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picframer
08-04-2010, 03:19 PM
Many are looking for additional services to offer, August slows down for us a bit, it's too hot to seed, can't sod or pressure wash as there are water restrictions in effect or the majority of our clients are on wells, we can only spray prior to or during a rain, too hot for wood cutting and chipping although we still do jobs four hours and under.

So we switch gears a bit for this month and promote other services until we can get back to the ones mentioned above. I put an ad in the local paper where we work last Friday, it's a growing area so folks are putting in their own decks, fences etc. and it's pretty good drilling for the most part. While I use excavators with hydraulic Augers, I was at a rental store today looking around and see you can rent tow units for $90.00 a day. This ad has generated 17 inquiries as of today.

We drill about 450 holes a year, charge $15.00 per hole, min $130.00 plus $35.00 transportation, generally speaking I can drill 6 to 9 holes an hour, I do take a bucket in the event of large rock, I will switch from auger to bucket and dig, takes about 5 min to do.

For those of you in areas where the soil is favorable, consider renting a unit and offering this service, you don't really need a helper and it's easy work. I would guess the average amount of hols per client seems to be around 12.

Steve
08-04-2010, 08:30 PM
Andy,

That is a great idea. Plus it gets you onto the property! Once you are there I bet there could be plenty of upsells that could be made.

picframer
08-05-2010, 06:09 AM
Andy,

That is a great idea. Plus it gets you onto the property! Once you are there I bet there could be plenty of upsells that could be made.

Yes, we pick up an amazing amount of landscaping jobs because of post hole drilling, we drill the holes, they set their posts and build their fence or deck then we go back and landscape.

The key as always is getting your foot in the door, this is another reason we offer so many services. I bet one in 100 homes only need the service they called for, our upsell side is what put the numbers we generate on the map.

Post hole drilling is simple, fast, quick money and it struck me the other day I should be marketing this more as there is so much construction going on, it had simply fell through the cracks on my end.

picframer
08-05-2010, 06:36 AM
This is a typical example of what can and quite often happens.

I receive an email from the website two weeks ago, client wants brush chipped and asks for a quote. We are $75.00 per hour (chipper and operator), $35.00 transportation fee. Additional staff are $25.00 per hour, chainsaw operator $35.00 per hour. Min 3 hours.

Client writes back asking is he can supply additional helpers and chainsaw, no problem as long as they wear safety gear.

I show up and decide to do this one myself, customer, his University son and four of his University friends are there, give a 20 min overview of how this will work, what they must wear and off we go.

We finish around noon, customer asks if I will join them for lunch as his wife had the barbacue on, I always say yes as it's a way to build the relationship. Over lunch he asks about the company and in short I sell him on Organic spraying, knock on the door, it was the neighbour who herd us chipping and asked if I would come over after lunch which I did.

He had hired a company to thin trees so that they had a view of the lake, OMG what a mess they left, trees on top of trees, in short an $2,800 clean up which he accepts so I sms staff that I need help on a new site, three said they could come as they were almost finished what they were doing and were close by. He had overheard the spraying conversation and asked about his lawn, we looked at it together and I sold spraying which I did Tuesday night knowing it was raining yesterday. We had to bring in a small excavator and tractor with a loader to lift trees off trees, then they decided they wanted stumps removed (this is $90.00 an hour extra) then they ask if we would build a path to the lake since we had a tractor with a loader there (extra and didn't have to ask)

While spraying I noticed his siding was a mess from burning firewood and had a lot of moss/mold, explained the service and what he could expect, what would happen if left, why residential pressure washers yield poor results in a situation like his as I noticed he had a pressure washer, he admitted he had tried and found it useless, gave him a quote, staff start today $900.00 and two staff will be there two days.

To me it's all about getting your foot in the door, doing very good work at a reasonable price and getting into their network, it really works well for me, I now have two jobs from their friends to look at today.

Steve
08-05-2010, 10:09 PM
Andy,

Do you ever find a customer wants more services as you go but it kind of messes up your estimate? In a sense what I mean is, if you know you were going to perform services (a,b,c) from the get go, you could have done it another way and it would have been cheaper for the customer. Versus doing one service and then having the customer say 'oh can you do this.' And when that is done 'oh can you do this.'

How do you deal with this? Or is it a non-issue?

picframer
08-06-2010, 05:56 AM
For me it has been a non issue for the most part, I can't think of one situation where had the customer asked for everything up front it would have saved them money.

For example, if I spray your lawn and notice you need pressure washing, the quote would be no different had you asked at the start vs us coming back, in my case it is generally not the same staff and it would be rare that I would/could bring the equipment at the same time. When I spray it is always a long list, I load up in the morning and that is all I do as I will spray hundreds of gallons in a day and one can only haul so much product.

The one down side to a client accepting additional quotes, because we are running such a tight schedule, something suffers when we get behind and I have lost a few good jobs because of this, it can be very difficult to balance, when I see an opportunity I go after it, it's the thrill of closing a sale or something...not sure.

