What should I do?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by williams lcm, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    It is that time of year again when the customer dosen't think he needs to pay the full monthly bill, because I only cut 2 times in the month. I have been mowing for him since 2006. Every year about this time he questions it. I bill the same monthly all year. He dropped me last year to go to a cheaper guy. 4 months later he calls me back because the lco did'nt always show up. Well alot of the neighbors on the block have this other guy that charges $15 per cut. He gets a ton of work in the neighborhood because of his cheap price.That would be $30 per month in the winter and $60/mo in the summer. (Full service mow ,trim bushes , weed control ect)My customer asked me if I can come up with a plan to make it cheaper in the winter months or he will switch to the other lco. I also mow his friends house and his friend wants to do the same thing. This is an older community 75+. I charge $65 per month. Small postage stamp yard. What should I do? I was thinking about calling him to tell him that I wont go lower. Enough is enough. I will probably lose 2 customers out of this. There are about 30 or so lco's that mow in this community. Most charge under $75.
     
  2. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    Tough one! No one wants to lose accounts, but I guess I would ask myself, "Am I losing $" if i dump them/him?
     
  3. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I really don't like saying this but at 15 bucks a lawn you can still make decent money on most of our yards in our area. I won't mow for that low unless i was getting a few then I'd consider it. 60x120 takes what maybe 6 minutes with two guys? Hit the beds 5 minutes twice per month and run the hedge trimmer over once-twice per month. Blow all the clippings into the hedges and be done. I do this a lot for those cheap ass customers and never lost one yet. Sometimes I'll blow the clippings into the yard and mulch them with the mower if its enough. It's still 1.34 per minute or 80.4 per hour for two guys. That's pretty good to me.
     
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    For the few that have ever questioned it and can't comprehend why they are paying me the same in the winter as they are in the summer, I explain it simply. In your case it would be something like this. "You are paying me $780 a year, in 12 monthly installments. I can't mow you lawn for $65 a month in July. Or April through October for that matter. I am averaging it out over 12 months. If you prefer to pay me $90 for seven months, and $45 for the other five, we can do it your way."
     
  5. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 751

    And what happens next year when these same old geezers find a guy who will mow the yard for $12, $10?

    The fact that the other guy didn't show up all the time speaks volumes about why they called you back.

    I'd do myself the favor and drop them, then when they call you back in 4 months, tell them the new price is $95 instead of $65.
     
  6. 2 words:DROP THEM. The fact you have had this convo for 5 years with this guy is a problem. If you need the work that bad...wait, no, drop them.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    for some reason, some of my clients can't figure out the pricing either. i explain to them the amount of visits per year, times by the price per cut, divide by 12 and there is their monthly payment. i agree with keith too
     
  8. The only time I ever had a problem with this is when I did lawns that people put no money into, no fert/irrigation, etc. IMO they do get it they are just trying to find a way to not pay what they should.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I've really found that when I do yearly accounts at a flat rate I have to get a contract signed or I can expect not to get paid all winter.
     
  10. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    Competition must be brutal down there if that's all you can get for performing that long list of duties on your properties. Cheap skates!
     

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