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What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mowman, Apr 1, 2001.

  1. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I called a customer that I had last year to see if they were going to renew. She said she got my letter and noticed that I raised my price. Only $5.00 guy's. She said that her husband was in the hospital the last three months and didn't know if they could afford the increase.
    So would you cut it for the same as last year or drop service? They always pay and always have extras, such as shrub trimming and clean-up's. I'll be breaking even cutting it at the same price as last year.
    What is your advice?
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    if shes been with you for a while, id say just drop the $5.
    $5 isnt that much more money, but the hospital bills are probably getting to her and $5 seems like a $100.
  3. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 626

    I agree!! If they have been loyal and offer extra work from time to time the I would just let it slide. I have a couple of accounts that are pay by the cut and I have had them for the last 6 or 7 years. I have since gone up on my price and have decided to leave those few alone that have kept me around through the "tough times". Usually if I want to increase my prices I go to my customer in person and explain to them I need a raise and if they could make an offer. If they are unsure what to offer then I offer a price and ask if it is reasonable. You may want to try this with the customers you are more personal with. It worked for me. just my 2 little copper coins
  4. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 922

    By the way worded your post you want to keep them. Do you think you will be getting extras from someone that is worried about the $5 increase? You know them, we don't. Offer to do it at last year's price the the first couple months, then increase it. That way it shows you are willing to work with them.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    I don't mean to sound stupid, but I'm not really sure I understand what you said.

    A $5.00 increase say for an average of 30 cuts for the season is an extra $150.00.

    But you say you were only breaking even on the cuts. So you mean all that time you had that customer, you never made any money off of her on the cuts? You should be making some money on the cuts, or what's the point of even doing her lawn? A 150 bucks for the whole season still isn't worth keeping if that's all you'll be profitting off of her.

    Yeah I see you say she does get the exras which is nice, sorta like an added bonus. But you can't rely on them. You need to make your money off of the cuts, and consider the extras gravy.

    In our area, we may get away with raising a few customers $5.00 per cut, but the majority we stick around $3.00.
    So it's crucial to bid these jobs right in the beginning, so there is profit made from the start.
  6. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876


    I don't know if I would let the customers set how much I get paid. I am flexible if the customer is, but I think that the customer feel that is the right to walk all over you.

    Is a $5 increase per cut ? How many % is that ? If it's a $30 per week cut then almost 20% is alot at once in my opinion. but if it's a $75 per week it's not so bad. but I agree with accurate, sounds like you want to stay with them.

  7. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    What I mean is without the increase I'll be breaking even on this lawn this year. I have others in the area so I have decided to keep them as a customer. She told me that she would try and pay me extra when it was in their budget. Right now they have a lot of medical bills coming in.
    Hope this clears up things.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I have to agree with Jodi. If you have to raise the price just to break even then you need to reasses your marketing skills. Then again if the price increase is just to break even that still is not enough, because you havce no profits in your numbers.

    The unfortunate part of this scenario is can you be cold-hearted enough to charge what you need to in order to make a profit???

    Or are you kind enough to cut it for free, because there is no profit margin based on her situation???

    Sounds like it comes to dow to ethics to me, and only you know how ethical a person you are. Good Luck with whatever you decide.


  9. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i say that if its a long customer who always pays on time, then don't hick up the price, this has happened to me before, and the oout comes have been great, this customer will love you even more than she already does, and tell everyone she can about your services to try to help you out in return.good luck with your decion, but i would keep her and not rake up the price.
  10. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 626

    Jeff only do it with the customers you have been with for a while and you have good relationship with that customer. I do not do this with all customers and for sure not the commercial. They all get a formal letter with the hike on it. As far as being walked on I never thought of that happening since these are the customers that have been with me for a long time and have had no problems out of.

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