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Drop low priced clients?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Oh Yard Boy, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Oh Yard Boy

    Oh Yard Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I have recently raised my rates 10%, all clients intact. 5 clients are still priced way under market value despite the increase ( Ok I screwed up on these service quotes from the get go) These large properties are a real nightmare. Very picky owners, beds everywhere, sloping islands that no mower can traverse-trimming takes forever to get just right, poor drainage wet all the time in the valleys between the yards, tons of trees, fences all around, perilous canal edges ( last year my 36 WB took a nose dive off one of the weak edges into about five feet of water before it stopped on the cliff, $ 300 to fix) and so many hedges and bushes to trim that I'm there all day, excessive edging, and did I mention the unbelievable amount of weeds. Sounds like I'm whining about these yards but you would probably run like allp the other LCO's before me. The yards represent 15% of my business gross.
    Should I just suck it up or drop these? If so, How? :help:
  2. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Are these individual homeowners or HOA's? If individuals, a letter of intent to each that you plan to bring 'em up to market median over a set time period (your choice of time frame) could work. You must point out the them that they have been receiving a benefit at your expense and that you can no longer afford to subsidize them over your other clients. Then (just to be on the safe side) start looking for new clients.
  3. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    but I've noticed that many times those with the most palatial properties are the tightest when it comes to fair compensation for those who work for them.
    It sounds like they're taking advantage of you from your description of the pitfalls you encounter.
  4. Oh Yard Boy

    Oh Yard Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Yes they are individuals. However, they are all neighbors. These became service clients after some design and install work last year, that is why I stayed with them this long. They don't seem to gripe about the prices of actual landscaping or mulching, it's just the maintainence. I spoke to at least 3 other LCO's who used to do their properties and they all complained about the owners expecting too much work for no money. These same LCO's charged even more than I do now and they still dropped them.
  5. Lawnmedics

    Lawnmedics LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Just raised most of our accounts across the board by about 5%. Kept all of them. We still have some way below their value also but they also provide many side jobs and referals. Plus they are some of our first clients and have never been complained about anything. Its hard to say what to do. I personally like most of these people and have no problem with being a little under what they would pay.
  6. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    When you find a replacement customer then send a letter to your lowest profit customer explaining the massive price increase. If they cancel, so be it, they have already been replaced. Don't throw away your cash flow, replace your cash flow.

    Be honest with them too. I've found that people are receptive to price increases when they know they're coming AND they know when the next one is. Hence the NEED to raise prices every year. And don't give some stupid excuse like gas prices, they don't buy it.

    We've found it's best to keep it short and sweet "Thank you for your patronage, your price next year for our service will be $XXXXX a month/week/year/whatever, we look forward to servicing you!!!"

    Most people are smart enough to figure out prices go up, they just accept it.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    if you are not making money on them then drop them....

    are you in business to make money or mow grass?????
  8. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    It Aint Worth It.tell Them You Either Have To Raise The Cost Or Let Them Go.i Had To Drop A Client Just Friday Because He Is Just Annoying.i Bid The Yard Low Because He Dosent Have Much Spending $$$ Im Probably About $10.00 Low On The Bid.anyway Every Time I Mow His Yard It Gets Bigger.he Always Says Hey My Yard Is A Little Wider Or Longer Than You Cut.this Happens Every Time I Cut Longer Or Wider.he Is Just Toooooooooo Greedy It Aint Worth It I Had To Say Bye Bye.
  9. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    What is your net percent of profit on these troublesome properties?
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,442

    An easier question is what is he charging per hour?

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