Customer wants more frequent mowings, but for less

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by driver5, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. driver5

    driver5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I used to mow her yard about every ten days for $45.00 per cut. She called me yesterday and asked if this year we can cut every seven days, but for 35.00 per cut???? I said no.. but I could swing 40.00 per cut.

    the yard is about 1acre.. but tons of trees and a ton of string trimming. I hate this yard.. but its my ex g friends moms.. and she is very nice.

    Another customer lives in a million dollar house. Her husband is a Dr. and they are going thru a divorce. The house has a pool and I have to string trim the back yard. this yard takes about an hour start to finish and I get paid 50.00 for it. I also cut her moms yard for the same price.
    She called me and said that since she is going thru a divorce, that times are hard at the moment and only wants a mow once a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF ?

    A million dollar house with a mow once a month? I cant say no.. I cut her moms and her soon to be ex husbands house too. She also gives me a huge xmas bonus every year too.........

    what to do

    Are you experiencing this too ???
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That stuff you are experiencing, I believe it's called exigence, which is
    described as the condition of being in need of immediate assistance.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  3. Curb Appeal Lawn Care

    Curb Appeal Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I have experienced this a few times.

    Best case scenario: The customer wants it cut more often. I don't mind giving them a cut on the price if they go weekly instead of biweekly. I get in and out in a flash and the work is easier while I am there. Your $45 to $40 sounds fair to me. $35? It is business and you do have to maintain a profit - your decision.

    Worst case scenario: The customer wants it cut less often. You should definitely charge them more. It is twice the work and they are wanting it for the same price. If they are getting it for $50 biweekly, I think you should charge about $75 monthly. Just explain how much more work it is. Tell your customer you're going through a rough patch because people are changing their services from biweekly to monthly and you have to do twice the work for half the pay.;)

    In any scenario, you want as much business as you can get at an acceptable level of profit. Just make your decision what your time is worth and stick by your guns.

    The customer will understand if they are worth having.
  4. Curb Appeal Lawn Care

    Curb Appeal Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    $35.00 for an acre with tons of trimming sounds really low to me anyway. $40.00 still sounds very fair, if not cheap.
  5. JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc

    JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Around here, I wouldn't ever consider doing an acre lawn for $35, I get at least $30 for a 1/4 acre on a weekly basis. At $45, she'd be getting a steal around here, especially on a 10-day schedule. You should stay at $45, or if you really feel the need to, go just a bit lower and switch to a weekly schedule. Just because you would have more money coming in on a weekly schedule, doesn't mean that you would have more going in your pocket, you also have more expense. You'd be losing out by reducing your price $5 or more per visit, as your costs are still the same everytime you come. You'd be making a lower % profit on your weekly visits and making up for it in the increased volume.

    Just run the numbers, I'll do it for around here. Just as a quick example, say you net 15% after expenses. If you mowed it on a 10-day schedule for 17 total visits at $45 per visit, you'd net $114.75. If you mowed it on a weekly schedule for 22 visits at $40 per visit, you'd net $117.33. Remember that your costs are the same ($38.25/visit, in this case). So now, you tell me, would you like to go to the same place an extra 5 times for a mere $2.58? I know I wouldn't. Of course, the numbers may be more favorable if you have better margins, but you get my point.

    As far as the other, I can see why you'd want to keep the account, but mowing a month's worth of growth for $50 is a money losing venture. You should tell her that you can mow it monthly, but you can't guarantee results and that you will do it for $95. Of course, that is if you used to do it bi-weekly, more if you used to do it weekly. Mowing lawns bi-weekly is a hassle all to its own, I wouldn't touch a monthly account. The goal is to make her realize that she can pay $5 less and get her lawn cut only once per month, or pay an extra $5 and get it cut twice which will look much nicer.
  6. driver5

    driver5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    You sir are correct. 40 is cheap. I usually would be over 50 if not 65 for this yard. I only charge this because she is getting the ex girlfriend discount.

    her daughter looks just like faith hill and Im always hoping she will drop by :eek:
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I forgot, it could also be a sign of financial distress?
    But one never can be too sure, there's no telling from my end.
  8. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,711

    Monthly??? Maybe in July/August WITH a drought...but NOT in the Spring. If their lawn is fertilized then mowing every 2 weeks will be a bear in and of itself.

    Friends or not, this would not be worth my time. MONTHLY??? :hammerhead:
  9. driver5

    driver5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    the monthly customer is the rich one. She is crazy... I mean really .... she is crazy... She will come out in her robe and chat my ears off for twenty minutes .. if not more..

    she has lost her mind. I use to mow it every ten days or less in the spring. and the grass next to the pool is always shin high.... I cant immagine it at a months growth... I am not going to bow down on this one. I will agree to mow it for five bucks cheaper.. but on the same schedule... Only because i get to mow her moms and her soon to be ex.

    And I forgot to mention that I have a handfull of customers that still owe me hundreds of dollars...

    thats another thread

    oh yeah... this is my 100th post :clapping:

    Its only taking me since 2006 to do it ;)
  10. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,597

    Haha congrats on the 100th post, them where the days lol. I would just talk to the customers and see what you can work out. Good luck and have fun if you can

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