1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Is it a bad idea to advertise $20 lawns?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by recycledsole, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,670

    Go I lawn and similar products are set up with your "rules" ahead of time.

    Using the "free method" you measure the property while the customer is on the phone, then under pressure while the customer is waiting and you are trying to talk and calculate, you screw up the math and ooopsie!

    with Go I lawn your prices and set up ahead of time.
    Customer calls you type in address, it spits your price right out at you.
    Mowing, ferting, weed spray, whatever you have given it information for, based on A) location of the property (maybe prices are higher on the north end because its farther away) and B) square footage.

    In fact if set up properly, your wife, secretary or mother can quote prices over the phone for you.

    Additionally, the GPS photos and locations are newer and more updated than the free versions…. where do you think google earth got their free images from? They ere paid for at first by companies like Go I lawn and the system Real Green uses.

    Go I lawn has newer pics by several years.

    putting together a yearly contract, with $20 per cut x 30 cuts or $600, divided by 5 months for $120 a month isn't a bad idea.
    Your cancellation policy is 30 days notice.
    You charge 1 month in advance, so they at a minimum have to pay you $240.00
    so you won't get those "cut me once" type customers.

    Also, make sure the contract they sign has contingencies in it.
    $60/hr, minimum of 1 hr over the first 20 minutes on site for:
    Cutting down heavy growth, and cleaning it up.
    Excessive pet feces.
    Moving excessive lawn obstacles.
    and anything else they pull on you.

    So typically, if you have an overgrown postage stamp, it will be a $80 first cut and an average of $20 after that.

    So you charge them their $120 by CC up front, when you get there, if there are shenanigans, you run the card after the service for the extra $60.
    If they get pissed and cancel, there is a 30 cancellation period.
    So you still get your $300 out of that postage stamp.

    Customers with $20 type lawns all live in the same community, generally, so there is no need to discount for closer lawns, if you are already doing $20 lawns, the neighbors will catch on because everyone else is doing $35.

    If people balk at your pre charge and canellatin policies you simply explain it's only to weed out people who are trying to take advantage of the pricing, to get your to mow down their overgrown yards, only to cancel service and mow it themselves.
    This behavior forces yo to either raise your prices to compensate for this, or charge and honest price, and have policies to prevent the abuse.
    You are only looking for people who honestly want weekly service at a price that's fair for their lot size.
    And for those customers, this system works great.

    IF you were to travel out to their property and estimate in person, you'd be a $35 min.
    This system and associated polices works best for bringing the customer the quality the expect for a price that is unexpected.

    Sorry, No I can't share contracts with you,
    Im a consultant by trade, and I get paid for that.(among other things)

    There is only so much information you can get for free.

  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Why is it that so many Landscapers can't wait to lowball?

    You go to a restaurant and have a great meal for $25. You go back with your wife and another couple. Do you expect to pay $20 a person because you are now dealing in volume?
  3. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    just checking - you realize I was saying NOT to discount, right/
  4. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,233

    Oh ok, so I LAWN is more automated and easier I get it. Thanks. Thanks for all the insight I appreciate it.
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    I knew what you said.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,670

    So…you've never seen volume discounts?

    Exmark doesn't give a fleet discount if you buy multiple mowers?

    You don't get mayonnaise cheaper by the oz. if you buy a giant bottle at costco?

    You don't get fleet discount on gasoline if you buy a certain amount of fuel per quarter?
  7. SonoranScapes

    SonoranScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    The only way I would ever discount for multiple jobs is A-multiple neighbors got together and offered me all their business at once , or B- One customer who adds multiple properties to their account ie: rentals
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,308

    I'm the same way, discount for neighbors who join in together with their business or for someone with multiple houses, rentals, etc. However, if all the neighbors sign up at separate times, they pay full price. I do offer discounts for referrals. That is, only referrals that sign up for year around service. If they sign up for year around service, you receive a a 10% discount for a whole months service per customer. I had a customer that gave me five referral customers in one month, he got 50% off his $160.00 monthly bill, which left him at $80.00 for the month. :laugh: That $80.00 was worth the investment if you ask me though.

    As for $20.00 cuts, I don't care who you are, how fast you cut, or for that matter whether your using a JD 1600 Turbo Wide with a 146" deck, you still have to pay the payment for that mower. You still have over-head, and you still have a family to feed. I can't say I'd work at Mc. Donalds, but I'd honestly wash peoples dirty cars before I'd cut a lawn for $20.00. I (myself) have a full schedule, so I started bidding each and every call high. If they bite my schedules worth modifying, if they don't, so be it. I picked a customer a few weeks ago on a culda-sack I exercised just what I said above. $40.00 lawn, I quoted $55.00. The lady and her husband thought about it and agreed. After the first cut they were so impressed they asked me for a stack of business cards and said they would give them to everyone they know. Fast forward another two weeks, the neighbor on the right side comes over while I'm mowing, ask me if I could do theirs. Sure, $55.00. She said she was going to talk it out with her husband. A day later they called back and told me to put them on the schedule. Fast forward, 1st customer on this culda-sack did his job spreading the word. I've gotten numerous calls across town, including one car dealership where he does bug spraying at. This week he calls me and says his neighbor is a business guy who's always out of town and asked if I thought I could do his yard on the same day. Sure, $55.00. I over-bidded one lawn, and picked up 3 $55.00 lawns right next door to each other. I could have said $40.00 for them, but it might not have been worth it to fix my schedule to accommodate them. One thing I learned when I stared out, I was quoting TOO LOW. When I quoted TOO LOW, I picked up customers, and they were ALL the wrong kind of customers. If you advertise $20.00 lawns, that's one thing. But don't complain about the kind of customers you attract. Charge $40.00 for that lawn the other guys are doing for $20.00. While he may pick up "more" customers when you start calculating sales percentages, the guy who's charging $40.00 is going to have the customers YOU WANT to deal with. Not to mention, whether your charging $20.00 or $40.00 if you market enough and correctly, your schedule will fill up. Who's making a better living, the guy who has a schedule full of $40.-$50. lawns or the guy who has a schedule full of $20.00 lawns? Don't say $20.00 guy has all of them close together, I have a neighborhood I charge $35.00 for each and every one and have nine on that one street. The only other guy working the neighborhood is charging $25.00 and doesn't have half of my nine lawns on that street. That must tell you something about the people that live there. :cool2:
  9. SonoranScapes

    SonoranScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    Finally somebody that understands what I've been saying since the beginning of this thread.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,439

    I'm starting to think people might not know what a townhouse is...
    Posted via Mobile Device

Share This Page