Setting prices to reduce PITA Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by muddstopper, May 15, 2005.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I have a friend that does mowing and odd jobs. He has a 48 wb and a 52 ztr. As well as a tractor/bushhog , chainsaws and odd peices of equipment. We have had sevral discussions about selecting customers and how to sort out the junk lawns from the high dollar lawns. He uses a minimum priceing of $60 for mowing and trimming. He claims that this eliminates a lot of the cheapo cutomers because once he tells them the minimum they either hang up or tell him to come give an estimate. The el-cheapos wont ask for estimates because they think he is already to high. Those that ask for estimates are usually those that can afford his services and are willing to pay someone rather than do it themselfs. Does anyone else use this or similar methods for selecting customers. Opinions???
  2. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    60 minimum? Good luck. I have a 30 minimum for a 5,000 SQ Ft yard. He probably has to do the odd jobs to make up for nothing having any customers because his price is to high. Ridiculous.
  3. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    caller: hello....
    friend (other lco): XXXX LCO, how may i help you
    caller: i have an 1sq. ft. yard i need mowed &trimmed & blow....
    friend (other lco): yes, that would be $60
    caller: i know of 1k LCO that will cut my lawn for $25.... click

    this friend of yours is starving, donate a few buck$ to him..... a 5min job, he is charging $60.... good luck with that my friend
  4. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    would u mind enlighting us with ur friend's minute rule, how much he must take in an minute or an hr....

    mine is $1 per min., while some other guys on here must take in $1.50
    i bet this guy must take in at least $5 minute w/$60 drop gate :rolleyes:
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I think you missed the point about the minimum pricing. With the $60 minimum he doesnt do the small sqftage jobs. He does mostly larger acreages that would require larger payments. These tend to end up being the higher scale homes with larger lawns. The smaller lawns are usually cluttered with trees, shrubs and beds that take lots of trimming and edging while the larger acerages might have a similar amount of landscapeing but it is spread out and easier to mow around with the larger equipment. Notice I said his equipment is a 48 wb and a 52 in ztr. He claims to adverage $2 per min. with these accounts and has 60 customers so he's not starving. He didnt get all those customers at one time but has built that customer base in the last two years. And just because his minimum is $60 doesnt mean that is what he charges for each lawn, most are usually considerably higher. He uses the $60 minimum to weed out the smaller lawns so he can concentrate on the larger more profitable properties. It seems that pricing strategy is working for him and I was just wondering if anybody else used a similar strategy to target the customers they want to service.
  6. T Edwards

    T Edwards LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    All of our bids this season start at $49. Anything less is not beneficial to our bottom line.
  7. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    My most profitable area is a row of 8 townhomes. It takes 35 minutes to do all of them solo and I charge $15 per lawn.
  8. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    I guess if thats all you have to deal with where you live then its ok to charge that much. Around here there arent large acre lots on every corner so it wouldnt fly.
  9. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 638

    I see your point and if i had large acreage lawns i think that might work here to. I was asked yesterday how much i charge per lawn and i told her i would really have to see it. She was pressuring me for a price an told me her lot with house included was .18 of an acre. I told her without looking about $25-30 and then told me she had 4 dogs and i said it will also be $10 per dog. She said ohh you can just mow over it. UM I THINK NOT i told her i dont want that in my bagger or on my tires. I will not be going over to look at her property. :waving:
  10. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    :waving: amen Bailey..... some ppl like this guy over looks small yards, b/c its low on the cash flow, but if you can get about 5 or more small lots grouped up together, then all you need to do is park the truck at the culd sac, and cut all the neighborhing lawns.... like you just said u can make anywhere from $50-120 in 30mins w/small lots...

    IMO i think small grouped (5 or more yards) lots together are more profitable than large lots that take 60mins or more :cool:

    this guy is cuttin w/an 48'' & 52'' w/b, and his charging $60 min. and makin about $2 a minute.... thats about 30mins of work w/an 48''/52'' w/b he's cutting .75-1 acre in 30mins.... if this is so he's rite on the #'s

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