ouch!! that hit below the belt

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Grass_Slayer, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. Grass_Slayer

    Grass_Slayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    earlier this year i won the bid on a new gas station here in town. it is a little less than 1/2 an acre but it is rough and has a large ditch that has to be cut with a trimmer. i bid $50 per cut. the company wanted it cut regularly so i do it every week.

    they just told the manager of the store to tell me that they wnted the bill dropped down to $100 a month and still cut it regularly. this is a large corporation with a least 12 gas stations around middle and west tn. why cant they afford regular lawn maintenance??????????????????????????????????????????????
  2. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Doulbe trouble :

    1. Big corp - always wants reduction year after year.

    2. Gas station - usually a trash pile with akward turf areas.

    Been there, dumped that.

    As far as the potential for multiple accounts; then you could end up losing money on 12 jobs instead of just the one.

    Don't you love it when they decide on a landscape budget and THEN find a contractor to fit it?

    We get this **** in the Multifamily industry a lot , too. Big corp requests a 4% decrease in price from all vendors every freaken year. What nerve. Lately, a handfull of different ones each asked to pay for installation work over a three month period but have the work done right away. I believe these "oraganizations" and "companies" have meetings and share possible ways to cut costs at everyone elses expense. Perhaps every penny kept in their accounts for just 90 days more adds up to serious interest or something.

    I didn't mean to ramble.....but you hit a nerve. I feel for you.
  3. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Why not tell gas station your price is indexed to the price of gas. Weeky cut, trim & blow = 40 * price per gallon of gas. If they drop gas to $1.00 per gallon, you will drop your price to $40 per week. If gas moves up to $1.50 per gallon due to demand, you get $70.00 per week per cut due to peak demand for your services and increase in gas costs!

  4. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Or you could tell them that you met with your board to review your pricing and determined that you do need to adjust prices to remain profitable. So based on the advice of your board you must raise prices to $70.00 a week. Hey, this is out of your hands. You just have to do what the board advises. Don't you love big corps? Good luck.

  5. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    I would explain to the manager that it sounds like "they" are trying to pay what they want for your services, however you'll meet them half-way and charge $50.00 percut on a bi-monthly basis. GOOD LUCK...
  6. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    I went thru that a couple years ago with a fast food place near-by.Had them for almost two years. Under corporate guidelines.
    Was a nice account.
    They franchised all the locations in our county. The guy that picked them up was a tight pocketed SOB. I had two locations and he wanted "more for less".
    I walked.
    The maintenance co. that picked up the business was HORRIBLE.
    The two mngrs. that I had dealt with called me and wanted a "new" bid. They were fed up. The places looked awful.
    I said "no thanks".
  7. DaBeerMan

    DaBeerMan LawnSite Member
    from Philly
    Messages: 3

    Hi Guys

    I used to do some Apt complexes in our area... over about 2-3yrs this guy & his partners bought up some of the biggest ones I had.
    They were actually pretty nice at 1st till they got control over the nicest one around here... things went downhill from there!

    They called me in one day & tried to SET the prices for me... in failing that... they then took 1st one then another & gave them to some fly~by~night guys! Not that I didn't know what was going on or anything... I asked one of the managers how bad I was being underbid... found out it was actually only by a couple of bucks(LOL). At the end of the next season I sent in the new contract with a 20% increase(cause I no longer had a bunch in the same area & they were spread out more)... THEY FLIPPED OUT!!!

    I dumped all the guys places & actually ended up getting another huge contract that more than made up for it... the contract came from the guys competition who always liked my work but felt I might be spread to thin to take them on :D

    This guy always tried to hang over my head that he(they) owned a bunch of places & if I was to play ball with them I would always have plenty of work! The translation of that is "you will always have of work IF you do it for the price they want to pay". If that's not enuff money for the job... TUFF!

    These guys ALWAYS think they are giving you something so you just stick to your guns & tell them that "YOU DO THIS FOR A LIVING AND YOU DON'T NEED THE PRACTICE". ;)

  8. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 175

    AMEN Dabeerman!!! People tend to think we are a charity or something.

    And Jim (lawnstudent) I think that your solution to this is completely on target!!!! It is EXACTLY what I would walk in to that man/woman's office and tell them. Ask our customers -- I'm not bashful!!! :D

    A large part of our economy seems to be based on gas prices -- that includes YOUR business, Grass Slayer! I would make this point and make it VERY clearly to them. If they still don't want your services for what you are making now -- tell them to take a hike!

    NO CUT FOR YOU!!! (I'm plagerizing someone else here, but I love this saying). :)

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    Most budget managers are given an "allowable" number for certain expenses. They are rewarded with a portion of any amount of savings that they retain. They don't care about anything but the bonus. So stand your ground and say $50 is the bottom line.
  10. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    You bid on it but do not have a contract?

    Any lawn I have to bid signs a season contract. The only exemptions I allow are for lawns that are billed for time spent. I do not go out and give a bid on these. The price is set for the season. If they want cheaper they can hire a new company next year.

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