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General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2012, 03:45 PM
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The thing I am thinking about with this is, if you are keeping your customers year after year, then I wouldn't think lowering the prices would be something that would be important.

When I reflect on any service I ever got, if I was pleased with the results, I would refer them to a friend. The cost wouldn't even factor into my thought on referral. The cost would be something the person I referred to would have to take into consideration.

The only exception I can think of that might apply to this case is if this woman and her close knit group of friends live on a fixed income and can not pay more than $x per month on such services. However, if that is the case, you then gotta ask yourself, is this the customer base I want to service?

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I figured out that this is why some of my marketing pieces, especially the ones with installation work, fell on deaf ears. It was because they couldn't afford the outdoor kitchens or the landscape lighting systems.
This makes sense and is good to know. Are there other services you could offer that would be needed and could be priced within a range the customer base could afford?
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2012, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
The thing I am thinking about with this is, if you are keeping your customers year after year, then I wouldn't think lowering the prices would be something that would be important.

When I reflect on any service I ever got, if I was pleased with the results, I would refer them to a friend. The cost wouldn't even factor into my thought on referral. The cost would be something the person I referred to would have to take into consideration.

The only exception I can think of that might apply to this case is if this woman and her close knit group of friends live on a fixed income and can not pay more than $x per month on such services. However, if that is the case, you then gotta ask yourself, is this the customer base I want to service?



This makes sense and is good to know. Are there other services you could offer that would be needed and could be priced within a range the customer base could afford?

But what is happening is that I am losing clients during the season and when I ask why they inform me they can't afford it.

I have asked myself the same question about customer base, but when I pulled the information from my county, I find out that I am right. Income levels are low and unemployment levels are almost 19%. I have to accept that my potential clients are going to be at a lower income and I must adapt to them.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:54 PM
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how is your pricing compared to others in your area ? When the customers are quitting ,who ends up cutting their lawns ?
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2012, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bruces View Post
how is your pricing compared to others in your area ? When the customers are quitting ,who ends up cutting their lawns ?

My prices are actually high compared to others. Normally around 10 to 20% higher. And I don't cut lawns, almost all of my work is pesticide applications.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:54 PM
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But what is happening is that I am losing clients during the season and when I ask why they inform me they can't afford it.
Oh I got it now. Do you feel the economy also pushed more people in your area into lawn care which lowered the prices or do you feel it's more simply a matter of people not having the income they had in the past and they are looking to cut their expenses?
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2012, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Oh I got it now. Do you feel the economy also pushed more people in your area into lawn care which lowered the prices or do you feel it's more simply a matter of people not having the income they had in the past and they are looking to cut their expenses?
Honestly I am not running into that many new lawn care companies at all. I experienced more lawn care companies back in the early 2000's, then I am now. I was lucky to see one new one this past year.

What I really think is happening is people just don't have the income like they did in the past and we are one of the first expenses to cut. For example for lawn spraying, my average lawn size is around 8,000 sq ft. With six applications at $40 each + one grub ($80), they are saving $320 per year just by cutting the lawn spraying guy.

The sad thing is I can't blame thing either. Since I have noticed the decline with us we started to go through everything and cut too. I sent out emails to suppliers, insurance agents, subs, etc asking them of ways to cut expenses.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
I sent out emails to suppliers, insurance agents, subs, etc asking them of ways to cut expenses.
What kinds of responses did you get back? Did you find anything worth implementing?
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiedemanLLC View Post
My prices are actually high compared to others. Normally around 10 to 20% higher. And I don't cut lawns, almost all of my work is pesticide applications.
giving the current unemployment levels in your state which is i beleive is one of the highest in the nation if not the highest you are going to have to drop your prices to what everyone else charges or you will continue to lose customers until you have none.

the long term forecast shows no signs of things changeing in your state anytime soon and definitely not this year and if these people are having money troubles but still want to have the service you will find yourself on the chopping block.

right now you have to do what you got to in order to keep the ship afloat and preserve your customer base and if you don't mind being the highest priced guy in the area then i guess you won't mind losing customers.
when it comes to money no one has any loyalty and if times are tough and they got to cut back you, me and anyone else will be cut off if someone else comes along offering to do it cheaper.

based on you telling me that your prices are higher then most i highly doubt any marketing is gonna help you if your state is in that much trouble and the only thing that will help is lower your prices.
the products you use are the same as what anyone else will use and regardles of whether you do a better job the customer won't and usually never will understand that.
they are mostly driven by cost.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dpld View Post
giving the current unemployment levels in your state which is i beleive is one of the highest in the nation if not the highest you are going to have to drop your prices to what everyone else charges or you will continue to lose customers until you have none.

the long term forecast shows no signs of things changeing in your state anytime soon and definitely not this year and if these people are having money troubles but still want to have the service you will find yourself on the chopping block.

right now you have to do what you got to in order to keep the ship afloat and preserve your customer base and if you don't mind being the highest priced guy in the area then i guess you won't mind losing customers.
when it comes to money no one has any loyalty and if times are tough and they got to cut back you, me and anyone else will be cut off if someone else comes along offering to do it cheaper.

based on you telling me that your prices are higher then most i highly doubt any marketing is gonna help you if your state is in that much trouble and the only thing that will help is lower your prices.
the products you use are the same as what anyone else will use and regardles of whether you do a better job the customer won't and usually never will understand that.
they are mostly driven by cost.

Well spoken
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2012, 01:38 PM
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This discussion really brings up a question on whether or not your location can effect the level of success your lawn care business can achieve.

Some business owners never seem to have a problem with their location while others do.

Do you find this to be an issue? Do certain locations really limit your ability to find success?
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