pricing on a cut, do you have the guts to make money

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by olderthandirt, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Market value on a mow trim and blow is $35-$40 but its been there for the last few yrs. you cost permit you to make a profit at this price but a smaller profit than a few yrs ago because of cost of living has went up.
    So are you satisfied to go along and make market rate or are you good enough to raise the price $50 and convince the customer that they get what they pay for.
    Remember if you take the account for $40-$45 someones going to under bid you in the future.
    Do you have enough confidence in your business to walk away from the customers that only want to pay market rate for the fewer customers that YOU convince that your company is worth more.
    Chevy's are everywhere Rolls Royce's are rare what do you as a business want to be and are you willing to suffer to get there?
     
  2. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    It's all about market conditions, economic factors, and the law of supply and demand. Why stop at 50. Why not 75 or 100. You have your limit like everyone else. There will always be people charging more and people charging less. Sometimes the people charging less make more sometimes the people charging more go bankrupt. All doctors don't get paid the same, all teachers don't get paid the same and no all landscapers will never get paid the same. Evryone finds what they are happy with and call it a day.
     
  3. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    well said:) wski4fun.
     
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    yes..... but as it is only my second year, building my reputation , for now i could not turn down the market price......but if you look closly at what the customer says and does, there are clues as to wheither you can go higher then market value, and then i do try it.......
     
  5. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    thank you. I would love to be the highest paid landscaper and not work for it but I'm just an average guy doing the best I can and being fair. Some people make more money then me that shouldn't others make less that deserve more. As long as you don't screw yourself or others learn to be happy with what you make. It's not what we perceive the lawn to be worth only, but also the customers. Some cust won't ever pay to have there lawns cut. Others will pay you top doller for pissing on their lawn just because they like you. What is the going rate for pissing on the lawn now? Let's figure out my costs. The six beers plus the 15 min it took to drink them plus my gas to get the beer, the ins on the car, a bag of pretzals. I figure 25 bucks. Wait a minute I get 25 bucks to cut the lawn. That's it , I'm going into the pissing on the lawn business.:cool2: :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup: :cool2:
     
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I take that as a NO

    So in 10 yrs your willing to make 1/2 as much as you do now? how can you set money aside to retire when you make less each yr? And it happening right now with prices being driven lower.


    I've done it, its just that I had to upsell other services to turn the mow and go into full maintenece account. average everything out over a yr and its been close to $75 a mow.
     
  7. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    That's great and maybe i will do the same. I'm just saying that evryone can't do it the market won't support it. The world needs ditch diggers to. Look at the help we hire. Some guys make 20/hr cash. Should that be true for every worker. no. In some co. that same person doing the same job might only be worth 14. I bought a redmax 8000 blower. I could get it for 475 or pay 575 at another place. sometimes I do go to the other place and pay a higher price sometimes I don't. We all shop around everyday like our cust. Some people shop at saks some at walmart.
     
  8. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    market price for cutting lawns is IMO a small % of the total $$ a customer spends on their landscape needs. It is however, what a customer uses as a benchmark for shopping for a lawn service. They figure if your mowing price is fair then so are all your other prices. My goal is profit for the year. Customers don't remember what you charged them last year for shrub trimming , mulch , aeration, seeding,or fall clean ups. Know your costs and map your profits for the year. If I start the season for a customer at last years mowing price they are happy and don't shop new cutters. In my area the average # of cuts per year is 23. At $5 per cut increase in mowing I can make $115. Or I can wait until summer after the start ups have quit and raise my price $3 a cut and raise the price of all other services through out the year. As long as I get more than $115 from that person for the year I have done better for the same effort and not risked them shopping around.
     
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    agreed, most of my customers are like this, plus any that call and want lawns BAGGED bi-weekly, or monthly , cant speak english yadda yadda, i dont want their business anyway, theyre nothing but problems, dont want to pay anything try to bargain me down to below minimum amounts and all, the one guy called me to do his lawn this year again, i cut his last year and he wants a price, i said well i did yours last year, he wants a NEW price basically because he wants it lowered, i said ok, 30 now vs $34 for the cut and $40 for bagging still, he wanted it bagged and someone obviously gave him a bagged price better than mine, they can have it, this asholes lawn is 4-5" tall every single week, looks nasty and he wants it bagged for under $40 for a residential development lot, no thanks,.
     
  10. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    Suffer to get there? Suffer? Nah, I don't think starting a business, it's a good idea to go into it with the attitude, "I'm gonna suffer to get only the supreme accounts that I want for top dollar."
    Guts comes with experience, once the business starts to become established, then it's a lot easier to have "guts", and pick and choose the top $ accounts. Until then, most new businesses will basically take what they can get to get the ball rolling.
     

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