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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Residential or Commercial???


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:36 PM
mortonslawn mortonslawn is offline
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Default Residential or Commercial???

I was wondering if I get a Homeowner's Association to cut, should I charge them commercial or residential prices? Commercial prices are cheaper. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:49 AM
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Ultimately, you should charge them as much as they are willing to pay.

This brings up a very good question though, how do you differ in your estimating for commercial vs. residential? Do you follow along the same bid process and then at the end knock off a certain % for the commercial property? Or how does that work?
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:47 PM
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Commercial accounts, I try to keep cheaper than Residentail accounts, for the simple fact, that commercial properties are USUSALLY bigger than a residential property.

One customer complained about his other landscaping company raised their prices up 50% on him,and that's why he called me. I went out and measured all the areas, and then emailed him my bid. He immediately called me back to come and cut. The grass was pretty high in some of the areas that I cut. One spot was taller than me. And after I cut it, I realized that I should have charged him and hand and a foot (I'm not greedy, no arms and legs here) to cut it.

But we all learn from our mistakes and try not to let them happen again. Right now, I'm charging him residential prices for the areas. I do a great job, and have been complimented by lots of the neighbors that live in that neighborhood. Everything is running smoothly, and I've given him a lot of freebies this past summer (just little things like spraying a rock drain area for weeds, and pulling a handful of weeds in a playground).

I'm slowly building, and loving working for myself. It sure beats the unemployment line, or looking for a sucky low paying job where you're not appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
One customer complained about his other landscaping company raised their prices up 50% on him,and that's why he called me. I went out and measured all the areas, and then emailed him my bid. He immediately called me back to come and cut. The grass was pretty high in some of the areas that I cut. One spot was taller than me. And after I cut it, I realized that I should have charged him and hand and a foot (I'm not greedy, no arms and legs here) to cut it.
Why do you think there was a discrepancy between what you thought it would take to cut it to what it actually took to cut it? Why do you feel there was such a difference in time?

What lesson do you feel this job has taught you?

Also, was this a one time job or did he sign up to be a re-occurring customer?
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:46 PM
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Well, when I first started cutting, it was only a small portion of the entrance, and a 1.75 acre playground area. So I charged the residential price. Then he added that there were other spots people were complaining about that were general areas. So I started cutting them. As time went on, there were other areas added. The HOA president was pretty new to all the things about the community, and wasn't sure of all the places that the previous company had cut. So as of right now, he's paying residential prices for all the areas that I cut. He never mentioned how many people were cutting, or how long it would take them. I know it takes me (alone) 6 hours to do all the cutting, trimming, weeding, etc.

One thing that I am definately changing next cutting season, is that if I have grass more than 6 inches tall, there is going to be a fee for every 3 inches extra. I have to change my blades on my mower to cut this high grass, and it tears up my mower doing it. I have learned that about the cutting. I never ran into this problem before when I had cut grass - until this year.

He signed up to be a reoccurring cuts. Everyone in the neighborhood loves how I cut the park, and they say that the other people never picked up the trash before cutting, they would just run it over. That is one of my pet peeves about people that cut. How hard is it to pick up a piece of trash?

He did say that he was going to drop some of the areas next year. I told him that we will need to get together before the season to decide which spots are being eliminated, and which ones are staying. He's a nice guy too.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:44 AM
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I have never heard of commercial cheaper than residential in my experience commercial is will to pay more for the work we do, well in my area anyway.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:33 AM
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This is a great topic.

Say you have a commercial property that takes 2 hours to mow. From the time you show up to the time you leave, you will be 100% productive.

But then say you have 4 residential properties to mow and they take 2 hours in total. Your productivity will drop because you have to drive to each location. You have to unload and load back up again. Now your productivity for those 2 hours has fallen. Could it be maybe 60-70%? Maybe less?

When do you feel you will make more money? When you are more or less productive?

Or do you simply say, I need to charge $X per hour that I am in operation? Do you charge the customers for the time it takes to drive to their location and the time it takes to unload and load back up again?
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:47 PM
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It doesn't matter everyone gets the same price per hour, We use maintenance as a sales opportunity or as we call them upgradeable moments. As a previous owner of a landscape co and as of august 2010 once again in the industry.I have learned that if you give everyone a fair price and excellent service residential and commercial you will have many more cust than you have hours in the day. Each of those customers have hundreds or thousands of extra dollars they will happily give you for the services they need.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:05 PM
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We use maintenance as a sales opportunity or as we call them upgradeable moments.
That is a very interesting term 'upgradeable moments.' Can you tell us of some situations that are upgradable moments and how you go about getting the customer to agree to the upgrades?
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:21 PM
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Upgradeable moments selling the cust flowers shrubs mulch using contacts in other industries such as roofers to gain easy profit without a major change to the time on property anything they need we are there one stop shop for there home whatever whenever =$$$$ Getting customers to agree to upgrades is the easy part point out what they need and give them the best for a great price and they will gain your trust and judgment.
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