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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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:
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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Oh Yard Boy said:
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:
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.
 

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

are you in business to make money or mow grass?????
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
These estates represent 15% of my total receipts 5% of client total,
however, they take twice as long to do because of the obstacles - averaging between $25-30 per hr. The balance of my accounts average $40-50 per hr.
The thing is, I can get in and out of the smaller properties = more $$$ less hassle. I quess I have some screwed up loyalty to these people because they
had some install work done in the past. Truth is these props are a losing battle " high maintenance", learned my lesson from these and only insist on low to no maintenance designs for new customers, and now I only service lawns that fit this criteria because homeowners with high hedges and elaborate landscaping are not in touch with reality when it comes to the actual cost to maintain everything. Thursday I even had a client tell me I was crazy and that he would'nt pay it and shut his door on me when I told him it would be $ 30 per hr to trim his hedges and small trees ( 10 ft high hedge line around the house !!!) this is a man who lives in a $1.3 million home
Sent him a letter of Service Discontinuance yesterday.
 

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Oh Yard Boy said:
Thursday I even had a client tell me I was crazy and that he would'nt pay it and shut his door on me when I told him it would be $ 30 per hr to trim his hedges and small trees
That is part of the problem. Why are you billing hourly. Mr. Jones it will be $150 to trim those hedges. If it takes .5 hours with three people or 5 hours with one person it is none of his business. If the transaction is for the hedges trimmed for $150. If they are trimmed then he owes $150. Period

If he really shut the door in my face. I wouldn't have even sent the discontinuation of service letter. He would have noticed when his lawn did not get cut. And if he called me about it, I would reply. Mr Jones, you fired me after I gave you the hedge quote. I assumed you hired someone else.

No, Mr. Jones I can not restart maintaining your property, that spot has been occupied by a new client. So sorry. Hope you find someone who pleases you better than I was able to.

Goodbye.
 
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