We're seeing some major growth in different areas where I service. One is about 15 miles from my house. It's one of these areas where they take 100 acres, clear everything off, and then position different businesses where the city thinks they should be, with a central "park" where people are supposed to congregate or whatever, I don't know. Anyways, I've been doing a bank right in that area before this new development started, for about 7 years now. About 3 years ago, I picked up the bank on the other corner. Last year, the Country Inn & Suites that was just built called me, because they had gotten my number from the bank, and wanted to have me perform the service. Now this week, a new YMCA is getting ready to open. I had contacted the exec. director sometime last November, leaving a phone message that I'd like the opportunity to bid the property, but never heard back, so I just figured they had a "YMCA crew" that did all the properties or something along that sort. Anyways, got a phone call on Monday, the director was wondering if I would be interested in putting a bid in stil. I said absolutely, and would be there in 20 minutes (just happened to be finishing a property about 5 miles from there). Drove down, met with the director and the building engineer. It's about 65k sq ft, broken down into 3 larger areas of grass about 20k sq ft each, 6 islands about 350 sq ft each, and then rest in a 10' border around the parking lot, roughly. It had not been mowed yet this year, so the sod was between 5 and 10" tall. I figured the first mowing would take about 8 hours to bag everything, and then about 2 1/2 hours for the trimming and mowing, weekly after that, if I took my time. I'm trying to bump the prices up in my area, and we all know how well that works, but I bid it at $100 / hour, or $250 / mowing. For a 24 week contract, I dropped my price to $5500 for the season, or roughly a 10% discount, for a weekly price of $230. There's a larger company in my area, they're already doing 3 YMCAs I've since found out, and they bid it at $3800 for the season, or $159 / week. The director called me back, wondering if there was anything that I could do to lower my price, since she was hoping to use my company, since I'm already in the area. I said no, that my price is my price, that it would be no different than if someone went to the YMCA and said that "XXXXX fitness center only charges $600 for the year, but you charge $1000 for the year, is there anything you can do to match it??" We all have our line in the sand that we don't want to cross. She said okay, I'll look it over that night. Got a call at 7:30 the next morning saying that she wanted to use my company, even though we were 25% higher, because she was impressed with the way that I sold my company during the initial meeting. Turns out the other guy was over an hour late, and she never even met him, had to have an assistant grab the estimate and the guy had to leave again. I stress service when I meet a new customer. It's what it's all about, nothing else. If you're at the point where you can pick and choose your customers, that you're no longer trying to build your business from scratch, look for ones that'll pay for the service, not just cutting grass.