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  • Adjusting to lower prices and

    Accepting it...Since I moved to a new county some 5 years ago, Ive had a real hard time getting a decent ammount of customers..This mainly do to my prices..

    My starting price for the standard yard maintenance was $85 per month in the old county I lived in...
    In the new county, That price is some $20 higher than the avarage around here..So Ive ended up getting a JOB ad dropping my lawn business...
    I gave up my business last September to go full time in the family propane installation business..In the beginning there were hints that I was going to take it over after Dad retired... A year later, I hate the job... Its hit and miss work, pay sucks etc....

    We just got a great deal on buying a home and we almost missed our first house payment do to little work for me...

    The lawn business I love and always have...Its the #1 thing I know well ad Im good at it...

    But in order for me to get enough clients to make decent money, Im going to have to drop prices to compete with everyone else.. YES price is a major thing in this area..
    I would love to venture away from this area, but with gas prices and income coming in, I just cant afford to right now...

    Bottom line is Im having a hard time accepting that I have to lower prices..

    What do you guys think??


    In Memory of My Dad..1943-2008..Gary "Snuffy" Smith

  • #2
    This is very interesting. We were having a similar conversation not too long ago about the different prices that can be charged based on the county you live in, in Florida!

    One of the things I wonder is if it's worth running the business in another county and keeping your truck parked somewhere in that county. Maybe then commute to it daily with a cheap small car?

    Would something like that even be feasible?
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    • #3
      Well I have a mid size truck... But my thing is, I dont want to be wasting gas driving 20 miles 1 way and not gain any accounts..I know I sound greedy or whatever, but I just cant afford to do that right now..


      In Memory of My Dad..1943-2008..Gary "Snuffy" Smith

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      • #4
        I can understand. We all need to be concerned with efficiency.

        When I think about conversations we have had on the forum about this topic, it seems that lawn care business owners tend to make more money in an area that has wealthier clients. In more economically depressed areas, lawn care businesses seem to be effected just as any other business would in that area.

        Since I moved to a new county some 5 years ago, Ive had a real hard time getting a decent ammount of customers..This mainly do to my prices..

        My starting price for the standard yard maintenance was $85 per month in the old county I lived in...
        In the new county, That price is some $20 higher than the avarage around here..So Ive ended up getting a JOB ad dropping my lawn business...
        When you reflect on the current customer base you have now vs the previos group, do you find that the previous group was worth more? Were their houses and property more expensive? Did they earn more money?

        Or is the price just cheaper in your current area due to heavier competition?
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        • #5
          The competition isnt heavier.. I think its just the standard out here..But then again, I havent bid in my old county in 5 years..


          In Memory of My Dad..1943-2008..Gary "Snuffy" Smith

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          • #6
            Is it possible there are other services you could get into that would bring you higher profits?
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            • #7
              you can lower your prices to build a bigger client base then go up on the quotes as you grow. you can also raise prices a bit every year (although I have not raise most of mine in 2 years, due to the economy and fear of losing them over a few bucks)

              most people in pinellas charge $75 or $80 per month and I've seen signs for $15 per cuts but most guys are $20 or $25

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              • #8
                Another way to look at this and we have done it to get our foot in the door to a new area or a target area is drop the price on the first few, do an outstanding job then ask for referrals. I guess in a way it's a cost of doing business however if other residents all of a sudden see you in the area and I assume you have lettering on your truck and trailers, my experience people will stop.

                In a few cases if I feel a prospect is testing the waters, I cut to the chase, what is it you do not like about your current provider? May I ask what their ballpark rate is so that we do not waste each others time. I look for things that we can do that are not being done and the majority of the time the prospect has something, I hone in on this as a service we offer, chances are the current provider doesn't add, upsell the value added by hiring you.
                Andy
                Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                • #9
                  and the majority of the time the prospect has something, I hone in on this as a service we offer, chances are the current provider doesn't add, upsell the value added by hiring you.
                  Can you tell us a little more what you mean by this?
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                  • #10
                    Can you tell us a little more what you mean by this?
                    It seems for the most part companies only offer one service, very few offer for example, lawn mowing, gutter cleaning and pressure washing, they may know of a company that does.

