increasing app prices for 2014

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. EquityGreen

    EquityGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 395

    Im still in the process of reviewing accounts and determining what rate(s) will be increased. The last six years have been 6,8,6,6,6,3% some of the long time customers are now paying alot more that some of the newer customers. I do manage to manually review accounts especially the ones that pre-pay and determine a value everyone can live with. I expect a 3% increase on average. We also locked in our fert for this upcoming season and will be applying the best product for our market ever! We do not have our pre-m booked yet. I think the overall goal when increasing prices is to relate the value to your clients. If you provide the best services, products, and customer service, your company should be paid the best. We are the 3rd most expensive in our area next to Scotts, and TG's crazy pricing. I strongly believe we are the best and should be paid for it.
     
  2. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    Good points there James. Know your competition and know the benefits of your products/services. I have family in your town (SF) that use your service because of your quality vs their money spent. (thanks James). Rodney also made a good point about customers knowing what neighbors pay. Not sure about you guys, but most neighbors don't care if they get a "neighborhood discount". Instead they usually say, "Why don't you treat my neighbor's lawn at the same time" so it saves YOU money? (these are typically the kind of customers you want & appreciate). Yet we all know this depends on spray dates, when they signed up, and what program they are on.

    I am not a fan of owners/managers sitting in the office. I never will. I cannot imagine not "running a route" of some sort every day. Otherwise -- please bury me 6 feet under. December >> Hospitalized for a week with constant IV's. Wore a catheter for 3 weeks. Still on meds until January. But please don't give me an office job.

    Wishing every one here a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy & healthy New Year.
     
  3. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,438

    I am staying the same..
     
  4. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Do any of you guys do any kind of market research on your prices?

    We all probably shoot the bull with local competitors and others we know in the industry over a frosty beverage every now and then, but I never know if I can trust any of the info that comes out of those. I'll hear my guys come in from their routes and say that so-and-so company is really beating us with their low prices, then at the local watering hole that same night, I'll hear someone from so-and-so company telling one of his buddies that my operation is undercutting his.

    We're pretty active in market research and we have a pretty good idea (we think) of what each local competitor is offering and their price points. I can't link that information specifically to their buy rates, but I can link it to our buy rates.

    Do any of you guys do market research, or do you only look at your own business to determine pricing?
     
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I've "quizzed" a few new(or potentially new) customers as I am doing estimates and gotten information on competitor pricing/strategies that way. I've also been known to slip a competitors estimate off a door and read it for myself when someone is shopping around with me and others(if the opportunity arises). I always put
    it right back though. Only a SLUG would do anything else with it after reading it. I guess reading it is a little sneaky but not dishonest really IMO. I've had a couple try to get me to do estimates under a false name or address before but I myself have never done that to others. It's a waste of my time for them to do it to me so I try not to encourage it by doing it to them... As far as sending someone out to take or mailing out surveys...no, I've never done that.
     
  6. greenskeeper44

    greenskeeper44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 363

    When I first started I had my in laws and friends get quotes from 2 national and 2 local companies....then I chose our pricing according to our business needs
     
  7. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,770

    Equity green.....I need to come and talk! I am about an hour n half away. I will be going up this year.. I need the increase...haven't for a few years now.
     
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    Annual inflation rates have averaged around 2% or more in recent years. I think this is an important factor regarding pricing.
     
  9. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,052

    Totally agree Larry!

    But here is a way to look at it also. Instead of passing every little increase on the the customer as every other industry does...what about tightening your belt and working more efficiently?

    I know ur a conservative Republican as I am. What about thanking the customer for their business and saying "The cost of our business continues to increase but due to your loyal buisness and support we r not going to have an increase this year as we know u r getting increases from everyone else".

    Just say n

    Not saying increases are bad if u need to raise prices. But don't just do it because u can.

    We will have a 5% increase on all new customers this yr. The new customer increase will help cover wage increases and fuel costs.

    Our current customers will go another yr with no increase.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    Whenever rcreech posts ....... I listen.....for many good reasons. (thanks Rod).

    We have 20,000 s/f properties we can treat in the same amount of time it takes to treat a 3000 s/f lawn. But then there's cost of materials, etc.

    Avoiding obstacles in small lawns is always a hassle. Try a "mobile home lot" where it's always a contest who can put the most crap in their yard. lmao

    It's a balancing act IMO. How much time does it take to trim with a deflector shield/use a blower, etc.???

    Time is money. Hassle & hardship on the applicator is a factor I am appreciating more every year.
     

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