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moving from hourly rate to fixed pricing

hi all,  im looking for some advice I currently run a small one man garden maintenance  business an ive been thinking of dropping hourly rate in favour of fixed prices any tips, experiences or advice on the best way  to approach the change over

TIA

chris  

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  • Hi Chris, I want to do the same, it becomes a problem though when you have regular weekly or fortnightly customers that know you as that 'x amount per hour guy'. Someone told me though that he doesn't want to be worried about going on his phone or popping out for a sandwich whilst on a job therefore he will only price per job

    • PRO
      I'm guessing I may loose some clients as no matter what some people will always want to pay as cheap as possible to have their garden maintained but I'm hoping the majority will be happy to change over. I'm also thinking that if I charge per job I will have more time to do a full job rather than trying to cram everything in to a specified time slot as at the moment I seem to be on constant catch up. But I don't know as the the question I get asked the most is "what do you charge an hour". So anyone with any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • PRO

    Not every client will want a fixed price. But don't worry too much about those that don't. Last week I had an answer phone message from a woman who wanted her 100 ft hedge cut but she stated she would only want me to quote for I charged per hour... I didn't ring her back.

    • PRO
      Customers really do ask the weirdest things quite often they assume you will say "no problem I'll now your massively over grown lawn front an back an weed out the beds for 5 quid".
  • PRO
    I find these days that customers really don't dictate anything to me, when I look at a garden I end up giving the prospective client the third degree, basically YOU explain to me why I should take your garden on.... Like Seth, if someone tries to tell me how I'm going to price up a garden then they won't even get a look in... biggest tip I have is "be confident in yourself ".
    • PRO
      I have to admit I have,especially over this past year, started to decline stuff I don't really want to do an I have dropped a couple of customers which never paid on time. The thing I'm unsure about is if to switch to monthly billing an look to setting up bank transfers or direct debit ett or stick to pay on the day. Most of my older customers don't do online banking at all
    • PRO
      I'm glad it's not just me that interviews clients! Im in the fortunate position where I can pick and choose and as I do this job as a lifestyle choice I don't want to deal with 'crap' on every visit. I also don't give the "not today thanks' customers a second chance. They are always told its either now or I'm not coming back! I never negotate my prices and I quote both per job and by the hour depending on the actual job.
  • Never ever go by the hour. Look at the job and price it. Look at as how much do I want to make a day then price accordingly. It's no point been stuck in a garden for say 4hrs for x rate when you could make triple that cutting other people's lawnsor hedges. Gardeners always get asked how much per hour, it's strange but they don't ask any other trade.be brave and tell them I don't do by hour , I will give you a price. Good luck
  • The thing is pricing a job for cutting lawns or hedges is easy- it's when the customer wants all the other stuff. Perhaps it's because weeding can sometimes be a never ending job that needs to be done every week therefore I see it that weeding can only be priced by the hour. Tell me where I'm going wrong
  • Or should I not get involved with weeding? I'd be more than happy not to :)
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