How to raise prices??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnprosteveo, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    Id like to get some opinions on raising prices. What I am trying to decide is this.....
    Do I raise prices a set amount across the board? Or, do I pick and choose those yards that need to be higher and leave other ones alone?

    Some of my yards are way underpriced...they were some of my first customers. Other lawns that Ive picked up in the last yr or two are priced about right.

    How would you do it????
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yup that's what always happens to me too, but since it is an estimating business I think that is normal because one can not always hit it right on the money, at least I don't.

    Then what I do is always raise the price on the bottom of the barrel, that is the worst under priced ones where it just burns inside to even have to do them, those get raised until I no longer feel the burn, then I rest.
    It depends on the customer, too, how bad do I want to keep the account?
    If I want it bad enough I ask the customer if they might kindly see an increase, and am ready to take no for an answer.
    But if I don't care then the price goes up, take it or leave it.
    Now that's just me, but asking helps sow the seed, once I ask if a year later they usually go for it, I keep asking about once a year and once that seed is sowed in their mind most eventually come around, of the better ones.

    Because I always lose a few in the process, so why mess with the best?
    But there are other things, like what to do if the price of mulch goes up?
    My cost, I mean...

    So I never mess with the top payers in that sense but there are some things where I might have to raise prices across the board like with mulch there's a flat rate and everyone pays it so if this goes up then everyone pays more.

    But as a rule always the bottom of the barrel, and only those.
    Stay on top of it then that way once the bottom of the barrel is out of the way first you have improvement, then within 6 months or what have you a new bottom has formed and the process just keeps repeating itself over and over. It gets to a point once you do this so many times it becomes a year-round routine, all year long somebody's price just went up and that is what you want, but a once to twice a season increase is a good way to start this routine going.
     
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    in my opinion dont raise everyone the same...the customers youve had for years and are locked in can be rasied a little more than the newer customers if they are raised at all
     
  4. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    What do you need to make per hour and What are your cost to run the business? After answering these then you can evaluate your customer pool.
     
  5. Grassbuster

    Grassbuster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    I'd raise only the older ones now. I'm also happy to see honesty from members who admit they have some undercharged customers. Usually all you read about is the braggers who make $75-+ per hr/acre 100% of the time. Or the guys who plow driveways for $120.00 a storm when everyone else charges $60.00. I'd like to see their tax return. Hats off to the honest ones:waving: Good luck raising your prices
     
  6. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I'd pick and choose the ones you need to raise. I try to never raise prices across the board just because in some cases, I don't feel some clients need their prices raised. I'm not a totally greedy guy so if I know a client's prperty is priced correctly then I leave it alone until my numbers dictate that the lawn is no longer priced correctly. I agree with topsites in that you should always be working on getting the prices up for the ones you underbid or are a big PITA. They are the lawns that keep you up at night stewing over. It's funny how bringing the price up on these lawns magically makes the pain dissappear.
     
  7. Turfcutters Plus

    Turfcutters Plus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    Never across the board if you are solo like me.I pick and choose,as i know most of my customers.Remember how much you COULD lose!!!:hammerhead:
     
  8. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    It's that kind of fear that stops us from being paid what we should. For years I was afraid to raise people. When I did I lost 4 out of 80 all 4 came back with in 2 yrs. Don't let fear dictate your decision. Crunch your #'s if they are underpriced raise them. In 20 yrs of doing this I've never ever seen anyone go out of biz for charging too much. I've lost count of the guys with cheap prices that have failed.
     
  9. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Posts: 1,422

    we do 3% across the board but for the ones that do not do any extra work or a late payers or just pita they get a little more. usually do not lose any they like the quality and understand cost of doing business goes up. My chemical customers got a 15% increase this year thank to lesco aka john deer still am wating to hear back from some of them
     
  10. Grassbustin

    Grassbustin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Good way to weed out unwanted customers is to raise the price. If they still say yes then it is more worthwhile for another season then try it again. Win situation for you.
     

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