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NEED SOME ADVICE!!!!!!!!!

TPC

LawnSite Member
Location
florida
ok heres the deal i have had this customer for about 2years and underbid the job from day one its a monthly account and no one lives there(vacation home $140,000)very often<br>so i thought that would mean less work i would have to do but i was wrong..I charged him $70.00 monthly (36 cuts per year)his lawn is bahia and when i first started it was in rough shape and now its in great health.I went up on my price in december to<br>$80.00 monthly(26.00 per cut)and its a corner lot and takes me bout 45 min per time........and since no one lives there regularly im taking care of the water level in the pool too..and watering new plants...hes a great customer and i dont want to scare him off because its a great location w lots of exposure and this lawn is the nicest in the area.,.I have to cut,edge,trim,blow,spray weeds,trim a few palms and hedges...and i need to get a idea on what i can say to him to get more money,,,,,,THANKS,<p> Tim,<br>CCLC <br>
 

Charles

Moderator, Friend, Angel
Location
South East
This is the problem when you come in too low to begin with. It take years to get the customer up in price to where you are making a decent profit. You got the job because you are practically giving away your service. If you can absorb the continued losses. Just continue going up on him a little each year and try and learn from this on the next bid.
 

nlminc

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
GA
Tim, Charles gave soom great advice. I have a lawn that is in a great exposure area and everyone tells the woman that I charge to much. I charge $40 per cut and we are in and out in 15min 2 men or 1 man depending on the day. The point is that this customer get complements all the time and knows that she is getting her moneys worth. The people down the street want the same service but for half the cost. Everyone has different values. Don't cut your profit to keep that account. I don't know about the competition in your area, mine is very competitive, but people want good service also. I also underbid a job last year. It was within my bid until the husband turned on the irrigation 2X / day 7 days a week and killed my timing because of the lawn always being soaked. This year I will increase the price or drop them. He's ferm on over watering, so there's nothing I can do buy adjust my price. By the way, that lawn would take me 1 hour to cut at $45 in a different area than the other one for $40 at 15 min! Smaller lawns are more profitable. I thinks you should go up on your price, sounds like you treat them very well. If they go with someone else, I'll bet they will be calling you back very soon.<p>
 

Keith

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Central Florida
Tim, tough call. The customer has been getting a deal for a while and he probably thinks you are making money, not knowing exactly how difficult the job is. Those extra steps really take up time (watering etc.) Going up on your price is the right thing to do unless you have plenty of free time and don't mind basically providing some free services, that's up to you. Without the price increase you will grow somewhat hostile toward the customer, because this guy with the $140,000 vacation home is taking advantage of you. How many lawns have you picked up in the area based on the appearence of his property? If it is a lot, perhaps you can justify losing money there. <p>Give a price based on the mowing and lawn work and bill seperately for the exrtas.
 
OP
T

TPC

LawnSite Member
Location
florida
ok how about this.....I email him and explain the situation to him that I need to go up in price OR I can keep a small prof. sign in his lawn while he isnt there...overall i need to be getting $105.00 a month,,i think that the sign would be worth the 25 that i need to make up....WHAT DO YOU THINK???????thanks <p>Tim<br>CCLC<br>
 
Don't ever email a client when it comes down to talking money. Ie I need to raise you for cost of operation. Except for the mean spirted person, always harder to turn down a person while in person. If long distance, then a phone call is the next step. If it's reasonable price increase, doing awsome work, should never have to lose a client for that reason. If the person says the next person will do the work cheaper, let him start with the other person.<br>I'm in a similar situation as you TPC, my biggest client is away from his house on business quite often. I do other things besides taking care of his property. (over 1 1/2 acres)Though I should be charging him around $700 a month,I only charge him $600. I more than make up the differnce with extra work. Before starting to work for him, ask me what was expected, went from that point on. For example, about to do his spring planting, this is all done on a hourly rate. By the way, this $600 client, on average, i end up billing him from 1200 to 1800 a month. (regular service, then cost of workers and my time on, extras millage) So I don't have to put money out of my pocket, he's given me his company cards like Home Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware and established in-house credit accounts with the irrigation places I deal with.Never ask me questions about why i'm getting stuff. He always gets compliments about how nice his property looks. Gee, I wonder why? Down side is, I hardly get to see my wife.<br>Good Luck<br>Jean<p>----------<br>J-LC Landscaping & Maintenance Gardening<br>C-27 Ca Contr# 770044
 


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