Hypothetical for solo's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GSO LAWNEN4CER, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,175

    So was this hypothetical or did it happen? $30-$35-$40/ hour is low to begin with and how big of a lot are we talking about. I can't think of any of my normal 1/2 lots that would take me 14.5 hours to complete even it were raining while working on it.
     
  2. GSO LAWNEN4CER

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 119

    I've been doing leaves all season.My base customers as most others know.We do the leaves as they fall. EOW during fall.This is a referal customer.
    That didnt touch the yard.
     
  3. GSO LAWNEN4CER

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 119

    A property that has 6 white oaks in the back yard,and hasn't been touched all season.And hilly terrain. And yes the daughter stoped payment on the check this afternoon. And yes $35.00per hr is a great deal.
     
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,245

    14.5 hr job? geez how big was the yard? as a solo i would never take on a job of that size to begin with. at my rate that would be $725. noone would ever pay even half of that. that's why i don't do those jobs. i do 3 acre leaf jobs that only take 2 1/2-3hrs at most. these leaves aren't 3ft deep when i do them though. i would've told them upfront it's gonna cost more than they wanna pay. as a solo you gotta know when to draw the line and it's a learning experience. my first year i took on some jobs like that. taking on more than was practical for me to do. i learned i'm not gonna take on a job that takes me more than 4hrs to do. it's best to just leave those jobs for the big companies to do. they have 10 guys they can send out to tackle something like that. working alone on it you just wear your body out and you never get paid well enough for it. everyone has different limits. you just gotta set yours. i doubt you are gonna get paid at all for the job. that's the worst part about it. all that work for nothing. i would try to get them to pay what they can and cut your losses and learn from it.
     
  5. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Definitely a learning experience. Explain to the customer that stopped the check what your exact expenses were. And I mean exact. Offer a slight discount at $400 and see their reaction. You need to sell this and not argue with them but sell. There's a difference. I never like to give an hourly rate for a job it can get messy. In the opinion of the customer if you're there too long they think you are milking them or if you do the job too fast you could lose money. There's not an exact science or price on some jobs especially cleanups. Sometimes you win on estimating jobs sometimes you lose. Experience and talking to others that are in the business like on this site or other companies will help in the future. Pick the brain from others. Next time give them a price unless you have done the job before and are regular customers. If they are first time or one timers and you don't know exactly what to charge give 2 prices and work from there. You could say if we take this amount of debris it'll be this amount etc. You need to sell and gain the customers trust back and sympathize with them a little. But just a little because you just worked 14 hrs for them. For example: "I worked my butt off for 14 hrs and cleaned your yard that was 3 ft deep in leaves and cleaned your gutters. They had sticks and twigs and crap cloggin them up. That was really hard. Doesn't it look good? I took 3 truck loads of debris to the dump that cost $60 a load". I think you get my and the other guys on here's drift:) Sorry for being so long winded but I've been in your shoes. Some customers can be and act like children. Some will try to take advantage of you. GL
     
  6. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Also never fall in love with a job. What I mean is, (and I've been guilty of this) you go out and see a job and really want to do it and estimate it too low just because you want to do it and think it would be cool or for whatever reason you really wanted it. Business is business. Maybe I didn't explain that well but maybe. Ha!
     
  7. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    If it gets bad and only you can judge that when you talk to the customer offer them the opportunity to pay in payments but only do that if you think it's going bad. Not a fan of it but sometimes if you give the customer a little cool down period they may come around. Time goes by and their neighbor or relative or friend come by and comment to them that there yard looks great! The neighbor might ask who did the job. Or if the neighbor doesn't say anything but they noticed. People always notice. You may not think so but they are looking. That's what I tell my guys. Work as if the customer is watching on the front porch. I always think someone is watching. Kinda scary. JK!
     
  8. GSO LAWNEN4CER

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 119

    Thats how this whole thing started.One of my regulars is across the street.The lady I did the clean up for over the weekend got my info from my regular.Her daughter calls me last week to set up the work. I tell her I can get it knock out over the weekend. Put in 14.5 hrs working blowers pretty much non-stop. Had a lil handheld poulan pro 25''cc blower I got 5yrs ago.After that 15rd brawl Sat afternoon she had enuff.:laugh: Can hear piston pieces rattling around!:laugh:
     
  9. StrokerTurbo7.3

    StrokerTurbo7.3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    Get some legit equipment for the job next time and you would have had it done in a 1/4 of the time, had money in your account from the customer, and the customer praising you saying "look forward to seeing you next fall".
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. GSO LAWNEN4CER

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 119

    I did have good equipment.Was using the lil guy to help the big blower.The Husky back pack is a beast.
     

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