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Did I screw up?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ToughAsStihl, May 2, 2007.

  1. ToughAsStihl

    ToughAsStihl LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 124

    I got a call from a former customer wanting me to rake, remove sticks and put all the gravel that got plowed onto the grass back onto the driveway. I estimated 2-3 hours. This person is also VERY picky one of the people that will walk the yard after I am done and tell me to do stuff over again for no real reason.:hammerhead: I said I could do it for $30 he said $20 I said well I think I can do it for $25. He said that was too much so I said I couldnt do it for $20 thanked him for the call and hung up. Did I do the right thing? Did I screw up really badly?

    Sorry to ask a question like this but I am questioning my decision and need some professionals to reassure me.

  2. spriallen

    spriallen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    No. I don't think so! The only thing that I see wrong was your price, $30 for 2-3 hours? The general rule that I was taught on pricing is that you charge $1 per minute. It seemed awful high priced to me, but I got more contracts from having higher prices than I did before. You have to be able to pay for your equipment and gas don't you? Also, you don't want to be known as the cheapest guy in town. There plenty of other customers out there wanting your services.

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    What is your current wage per hr? If it's $50 x 2.5 hrs=$125. Don't worry about the cheapos. We all try to get something for nothing.
  4. T'S lawncare

    T'S lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    not sure what kinda equipment/ truck your using, but you might as well go work for free. You saved yourself by stickin' to your price....although it seems too low for me. But I don't know what the market is like by you.
  5. ToughAsStihl

    ToughAsStihl LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 124

    Since I am totally new to this I was planning to go over and rake by hand. I thought the $30 was low so i wasnt really going to go lower. I am a shy guy and dont really like giving offers (but I have to) or refusing customers so I actually feel I got more out of it for saying no. Since I am trying to boost my confidence so I can take control of my buisness.

  6. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Did you screw up? LOL thats funny.

    The only way you screwed up was by selling yourself so cheap.

    Even if the guy lives in your town figure $3 for gas to get there and back, and a cheap rake at home depot is about $8. Thats $11. Even if you only show up with a rake your making $19 off your original price of $30. Now if you have a barrel then all your profit is gone. Hope you would have liked working for free for 3 hours.

    I get the feeling you are young, but still, your selling YOUR time way to cheap. Now for me as a well off solo operation I wouldn't even touch a 2-3 hour cleanup for less then $150.

    If you want I will go to this guys house with you and give him $20 and tell him to go buy a rake and a gallon of gas then come home and clean his own lawn. Then have him count his change and divide it by how long it took him to clean his own lawn so he could see how much of an insult his offer of $20 is to you.

    You did the right thing buy saying no!
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, you did the right thing, I don't blame you for quoting what you did but technically speaking you could've quoted at least $60... That might've stopped the 'can you do it for 20' stuff but at the very least it would've covered the extra bs when you have to go back over the whole thing as the customer inspects your work.

    The confidence, I think it comes with time but even if you are new I would certainly raise your prices, think high, you can probably use a simple method of quoting as you do now but before you say it, double the price then say it... Try it and see what happens.
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    I used to be the same way, but having to pay for a vehicle and equipment made me realize and smarten up fast being that i had to price competitively so that i can pay for my stuff and still make a profit. The confidence will come with time
  9. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    That sounds exactly like my story when i started out. I used to walk around a yard multiple times trying to decide what to charge and build up the confidence to give the customer the price. It gets easier and easier the more you have to do it, so just hang in there. As for the bid, you did the right thing. I've let myself get talked down from an already low bid too many times in my first few years, and dreaded going to those jobs every time they where due.
  10. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    ABSOLUTELY ... if you sell yourself short, everyone will know that you can be taken advantage of.

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