eight miles on gravel roads for $29

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,860

    Today I treated a small 1200 sq ft lawn for $29. Problem was, it took 45 minutes to get this done. Four miles of dusty gravel roads with many ruts each way. My clean truck quickly became very dirty for the rest of the day (not what I want for the viewing public).

    This was her final application for the year, and I plan to bump her price up to $50 or so for next year. I doubt she will agree to this, but we just don't have a choice. Then there's the time it takes to clean our trucks. Maybe it should be $75??

    Do you guys run into this? :usflag:
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,353

    You are sooo right. We don't have too many gravel roads. Realistically speaking you should keep a time log of the trip time from your next closest house. Over 15 minutes--then you should charge them "Taxi Fare". Why should you lose money on an account that takes too much time to complete the job?

    Maybe I will have a "List Price" that is about 10 dollars more next year--and then give customers a $10 discount if they are within two miles of another customer.

    Actually I sold a couple of accounts that were just too far away. (Next town over.)
     
  3. (wi) Roots

    (wi) Roots LawnSite Member
    from 9
    Posts: 152

    Who did you have opporating the gun? Was it drive and spray.
     
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,072

    Getting your truck dirty....I would drop her in a heartbeat!

    No....I would seriously adjust accordingly for the time, truck wash and still end of making good money! Just give her the facts and tell her why you are raising her price. If she doesn't like it, replace her with another customer that you can make more $ on, that is closer, and you won't have to wash your truck!
     
  5. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    1200sqft for $29?

    American, you have proven to us that you are successful, and probably the largest company on this site, but a $29 app? Is your strategy quanity?

    To me, i'd rather do 50 accounts at $100/app, than 100 accounts at $50/app. So you drove 45 minutes to do this app. 15 minutes to apply, 45 minutes back. That's just about $15/hr you made, now you have to pay expenses on that. I'm just curious how you come up with these prices, and why. Maybe that's what your market will bare? That account is only worth $150/year. That's peanuts. If i had a 1200sqft lawn and a guy said it'll cost $300/year to have a nice lawn, that's not bad. That's barely a car payment.

    You say you have 3000 accounts. What if you took HALF of those, and doubled their cost. Your overhead will decrease MORE than half.

    I dunno.. you're doing a lot better than I am apparently. My business is a spec of dirt compared to the size of yours. But when it comes to business logic, we dont' see eye to eye. Maybe I need to learn what you're doing, but i'm scared! It doesn't seem right.

    -Mike
     
  6. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    I'm just guessing the 45 minutes include the drive time. If it took him 45 minutes to go 4 miles him must be walking. To me if it was that far out of the way I wouldn't have taken on the customer. Give her a price hike, if she drops you, oh well.
     
  7. DMSLANDSCAPE

    DMSLANDSCAPE LawnSite Member
    from 48223
    Posts: 17

    every job you have has a "cost per job"

    the farther away from your "center" , the more the job costs
    always charge more, the farther you go.
    i live in michigan, but i will do a lawn in florida -for 2900 dollars.

    the same lawn i do in michigan for 32 dollars.

    put the money out there, and watch me pack.

    if you do not understand what i am saying, you are already out of business

    mike
     
  8. DMSLANDSCAPE

    DMSLANDSCAPE LawnSite Member
    from 48223
    Posts: 17

    every job you have has a "cost per job"

    the farther away from your "center" , the more the job costs
    always charge more, the farther you go.
    i live in michigan, but i will do a lawn in florida -for 2900 dollars.

    the same lawn i do in michigan for 32 dollars.

    put the money out there, and watch me pack.

    if you do not understand what i am saying, you are already out of business

    mike
     
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,860

    mk -- your business is just as important as mine, cuz it's profit that counts with me rather than the size of a business. It was stupid of me to take on this $29 account in the first place:hammerhead: , but we also take care of her business in Ames. I will for sure fix it one way or another, and probably lose both accounts for 2008, but so be it, cuz I'm tired of losing money with her.

    Our route density is very high, and my guys are averaging about 25 lawns per day right now -- now that's profit:weightlifter: . We go as far as 40 miles away -- no farther (even though we get requests from people a little farther out).

    I doubt very much that we are the largest company on this site, cuz many here also offer landscaping, mowing (we subcontract ours), sprinkler systems, and night time lighting. I know of four or five local competitors that have more trucks & employees than we do, but they do not have the customer count, as we pattern ourselves after the "original" ChemLawn Corporation.

    Thanks mk and others for your response. If I ever come off sounding like I'm bragging, fire right back, cuz I probably deserve it. The only thing I am confident bragging about is our "reputation", and we hear this often.....even from our competition. But mostly we hear about our reputation from referrals, pest control companies, mowing outfits, ISU employees, home builders, landscapers, as well as local news media. (now I know I'm bragging) :laugh:

     
  10. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    What bozo priced it in the first place?
     

Share This Page