The problem with discounting your landscape projects.

If you think by offering to do a landscape project for cheap will make the customer more appreciative, think again. One of our Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum members offered a customer a really good price on two jobs and he found himself running into problems. Here is what he said.

“I’m about to lose my mind with this landscaping customer. I am offering such an inexpensive service for two big landscaping jobs. I was hoping if my price was low, he’d at least be able to afford the needed supplies & I’d be in & out!

Landscape Project Discounting Problem

Landscape Project Discounting Problem


I go there every damn day & nothing happens, no money for supplies, so I just stay an hour & tweak things. Then he constantly asks, “when will you finish?”

What he needs to understand;

1. I can’t continue without supplies
2. Stop asking me to do other jobs until I complete the ones I’m doing.
3. Stop complaining, he said, “The job doesn’t look beautiful”
my response, “beautiful will cost you $2000.00″

The only profit I’m making is $50.00, because the rest was spent on supplies that I bought, so now my service price is going to go sky high with him.”

Ultimately this is a great learning experience. I can totally see your side of this. If you do this landscape install for a low price, the customer should work with you more on getting the supplies.

From the customer’s view point, they probably are broke and want everything done the absolute cheapest. In fact, I am sure they would be more than happy if you simply bought all the materials yourself and absorbed the costs.

Another lawn care business owner said “I’m sure I don’t know the whole story but it seems to me your setting yourself up to get screwed over here. If the landscape customer can’t buy the materials as agreed, what makes you think he’s going to pay you as agreed?

That would be a big red flag for me, & I’d probably cease all work and demand payment for what ever was completed already, then continue. I’d probably say Mr. Customer, not to be a jerk, but it seems to me that if you are having trouble getting the cash together for materials, how can I expect that you’ll be paying me on time? Now I would love to finish the job for you and I plan to do just that, but at this point… I am __50%___ complete, I need to be paid 50% of the labor we a agreed on, & you will need to have the rest of the materials to COMPLETE the job here. Then I will return to finish the job as requested. Ok? See you then sir, Give me a call when your ready.”
So keep all this in mind if you ever find yourself steeply discounting a landscape project, possibly because the project is an experiment for you and may be outside your current skill set. Just because you feel you are giving them a price break doesn’t mean they understand it. Instead of getting a landscape customer that you can experiment with, you just might end up with a cheap customer that costs you more than the job was worth.

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