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  #11  
Old 12-13-2013, 01:07 PM
eggy eggy is offline
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17 dollars per thousand sq ft? I am heading south we average 7 dollars per thousand and considered one of the highest priced around
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2013, 01:54 PM
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rcreech rcreech is offline
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Originally Posted by Ric View Post
I have not raised Prices since 2007 when the economy went South. So I been thinking on raising my Fert & Squirt prices from $ 15.00 a thousand and $ 75.00 minimum per treatment to $ 17.00 a thousand and $ 85.00 minimum per treatment. Here in Florida we treat Year round, so most of our customers are paying 12 times a year. BTW Many of my yards don't make the 5 thousand Sq ft minimum.

My Fire Ant Customers are paying $ 5.00 a thousand / $ 50.00 Minimum. per treatment 6 times a year. It cost me more for gasoline to get to the job than Insecticide to kill Fire Ants. For that reason I market Fire Ant customers hard and heavy. My profit margin on Fire Ants and Inside Pest control is over 90% including overhead.

The Idea is to make money, not give away cheap service to half the Country Like TG/CL. If I charged $ 38 I would have every yard from Miami to Tallahassee. Of course they would get $ 38.00 quality crap also. But rather than travel all over the state, I make a comfortable living, working part time in my own little town. Bigger is not better especially if you are the low baller giving away your work for 38 1/2 Peanuts.

.
Ric

To me it's not about price...it's about profit margin

I may b able to charge $50 and have a higher profit margin then someone that charges $60 for the same exact job.

It comes down to cost and the area you live in
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2013, 03:21 PM
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Ric Ric is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
I have not raised Prices since 2007 when the economy went South. So I been thinking on raising my Fert & Squirt prices from $ 15.00 a thousand and $ 75.00 minimum per treatment to $ 17.00 a thousand and $ 85.00 minimum per treatment. Here in Florida we treat Year round, so most of our customers are paying 12 times a year. BTW Many of my yards don't make the 5 thousand Sq ft minimum.

My Fire Ant Customers are paying $ 5.00 a thousand / $ 50.00 Minimum. per treatment 6 times a year. It cost me more for gasoline to get to the job than Insecticide to kill Fire Ants. For that reason I market Fire Ant customers hard and heavy. My profit margin on Fire Ants and Inside Pest control is over 90% including overhead.

The Idea is to make money, not give away cheap service to half the Country Like TG/CL. If I charged $ 38 I would have every yard from Miami to Tallahassee. Of course they would get $ 38.00 quality crap also. But rather than travel all over the state, I make a comfortable living, working part time in my own little town. Bigger is not better especially if you are the low baller giving away your work for 38 1/2 Peanuts.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcreech View Post
Ric

To me it's not about price...it's about profit margin

I may b able to charge $50 and have a higher profit margin then someone that charges $60 for the same exact job.

It comes down to cost and the area you live in
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rcreech

I believe "The Idea is to make money" is the same thing as Profit margin. I am a one man band and work out of my House. My equipment has been paid for a long time go. My Overhead can't get much cheaper unless I were homeless living on a public park bench. BTW I only work part time and make way better than the national average income.

Everyone thinks being big means making Money. IMHO a one man band with a part time helper is the most effective method of running a Fert & Squirt business. The Bigger you get, the less control and poorer the quality of your work. Because I have first hand control of my quality, I don't have to advertise. I am not looking for L&O customers, Because those upscale Customers are looking for me.

Multiply employees, traveling hundreds of miles, charging peanuts is very poor business practice. In fact Service Master just made TG/CL a separate company so they wouldn't continue to drag down Service Master Stock Price/Profit Margin. IMHO anyone following the TG/CL Big Box business model is a Pure Fool. I don't need to drive from Timbuktu to East Jesus to sell my work. Start to finish my Route isn't 20 miles from one end to the other. I don't need to travel hundreds of miles or pay for TV advertisement to make a nice living.

End Game:: One other consideration in having a smaller one man business is the selling price. I can demand a Higher price per account and have more potential buyers because of the bottom line. I think a lot of people fail to understand the End Game of a business. If I had 3,000 account my potential business buyers would be very limited. From past experience of selling accounts, the Big Boys aren't going to pay top dollar for big routes. My smaller high profit route can demand the highest prices per account and have a multitude of buyers. Not only can I get a Better price per account, But I can sell it faster. Time is money and a quick sale with multiply buyers is a nice position to be in. Sorry but like my first statement ""The Idea is to Make Money"". BUT, Why do it the hard way. The more employees and customers, THE MORE HEADACHES. WHY???? Life is too short.

.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2013, 03:26 PM
ShaneW ShaneW is offline
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Quote of the Day----->. "I don't need to drive from Timbuktu to East Jesus to sell my work."

Awesome
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2013, 05:12 PM
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rcreech rcreech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
rcreech

I believe "The Idea is to make money" is the same thing as Profit margin. I am a one man band and work out of my House. My equipment has been paid for a long time go. My Overhead can't get much cheaper unless I were homeless living on a public park bench. BTW I only work part time and make way better than the national average income.

Everyone thinks being big means making Money. IMHO a one man band with a part time helper is the most effective method of running a Fert & Squirt business. The Bigger you get, the less control and poorer the quality of your work. Because I have first hand control of my quality, I don't have to advertise. I am not looking for L&O customers, Because those upscale Customers are looking for me.

