Don’t want that lawn job? Charge a higher price.

As a business owner, you will get all sorts of calls for all sorts of lawn care jobs. Some might be too big for you or too small. Some might be too far out of your way. Some potential clients you just may not get a good vibe from. What do you do when you are asked to bid on a job you don’t really want? In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we heard from some entrepreneurs on how they handle such situations and sometimes make quite a decent profit on a job they didn’t want.

One lawn care business owner wrote “today I got a phone call from a woman about 5 miles outside of my service area asking for a lawn care estimate. I politely told her I’d take the job, but it’s out of my service area. She wanted me to cut it ASAP. So I told her I can refer her to someone closer that I would recommend. She said that she can just push mow it if I can’t do it. So by this time I’m wondering what is up.

When I get there for the estimate, I find it’s a nice plot of land about 2.34 acres to be exact. It’s only going to be a 2 or 3 week job, once a week of course. Anyway, as I’m walking around I find nothing in the way besides a house for this. Awesome! Still don’t really want to take the job. When I get to the outer edge of my service area, my price goes up to around $50. I figure the job is only another 5 minutes, so I’ll give her an estimate and see what she says. So I tell her $80.

Then there is this long pause. It reminded me of a sales lessons I learned a long time ago. Present your price and then the next person to talk loses. There was a VERY long pause, and finally she says I’ll ask my husband. Bam. I was thinking he doesn’t want to have to do it, he doesn’t care. So she says to go for it. I was happy and kinda mad at the same time. I really dídn’t want the job, but if she’s going to throw her money away, why not toss it at me. Lesson learned here, if you don’t want the job, over bid it.”

A second lawn care business owner wrote “right now I cut a yard that is a little over a half acre for $80. It’s got quite a bit of trimming though. With what you explained, it sounds like it would go for around $175+ here.

I have price a job higher a few times. I actually just did it 2 days ago. This lady called and wanted her bushes trimmed up, and weed/mulch her garden. The garden was very small - it would only require about 10 cubic ft of mulch. The whole job would only take me maybe 30 or 45 minutes. I quoted $195. That’s a no brainer that it is not worth the price. She emailed me back and wanted me to start today. I told her the earliest I can start is next week and I need 50% paid. She said payment wasn’t a problem, but wanted it done asap and she would call me in a few days to let me know if she couldn’t find anyone else. When she calls, my schedule will be filled next week. I quoted such a high price because this lady was being a HUGE pain in the butt and I could tell she was going to inspect every minor detail of work. This job was not worth it to me.”

A third shared “I have to share this one with you. I got a call for a mowing estimate and I tell the potential customer I will be there shortly as I am in the neighborhood on another job. When I pull into this horseshoe driveway it’s like OMG ! Grass and chainlink fences as far as I can see.

So I start looking around and it’s about 4 to 5 acres of lawn, sloped slightly downhill and the entire property is enclosed by chain link fence. The property owner tells me the fence must be trimmed inside and outside. For the very first time since I have been running this business I honestly didn’t know what to say. All I could think about is my guys seeing that fence for the first time and me telling them trim both sides.

After a minute I finally said I can’t touch this for less than $245.00, well that didn’t go well , she told me the last guy did it for $100.00. I said I can see why he isn’t doing it anymore. I didn’t get the job.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.”

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success