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To be the BEST = Charge more or Volume

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by meets1, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    Just curious to your thoughts.

    Are you the "best" in your area that you serve to charge above the fair market value of your service? As you have more than enough work (be it solo or employees) that you charge because YOU ARE the best?

    Or do you run on a volume base that you figure I am charging less, doing 2 x's the work. Always advertising but yet seem to chase chase chase.
  2. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    I would charge a fair market value, regardless of how much work you have or don't have. If you consider yourself a premium service, than you have to show the customer something to say that you are a premium service. ie. something that makes you stand out from the competition.
  3. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    charge more a lot more don't be cheap!
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I charge more than the market value for my area and it has caused me not to get 95% of my estimates. People here don't care how good you are, they want cheap except for the 5% that has done tried that route and now want GOOD and DEPENDABLE service. Ill quit before I start doing yards for 15 bucks again and say the heck with it.
  5. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 721

    run on a volume base that you figure I am charging less, doing 2 x's the work. Always advertising but yet seem to chase chase chase. thats not how i want it it's how it happens
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I am doing both.

    I have two companies and two completely different set ups.

    The pros of top shelf service:

    1/4 acre lots paying $225-275 per month 12 months per year plus extra's like mulch and plantings.
    Much less time spent driving, loading and unloading,
    client has one person to deal with for all aspects of yard maintenance
    much greater loyalty (if work is done right and timely)
    much less wear and tear on equipment and employees
    High retention and high percentage of closures on referalls

    low percentage of closures on cold estimates
    much slower growth of business ($ and account volume)
    clients are more particular they are paying a premium after all
    no way to skate or skimp when behind
    Frustration level with sub par employees may drive you insane
    each customer lost is a large percent of income

    high volume business pros:
    each client is disposable
    just want it done decent and very few complaints (if they complain alot fire them)
    trained monkeys can do the work so wages aren't that high and workers are easily replaced
    Once you get a system down just clone the crews and do real volume
    easy to grow business in gross $ and acct volume

    the more workers the more bad employees you have
    unless you can manage and manage well you may get way ahead of yourself and go belly up
    wear and tear on equipment is / can be brutal
    you have to rely on employee judgement calls
    billing tons of accts take a ton of time, chasing money can become a fulltime job

    What I do is refer cheap people that call my premier company to the mow and blow company. cheapskates who want to occasionally get the hedges trimmed or other ocassional extras get referred to the premier company. My ad $ goes further and I can upgrade or downgrade clients as their needs change.

    There is no direct answer to which is better. Depends on you, depends on what you have the skill for, depends on what you want to do.

    For me this two tier system works well. I get pride of a job well done with the full service company when I am doing actual work. I get pride of being a astute businessman with the lower end company and running employees efficiently and making money where I do no physical work. And by having both, I am well insulated from economic downturns or other issues beyond my control. Diversity.
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    The way most markets are, you almost have to run a volume company, because 60% of "volume" companies still do a great job. who's gonna pay $20
    more for the same thing. IMO volume is the way to go esp. if you want to grow a real business over a 2-3 years and not 10years
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I personally charge more.

    Sure you lose some people here and there, but I think that people are starting to understand bit by bit with the increase in living, fuel prices, heating costs, etc. that our services are going increase as well
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Charge way more, Rather only work 1 day a wk than 5 days.
    Its about perception. If you percieve your worth is 5 times the going rate you will convince some customers of the same thing. If you percieve yourself as doing a good to great job but figure that most lco do the same then you will charge accordingly.
    Its like a Rolls Royce and a Yugo, they both do the same thing but some people like the prestige of using a Rolls to get to where they want to go.
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    great point Mac

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