WWYD Elderly residential customer.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by zlandman, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. zraffz

    zraffz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Bye Felicia!
  2. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,195

    Yep. So what I do is set about 3-5 slots on my route just for elderly people in need. I can handle a few picky g-mas who would prob get abused by someone else and never know it. Plus they can bake, quilt, know tons of people, etc. I have a business to run so I can’t do everything or every elders lawn for a discount but doing 3-5, 30 min lawns/week isn’t a big deal. I have 1 who can only afford eow. I cut it every week when it needs it and only charge her for eow. It’s a 20 min lawn @ $30. $60 total not being charged per month isn’t going to break my bank or my business. Especially when they tell all their friends/family what I do for them. I’ll generally make $2k-$3k off that persons friend/family so that $300-$400 for the season I lose gets covered in the end. No different than paying for advertising except the new customers already trust me. The key is being wise about the slots you discount. Sometimes it works out monetarily and sometimes it’s just soul food. Either way as long as your smart about it, it’s never a bad deal. Moderation is key, like everything else in life. 1 glass of red wine per night isn’t going to hurt you. 1 bottle of red wine per night might cause you issues.
  3. Green Industry Pro

    Green Industry Pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Tyler Texas
    Messages: 475

    I love your perspective, that is definitely something to think about. I've been screwed by a lot of those sort of customers so that's why I tend to be so rigid. If you can find the decent people and you can work with them, it definitely may be worth it. You can generally tell whether or not someone is worth your time
    sjessen likes this.
  4. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,727

    I like your setup as long as you have the other business to offset it.
    I had a elderly lady in my neighborhood. I mowed her lawn when I was real young, then did it for free as my community service for school 1 year, then felt bad charging her again. I mowed it for free for the next 18 yrs. Shed always "offer" to pay her back bill but I knew she couldn't afford to pay her full bill so I never tried. She often made me cookies and such.
    She was just put into a home, but now i charge her son the full price .
  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 5,951

    Not sure how the rest of you feel about this but sometimes I would rather work for free than a lowball price, especially for those who really can’t afford full price.
    knox gsl, MNLawns, Burnie and 3 others like this.
  6. zlandman

    zlandman LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 213

    I think I'm out of the charitable mowing. Most every case I've had there turns out either there was some money, the customer doesnt seem to appreciate it, the property is a huge disaster, when the person passes or moves the family doesn't give a rip about settling up the (discounted) amount due.
  7. Mow-Daddy.com

    Mow-Daddy.com LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,352

    I bill most places once a yr. Full price on bill. Then if I like them and they haven't been a pita I will deduct $200- $400 off their bill. Then they actually see how much discount I have given them.
    If their a pain. Full price.
    zlandman and sjessen like this.
  8. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,727

    I pretty much agree with you on that. I have to price structures that I work at, full price and free. If you're a good enough person that I feel you deserve a discount well then you're probably somebody that I'm close enough with that I wouldn't charge you for. The only two laws I do for free or my parents, and a elderly neighbor next to my parents. Both of these people I would feel wrong charging for. If I had a friend who didn't understand why I needed to charge them, they're probably not a good enough friend that I need to worry about it. I do try not to mix business and personal life.
    sjessen likes this.
  9. Walker56

    Walker56 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,069

    As I get further into my senior years, I realize that it is not always about the money. There are people who are truly struggling out there.
  10. bluetruck

    bluetruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 417

    i agree with that, the issue i run into with "discounting" is the customer will refer you to their family/neighbors and then they (family/neighbors) expect the same discount, and it gets awkward when you have to turn them down or explain why you gave them the full price estimate. so there is a fine fine line when doing discount or free work if you want to stay in business.
    zlandman, Hawkshot99 and sjessen like this.

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