Need a little help here.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stephenslawncare, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. stephenslawncare

    stephenslawncare LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 81

    Okay heres my situating. An old lady gave me a call about a week ago asking for a bid. I said, "when would you like me to come by" she said, "whenever, just leave the quote in the door," I came by and looked around the yard and wrote the quote. It was $18.00. The yard was pretty flat, reletivly small, few obstacles, little edging, and no gate. Later that week, she left a message saying that she would like to sign up. I came by the house to get billing info and give her my info packet(what I do in case of rain, etc...). She said, "do you want me to show you the property lines, I said "okay" we walked to the side of the house and showed me and then to the other side and pointed past a row of trees and to a patch of grass about 8ft by 100ft that connected to some neighborhood common ground and said this was part of the yard also. I told her that I had to give her a new quote because I assumed that the yard only extended to the row of trees. The new quote was $23.00. She didnt look to mad was wasnt happy. I informed her that it was higher not because of the extra mowing but more because of the extra edging. She said that I didnt have to edge it but I told her it was company policy that I edge all yards. Then she said something like, "I will compare this with the other quote you gave me" or something like that which seemed weird but I said okay, thank you. And left. I just need to know, should I have sucked it up and stayed with the $18.00 quote and not make much money with this yard. Or should I have said okay and not edge it and gave her a quote like $21.00 or did I do the right thing and if I lose the customer, so be it. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for being so wordy.
     
  2. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,371

    $18.00 seams low for any type of yard. You should have some type of minimum.My minimum is 25.00.
     
  3. stephenslawncare

    stephenslawncare LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 81

    I know it is low but I am only 14 and bidding low is kind of the only way I can get customers. I do have a minimum and it is 15.00 but that is only for really small yards. this yard was pretty small and easy to mow. but could you answer my question please. I really dont know what to do.
     
  4. mulchmaster

    mulchmaster LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 212

    You did the right thing. You can't work for free and $18 seems very cheap to me. I personally won't unload for less than $30. If she goes else where don't be suprised if she calls to hire you in may. Good luck Andrew
     
  5. mulchmaster

    mulchmaster LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 212

    If your policy is every lawn must be edged then stick to it. If you let the customer walk on you they will try to every chance they get. Stand your ground, with that pricing you will have no prolbem filling the open spot. Good Luck, Andrew
     
  6. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,371

    Well if your 14, and need the customer, do it. Im pretty sure we all were there at some point in time.
     
  7. clcare2

    clcare2 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 224

    Never let a customer railroad you into doing work for less than you think that it is worth. There is never an account that you need to have. Remember that they called you. There is always enough work for everyone, just be careful about the lowballing.

    good luck , my partner started when he was 12. now we have 6 full time employees.
     
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    Good man, you held your ground. Don't worry about your pricing, when I was your age I was on the cheaper end as well. You'll get up to the $30 minimums in no time.
     
  9. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    Just stick to your guns. I like the fact that you stuck to your policy of edging all lawns. It shows a committment to quality.
     
  10. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,675

    Company Policy at 14? Thats kind of funny. Personally I think you did the right thing By giving her another quote. It seems like the elderly still think a yard shoud be mowed for $5 just like back in the day. It looks like you got decent equipment and remember repairs aren't cheap. I've never heard of anyone doing yards as cheap as you but if you can afford to do them for that then so be it. Never let a customer talk you down. Ususally if a potential customer says there gonna get other bids I usually won't take the account even if they call back a week later, I know from the start my prices are fair and I always offer names and addresses of existing clients if they want a reference. I don't have time for tire kickers. Good job and hope you get a lot more.
     

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