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Minimum Charge/Is this a good idea???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by new lawn, Aug 16, 2000.

  1. new lawn

    new lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Why is it when I call any other service to come out to my house they can charge a $50-$75 "Service Charge" But somehow this doesn't apply to Lawn Service guys. Why is it that Lawn service isn't considered to be a real service like my T.V. repair man who has a $70.00 minimun? I have spoke to some Lawn Care business owners in Michigan and some have said that "Yes" they too set minimums. If this is true what is a good minimum charge to just pull up and drop the gate? $15,$20,$25????? I feel this would help answer that question asked by all residential customers in the spring "How much do you charge." You would simply be able to say "Well it will cost you at least $25.00 for me to come out." If Other service companies can do it why can't we set a minimum charges???? What do you think?????
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    You can set a minimum! Some of us do have minimums, mine is $35.00. With that being said, I do charge a few accounts $25.00. :confused: If you know what you need to make an hour to survive and about how long it will take you to do an average size lawn, then you can figure your "minimum". If you are just getting started I don't recommend setting a high minimum because you are probably looking for all the work you can get.

    As for the TV and other repairman, most states require them to be licensed, insured, and bonded to perform those duties, we are not. :( Yes, there are "scrub" (sorry the best word I could find) TV repairmen, electricians, plumbers, and so on, but not at the ratio as we have in the lawn maintenance field. Also, these folks mentioned above don't advertise their services in the phone book!

    Until our field requires people to be licensed we are going to have to deal with all kinds, learn to like it. If you decide to set a "minimum" be prepared to occasionally loose the opportunity to do a job. Hope that helps a little.

  3. Kevin

    Kevin LawnSite Member
    from S.E. PA
    Messages: 169

    When a customer asks How much for me, ask them their address, tell them you'll be out tonite,will they be home? If they are serious they will say ok. If someone won't take that then tell them My minimum is 25-30-35- for a 5000 sq foot yard or what your rates are. Hope that helps!
  4. Kirby wrote:

    >Some of us do have minimums, mine is $35.00. With that being said, I do charge a few accounts $25.00.

    Are you sure you don't have any $22 jobs?

    [Edited by lawrence stone on 08-16-2000 at 01:21 PM]
  5. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    The difference is your TV repairman doesn't come to your house every week. He needs to be called, schedule a time when you'll be home and perform a service YOU CAN'T.

    Anybody can cut grass and the fact you show up 30 times/season produces economies of scale that allows you to work for less $.

    Having said that, certainly you should have a minimum fee.
  6. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Stone let me check..........................nope I don't, and your point? Why don't you contribute to the discussion instead of making another pointless post? Give him your opinion about the topic.

    Lazer, one more post until 1000!

    [Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-16-2000 at 08:20 PM]
  7. OP
    new lawn

    new lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks for all your input. This is the best site on the net!
  8. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Establishing a minimum also helps you do jobs of at least the size that you want to do--whatever that is. For example, we don't want to mow individual townhouse yards, so we set a minimum that is way above the average charge for those. Don't want to do small lawns? Set the minimum high enough to weed them out.
  9. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 268

    I have a$25 minimum for mowing , will go up next year. on another note as soon as busy season started for all the other work like landscaping and tree work i set a minimum of $250(also going up next year). weeded out a lot of bs people right off the bat. Even when some people that started off only wanting a little job done , heard that, they added some work to get it to the min. and then some!
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    My minimum sucks. In my town my minimum is $7.50 believe it or not. Any higher than that and I wouldn't have any business. I don't have very much overhead and the town is full of cheap people. Put the two together and you've got a low minimum. I'd have to agree with the other guys. TV dudes have to be licensed and have to be called and have to run a busy, different people every day schedule. Believe me, your minimum will probably be better than mine.

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