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element009
05-14-2011, 10:09 AM
Hey guys,

I recently quoted someone 35/week to cut their lawn. After cutting it twice, I realized I underpriced this job severely. I think I should've quoted 55 or 60. I have no idea what I was thinking when I went on the estimate. I must have been tired or something.

Anyway, I don't want to lose the client, so I'm thinking of just biting the bullet for the year because it's a good neighborhood to be in.

Is there any way I can approach the client about raising the price now without ticking them off? Suggestions?

Liberty Landscaping LLC
05-14-2011, 02:48 PM
If you don't have a contract I would be upfront with them say listen when I estimated your location I made a mistake take it up 10 or so more then that and they are sure to snap. Let us know how it works out but be upfront.

Ducke
05-14-2011, 09:51 PM
Hey guys,

I recently quoted someone 35/week to cut their lawn. After cutting it twice, I realized I underpriced this job severely. I think I should've quoted 55 or 60. I have no idea what I was thinking when I went on the estimate. I must have been tired or something.

Anyway, I don't want to lose the client, so I'm thinking of just biting the bullet for the year because it's a good neighborhood to be in.

Is there any way I can approach the client about raising the price now without ticking them off? Suggestions?

If you don't have a contract I would be upfront with them say listen when I estimated your location I made a mistake take it up 10 or so more then that and they are sure to snap. Let us know how it works out but be upfront.


Liberty has a point but you should look at the bigger picture. You said "so I'm thinking of just biting the bullet for the year because it's a good neighborhood to be in. so do you think you can get say maybe 5 or so jobs by being in the area? maybe taking the $5-$10 hit for this guy will pay off with more jobs. Think it over before you tick this customer off.
You know what they say " Its easier to keep a customer then it is to try and get one back".


Graham

shadrach
05-14-2011, 10:31 PM
The sooner you let them know the better. Be polite but be honest too. Decide what you want the outcome of the conversation to be before you have it. Have 2 options - 1 for if they react well & 1 for if they don't . If you get stuck doing it for the price you originally quoted, an option is to let them know that they cannot tell anyone else what you are charging. Waiting until next year and springing a big price change on them wont work - they will think that because you did it for that price for a year that they will be able to find someone else that will too.

Johnny_boy02
05-14-2011, 11:49 PM
Honestly I would tell them I made a mistake and that I was going to honor the price but I would appreciate if anyone asked them how much I charged to tell them XXXXX.

People love when the either know or think they are getting a great deal, they will eat it up.

USA Lawn Care
05-14-2011, 11:50 PM
I was in the exact situation last season. Bid a friend's yard.....she said the company mowing it now was doing it for $30. Based on the previous price and what I saw, I could very fairly do it for $25. She agreed and after the 2nd cut, she informed me that the mowing included the common area down the private drive. Based on the previous low ball price I never would have guessed it included the common area. I kept mowing for the season, picked up the yard across the drive for $60 and before this mowing season, informed her of my mistake, I had honored my quoted price but it was definitely a $40 cut with the extra mowing now. I told her I completely understood if she wanted to go back to the $30 cut of her previous company but I can't, as a business, cut this for $25. She came back and said the $40 was fine and also gave me her office building to cut. The husband and wife are both self employed, understood my business decision and luckily saw the value in the work I perform and my honesty with the situation. You can either let them know now or finish up the season and maybe pick up a near by customer but either way, just put it in the perspective of a business decision. It's not the end of the world. Best of luck.

Liberty Landscaping LLC
05-15-2011, 01:24 AM
Blame it on lack of sleep or speed reading I thought he said it was a good neighbor not neighborhood. LOL. I would still try to raise the price. They def arent going to take that jump next season. Honesty is always the best way to go. If they say no. If you have no contract and you want to stop tell them you will finish out the month if it hurts your wallet that much. That way its only a 2 or so more cuts and it doesnt kill you for the season.

element009
05-15-2011, 10:22 AM
I think I will be honest and tell her my mistake. I feel like if I try to up the price to 55 from 35, it will be a shock. She might be more comfortable w/ 45. I'd still be too low, but it would be better than the current price.

