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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.

Just dose not feel right?


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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  #11  
Old 07-23-2012, 08:51 AM
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CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
at the same time though I do hate turning down jobs.

It takes some getting used to when you first start out. I drove myself crazy when I'd lose even the worst clients, clients who would go without paying.

Something in our minds says a client is more important than how they effect our business, we have to rid ourselves of that thought. A client is only worth anything if we are happy doing business with them.

I dropped a good chunk of my clients one year to start fresh, and ever since I've been happier by being more selective with who I allow myself to do work for.

Remove the guilt from your life, take charge

Hope you find your way!
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2012, 09:24 AM
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Gotta ask,

Why does 50% not cover your costs? Are the prices that low? If you do not want to do it, just raise your price and require a deposit. Don't ever leave a customer without a price as they may just take you up on it. Who knows, everyone else may have turned it down like you were thinking and he will have to pay your price.

For a $45 lawn, what do people figure as their cost? I'll bet that most do not know those figures.
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2012, 09:44 AM
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My prices are generally higher than some but it's hard to explain my area where I may have a 2 hour round trip just to do a job. This job was to cut an entire property, not your average city lot but a fairly large country property. This time of year I do not use my tractor because of the HUGE fire danger around here which means I will be walking behind a field and brush mower. I estimated 8 hours total to cut the whole thing, they wanted it cut and all clippings removed, my quote was to cut and remove no clippings at $150, this is already $50 lower for a days work than I aim for, I got the sob story of money being tight and figured I would do them a favor, $50% down "$75" if they skipped out on the other 50% like I fear then it would be a big loss, not a loss on gas, wear and tear but a big loss on my time.

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Originally Posted by The Cleaning Doctor View Post
Gotta ask,

Why does 50% not cover your costs? Are the prices that low? If you do not want to do it, just raise your price and require a deposit. Don't ever leave a customer without a price as they may just take you up on it. Who knows, everyone else may have turned it down like you were thinking and he will have to pay your price.

For a $45 lawn, what do people figure as their cost? I'll bet that most do not know those figures.
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:17 AM
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If this is a full days worth of work then your really low balling yourself. If you gotta use the brush mower and then clean up all the clippings that's a ton of work, plus the 2hr round trip. I would definitly charge upwards of $400 for a days worth of work, more if i had to rent a brush mower. (which costs $150 per day). Just my 2 cents. would walk away if he doesn't want to pay up front and you got a bad feeling.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
My prices are generally higher than some but it's hard to explain my area where I may have a 2 hour round trip just to do a job. This job was to cut an entire property, not your average city lot but a fairly large country property. This time of year I do not use my tractor because of the HUGE fire danger around here which means I will be walking behind a field and brush mower. I estimated 8 hours total to cut the whole thing, they wanted it cut and all clippings removed, my quote was to cut and remove no clippings at $150, this is already $50 lower for a days work than I aim for, I got the sob story of money being tight and figured I would do them a favor, $50% down "$75" if they skipped out on the other 50% like I fear then it would be a big loss, not a loss on gas, wear and tear but a big loss on my time.
Well it looks like the problem is the bid. If they think your low bid is high. I would not even consider doing it. You wouldnt have made out with the job even if they paid.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:13 PM
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If you double your bid it is still probably too low, and they think it is too high. Expect them to nit pic it after you are done because they think they should get more for the money. If you still decide to do it at least get all money up front. They have unrealistic expectations & that rarely ends well.
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  #17  
Old 07-23-2012, 02:47 PM
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So last Friday I went to do a bid on cutting some weeds. I did what I do and told the person I would put some numbers together and get back to them this next week.
What is your view on giving a customer a price while you are there? That way you could strike while the iron is hot and if they say yes, get started?

Was there anything specific about the job that got you feeling something wasn't right?
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  #18  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
I don't take any work if I know it's not something I want to get involved with.

There is this belief that just because we're grass guys, we should WANT to do every single crappy job out there, and that if we don't accept the work we are somehow bad at running our business - this is complete b.s, and you'll often hear it from people who are used to getting their way 100% of the time.

Forget the job. I turn down business all the time and understand it can be stressful to listen to the clients run their mouths after, but it's totally worth it.
I'm doing that a lot this season.

I just went to look at three jobs today. One was too large for one guy to handle alone and the other two were crap jobs on lots that would require the 21" mower and required a massive cleanup first with no real promise that it would become a regular stop.
I need the money badly, but sometimes it's not worth the headache later.
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  #19  
Old 07-24-2012, 07:10 AM
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Steve, it was not really the job that got my worrying but more the person, just did not feel good about them.

REALLY!!??!! $400 for something like this? I have only been charging upwards of $200 for a job like this and always felt it was fairly high. Someone ells locally only charges like $130 but he uses a big CAT and just rough cuts the entire thing, I make it look like a golf course.

I own 2 field and brush mowers so I never have to rent any.

After reading some of this I am really going to have to re evaluate the work I am doing and what I am charging for it.

Maybe you can also comment on another job I recently took over.

I got a call from someone about a block away from me, she explained that the people she was having do her lawn just stopped showing up one day "Why do I hear that a lot?" I went out and looked at her yard, I normally would charge $40 to mow edge and blow the property "small city lot" I was already going to give her a deal because she only lives down the road and its really not out of my way to give it a quick 30 minute cut once per week.

Now that being said I don't ever try to low ball anyone but I do meet or beat other reasonable prices, I have turned down many jobs because I could not meet a price but with this one I asked how much she was paying the people who stopped showing up, She said it was $100 per month.

By the time I had left I quoted her 80 per month to cut it 1 time per week and $20 per hour for additional work such as bush trimming exc exc.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:13 AM
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Hedgemaster I assume you are good and trimming hedges?
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