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how do I tell customers I am charging more this year!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CURBAPPEAL NC, Jan 6, 2006.


    CURBAPPEAL NC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    2005 was my first year in business and have done well considering this. I was not a lowballer but found myself comming dangerously close on alot of accounts. I would like to keep tham as cutomers and hope they will want to keep me after the changes. Can you guys help me with the wording or ideas of why I am upping the costs this coming season? Thanks!
  2. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Dear customer:
    We understand that maintaining your property while keeping costs low is a high priority for you. At (insert name here), we strive to keep prices as low as possible for you, our client. Due to price increases on the majority of items used in the maintenance of your property, (gas, fertilizer, steel, etc.) we regret to inform you that we must raise our prices slightly from last years rate. While we do not take this increase lightly, it is neccesary in order to maintain the quality and quantity of our services. Please feel free to call me at XXXXXX if you have any questions.
    Your lawn monkey.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I raised almost all my customers by $2 per cut back in September, with nary a single complaint.

    I just kept the letter very general in nature. I don't really think it's necessary to justify why a business has to increase it's prices...the cost of doing business always increases, so must the cost of being a customer. Any reasonable person can understand this.
  4. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Just wordsmith a good letter and use as a template for all customers. I resisted raising rates or adding a surcharge when fuel spiked last summer, so I believe my price increase was a lot less bitter a pill to swallow, at least for my customers.

    Really work at a well written letter thanking customers for their patronage and that you are doing all you can to keep costs down, etc., etc. if you have been doing a first rate job for your customers, doing all the right things, they won't complain I'm betting.
  5. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    you can blame it on gas . i did it legitimately when prices really soared . here is my letter :

    Dear Customer,

    By now I know you have felt the blow of the latest fuel price increase. I too also have been hit hard. I hope you understand that I have no choice other than to pass the additional cost on to my customers so that I can continue giving you service. The next time you get charged it will be $5.00 more than usual. This will give me extra 1.5 gallons of gas per week to split between truck, mower, trimmer, blower, and edger. I know it doesn’t seem like much but I assure you it will help. Thank you for understanding.

    Thank you in advance,
    Evergreen Lawn Care
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Dear Slick,

    I'm writing this to let you know that the old lady is wantin a whole bunch of new stuff and that my old truck ain't running worth a crap right now. I also just found out that this MTD lawn tractor I'm using is a piece of sh.t. So, Slick I need to hit you for a few more dollars on cutting ya grass. So beginning next week hows about leaving me an extra 5 spot under the doormat with the rest. If the old lady needs anything else I'll let you know.

    Thanks man,

    Your lawn monkey
  7. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    You don't have to explain anything. In the spring send them a letter and mention your new rates. If you feel it's necessary to say anything, tell them your costs have increased and you have to raise rates accordingly. Most people won't notice a rate change, and those that do won't buy a long winded whiney excuse. Prices go up, that's a fact of life, and most people understand that.
  8. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Last year was my first year also at least to the extent I got involved. I raised one account 25% - I did not blame fuel or equipment costs. I just met with the board and told them straight up that I knew we were doing a better job than they have had done for 20 years, and that my bid for last summers work was the best I could come up with at the time, but I needed 25% more for next summer - I told them I felt the new price was fair for both, and that the new price would be my new bid in the fall of 2006 (they bid the job every two years) - I basically locked in the new price for three years. The board OK'd the change on the spot.

    I also approached one other client with a price raise - I did not use any excuses. Just said that the condition of the property-(rough) and their past history of getting the job done to their satisfaction made our consistancy and quality last year look very good, and the new price in my estimation was very fair, and they said "OK"

    If you are doing the job, and charging fairly, there should be no problem.

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