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Idea that Worked!!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 3sons, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. 3sons

    3sons LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    I found a neighborhood that is about 80% senior citizens. I recently put out a flyer in that areas that gives senior citizens a 10% discount on their lawn service needs. Even thought that only amounts to $4-5 per yard, I got 10 customers in a 2 block area. None of the yards take more that 30 minutes and I can work on more than one at a time.
  2. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 308

    3sons, based on your discount, the number of yards and the amount of time you have stated it takes per yard, it sounds as though you should make $350.00 to $450.00 for about 5 hours work. Is this correct? If it is then you are beating the one dollar per minute guideline. Keep up the success.
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I don't think he is getting $45 per yard.....his discounts amounts to $4 or $5 per yard.

    How much are you getting per yard?
  4. KLR

    KLR LawnSite Member
    from Zone 6
    Posts: 171

    he is giving a 10%discount. that discount = $4 to $5....so, according to my calculator he is charging $45 to $50 (before discount)

    nothing wrong with that, and giving seniors a discount is definately a good will gester.....remember, hopefully we will all be senior citizens one day too
  5. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I have to say I'm not wild about seniors discounts for several reasons. One is that 12.4% of my income already goes to senior citizens. They want more?

    The second is that my impression is that most seniors who can afford lawn care are better off than married parents who are raising kids. So the idea that such a discount addresses a "need" is probably mistaken.

    I also dislike the practice of training a certain class of citizens to expect a break because of some vague demographic membership. The restaurant industry has trained all its customers to expect free food if anything at all goes wrong, and it's a detriment to all restaurants. Should we in this industry get in the habit of training seniors to expect more of our money?

    As for discounts aimed at clustering homes in a route, why not extend that discount to everyone in the neighborhood? After all, the idea is to cut windshield time, right? Why discriminate against people under the age of 55?
  6. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I'm on the fence as far as senior discounts. I belive there are seniors that need a break and some that just take advantage of the senior discount. I may be discriminating in this comment but if I can see that the person is unable to mow themselves due to illness etc and not living in a 500k home then I tend to cut them a little bit of a break. But if they are healthy, happy people living in 500k homes then I give them a fair price and don't budge from it.
  7. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    How do you feel about extending the break to those under the age of 55 (or 65 or whatever) who don't look well-heeled and who are disabled? After all, the criteria here seem to be:

    1) Unable to mow; and
    2) Lack of money to pay for lawn care.

    In that case, why not extend the break to people of all ages?

    I don't want to be argumentative, but you have to realize that seniors have a lot of options where finding a place to live is concerned. They can move into apartments just like we can, or into adult congregate homes. They don't have to have a house with a lawn to live.

    I'll wager that most seniors who live in single-family homes have little or no mortgage left on the house, and you can't tell by looking whether this is the case. Is it really a good business policy to offer senior citizen discounts? Maybe, but it doesn't seem to me that most who have commented here have really studied the notion in a serious way.

    The first post in this thread talked about offering a senior's discount to cluster his route, and it seemed to work. I'm inclined to agree with that practice for obvious reasons. But a blanket senior discount just because they are seniors? I don't think so, and I find most arguments in favor of senior discounts unpersuasive because those arguments typically lack a sound basis in the conduct of business.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I used to offer senior discounts, but then I thought that almost 50% of my customers are seniors. That is a lot of money that I would be losing then
  9. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I don't do senior discounts. The thing with some seniors is, you give them an inch, they'll knickle and dime you do death (sorry for the mixed idiom). I'm pretty much in agreement with MarkMcC with this.

  10. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    I fertilize the lawns of a few "senior citizens"...I bet they would hate to be called that. I don't advertise the fact but I give them a break. I actually enjoy doing them..they are usually home and they are good for a chat. Stopping to smell the roses can be good for your health....and your sanity.

    True story .......I worked with a guy a few years back that responded to a senior citizen offering her garage for rental. Something like $20 a week. He took her up on it to keep his weekend car in storage. He would say hi on the weekends etc. 6 months later she died. He was named sole heir to her inheritance. Apparently she was an immigrant and had no relatives and no friends. Her husband had passed away the year before and she sold the car. He walked away with about 700,000. Swear on the bible gods truth. I was there when he got the letter informing him...at first i thought he was joking!!!!!!!!

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