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 > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > General Talk

General Talk If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.

People are funny


General Talk

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 11-21-2010, 06:25 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default People are funny

On Friday, I went to give an estimate for "trimming some hedges and pulling weeds". As usual, the job was not as simple as described.
New homeowner just moved into a house that had been vacant for quite some time. When I Googled the address for directions, the image shown suggested a neatly maintained front with several shrubs and hedges on a steep hill with steps leading from the sidewalk up to the house.
Well, I don't know when that photo was taken, but the only thing that I recognized when I arrived was the steps and sidewalk - the bushes had all grown into a solid "mass" and the hedges were about 7' high.
This was not a "trimming" job - it was going to require a lot of "butchering" in order to allow those shrubs to grow back in properly. Then he asked about having the weeds on the hillside pulled - they were everywhere.

I gave him an estimate of $135 to do the hedges/shrubs and $160 to add in the weed pulling - although not a thorough "every weed out by the root" job, but a "I'll get the worst of it out for you".

He texted me back a few hours later and said "If you can do just the $125 part for $100, the job is yours and you can start tomorrow."

Pfffffttt!!! I was already doing him a favor with the $135 quote.
The job would have probably priced out at $100 just to TRIM the stuff had it been properly maintained. I've screwed myself on a few other jobs like that, and I wasn't about to do it again.

I replied that I would have to pass on the job. (and that "it was $135/$160 btw")




Fast forward to today...

I did a job that I had previously given an estimate of between $145 and $175 for doing a massive cut-back of some completely overgrown forsythia bushes, trimming the tops of some small shrubs in front of the house, and tying up an arborvitae that had one trunk leaning against the house.
Not only did the homeowner come out and carry away 75% of the cuttings as I went, but I was offered a sandwich (which I declined), and a soft drink (which I accepted).
And THEN, when I gave her the total of $165 (knocking off a few bucks because she had already cut the small shrubs, and she sped things up by cleaning up as I went), SHE GAVE ME A CHECK FOR $200.00!
I promptly told her the total was only $165 and she said, "I know - I heard you". She was just so happy to have the job done, and to have it done by someone she felt she could trust.


People are like night and day. One wants me to bust my a$$ for peanuts, and the other saw a good job and gave more than was asked of her.

People are funny.
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 11-21-2010, 08:07 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Yep, I have one long time customer that cancels during fall every year and then asks me to pick up the leaves for free in the spring. Then I get an out of town call for a local property. It was a $75 job and he sent me $100 and then asked if he could pay in advance for all of next year. Uh, yeah, if you insist you can pay now.

Night and day.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-21-2010, 08:16 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Glad you are standing your ground, if we all did this industry would not be in the mess it is.

Congradulations on the tip, take all the food the clients will give you........we do!
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-21-2010, 08:55 PM
fieroboi's Avatar
fieroboi fieroboi is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Camrose, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 142
Rep Power: 6
fieroboi is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post
Congradulations on the tip, take all the food the clients will give you........we do!
I totally agree, I have a few clients that consistently give me food .... I especially love the ones that offers cookies and well lets say they are pails not just a small bag of them. MMMMmmmmm, love those clients!


Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, ALberta
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-22-2010, 12:55 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post
Glad you are standing your ground, if we all did this industry would not be in the mess it is.

Congradulations on the tip, take all the food the clients will give you........we do!
Yeah, I mean, I'm hurting for money BAD right now, and need all the work I can get, but then what? He gives my name to other people and says "He did ALL THIS for only $100!" Now there will be five more cheap bastards calling me wasting my time.
No thanks.


As for the food, a lady on my street gave me 2 jars of homemade raspberry jam with my payment. Woo-hoo! Loves me some raspberry jam!!!


Another lady I do odd jobs for brings me out apples - all sliced up in a little dish with several orange slices and some blueberries. Awesome.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-22-2010, 05:35 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
Yeah, I mean, I'm hurting for money BAD right now, and need all the work I can get, but then what? He gives my name to other people and says "He did ALL THIS for only $100!" Now there will be five more cheap bastards calling me wasting my time.
You and thousands of others are in the same boat in many industries and I don't believe there is an easy fix even though it needs correction in the trades and service industries. What I have seen happening over the years and it's a slippery slope, small to med sized companies give in a little to get the job, many have no idea what their costs are they are simply focused on getting a little cash. The only way I found around this was to set the bar too high on the equipment side for the little guys and stay under the radar of the big guys, it worked and within a short time I found my niche market and went after it.

Your comment on the pricing/referrals is so true. Do a job on the cheap but quality work and the phone will not stop ringing from people expecting the same, raise your prices and holy smokes, these new prospects will sometimes just rip you, "You did my neighbour for $xxx.xx, why are you trying to gouge me $xxx.xx"

I get to talk to a lot of trades when we are doing new home landscaping, framing of homes around here is brutal and I see corners being cut, a few small framing crews have told me they are lucky to make $500.00 profit per home unless they go underground, which is another sore spot for me.

