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View Full Version : Charging customers more, just because I'm tired.. Am I alone?


CHEESE2009
07-23-2009, 12:27 PM
So it's July & I received a call from a family friend. She wants lawn maintenance.

I go to her place & it's a jungle, now I'm tired & at this point & even by working for myself, I feel like I need a raise (lol).

So what did I do?

I charged her double the regular cost, & it was accepted.

I guess it's safe to try out, some potential customers might bite. I know at least now I can relax a little. Going out to mow lawns wont be as much of a hassle, I'll feel like I've gained some sort of bonus or something.

Have any of you ever tried to make more money by doing less work, just to give you that feeling of having the upper hand in some sort of refreshing way?

I think it's needed for everyone in this business. Though it wasn't some old lady, it wasn't a disabled or handicapped person. It was a young doctor, not necessarily saying she makes tons of money, but It'll help me sleep at night if I pretend that stereotype is true.

(I'm half asleep, I can't re-read this to edit lol)

jasonw
07-23-2009, 01:04 PM
Personally I would not charge more just because I am tired. Now if I had to cut down a jungle I would charge more then knock it down to the regular price so long as they keep me coming back to maintain it. Its my feeling that hard work is required for success. If we work hard we get tired all the while upholding competitive pricing in the industry, that will get us far. I just got a call to do a job where the lady lost her sight some time ago. She explained her yard guy started taking advantage of her and doing less and less work and charging more and more money. Finally she had a relative visit who told her about how the yard looked. Rather than keep the roses pruned he ripped them out and then continued to charge her for pruning, Rather than cut and edge he would say it was done when in fact it has not been done for a long time. She fired him and hired another lawn service. After a while the new lawn guy openly came out and said he had to go because he was drunk and wanted to go home. Needless to say she fired him. Its this kind of professionalism that I love as it gets me way more work but at the same time I hate that someone took advantage of a blind person in this way. I will be charging her more than normal but this is because my rates are under par with the work I am doing "We spoke about this before" sence she is a new customer my quote is $10 per hour more than I have been charging which is still under par for this work but required to keep up with all the "$10 per lawn fly by night lawn care people we have here" I get tired to, I still have to work full time 5 days a week. I will be getting home at about 12:30AM Friday morning after this days work but I have come to the conclusion that this is what it takes to make it in this business.

Steve
07-23-2009, 08:10 PM
I think this is a real neat example of how when you need it less, you get more.

When you first get your business started, you are usually desperate for work. You will go over the top with the work you do for little money because you are afraid you won't get the job.

As you go, you fill out your schedule with more work and then you don't feel as desperate. You can start charging more because you know your basics are covered.

As you do this, you realize you can charge a premium for your work to certain customers. Sure some will say no but others will say yes. With higher prices come higher profits and you start to feel hey what was I missing out on! This is great!

Older cheaper customers can then be culled from your list and replaced with higher priced customers. Your business can then grow and get what it needs as your income grows.

Do you feel this is the case with your sitation or do you disagree with my theory on this?

FloridaBoy
07-23-2009, 08:39 PM
That is the best way Steve, i charge high, high prices in the middle of the summer for people who are searching for me, i'm already super busy, so i want good money for my time. Not only do you have the satisfaction of the extra money, but knowing you and your company is wanted, the work you do is noticed, and the satisfaction of a succesfull business, is an AWSOME feeling.

At the same time , i will not take advantage of someone who i know can't afford it, just look around at what type of neighborhood your in, there property, vehicles, etc.etc. those jobs where you are just making a few bucks on, but you are making someones life a little easier, or better for them, can go a long way in my book.;)

Whether you do a great job for a customer who pays more, or a great job for less money, as long as it is the best, they will tell people, and that means MORE MONEY.:D

justin_time
07-23-2009, 08:47 PM
That is the best way Steve, i charge high, high prices in the middle of the summer for people who are searching for me, i'm already super busy, so i want good money for my time. Not only do you have the satisfaction of the extra money, but knowing you and your company is wanted, the work you do is noticed, and the satisfaction of a succesfull business, is an AWSOME feeling.



Yes I know what you mean, at the start i really was super busy, trying to keep up. I refused some customers that were calling me because I was having enough work with a regular tractor, would fill my schedule for the week for sure.

