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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Callahan's Lawn Services, Jun 17, 2013.
Far better advice then the advice given to finish out the year losing money on this job.
It's definitely a PITA property and the customer is very professional and polite. I am operating on the same level as he is but the money isn't there. Like Kurt had mentioned I have a substantial gain in profit servicing smaller properties that I am in and out within 30-45 mins. Today is my last day I will be servicing the property. I am biting the bullet and will go ahead and spend the extra time to leave the property in tip top shape and go that extra mile that the customer doesn't want to pay for. Maybe he will realize how long I will spend there and see the equipment setup I operate and maintain. Hopefully he will be more inclined to renegotiate our deal. This was a eye opener for me because this was the 3rd property that I had given an estimate to in my life. Now that the homeowner is back home hopefully I can show him that I do really great work. Not holding my breath on this one though.
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Oh, heck yeah... if you're still new to estimates, perfectly understandable.
The only way you will learn is by screwing yourself enough until you figure it out.
@OakNut, you are very true about that. I've gotten my estimates down pat now but this is just the last yard that I need to renegotiate from my startup blues I had. Update on the property that I went and did yesterday: hop in the ford and headed out to the customers house, it starts freaking raining, pull up and it clears up, grab my faithful redmax trimmer and ear, eye pro. And take off, I make it about 3 minutes and the dang bump head splits in half. Due to this my backup trimmer is a brandnew troybuilt curved shaft 4 stroke. This thing is a piece of garbage! Heavy, underpowered and drink fuel like a racecar. Took me an extra 45 mins to trim with it and now my back hurts like hell. I told the customer that we would be sending him and updated estimate for the next service and if he couldn't swing it then we could no longer service the property. I think that since he saw that I wasn't some guy with a poulan trimmer and homelite mower in the bed of my dads truck that he might be inclined to pay for my services. My question is when you have a property that would benefit with 3 man hours of work but the owner only wants you to perform 1 hour of work, do you walk away from it or do you give them 1 man hour of work? My thing is that if I do what he wants then he is happy but the property doesn't look up to par for my standards and other people see the work and may be like wow that lawn guy really did a half a×× job.
That's a really hard question to answer. I have several properties that are simply mow and blows, but others are full service, and they pay for it. If its in a place of low traffic, then I would do what what the customer is paying for. If it's a higher traffic area, explain to the customer what your services include and that it's an all or none kind of service and give him a price. I understand the heartache over the question, I run into it pretty commonly. Especially with mulch jobs, a lot of the time I will quote much higher than the customer wants to pay because I come in and re-edge all the beds and weed/spray before laying new mulch, but I've had some that requested that I just lay the new mulch that the edges looked fine, so I laid the mulch and that was it. I didn't like the final product, but they were happy and I made money, so in the long run it worked out.
i'm not sure what you mean about the "problem areas". if they are just rutted up sand and dirt next to the house and they are gonna be putting in proper landscaping at a later time then just spray the whole area with roundup and be done with it. it's not gonna matter. they don't want grass or weeds growing there if they plan on putting in landscaping anyways.
That's the thing, I don't have an applicators license so my understanding is that anything that kills or hinders any type of plant or insect then I need a license to spray. I guess I could spray it but I try and abide by all laws to keep my booty out of the fire. When all these areas are properly landscaped it will definitely cut majot time off of the service.
Check your state laws but I'm pretty sure if you use organic you can spray whatever you want without a license.
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I would say the price is $xx fixed for the landscaped/finished areas and all the rest is on an hourly rate. You can do as much or as little as he wants. Once its all landscaped you will give a fixed price on everything.