My plan is to tell her I made a mistake and that I should really be charging around 55-60 for that size lawn.

Then I guess I'll see how she feels from there. If she's agreeable, great. If not, I'll tell her I understand that she's upset, but that I cannot continue to cut that lawn for 35. The lowest I could possibly do it for is 45. I'll finish out this month at the 35 price, but after that, I'll have to up the price.....

Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

shadrach
05-15-2011, 10:36 AM
Sounds good. Finishing out he month is a good approach (keeps the client from feeling cornered). If it is a reasonable person it will probably work out for you.
Framing it as a business decision (not a personal decision) helps too.

Robc
05-16-2011, 11:40 AM
Hey guys,

I recently quoted someone 35/week to cut their lawn. After cutting it twice, I realized I underpriced this job severely. I think I should've quoted 55 or 60. I have no idea what I was thinking when I went on the estimate. I must have been tired or something.

Anyway, I don't want to lose the client, so I'm thinking of just biting the bullet for the year because it's a good neighborhood to be in.

Is there any way I can approach the client about raising the price now without ticking them off? Suggestions?

Whats your plan so this doesnt happen again? Do you have some kind of standard to bid by that way if your tired it doesnt matter...This happens to alot of us probably. Walking up to a lawn and thinking - oh i could do this for about $50 - is not the best way to bid if you know what i mean...

Fisher
05-16-2011, 02:40 PM
Is this a weekly or bi-weekly customer. I picked up a customer this year that I knew I had undercharged them on their first mowing after they had extended the area that they wanted maintained. I told them right then that this has changed the service from $55 to $75 per service and they paid me the $55 and agreed to the $75 next time (I let the homeowner do the weedeating while I started mowing the area to extend into this way my initial work time remained the same as I told him as long as he's weedeating I'll mow into the extra area) They were a bi-weekly customer, In two weeks I returned and the grass in the back yard was nearly knee high. I advised them at that time that they needed to switch to a weekly service for the same price (or I need to charge $35 more for their high growth rate) and that once it starts heating up the grass should slow down it's growth and then we can do bi-weekly. I also recommended getting another bid and even gave them the numbers of a couple other LCO's.
For the moment we are still on bi-weekly service at the higher rate as the homeowner remembered last year that he had spent about 2hrs per day with his push mower mowing after work at least four days per week and having to start all over on Monday mowing again

element009
05-20-2011, 11:34 PM
My plan to avoid this in the future is to not be an idiot. I purchased a measuring wheel so in the future i'm going to measure the square footage of the lawn and develop a general price/1000 sq ft formula instead of just guessing how long i'm gonna be there.

As for the other post, this is a weekly cut so far, but there's no sprinkler system so I assume they will drop to bi-weekly after the spring.

To be honest, after this year I am going to market only to neighborhoods where people are likely to have sprinkler systems. I don't want to bother with bi-weekly schedules. Most likely if people in my area don't have irrigation, their lawns are more likely to be bad. I live near the beach so the soil is sandy....when lawns aren't taken care of, the sand flys up in my face, and worse, it dulls the mower blades really quickly. I am not accepting bi-weeklies after this year.

Hedgemaster
05-21-2011, 10:59 PM
Strangely enough, I had almost the exact same thing happen today.

Last week I stopped by to give an estimate at a home within 2 miles of my house. Woo-hoo! Finally someone close by!
I gave a quote of $35. The front is small and the back appeared "doable" with a push mower.

Holy CRAP! It took me 48 minutes to trim and another 48 to mow. It was only the second cut of the season, and had grown a good bit over the last few days since I stopped by. Granted, the first time you do a lawn it takes longer, but man - there was a LOT more things to trim around than I had noted when I gave the estimate.

I rang the bell when finished and the owner asked "How much?" (I had spoken to his wife previously)
"I told your wife the price would be $35, but I misjudged your lawn when I came up with that quote", I replied. "Well, just let me know how much you need", he said. I explained that I quoted $35 and that was all he owed today.
He said "Well, here - at least take $40, then get back to us with a price that works for you."

