Using a free cut as a promotion...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by fiveoboy01, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Well it's been a few weeks now and we currently have 17 properties to mow.

    The most recent flyers I've passed out have a Get your 5th cut free with a one-year agreement. I am typing up a contract right now for a customer, she has two residential properties for me to mow and has agreed on the price.

    How do I protect myself from the "get the free cut and run" type? For residential contracts, I state that there is no obligation to contunue service, that either party may cancel with a 14-day written notice. For residential mowing and trimming, I believe that trying to lock someone into a contract is a turn-off. I'd rather have them WANT to continue service due to quality work, and if they are not satisfied, they should be free to cancel. Of course, I wouldn't do this for a commercial contract.

    So I'm thinking about a footnote that, if the customer cancels service before 1 year, they will be billed for the 5th cut which was only free with a 1-year agreement.

    Does this sound ok?

    Thanks.
     
  2. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Sounds OK but I do not believe anybody that drops you will than pay it!

    Not trying to be funny , only truthful-- the best way to avoid this problem is to not give away work-
    You are giving a one year contract anyway so just advertise --" Discount with year long contract"--on a year long contract that pays you $2400 give back maybe 50 or 100.
    "Mr. Customer, to maintain your property for the full year would cost $2400 but with the discount I am offering you for going with the full year we can service your home for $2300 or 12 equal payments of only$192.00. I have an opening Tues. Sign here"
     
  3. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    i agree with pm. use a small discount instead of a freebie
     
  4. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    Free work is a big no no!
    Discounting is a big no no!
    Take your estimate for the work desired, add thirty percent then, and only then negotiate downwards. This way, provided you are naive enough to actually offer a discount, you still remain in the black, not the red.
    Anything else and all you are attracting is low cost shoppers.
     
  5. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    PLUS, they are going to want more things free!!! No way:nono:
     
  6. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    You'll attract the worst bloodsucking type customers. You don't want people like this in your life.
     
  7. grassmanak

    grassmanak LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 792

    yea, people always want more, greedy they are
     
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    I have to agree, don't give anything away for free its only an invitaion for PITA's.
    Persoanlly with all the headaches involved in the indusrty I wouldn't even offer a discount nowadays. Simply set your price, stand by it and those that complain, drop em.
     
  9. Cracker Station

    Cracker Station LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Yea, What they said.
     
  10. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,534

    I have a little differnt advice then they are giving. ok when someone calls for an estimate go look take a picture tell them you or the boss will call them in a few hours then call them back tell them your price per cut wekkly every ten days bi- weekly your rate plus five dollars then tell them your original rate per cut if they sign a contract. it works try it.
     

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