Cutting Bi-Weekly: price increase?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    i have 2 customers that just reqested that i mow their lawn every other week. i will be twice cutting and spending more time blowing out flower beds walks, drives etc. i expect to be there almost double time. i figure they are trying to cut down on costs or to watch their money, so by charging extra i run the risk of losing them all together. do i go ahead and charge an extra $10 just to cover gas and extra time? do i not over charge, just so i can keep them, and rely on spring/fall clean-ups? or do i go all out and charge double? i know it may be easy for a lot of you to decide, but i have a small customer base and can use every customer i have. i like to mow as many lawns as i can, being out there mowing is great advertising all in itself.
     
  2. C & S

    C & S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    I was in the same boat you are in, a couple months ago, (customers wanted it done whenever they thought it needed it). I agreed at first, to go along with it at first, but found out the hard way that it wasn't worth it. Constantly trying to catch back up with the trimming, edging, not to mention the extra wear and tear on the mower. I charged extra and they discontinued service!
    The customers that understood that a lawn must be mowed more than 1-2 times per month now enjoy a quality service at a fair price. They are also, MUCH EASIER to work for:D Just my opinion!
     
  3. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    Hard to say. How large are they? Do you make good money with them? What if they change their mind and want it every week again? I would leave the price the same and look for more lawns, then when you have more work then you will be able to raise the price. By that time you could be back to cutting once a week also.
     
  4. Heller Landscaping

    Heller Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    Like you I also have alot of bi-weekly customers. There grass dose not grow very fast. I told them that if the grass grew too high and took me longer then i expected that it would cost them more. I to did not wan't to lose them. We do their lawns about every 10 days because they don't want to pay anymore than they have to. Remember this the more you give them the more they will try to get from you. Depnding on the lot size and how much you charge. I would charge mabe double if they complain you can always drop the price. Remember you won't have to add for travel time for second cut but cover for the time spent on the lawn. Remember don't jump when they call go when you have time.
     
  5. Potomac Lawns Inc.

    Potomac Lawns Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    I would just keep the price the same just schedule those 2 customers on the same day if they are not far apart, Like do them every other tuesday and then on the tuesdays you do not cut them you can catchup or bid more work or do 2 different bi-weekly customers.


    Steve
     
  6. Potomac Lawns Inc.

    Potomac Lawns Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    I did forget to say that does depend on the grass / grow fast, slow try it once and see how it goes
     
  7. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    You're exactly right. They are trying to save money and they're not stopping to think that this is how you make your living.

    If you let your customers make all of your decisions for you, you'll be out of business soon.

    However, I'm with KDJ on this one. Stay at the same price but look for replacement work. Then you've got a bargaining position.

    But also, you can start heading this off in the future. Whenever you stand around and talk with your customers, they usually like to know about the lawn business. You can start prepping them to mow every week in the future by saying things like:

    "I've got 'x' number of mouths to feed."

    or:

    This business is supporting ------ people. (Count up the number of kids you have plus you and your wife, then count in any employees and their wives and kids.)

    Another way might be to say that there are (for example) 17 people depending on this lawncare business to put food on their tables.

    This is where the salesmanship really starts coming in to this business.
     
  8. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    thanks for the replys everyone. the yards are a normal residential. not too big. mostly mowing, very little trimming and blowing. i think a $10 increase would be sufficient. after taking into consideration the ideas you guys posted, i think it is a fair price increase seeing how i will basically be twice cutting, maybe a 3 cut here and there. a tad more blowing. but no extra cost for travel. agreed? ($10 increase)
     
  9. E-man

    E-man LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 136

    I may be alone on this one, but I charge 1 and a half the rate for biweekly customers. Say if its a 30 dollar job weekly, I charge 45.oo for bi-weekly. Keeps both parties happy,. they get to keep your good service( because you dont have to cut corners to make a profit) and you still make money.
     
  10. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    It's kinda a no brainer. If indeed the lawn grows slow and needs a "regular cut" every other week fine. I have those accounts and many of them. By the same token I have a customer that tries to save money with a cut every other week, and it needs cutting at least once a week.
    I end up double cutting the lawn and instead of $30, it's $55 per cut. That's just business. You get a certain price per hour to work, stick with it.
    Pete
     

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