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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1cooltreeguy, Jun 29, 2008.

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  1. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 630

    OK Guys, I got my Capital One bill in yesterday and it is $5,300. $4,300 is in Fuel Alone. I also have a BP card the guys use and Exxon/Mobil card the guys use.....I am waiting for those bills and expect them to be around $1,000 each. That will be $6,300 in fuel for a 30 day cycle. Please, I am asking for business advice on how I can raise my rates w/o losing a substantial part of my customer base. I have 200 customers - 160 residential and 30 HOA's and County properties. I seriously am asking for help - My cheapest postage stamp lot (4000-5000 sq ft.) lots with homes on them is $40 and residential homes go up as high as $110 per visit. Business advice is welcomed.:confused:
  2. Wolfbass

    Wolfbass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I raised prices this year and let people know it was a direct result of gas prices. I have a smaller operation than you (about 50 accounts as a solo), but out of those 50 customers I lost none & only had minor complaints from one or two. People seem to be very understanding, if you have to coax them a little then tell them you will drop your prices back when gas prices come down.
  3. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Sounds like you do need go up in price but I myself haven't found a good way to do this either without disrupting the customers. I don't know what you make but that is a tremendous gas bill. Of course you have alot more properties than I do and make more money but I am near 12% for my fuel costs. And I think that is too much. I have already gone up on a couple of customers with (fixed incomes) and they seem to understand. I am counting on taxes, writeoffs etc. to come to some rescue. But the gas price is something that we are all going to have to adjust for and maybe in a couple of years the pay will get better for all of us.
  4. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    That's insane on fuel! But I have to ask... (not to be an a**) you have a lot of accounts that would seem to generate some decent money. Do you have an idea of where your cash is every month? Yes, gas is high right now but if this is a question of "going out of business," then you might want to see where you are financially and make some changes....(if you are good on your books every month, I'm sorry) as for the customers, perhaps send a letter to everyone and explain a small rate increase (%) will be implemented due to rising energy costs.
  5. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    From a first glance, I dont see how you aren't doing well with those prices. $40 for a 4000-5000sq ft lot is very expensive around these parts.

    I really think we need more information from you.

    1. How much is your fuel.
    2. How many properties are you completing per day?
    3. How many of your residentials are weekly/biweekly
    4. What sort of layout for crews are you using, 2 man, 3 man, etc
    5. Your guys are using fuel cards, are you sure they dont have access to fueling up their personal cans/vehicles?
    6. Trucks and equipment used might be helpful too.

    I'll get back to you after I know a bit more about what you're doing as a busienss.
  6. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 630

    Thanks for you advice. Would you raise it via the next invoices that go out? or would you call ALL of them? or how would you do it? Thanks, E
  7. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 630

    I will be crunching the numbers and tracking the fuel expenses via a calendar. I have got to get this worked out right away. I have alot of workers and families relying on this business - I have to get this right...
  8. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    we sent out a fuel surcharge letter and raised prices 5% very minimal feedback
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    If you don't already have your clients prioritized by most profitable to least its time to do that. Call the top 20% at the very least with letters to everyone. I would call as many as you have time to.
  10. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 630

    1) GAs is $4.00, diesel is $4.69
    2) 1 crew does between 12-19 a day on the beach and the other crew does county properties - Large acerage..
    3) Residentials-60 weekly 100 bi-weekly.
    4) 2 man crews
    5) I will be checking this at once - Believe me.
    6) Isuzu NPR w/21 ft dove, Toyota 1 ton w/12 ft trailer, 2 duramax chevy w/16 ft trailers

    thanks 4 your help...
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