There are no more $25.00 Lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mikes Lawn Landscape, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 458

    Bid a job about a month ago at $30.00 small front very little back yard. Yesterday he stops me at one of my customers house and says if my lawn guy doesn't show up today I'm gonna let you have it for the season, ok let me know. Oh can you relook at it and do it for $25.00 thats what my guy is charging now. Nope $30.00 is my price if you need it done for $25.00 you need to keep looking.

    The problem is the guy at $25.00 is one of the big boys in town not a "beer money mower"

    Lets see $5.00 per lawn @ 70 lawns a week @ 36 weeks thats
    $12,600.00 a year pay cut.

    No thanks my minimum is probably going to $35.00 before too long

    Bottom line get your prices up and stick to them.

    I know it differs per region but in my area there is more work than LCO's
  2. mowingismylife

    mowingismylife LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    We had the same problem we bid a house that had a small front yard but a fairly good size med. back yard and we told him $45 bi-weekly he e-mails us back and tells us that they will pay $30 for mowing & trimming bi-weekly and want to be billed by the 20th of every month. We e-mailed him back and was like we can't do that we think this price is fair and we are sticking to it. Around here the mowing price start's at $15 it's true too and it's big businesses too not teenagers or nothing these are businesses that have been around for a while now. I have a phone book from a few years ago and i looked in there one day to see how many lawn care businesses were around my area back then and one had there starting price listed as $10 and i was like how can they do that?
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Sometimes you need to look at potential before deciding to pass on a job just because it pays $5 less than you would like.

    You wrote:

    The problem is the guy at $25.00 is one of the big boys in town not a "beer money mower"

    Does this "big boy" have any other properties? Does he have friends?

    Let me tell you a story. One time a grass guy (un-named) went to bid on a small, pain in the butt yard in an older waterfront community. The little old lady who lived there said she didn't have much money but she could afford to have her lawn cut for $20 a week. The grass guy thought about it and, although it was $5 below his current minimum, he decided to take the job on the condition that the little old lady not tell anyone how much she paid.

    Well the little old lady had a bunch of friends in the community. She told her friends about the nice young (compared to her) man who was doing a nice job on her yard. 2 weeks later the grass man had 2 more accounts in the same neighborhood.

    Within a few years half of the grass man's route was in this one single neighborhood and he was able to price the way he wanted to. He even picked up the lucrative community grounds.

    And it was all because he was flexible enough to see a potential in a customer.

    I'm not saying that you should lower your minimums. But sometimes you need to try to envision the big picture.

    As a wise man once said "Don't cut your arm off to spite a finger".
  4. shepoutside

    shepoutside LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    Same thing happend to me, Did cut my price, for a older widow, she told her bridge ladies, 2 more accounts at reg price, one of them had a trailer, just outside of town. Asked me if I could do that too, though a little cruise to the lake would be a nice break, not worth the money, but a nice drive. Told her 15 bucks to cut/trim the trailer lot. word spread, now I have 86 lots in the park to do. (best profit of all my accounts too ). This year, the trailer/marina park, has hired me to do all there cutting. So if I stuck to my guns, I would never have had the contacts, to get any of this work.
  5. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I agree with Richard. Don't lose a potential account for $5. Look at it this way. If you cut the grass at $25 and he tells a neighbor of the great service you provide for $25 and you get the neighbors account as well you will have more than made up the $5 difference since you have two accounts that you can do on one stop. Many times you can land several accounts that you can do without moving your equipment. That alone saves a great deal of windshield time and increases your mowing time. You're only making money when you're mowing, not when your're behind the steering wheel going to another account. If I had a choice between 4 $25 accounts without moving the equipment, or 4 $30 accounts that I have to move for each account, I'll take the 4 $25 accounts.
  6. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 458

    Guys thanks for the input I certainly understand your point but in this particular case I made the right decision. I have stuck to my minumum price and it has worked well for me I picked up 3 in a row in one subdivision and will propably pick up 2 more as soon as the wildflowers die. The problem around here isnt price it is reliability I have picked up several accounts because the previous LCO was not reliable.

    I have a few policies that I follow one is I don't negotiate price and another I dont bag grass. So far its working well.
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116


    What area are you in? I'm in Lewisville and I feel good if I gross $1.00 per minute with a two man crew while we're on a weekly property. Most of my bi-weekly's are closer to $1.30 per minute with a two man crew this time of year. But by and large, if I gross $1.00 per minute with a two man crew, I'm happy.

    How much are you grossing per minute when you're on a property? How many crew members?

    I was beginning to think I was a little too expensive since I'm only winning about 35% of the bids I do around here. The Mexican crews that barely speak english do good work and they're happy with a lot less money.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  8. Firstclasslawn

    Firstclasslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 341

    Mike I dont see how you keep accounts not bagging grass, no offense but I think that its not a quality cut unless you bag grass, also not trying to come across hard but you do not know that you made the right decision you dont know how many friends in high places that customer might have had, example I do a condo for $400 a month, it should actually be closer to $700.00 a month but so far I have gotten a $3,000 dollar AND a $5,000 dollar job just from doing it, I wish you luck and remember without business sense you will never make it, Think longterm not just about how many dollars you can make this week.
  9. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 458

    Thank for your comments guys.:waving:
  10. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    Hey mike I am in DFW also. I service Plano and Richardson and Far North Dallas. I have found the same thing this year. I had many flyers go out. $30 Bi-weekly and $25 Bi-weekly. I got calls from people wanting estimates claiming that there lawn was being cut last year for only $20.

    Well I don't charge that I said. I also told one customer where is the guy now that was mowing last year. Their respose, I think he went back to Mexico.

    So, in order to get as many counts that I need and I have had to go lower than I normaly would.


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