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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jlohouston, May 3, 2006.

  1. jlohouston

    jlohouston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Today I was mowing a yard and an old lady came outside and asked me to mow her yard. I looked at it it was about 30,000 sq feet... Thinking of my GRANDMA I didn't use the formula and said $35... She looked at me like I was stupid and said my grandson would do it for $10. I felt bad I mean like crap telling her I was sorry I want even un-load my trailer for $20....

    Has this ever happened to any of you and did you feel bad?

    Also thanks to all of you who post on here... I have been full time at this for 2weeks and have 47 yards......
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    For 30K ft squared you wanted what?
    That is about 70% of an acre and you wanted what?
    $60 minimum and any complaints - do it your self.
    Fuel, insurance, operating costs, etc for what you are quoting = broke in no time.
    Has it happened to me - sure - and what I did was remember I'm running a business, not a social welfare democratic service.
    Did I feel bad - nope, not at all. Why - because if I went to all of the people I gave breaks too and asked for help I'd get laughed off of their properties.
  3. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    LOL I did the same recently. An older guy who didn't look like he had much money is on an acre lot, minus trailer and driveway. He's a nice guy so I felt a little sorry for him and will do it for $30, but that's just cutting, no weedeating, just going full speed so the yard isn't 3 feet high. He accepted but I could tell he was hoping for less.

    Oh well, money is reallly nice but it's also nice to help people out sometimes..
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean because it makes me sad but there is nothing I can do anymore. I have (maybe had) a customer in her 90's and my own grandmother is about that age and yes she reminds me of her and I've done this 1/4 acre lot for 25 dollars since day one. Now in my 5th year, I would likely have continued doing it thusly for that very reason but for one thing that woke me up time and again. On occasion (meaning at least half the time), the next door neighbor likes to swing over and cut her grass, supposedly for free but I do not know but what frustrates me is this:
    - I get no call to let me know, so I head out there and the grass is already cut so I just lost 15 dollars just to keep this on the schedule.
    - Finally when July-August comes around and the heat index hits 104+, now I get the phonecall to go sweat it out for the same 25 bucks as always. I did this once figuring the neighbor got tired, but read on...
    - Soon as the temps cooled off some in september, same old bs again!

    After I went out there about a half-dozen times just to see my services were not needed, I knocked on the door once to ask a simple question (for real, no attitude) but the daughter answered the door and real rude like said 'my mother will not need you today, thank you now' and shut the door in my face.

    So this year they call me and I went over and spent about an hour haggling out an extra 5 bucks for the simple reason I no longer do 25 dollar lawns and my minimum is 35 but ok I'll do it for 30 and got put off two more weeks and I finally had an agreement thou the 2-week part was biting, and then I show up two weeks later and you guessed it: the neighbor done cut it.

    That was the last of my tolerance, I crossed this one off my schedule and now to resume services, the labor rate will fall under this year's rates of $35 minimum thou most likely I will just tell her to please find someone else.

    So yes, I know where you are coming from.
    Far as feeling bad, when I went out there the last time you could say I was feeling HOT and maybe that's bad, but it's not the same thing.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Don't feel bad it's business and you can't take it personaly..if her Grandson will do it for ten..well all the more power to her!
  6. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I've had a couple of times when I give people a mowing bid and they ask, "Now is that per month?" When I say no per week, they act like I just tried to steal their wallet or something. Doesn't bother me a bit.
  7. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    I've heard the same story too many times that I think its funny. My response is automatic, -You should hire him then.

    Recently the same lady tried this bs on me on the phone I wanted 35 for a very large corner lot, I kinda know the area very well but I told I wolud still have to look at it. She told me the guy last year was doing it for 15. So when I get there I'm speechless its so big, I did try phoning here but she didn't answer and since we are not only NOT on the same page but on different planets, I never phoned her back.
    Few days later I got her neighbours yard across the street, smaller and I'm doing it for 25 a week (plus I got the windows and power rake) so the lady across the street happens to come home and sees my truck and trys the same BS storey on me and I told her $35 again and that she should hire the guy from last year back. She told me she would think about it (as if).
  8. Reliable Lawns

    Reliable Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Hire her grandson : )
  9. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,346

    Don't feel bad about that, just forget it and go on. Many more for you to get.
  10. grassmasterdawn

    grassmasterdawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    If her grandson would do it for $10 then why was she asking you?

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