What is your minimum....

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by turf hokie, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    not price...but what square footage do you start your minimum price at. We start at 4,000 sq ft but with competition around here I dont know if we should make our minimum stop charge start at 5,000. It really does make a difference in getting or losing some of the average 10k lawns around here.

    All the big boys are doing first app for 29.99 up to 5,000 this year.
     
  2. abrightday

    abrightday LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Yea BUT the big boys can't give the kind of service a state certified operator can.:usflag: Individual attention to detail. If your competing with them on price your gonna lose,,but look at what you get. :cry:Enough said!
     
  3. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    Hokie-

    Only you can answer that for yourself. Only you will know if you can work a little cheaper, or how many jobs you might be missing out on by being a couple dollars higher. If you kept your same minimum charge, just bumped it to 5000 instead of 4000, on the 10K's your talking about a difference of your per K $ upcharge... 4-6 bucks? Doesn't sound like much, but don't forget to look at it this way... (simple numbers just for illustration)

    20 @ $50 =$1000 gross. Now take that 5 dollar difference into account.

    22.2@$45 =$1000 gross. But don't forget extra cost of product, time, fuel etc... You did 2 more lawns and pocketed less money...

    Now if that 5 dollars is going to be the difference from 20 to 30...? (relatively speaking of course, since I have no idea how many accounts you have) I know this is not new to you, but sometimes it helps just to see it again. Only you can decide what your work is worth, and how much your price affects your total business...
     
  4. Utahlandscaping

    Utahlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Sell value, not price. Our minimum is $39 regardless of how small the yard is. Abright day is right on the money about small company vs large. Don't let chemlawn or any other large company dictate your prices.
     
  5. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    $45 min up to 5,000 for me. I service monthly.
     
  6. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    we start at 3000ftsq on the list of pricing, but i usually end up starting at 5000 as i have figured the 3000 price is too low for the stop time unless itis next dorr to something else. then i price normally
     
  7. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,272

    We have had a 4000 sq. ft. minimum since day 1. $50. is our bottom line on an app. always has been!
     
  8. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    Thanks guys, I never compete on price, our service and product are far better than the big boys.

    We have always had a 4k minimum at $45. I think it is just the economy around here lately that is making people look harder at price and not so much at quality of service right now.

    I had a estimate that we went on we were almost double the current contractor, fine, but the guy had grub damage, dead crabgrass everywhere and huge patches of ground ivy. I told him that would not be an issue with us and that he obviously was getting shortchanged on the service because the guy could not do what he was supposed to at that price, he didn't care. He wanted my service for the other guys price, not happening.

    the reason I was a bit concerned is that I have lost a number of average size lawn bids by 30% or so. I am more than comfortable with my numbers, as they usually compete with the reputable guys around. It is the full service companies and large outfits that are killing me. We all know that, in most cases, these two segments are not providing the type of service that we are. But lately a lot of people seem to be taking the "we're gonna try them" approach and "we will keep you in mind if it doesn't work out"

    I just think some of these guys are desperate for work and willing to drop prices to "keep thier guys busy"

    Oh well, that is my rant for the day.

    Thanks for reading:waving:
     
  9. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    hokie, I have almost no lawns larger than 4k.... most are about 3k. I'm at $38 to $40 an app. I'm one of those small full sevice operations as you know. I really don't know what TG charges around here, but the LCO's are all at $40. This is a very small sample size, as every account I have is in my own town, all within two and a half miles of my home.

    I don't even go after the larger properites, I'm not set up for that market equipment-wise. I have seen a lot of activity from people looking to save money here. The only reason I'm getting new customers is because of referrals. Customers are definitely price shopping. I can usually convince them to go with my standard pricing, but drop to $38 an app when pressed. Some of them just seem to want some sort of price break.

    I feel much more secure offering maintenance and apps. I did not lose a single customer last year to this. I feel that the maintenance is the reason for the customer retention rate primarilly, but overall results are what makes it work for me. A lot of customers don't understand the value, benefit and results of a good apps program, but they like the results.
     
  10. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,272

    Lowering your standard rate to compete is a poor business decision! I have always been the most expensive lco in this area, we are worth the extra money. Top of the line chemicals, state of the art equipment, decades of experience, superb customer service, this is where those extra dollars go!
     

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