How much should I raise this account

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pjslawncare/landscap, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Ill make this as short as I can. Got this commercial account for past 4 years now. I am well equipped & provide very goog service from lawncare, fertilizing, weed control (Spay), Bush trimming under 1 contract and I provide litterally every out door mainenance (snow, trees, storm clean-up) as extras. Contract alone is over 10 grand a year. (nice medium account) They love my service, I love their patronage. Only bad thing is their terms are 45 days. Now they pay over 12 months so I get a check every month, but extras take 45 days from invoice :cry: . This will be the first year to raise prices (yea, I should have a little every year). Just coincidentally, someone made a slight error after I e-mailed them last months invoice and 2 invoices (same #) got to accounting. The property manager called my wife concerned that I may have bypassed him somehow trying to speed up payment of this invoice. I have that conversation on answering machine as she answered it after answer machine pick up. He was very polite and expressed that they love the service I give, I always return massages and e-mails, and am there when they need me (like when large bradford fell in parking lot & I plow durring heavy snow storms). He appologize that this company pays 45 days and feels bad for that. He was telling her that he didnt have a problem if I was to raise next years rates to compensate for this. I was already planning to raise them due to fuel prices anyway.
    Fuel has risen around 34% since I started this account, but I know thats too high an increase here. They are high end customers (about 55% profit) currently. Im thinking about 10 or 12 % increase in my rate. What are your veiws?
     
  2. economiclawncare

    economiclawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    i would raise it about $100 a month sense you have not done so in the past 4 years so i think that would be about 12% and then raise 5-6% every year. or you can get your money thru the extras that you do. If a customer does me wrong or i dont like something that they did i charge the extras higher then normal. Always get them in the end when they dont know it. Learned from my father he been owning his own business for 15 years now
     
  3. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 125

    is this a major means of your income? if u can get by waiting those extra days then only raise a little bit so they see u care even more and u will have them forever
     
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Its a decent little account. I like dealing with them, Only thing Im not crazy about is that we must mow it on Sundays as no one is working (except us :cry: ) and no cars in parking lot, so thats kind of a hassle. Another theary I have always had is if u come across to cheap in price, customers often coralate that with cheap service, More $ they feel money well spent on value of your service (as long as u deliver). Reputation and image come into play there. If they know u will deliver, they are willing to fork it out (most of the customers that is). Some are just plain cheap though and I dont want them pushing on my bottom line.
     
  5. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 558

    so let me ask why exactly do u mow it on sundays for your benifit of there not being anyone there ( why does this matter to u ) or the fact that there are no cars there moving around and hanging over curbs when parked OR is it because they asked you to do it on sundays b/c no cars and/or no people? why not go in earlier b4 the cars get there or after they leave...... if it bothers u ..... everyone else i know mows around cars and "skip edges" cars... if its them asking you to mow it on sundays raise your price bout 10-12 % for next year just on account of gas and ins. then tell them IF they want it done on sundays from now one its gonna be $X.XX ( another 10-12% on top of the already increase) do this cause heck man sundays is my FULL day to spend with my wife and child ... if someone wants or requests that i work on sunday im, more than happy to do it but it COSTS.....
     
  6. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    all three. Its much easier when no one is there. Its easier to blow off parking lots, no body out in smoking area while we are mowing and no cars over hanging grass areas. They work all three shifts (24 hours) and yes, they ask us to cut on Sundays because they often work Saturdays. Yes I do like being with my family on Sundays :help:
     
  7. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    You really need to figure out what it's worth to you, and then consider what they will be willing to pay. There's a fine line, but you already know that you can't hit them with a huge increase just because you failed to keep up with inflation over the last 4 years. Yes, you should be compensated for thier unusual request to mow on Sundays. Yes, you should be compensated for the increase of gas, insurance, and equipment maintenance. Yes, you should be compensated for giving them outstanding service over a long period of time. How much should you be compensated? That's where you and your customer should schedule a meeting and come to an agreement. I would try to go after a 3 year contract with annual increases of 8-9%.
     
  8. FoxDen

    FoxDen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I always return massages and e-mails, and am there when they need me (like when large bradford fell in parking lot & I plow durring heavy snow storms).

    Massages?? Thats way beyond the call of duty!!! :waving:
     
  9. Freshcut Lawn Care

    Freshcut Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    Excellent Advice by "Work It". I always find that by sitting down and sharing information and ideas with my customers helps in many ways.

    One of the most significant things this does for me, is that I tend to get a feel for what I think is fair and what they can bare, prior to me asking for an increase. By feeling them out a bit, you can see how much they "really value your services".

    If you have been with them for 4 years, they are obviously very satisfied. Good stuff!

    As far as always being there for them...That's why they have you back year after year and that is the "right thing to do" in my opinion.

    P.S. We do a couple of Sunday Acounts for many of the same reasons and it works great for everyone!

    Have a Great Day Guys!
     
  10. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    LOL! I didnt notice that one till u posted. I guess if I throw that in, I can really increase my rates. What will I tell my wife though
     

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