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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Gsxr750jl, Dec 3, 2012.
Never let a customer manipulate you. Know your cost.
it is possible i will lower my price a little 5-10 maybe even 15 dollars for a mow or something, especially if i know i may have bid it a little high, which does happen from time to time. but once we agree on a price, for any work, fall clean up or weekly mowing, the price never goes down. stays the same or goes up 5 dollars every few years if i feel it was priced to low, but that doesn't happen, especially because i am not in situation where i need to get work otherwise my house or my truck or a piece off equipment will get taken because i missed a payment, one perk of living at home and having everything paid for. another thing if a customer is going to have me do other things like shrub pruning, mulch and spring clean ups, lime 2x a year, aerating, over seeding, and a fall clean up, i'll drop my price 5-10 dollars, because to lose that much work over 5-10 dollars isn't worth it.
If a customer made you lower your price on mowing, they will do it again on everything you offer. They know your weak, they call the shots. When you have perfect lawns you can call the shots and get a premium for your sevice. When a customer has control over your business They are putting a cap on your earnings. Decreasing your margins.
I have to respectfully disagree. Lowering your prices doesn't necessarily mean you're weak. What if it's a really old lady or an old Military Veteran? I'll gladly lower my price for either of those two. What's the bigger loss, lowering your profit margin a little bit or potentially not gaining more and more customers. At the end of the day what one LCO does might not work for another.
That should be figured in before hand. If you give an estimate, then say "well we have this veteran discount." They may wonder what other "discounts" you are willing to give. When you give them a quote the discounts should be figured in and non negotiable. Also I've never heard of a "nice old lady" discount? It's the same with people on "fixed incomes", everyone is on a fixed income, earnings are x and expenses are y, if you don't have the finances to pay for my services maybe the next guy will.
Well now you have heard of it. Nothing wrong with cutting someone a break every now and then.
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So do you figure the discounts before you give them a price?
No sir...reason is I often quote them a price without looking at their property. Most of the properties in my town are the same size and the majority do not have fences. I think it's weird but it makes it really nice for lawn care companies. If they ask to meet I will, and if I find out they're a Veteran, etc,. I will then give them the discount. I have given people price cuts, usually older people. I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't but I still do.
As usual I know my bottom dollar and I wouldn't take on a property without making a profit.
When you are bidding on a job, you have to stick as close as possible to your allocated budget. In other words, when you go to an estimate, and give the quote, the quote is with the understanding that you are covering you overhead and time appropriately. Therefore, if the customer squirms with the price, first give them a lecture on the cost versus value lesson, then, negotiate the scope of work to decrease the price. If it's just a straight mow and hedge, then stick to your guns even if you lose the bid. Remember, you're not in the business to save the customer money, you're in the business to make money for your business...
My experience is the lower you go the worst customers you get.
At first I wanted all the accounts I could get my hands on so I had a massive amount of non paying customers.
Type of grass also will determine the amount.
If I see bahia grass I don't bid.
Chances of a bahia customer caring about his lawn is very slim.
Some guys here in my area are doing $35 lawns for 15 bucks.
20 bucks and includes the hedge trimming etc.
I check for pest like ants etc.
I check for irrigation systems.
tell tell signs if a customer is worth giving a discount or even worth having as a customer.