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LGYardService
12-09-2007, 06:48 PM
Hi,

I know i've been asking a lot of quesions about the business lately but I'm new and your the professionals! LOL

Since the lawn care season is right around the corner, I thought I'd figure out what all I'm going to need on those "bidding" times.

First, when a possible customer calls and says, " Hi I'd like you to come and look at my yard and give me a bid on basic lawn care" what all I am I going to need to present to them when I show up at their house? I know the basics but what really "turns on" a customer?

Also, is it better to tell them your estimate right on the spot or wait, think it over, and then later contact them? And finally, CONTRACTS, how important are they? Thanks alot and I hope I get as much help as I have in the past on Gopher.

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif


Luke

Steve
12-09-2007, 11:10 PM
Quote[/b] ]First, when a possible customer calls and says, " Hi I'd like you to come and look at my yard and give me a bid on basic lawn care" what all I am I going to need to present to them when I show up at their house? I know the basics but what really "turns on" a customer?

Hi Luke,

Well I guess my first question to you is what services would you be looking to sell to such a customer?

LGYardService
12-10-2007, 06:52 PM
Quote[/b] ]Well I guess my first question to you is what services would you be looking to sell to such a customer?

well I guess if it was in the summer, I would try to sell as many services as I could to the summer. Obviously, the basic lawn care (mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing) but also fertilization, small tree & shrub care. Then for the other seasons I ca offer fall and spring cleanup and snow removal and pretty much anything else that the yard looks like it needs! lol But when it gets into commercial accounts there could be more services involved. Thanks!

Steve
12-10-2007, 07:49 PM
Hi Luke,

I would keep it simple and give the client an estimate based on the services you want to offer (mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing). Tell them how much it would be on the spot.

What have you been doing up to this point when you landed your other customers? How did you present them with the bid?

Fernando's CleanCut!
12-10-2007, 10:54 PM
Hi Luke, and welcome to the forum...
Well, what I do an estimate I go around the house with the Owner (if he's present) get a note pad to look a liltle more professional and tell them what are the services you offer, the method you will use (reel/rotary/mulch mower) and also some of OTHER services like tree trimming, hedge trimm etc... but dont say "THAT BUSH OVER THERE..." refer as a shrub or hedge, sounding professional or more educated would help you take that 14-year-old image more seriously. Going around the lawn will help you calculate better the time you will spend during the service. Ad dont forget your Business Card, if you have one.
This is wat I do, and this is my opinion.
Good Luck.

LGYardService
12-11-2007, 12:15 AM
Quote[/b] ]Ad dont forget your Business Card, if you have one.
This is wat I do, and this is my opinion.


Yes defiantely! I always present my business cards! And I aslo think that it is a good idea to walk over the yard and take notes just to get the feeling of the yard and the time it will take to service.

Steve,

Quote[/b] ]What have you been doing up to this point when you landed your other customers? How did you present them with the bid?

I have always been simple. I will go up ring the doorbell and pretty much walk over the yard with the client. I always have troubl coming up with a quick estimate. I like to take the notes home, think it over a bit, and then present the customer with a written bid with prices. But I still don't know if this is enough. Should I have more to give the customer on the spot? And to tell you the truth, I haven'y used contracts these 2 years that I've been in business. this year I plan to switch all exhisting customers over to contracts and use contracts with new customers. How important are they? Thanks sooo much for all your help and advice!

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

justin_time
12-11-2007, 12:42 AM
Quote[/b] (LGYardService @ Dec. 11 2007,12:15)]Quote[/b] ]Ad dont forget your Business Card, if you have one.
This is wat I do, and this is my opinion.


Yes defiantely! I always present my business cards! And I aslo think that it is a good idea to walk over the yard and take notes just to get the feeling of the yard and the time it will take to service.

Steve,

Quote[/b] ]What have you been doing up to this point when you landed your other customers? How did you present them with the bid?

I have always been simple. I will go up ring the doorbell and pretty much walk over the yard with the client. I always have troubl coming up with a quick estimate. I like to take the notes home, think it over a bit, and then present the customer with a written bid with prices. But I still don't know if this is enough. Should I have more to give the customer on the spot? And to tell you the truth, I haven'y used contracts these 2 years that I've been in business. this year I plan to switch all exhisting customers over to contracts and use contracts with new customers. How important are they? Thanks sooo much for all your help and advice!

