Something doesn’t sit right about this lawn care customer.

Have you ever gone out on a lawn care bid, talked to the potential customer, and gotten a bad feeling that you wouldn’t be getting paid to do the job you were called to bid on? That’s the situation one entrepreneur from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum experienced when he wondered what he should do to deal with the situation.

One lawn care business owner wrote “last week I went to do a landscaping bid on a property that needed a lot of weed cutting. I did what I normally do and told the person I would put some numbers together and get back to him this next week. I did hang around and chat for a little while and to be honest I just did not have a good feeling about this job. I kept getting this feel that I was going to work my butt off and then probably not get paid.

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 would be walking behind a field and brush mower. I estimated 8 hours total to cut the whole thing, they wanted it cut and all the 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.

When I presented the price to the customer, I got the usual sob story of money being tight and figured I would do them a favor. So I said 50% down ($75). I figured if they skipped out on the other 50% it would still be a loss, but not a loss on gas, and wear and tear on my machine.

I know for different areas people will be different as far as what they will and won’t pay. I always figure though it is better to make something than nothing. My area is primarily inhabited by retired people on fixed incomes I have to charge so little that it really messes with my margins, In most cases a flat tire on my tractor can be the difference of making or losing money every time I go out.

Reflecting on this potential customer, I feel like I am ready to just leave it alone and pretend I did not even go over there and move on. Any advice?”

A second lawn care business owner responded “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 are ‘grass guys’, we should WANT to do every single crappy job out there, and if we don’t accept the work, we are somehow bad at running our business. This is complete nonsense and you’ll often hear it from people who are used to getting their way 100% of the time.

I say 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.

It takes some getting used to when you first start out. I drove myself crazy when I’d lose even the worst clients and I mean 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.”

A third shared “why does a 50% deposit not cover your costs? Are your 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.

If this is a full days worth of work then you are really low balling yourself. If you gotta use a brush mower and then clean up all the clippings, that’s a ton of work, plus the travel time to the job. I would definitely 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. I would walk away if he doesn’t want to pay up front and you got a bad feeling.”

A fourth added “my response to prospective clients who balk at my prices is very straight forward, I tell them this. I think I work hard and pursue quality above all else, and my work is worth what I charge.”

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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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
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