PDA

View Full Version : Just dose not feel right?


jasonw
07-22-2012, 10:29 PM
So last Friday I went to do a bid on cutting some weeds. I did what I do and told the person I would put some numbers together and get back to them this next week. I did hang around and chat with the person for a little while and to be honest just do NOT have a good feeling about this job. I feel I am going to work my butt off and then probably wont get paid. At this point I am ready to just leave it alone and pretend I did not even go over there and move on, I thought about demanding payment up front but I don't feel right about that ether. Any advice?

willshome
07-22-2012, 10:33 PM
what feels wrong?
get 50% down payment

JLM
07-22-2012, 10:40 PM
I would follow my gut.

Grass Doctor
07-22-2012, 10:45 PM
that's it 50% up front

FentonC
07-22-2012, 10:46 PM
I would get at least 50% up front. There is nothing wrong with that.

brian'slawncare
07-22-2012, 11:12 PM
I know plenty of people that require 50% up front. Then, if they don't pay you, at least you got half of the check...nothing wrong with that at all.

Johnny_boy02
07-23-2012, 01:44 AM
Life is to short to not trust your gut. Move on.

jasonw
07-23-2012, 08:19 AM
Thank you everyone. I think it is best to walk away from this one. %50 down is not to bad of an idea, only that I dislike taking any money up front and %50 would probably be a loss for me. If you can't make a profit why do it right? Anyway thanks again.

CHEESE2009
07-23-2012, 09:05 AM
I don't take any work if I know it's not something I want to get involved with.

There is this belief that just because we're grass guys, we should WANT to do every single crappy job out there, and that if we don't accept the work we are somehow bad at running our business - this is complete b.s, and you'll often hear it from people who are used to getting their way 100% of the time.

Forget the job. I turn down business all the time and understand it can be stressful to listen to the clients run their mouths after, but it's totally worth it.

jasonw
07-23-2012, 09:45 AM
Not only that but why do people think they don't have to pay us? I mean try not paying a ticket and see where you go. I hate that people think we are just bums who can't get a regular job. I DO have a full time job but do this for fun and extra money. I provide a professional service and deserve respect AND PAYMENT!! I am getting better and better at judging character so low lifes are no longer a big problem for me, at the same time though I do hate turning down jobs.


I don't take any work if I know it's not something I want to get involved with.

There is this belief that just because we're grass guys, we should WANT to do every single crappy job out there, and that if we don't accept the work we are somehow bad at running our business - this is complete b.s, and you'll often hear it from people who are used to getting their way 100% of the time.

Forget the job. I turn down business all the time and understand it can be stressful to listen to the clients run their mouths after, but it's totally worth it.

CHEESE2009
07-23-2012, 09:51 AM
at the same time though I do hate turning down jobs.


It takes some getting used to when you first start out. I drove myself crazy when I'd lose even the worst clients, clients who would go without paying.

Something in our minds says a client is more important than how they effect our business, we have to rid ourselves of that thought. A client is only worth anything if we are happy doing business with them.

I dropped a good chunk of my clients one year to start fresh, and ever since I've been happier by being more selective with who I allow myself to do work for.

Remove the guilt from your life, take charge :)

Hope you find your way!

The Cleaning Doctor
07-23-2012, 10:24 AM
Gotta ask,

Why does 50% not cover your costs? Are the prices that low? If you do not want to do it, just raise your price and require a deposit. Don't ever leave a customer without a price as they may just take you up on it. Who knows, everyone else may have turned it down like you were thinking and he will have to pay your price.

For a $45 lawn, what do people figure as their cost? I'll bet that most do not know those figures.

jasonw
07-23-2012, 10:44 AM
My prices are generally higher than some but it's hard to explain my area where I may have a 2 hour round trip just to do a job. This job was to cut an entire property, not your average city lot but a fairly large country property. This time of year I do not use my tractor because of the HUGE fire danger around here which means I will be walking behind a field and brush mower. I estimated 8 hours total to cut the whole thing, they wanted it cut and all clippings removed, my quote was to cut and remove no clippings at $150, this is already $50 lower for a days work than I aim for, I got the sob story of money being tight and figured I would do them a favor, $50% down "$75" if they skipped out on the other 50% like I fear then it would be a big loss, not a loss on gas, wear and tear but a big loss on my time.

Gotta ask,

Why does 50% not cover your costs? Are the prices that low? If you do not want to do it, just raise your price and require a deposit. Don't ever leave a customer without a price as they may just take you up on it. Who knows, everyone else may have turned it down like you were thinking and he will have to pay your price.

