Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, answered a question recently from a listener to his radio program:
We currently pay to have our lawn mowed each week. This expense is figured into our monthly budget, but we’re not quite out of debt yet. My wife says this is a luxury at this point, and I should cut the grass myself until we’re out of debt. What do you think?
Dave’s answer to this lawn care question was very close to the way we would have answered this question.
We believe most financial questions should be answered from a standpoint of a cost/benefit analysis. In essence, does the cost of the product/service outweigh the benefit of that product/service. If the cost outweighs the benefit then it is a luxury.
Dave Ramsey mentioned that a Doctor or a Lawyer with a high income can easily afford to hire a lawn care company. In fact, high income households SHOULD hire lawn care companies instead of doing the lawn themselves as they will make much more money performing their careers than they will pay for lawn care. Ramsey goes on to state that someone earning $12/hour will probably not earn enough at their job in the amount of time they would save by hiring a lawn care professional, therefore, they should cut the grass themselves.
We think Dave’s answer if pretty good. However, we can think of many examples when a $12/hour employee would hire a lawn care company and a Doctor would cut his own grass. Ability to take time off work is a great example. $12/hour employees often have their work lives dictated to them by their bosses. They often have to work double shifts and weekends because their bosses tell them to. They are often scrambling for extra hour of overtime they can get to increase their paychecks.
Doctors, on the other hand, often have much more autonomy in their jobs. They are able to take time away from work and if gardening or lawn care is their hobby then they don’t want to hire lawn care professionals even if they can afford it.
As a lawn care business owner, it is wise of you to consider your customer’s cost/benefit analysis. Seeing their budget through their eyes can help you point out how valuable your services are. Yes, we all want roster full of high income clients. However, sometimes, a $12/hour employee often needs, and is willing and able to pay, you to cut their grass on a weekly basis.
Our lawn care business guidebook has a great section showing you marketing strategies to help you gain a wide range of lawn care customers. We believe you need a good mix of lawn care customers to have a truly successful operation.
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