please help really need advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by skrats, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. skrats

    skrats LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    here is the situation
    it was agreed that i was to maitain this customers leaves weekly
    now that it snowed and i couldnt do it all should i get money for that week or not because there will be 2wks of leaves now on the ground next week
    and if it keeps snowing what should i do
    is this a good practice or what should i do to avoid these problems
    lady also complains that i charge way to much .thisare3/4 acre lots with a few tall oak trees not too much leaves i fill up a full size truck bed with 21/2 foot sides on it
    the first one is $40
    and when i give her neighbor a bid she says to shove it up my ***
    and this yard is covered by oak and maple and there is quite a bit morelike two truck fulls
    this estimate was $75
    thanks for the help guys
     
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Verbally or in a written contract?

    Yes, next week the price should be doubled because it is double the work. If that seems to much for you, it can be a little less, but I would say at least 1 and a half times normal price.

    $40 for the whole cleanup or just for hauling the leaves? How long does it take you. If your hauling off even a few bags I would be charging at least $40 just to show up. If she doesn't like it, tell her where to stick it! (In a nice way of course!) ;)
     
  3. Shannon Phillips

    Shannon Phillips LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 34

    Tell her neighbor she gets what she pays for. As far as the snow, you will have to be the judge on what to do. If it melts and dries out, you might be ok. I don't think I would charge for not being there, but I would have to explain to the customer that twice the leaves, would be twice the time, therefore twice the price. Good luck!!!! By the way where in IN are you? I am in Madison County.
     
  4. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    because of the snow you could not perform a cleanup.

    but when the snow is gone you will do the cleanup.

    the leaves to be cleaned are the same amount to be done if it had been done weekly.

    therefore, you are entitled to your asking price for the job.

    of course she will tell you you are nuts so you should counter that eventhough the leaves are the same amount you haven't invested the time so you tell her "because you want to make it fair", you knock off a little and hold your hand out for payment.

    GEO
     
  5. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    $40.00 is rediculus whether you are gathering or just loading them. i charge by the hour and then more to haul them off. stop letting customers tell you what they are willing to pay, you know what you are worth and if they are not willing to pay let them do it yourself or hire someone else
     
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    so tell us yergus, what do you charge for an hour?

    GEO
     
  7. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I think establishing an hourly rate is the first thing you need to do. I rarely give clean up estimates, my customers trust me to be fair, and I in turn work my buns off for them. If I bill $50/ hour, buddy your gonna get hard work for that rate. As yergus said, I charge a hauling fee. If I can not leave them for a town to pick up, I have to charge more, and I have to have a place to dump them. If it takes you an hour to leave the job, and go to a dump, then bill for that hour, If you have to pay to dump, add that in, and If I have to wield 50 gobblers of grass in the truck, I add a bit more to the price. How much to charge per hour, what you have to do in the removal process, and other time and labor things will need to be determined by you. In the begining I did some jobs way cheap, it takes some time and you will learn. Don't sell yourself short, and don't kill yourself for gas money.

    Oh yes, when figureing your hourly rate, take into consideration the type of equipment you are using. If your using a Z rider, you should bill for more then a walkbehind, you get the picture.

    That being said, I would not do either of the jobs you mention for anything near $75.

    Finally, do you run over the leaves once before bagging? You can really cut down on your leaf volume if you cut the leaves once, then bag them.

    Take care
    Jay
     
  8. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    $75 for 3/4 of an acre for leaf clean up? No way is that too high. How long does it take you? Can you do that in 2 hours? Not likely. My next door neighbors yard is about 4000 sq,ft. I just charged him $50 to clean up his yard, and we have curbside. I felt like that he got a heck of a deal, because I did not have to figure in travel time, gas, or dump fees, or fee for bags. BTW, it took me 1.5 hours.
     
  9. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 196

    I have said this before, people only pay these low labor rates because you are not charging more. Charge more and you can afford not to get every one. you will be making the same amount of $$$$ for less work in the end.. quality work will prevail.



    shawn
     
  10. JVS

    JVS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    Set up installments and piut in your contracts that monthly billingsmay not necessarily reflect the amount of work performed during billing periods. thus if you contract on an annual and NOT PER VISIT you get paid period.
     

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