Estimate Problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nspa, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Nspa

    Nspa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I have these great accounts pretty rich neighborhood. Anyways I gave them all estimates on how long it would take to mow ,trim ,and blow off debris. Now that I have been mowing, Ive noticed that it is taking me a lot longer then what I am charging. Is it okay to ask if I can change my estimates? I don't want to lose these clients. I was thinking of writing a letter to each person. Ha :help: s anybody run into this problem? And do you have a cure. :help: :help:
  2. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    First...I would not have given them an estimate based on how long it took to do their property - just give them a price for basic service or full service or whatever is agreed upon. God forbid you ever service their place in LESS time than you estimated...they will want you to perform additional work until the buzzer sounds. It's no ones business but your own how you service the account, or how long you're there...all that should matter to them is the finished product. That being said...tell them your rates are going up this season (cost of fuel, doing business or just because you like money...doesn't matter either) if they like your work it should be no problem. If they say 'no thanks' then why do the work for pennies on the dollar?
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I have had this too happen when I was new in the buisness. If you are missing an estimate by as much as 30 min I would tell the customer that I missed bid it and see if they will give some more (some if not all). Most people understand and will work with you, if not and you are loosing as much as 30 min per job then you need to figure out do you really need this job or am I better to let them go.
    If you are under bidding by 15 min or less then maybe chalk it up to inexperience work for a little less and increase them next year to where they need to be. Yo have to remember you gave them this price and if you start going back on your word then it could make you look bad in there eyes.
    I have done this in the past, its part of the learning curve
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Im there with grass cuttin fool. I would also try to get extras. Shrub work, fert, bark then up your normal costs to come out close to even. I would chalk it up to a leason and increase next year unless you are so busy you can't take any more. If thats the case tell them you are increasing if they say yay great if not then fill their slot.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    mistake #1= YOUR MENTALITY. you said, "is it ok TO ASK if i can change the estimates..." YOU DON'T ASK ANYBODY ANYTHING! you do the math, and decide wether or not the price gets raised. then you TELL THE CLIENT that you need to raise fees. next month, i will be sending out letters with all my invoices, stateing that each cus will be increased by $2. don't sound like much, but it adds up to over $500 each month
  6. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Forget the "how long it takes you" attitude right now because its going to vary from week to week for the most part due to different circumstances.

    You need to start estimating by the size of the property.
  7. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    How many houses do you do gedd?

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