Is it a bad idea to advertise $20 lawns?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by recycledsole, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    I have a few very small lawns I do for $20. Im thinking to put "weekly mowing starting at $20." Most lawns I do are $30. I don't want to attract the cheapest people, But I want to get a lot of business also and I think this will get people to notice.
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    What size are the lots you can do for $20? Around here I usually see people that advertise "Starting at $35", but the fastest I've mowed a lawn was in 40 minutes (with 20" mower) and the lot size was about 6500 SF. I just did a rough estimate, by measuring on findlotsize web site. Could you do those in 20 minutes using a 30" (or walk behind, if it fits)?
    I don't think I would make enough money doing anything for $20. And I'm kind of afraid to advertise my minimum starting price, because I don't want to deal with cheap people either.

    But I noticed you said "weekly", so it's possible the cheap people wont' go for that. :)
  3. WenzelOSLLC

    WenzelOSLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    You'll have to go give estimates for a lot of lawns. Some will be cheapos and some wont. It's up to you if the wasted time is worth the extra calls and possible signups.

    Do you have a set minimum? I wouldn't advertise that you have a certain starting price unless you actually will mow for that. minimum is $30 (I have 2 that I do for 20 but they are neighbors and one is family so that's different) and don't advertise any lower than that.
  4. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    The lots im doing are 1 townhouse, with about 2k sq ft, a small house with 3k sq ft and a front yard with 2k sq ft. I might raise the last 2 next year. They all take about 20 minutes solo.
    I can check on the internet for a rough estimate.
    I don't have a minimum. What if I get 5 townhouses in a row that takes me 15 minutes? and only a small front yard? I could do those for cheaper than 20.
    Its not sounding like the best idea to me now.
  5. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,757

    I don't advertise it but I mow 20 small lots (in one community) that range from$15 to $25. Most of these lots adjoin. I can do 4 lots/hour, mow, edge, trim and blow. Works for me.
  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    Yea that's exactly what im looking for.
  7. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,757

    With all those town house units in Md, shouldn't be to hard to coral several.
  8. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    If you can get $20 for 2k or 3k square feet; that's a pretty good price in my opinion.

    Now on the other hand, if that's below the market price, then I would stay in tow with the market price. Here's my experience.

    A couple years ago I read this huge LawnSite thread on Just Mow It. He is from Texas and, according to the thread, built a huge business, 3K plus lawns with $25 mowing. Some say he was lowballing, others say he didn't...anyways, I purchased 10k fliers, maybe a couple K more, and spread them throughout my service area. The price I posted on the door hangers/fliers were about $10 less than the market prices. I thought, "I pack my routes with a lot of customers, and they'll be grouped together really tight."

    Well it didn't work nearly as well as I assumed. Some would say that's because of the door hanger, I don't think so. It looked great, I had a lot of feedback from people not in the industry, so potential customers basically. That was my 2nd year.

    This year, year 3...and I flipped the script. I started charging at market price higher on my fliers/website, and I landed more jobs. Okay so what's the deal here? Maybe my service area sees through the "lowball" garbage as bad work...maybe not. But I can tell you this; at year 3 we're doing well. However, had I priced accordingly year 2 customers, I would not be running a mower this year. I would have my crew running the mowing while I focused on the business and up-selling.

    Just my thoughts on this...
  9. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Exactly. Why not target market those with a laser, rather than a bomb? Direct market the pricing that works for you, rather than float to the general public "Starting at $20", which will unleash a steady flow of time-wasting estimates from price shoppers?
  10. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    what do you mean? That I only pass flyers out at townhouses that say $20? That actually isn't a bad idea, make a flyer directly for townhouses, explaining the specials and encouraging folks to get their neighbors to use me.
    I would definitely have to research which ones have a lawn service doing all the lawns in the development, vs. folks have to do their own. Its easy to see if 1 company does everyone theyre all cut similar, but if they don't they are all different conditions and different heights.
    Thanks a lot

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