Is Feb too early to notify customers about increases in lawn maintenance prices

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ince8728, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 249

    I was thinking about when I should notify some of my customers of price increase for lawn maintenance this upcoming year. I was thinking of sending out the notices Feb 1st, then telling them if I don't hear back from them by March 1st I will assume that they agree with the increase. Then I will send out another notice the 2nd week of march that weather permitting I will begin spring clean ups the last week of march. What do you guys think?

    - Matt
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    my suggestion would be to wait until your cutting season starts. Mail out the increase notices the week before you start mowing. Less information in the down time is better.

    When it is time to start mowing they remember the need for your quality service, In the winter they tend to forget that. Out of site out of mind.

    I would not say anything like if they don't respond they have accepted. Just say the price is raised by $xx.xx, so your new weekly or monthly amount is $xx.xx. They will call to ***** if there is a problem.
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Just send them the increase. Don't make them contact you to confirm. Just go about your business unless they contact you to cancel service.

    We have in our proposals that our service is ongoing from year to year until either party informs the other of cancellation in service. We also include that prices may rise no more then 5% each year. If this is the case then we don't even notify them of the increase until the first invoice. If we are raising beyond the 5% then we notify them.

    Never make a customer call to continue service. make them call to cancel only and you will have less trouble renewing.
  4. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    For the cold weather guys, when have you found it most effective to distribute flyers? Ie time of month and month?
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Two ways to look at it. First option, just send out the increase early banking on all of them dropping and start looking for replacement customers now, or wait till closer to season so they have less time to shop around and get them all on a new higher rate contract when you show up. Play the convince card, you're already in front of them at that point and they will probably say I'll get back to you or something so they can shop, cut it off here and say your schedule will be or has been, filling up fast so they need to decide now and you will probably be able to retain more because in the back of their minds they may be thinking how long will it take to get someone else and will they be as good as the guy I've had. jmy.02
  6. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    That's what I'd say.
  7. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    My renewal notices are going out Feb 1. Any increases I have will be included then. I don't think time has a lot to do with it. Some people here renew customers in the fall and do increases then. If they value your work, they'll stay. If not, you'll know to start looking for new customers. Also, I'd just say your new price is $XX and move on, not give them a choice to protest or whatever.
  8. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    In the early years of a lawn care business, raising rates is a difficult thing to deal with. Customers don't have the problem, it's the LCO who does. It's the fear of losing a customer that keeps us from raising our rate. The truth is, everything goes up each year, so people expect that to happen with lawn care as well.

    I wait until I bill my customers, and I haven't had any complaints yet from doing this. A dollar or two is no big deal each year.

    If they pay each time with a check or cash, I'd talk to them after you are done mowing the first time. And if they already have the check made out, they usually won't mind catching you up next week. If they aren't home, just have a little note already typed out to leave on their door... no "call me and let me know", just here it is.
  9. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    I have wrestled with this too. I have a number of clients that have to be raised this year just to make them worth doing. I like the Idea of waiting till the season is near. No reason to give someone 8 weeks to shop you around. I plan to gain 20 or so new one's this year anyway, if one cheapsake drops through the crack so what? I have one guy I'm planning to drop through the crack. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. -Paul
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    if you're not using contracts, you should be. if you are using them, they will see the increase on the paperwork. i wouldn't make an issue about it. i'm raising most of them

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