How should I raise my customers rate?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by AllAmericanlawn, May 4, 2007.

  1. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    I started to mow this guys yard for $30 a cut. One of my first accounts. His yard is very small and flat in front and 1/4 acre backyard on severe slope. I only have 60" ZTR and push mower. 60" ZTR wont fit through the gate, so I have to push mow and it takes 30 min. It would not take long if i had walk-behind. Should i raise rate, and how much. How should i explain to customer. Your opinions please!
     
  2. Frosty03

    Frosty03 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    Why should the customer have to pay more because you don't have the equipment you need?

    If you grossly underbid it, that's one thing, but if you just don't have the mower and took it on anyway, why should the customer's rate be hiked? If its taking you 30 minutes with a pushmower and you are getting $30.00 per cut, that sounds about right.
     
  3. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    I would think the slope would be a factor even if i had a walk behind. Just because it would not be fun to mow with any type equipment no matter the time involved ? Is my thinking right in that you would charge extra for the slope normally? I dont know.
     
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    you lose... you honer your agreement until next year when you can change the price..... lessoned learned , this is how you learn to bid... not by asking what to charge on lawnsite.....
     
  5. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    AMEN, Brother Dave!!
     
  6. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Better to raise the price or get rid of the account if you are not making any money. There is enough work done for the FUN of it!
     
  7. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 179

    what about a person you underbid and is a major PITA on top of it. I made a bidding mistake earlier this year. The guy told me he wanted a basic weekly cut and trim. I gave the guy a quote, I was having an off day and was in a slump getting new clients. I made the mistake of second guessing my prices and gave this guy a stupid deal. I instantly realized what I had did, but I felt it would be good business to honor my agreement this year. However the guy has turned out to be a major pain in the ass. I made the additional mistake of further hooking him up by giving him premium service his first cut and now he expects it every week. ie bagging the grass, picking up trash etc. He lives in a crappy neighborhood by my standards and there is security issues as well. this guy is getting more for less than any other customer I have and he still bitches every week. He is the only complaint I have had to date this season and he has complained 3 of the 5 times I have cut it. I have had impartial people drive by and try to identify the best looking property on this street and 3 out of 3 have IDed his, not knowing the address on days that several of the yards had been mowed. I am really ready to break agreement with him, I know I am going to end up cutting him all year, putting up with his crap for what boils down to about $10/hour profit for what he expects and at the end of the year some illegal Mexican on his street(packed to the gills with them) is going to end up jacking something off my trailer thus negating any profit I made from him all year.
     

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