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How Do I Convince New Client...?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Wil22, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I will meet two new clients on Monday.Both responded to my fliers.

    First client wants lawn mowed on regular basis. Asked me if I will ask them to sign a contract. I'm new and don't have contracts yet. How do I convince them to allow me to mow once a week. I will meet with them at 7:30 in the morning.

    Second Client- I will meet her at 10:30 am on Monday and she wants me to trim and haul away a lot of her bushes. After I take a tour of her property how much should I charge? I would rather walk away from a job than to under charge and spend long hours and not make any money. She said she wanted some bushes trimmed way down. Right now I know I'll have to estimate dump fees and time I think it would take to trim bushes/plants.

    She sounds like she knows exactly what she wants done.
  2. gvandora

    gvandora LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    You should recommend weekly service for lawn cutting. However, if they don't want weekly mowing remember that job WILL take you long and it WILL be more difficult. You MUST charge for the extra time.

    As far as not being under paid for the shrub cleanup take a look at this.

    Breakeven analysis.

    Fixed Costs (aka overhead) / Billable hours per year + Hourly costs = Breakeven Price per hour

    Run those numbers! If for example you have $20,000 a year in costs and you can billout 1500 hours per year and you pay your help $10 per man hour it works out like this.

    $20,000 / 1500 + $10 = $23.3 per man hour to break even.

    So price yourself at $30 per man hour and you make $7 per hour profit.

    Let's say you think the job is gonna take you and a helper half a day to complete plus an hour to dump.

    (4 hours on site + 2 at dump) x 2 men per hour = 10 man hours

    10 man hours x $30 per hour = $300

    Add on dump fees of say $25 and you get a price of $325

    Now work in your own numbers and you'll arrive at your price.
  3. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    Thank you . I've shot myself in the foot several times by suggesting to first time clients that I would be back every two weeks. Now I understand why one of my clients yard looks so bad each time I return.

    Let's say I recommend they have their yard cut every week for 35.00 and they say I prefer you to come every two weeks. How much more should I charge for coming every two weeks?
  4. gvandora

    gvandora LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    You need to estimate the additional time it will take you to cut the lawn. If you normally charge say 35.00 for a lawn that will take you 20 minutes and it takes you an additional 15 minutes because you have to double cut i would bump it to maybe 55 or 60 dollars per cut.
  5. Meadowbrook

    Meadowbrook LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    If the customers want it done every 2 weeks you should charge close to double. Such as if its a $45.00 job for every week, it should be at least $70.00-$75.00 for every 2 weeks.

  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    If they want it mowed every two weeks,let somene else do it.Tell them in no uncertain terms,weekly only.Tell them two weeks growth equals twice as much time and twice as hard on you and your equipment.Plus,it's harder to maintain your schedule.If they say,"no",it's not your loss.You just nipped a future headache in the bud.
    There's a reason they want two week service.They're cheap.Cheap don't pay the bills.
  7. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    THe work you do is your best advertisement.....if there is 14 days between services by the 12th or 13th day how does that lawn look.......probably not that great.......

    I don't do bi-weeklys anymore...

  8. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    Soo true. I would tell them it is weekly or not at all. End of discussion.It is how potential customers will see the work you do and it will not look good. Even if you tell them all the bs about taking longer to cut and trim, they don't care, they are looking to save money at your expense, and will not have you cut it every two weeks because they want to save money.. Yup, that is why I bought all the commerecial equipment, licenses, truck, trailer and work my tail to the ground, to save someone some money.

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