Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center



Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #41  
Old 07-21-2013, 02:47 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victorsaur View Post
APLUS:

I'm not from where you are from so I'm sure prices are different but here are a few words of advice,

Raise your minimum to $35. If a customer tries to haggle you down from something so low then there is a chance they're not going to pay you what you are worth. Remember, some lawn care professionals have a $50 minimum...

Aim for $60/hr. if you're using a solid riding mower, travel time included. For technical work involving hedge trimmers etc. this can range from $50-60/hr. for skilled labor. For mechanical labor with hand tools I'd aim for around $40/hr. skilled labor, give or take $5/hr.

Don't be afraid to bid what you're worth. A lot of clientele will try to haggle you down but then again do those kind of people deserve price breaks? Don't reward greed, it's not an admirable quality to possess.

Ditto on contacting SCORE for advice. They're awesome. I know some of the prices I listed may be hard to bump to quickly, especially since I'm sure most of your current clientele are used to the prices that you've given, but just remember that every time you go out there and get paid less than what you're worth that is an injustice against you. One day you will have workers which I hope you'll pay well and you need to prepare yourself now to fight for what you're worth so that you can pay them well.

Keep your head high, you have the right attitude and you love what you do. I've also been in business for about as long as yourself and trust me, I've had some major growing pains along the way. Not saying I'm perfect with the bids now, but just remember that you take pride in your work and the customer should know what they're paying for. Good luck.
Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it! I am going to raise my minimum price, that will help me out. I guess I should have done more research. I wasn't trying to cut myself short when I was bidding. I didn't bid low because I thought my work was subpar. I bid at the prices I bid at because I wanted to be competitive, but honestly, I don't know what other companies are charging around this area. Again, thanks for the advice.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 07-21-2013, 02:51 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
We all need some kind of reassurance and encouragement along the way, it's good to have somewhere to turn once in a while, I think most of us on here really are striving to either build a solid growing business that will give us a decent maybe not super duper but decent lifestyle, it's really all I am striving for. It's at this point in the season that we as a group seem to start "Reevaluating" our business's we're at about mid point and our mistakes are starting to show up in our bottom lines. This is actually a good thing though, we have time to hopefully correct things and hammer out a decent rest of the season. Good luck to everybody and get out there and make what your worth, we all work hard and we should be paid decent money for it, I don't care what the consumer thinks.
Yes, I think everyone needs a pick-me-up from time to time. It is easy to get discouraged in this type of business. You make a very good point about it being time to reevaluate our companies. It is a good time to take a step back, recognize the mistakes that have been made thus far, change them, and finish the season strong.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 07-21-2013, 04:37 PM
LandscapeSavannah LandscapeSavannah is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 105
Have you taken a look at your expenses to see where you could save? Every little thing adds up. I revisit all insurance policies very frequently. This year we switched providers and saved hundreds of dollars. If you were able to do that in a few areas, along with working on your bids, you may be able to bring yourself into the black. Also, are your advertising opportunities working? Do you survey this? I also negotiate with advertising companies, they want your business as bad as you want to use them. Never pay full price for anything. Also, are you OVERPAYING your help? I know you want to be a good boss, but make sure they are not coming out better than you are at the end of the day. When I hire people- they start at the bottom. I cannot let a senior member feel less than someone with little experience. You have to keep your employees motivated, give them incentive to do well. I don't know your area, but these are a few of my practices that seem to help.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 07-21-2013, 04:53 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandscapeSavannah View Post
Have you taken a look at your expenses to see where you could save? Every little thing adds up. I revisit all insurance policies very frequently. This year we switched providers and saved hundreds of dollars. If you were able to do that in a few areas, along with working on your bids, you may be able to bring yourself into the black. Also, are your advertising opportunities working? Do you survey this? I also negotiate with advertising companies, they want your business as bad as you want to use them. Never pay full price for anything. Also, are you OVERPAYING your help? I know you want to be a good boss, but make sure they are not coming out better than you are at the end of the day. When I hire people- they start at the bottom. I cannot let a senior member feel less than someone with little experience. You have to keep your employees motivated, give them incentive to do well. I don't know your area, but these are a few of my practices that seem to help.
Yes, I actually have been working on that today. I have made a budget for the month of august that cuts my expenses from around 50% to around 28%. The changes will come from me doing more work myself (not hiring any help or very little help for August compared to previous months), lower fuel bill (my truck gets better mpg that my old truck and tighter routes), and cutting out unncessary spending. That is a big difference. I am budgeting almost $5,000 worth of work in August, and the changes mean a profit of over $3,000 compared to profits of $2,500 or less.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 07-21-2013, 08:18 PM
cpllawncare's Avatar
cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 2,647
For me fuel seems to be the hardest thing to control, especially now as it seems to going higher and higher everyday, you can only pass off so much to the customer, then it's just suck it up.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 07-21-2013, 08:23 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
For me fuel seems to be the hardest thing to control, especially now as it seems to going higher and higher everyday, you can only pass off so much to the customer, then it's just suck it up.
Fuel will the hardest thing for me to control too. I tend to just mow what I want when I want so it is going to be really hard for me to create a tighter route, but I am going to work on it. You are right that you can only pass so much on to the customer. The customer should expect to see a small increase in price due to fuel prices, but they aren't going to be able to eat all the cost. It has to be split, your going to have to eat some of the fuel cost.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 07-21-2013, 08:46 PM
Snyder's Lawn Inc's Avatar
Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kirksville Mo
Posts: 3,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
For me fuel seems to be the hardest thing to control, especially now as it seems to going higher and higher everyday, you can only pass off so much to the customer, then it's just suck it up.
I have a fuel charge in all my contacts Fuel goes up The price goes up % Fuel comes back down, the price fallows
Im not going eat it
__________________
Snyder's New Lawn Service Inc.
Since 1981
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 07-21-2013, 09:16 PM
cpllawncare's Avatar
cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 2,647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyder's Lawn Inc View Post
I have a fuel charge in all my contacts Fuel goes up The price goes up % Fuel comes back down, the price fallows
Im not going eat it
I'm not sure my customers would go for that?
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 07-21-2013, 09:56 PM
Snyder's Lawn Inc's Avatar
Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kirksville Mo
Posts: 3,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
I'm not sure my customers would go for that?
If they pay there trash bill each time fuel goes up, trash goes up

Fuel goes up Stamps goes up, UPS/fedx rates go up
My seed company has fuel charge for delivery

Why should a Lawn guy eat it
I pass it on down the line, But with me Fuel goes down I remove fuel charge on mowing.
This on Commercial contacts only Res lawns I don't burn much fuel to worry about unless it hits $5.00 per gal

Now my Lock in rate jobs I have to eat it if goes over my mark.
__________________
Snyder's New Lawn Service Inc.
Since 1981
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 07-21-2013, 10:37 PM
205mx 205mx is online now
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,805
Quote:
Originally Posted by APLUS LAWN CARE View Post
Fuel will the hardest thing for me to control too. I tend to just mow what I want when I want so it is going to be really hard for me to create a tighter route, but I am going to work on it. You are right that you can only pass so much on to the customer. The customer should expect to see a small increase in price due to fuel prices, but they aren't going to be able to eat all the cost. It has to be split, your going to have to eat some of the fuel cost.
I got to work and put my route together well. And that made a huge difference.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:58 PM.

Page generated in 0.06814 seconds with 8 queries