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Working too cheap

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowmasteruk, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Last week I did a small mowing job for the widow of an old friend of mine. He died nearly twenty years ago but he had a good brain for business and I would have gone seriously broke years ago if he hadn't helped me with his advice. His widow looks after her own lawn normally, but once or twice a year she calls me in if it gets a bit too long for her machine. She hates it if I say I'll do it for nothing, so I just charge he about half my usual rate (without telling her that) and she is happy with that.
    This time her friend from over the street called round and asked if I could mow hers too. So, knowing that she was aware of what I was charging my friend's widow, I charged her £7 (about $12) for 30 minutes work, much less than my usual rate.
    Now she's told her friends and they are phoning me up and asking me to do their lawns. Naturally I can't afford to work for peanuts and some of them were a bit disappointed when I quoted them my regular prices.
    The moral is, stick to your regular prices even if they are friends, or friends of friends.
  2. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I bill all friends/family at my regular rate, but discount the price on the invoice under category "VIP CUSTOMER DISCOUNT".. Then they can tell everyone else the regular rate, but keep their special rate quiet!

    Run invoicing through Quick Books.
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    tell them the scenerio
    go up on everyone's lawns.. here for a 1/2 hr yard we get $40.00
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    i would've went back to my regular rate as the minuete she refered her neighbor. She is your friend not her nieghbor
  5. gman44

    gman44 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 74

    I do the same as Quality . Show reg price and discount it on invoice . If someone asks how much I charge them , my refering customer gives them the pre-discount price . That seems to eliminate trouble for me .
  6. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    thats agood idea ,handy tip thanks
  7. lawn_pro

    lawn_pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    I would put an end to that, nothing wrong with helping people out but don't go broke doing it. Lawn Care is the only thing I don't help people out with, no family discounts or price breaks-no discounts to anyone really. This is what I do for a living, people respect that and know if they need help with anything else I will always be there to help out.
  8. JTW

    JTW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Giving discounts and helping people out is great and I think it needs to be done for certain people but there needs to be a firm line on who those people are and aren't.
  9. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Thank you for that advice Quality - it's a brilliant idea, makes them feel special and allows me to charge them without feeling too guilty. My friends and neighbours will be getting "VIP Customer Discount" from now on! And it will be a case of "SShhh! Don't tell your friends".

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