For a $45 lawn, what do people figure as their cost? I'll bet that most do not know those figures.

Lopes Lawn Care
07-23-2012, 11:17 AM
If this is a full days worth of work then your really low balling yourself. If you gotta use the brush mower and then clean up all the clippings that's a ton of work, plus the 2hr round trip. I would definitly charge upwards of $400 for a days worth of work, more if i had to rent a brush mower. (which costs $150 per day). Just my 2 cents. would walk away if he doesn't want to pay up front and you got a bad feeling.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-23-2012, 11:20 AM
My prices are generally higher than some but it's hard to explain my area where I may have a 2 hour round trip just to do a job. This job was to cut an entire property, not your average city lot but a fairly large country property. This time of year I do not use my tractor because of the HUGE fire danger around here which means I will be walking behind a field and brush mower. I estimated 8 hours total to cut the whole thing, they wanted it cut and all clippings removed, my quote was to cut and remove no clippings at $150, this is already $50 lower for a days work than I aim for, I got the sob story of money being tight and figured I would do them a favor, $50% down "$75" if they skipped out on the other 50% like I fear then it would be a big loss, not a loss on gas, wear and tear but a big loss on my time.

Well it looks like the problem is the bid. If they think your low bid is high. I would not even consider doing it. You wouldnt have made out with the job even if they paid.

shadrach
07-23-2012, 01:13 PM
If you double your bid it is still probably too low, and they think it is too high. Expect them to nit pic it after you are done because they think they should get more for the money. If you still decide to do it at least get all money up front. They have unrealistic expectations & that rarely ends well.

Steve
07-23-2012, 03:47 PM
So last Friday I went to do a bid on cutting some weeds. I did what I do and told the person I would put some numbers together and get back to them this next week.

What is your view on giving a customer a price while you are there? That way you could strike while the iron is hot and if they say yes, get started?

Was there anything specific about the job that got you feeling something wasn't right?

Hedgemaster
07-23-2012, 08:24 PM
I don't take any work if I know it's not something I want to get involved with.

There is this belief that just because we're grass guys, we should WANT to do every single crappy job out there, and that if we don't accept the work we are somehow bad at running our business - this is complete b.s, and you'll often hear it from people who are used to getting their way 100% of the time.

Forget the job. I turn down business all the time and understand it can be stressful to listen to the clients run their mouths after, but it's totally worth it.

I'm doing that a lot this season.

I just went to look at three jobs today. One was too large for one guy to handle alone and the other two were crap jobs on lots that would require the 21" mower and required a massive cleanup first with no real promise that it would become a regular stop.
I need the money badly, but sometimes it's not worth the headache later.

jasonw
07-24-2012, 08:10 AM
Steve, it was not really the job that got my worrying but more the person, just did not feel good about them.

REALLY!!??!! $400 for something like this? I have only been charging upwards of $200 for a job like this and always felt it was fairly high. Someone ells locally only charges like $130 but he uses a big CAT and just rough cuts the entire thing, I make it look like a golf course.

I own 2 field and brush mowers so I never have to rent any.

After reading some of this I am really going to have to re evaluate the work I am doing and what I am charging for it.

Maybe you can also comment on another job I recently took over.

I got a call from someone about a block away from me, she explained that the people she was having do her lawn just stopped showing up one day "Why do I hear that a lot?" I went out and looked at her yard, I normally would charge $40 to mow edge and blow the property "small city lot" I was already going to give her a deal because she only lives down the road and its really not out of my way to give it a quick 30 minute cut once per week.

Now that being said I don't ever try to low ball anyone but I do meet or beat other reasonable prices, I have turned down many jobs because I could not meet a price but with this one I asked how much she was paying the people who stopped showing up, She said it was $100 per month.

By the time I had left I quoted her 80 per month to cut it 1 time per week and $20 per hour for additional work such as bush trimming exc exc.

jasonw
07-24-2012, 08:13 AM
Hedgemaster I assume you are good and trimming hedges?

CHEESE2009
07-24-2012, 10:01 AM
For me, money isn't the issue either. There are just some people I don't feel like doing business with.

Even if a lawn would be considered favorable, it wont even matter if the client becomes a punk.

This captain wants smooth sailing and nothing less!


-

In other news, this is the last time I eat chips in bed. For the love of God, there's crumbs everywhere. Last time I tell you... Last time.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-24-2012, 10:40 AM
Steve, it was not really the job that got my worrying but more the person, just did not feel good about them.

REALLY!!??!! $400 for something like this? I have only been charging upwards of $200 for a job like this and always felt it was fairly high. Someone ells locally only charges like $130 but he uses a big CAT and just rough cuts the entire thing, I make it look like a golf course.

