Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

Final price upset customer


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 04-28-2010, 09:23 PM
lxarth lxarth is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 137
Rep Power: 5
lxarth is on a distinguished road
Default Final price upset customer

So I go to my jobs today thinking how bad the day was going to be because of the rain (yea, it was a bad day after all).

To make a long story short, I bid this job at $40 to the wife. I mow the yard, takes me about 45 minutes (so a decent bid, didn't require trimming).

When I knock on the front door the husband answers and looks a little annoyed. I greet him (he is the person I've been talking to over the phone) and he says "So, it's forty, huh?".

I tell him yea, and he then asked me: "How long did that take you". I tell him, "Oh, about 45 min". And then tell him that I can mow it for $20 on a regular basis, but before I can get that out, he tells me he doesn't need me to do that.

I ask him if he has a mower, and he mumbles something and says that $40 for 45 min of work is too much.

I try explaining that I have gas fees, maintenance, and other expenses as well. But he doesn't hear it, and just closes his door. He was civil, just rude about it.

Why didn't the wife just say no? Why is it that it's ok for any other profession to make money? Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, etc?
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 04-29-2010, 05:00 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 9
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I hear this a bit on our excavation and wood clearing sites but I have invested thousands in equipment to make the job quick, our chippers alone run $21,000. I simply reply I gave you a quote, time is money and we operate the best gear available at a significant cost to us. Where we really hear it is drains, we are 40% less that our competition based on customer feedback, but my operators are super fast and the work top drawer, I get $1,500 for an average 150 foot drain, the guys are in and finished includeing cleanup in an average of 6 hours unless they run into issues at which time we call the client, an issue is generally and almost always bedrock.

Haven't had this happen on lawn mowing but we are not that big, we have just under 100 lawns ranging from 2,500 square feet to 2 acres.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-29-2010, 06:57 AM
The Cleaning Doctor's Avatar
The Cleaning Doctor The Cleaning Doctor is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 927
Rep Power: 5
The Cleaning Doctor is on a distinguished road
Default

A friend of mine has a great analogy......

"You can dig a hole with a shovel or you can use a backhoe. Either way the price is the same and I use the backhoe."

They either pay for labor or equipment so the price is the same.

Andy that analogy should work great for you.
__________________
Pat
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-29-2010, 08:41 AM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 73
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 10
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Last year I had customers like this, I carried them till the end of the season.

I didn't bother to call them this season. Next year I should be able to pick & choose my customers & avoid the ones that are just plain irritating.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-29-2010, 06:39 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,737
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

This is a great post. In such a situation, how can you win over the husband when he is bent out of shape like that?

Is it even possible? Or when they bring that up is it always a sign that this is gonna be a no win situation?

Ideally, he would like to explain to the husband and get him to understand, then sign up for future lawn care. But the way it ended, it didn't look like that would be the case.

Does anyone ever make the sale when this comes up?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-30-2010, 12:43 AM
lxarth lxarth is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 137
Rep Power: 5
lxarth is on a distinguished road
Default

I think I could have closed the deal if I wanted too. I don't much care to haggle, and they where 10 miles further then my furthest job anyways, so it's no loss to me.

If he were to take his car to the shop, and they repaired it in an hour, would he complain about the $100 fee?

But on the other side of the spectrum, there are those customers who are nice, understanding, and willing to work with someone starting out. He was probably just a crotchety old man who thought I was taking advantage of his wife's pocketbook.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-30-2010, 11:09 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,737
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I think I could have closed the deal if I wanted too. I don't much care to haggle
This is a great learning lesson !

If they lived closer to your service area and you wanted to close the deal, what do you think you could have done to do that?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-01-2010, 01:10 AM
gonecountry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Maybe the guy was honestly having a bad day, I mean yeah at first It would bug me to no end. I would sit down at night after completing all the daily end stuff when it comes to running a business, and give them a call. Explain to them that you have costs to cover and where you live, and they would most likely understand that you are barley making any profit going all out of your way to mow their lawn. In this business you have to be fair to you clients but also be fair and true to yourself. If they don't understand, I don't think I would even bother with them any more. It sounds like to me that they would be a nightmare to deal with through the rest of the season, and god forbid if you put them on monthly billing, you would more than less likely to never see a check in the mail.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-01-2010, 10:15 AM
lxarth lxarth is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 137
Rep Power: 5
lxarth is on a distinguished road
Default

I think I could have asked him why he is so upset. Allowed him to tell me why he thinks the price is to high, then I could have explained to him that it takes twice as long to mow longer grass, which it basically like mowing a second yard.

I put quality over quantity, which is why I bagged the clippings and didn't side-shoot them all. He may have still be upset, but I don't really care, it was so far away.

