Taking the good advice of many on this great forum I have embarked on a mission to raise prices on some of my accounts. I have also realized that my "focus" is changing and handling fewer accounts but being more full service is the direction I want to go. Having said that I will share my story. I have been maintaining a commercial account now for the last couple of years. This year it was recognized by the beautification committe and won the award, the sign is still up. When you come into town it is one of the first office buildings you see. The other day I had a conversation with the owner and told her that there was a lot of work that needed to be done. She had been letting someone else do the shrub work and weeding and it really wasn't being handled well. I proposed to her that I would start maintaining the entire grounds less weed control (shut up Stone). I also made her aware of the fact that I had been doing just the mowing too cheap for the size of the property and needed to refigure my bid. She seemed happy and willing to go down this road with me. The other Saturday my better half and I spent a good 5 hrs at the site making improvements to every square inch of the place. We trimmed and pruned and sawed and mowed and blowed and...............you get the picture. As I have said before my other goal is to achieve the beautification award at as many commercial properties as I can. If this place got it before it should dang sure get it again now that we widdled away at the overgrown crap Saturday. Armed with my new knowledge of how much time we would spend doing the other work at the site I set out to refigure my bid. Here is how I did it: 30 mowings at 2.5 hrs each for a total of 75hrs a year 3 full blown shrub, tree, and crape prunings a 5.0 hrs each/15 hrs year. 30 weed pulls at .5 each for another 15 hrs for the year. 105 hrs total hrs spent there for the year maintaining everything that grows. I broke down the dollars for the different functions and came up with a total of $4650.00 for the year. This place consumes an entire corner and is far from being flat and easy I might add. The owner had been out of town so I called her Tuesday to see if they had returned. My first question was had she been to the office................she had not. I then proceeded to enter into the INCREASE phase of the discussion. I reminded her of our discussion and told her that I had done some re-figuring.............then I laid it on her...............she really didn't like what she heard I let her soak it up and then reminded her that we're talking about the entire place here. She needed to run it by the office manager, she at least understood that they wouldn't be paying the other guy to do the shrubs now so including that into the price was understandable. The increase was $212.50 a month. I believe she thinks all that is from the added shrubs, it was also the adjustment made from doing the place dirt cheap for the last 2 years! Guess what they want to do now? Yep, shop around and compare prices! She even asked me who I would recommend! Of course I had nobody that I would recommend so I told her she would have to handle that the best way she could. I guess the reason I'm pissed is because of the way the place used to look. It was a dump before I took it over and now it has at least got the attention of some people in town. When you really get into something and work you a$$ off to make it the best you can it's a little hard to swallow this "WE'RE GONNA GET A COUPLE MORE PRICES" craP! I guess the long and short of it is I won't be coming down on my price more than 10% regardless of the outcome. I factored in some fluff and know the amount of time it takes me since I've been doing it for a while. I'm almost convinced that the majority of the people don't even realize when something looks good or how much effort goes into making it that way. Let the grass grow a little too long and they notice the heck out of that though. I haven't heard back from her yet so the outcome is still up up in the air. If I'm succesful with this increase it will be the 5th one this year. Maybe things will work out...................just goes to show you how the rich keep getting richer and the rest of us keep on struggling! Sorry for rambling...............needed to vent.