LawnMoore
08-06-2010, 01:36 PM
Andy i have to ask, are all of your prices you reflect in here, U.S. Dollars or the cannadian exchange/currency?

I ahve never imagined charging 900 for a pressure washing, nor would anyone around here pay that., so again


Arent you in Canada? and is your quotes in Can or US

picframer
08-06-2010, 05:23 PM
Andy i have to ask, are all of your prices you reflect in here, U.S. Dollars or the cannadian exchange/currency?

I ahve never imagined charging 900 for a pressure washing, nor would anyone around here pay that., so again


Arent you in Canada? and is your quotes in Can or US

We did a house and deck last week for $1,600.....Canadian or US doesn't matter as the exchange rate is pretty much at par.

Steve
08-06-2010, 09:52 PM
I ahve never imagined charging 900 for a pressure washing, nor would anyone around here pay that.

Andy,

When you read something like this, do you feel this is a geographic factor? Meaning certain areas will pay more or pay less depending on supply and demand or do you feel this is more in the clientele you work for and the way the service is presented and completed?

picframer
08-07-2010, 04:33 AM
Andy,

When you read something like this, do you feel this is a geographic factor? Meaning certain areas will pay more or pay less depending on supply and demand or do you feel this is more in the clientele you work for and the way the service is presented and completed?

Steve, it could be, at the same time quite often when I see a comment like that, I simply consider it a Challenger and I play to win.

When I reflect back over my work career, I can't tell you how many times I have herd the words, it can't be done, we are too small, the market has too many players etc.

When I left a six figure income to start this in January of last year, most thought I was having a mid life crisis, that is fine, they simply do not know me well enough. If I set my sights on something and give it my all, I have always been able to carve out a niche within the market and grow. This yard care company is just another example, I had to tweak it to get it where it is today but we are firing on all cylinders and it has grown like wildfire.

As noted in another post it takes a lot of different skills to do it, thankfully I have worked in all these areas over the years and drank in information and watched what worked and what didn't. The bottom line however is I am an entrepreneur at heart and have been ever since I can remember, I will go at anything until it works.

If someone were to tell me you can't get $1,000 pressure washing a house/deck, my first thought is, did you educate the client on what you will do, what you will use, how long it will take but most important, what will happen if you leave the mold/mildew on your home deck and what will be the cost to repair it down the road, did you know you can't sell your home if it has mold/mildew, you will face the charges at some point. We have a black mold that grows here, not on many homes but some, if you do not remove it, it will actually eat into the vinyl siding or through wood, the repair costs are then in the thousands or ten's of thousands.

Same when I started excavation, people said you will never get $xx.xx per hour there is simply too much competition, I somewhat laugh inside, there is more to getting the job than the price, you need to sell yourself, your skills and the value added, if we start with pricing or get hung up on what it will cost the customer, we will fail. I have never been afraid to charge what I feel it's worth but I quickly look at the value added to the client and take the time to educate them. I don't get every job I quote on, I do however get the vast majority, even when we are higher.

Steve
08-08-2010, 03:59 AM
If someone were to tell me you can't get $1,000 pressure washing a house/deck, my first thought is, did you educate the client on what you will do, what you will use, how long it will take but most important, what will happen if you leave the mold/mildew on your home deck and what will be the cost to repair it down the road, did you know you can't sell your home if it has mold/mildew, you will face the charges at some point. We have a black mold that grows here, not on many homes but some, if you do not remove it, it will actually eat into the vinyl siding or through wood, the repair costs are then in the thousands or ten's of thousands.

This really is fantastic! This is the selling of the services. As you said, the customer has to see they are getting a value out of it. When they get such a presentation from you and consider how in the long run you are actually saving them money with such preventative maintenance, the customer feels like they will walk away a winner and you then win too.

A big factor in the sale seems to be in the sales presentation. Maybe the more you educate the potential customer, the more professional you look all plays into what price you can get for the job.

picframer
08-08-2010, 05:27 AM
That is very true, I would add to that the ability to read people and weed out the tire kickers, I do not spend 30 min educating the customer then giving them the price if I am certain they are just calling around, I can generally even tell on the phone. In short it is money well spent (time), it works very well for me, has over the years in a host of business's so I go this route for pretty much every service we offer.

We need to put ourselves in the customers shoes, price should be the last thing we talk about and we should not be afraid of our price, look them straight in the eye, don't fold your arms, don't look at the ground, make the eye contact.

Steve
08-08-2010, 11:13 PM
How important is it to let the customer know the estimated amount of time the job will take you, before you give the price?

Do you find there is a good lead up that should be used before you tell the customer the price?

picframer
08-09-2010, 02:18 AM
How important is it to let the customer know the estimated amount of time the job will take you, before you give the price?

Do you find there is a good lead up that should be used before you tell the customer the price?

It soften's the sometimes shock factor, some do not really care they just want it done but I don't take any chances. Some think this should take a day when it may take three or four, perhaps longer. If I say it will take us at least four days to ........, quite often they will ask why, this gives us a chance to explain the process further, then when you say it will cost $x they are thinking that is not bad for four days work, you have educated them on the process, equipment required and staff time.