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Old 02-01-2013, 10:53 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Best method for price shopping my local competition on dry Fertilizer application...?

My primary focus is smaller lawns and residential and smaller commercial lawns.

I'm trying to price hunt....Not just a single application but the entire growing season. I will not call out any local Co. In my area but even a weed and feed broadcast spray from a truck with hoses and reels. I'm not sure how they are making much money...?

My focus is optimum turf management and keeping lawns weed resistant by ideal mowing heights, aeration, proper irrigation cycles. If a client insists on scalp mowing and daily watering cycles I really don't want them as clients.

I'm willing to bundle in weed spot spraying with this season long fert application customers but I'm not going to push weed control as major since this will be my 1st year licesnsed for herbicides and I will not have any elaborate spray equipment.

I plan on bundling a few extra services for fert clients that I believe will be a big hit.

I don't really want to waste my time on wild goose chases and waste the time of the competition for fake price quotes.

Customers seem to always get caught up in the cost per service here. Many can't see the advantage of slow release fert or the fact that my Plugr 850's leave substantially more plugs on the lawn vs standard rolling tine units.


Any help much appreciated in the open and via PM and email etc.


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Last edited by Exact Rototilling; 02-01-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:35 PM
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metro36 metro36 is offline
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Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling View Post
My primary focus is smaller lawns and residential and smaller commercial lawns.

I'm trying to price hunt....Not just a single application but the entire growing season. I will not call out any local Co. In my area but even a weed and feed broadcast spray from a truck with hoses and reels. I'm not sure how they are making much money...?

My focus is optimum turf management and keeping lawns weed resistant by ideal mowing heights, aeration, proper irrigation cycles. If a client insists on scalp mowing and daily watering cycles I really don't want them as clients.

I'm willing to bundle in weed spot spraying with this season long fert application customers but I'm not going to push weed control as major since this will be my 1st year licesnsed for herbicides and I will not have any elaborate spray equipment.

I plan on bundling a few extra services for fert clients that I believe will be a big hit.

I don't really want to waste my time on wild goose chases and waste the time of the competition for fake price quotes.

Customers seem to always get caught up in the cost per service here. Many can't see the advantage of slow release fert or the fact that my Plugr 850's leave substantially more plugs on the lawn vs standard rolling tine units.


Any help much appreciated in the open and via PM and email etc.


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To me it sounds like you want to go after full service customers where you maintain everything on the property. When I give an estimate for full service, I always sell the customer on the package, not the individual items. Around here most dont care about the small details, like what products and methods you use. They just want their yard to be perfect. I sell them a perfect yard. Of course I give them a list of services and tell them what im going to put down but I try not to price each item. They see whats going to be done and how much its going to cost for the season. If you list a price for each item or service, then they are going to look at that price and compare it with other companies pricing. Then, even if your seasonal price is lower, they will try to negotiate the price for that one item. They just want the best deal possible.

Now once I sell them on the package, I do all of the things you mention like using proper mowing practices to reduce weeds and using slow release fert. These individual items may cost a bit more but they make for a better product and cut down on costs in the long run. Mowing properly cuts down on weeds, so I dont have to spray as much. Using a good pre emergent means I use less post emergent. Using slow release fert means less surge growth which makes my life easier. It also keeps the customers lawn looking greener longer, with less apps. They way I look at it is by spending a bit more money on a product or taking time to do something the right way, saves me time and money later on. Since I have sold the customer on one price for everything, that savings means more profit for me.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:42 PM
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Yes ....along those line except I drive myself nuts with pruning jobs and always tend to under bid and the constant stoop fest is tough on back injury #2.

I'm all about the lawn plus aeration, renovation and some over seeding.

There is another angle I want to capitalize on and that is setting up accounts on a growing season package for fert, weed spot spraying, maintaining my signature vertical edges few can match here and string trimming possibly even mower blade sharpening. All the homeowner needs to do is run the mower....which many do like to do anyhow.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:27 PM
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My customers dont usually want to get involved with mowing. They hire me for that. They just want everything to look good without having to worry about the details. They pay me to worry about the details. If theres a market for that type of service in your area than go for it.

As far as pricing, I always start with basic time and materials. I learned by under pricing and losing money on my first few jobs. Once you get a feel for how long things are going to take, then you can get your pricing figured out.

