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Help on raising prices

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnkingforever, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Long time reader, first time poster here. My name is Jeff and I run a parttime lawn care business in the Pittsburgh area. My question, what is the best way to approach clients that their weekly cut rate is going up. Also there is no room for negotiation, they either accept the rate hike or there gone. The rate is going up about 10%. I hate to do it as these customers helped me start out and they appreciate the personal service I give them as opposed to some of very large LCOS in the area. But my expenses have gone up and I am finally upgrading some equipment that is long overdue since I have the some cash leftover from last year.
  2. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    If they can't understand why then you don't need them as customers. There will be a few, but the majority will understand.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,267

    It all depends on how much competition there is in your area. In our area the prices are stuck around $30.. And everybody can make nice doorhangers and customer have a lot of choices. We raise prices at a much lower percentage. Customers that have been with us only one or two years don't get raises.
  4. lawnmagicinc

    lawnmagicinc LawnSite Member
    from jax fl
    Messages: 48

    this is how i did it your long time clints will under stand you got to go up on your pricing.the ones that give you a hard time about it thar are not your true clints.when i went up i told them i hate to do this but this is a bis.igot an over head thay under stand i did not have to explane it that far in depth.but if you got the resours i would start going comshel.we started that last year.hope this helps you out
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I start by raising my rates for new clients this way I am sure the new rate will fly. Then I begin by raising my most undesirable clients say the bottom 1/3rd. The next month I raise the middle 1/3rd and the next month I raise my best clients. I prefer to use a simple letter in with their bill that next month their rate will go up. The next month I send a new contract with the new rate they sign and send back with their payment.

    This way... well you can probably figure out all the benefits to doing it this way. The key is to do yearly small cost of living increases this way you wont be looking at 10% or higher increases every 3-4 years.

    Do a search on "rate increase letters" for some sample letters.
  6. lawnmagicinc

    lawnmagicinc LawnSite Member
    from jax fl
    Messages: 48

    i would go up on the price like a flat rate lets say 10 bucks or what ever it my be
  7. jdmcat

    jdmcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 439

    i would just send them all a letter explaining the situation.. for example

    Dear Valued Customer,

    The rapidly rising cost of fuel has been a burden on all of us. We have held out as long as we can but unfortunately we can no longer absorb the cost. Because of this we are forced to impose a rate increase of x%. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

    Thank you for your understanding,
    Your Lawn Care.

    you will probably lose a few, but the increase should make up for it. then just bid any new customers at the higher rate.
  8. lawnmagicinc

    lawnmagicinc LawnSite Member
    from jax fl
    Messages: 48

    that looks like it will work
  9. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Thanks all, for the good advice. Was at local Stihl dealer today and picked out my new weedcutter should be 349.00 well spent.

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