I own 2 field and brush mowers so I never have to rent any.

After reading some of this I am really going to have to re evaluate the work I am doing and what I am charging for it.

Maybe you can also comment on another job I recently took over.

I got a call from someone about a block away from me, she explained that the people she was having do her lawn just stopped showing up one day "Why do I hear that a lot?" I went out and looked at her yard, I normally would charge $40 to mow edge and blow the property "small city lot" I was already going to give her a deal because she only lives down the road and its really not out of my way to give it a quick 30 minute cut once per week.

Now that being said I don't ever try to low ball anyone but I do meet or beat other reasonable prices, I have turned down many jobs because I could not meet a price but with this one I asked how much she was paying the people who stopped showing up, She said it was $100 per month.

By the time I had left I quoted her 80 per month to cut it 1 time per week and $20 per hour for additional work such as bush trimming exc exc.

When someone stops showing up its because 1. there not making money or 2. there not being paid.

When she said they stopped showing up at $100 a month I wouldve said that its because they werent making money and it wasnt worth it to them. Then you would charge upwards from that rate, not below it. These guys blew the job for that price your not competing with them. Thats the chance to sell your rate and quality.

If you thought the job was worth $160 a month why charge half that? To beat the competition that lost the job and wasnt making money doing it? Thats just setting yourself up for failure.

Now for just plain old regular work I charge $40-$60 a hour. For overgrown brush work it close to $100 a hour. I get 1 or 2 of these jobs a week. You have to figure how long it would take the homeowner and what it would cost to get the proper equipment.

Before I bought a kubota loader I would have to rent it for $450-$500 a day with attachments. So when I started working with I base my price off that rental fee. I cant think hey I paid for it I can do it cheaper.

Hedgemaster
07-24-2012, 10:54 AM
Hedgemaster I assume you are good and trimming hedges?

Meh. I dunno. Needed a screen name and since I've always gotten compliments on the hedges at my home that's what I went with.

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=16624&highlight=hedge-mastering

Which reminds me - I just shaped my shrubs yesterday and need to post pics...

Von Bobbeh
07-24-2012, 10:59 AM
My approach to prospective clients who balk at my prices are very straight forward: "I Think I work hard and pursue quality above all else, and that my work is worth what I charge" and If the client seems trustworthy and I KNOW I can still make a good profit for it I will lower it by 10 or 20 percent.

If they won't take a deal maker, I'll soon be leaving.

jasonw
07-24-2012, 10:22 PM
I have done a lot of back and forth on prices, unfortunately up here if you charge $40-$60 per hour you will be sitting at home not working, I would love to get that much but to many a-holes up here will cut weeds for $10 per hours so it kills the market.

When someone stops showing up its because 1. there not making money or 2. there not being paid.

When she said they stopped showing up at $100 a month I wouldve said that its because they werent making money and it wasnt worth it to them. Then you would charge upwards from that rate, not below it. These guys blew the job for that price your not competing with them. Thats the chance to sell your rate and quality.

If you thought the job was worth $160 a month why charge half that? To beat the competition that lost the job and wasnt making money doing it? Thats just setting yourself up for failure.

Now for just plain old regular work I charge $40-$60 a hour. For overgrown brush work it close to $100 a hour. I get 1 or 2 of these jobs a week. You have to figure how long it would take the homeowner and what it would cost to get the proper equipment.

Before I bought a kubota loader I would have to rent it for $450-$500 a day with attachments. So when I started working with I base my price off that rental fee. I cant think hey I paid for it I can do it cheaper.

jasonw
07-24-2012, 10:23 PM
Meh. I dunno. Needed a screen name and since I've always gotten compliments on the hedges at my home that's what I went with.

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=16624&highlight=hedge-mastering

Which reminds me - I just shaped my shrubs yesterday and need to post pics...


So asking for some tips would be pointless? lol

Hedgemaster
07-24-2012, 11:40 PM
So asking for some tips would be pointless? lol

I've never been one to think I'm "great" at anything even when people tell me I am.

Look at the pics. You can decide if I'm any good at it or not. ;)

If you have questions, I'm happy to answer - provided I have the answer. :)

CHEESE2009
07-24-2012, 11:51 PM
Besides the fact that he murders innocent people for fun, he is amazing at what he does, and the name he chose "Hedgemaster" fits very well.

:)


OH IM SUCH A FLIRTTTT j/k

Lopes Lawn Care
07-25-2012, 12:25 AM
Pricings are a tough thing to learn. You gotta think about everything your spending money on not just today but down the road. $10 an hour isn't gonna cover your azz when those brush mowers sh** the bed and you gotta get a new one.

