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Charging Extra for Cleanups and One Timers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfquip, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    I get calls all the time for tall grass cleanups...you know, lawns that should have been cut three times since the last time. Grass 8 to 10" high and thick. I welcome these actually.

    Often, folks seeking a price include a statement like, "we need someone to mow on a regular basis". Sometimes this is true, but often it's just a ploy to get you to bust your *** the first time at a 'regular' price in order that you can earn their business in the future.

    Let me give you newbies a bit of advice from a seasoned veteran. Charge a bunch for the initial cleanup, then give them a reasonable 'regular' price for work going forward.

    The reason is twofold. Cleanups are hard on equipment and personel. They take a lot of time to do without making or leaving a mess. Usually more time than you planned.

    Second, every deal stands on it's own. It's a time honored business principle. Too many times doe-eyed mowing newbies with a new piece of equipment to pay for will take on a cleanup at a low price to 'earn' the prospect of an ongoing relationship....only to receive a call two or three days later telling them that their services will not be needed after all.

    Don't get caught in this trap! I charge between $1 and $2 a minute for cleanups...minimum. That's one man and a 60" Turf Tracer.

    Is everybody with me on this?
  2. Is everybody with me on this?

  3. High Dollar, I am with ya.

    I learned the hard way many years ago on there.

    I use a initial price for the first cut, then the regular price there after. However the regular price is specified for weekly mowing, so make sure you say that also.

    I charge more to mow every other week.
  4. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    Call it collusion or whatever but every LawnSite member needs to get a hold of this concept and most importantly, use it.

    Who knows....it could make a difference. No more low balling.

    Believe it or not, this industry might begin to get some respect if we all started charging enough money to make a decent living.

    A guideline I like to use is when I'm using a $6000 machine I need to be earning 1% of the cost of the machine per hour minimum.

    When my 20K hydroseeder rolls out of the barn, I shoot for a return of 1% per hour or $200 gross profit.
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I agree with those one time people..I learned my lesson about 3 years ago and I switched over to the system that you are talking about. It works great and saves me the hassle and stress.
  6. LawnGuy73

    LawnGuy73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Yup....Im with you Bob
  7. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I wouldn't say that I charge more, as much as I charge a little less for clean-ups for regular customers. New accounts and one time mowing for extra tall grass is usually charged double what it would be if it was 4-5".
  8. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Thanks for the advice turf....... And I am sure all the newcomers. and newbies on this forum appreciates it as well..:rolleyes:
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    It's called good business sense. If someone can't figure something this simple out, they are in for a whole heap of rough days.
  10. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I am there too!

    I think with most, 1 good oops and this aint no more of a problem.

    But then again there are some people out there that dont care about price. They just want a little cash. We will never get them to charge enough or get rid of them all together.

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