First Customer! spring clean up billing.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Keith1981, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. lurch

    lurch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    100 posts...i under estimated my first spring clean-up and now i feel like crap...i worked hard getting that lawn back into shape for basiclly pennies...but i did get 3 more customers out of it so i don't feel as bad
     
  2. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,784

    15 years later im still trying to bring some of my original customers up to a fair price. last year i just bumped them all up and they all complained! oh well, aint working cheap anymore. i think the reason they complained is because they were my first few jobs and i was young. they had lower income levels and a cheap price from a young kid is what they were looking for. as i grew, so did my prices, but these people were a little on the lower income side and didnt want to pay. those initial prices set a level they expected. luckily, ive been with them so long i dont think they'll fire me unless they really cant afford it.
     
  3. Blades and Blooms

    Blades and Blooms LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    couldn't have said it better, I estimated a leaf cleanup job (no hauling, just blow into one big area) next to one of my regular jobs right before Christmas, I told the lady 80 bucks just because I was already there and almost done with my regular yard $65/cut, well long story short I should have been about 2x that or around $150, she asked should she give me some more money and I told here that one was on me...I gave her a price and it was my own fault. She has since asked me to do some other work for her and hopefully my sticking to my word is worth something....

    HTH,
    Brad
     
  4. Keith1981

    Keith1981 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Good advice. I heard mentioning of charging a dollar a minute. I'd feel bad charging the lady 120 for a 2 hour job. I was thinking around 65.
     
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    The minute you start "feeling bad" is the time you start losing money.

    That sounds harsh, but it's a reality. You can treat your customer like gold but doing work for piddly $ isn't one of the ways to do it.
     
  6. Blades and Blooms

    Blades and Blooms LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    exactly, be sure to know what it costs you to run your machines/expenses or what your time is worth, jotherwise you are in it for charity basically
     
  7. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    If you have low overhead (no one has no overhead you need to depreciate your equipment) then don't charge as much but dont low-ball. What I would do when I started was put the proposal together like I didnt care if I needed it. then put it together like you really need it. Pick a number between those two and you'll make money and gain a great customer. assuming they aren't looking for a low-baller :)
     
  8. N.H.BOY

    N.H.BOY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,604

    Dude tell me the place where she lives and I'll give her a price:laugh: Just joke-n with ya. Sounds like a 2 hour job from what you wrote, so I'd say 80 bucks. If she ask why tell you some good reason why, you deserve it man. If you think this is your only one it will not be. Good luck and let us know what the out come is. It's all snow anyways right?
     
  9. N.H.BOY

    N.H.BOY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,604

    KEITH---Just saw your ad on criagslist and it said 50% off first service--So yea I would say you might HAVE to law ball if you said that in print. Just my 2 cents.
     
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,960

    In our area the only people who need spring cleanups are the ones that are too cheap to have a full time lawn service. So if you bid low to these folks you might get a customer but probably a bad customer.
     

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