Should I raise prices?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LancelotLawns, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. LancelotLawns

    LancelotLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I recently took over another company and the majority of the previous company's clients are underpriced. Should I wait until next season to raise the prices? Also, the previous owner/operator must have done a lot of odd jobs free of charge because many of these people are asking me to clean up leaves or trim bushes because "thats what he did". I'm afraid of losing many of these customers if I come in and start making a bunch of changes. Any ideas on how to approach these people without them getting all torn up?
  2. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    Dont raise them this year.

    Customers are like puppies. They need to be trained and apparently yours need to be retrained but this time properly.

    If a customer asks you to do something then immediately give them a price for it. If they say the last guy did it for free remind them thats why he is out of business.

    Take it in the rear this year and raise them up next year.
  3. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    give em' an inch, they'll take a mile.

    Maybe he didn't 'do it'. Maybe they're just trying to milk ya a little bit, cause you're new blood.

    If you feel you need to raise prices, then do so... but I'm sure you're gonna lose a percentage of accounts. As far as the odds and ends... charge charge charge.
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Why would you buy a business to loose money? If his accounts aren't at the price your company needs, then there really is nothing to do but raise the prices. I don't know about you, but I can sit at home and not make money, that appeals to me more than busting my hump because I'm afraid to loose accounts I make nothing on.
    With fuel prices through the roof, now IS the opportune time to raise their prices.
  5. lawnbutch

    lawnbutch LawnSite Member
    from Colo.
    Messages: 177

    Raise, Raise, Raise, charge for extras!!!
  6. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    I would do a cost analysis on each. Raise the worst and see what happens.

    Do NOTHING for free
  7. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    It is better to lose a customer than to lose money on a customer
    you can't continue to do things for free add it to the bill if they drop you then oh well
    You are in business you are not running a charity. I am not saying never be nice to a good customer but you cant let it eat your time away.
    Good Luck
  8. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    Are you really going to lose money on the lawn cutting end of the business? If the answer is yes, then suck it up this year. Retrain them like previously stated. As far "cause that is what he did" on the bushes, say we charge for that and the cost is such and such. If they moan about it, say well you are getting a break on the price of your lawn this year due to it being to low. But since I bought the buisness I am sticking to the lawn prices this year. But all extras will be billed out.

  9. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    Did you pay for this underpriced work, or was it dropped in your lap for free? My comments will follow your answer...
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,694

    Hate to say this but this is the main reason not to buy customers they will milk you for all kind of free stuff. And if you start charging for stuff you will lose every one of them....been there did that. Now buying a big business with contracts is a different matter...

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