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Would you do an account free?????

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    I went to give an estimate today and it was the sweetest old lady I had ever seen. Shes the kind that hugs you even though she doesnt know you and she is always saying sweetheart this, suger that.....
    She told me before I gave the estimate that she is 85 and cant physically do it anymore. She also said that she lives on about $800.00 a month and is on a tight budget but it wont hurt to see what it would cost. I went and looked at her lawn and she kept telling me she only wanted the back cut (because she couldnt afford the whole thing) so I gave her the price of $25.00 per week. She then said that she will call me Monday to do it but I could see the look on her face that the $100.00 a month was to much but there was nothing she could do about it.
    Now, The yard would only take me a total of 6-7 minutes to complete front and back with a PUSHMOWER! Do you think I should start doing it for free, give her business cards and tell her not to say that I do it for free? Or should I just suck it up because this old lady is trying to get the best of me???? :dizzy:
  2. greenbaylawns

    greenbaylawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    If she calls 25 bucks, if not call and say 15 if not, 10. You said 7 min. front and back thats more than a buck a min. Then put her on the growing customer list and move on.
  3. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    If her situation is really what she says it is and she does not go telling the whole world that you work for free.....I would do it....you will be blessed later.......but don't do it for every old lady that comes along though...or you will go out of business.
  4. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    I'd do it for free. There is an older lady that lives down the street from me, her husband spent all day every saturday doing their yard(tiny yard, would take 15 minutes on a rider including the trimming) and since he passed away last year she has her son drive an hour to do it a couple times a month. I plan to start doing her yard for free as soon as i get my insurance squared away.
  5. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,121

    Do you guys run a business or a charity?

    Its not your job to make it affordable, its their job to afford it.
  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    In this world, you have to pick and choose who you want to help.

    The other week I was at an awards banquet, where one of the speakers mentioned about our local food pantry. She went on to say that in January and February of this year, they had to shut their doors to 180 hungry families because there were no donations. I was so sad by this, that we are now working on a way to try and get some donations for this food pantry. This is something that is important to me.

    So you need to ask yourself, is this woman someone that you want to help?

    We try very hard not to mix business with personal stuff, because for us business has to stay business, otherwise, we would have everyone tugging at our heart strings. We try to do nice things for people that doesn't involve our business. It works better for us that way.
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    Lush Green:
    This isnt a charity act where every old person gets free lawn work. This is someone who agreed to pay because they are forced to. Probably has no family to help, barely getting by on the money she has now. If 14 minutes a month of your time is worth more then mine when it comes to helping somone out then let me know your secret on how you sleep at night.
  8. fullmetalbucket

    fullmetalbucket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Ahhhh.... I'd do it too.... In the winter when I see some old boy trying to shovel his driveway by hand I pull in drop the blade and drag it out for him. The look in their eyes is the best! If they offer me $$, I'll sometimes take $5 for coffee money or something - but only if they offer!
  9. Weekes

    Weekes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    Blessings are the best payment.

    Do what you can (without giving away the farm) you will be rewarded.
  10. Icemanku

    Icemanku LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    Karma....good things will happen if you do it for free...

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