raising prices

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grass pro llc, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. grass pro llc

    grass pro llc LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 62

    I bought a small lawn care company in the fall of last year. Along with it I got 20 residential accounts. Some of these accounts are only paying $10 or $15 per weekly cut. What is the best way to explain to the customers that I need to raise the price. I'm just starting out so I really don't want to pi$$ any of them off and lose them. Thanks.
  2. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    Have you even talked to them? You should have thought of this before you bought out someone's company. You might lose most if you try it. Are you relying on the 20 to get started? At those prices, I hope you didn't pay much if anything for them. Sorry to say....
  3. grass pro llc

    grass pro llc LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 62

    I have a full time job and lawn care will be part time. I think 20 is a good start, I always have room to grow.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Kind of a tricky situation there, not sure exactly.
  5. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,597

    I agree, just see if you can get by this year, and then maybe try to bump it up a little. The other guy may have quit because he was losing his butt.
  6. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    I disagree, if you can get a little bump this year so you can at least break even, then go for it ... otherwise, you'll lose money like the other guy and get of it like he did !!
  7. ambersLawnmowing

    ambersLawnmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    I can understand losing the customers, fine but howabout losing your pants. $10 or $15, there isnt a way that you can honestly make money or even break even on that.. What i would do is send them a letter, say hey listen, rates will be increased this year to adjust for the market, let them know that you want to keep them as customers so you feel bad about raising prices, but it has to be done. Also give them something extra, not a free mowing edge there sidewalk, trim a bush, ect something extra. but let them know you are doing that. Any fool that dosnt understand this year prices have gone up every where isnt worth having. It will seperate the good from the bad/weak customers... From the $10-15 raise them all around to an equal $20 and they will still be getting a deal, they may shop around but wont find anything under that.. Best of luck to you.
  8. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I think that this is a good suggestion. Chances are you may lose a few customers, but at the same time, tell them you will do a great job, and customer satisfaction is your number 1 goal.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    One other option, and it's still not pretty but believe me this does work...
    Is ask each customer individually if they would be willing to pay you $5 more per service.
    And I mean ask each and every one, even the top dollar paying ones, well...
    So long you can keep a straight face without having to try but so hard, otherwise not those.

    And leave it entirely up to them, but before you ask you have to be prepared to
    continue servicing their property at the current rate, like should they say no.
    Which, some will.

    Now some won't give you a straight answer, you'll have to read them.
    Like if they are reluctant or hesitant, that would more than likely be a no.
    It's only good if they're happy to do it, most of them who want to pay more will be upfront about that.

    What I'm trying to say is, you need a sound, emphatic YES out of a customer, otherwise it probably means no.
    I think you get my drift...

    Now some, maybe most, I don't know, they won't go for it.
    But some will, gladly at that, and it's not much but it does help.

    If only 2 out of the whole lot go for it, that's an extra $10 a week.
    Never knock free money.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  10. John from Mass

    John from Mass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I have had a similar situation, and have been holding the price ASSUMING they need other services, fertilize, grub control(big here) trimming shrubs, de=thatching, aerating, ETC...oh and now I am cleaning gutters...

    I have never viewed cutting as the end game; just the "door opener"..

    As this client base and their trust in you build, you can also hold the price if they get you a new client.

    Just my take anyway...

    John from mass

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