Multiply employees, traveling hundreds of miles, charging peanuts is very poor business practice. In fact Service Master just made TG/CL a separate company so they wouldn't continue to drag down Service Master Stock Price/Profit Margin. IMHO anyone following the TG/CL Big Box business model is a Pure Fool. I don't need to drive from Timbuktu to East Jesus to sell my work. Start to finish my Route isn't 20 miles from one end to the other. I don't need to travel hundreds of miles or pay for TV advertisement to make a nice living.

End Game:: One other consideration in having a smaller one man business is the selling price. I can demand a Higher price per account and have more potential buyers because of the bottom line. I think a lot of people fail to understand the End Game of a business. If I had 3,000 account my potential business buyers would be very limited. From past experience of selling accounts, the Big Boys aren't going to pay top dollar for big routes. My smaller high profit route can demand the highest prices per account and have a multitude of buyers. Not only can I get a Better price per account, But I can sell it faster. Time is money and a quick sale with multiply buyers is a nice position to be in. Sorry but like my first statement ""The Idea is to Make Money"". BUT, Why do it the hard way. The more employees and customers, THE MORE HEADACHES. WHY???? Life is too short.

.
Totally agree with everything you just said!

I would say that there are many advantages to being bigger though.

We will blow through the 3000 mark this next spring and I can tell you that our business model has not changed. We operate just as we did with 250 accts. Quality of product and service is what we know and do. As we add guys we train on that and not production numbers. We don't charge a premium but we get paid well to do what we are best at.

Here is what I love about a larger business:

1) I am only 37 but I am hardly involved in the day to day operation I can't tell you how nice it is to have an awesome team and very little stress.

2) I am building a very nice business that although isn't for sale is worth a lot

3) If I get hurt or even die the business will never know I am gone

4) Buying volume is HUGE!!!!!!! And I mean HUGE!!!!!
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  #16  
Old 12-15-2013, 02:29 PM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by americanlawn View Post
We are raising prices by an average of 5% (a little more for smaller lawns).

Say a customer was paying $38, but now it's $41. Would there be enough 'sticker shock' to make them go elsewhere?

Or how 'bout $69 - now $72?

Thanks in advance.
It would be great to figure out how much is too much - the point of residence to price increases. Maybe we will do an a b split of our active programs and do one at 3 and the other 6% increase and compare renewal rates? Anyone tried this before?
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2013, 03:36 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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fine tune pricing

[QUOTE=rcreech;4917824]I think we are going to hold tight again this year. Our fert costs are the lowest they have ever been and our routes continue to get tighter and tighter. We have not had a price increase in 4 yrs on existing customers. We do continue to have an increase every year on new customers.

I can see raising prices on pain n the butt customers or customers that were priced wrong but not an across the board increase.

It's easy to just raise prices...but we focus on being efficient and keeping our prices as low as we can as they take great care of us.

Just the way we work

I know we could raise prices 5% but in the long run I feel we will be rewarded for not raising prices they are not needed.

I hear ya buddy. Problem is my guys have years' of experience, and they would like to get paid a little more each year. I realize there's a limit, but...

Here's what we do to "fine tune" our prices:

1) We have 'difficulty factors'. A, B, C, D. (easy to difficult)
2) Special notes for each property. Slopes/gate sizes/ call aheads, etc
3) Square footage, of course
4) Partial program or full program
5) Multiple properties
6) Skip service every other year
7) Time it takes to treat. (we record the time it takes to treat each property every time during the year)
8) What type of equipment can be/should be used, and when.

It often takes longer to treat a 4000 s/f lawn compared to a 12,000 s/f lawn, but then you have to figure product cost too.

A year ago, we bought a lawn care company (over 100 accounts). Few were accurately measured, and there were NO notes regarding difficulty or special notes. Some were overpriced, and some were underpriced. Soil types, weed pressure, sun/shade, etc, etc were not mentioned either.

Bottom line -- the more "fine tuned" a property/program is, the more accurate the pricing becomes, additional services, etc. in order to provide the results as if it were my lawn/landscape.
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2013, 08:20 PM
Service 1st Lawn Care Service 1st Lawn Care is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcreech View Post
I think we are going to hold tight again this year. Our fert costs are the lowest they have ever been and our routes continue to get tighter and tighter. We have not had a price increase in 4 yrs on existing customers. We do continue to have an increase every year on new customers.

I can see raising prices on pain n the butt customers or customers that were priced wrong but not an across the board increase.

It's easy to just raise prices...but we focus on being efficient and keeping our prices as low as we can as they take great care of us.

Just the way we work

I know we could raise prices 5% but in the long run I feel we will be rewarded for not raising prices they are not needed.


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Rodney with your routes getting tighter and tighter, and you indicate your prices for new customers continue to go up. What do you do when a new customer lives next door to your long time customer and your new potential customer knows what his neighbors pay, then you going to charge him the same or you going with the new customer price?
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  #19  
Old 12-15-2013, 08:24 PM
Service 1st Lawn Care Service 1st Lawn Care is offline
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I hear ya buddy. Problem is my guys have years' of experience, and they would like to get paid a little more each year. I realize there's a limit, but...

Larry if your A-Team guys are bringing in 180K a year you better give them boys a raise, or at least an extra six pack a week.
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  #20  
Old 12-15-2013, 10:10 PM
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rcreech rcreech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Service 1st Lawn Care View Post
Rodney with your routes getting tighter and tighter, and you indicate your prices for new customers continue to go up. What do you do when a new customer lives next door to your long time customer and your new potential customer knows what his neighbors pay, then you going to charge him the same or you going with the new customer price?
So far never been an issue.

We have very tight routes but the good thing today is families are so busy they barely talk...let alone neighbors.



If ever questioned I guess we will have to explain to the new customer how we take care or our customers...or give them a neighbor discount

Lol
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