He asked if the lawn was "bigger" than I thought, and I explained that I would have been OK based on the size, but other factors were overlooked. I explained that the trimming work was my biggest setback and that the roots that run through the front yard forced me to "mow at a crawl". Add to that all the obstacles, trees, and hills, and it adds considerably to the mowing time and effort.
I then asked how he likes to maintain his lawn in order to get a feel for how much time I REALLY need to spend on trimming. He then told me I could skip most of the trimming I did - maybe do it once in a while, but focus on the front. I told him that this info helps when trying to factor everything in to come up with a price.

I think I'm going to throw out $45 and see what happens.
This yard sucks though. With those roots it's like pushing a mower over river rocks. Is it worth the abuse to my mower?

We will see how it goes.

Robc
05-22-2011, 01:45 AM
Dont forget people are watching your work. the home owner might not care what his yard looks like and says skip the trimming or some of it, whatever the case is. but the neighbors and people driving by are always potential customers and you might want it to be standard that you dont leave a yard untrimmed and edged. at least the front.
What you do there is a show of how you work and others dont know that the home owner doesnt care. they might think you dont...

jymie
05-22-2011, 11:14 PM
Strangely enough, I had almost the exact same thing happen today.

Last week I stopped by to give an estimate at a home within 2 miles of my house. Woo-hoo! Finally someone close by!
I gave a quote of $35. The front is small and the back appeared "doable" with a push mower.

Holy CRAP! It took me 48 minutes to trim and another 48 to mow. It was only the second cut of the season, and had grown a good bit over the last few days since I stopped by. Granted, the first time you do a lawn it takes longer, but man - there was a LOT more things to trim around than I had noted when I gave the estimate.

I rang the bell when finished and the owner asked "How much?" (I had spoken to his wife previously)
"I told your wife the price would be $35, but I misjudged your lawn when I came up with that quote", I replied. "Well, just let me know how much you need", he said. I explained that I quoted $35 and that was all he owed today.
He said "Well, here - at least take $40, then get back to us with a price that works for you."

He asked if the lawn was "bigger" than I thought, and I explained that I would have been OK based on the size, but other factors were overlooked. I explained that the trimming work was my biggest setback and that the roots that run through the front yard forced me to "mow at a crawl". Add to that all the obstacles, trees, and hills, and it adds considerably to the mowing time and effort.
I then asked how he likes to maintain his lawn in order to get a feel for how much time I REALLY need to spend on trimming. He then told me I could skip most of the trimming I did - maybe do it once in a while, but focus on the front. I told him that this info helps when trying to factor everything in to come up with a price.

I think I'm going to throw out $45 and see what happens.
This yard sucks though. With those roots it's like pushing a mower over river rocks. Is it worth the abuse to my mower?

We will see how it goes.

Perhaps you could use your weed whacker in the area where the roots are?

Hedgemaster
05-23-2011, 12:38 AM
Dont forget people are watching your work. the home owner might not care what his yard looks like and says skip the trimming or some of it, whatever the case is. but the neighbors and people driving by are always potential customers and you might want it to be standard that you dont leave a yard untrimmed and edged. at least the front.
What you do there is a show of how you work and others dont know that the home owner doesnt care. they might think you dont...

Good point. I had thought about that too - definitely spend the time out front.

Hedgemaster
05-23-2011, 12:43 AM
Perhaps you could use your weed whacker in the area where the roots are?


Hahaha that would be the entire front yard - literally.

You'd never know it from the street and even standing in the yard you can't see them, but holy crap, they are covering every square foot of that yard just barely through the dirt, but enough to hit a bump every couple of INCHES. It's really bad.

Robc
05-24-2011, 01:00 AM
that would be to bad if you had to weed whack the whole front. I know that usually takes longer than you allowed for...frustrating

triadncman
07-01-2011, 08:55 AM
I have done this on a few occasions over the years. Each time I suck it up and honor my quote and go out and pound that area with marketing and pick up enough accounts to make me forget about my mistake.

Steve
07-01-2011, 06:26 PM
I have done this on a few occasions over the years. Each time I suck it up and honor my quote and go out and pound that area with marketing and pick up enough accounts to make me forget about my mistake.

Have you found that certain types of jobs were underbid more so than others? What do you look out for now that you might not have early on?