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How does this sound?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnBoy89, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    I send out all my invoices/bills at the end of the month. On the bottom of this months bill it will go something like this (I am raising everyone $10 due to the increase in gas and because I bid all my properties way too low so I need to increase anyways)

    Due to the increase in the cost of gas and maintnence costs, the price of servicing your propety will increase to ____. You can contact me at ***-****

    I do alot of my lawns for $25 so most of them will be going up to $35. I have one 1 1/2 acre property that I do for $40 but I will not be increasing that one since I already get a good amount of money for it.

    What do you guys think about the little blurb I will be writing on my invoices and if you don't think its good tell me what I should say. Thanks...
  2. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    Its too vague, and will likley get disputed by many. You need to make specifics, and I would raise the prices by a percentage, rather than a raw dollar amount. I would draft a letter, exaplaining that a 10% (or similar demoninator) fuel surcharge has been placed in effect in order to cover the increased cost of fuel. Hope this helps.
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    dont tell them you bid too low, they will say, thats your fault, they will question 10 bucks worth of gas for there property, do the percentage....

    and 40 dollars for and acre and a half..... thats way low man..... even in this depressed area of the country called toledo, you can get 40 for an acre and thats too low..but id bet average
  4. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    If I were a customer I'd tell you to go fly a kite (if your customers are on a contract). You just can't break your contract, just like THEY can't break their contract. If you have a fuel surcharge cost, then now would be the time to use it.
  5. alwaysgreener

    alwaysgreener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    WOW that is crazy $10.00...you better higher someone to answers all the calls that will be coming in..
  6. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    I'm only a part timer. Actually not even I'm only 16 and I only do about 15 lawns. The people I service are getting away with murder for getting there yards cut for $25. I have to higher my prices sometime, I'm barely breaking even. I don't know what to do now. I am going to go write up my bills hopefully I will have a couple more respones when I get back because I'm really not sure what I should do now. Thanks...
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    No NO that's not a fair way to deal with your clients,you only do 15 lawns and I bet they are very close to each other so $150.00 more a month is way way more than you would need to cover your gas .

    Just because you found out you bid too low to do too much work is not a reason to increase your charges.You made a verbal agreement with these customers and you need to stick to that agreement.Not their fault you diden't fiqure out your costs before agreeing to do the work for $25.00.
    I suggest you finish out the season at your lower price then increase only a small amount for next year say $3.00 .Not $10.00 to big of a hike at one time and you will loose them.
  8. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    Some of them are close but not all of them. I understand it's not right what I am doing but I can't afford to be doing these lawns at the prices I am doing them at. I do 3 corner houses and require ALOT of edging. If you saw the size properties I do for the amount I do them you would most likely punch me and I don't want to be considered a low baller. If I could continue to do business at the prices I am charging I would but I can't especially with the cost of fuel. If I don't add atleast $5 on each account I will most likely go out of business. If I lose them then I lose them, I would rather get more hours at my part time grocery store job then do slave labor so I am just going to have to do it. I am not going to do my original $10 increase but I will probably raise them all to $30, I have no choice.

    I understand it is my fault I bid them too low but I have to correct my mistake before I don't have the choice.
  9. Rebel

    Rebel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    I hope the lesson learned here is that you should not bid or accept accounts for next to nothing just to say, "hey I have 15 lawn accounts!" You need to learn from this and start bidding your jobs accordingly to the amount of time, labor, and square footage. Like everyone is saying, find the % that gas has risen in your area (which has just gotten real crazy after the storm) and break it down per account. If it is 8% then raise your amount $2.00 and explain in a profeesional letter the reasons behind the increase which they should expect or atleast be aware of. You will be surprised by the response if you handle yourself like a professional and treat people like they have brains. If you increase by $10.00, $8.00, etc....then be prepared for some negative feedback. Some clients will do the math and laugh! Something to think about and learn from. Good luck!
  10. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    Thanks alot. I know that the cost of gas obviously has great effect on you for the farther and larger accounts, and the increase in servicing the property will definetly reflect that, I rushed my first post because I was in school and I wasn't even supposed to be on the computer but I just wanted some responses for when I get home. Anyways thanks for the help and I will take your advice.

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