workin for granny

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    heres the scene: my wife is not totally useless, she is on the d.a.r.e commitee in our community. shes very involved in things in the township. so, the "office on aging" contacts me today, and asks if i would be interested in providing services at a discounted rate for the old folks. they seem to think it would be worth my while because there are tons of seniors who need work, and they would arange it all as far as contacting them, giving them a price list, etc, they think i would be able to make up the discounted service by doing volume, in groups, etc. well, what do u guys/girls think about this? i just dont know, i have very little tolerance for b.s., and seniors usually give u lots of it. plus, if they are late on thier payments, my midnight collection tactics may give one of them heart failure. i just dont know. my wife wants me to do it, cus it would be "a nice thing for the seniors" . i just dont know if i can be nice. opinions please
  2. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378

    Well, I wouldn't do it. I would be concerned about my other "senior" customers finding out about the discounts and then they will also want the discount. just my .02
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ah, see that, something i didnt think about
  4. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 678

    Let me get this straight:

    if you don't make any money off them you will make it up in volume. Is that what you are trying to say? Are old peoples lawns easier to cut?
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    no man, is there something wrong with the air in idaho? what she is saying is, for example, i may give a 15% discount, but make it up in volume because they( the folks at the office for aging) would be the middle man, and i wouldnt be losing time running around doing estimates etc. plus they would call me with like 10-15 people, in the same neighborhood.
  6. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 678

    well you do the math then. Is it costing you 15% to do estimates? What's your breakeven on a job then take it from there. Just subtract the cost of estimating and other overhead costs they will provide then. Basic 5th grade math will get you over this hurdle in your business plan.

    I'm just get tired of guys working their butts off so someone else can get a good deal. It hurts the whole local grasscutting economy.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    Ok bobby, this is what you do. Find out if and when the 'office on aging' has a fundraiser. Donate 5 one time free mowings, and the seniors can bid on it. You come out smelling like a rose, and at the same time, dont have to cut your prices. If they like you and your work, they can hire you at YOUR rates. Every year I donate a years worth of lawncare service for my churchs silent auction. Good luck.
  8. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    That just about sums it up doesn't it?

    If your wife is really pushing for it, can you set her up with a mower and let her handle those accounts.

    They would probably be scattered all over town wouldn't they?

    Seriously, I'm all for giving a helping hand to seniors, what ever shape it may take.
    But, Bobby, you're so right, seniors have a knack for dishing it out.
    I'd rather figure out a way to do them for free and use those accounts as a write off, then if they complain about anything I can always say "What do ya expect for free?"
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Well Bobby, I think you've already found the answer. If you are worried about whether or not you can "be nice", I wouldn't take the job. On the other hand, working for the Church, I already have Seniors that I work for. Actually, I've found them no different than normal customers. Some are a PITA, while others overpay "just because".........Some day the shoe will be on the other foot. So, starting with you, it might be nice to know that "somewhere somehow", they'll be someone out there willing to "Battle and help the old Geezers", when it's your turn to be old.
  10. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    I would say that my prices are already as low as I can go. If you want to spend your days working too cheap, go for it. I do like the idea of Lawns and Mower, to donate something. If you're not careful, you will have no one but seniors, wanting discounts, and no time left over to overcharge young people to make up for the discounted rates.
    The office on aging is gonna be the middleman? Someone else gonna set your rates? Are they gonna do the collection of payments? Are they gonna stand there and listen to the stories of how things used to be? Are they gonna get the phone calls, "Are you coming to mow today? I forgot, is today our day? We won't need mowing today, I'll call when you can come over..."
    I worked for a cabinet shop, when asked about senior discounts, he would always reply "That would be discrimination to give different prices depending on age."

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