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Actual Customer e-mail

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Let it Grow, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Just got this today. Looks like I'll be telling her what is actually involved in running a business. I hate it when customers have no clue how much work you actually do that they don't notice! It's great to know my work is appreciated!

    "Rec'd your statement. I'm having very strong feelings of "gouge." You mentioned that it didn't take as long as you expected, but how did that affect the amount you charged? For the amount of time you worked, your hourly wage seems exorbitant to me. I'm not against a fair wage, but triple what I make seems crazy. I work maybe 20 hours a week, and my husband is retired; and I feel taken advantage of. Unfortunately, I could never have you do any more work for me nor could I recommend you to anyone else given the rates you charge.

    Any response?"
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    How does she figure that just because she can't afford you, no one else can either???
  3. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    I would tell her until she starts a landscaping/lawn care company, she has no idea about rates. If you want to waste your time trying to explain how to run a business to an obvious know-it-all then go ahead, but i doubt its worth the time. Just one of those people who knows absolutly everything about absolutly nothing.
  4. Buddy Markley

    Buddy Markley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Yikes!!, it is sometimes hard to even respond to those kind of statements.

    I had a lady accuse me of just putting "all that money in to my pockets" for snow removal of a church parking lot. When I called her attendtion to $27K of equipment to do the job she replied "Ohh, $27,000 that is nothing"

    I just had to walk away, I couldnot think of anything else nice to say.
  5. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    Common misperception in this business, and any contractor business I'd imagine. Just because you bill @ 40 bucks an hour doesn't mean that is how much you actually make. Think her employer only expects her to produce enough to cover her hourly wage? If a grocery checker rings up $1,500 an hour in groceries, should they be making that much per hour?
  6. btbej

    btbej LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    The way to respond to women....and some men...I have proof my wife's best friend is a beautician.

    "You go to the salon.....get there at 5:00....they put $6.00 worth of color in your hair....sit you under the dryer for 1/2 hour (while they are cutting someone else's hair) wash your hair...cut your hair.... and at 6:30 send you on your way till you come back in two-four weeks (keep in mind you have to tend to your hair daily the grass you don't touch we do all the work weekly). In that time your hair dresser has charged you $100 at the most 1.5 hours, $6.00 worth of product, and made another $30 while you were under the dryer. Lets see that is $86.66 per hour....oh minus the $6.00 worth of product that puts her at $82.66 per hour she just made on you. Now how does my $35 per hour sound?"

    I do have these figures that I got from my wifes friend with me at all times to show that I am not making up the cost of these products.

    This might be sorta blunt and tick some people off, but some people are just worth ticking off!

  7. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Give us some details.

    What did you do?
    How long did you expect?
    How long did it take?

  8. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931


    sounds like you didn't make your rates clear enough to your client. Need to make that clear to the client up front. Specially to people on fixed incomes...just because their social security doesn't go up as fast as inflation, doesn't mean you can charge what they think the job is worth.

    In my area, many people bought their houses 20 plus years ago...I always ask them this same question, Sell me your house for 20% more than you bought it for... most of these houses are now selling more than 300% for what they paid for their houses.

    If this was a good paying job and you see potential for more income, sometimes it's just good to show the numbers to her.
    cost vs profit, that is if you know how to show the cost of running a business. Education is part of the game.
  9. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    The job was for a spring cleanup that included pruning a 20ft tall weeping willow, and she also wanted me to plant about 7 plants. I had to do some work to figure out which plants would grow well in the areas she wanted planted, so it was kind of a small landscape design.
    When I first gave her the estimate I told her it would be between $320 & $400. I did the job which took about 10 hours so I charged her $330 which comes out to about $33/hr. Which is less than I would like to be making (I try to get $35/hr). Which does look like a lot to a customer who doesn't know much about business.
    I just responded to her e-mail and explained to her about the costs of running a business. We'll see what she says!
    I also told her to feel free to call me (I don't see why she wants to do this by e-mail!)
    The funny thing is that after I finished the job she said, "so how much will this cost" and I said, "well it should be around $325 +tax"...and she didn't seem to mind the price when I was standing right there!!!
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    she feels more secure by doing it by email, and not having any conflict with over the phone or in person. Basically, she is scared.

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