Quote:
...and god forbid if you put them on monthly billing, you would more than less likely to never see a check in the mail.
This happened to me last year. Someone wanted me to spray moss-out and then rake up the dead moss. I put 5-6 man hours into raking, and billed him $55 for it. He sent a short check with the quote "$55 to rake is too much".

I immediately stopped going to his lawn. Now I bid for everything, and try to make $25-$50 per hour. Speaking of, I just did a spring clean-up, I bid for $200 and she didn't even flinch, my brother helped me, and it took us 3 hours total. I split it with him, and so we made $33/hr each.

I just had another lady wanting some work done. Her yard is just gravel, so she needs it blown clean. She told me to think about it and give her a price later, and if after I do it I realize it's not enough, to tell her, because she doesn't want me to loose money.

I love it when people understand you are trying to make a business and are willing to help you achieve that.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-01-2010, 11:44 PM
jdc493 jdc493 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Rep Power: 6
jdc493 is on a distinguished road
Default Went through that this last week

I guess it's fare to say that you just can't please everyone.
I had a customer that we mowed for last year on a semi regular basis. He would call me from time to time to mow either his front yard, his back yard or the whole thing. He has an acre yard. It was my fault really because I allowed him to set the price. His front yard was real nice and it took about 25 min. to mow, blow and trim. His back yard was a nightmare though. It took over an hour. He'd wait until it was a foot high and then call us and say 'just go ahead and scalp it Jay'. He paid 20 for the front and 30 for the back. The problem is that we have a minimum of $35 to stop and unload our equipment. Anyway, I did this for him last year because he was a friend and we had a little more time.
Well, the other day he called and wanted us to mow the whole yard and again he said 'scalp the back'. I went and looked at his yard and again it was a foot high in back. I called him back and explained to him that, first of all, we have a minimum to stop and that on an acre yard we get $75 usually. I then told him that it's really not good for our mowers to go over excessively tall grass and that we would have to charge him extra the first time because we would have to go over it two or three times to get it down to where he wants it. I was very nice and professional in explaining this to him and guess what??? He hung up on me while saying a few choice words. Guess he wasn't that good of a friend after all.
I guess the moral of the story is this...stick with your guns and do the right thing for both you and the customer. Even though he got mad and I lost him as a customer, I feel good about what I did and how I explained it. There are hundreds of other customers out there. After this incident I picked up two $50 yards that are already well maintained and will take 25-30 min to do total. Sometimes you have to 'weed out' the bad yards to make room for the good ones!!

