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Out of state residential accounts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jcr_17, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. jcr_17

    jcr_17 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 101

    I live in Texas and an individual from Arkansas called me last season to mow his deceased parents' yard since he inherited the property. I quoted him $30.00 and he agreed to have me do it every week. Being that he lived in Arkansas and I lived in Texas I would throw in "extras" each time I mowed, but opted not to charge him since we agreed on $30.00. I just wrote on the invoice that I did the service and wrote $ 0. Being that he lived in Arkansas it was impossible for him to keep up with the yard necessities. Also, there was no way for him to actually know if I really did do the service and he could refute the claim.

    Would you guys charge for the "extras" that are not included in the basic mow, blow, and edge without consulting the homeowner since it is almost like dealing with a commercial account because he is out of state? I look at this way....If he opts to retain my services this year then I know he was impressed with what I had to offer. If not, I go fishing for a new account.

    Any suggestions?
  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Depends on the what the extras are.If I pick a customers trash can,I'm not going to charge them for it.However,I'm not going to trim there shrubs or weed their beds for free.
    What are these extras you've been giving away?Can I sub you out?:D
    Does anyone throw extras to you when you retain their services?Every week?
    <p>Let me go into a rant.I recently was offered to bid on a job.After thinking things over in my head,I came to realize that this was going to entail ALOT more money than what I'm accustomed to .This is for a current customer.I racked my brain trying to save them money and the amount I come up with is still more than what I'm comfortable charging.THEN,I did a detailed list of what exactly I want out of the job,how much the company will make,how much will go towards insurance,gas,equipment wear and tear,etc.,,Let me tell ya,I don't feel nearly so bad giving them the amount I've come up with.I have to meet with them and discuss the issue and work on an estimate,but I already know,to do it right,it's gonna cost money.
    <p>The moral is,don't cheat yourself.You'll be out of business and owe money instead of making it.Charge for the extras.
  3. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Real small extras like Nick said I would do. If its going to take 10 min. or I have to use a piece equipment that will cost me money to operate I wouldnt do. Over time your gonna start losing money and the 30.00 your making each visit will turn into 25.00 then 20.00 before you know your doing if for free. After paying your expenses and tax your not making 30.00 a visit and all the extras will bring your profit way down. Also if your trimming a shrub or whatever and something is damaged this guy is going to wonder why your were doing stuff on his property when he didnt give approval. Just write in your invoice anything that needs attention with a price and let the customer contact you.
  4. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Do only what you two agreed on doing for a specific price. If you notice other things need to be done, first communicate this to the client, get a verbal authorization of the additional work and invoice it accordingly.
  5. jcr_17

    jcr_17 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 101

    I should have thought about just bringing the stuff up when I sent the invoices. Of course I already screwed myself by offering freebees in the first place so it may be expected but this season will be better and I will definately not hand out freebees!
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    We've worked for lots of people who live all-year or part of the year in another state. The key is to keep communications open. I always have their current work, cell, and home phone numbers on me - even in the truck. If something extra needs to be done, I call them and ask them if they'd like me to do it - and discuss the extra charge.

    You'd be surprised. Most people know if you've been there or not. They have friends, family, business associates - someone - checking up on you. You just don't know it.

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