When I got my ZTR (3 weeks ago) I started to say hey, I wish I could call those customers that I refused and tell them I could take them. I should give them a call again and see....

There is suppose to be rain for 5 or 6 days in a row.. from now until tuesday.. forecast.. rain.. :(

turfmaster
07-23-2009, 10:26 PM
When you first get your business started, you are usually desperate for work. You will go over the top with the work you do for little money because you are afraid you won't get the job.

As you go, you fill out your schedule with more work and then you don't feel as desperate. You can start charging more because you know your basics are covered.

As you do this, you realize you can charge a premium for your work to certain customers. Sure some will say no but others will say yes. With higher prices come higher profits and you start to feel hey what was I missing out on! This is great!

Older cheaper customers can then be culled from your list and replaced with higher priced customers. Your business can then grow and get what it needs as your income grows.

Do you feel this is the case with your sitation or do you disagree with my theory on this?

I agree 100% with that theory Steve. It is a great feeling in this business when you have great accounts. It is also great to be in the position to dump the accounts you don't want. :D

Little's
07-23-2009, 10:56 PM
I charge what I think the jobs are worth. It has been 112 degrees lately around here, so I think my hard work in the heat is worth a little more, so I charge a little more. I dont see anything wrong with that.

fieroboi
07-24-2009, 01:04 AM
I have to agree with Steve's theory as well. I had a call from a customer in the early spring for a lawn raking and aeration. At the time, I was swamped and could not keep up with the bookings that I had, so I bid the job almost double what I would have normally. I was hoping that the customer would find someone cheaper and hire them. Well needless to say, she took the bid, but I will admit I made it fit my schedule and was very shocked that she still wanted it done.

All that being said, I also have a customer that doesn't pay very much. She is a lovely mid 30's woman that has some medical issues and can't work as a nurse for the time being let alone push a mower or shovel a sidewalk. Even though she does not get charged very much, a couple of weeks ago while mowing her lawn her neighbor asked if I could take my string trimmer and run the edges on her yard as her's was broke. I spent about 10-15 minutes trimming and she gave me a check for $42 dollars ... way more than I would have charged or expect.

Sometimes things have a way of coming back to you ... I would not have felt bad charging a premium for this lawn BREEZE ... Maybe you deserve it! Hard work with quality results will always be in demand, and pay well in the long run!

picframer
07-24-2009, 05:30 AM
I think this is a real neat example of how when you need it less, you get more.

When you first get your business started, you are usually desperate for work. You will go over the top with the work you do for little money because you are afraid you won't get the job.

As you go, you fill out your schedule with more work and then you don't feel as desperate. You can start charging more because you know your basics are covered.

As you do this, you realize you can charge a premium for your work to certain customers. Sure some will say no but others will say yes. With higher prices come higher profits and you start to feel hey what was I missing out on! This is great!

Older cheaper customers can then be culled from your list and replaced with higher priced customers. Your business can then grow and get what it needs as your income grows.

Do you feel this is the case with your sitation or do you disagree with my theory on this?

I know starting out in April I bid a few jobs wrong on the excavation side, one client mentioned it and they gave me an extra nine hundred for the job, I have since done a lot of extra work for them, this client is the exception most will hold you to a price so I switched to an hourly rate, if the client doesn't want to pay by the hour, that's fine we have more than enough on the plate, tree cutting and chipping is where we have to stick to this policy, if it's a few trees (10 or less I will bid the job) beyond that it's impossible.

Even if we are busy I stick to the rates I settled on in May, I know my costs and the profit we are making. I can bid a tree, excavation, garden building project high if I don't really want to do it, I would guess we still get 50% of them, lawn mowing even if we are busy I stick to the same rate formula, same with spraying, the problem bidding high is it's a small world and it could come back to haunt you.

We haven't had to drop any clients, all pay when we arrive or I have their credit card on file, two are a little low however one is a single mom and one is a lady in the Navy, all I did was cruise the area by them, look at lawns, drop off some of our "We would like to talk to you about your lawn cards" we picked up 7 in total so far so we are good.

If I get too busy, I look at what I have and decide if it's time to add more staff or equipment, or at least I did however I got to a point where I had to start as it was getting to hard to manage the size, the fun was going so we cut back and we are now running smooth again.