I've been trying to go by the $1 a min method, this year. Exisiting customers are just something i have to deal with but all new work will be priced this way. This way you can always cover your expenses, put some money into your business and make a profit for yourself. I sometimes (although i know i shouldn't) vear from this path. Usually i do this when a customer has a ton of work to be done and i know i'm gonna do o.k. I'll cut them a break for giving me all the work.

I agree if this person thinks this is a high price you should stay clear cause he might be a pain to deal with and you'll always get paid nothing. That being said i also understand what it means to have to take on every job just to stay afloat. Good luck man

jasonw
07-25-2012, 07:41 AM
So my quote was between $150 and $200 for the job and according to your equation it should be closer to $480 putting me at less than half of where I should be. The problem is not long ago I had to drop my prices because I was sitting at home doing nothing. I would give a lot of quotes but people would not pay it, now people are starting to pay but I am sitting at $15 per hour less than before when they would not pay.

I know for different areas people will be different as far as what they will and won't pay, I always figured it would be better to make something than nothing but in my area that is primarily retired people on fixed incomes I have to charge so little it really messes with my margins, In most cases a flat tire on my tractor can be the difference on making or losing money every time I go out.

Pricings are a tough thing to learn. You gotta think about everything your spending money on not just today but down the road. $10 an hour isn't gonna cover your azz when those brush mowers sh** the bed and you gotta get a new one.

I've been trying to go by the $1 a min method, this year. Exisiting customers are just something i have to deal with but all new work will be priced this way. This way you can always cover your expenses, put some money into your business and make a profit for yourself. I sometimes (although i know i shouldn't) vear from this path. Usually i do this when a customer has a ton of work to be done and i know i'm gonna do o.k. I'll cut them a break for giving me all the work.

I agree if this person thinks this is a high price you should stay clear cause he might be a pain to deal with and you'll always get paid nothing. That being said i also understand what it means to have to take on every job just to stay afloat. Good luck man

abetterveiw
10-04-2012, 09:08 PM
My prices are generally higher than some but it's hard to explain my area where I may have a 2 hour round trip just to do a job. This job was to cut an entire property, not your average city lot but a fairly large country property. This time of year I do not use my tractor because of the HUGE fire danger around here which means I will be walking behind a field and brush mower. I estimated 8 hours total to cut the whole thing, they wanted it cut and all clippings removed, my quote was to cut and remove no clippings at $150, this is already $50 lower for a days work than I aim for, I got the sob story of money being tight and figured I would do them a favor, $50% down "$75" if they skipped out on the other 50% like I fear then it would be a big loss, not a loss on gas, wear and tear but a big loss on my time.

OMG... First off that bid is way to low for a full days work. Your going to kill yourself for 8 hours for nothing. Its not your fault but remember you have the upper hand (the mower) and if they refuse your "High" bid... no loss to you.

#2. If you feel your helping someone out once with a price there is nothing wrong with that either! You may be suprised by this person and they could lead you more work. (GOD works in mysterious ways!) But you should tell them that you are reputable business and since you are giving them the best deal around and for that matter you will need to payed for the work the day of the job or before. No questions asked.

If you feel you are doing the right thing by "Helping someone out" well good for you... but do not get screwed over doing it... there is not a worse feeling in this business! :)

stevef1201
10-05-2012, 06:15 AM
When someone stops showing up its because 1. there not making money or 2. there not being paid.

When she said they stopped showing up at $100 a month I wouldve said that its because they werent making money and it wasnt worth it to them. Then you would charge upwards from that rate, not below it. These guys blew the job for that price your not competing with them. Thats the chance to sell your rate and quality.

If you thought the job was worth $160 a month why charge half that? To beat the competition that lost the job and wasnt making money doing it? Thats just setting yourself up for failure.

Now for just plain old regular work I charge $40-$60 a hour. For overgrown brush work it close to $100 a hour. I get 1 or 2 of these jobs a week. You have to figure how long it would take the homeowner and what it would cost to get the proper equipment.

Before I bought a kubota loader I would have to rent it for $450-$500 a day with attachments. So when I started working with I base my price off that rental fee. I cant think hey I paid for it I can do it cheaper.

I recently went to give an estimate, they said the other guy was charging them 95 a month. I looked the property over and told them I could not possibly do it for less then 145 a month, and got the job, year round contract for 42 services a year. Dont let the customer dictated the price, bive your estimate and if you dont get the job then you dont lose money