I got lowballed on a lawn bid again!

Have you ever pulled up to a lawn care customer’s property, only to find another landscaping company already there and mowing the yard? What should you do when this happens? In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one landscaper who had this experience and wanted help on the best way to deal with the situation.

One new lawn care business owner wrote “I was out on my lawn mowing route Monday and pulled up to a house, we had only mowed twice so far. It’s a pretty small yard and we bid the mowing at $30 bi-weekly. Monday when we pulled up, there was a new lawn care crew out mowing the yard.

I called the homeowner and said there is a crew mowing the yard. She told me they gave her a price of $20 to mow, and sorry I meant to call you but forgot. I wanted to tell her, well since we were already there and hadn’t been notified I will have to charge you for half/full price of the yard. I have on all my invoices that I require 3 days notice for cancelled service. What do any of you guys do in a situation like that?”

A second lawn care business owner responded “it sucks when that happens and you probably could bust her chops a bit but in the end it is just a deadbeat lawn care customer looking for a sucker to take care of her responsibilities. I’d just chock it up for experience, it is not worth the grief for a $30.00 lawn.

Most lawn customers automatically think just because they found some low baller to offer them a lower price, that you are ripping them off and are a thief. We are all one low baller away from losing our work all together.

In the town where I grew up, a bunch of old landscape businesses pretty much had the entire area on lock down and then they all jumped on the illegal worker band wagon.

Fast forward a dozen years to today and these illegal workers started their own businesses in the same town and took their work away and half the big companies are out of business. These guys literally took over the town and they really got their grip tight on the area when the economy went south. Why? because they were low balling.”

A third shared “I mow for everyone. From strangers, to neighbors, to friends, and I require they all pre-pay. It saves me a ton of headache. I just explain to them that I’ve been screwed in the past and have to protect myself. This was only an issue for 1 customer who ended missing her billing date every month for 3 months and then fired me without notice because she said I wasn’t sending her the bills. It won’t, be an issue for anyone who isn’t looking to screw you from the beginning. Plus it is easier to manage your cash flow because you are 30 days ahead of your expenses with your revenue.”

A fourth said “I don’t do contracts at all. I feel like it’s up to the customer if they want to discontinue my mowing service. But I would try to slam them with a minimum charge or maintenance fee on their last invoice for showing up without proper cancellation notice. You’d be amazed…most people will pay it because they feel bad. I’m sure you’ll pick up a new customer soon.”

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.ā€¯

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

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