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Mow for money, or to get the extras?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnman_scott, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I have seen people on here that say they will mow for free to get the extras. Do you do this for real? I cant immagine it. Why would you ever do this, I dont even see how you could come out ahead in the long run.
  2. nitro121

    nitro121 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    But this year I took on a partner and he does/manages the landscaping side.

    And I know, that he'll say we'll cut your yard for, say $40, but it's really a double cut. But instead of saying we'll cut your yard the first time for 80...he'll say 40, but you only get that price if we do the flowerbeds and mulch delivery. Then he'll add another 20 - 40 bucks on that price to even it out. And we've picked up about 5 accounts that way this year.

    Just the way you word things can get you business and the same money...but in the customers eyes they think they waited 6 weeks to cut their grass and are getting a deal.

  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    So how do you make up the $40 every week for the next 6 years until they sell their house? Or are you talking about just a frist cut? I have seen people talking mostly about commercial, saying they cut for free, all th time. It just doesnt make sence to me, especially when you can be cutting one for 3-4 hours every week.
  4. nitro121

    nitro121 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    we had some late callers last week.....we make up the 1 time 40 bucks if they get the flowerbed treatment (we don't do an $80 yard for $40 the whole year....we do a $40 dollar yard for 40)....so far they take it.

    But if they called for a cut because they let their stuff get overgrown....then we charge double. It just looks like we're mowing a jungle for 40 bucks, when we get the other 40 on the backside.

  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I brought this up a couple weeks ago....


    No one took the bait.

    I don't mow for free. I'd rather get the constant work at a higher price, then hopefully add on the extras in the end for a slightly discounted price.

    All in all, I bet that most, in the same market, will come out at roughly the same price, just take different directions to get there.
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,192

    Well you don't start out doing mowing for free but we have some pretty big accounts that require price reductions each year. Yesterday we had a $12K hotel with a new GM that said we just had to take $1K out of next year.....so guess what his cost of cleaning up the runoff pit will go up from $1K to $2K. His price of mulch will go from $4/bag to $7/bag. His tree trimming will go from.......and the price of irrigation repairs will go up....etc. etc. Get the idea:hammerhead: This stupid guy didn't know what the total amount he paid us last year but only the monthly amount for mowing. The big companies like TruGreen know this also.
  7. Comprehensive bids, where you do-everything-for-one-price leaves you open to the next guy who says he can do it cheaper. Bills need to be itemized.
    Every service needs to appear as a legitimate cost or you wind up looking like a thief.
    I got leveraged into lowering my mowing price something lile what Hess was talking about. But instead of raising the costs of other services, I was able to make up the difference by adding services.
    I can always find something a lawn needs.
  8. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983

    EVERY THING I DO....mowing, mulching, edging, shrub trimming, fertilizing, plowing, etc. HAS TO HAVE LEGS. It has to STAND ON IT'S OWN. Each and every service provided has to make a PROFIT. I don't price mowing LOWBALL to get the job and HOPE I can do a 20 yard mulch job. If the customer is CHEAP on ONE ITEM, they will be CHEAP on EVERYTHING YOU DO!
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I couldnt agree more. A loss leader is for a grocery store that sells millions of items, and the magority of customers will buy hundreds of things while buying the deal that they came for.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I have to agree that I won't price something for nothing because of the reasons...

    But, IF a customer has say $400 worth of work and I've already quoted it all out and ooops dang they did mean to ask about mowing the lawn but plain forgot well then I might just throw that in for free, kinda like that then I think it's ok.

    But you still have to be careful, as they say, watch it or you'll slip up on your own slickness.

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