut it myself?"
It obviously depends on the market you're in and I can say that I work in a mix of areas from semi-wealthy, to dirt-poor, so it's something I have to consider. I always give people the option of paying for the month, and a few do, but most pay weekly.


As for "making change", I rarely take payment in person. Most people are working when I am there to cut.



Thanks for your input! I'm not opposed to rethinking the way I do things and it's always helpful to hear from those who have experience in such things.
In my opinion, I agree with your one big check a month. But i also look at it as a guilty until proven innocent thing in that most people would assume that you arent gonna cut it and they just lost out on the rest of the money. Im sure most people might disagree, but buyers are liars too.
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  #29  
Old 10-16-2012, 02:47 PM
jamesg jamesg is offline
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I'm new to the site and thinking about starting a part time service. I live in a rural area with subdivisions containing 1 acre lots or stand alone properties with 1+ acre.

I know pricing varies for each property but just to get a ball park idea, I've had quotes on my own property of $75 to $150-includes edge, trim, blow; seems like that's quite a gap in pricing......any ideas for a one acre lot- no trees, no obstructions?

I'm hoping to mow part time and prefer larger lots rather than standard 1/4 acre lots- my business model would be based on pricing and quality, not volume or quantity since I'll be operating alone.

I have a 42" Toro (residential model, but brand new) and a residential 21", also have a Stihl FS90 trimmer and will be adding a Stihl edger and blower. Have a pick up truck also.

I could add a trailer and do some advertising. My neighbors have lawn service where I live so I know there's a market for it. I'm hoping to make enough $$ the first season to upgrade to a commercial mower.

Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks!

Last edited by jamesg; 10-16-2012 at 02:49 PM. Reason: left out some words
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  #30  
Old 10-16-2012, 04:52 PM
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OakNut OakNut is online now
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesg View Post
I'm new to the site and thinking about starting a part time service. I live in a rural area with subdivisions containing 1 acre lots or stand alone properties with 1+ acre.

I know pricing varies for each property but just to get a ball park idea, I've had quotes on my own property of $75 to $150-includes edge, trim, blow; seems like that's quite a gap in pricing......any ideas for a one acre lot- no trees, no obstructions?

I'm hoping to mow part time and prefer larger lots rather than standard 1/4 acre lots- my business model would be based on pricing and quality, not volume or quantity since I'll be operating alone.

I have a 42" Toro (residential model, but brand new) and a residential 21", also have a Stihl FS90 trimmer and will be adding a Stihl edger and blower. Have a pick up truck also.

I could add a trailer and do some advertising. My neighbors have lawn service where I live so I know there's a market for it. I'm hoping to make enough $$ the first season to upgrade to a commercial mower.

Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks!
Perhaps another thread would be more appropriate since your questions aren't really related to the topic of this one?

That said, it sounds like you have what it takes to get yourself going.
I didn't make enough my first season to upgrade to a commercial mower, but I bought one anyway. 3 year 0% financing and affordable payments gave me a quality walk behind that will last for many years to come where a used mower was not really feasible from a financial standpoint - gotta have cash in hand for that.

Good luck with it!
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