Take care,

Jay
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Upset Customer :( CHEESE2009 Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. 18 04-04-2010 05:17 AM
Final Advertisement CHEESE2009 Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 12 02-12-2010 02:10 AM
Having the customer set the price? Steve Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 3 10-24-2007 11:50 PM
final name rudeboy General Talk 11 08-13-2007 04:28 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
Today 10:13 PM
by grassdoctore
8 215
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Today 08:26 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
30 925
Nationwide lawn care...
Billy Goat
Yesterday 05:21 PM
Today 07:35 PM
by stevef1201
8 142
REO calling
Dan Tanner
Today 05:03 PM
Today 07:32 PM
by stevef1201
2 58
Accepting credit cards,...
Darksteel
03-17-2014 08:01 PM
Today 01:02 PM
by jymie
15 658
Instagram
Gerardo_Landscape
Today 11:28 AM
Today 11:28 AM
by Gerardo_Landscape
0 25
Help with weed liability!
Prolawnofchatt
Yesterday 09:10 AM
Today 11:20 AM
by kslawn
3 116
Trimec
acrajchel
Yesterday 08:24 PM
Today 11:10 AM
by Steve
3 68
leaf removal
tlf59263
Yesterday 10:00 PM
Today 11:05 AM
by Steve
2 90
Gopher Forum Discount!
BlackRain75
04-12-2014 10:44 PM
Today 10:50 AM
by Steve
9 220
hello
NFrailey
Yesterday 01:39 PM
Today 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 66
Any greenhouse operators...
GoGreenerKS
Yesterday 11:21 AM
Today 10:43 AM
by Steve
3 85
Pricing a Mulch Job
dmcalpi
04-07-2014 02:16 PM
Today 09:40 AM
by jymie
21 531
google earth
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 03:24 PM
Today 09:36 AM
by jymie
8 184
Looking for advice on a...
Tekeda1
04-13-2014 09:53 AM
Today 08:54 AM
by Tekeda1
12 235
There has to be an...
CDLAWNCARE
04-14-2014 12:59 PM
Yesterday 04:06 PM
by Dan Tanner
6 144
First Day Back!
BelleCityLawn1
04-09-2014 09:13 PM
Yesterday 11:16 AM
by Steve
11 280
Mow America
stevegredler
04-13-2014 01:02 PM
04-14-2014 09:53 PM
by kslawn
5 157
Power Broom
acrajchel
04-14-2014 07:46 AM
04-14-2014 12:47 PM
by CDLAWNCARE
2 83
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
04-14-2014 11:34 AM
by Steve
1,176 284,140
Equipment reviews
Greg'slawnandlandscape
04-09-2014 07:17 AM
04-14-2014 11:27 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
13 367
Sulky and Turf Tracer
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:44 PM
04-14-2014 10:51 AM
by Steve
8 270
Aerating Prices?
Dan Tanner
04-08-2014 03:16 PM
04-14-2014 10:31 AM
by Steve
13 375
Estimating help
acrajchel
04-11-2014 06:06 PM
04-14-2014 10:20 AM
by Steve
3 136
Lawn Renovation
stevef1201
04-11-2014 12:00 PM
04-14-2014 10:03 AM
by Steve
5 153
Need help bidding church...
GreenRidge Lawn&Landscape
04-07-2014 08:01 PM
04-14-2014 09:49 AM
by Steve
12 359
Hello all
Griff20114
04-12-2014 05:08 PM
04-14-2014 09:46 AM
by Steve
1 82
Step by Step Spring Lawn...
WarriorLawnscaping
04-10-2014 07:01 AM
04-14-2014 09:43 AM
by Steve
5 200
Jeff Cowden
jcowden
04-11-2014 07:27 PM
04-14-2014 09:39 AM
by Steve
1 88
Exmark Commercial 30...
Dan Tanner
04-11-2014 05:35 AM
04-14-2014 09:37 AM
by Steve
4 159
What Was Your Setup When...
superrman77
02-11-2014 10:53 AM
04-14-2014 08:04 AM
by acrajchel
21 1,526
Small guy time to get a...
googus
04-08-2014 08:16 AM
04-13-2014 07:18 PM
by A. Kulak Landscaping
9 286
Weekly vs. Bi-weekly
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 01:48 PM
04-13-2014 06:03 PM
by kslawn
9 292
Weed ID help
TwinBrosLC
04-12-2014 10:39 AM
04-13-2014 07:40 AM
by stevef1201
4 125
Lexington, KY
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:06 PM
04-11-2014 09:49 PM
by acrajchel
1 111
Food Plot Management
BlackRain75
04-11-2014 10:20 AM
04-11-2014 03:51 PM
by Steve
4 110
Estimating a job
acrajchel
04-08-2014 11:07 AM
04-11-2014 03:32 PM
by Steve
6 255
New Boomless Sprayer!
BlackRain75
01-03-2014 01:01 PM
04-11-2014 03:25 PM
by Steve
11 980
Hello....
SWFloridaLawns
04-10-2014 06:15 PM
04-11-2014 02:28 PM
by Steve
2 110
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 12:01 AM
04-10-2014 10:33 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
78 24,950
Trading Accounts
goodtimez
04-09-2014 05:42 PM
04-10-2014 01:55 PM
by Steve
2 136
Grass that has...
erock289
04-09-2014 10:21 AM
04-10-2014 01:52 PM
by Steve
3 155
Prowrap Trimmer Engine...
Steve
05-24-2006 07:05 PM
04-10-2014 01:09 PM
by Steve
10 2,186
1st annual Easter egg...
Greg'slawnandlandscape
04-09-2014 06:58 AM
04-10-2014 01:07 PM
by Steve
1 100
Hello everyone
aceslawnandgarden
04-03-2014 06:54 PM
04-10-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
9 347
Weed control programs
Mallard91
04-02-2014 12:25 PM
04-10-2014 12:56 PM
by Steve
6 321
homeowner vs...
GoGreenerKS
04-07-2014 10:54 AM
04-10-2014 12:52 PM
by Steve
8 262
Hello
smgibson
04-07-2014 10:06 PM
04-10-2014 12:39 PM
by Steve
2 107
33" Cub Cadet Walk...
Dan Tanner
04-07-2014 08:49 AM
04-10-2014 12:35 PM
by Steve
5 179
They may never even see...
Darksteel
04-05-2014 11:40 AM
04-09-2014 05:13 PM
by goodtimez
7 323
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 advertisement article marketing birdscaping blower care charge christmas christmas light service credit card customers echo exmark fall ferris financing flower bed for sale four wheel drive franchise gopherhaul gravely gravely 34" zero turn health holiday holiday decorating how much to charge installation invoice kansas city labor cost late lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business show lawn clarksville lawn service clarksville tn leaf cleanup lesco lighting brass outdoor lights llc llp marketing mowing mulch mulch price new and restored landscapes new buisness new business office management oil podcast promotion redmax scag seo snow sole proprietorship starting a business stihl subcontractor theft of services tips tree care unreasonable walker yard clarksville zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:39 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:39 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy