Am I in the wrong here?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jeepn, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. Jeepn

    Jeepn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hello all,

    This is the first operating season for my lawn & landscape business. For the first while, I estimated way too low and sold myself short almost constantly. Recently, I resolved not to do this anymore, and to make sure that I was paying myself what I'm worth.

    Today I did an estimate for an old lady to cut her grass. It was 10 000 sq. ft., relatively flat, with maybe 2 trees and 5 bushes as obstacles. I quoted her $35/cut (remember, we're talking Canadian dollars here, so like $30 American), and she chased me off my doorstep saying that I was crazy and I was trying to rob her. She even tried to convince me that she'd been getting it done for $15-$20 and that was too much. Oh yeah, and she claims she knows some guy who does a 2 acre lot for $20/cut.

    Is this lady off her rocker or am I estimating a bit too high?
  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Why isn't she using the $20.00 guys? Ask her why they are not back the next season, why when it get a bit warm do they disapear?

    Have to charge enough to cover the cost, enough to stay in business, and (the big shocker) make a little bit of money. Expenses: equipment, insurance, up-keep, vehicles, fuel, wages (if you have employees), equipment replacement, and supplies.

    One thing you will discover, there will usally alway be someone who does it cheaper, there are customers who are cheap. Its a match made somewhere. the folks who do not charge enough don't stay in business that long.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I charge US $35 minimum and that's here in virginia, isn't Canada more expensive, seeing how the further north on the East Coast, the higher everything gets?

    But all in all, US $30 is a fair price for something just below 1/4 acre... Fair in va, likely low in Canada, probably should've been closer to Cad $45, maybe that would've prevented her from running off at the mouth.

    If she can get X to do it for Y amount, then why did she call you?
    You gotta ask them that, at least once lol.
  4. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    I think it's too low. Check out this cost of gas lately.You need to think of what gas will go up to as well. Good luck

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    $15-$20 to mow a 10k lawn??? And she thinks that's too high? Yes she's off her a general rule don't put too much stock in anything an older person tells you.
  6. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    Shes shopping!!! if shes got someone doing it for 20.00 why is she calling you. The other guy, if there is one probably dumped her!! Figure out your costs gas, mower, trimmer, etc. and how long it takes you to do the work time is money!!! stick to your guns and do quality dependable work and youll get customers. Ive picked up three or four customers late in the season cause other lcos dont show on time, like a week or so late!!:usflag:
  7. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,327

    I got another customer today for 35 per week. Anyone saying this business doesn't pay needs to revisit their way of estimating.
  8. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 633

    get used to the nuts,learn to sniff them out.avoid them like the plague,let the old bag enjoy her chipped beef.good luck buddy.:canadaflag:
  9. bkdlawnCo

    bkdlawnCo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    i'm also a $35 minimum charge guy...i have some accounts that it take's me all of 4-5 minutes to mow...maybe another 10-15 to string and hedge trim...yep it cost them $35...i always go after the accounts where the resident asks what it will cost and says ok. thats it...i rarely lower the price to try and get an account...and i haven;t advertised once....all word of mouth....i'm 17 and make $350 a week mowing...with under 10 accounts...and maybe a couple 2-3 odd landscaping jobs....hoping to move up past 15 accounts next year....and unless it's a postage's guessed it....a $35 minimum....
  10. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    Where exactly in Ontario are you from? I can see MAYBE sudbury having someone freak out for that price but you should state where you are exactly.

    If she freaked, you should have just turned around and said thanx Mrs cheapo and that is it. You will find the cheapest of the cheap now. Or, people who are just not happy with their LCO.

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