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Old 10-12-2011, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
10,506 posts, read 13,988,172 times
Reputation: 12177

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobinJ View Post
If you want to cut this off at the pass...use your computer to make some basic fliers...your name and contact info at the top (centered in a heading...like a resume) a logo if you have a small pic of your truck or something would be clever (above the contact info or off to one side). Below that select a bullet and a basic font (arial or times new roman). Write out the basic duties (using the bullets) you can perform...weed spraying, porch cleansing, pine needle removal, lawn raking, lawn mowing, etc. At the bottom put a line about introductory prices, bi-monthly arrangements, etc. The last line should say something like, "Call now, rates and duties dependent on lawn/job size" Print these out on a business weight paper (resume paper). Slip one into her mailbox before she approaches you, slip one into other mailboxes too...even if you know they won't necessarily have work for you because she may ask those people.

When she does call you; ask if she saw your flier and mention that you are discussing jobs with your customers and ask if she would like to discuss her lawn job. She'll probably comment on your past work and you can either mention to her that you are breaking out some of the jobs (i.e. needles and weeds) and that for $25 bi-monthly you can mow and perform basic weed-wacking. Tell her you're happy to follow up with her after a week if she needs time to compare your price with other services.

She'll have to put up or shut up...you never know one of those other fliers may give you a job too.
This is a great answer to the issue. I had a similar problem with co-workers wanting me to do work for them. I ended up making a list of things I do and priced them out. For me I make a minumum of $30 an hour. It isn't worth my time to charge less than that. The fact is I charge and have a 2 hour minumum. If I were going into the lawn care business I would have a regular service charge for those customers that have work completed on a weekly or bi weekly basis. When someone stops service then they would need to pay addtional to compensate you for your time. Time is what you are selling here and yours is worth something. Determine what that is and never charge less than that rate again.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
8,027 posts, read 5,877,623 times
Reputation: 7386
And now we know why business owners are so grouchy and want to pay crap wages Everyone is out to screw the next guy down the line, just to get a better deal... America, the land of the greedy. The honest bunch went bankrupt ages ago.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
8,331 posts, read 10,516,129 times
Reputation: 4626
I dont do yard work much anymore. I checked out the ladys small yard today & it looks like crap. I guarantee it next month she will only want to pay me $25.00. Ill tell her $40.00 & if she dont agree then ill still do the yard but cut corners. Im not in a position financially to pick & choose & she knows it. Her yard generally takes me 2 to 2.5 hrs to do. Thats because i have a small electric lawn mower with no grass catcher. I have to rake everything up after i mow plus she has a nasty pine needle tree that has pine needles all over one side of her home. I charged her $25.00 month cause i gave her a break due to her income. I guess nice guys really do finish last.
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:44 AM
 
6,396 posts, read 5,748,939 times
Reputation: 6366
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Agreed. She doen't want to fairly compenstate you for your time, so just let her go. The hassle isn't worth $25 a month.
$25/month is to little for anything.

I am getting to the age (approaching mid 60's) where I probably shouldn't be doing some of the yard work I do for fear of getting hurt. I don't need to be cleaning gutters anymore and certainly not climbing around on roofs. I am getting a tough of arthritis in the hips and some jobs that were easy 20 years ago are starting to hurt.

A friend at church has been using a guy for some time and I think I am going to pick him up as well. $100/month every month year around. Some months he might spend 2 hours mowing the lawn twice but we'll make up for it with a Spring and Fall cleaning where he could easily spend a full day and a half.

For $1,200 I should have his undivided attention for 10 full days per year which would place him at $15/hr which I think is fair.

January, February and March he wouldn't work but I want to pay him $100/month so he has a steady income

April he has spring cleaning, I would expect he could do everything in 24 hours or maybe a work your rear end off weekend.

May and June the grass grows good so he will have to mow/trim/blow weekly. For me to do it I can get it done in two hours if I hustle. 8 hours each month.

July through September mow every two to three weeks. 4 hours each month.

October would be 24 hours fall cleaning, rake leaves etc.

November 4 hours, blow leaves one last time but there shouldn't be a lot of them.

Total is 80 hours which at $15/hour comes to $1,200 for the year

I will provide all tools (I have rider mower, blower, trimmer, rakes etc) and gasoline.