                    So if you invite me to quote on a service and your body language tells me I might be high, I will quickly scope for a service we can do the others can't and I find something every time, could be those two large rocks sticking up through your lawn, a stump that needs to be removed, OMG your deck could use a cleaning, how about the moss in your pavers, that tree would be an issue for the power line in a big storm, do you know we can turn your lawn around using 100% certified Organic products that are pet and family safe?

                    And the list goes on, I will find something you want done and I know who my competition is and what they can do, I am to be a one stop shop.
                    Andy
                    Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                    • #11
                      This is very interesting. We were having a similar conversation not too long ago about the different prices that can be charged based on the county you live in, in Florida!

                      One of the things I wonder is if it's worth running the business in another county and keeping your truck parked somewhere in that county. Maybe then commute to it daily with a cheap small car?

                      Would something like that even be feasible?
                      This is something that we have done for years. I live in one county and all my customers are in an adjacent county. The customer base is much larger and you can get about 2X the amount there than here where I live. The 6 lawns that I did have here, I past them on to a close friend. At one time I was able to park the truck at a friends house, but we are back to driving 35-40 min. one way. It is well worth the extra gas $ for us.
                      sigpic
                      www.bnclawncare.com

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                      • #12
                        you can lower your prices to build a bigger client base then go up on the quotes as you grow. you can also raise prices a bit every year (although I have not raise most of mine in 2 years, due to the economy and fear of losing them over a few bucks)

                        most people in pinellas charge $75 or $80 per month........Is that the standard monthly mow, trim, edge and blow? Or is it Complete Lawn Service? and I've seen signs for $15 per cuts but most guys are $20 or $25
                        Thanks for the local info...^^^^


                        In Memory of My Dad..1943-2008..Gary "Snuffy" Smith

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                        • #13
                          And the list goes on, I will find something you want done and I know who my competition is and what they can do, I am to be a one stop shop.
                          And then you create a package deal to make it sound like a better price? Or do you try to focus on the other services you could offer instead?


                          This is something that we have done for years. I live in one county and all my customers are in an adjacent county. The customer base is much larger and you can get about 2X the amount there than here where I live. The 6 lawns that I did have here, I past them on to a close friend. At one time I was able to park the truck at a friends house, but we are back to driving 35-40 min. one way. It is well worth the extra gas $ for us.
                          This is fascinating! What do you think made you get to the realization you needed to do this? I am sure most people think they live in a certain area and therefor by default they can only service the area they live in. How did you break out of that mold?

                          Did you look into parking your truck in a storage area? Would it save money or would the rent eat up any savings?
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                          • #14
                            This is fascinating! What do you think made you get to the realization you needed to do this? I am sure most people think they live in a certain area and therefor by default they can only service the area they live in. How did you break out of that mold?

                            Did you look into parking your truck in a storage area? Would it save money or would the rent eat up any savings?
                            It will only cost $80.00 per month to store, (park) our truck in a storage area. The only thing that has prevented us from doing so is the fear of the equipment getting damaged or stolen. It is still up in the air and it would definitely save us money each month by cutting down the mileage and gas bill.

                            As far as services outside my county, it was a necessity to survive. You have to look out side the box and use your judgment. People in this industry need to go to where the work is. I can give you a prime example. I see people everyday driving from Virginia to Greensboro to work. Why do think this is? The reason is there is no work where they live. So would I try to market in Virginia or Greensboro? I would choose Greensboro.
                            Give me your opinion on this.
                            sigpic
                            www.bnclawncare.com

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                            • #15
                              It will only cost $80.00 per month to store, (park) our truck in a storage area. The only thing that has prevented us from doing so is the fear of the equipment getting damaged or stolen. It is still up in the air and it would definitely save us money each month by cutting down the mileage and gas bill.
                              What if you parked it in a locked building type of storage area. Or you made a deal with a customer that had a secured property, to park your vehicle in their yard for free lawn care? Or you worked out a deal with a storage area that allowed you to park your vehicle inside one of their locked buildings in return for free property care?


                              So would I try to market in Virginia or Greensboro? I would choose Greensboro.
                              That makes total sense. It is very important to look outside the box and consider other options otherwise you could end up trying to run a business in an area that will simply not sustain it.
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