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I got dumped.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mower_babe, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Hi. As I posted less than a month ago, I was going to start raising my rates accordingly. Here is the damage report - the ones that responded - I kept all but one. The one that let me go? I raised her $2.50 per mowing. Oh-ya you read that right. $2.50. This lawn was averaging a little less than $20/hr and it had been at that rate for over 2 seasons. It was worth more, because she has all the little to-dos that needed done. She was very happpy with us, but apparently we weren't what she was needing anymore for another $50.00 a season. :angry: :(

    So, what have I learned? Well, it sucked to be dumped, but this is my job and I need to charge accordingly, so overall I am very happy that I sent out letters with last months bills with registration slips in them. I have never done it this way before and I like to know where I stand before next season. payup

    Just thought I would share.
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    One of my business creedos has always been if you get more than 50% of your estimates, your rates are too low.....if you get less than 50%, your rates are too high.
  3. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Mower_Babe, when you raise prices you are more than likely going to lose customers. The thing you have to look at is the percentage that you lost.

    If you were cutting 10 lawns at $20 a pop and only lost one account due to a $2.50 increase, your still ahead of the game but now only cutting 9. Always look at the revenue, not the lost houses. You just can't please everyone, but you can be a great business woman. ;)

    Congrats on your raise! :cool:
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I am raising about 80% of my customers prices for next season. The contracts get sent out tomorrow and I can't wait for all the phone calls. It's going to be a fun day.
  5. MOOSE

    MOOSE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    What people don't realize is the overhead we have. Not only that but the big increase on everything. My liability went up 25% and auto went up 15% and workers comp went up 10% just this year. How about next.

    We have to raise prices just to cover the increases because it would hit our own pockets if we didn't.

    I too will be raising prices for the 2004 mowing/maintenance season.

    People sometimes learn it's not good to go with the cheap guy. Had one client tell me that this year. Left clippings and did not edge walks or curbs.

    Good Luck to all
  6. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    This may sound wacky but here goes...I only raised the price of the customers I didn't want to keep or the ones that complaned every time I visited them.

    Figured if they fired me that was OK. If they didn't then I just found a reason to put up with their griping.

    Every time I add a new customer I price them on the higher end to make up for the ones I under bid the first year I started.

    I look at the monthly bottom line of revenue- not so much how each account is paying.

  7. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

  8. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I am a bit suprised at some of the replys to this thread. Generally the first 2 years in biz you are going to be a low bidder to get started. But then you realize to actually make money, you need to start raising prices, especially when its time to start buying more equipment and trucks.

    This is my 8th season in business and I started contracting my customers 5 or 6 years ago, I forget. I have raised prices every year and can honestly say I haven't lost one as a result of the higher price. If you do quality work and are reliable, people will pay more money. If they don't, you didn't want that type of customer anyway. Remember, its a business. If it costs you $2500 more to be in business next year as a result of higher insurance, gas, rent etc... then you need to recover that. Not by working more hours, but by raising your rates.

    Do yourself a favor and give yourself a big raise next year.
  9. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Just say it AztlanLC - you are probably thinking the same thing as I am.

    Sheppard, 2 questions---how long have you been in l c biz legitimately and how do you keep your overhead and expenses, ie- liability and equip insurance, fuel, health insurance, repairs, wages, and taxes to not increase? b/c baby - I gotta have you talk to my insurance company, the gas station, the dealers, the taxman and my employees. Please tell me your secrets.

    paponte - I wasnt so surprised that I lost some. I was just reaalllyyy surprised that I lost that particular one. There were some raises that even I thought were high. I raised one of them a lot because the customer was a total pita, and I didnt want to be the one to end the relationship- and guess, what - that kinda backfired. But they will seem like less of a pita when i am getting more $$ for it, I hope.;)
  10. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    mower babe, what were your highest % increases that still kept your service? Im strugling with how much is too much for next year. I know what i need to charge on all mine that are low, but im afraid i cant ask for the increase all in one year.

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