Upping A Customer's Price

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    OK, last November this lady calls me from my yellow pages ad. At the time, I was out of the habit of using the measuring wheel. I eye-balled it and quoted a price. She signed up.

    Yesterday was the third cut of the season. We've averaged 50 minutes on this property with a two man crew at $33 per cut.

    Next week, we're going to try changing around some of the mowing responsibilities between the two crew members and see if that helps our time any. But honestly, I doubt it'll make a lot of difference.

    Up til now, I've never asked a customer to pay more. Where I've accidentally low-balled a little, I've just eaten it. But typically those low bids are off by 5 minutes on a two man crew at most, not 25. Now that this stop is eating up the better part of two full man hours, I just don't think I can ignore this one.

    Does anyone have any good advice for approaching this with the customer?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,180

  3. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Send her a letter telling her that you underestimated and need to raise the price. Give her the new price, and tell her that if it is not acceptable you will continue to mow two more weeks or a month, whatever you feel comfortable with, to give her time to find someone else.

    That way, she has the option to pay more or drop you without just losing service immediately.
  4. laborador

    laborador LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    I figured you are making 40 dollars an hour on that yard. What is your hourly rate. I think you should be making at least 45 an hour, to make 45 an hour you should be cutting it for 37 dollars a cut or figure out a way to be about 10 minutes faster.
  5. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Lab, he is not grossing 40 per hour cause he has two men working. His is grossing under 20 per hour.

    My advice is to honor your contract until it expires or sub it out to somebody who really needs the work. This one will be hard to eat but you're kinda stuck with it for a while. The main thing at stake is your reputation.

    You may be able to reduce the overall man hours if you work this one with your crew. Your crew may work more efficiently if you are there and you may be able to find thing that could be changed that would make it quicker the next time around. If three of you could get the property done in 30 minutes it would be only 1.5 man hours instead of nearly 2. It also would make sense from an overhead perspective cause you would only have to pay employees for 1 man hour instead of 2.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I wouldnt do anything. With your iron clad, covers anything contract, i would just do it for what they are paying.
  7. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    try to raise their prices. if they don't go for it drop them, who cares, it was only $33 a cut.
  8. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    My contract says that either may cancel the agreement without cause by providing 10 days advance written notice of intent to cancel.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  9. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    just tell them you missed it,,,,,,they will either cover you or let you go!
  10. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Maximize the profit potential of this account by upselling other high margin services like color rotations and fert programs.Try and recover a little $$ in other, more profitable services to equal it all out over the year. Raise it next year, and explain face to face with her the exact reason.Chances are if you do a great job this year, she won't mind paying another 15-20.00 a week next year if she appreciates the level of service ,quality, and reliability you gave her this season.

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