I wouldn't count hours either, as long as he kept the yard looking like I expect I wouldn't care if he spent 1 hour a month or whatever.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
10,506 posts, read 13,988,172 times
Reputation: 12177
nicet4,

What the OP needs is 50 customers just like you. $100 a month X 50 = $5,000 a month. I want to build a similar customer base for myself. What I am trying to do is find 40 to 50 regular customers that I can walk in and perform preventative maintenance for on a weekly basis. When things are kept up it is easy to get in and get out. My goal is to charge them $25 a visit once a week with a maximum of a one hour time frame. I am thinking though that I can get in and out in less than an hour. Then again it would depend on the size of the office that I am working in.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:57 AM
 
6,396 posts, read 5,748,939 times
Reputation: 6366
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
nicet4,

What the OP needs is 50 customers just like you. $100 a month X 50 = $5,000 a month. I want to build a similar customer base for myself. What I am trying to do is find 40 to 50 regular customers that I can walk in and perform preventative maintenance for on a weekly basis. When things are kept up it is easy to get in and get out. My goal is to charge them $25 a visit once a week with a maximum of a one hour time frame. I am thinking though that I can get in and out in less than an hour. Then again it would depend on the size of the office that I am working in.
I think it would work too.

From April to June and again from October to November work would be non-stop sun up to sun down seven days a week but much less in off times.

I was basing the time on the tools I have, cheap rider mower with cheap blower etc, and I am sure if first class tools were used the job would take much less time.

I learned about the young man who isn't so young. He's in his early 30's, married and five kids already... the last were twins that were unexpected. Talk about having your hands full.

I understand he is a hard worker, will do anything for money which he uses to support his family but it is really tough on him right now.

This is America and I am convinced anyone that wants to can earn $50,000 a year. Granted, they might have to work 70 hours a week but if someone really needs the money, like the young man, $50,000 is certainly obtainable. Not easy but obtainable.

What does someone need to start out in this business, will $15,000 do it?

Since it is all in town work a decent enough looking truck with trailer would cost what, $6,000? Add another $6,000 for a good lawnmower, $2,000 for hand tools with $1,000 for liability insurance, business cards, flyers and I think a guy would be ready to roll.

If he is what I've been told he is I will watch him... if he has the drive (work ethic is everything) I think I will help set him up no strings attached. The worst thing that could happen is I end up with some nice yard tools I should have anyway.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:19 PM
 
43,218 posts, read 47,082,143 times
Reputation: 13684
When she calls why not just tell her she will have to get someone else and actually learn from it and seek another year on a better agreement.But that the same time if she was a older lady then do not regret your kindness to her as it speaks well of you regardless.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
8,331 posts, read 10,516,129 times
Reputation: 4626
im not in a position to give up money so if she does call me next month ill most likely do it. Theres a chance she may wait till december. The lady is just not who i thought she was but most people arent. I must work to earn a living.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
8,331 posts, read 10,516,129 times
Reputation: 4626
I havent heard from the lady yet but a friend of hers told me she may wait until december to call me. The yard as of today looks terrible & this lady is no friend of mine (i thought she was).
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:48 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,116 posts, read 4,078,668 times
Reputation: 3503
Quote:
Originally Posted by steel7 View Post
Her cooler belt was loose so i adjusted the setting for free. She didnt even offer me at least 5 or 10 bucks. NO more freebies for this lady & i dont want to work for her again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steel7 View Post
I havent heard from the lady yet but a friend of hers told me she may wait until december to call me. The yard as of today looks terrible & this lady is no friend of mine (i thought she was).
It sounds like both of you are confusing friendship and a business relationship - and so both of you are getting frustrated.

She probably saw you an a neighbor and a friend, and it's so easy for you to come over and do a little job - and you've offered in the past - and you gave her a break on price for doing her lawn, because you know her financial situation - and because you're friends - and then suddenly when she needs to take a break, and skip a month, you don't like it - and suddenly you're demanding money just to do little extra tasks? To her, you have broken the friendship.

But from your point of view? You've gone out of your way to help her, and charged her less than the fair market value for your services - but instead of being grateful, she just keeps expecting more and more, and now she's messing with your financial situation by skipping a month. So in your mind, she's broken the friendship.

So maybe it's time to go to a straight business deal? If she asks you to come back, tell her yes, but let her know it will be $25 a month, and no skipping months in the future. And if she wants additional services, that will be an additional $25 an hour.

It's VERY possible to be friends and do business together - but the lines need to be firmly drawn. And she may complain at first - but give her time and she'll probably come around. Even at $25 you're still her cheapest and easiest option when she needs something done, because you're right down the street!
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