The general public has no idea how much they hurt the economy by paying cash and doing things under the table, personally I won't do it however we have been very fortunate to always have more work than we can handle, only because if the target market and having the gear to be able to do almost anything a homeowner wanted outside. This has come at a pretty steep price tag for me personally however I didn't have much of a choice if I wanted to make money.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-22-2010, 07:10 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,840
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I gave him an estimate of $135 to do the hedges/shrubs and $160 to add in the weed pulling - although not a thorough "every weed out by the root" job, but a "I'll get the worst of it out for you".

He texted me back a few hours later and said "If you can do just the $125 part for $100, the job is yours and you can start tomorrow."
How long did you estimate these different jobs to take?

Quote:
when I gave her the total of $165 (knocking off a few bucks because she had already cut the small shrubs, and she sped things up by cleaning up as I went), SHE GAVE ME A CHECK FOR $200.00!
When you find yourself in such situations, do you ever sit there wondering if you could raise your prices? It seems rough though because on one hand you have a customer trying to get you down to next to nothing and then another customer wants to pay you more.

How long did this 2nd job take? When you compare the bidding on both jobs, were they close in hourly fees?
__________________
- 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 11-22-2010, 10:53 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

My replies in blue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
How long did you estimate these different jobs to take?

I estimated it would take me about 6 hours to do the hillside inclusive of cleaning up all the cuttings.

For the lady with the forsythia job, I estimated 5-6 hours.


When you find yourself in such situations, do you ever sit there wondering if you could raise your prices? It seems rough though because on one hand you have a customer trying to get you down to next to nothing and then another customer wants to pay you more.

Sure, but as I'm new to this, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to find out what I should be charging, I often err on the side of "less" when offering an estimate. Even the guy who wanted to give me $100 - I quoted him a lower price by maybe $20 than I would have otherwise because of where he got my number - sometimes it doesn't pay to be nice.

How long did this 2nd job take? When you compare the bidding on both jobs, were they close in hourly fees?
Funny you ask - this was one of the few jobs that fell in line with my initial time estimate. I said 5-6 hrs and it took me exactly 5. (although the homeowner did assist with removing the cuttings, and probably saved me 30 mins of work)

I quoted the first job at $135 and IF it had taken 6 hrs, that would have been $22.50/hr.

I quoted the second job as a maximum of $175.
Let's see... if I had charged her the $175 and IF it took the full 6 hrs estimated, that would have been $29.00/hr.
I ultimately charged her $165 for a 5 hr job which works out as $33.00/hr.

What she paid me was $200 for said 5 hr job which adds up to $40.00/hr.

Tools used:
Craftsman 3/4" hedge trimmers, Long handled loppers for the thick stuff, a hand saw for a few REALLY thick trunks, cordless Black and Decker pole trimmer (18" hedge trimer w/6' reach), a rake, a few burlap tarps, and about 10' of heavy, camo rope (to blend in) to tie up the tree that the snow had damaged last winter.
I didn't even need to take my trailer to haul debris, as it was placed in the woods near the house.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-22-2010, 11:24 PM
Jack Rabbit Jack Rabbit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New Mexico, USA
Posts: 125
Rep Power: 5
Jack Rabbit is on a distinguished road
Default

"take all the food the clients will give you"

One of my customers gave me three packages of frozen, ordered from somewhere, barbecue pork ribs.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-23-2010, 04:46 AM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Rabbit View Post
... One of my customers gave me three packages of frozen, ordered from somewhere, barbecue pork ribs.
Eww.

