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FourSeasons
12-26-2007, 08:56 AM
Its winter time and work is becoming scarce. So when a customer calls me and I go out to give them a bid I've been sticking to my regular prices for cleanups or whatever it might be.

Does anyone raise prices cuz its winter because of less work around?

Lower prices cuz its winter to make sure they get the job?

Or just stay the same.

I been staying at my prices but not to many are accepting my bids. I can't really be to picky with jobs now so I try to keep it a little on the conservative side.
When was busy it didn't really matter if they didn't accept because I had a month long waiting list.

What are your thoughts on this?

Steve
12-26-2007, 02:05 PM
What kind of jobs are they looking for bids on?

FourSeasons
12-26-2007, 07:11 PM
Whatever I advertise for. Just jobs like cleanups and things like that for winter or fall. Lawn/landscaping related work. I havent had to do any odd jobs yet. I might have to but I don't really want that part of my business. I want to stick to landscape related work only. When times are tough I won't have any choice. I still have to pay my part of the bills.

realhuntin
12-27-2007, 01:38 PM
Quote[/b] (FourSeasons @ Dec. 26 2007,9:56)]Its winter time and work is becoming scarce. So when a customer calls me and I go out to give them a bid I've been sticking to my regular prices for cleanups or whatever it might be.

Does anyone raise prices cuz its winter because of less work around?

Lower prices cuz its winter to make sure they get the job?

Or just stay the same.

I been staying at my prices but not to many are accepting my bids. I can't really be to picky with jobs now so I try to keep it a little on the conservative side.
When was busy it didn't really matter if they didn't accept because I had a month long waiting list.

What are your thoughts on this?
Hi Rob, Hope you and yours had a great Christmas and look forward to a Better and more Prosperous New Year.

THIS IS A GOOD TOPIC AND well *here is my 2 cents worth on it.

1). I NEVER change pricing from season to season as a general rule.

(Why? because customers talk if you have customer 1 that you did in Nov and now a customer 2 in Dec for the same job like leaf clean up and your rate for the customer 1 was say $45 an hour and now customer 2 is now $65 this may cause conflicts, because customer 1 may have referred customer 2. Not all the time do we remember to ask "How they heard about us?" but we should make it a habit to ask, and most of the time new customer don't offer to tell us that they were referred by a pervous customer.) Make sense.
NOTE; I know every job is different one may have more leaves than another or want some extra work done but apples to apples keep the pricing close.

2). Now this also depends on the status of you and your families well being, if you haven't worked very much and bills are piling up then by all means raise or lower your rates as you see fit. When I first stated my security contractors business I went through hard times as do most new business men and women. So this is called "FEAST or FAMINE" *and we all go through these times it is the nature of the beast.

3). The Holiday season is here and almost over so things are going to be tight for everyone for a few months, so to get more jobs you can offer lower rate for the Holidays as a selling point and this will excuse statement 1 and bring you to statement 2. Basicly only you know what would be acceptable for doing a certain job, this is all about how much is your time worth? If a job is presented to you and you have a bill to pay and you only charge enough to pay that bill then fine do it, as long as it keeps your head above water.

4). It is hard to do this sometimes but everyone in business especially this industry needs to save for "Rainy Days". With the majority of this industry being seasonal "Feast and Famine" always comes and sits on us for a longer period of time then with other business. My Grand-father told me this and I didn't learn what "RAINY DAYS" was until I was like 30 something, I always had jobs and money so I didn't save and found myself in hard times scratching and scraping for work. Just bare wtih it and hang on tight maybe try some new services to offer to generate some work that may not have been there. Fortunatly for me my wife works seasonal at the IRS and it runs paralel with our season so we bank her money to live on through the off season months.

THIS ADVISE IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANYONE PERSON, IT IS ONLY GENERAL ADVISE TO ALL. Most have gone throught or is going through this so this boat is getting full. I commend Rob for bring this topic to light.

One Idea we use is a Christmas fund at the bank, start one put money in it to cover off season living expenses these draw little to no interest but the money is there in late October for you to move into another account to live from. It works only if you stick to putting the amounts in it each month you set up. If your short one month and can make it up the next then do it, don't spend the extra money on something else, you have to be discipline in this, if you want to continue to be in business and surive the "Feast and Famine" or "Rainy Days".


Just my insight!
Tim

Thanks Rob once again this is a great topic for this time of the year.

pmblair
12-27-2007, 06:24 PM
Here's another suggestion...

Keep your rates the same. ALWAYS...

If you need to drop the price a bit to get a customer or two, offer them a "special discount" for whatever reason... Military... Senior Citizen... Limited Time Special... whatever... but I would say don't just change the price of a service from month to month.... you might adjust the rate once a year or 18 months or so, but if you change it from month to month, you'll lose more customers than you'll gain....

Steve
12-28-2007, 09:19 AM
Those are some really great thoughts Thank you!

Quote[/b] ]I been staying at my prices but not to many are accepting my bids.

What is your view on this? I think we had discussed some kind of ideal % of jobs you should try to land but what do you suggest when you find yourself in a slow season and you are not getting jobs you are bidding on.

At what point should you be concerned with this and reflect on if you are on the right track with your bidding?

Is this a warning sign?

FourSeasons
12-28-2007, 09:23 AM
I agree with Tim. Keep the prices the same. But if the bills start piling up you might have to drop them down just to get those bills paid during this slow time if you did not prepare yourself for the winter season. Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do.

realhuntin
12-28-2007, 09:07 PM
This is the time when people direct their spending to other things.. CHRISTMAS so as I said before and others have said save and perpare for the winter months. All up and down the mid-west winter has is affect some way some how, wheater it's snow or no grow and we all are affected by it as new business owners, this is also the FAMINE TIME for most. This is the time that will weed out the ones that can't hang on just as the drought has. It is sad for those that just can't seem to hold on for that next job but it is the nature of the beast. Bidding high low dosn't matter people are not spending money and it will be like this until about the end of Jan when they have had time to recoop funds.

So as far as job% I was refering to the beginning of season and through it., making those #'s count as a goal to stay motivated and help grow the business, there is really nothing that can been done in my book so I just wait it out. We don't normally get the snow the north does and what we do get in minor, Jan & Feb we will see 16 - 20 inches so your looking at 8 -10 pushs and thats about it. The southern states can start the pre-emergents sooner so we are kinda stuck in the middle a longer waiting game.

If you continue to bid jobs and not being awarded then ask the customer why. Was I to High? Not ready or what?
It can't hurt to ask and they can't eat you for asking, plus you'll know why then.

Steve
12-29-2007, 10:41 AM
Quote[/b] ]If you continue to bid jobs and not being awarded then ask the customer why. Was I to High? Not ready or what?
It can't hurt to ask and they can't eat you for asking, plus you'll know why then.

You can gain some very important information from asking such questions.

FourSeasons
01-01-2008, 06:35 PM
Quote[/b] ]Bidding high low dosn't matter people are not spending money and it will be like this until about the end of Jan when they have had time to recoop funds.

I was talking with my friend and he was saying the same thing. That in February is when biz picks back up for him.
I didn't even think about that it slows because of holiday spending. Not just winter time.

Good Point.

B7 Enterprise
01-03-2008, 05:23 PM
I keep my prices the same no-matter what time of year it is.