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Getting More Jobs = Lowering Prices?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Tn Turf, Jul 17, 2014.

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  1. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    Okay so I was flamed awhile ago for pricing my basic lawn mowing for $5 per yard (for basic mowing), but I made a lot of money! I was constantly getting calls and up-sold so much stuff that I did really well. So I went out and bought all brand new equipment!

    NOTE: when you've seen my prices were $5, that doesn't mean people paid me $5. Out of advertising that, I might have done 2 yards for $5 and they were sweet old ladies who lived on a fixed income. I consider that just good deeds of helping people. I'm sure you've all mowed grass for people in the past for free as well... so please don't give me a hard time about that.

    So after I moved to this new location here in Tennessee with all my brand new equipment, I decided to start advertising at $30 for premium lawn mowing. So far I think I've landed 6 mowing jobs.

    I feel like I am losing money. My equipment is sitting around too much collecting dust. When I had that motivated ad blowing out that $5 basic, I was getting calls off the hook. I was getting paid more, because after they called for the $5 services, I talked the client into other services and I made really good money for time and efforts.

    And best of all, advertising was so much easier. Now I spending time posting on CL 3 or 4 times per day, handing out flyers like crazy, spreading flyers all over the area and cold approaching people when I see them outside.

    It's brutal. I know a lot of people here gave me a hard time for underbidding competitors, but at the end of the day, I was probably making more than the competitor just because when people see ads "I will mow your grass for $5", they loved it, even though I probably earned more than vets that have been around 15+ years.

    Is it time to go back to the $5 strategy? I am sick of not putting my equipment to use. I feel like I am losing money everyday as the summer burns away.
  2. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    I just edited my CL ad to $15 lawn mowing. Guess I will try that and see what happens.

    After you consider the cost of advertising; paper, ink, flyer design, time spent, postage... you are actually working for less until you get established. I just read in another post a guy mailed out $300 worth of flyers and only got 12 calls. I think heater ads are more effective.
  3. yardsmowed

    yardsmowed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 266

    I don't really get whats going on here but regardless of what you charge, until you recoup the money spent on all your new equipment you are in the red my friend.

    Yards for free? $5.00 or $15.00 yards? I do hope you are budgeting some money for a therapy because YOU need it!
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,439

    It's endlessly entertaining to see that you mention "competitors". Your competitors are the other neighborhood kids (your web site even draws this comparison). You just fail to actually recognize this.
  5. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    Exactly. I was making bank when I had my $5 ad up. Went out and spent a bunch of money on brand new Honda / Stihl equipment. After the move, I thought $30 was a good starting point. Boy was I wrong!

    It cost me over $200 just to land six $30 jobs. Lol, which put me another -$20 in the hole. Lol
  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,112


    How much are those 6 people worth for a season?
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  7. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    hang on, so you're selling one-time mows only?
  8. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    So the problem I'm having the past what... 4-5 weeks is a website I created like 5 days ago? :confused:

    You really hate that ad, don't you. I mean you just absolutely despise it to no end, huh? You comment about it nearly every other post in my threads.

    People on this message forum have even PM'd me after they read you ripping it apart in another thread and said "you are kinda brutal", and said they really liked it and thought it stood out in a positive fun way. And it did land me 6 jobs at my higher prices.

    But really, I never seen any obsess with something so much in my entire life though. It's just really... odd... and creepy.
  9. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,439

    Classic. You really do have an odd grasp on reality.
  10. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    Not all are one time mows, but most are. I offer one time, weekly and bi-weekly. I have a non-contract weekly mow which I landed from the flyer tonygreek rips apart 5 times a day.

    I certainly don't turn away one time mows.
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