I don't take food. I'm really particular about what I eat.
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
Funny Story CHEESE2009 Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. 9 03-02-2012 08:40 PM
funny sign AMW Graphics Truck & Trailer Sign Design, silk screened apparel & uniform discussion 2 07-01-2008 10:39 PM
THIS IS SO FUNNY!!!!!!! turfsurferlawncare Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation 8 04-09-2008 09:00 PM
Here's something funny Steve Search Engine Optimization and Website Design Discussions. 0 04-19-2006 02:03 AM
Very Funny ritchiem General Talk 1 01-24-2005 08:43 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Just Quit?
ringahding1
Today 06:23 AM
Today 11:38 AM
by rmccutchan
2 35
French gardener owner's...
didgreen
Today 09:10 AM
Today 09:10 AM
by didgreen
0 10
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
Today 08:58 AM
by Chilehead
9 839
Lawn Mowing -...
ringahding1
Today 07:05 AM
Today 07:05 AM
by ringahding1
0 17
Thanks for all the posts
WheatGrass
Today 06:38 AM
Today 06:38 AM
by WheatGrass
0 17
adding something new...
veteranslawncaresystems
01-28-2015 12:13 AM
Today 06:33 AM
by ringahding1
5 152
hows it going.
uppercut
Today 05:01 AM
Today 05:58 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
1 31
hows it going.
uppercut
Today 04:52 AM
Today 04:52 AM
by uppercut
0 14
whats this briggs?
uppercut
Today 12:40 AM
Today 12:40 AM
by uppercut
0 31
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
Yesterday 10:54 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
12 686
viking cyclon.
uppercut
Yesterday 09:12 PM
Yesterday 09:12 PM
by uppercut
0 32
Crunch time 2015!
Chilehead
Yesterday 08:57 PM
Yesterday 08:57 PM
by Chilehead
0 33
TaskEasy & Plowz & Mowz...
jrwalker333
01-25-2015 01:02 PM
Yesterday 08:14 PM
by lxarth
8 242
Landscapers from hell!!
Chilehead
Yesterday 03:55 PM
Yesterday 03:55 PM
by Chilehead
0 54
Contact last years...
googus
01-28-2015 09:13 AM
Yesterday 02:29 PM
by Steve
6 168
Looking for advice on...
berryjam
01-21-2015 07:37 PM
Yesterday 02:21 PM
by Steve
15 452
New to the forum
LCRobert
01-26-2015 10:21 PM
Yesterday 09:11 AM
by ringahding1
7 204
What happened to Better...
Steve
01-27-2014 04:07 PM
01-28-2015 12:26 PM
by Steve
21 3,185
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
01-28-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
44 16,067
Bidding to get other work
Rodriguez11
07-21-2011 11:52 PM
01-28-2015 12:08 PM
by Steve
29 9,453
How many contracts...
5StarLawnscaping
01-12-2015 03:51 PM
01-28-2015 11:04 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
10 590
"Part Timers", "Low...
doug1980
06-10-2009 12:55 PM
01-27-2015 09:01 PM
by jrs.landscaping
43 10,322
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 12:30 PM
01-27-2015 07:24 PM
by avetslawncare
4 131
New to group
ron@alpine
01-27-2015 08:45 AM
01-27-2015 01:29 PM
by Steve
1 99
please Help with none...
Lawnboyman1170
01-09-2015 09:46 AM
01-27-2015 01:27 PM
by Steve
13 672
does this sound good or...
Bradcook21
01-22-2015 09:24 AM
01-27-2015 07:42 AM
by ringahding1
9 332
second year advise
cmdlawncare
01-23-2015 06:22 PM
01-27-2015 07:31 AM
by ringahding1
6 288
need advise
rawssrob
02-23-2010 02:45 PM
01-23-2015 06:40 PM
by cmdlawncare
7 2,610
New to forum
ROB N
01-23-2015 08:35 AM
01-23-2015 01:53 PM
by Steve
1 162
Extending the life of...
rmccutchan
01-17-2015 12:37 AM
01-23-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
8 411
osceola lawn service
jasa@wildblue.net
01-22-2015 03:23 PM
01-23-2015 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 174
Tax Question
Wolf4dk
01-20-2015 01:11 AM
01-22-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
4 311
Billy Goat Vac
Mr. Mow
01-19-2015 07:42 AM
01-22-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
6 301
Property Pricing
GVL
01-19-2015 02:46 PM
01-21-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
5 360
Landscapers Source For...
breadcrumb
01-16-2015 02:44 PM
01-21-2015 05:55 AM
by breadcrumb
14 527
Hoa advice
Bradcook21
01-16-2015 09:36 PM
01-20-2015 04:30 PM
by Steve
4 337
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 07:51 PM
01-20-2015 10:16 AM
by biglee
16 676
How to beat the pre pay...
stansg1fresh
01-13-2015 04:33 PM
01-19-2015 03:38 PM
by ringahding1
3 413
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
01-19-2015 01:37 PM
by Steve
12 1,208
Hi from Illinois
burtle
01-02-2015 09:46 PM
01-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Steve
3 578
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
01-19-2015 01:20 PM
by Steve
14 1,520
Lost my @#$ blower
stevef1201
01-11-2015 08:31 AM
01-17-2015 02:21 PM
by lxarth
2 442
Another Illinoisan.....
barhopper
01-11-2015 05:38 PM
01-16-2015 04:29 PM
by Steve
10 499
marketing with pizza...
apmAkron
01-15-2015 09:57 AM
01-15-2015 06:29 PM
by Steve
4 318
CRM and Quickbooks?
5StarLawnscaping
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
by 5StarLawnscaping
0 247
New Member, Indiana Iraq...
Timbo
07-14-2011 09:44 AM
01-14-2015 06:14 PM
by Steve
10 3,846
check this box truck out!
BLAZIER-1991
01-07-2015 07:40 PM
01-13-2015 03:06 PM
by biglee
8 701
My community only ad...
googus
01-12-2015 09:55 AM
01-13-2015 02:44 PM
by Steve
5 386
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 09:07 AM
01-13-2015 09:37 AM
by Chilehead
18 1,883
use a small business...
BLAZIER-1991
12-25-2014 12:21 AM
01-12-2015 06:32 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
30 1,647
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter bob villa bush commercial deliquentaccounts demonstration ditches door hangers employee problems estimate foreman four wheel drive google gopherhaul gravely hardscapes how to hydraulic jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business marketing mulch new mower ordinance patio install per hour service podcast scag v-ride scripts search engine optimization seo shell shreaded snow plowing sq ft starting a lawn care business steep lawns steve theft toro tractor auger trailer mate pro up sell employee won't return wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40 AM.

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