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  • #16
    The difference between $23 and $25 on 14 lawns is going to be $28 per week that like and additional lawn per week. I know my customers and if I raise my price to $30 right off the bat I am going to lose them. One of my customers a friend of mine asked me to cut for $20 a week he has a gate which I couldn't get through with my mower so I had to do it by hand. At the end of 2 months he said he thought that the price was too high. I told him for 45 minutes its way to low so we both decided to drop the service.
    Tom, the purpose for my question is to determine the service difference between $23 and $25. How many minutes do you spend on a $23 lawn...how many minutes do you spend on a $25 lawn. Does the $25 lawn include a service that the $23 lawn does not include or is it merely a function of size of lawn, distance you have to travel, etc?

    If you determine customers will pay $2 extra for ala carte services, develop a menu of additional services for customers to choose from.

    You never know until you ask and you may be able to bump your customers to $30/week very quickly by simply offering a few extra minutes work on additional services.

    Keith
    Start a profitable lawn care business.

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    • #17
      This discussion is getting better and better.

      As I was reading all this I was thinking about how when McDonalds was getting going, they were growing pretty quickly and looking for ways to cut expenses. One of the ideas that came up was to serve burgers with meat shaped like a donut, no center. This would allow them to use less meat per burger.

      In the book Ray Kroc, the owner, hit the roof and he said our basic product must be able to carry itself. If people think we are ripping them off with our burgers, then we have nothing.

      So my point of all this is, if you ever get to the point where you are burned out from offering the services you sold a client, you need to do one of two things. Either increase the price so you feel you are being fairly compensated or drop the customer. Otherwise you end up selling burgers with the center of the meat cut out. This would lead to a lot of bad word of mouth.

      Ok, sorry to break in here. Back to the questions Keith asked.
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      • #18
        Ok let me get back to my original problem. I work a full time job and my 14 customers take 2 days to complete. Right now if someone asked me to cut their lawn I couldn't because of time. Maybe 14 lawns in 2 days is way to slow. I have to figure out ways to become more efficient so I can do some more mid season marketing and sales. Its not a question of dollars and cents it a question of time. I want to be able to go after some more customers. I increased the size of my mower from a 36 rider to a 48 riding mower. I didn't sacrifice quality but I am able to get more done in less time. That helped out alot, I dropped a customer who was just to far out of the way which actually helped open up a time slot for me to add maybe one or two more customers. On some of the lawns that I wasn't able to edge the difference between missing one week and edging the next was noticable on others you couldn't tell I didn't edge. That's is what I am trying to get at do other high quality lawn services cut every week or every other week? I was ready for my customers questions about why I didn't edge I had a really good reason because of my edger problems. But no one asked so that made me think about spliting up my customers on an every other week basis. What do you guys think ?

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        • #19
          What do you guys think ?

          Steve's McDonald's analogy is the perfect answer to your question.

          Keith
          Start a profitable lawn care business.

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          • #20
            That's is what I am trying to get at do other high quality lawn services cut every week or every other week?
            I would say they shoot for every week. That makes the most money.
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            • #21
              Keith,

              The Mcdonalds analogy doesn't really work here. If Ray Kroc could only sever 14 people a day then yes he would have to find a way to become more efficient. This is a TIME issue NOT a MONEY ISSUE. Unless I can cut lawns at 2am there are only so many hours in the day I can cut. Buying a new mower helped cut down the time I spend at each customer. My next thought was to hire some one. But when my edger gave out I shaved alot of time off of every cut. Enough that if I hired someone they would have to edge and trim and blow but if you don't do that then I can pick up more customers.

              Funny thing just as I was writing this another lawn care person called and asked me if I could pick up an account that he couldn't handle. Thanks to my 48 inch rider I should be able to fit him in. But I don't have too much room to grow without become more efficient.

              Keith and Steve thanks for all you input this was really a great thread. I'll let you know how it goes.

              Tom

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              • #22
                So here is my take on this hole edging and maintaining the edge thing. The old trimmer on it's side is what I do to maintain the edges around gardens, driveways and sidewalks. I've done it like that for the past 10 years only using a hand edger to cut back really thick stuff on side walks. Today I got a chance to us my stick edger I just go for my KM110 stihl life saver never had is soo easy what would have taken me an hour was done in 10 min and I know I will probably do this every 2 or 3 weeks just to keep it crisp I think it is worth having and I will get back on this to tell you if it should be done every week.
                but as long as you maintain that edge with the string trimmer only cut it out when it fills in.

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                • #23
                  So would you guys say it was fair that you give your customer an estimate with edging and one without edging, and for weekly edging maybe tack on 5 dollars every week?

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                  • #24
                    So would you guys say it was fair that you give your customer an estimate with edging and one without edging, and for weekly edging maybe tack on 5 dollars every week?
                    Are you saying in addition to weekly lawn care? I would think it would be better to just include it all in one price for lawn care and do the service when you felt it was necessary.

                    I will get back on this to tell you if it should be done every week.
                    I look forwards to it.

                    but as long as you maintain that edge with the string trimmer only cut it out when it fills in.
                    I do wonder how often it would have to be re-cut.
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                    • #25
                      In the same boat

                      its my first year as well and quickly i have found edging is desired here.
                      i bought an edger and it does take a little longer on jobs. i tried with my trimmer and it seemed just as much work, although iam going to check into the square line at .95.
                      I do charge extra for edging and people are willing to pay. My minimum is $25
                      and $10 extra for edging.

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                      • #26
                        edge

                        edge once, then clean the ditch with a weed whacker it still looks clean.

                        How did you get so many customers, what are you doing to attract individuals

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                        • #27
                          Edging of concrete surfaces is part of our standard service. We edge on every visit.
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