When it comes to fert pricing, you will need to measure everything. Once you have your square footage, you can figure out your product cost. Then then you should charge a certian fee to cover getting you on the property, and then your time. For me, I never use a straight sqft pricing method, each property is different therefore the prices are different. A property with tons of beds and small strips of grass will take alot longer to treat than a wide open property of the same size.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:44 PM
bobbycat02 bobbycat02 is offline
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OK first thing you need to know is whats it going cost you product,Lic cost,insurence cost,pick up storage,handling etc. Okay 50 lbs bag of fert cost say 35.00 how much per pound 35.00 divided into total weight of bag of 50lbs=.70 per pound.lawn size 5,000 sq ft application rate per 1,000 is 3.8 lbs x 5,000=19 lbs of product,.70x19lbs=cost of fert 13.30 you can figure a bag wt of 50lbs will cover 13.100 sq ft based on a application rate of 3.8 lbs per 1,000 so at 3.8 you could 3 5,000 sq ft properties for 39.90 and have enough for 2,000 sq ft left over hope that gives you an idea whats involved
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:30 PM
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OK first thing you need to know is whats it going cost you product,Lic cost,insurence cost,pick up storage,handling etc. Okay 50 lbs bag of fert cost say 35.00 how much per pound 35.00 divided into total weight of bag of 50lbs=.70 per pound.lawn size 5,000 sq ft application rate per 1,000 is 3.8 lbs x 5,000=19 lbs of product,.70x19lbs=cost of fert 13.30 you can figure a bag wt of 50lbs will cover 13.100 sq ft based on a application rate of 3.8 lbs per 1,000 so at 3.8 you could 3 5,000 sq ft properties for 39.90 and have enough for 2,000 sq ft left over hope that gives you an idea whats involved
Based on this I would be priced higher than the big application Companies. One of the local well established companies did a weed and feed blanket spray for just $40 on a lawn I've mowing for several years now. Another client who I mow for ...same local Co. Lowish prices for just fert barely above my cost...? They also have low balled some of my lawns.

My quality is hands down better in the manicured cut and edging. My application skills are improving. Learned a ton last year.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:30 AM
bobbycat02 bobbycat02 is offline
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That was just to give you an idea here we have tru green do them for 29.95 per ap no matter what size what you have to do sell your customers on you your service what i tell my clients i am here every week so i can spot a problem and deal with on a cost effective way and efficiently and not have to wait multiple phone calls to a fert company and wait till they come out. i was mowing this client for two years an he had a fert company the came out and burnt his lawn hot mix of herbicide they said they didn't do it and blamed me i said to the client i only mow so how could it be they said dull blade we sharpen each day before we go out each day.Finally an mgr came out and said i think we didn't do but we will fix that took 3 weeks and still not resolved so my client hired me for 2013 season.So sell your customers on your service and why they should hire you not price.they pay a little or a lot if its not done right price doesn't matter anymore some advice we only fert who we mow and make sure they educated on good maintenance and watering practices good luck
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:21 PM
CircleC CircleC is offline
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You also have to remember the larger spray company is buying fert in very large volumes. You may be buying 20-30 bags per round when the large company is buying 20-30 pallets per round.

If your price is higher due to price of fert you need to work on selling your skill and your ability to provide a great service along with a worry free lawn.

If you are already mowing them, they need to be fert customers no question! Your ability to handle "all the customers" needs is a premium and it cost to have that service. People these days are more willing to pay a few bucks more for good service.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:49 AM
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You also have to remember the larger spray company is buying fert in very large volumes. You may be buying 20-30 bags per round when the large company is buying 20-30 pallets per round.

If your price is higher due to price of fert you need to work on selling your skill and your ability to provide a great service along with a worry free lawn.

If you are already mowing them, they need to be fert customers no question! Your ability to handle "all the customers" needs is a premium and it cost to have that service. People these days are more willing to pay a few bucks more for good service.
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Yes very true. I'm trying to figure out a way to take the focus off the cost per application and go more for a growing season rate for those who I don't generally mow for. Bundle some services etc.

If a non mowing client insists on scalp low mowing, daily irrigation and bagging clippings constantly thus pulling up the slow release fert I just put down or bridge organic based fert.... I don't want them as clients. Also if they don't care if their current appliation Co. leaves dry fert all over walks and drive ways - I'm wasting my efforts on them. My way or the highway.

First applications tend to go down in March here. Need to get this figured out pretty quickly.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:08 PM
CircleC CircleC is offline
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Its not that you dont want them as a client, however; you want to educate them on mowing techniques(if you are not mowing for them), educate them on watering. Its all about educating your clients as to why they should hire you. Hence the higher price of your service.

Its all about making money and educating your client....
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