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif
I'm in the same boat as you actually..

I'm about to start my 2nd year in business and yeah.. sometimes I still don't know how to price a yard but I'm getting the hang of it now.

I just base myself on how much time do you think it's gonna take and I multiply that about 2$/min or so.. for residential with a lawn tractor.. it's not as good as a commercial mower (coming in a couple of years.. haha)

I'm suppose to receive my printed Christmas cards from cardscheaper.com and I'm gonna send them.

Hopefully they'll appreciate those and sign up for a contract in the spring.

I hope I answered some questions...

pmblair
12-11-2007, 01:41 AM
Quote[/b] (LGYardService @ Dec. 10 2007,1:52)]Obviously, the basic lawn care (mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing) but also fertilization, small tree & shrub care.
Luke,

You might want to check with your states Department of Agriculture. Most states require you to have a contractors license and an applicators license to apply fertilizers and/or weed & insect control chemicals. These licenses are NOT the same as a business license (which I only assume you have) You'll have to take a test for the applicators license and you'd have to be insured for the contractors license.

I hope this helps.

Steve
12-11-2007, 06:00 AM
Luke,

Maybe you might want to use a form like this when you visit your customers. Thanks to Tim for submitting it. There are a couple of other proposal forms there to that you might want to check out.

Here is the link. (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=1&t=877&st=20)

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/uploads/post-35-34642-tims_estimate_form.jpg

LGYardService
12-11-2007, 07:02 PM
http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Ok thanks steve. I think I'm gonna use something like that to organize my pricing of the estimate. So once you have looked over the yard and named a price, when do you get into the contract? Do you just give it to them then or what? Thanks again

ritchiem
12-11-2007, 07:47 PM
Hey LG...here is an article posted a while back on my blog that can help you put together a 'job jacket' when the estimate is finalized. If it helps leave a comment.

Job Jacket (http://www.thelawnblog.com/?s=job+jacket)

Cheers,

Steve
12-11-2007, 11:31 PM
Quote[/b] ]Ok thanks steve. I think I'm gonna use something like that to organize my pricing of the estimate. So once you have looked over the yard and named a price, when do you get into the contract? Do you just give it to them then or what? Thanks again

Luke,

I don't know what your state law is, but technically it is possible at 14 you can't enter into a legal agreement.

Could you present the client with a contract and have them sign it? I am sure it is very possible but I don't know if it would have any legal teeth if you couldn't legal enter into such an agreement. But beyond that, you could always explain to the client you offer a special pricing structure of equal payments across the entire year if they sign a contract with you.

For instance if you normally cut lawns 7 months out of the year you would bill them those 7 months, but if they sign a contract, they can spread that payment over a 12 month period which would actually lower your monthly charge and make it more affordable. This would then also get you equal monthly payments during the winter.

What's your view on something like this?

LGYardService
12-12-2007, 08:44 PM
Absolutely, steve this is very important detail to remember. Quote[/b] ]I don't know what your state law is, but technically it is possible at 14 you can't enter into a legal agreement

I'm going to look in to that, but I really need to get my customers on contracts! If wose comes to worse, I will just have my dad sign it for the company. lol

Quote[/b] ] But beyond that, you could always explain to the client you offer a special pricing structure of equal payments across the entire year if they sign a contract with you.


Yes I am going to get my customers into a program like this. Do you think it is a good or bad idea? Do you think the cusomer would be turned off if he/she had to pay in the winter months when I am barely even doing work for them? thats the only concern that I have but otherwise it's a very good thing to get into. Thanks!

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

Steve
12-12-2007, 11:01 PM
Quote[/b] ]Yes I am going to get my customers into a program like this. Do you think it is a good or bad idea? Do you think the cusomer would be turned off if he/she had to pay in the winter months when I am barely even doing work for them? thats the only concern that I have but otherwise it's a very good thing to get into. Thanks!

Businesses do it all the time and if the customer realizes they are actually paying less per month, they just might do it. I think it makes sense.

It also could help you keep in front of them in the winter months. Offer them fall and winter upsell services. Offer them outdoor holiday decorations, gutter cleaning, handyman services around the house, or whatever. See which services sell best and market them.

I also think doing this will make it easier for you to get them to resign up for the following years service because they will be used to paying you monthly.