The Mentality of some people

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by melanieb3, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. melanieb3

    melanieb3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    So my husband scored a spring clean up for a small putt putt. We're new to giving bids so we went and he looked at the place and said, "It'd probably take two guys two days to do this job" So then he said it would probably be about a $500.00 job, but to be sure he got the job, he would bid it at $300.00. He said he could do the job in one day if he worked REALLY fast.

    So he talked with the owner and quoted him $300.00. The guy was happy with the quote and gave him the go ahead to do the job. The next day he went and did the job. When he finished he saw some other things that maybe he could do for them and asked me to call them.

    So I call and the wife was like. "We paid your husband to work about a 30 hour job and he only worked for about 8 hours so we think you need to change your price" I was like WHAT? She has been having ppl clean this VERY small course for years and knows how much she pays every year and I'm sure it's not under $300. But she thought that since he did it in only 8 hours, she should NOT have to pay him $300.00.

    What!?! At any rate...we went back and forth and I explained that this is a business that has insurance and licenses, which she didn't seem to care about...but that if she wanted to pay someone by the hour, that our company is NOT what she needs and to please look for someone else for the rest of her jobs.

    the only problem is, she knows A LOT of people and TALKS a LOT of crap. I am just praying that she doesn't bad talk us to other people and hurt our business...but there was no way I was gonna send my husband to do other jobs for her for $10 an hour...she's crazy.

    She needs some kid who can do it for her adn do a crappy job..because he did an EXCELLENT job and it was super clean when he left.

    I'm sure we're gonna get this a lot more..but it kinda really threw me off guard. This lady is a member of my church..and I'm learning that probably I shouldn't work for members of my church because I don't want any bad feelings between me and anybody..especially them.

    But, we also learned that we should have everything in writing,like a formal bid for anyone we do work for and have them sign it BEFORE we do the job so there won't be any confusion.

    She also tried to change the story as to what we talked about blah blah blah. I straightened that up real quick. I was never rude or ugly to her..but I was NOT gonna back down.

    He ended up working 9 hours on that job with NO breaks and he only got $300.00. He should have asked for more!
  2. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,234

    9hrs with 2 guys= 18 labor hours= $810 plus debris removal if hauled off site

    if you thought it was going to take 30hrs it should have been bid appropriately in the first place, $1350 for labor. that is based off of my hourly labor rate of $45 here in MI.

    good luck next bid :usflag:
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Yea your bids are way off.
  4. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Take it as a lesson learned, it happens to everyone. They probably though that you are new and whated to take advantage of that. Also when you bid don't tell them how much time you think it's going to take, it solves alot of these problems.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,134

    Ouch thats a bummer
  6. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Correct. Never give hours to complete the job. People don't take into account drive time or the time to dump debris.
  7. melanieb3

    melanieb3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    He didn't tell them how long it would take. The hours mentioned are what he and I were discussing. They were just looking for cheap laborers not someone who has a legit business. They wanted to pay someone $10/hr....that is where he was getting his price. He said if they were to pay two people, it would have taken about 30 hours total to do the job at $10/hr then it would be $300 and that would just be his pay for the day. He was wanting to charge more like $500.00 but he was trying to do them a favor because they go to our church. Which he SHOULD NOT start doing b/c that's just a trend of getting no money...but at any rate...

    The thing is, they were assuming it would take about 30 hours and that $300.00 would be reasonable to pay. So, my husband said, just pat me the $300.00 and I'll do the job. Simple, and he really thought he would do it in more like 6 hours, but it ended up taking 9. But they were upset that he didn't take 30 hours to do the job and they still had to pay the $300.00.

    Whatever...we're still learning how to make bids and I am learning.....EVERYTHING! I'm just the secretary....I plan to get out there with him during the summer some when I can get away from home (we have 4 kids and the oldest is 4). That way I can learn more about making bids and then maybe I can be the one to give bids or something. We're still trying to figure it all out. I just know that I wanna learn and I really like driving those zero turns...I'm getting better at it, practicing on our yard! lol.

    But he's been doing lawn care for ever! Since he was a kid. His dad has a farm as well. And he's done it for another company for about 6 years and now we've decided to go out on our own.

    So, it's gonna be a learning season for us and hopefully we'll be better at it for next season.
  8. melanieb3

    melanieb3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    oh and by the way, he didn't have to remove the debris, they told him to put it outside the gate and they would get rid of it. it was a HUGE mountain!
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Right, but if they wanted $10 an hour guys why weren't they looking for them instead?

    8 hours for 300 is a nice price, evidently they liked it enough to jump on it!

    The thing that gets me, is I catch most of that kind of crap from other business owners,
    as if they didn't know any better, or as if they deserve special treatment...
    Boy I would've said some things to that lady, my blood gets boiling just now....

    So I think you were polite and civil and that's what counts.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,691

    I set my price high enough to scare away the cheap. I would lose it if someone had a problem with my fee after I put heart, soul and probably some very expensive materials not otherwise available to the general public into a job.:gunsfirin I do lots of shrub and bed maintenance, specializing in nutrient and pest management. I never separate labor and materials. It is one flat fee. I also do not ever give estimates as to how long. Should that question come up in the interview, I thank them for giving me the opportunity and drive away. Someone who asks that raises lots of red flags with me. They are trying to bargain me down. I am selling high quality detail maintenance. Do not anyone dare mistake me for Jose with his hedge trimmer who will work for $25 an hour.

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