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6'7 330
08-20-2005, 12:19 AM
Your operation only mulches, you have a no bagging policy. You get calls from five customerís, all on the same side of the street all lined up in a row. They all inform you, mulching is unacceptable. All the hags want to see bags on the mowers, or youíre fired.

These five accounts are good full service accounts; a good deal of monthly change comes jingling in every month. And despite the fact, you have tried to educate them on the benefits of mulching; they refuse all logic and say mulching is bad for the turf.

Do you reverse policy and bag? Or tell the hags to bag off?

mcwlandscaping
08-20-2005, 12:21 AM
5 in a row! Add some extra$, and bag em'. Thats what i would do. Full service accounts are not worth loosing over bagging. Good Luck, just my 2 cents!

Ketron'sLawnService
08-20-2005, 12:31 AM
Yeah, i'd bag and charge them more for it. The customer is always right, that means you have the right to charge them for it...........

imdawrlus
08-20-2005, 12:42 AM
yup....charge by the bag

QualityLawnCare4u
08-20-2005, 12:45 AM
When I run into these old folks with SCBS (senior citizen bagging syndrome) yes I will do it and charge extra for it. This was the main reason I purchased the lazer z with the qds dump from the seat bagging system.Their are some folks you just cant educate and the client is always right :rolleyes:

sheshovel
08-20-2005, 12:50 AM
I don't allow my clients to dictate how I do my work,I also don't take threats very well. I for one would drop um like a hot balloon.I don't like being told what to do.
But then again..
I would never get into a situation like that at all.
Because I keep my business flexible and able to meet my clients needs.
They are my bread and butter.

olderthandirt
08-20-2005, 12:55 AM
it comes down to 2 deciding factors
Do I or don't I need the work?

QualityLawnCare4u
08-20-2005, 12:57 AM
I don't allow my clients to dictate how I do my work,I also don't take threats very well. I for one would drop um like a hot balloon.I don't like being told what to do.
But then again..
I would never get into a situation like that at all.
Because I keep my business flexible and able to meet my clients needs.
They are my bread and butter.
Sheshovel, I agree with running your biz your way. However, when you get so many request for it and there is 2 lco for every yard in your area you will do things you may not like to do. I actually lost a real good yard last May because I would not bag it so I had to change my policy to "survive". Now when I get so much biz I have to start turning it away then this will change. Have a good one :waving:

rodfather
08-20-2005, 06:07 AM
it comes down to 2 deciding factors
Do I or don't I need the work?

Exactly. And if I do decide to bag, I would follow my pappy's great advice he gave me one day...charge accordingly

Roger
08-20-2005, 06:22 AM
yup....charge by the bag

I have read this suggestion many times on LS. Does anybody really do this? If so, do you get into wrangles with the customer on bag counts?

I keep track of bag counts, but for my own purposes. I cannot help but thinking of the feedback when the customers get their invoice and start questioning bag counts. In theory it sounds great -- heavy grass, more time, more $$$. But, can it really be implemented without a huge hassle? I doubt it.

shepoutside
08-20-2005, 08:27 AM
I'd bag, and nice that they are all together too.

TURFLORD
08-20-2005, 08:57 AM
If I can get $200 hr I would bag their damn grass.

Lux Lawn
08-20-2005, 10:46 AM
Yes I would keep them but not at the same price.Now there is extra work involved bags that need to be purchased and maybe even hauled away.

jtrice11
08-20-2005, 10:56 AM
everything has its price....

impactlandscaping
08-20-2005, 11:02 AM
:D If I were using 21's, Bill, I'd hang the bag and close the discharge lever. And just for shtz and giggles, go to the truck at the end of each lawn, and "dump" a bag of clippings. Seriously, ..We charge 20% more for bagging and $ 2.00 for each bag of clippings removed with a 21 and $ 5.00 for each bag of clippings in a GrassGobbler. If they were full service, they'd understand the extra cost ..or they should..lol. If not, drop them all and have an extra day each week for family.

Ric
08-20-2005, 11:14 AM
it comes down to 2 deciding factors
Do I or don't I need the work?


Mac

I will throw in "can your present equipment bag?????" also.

This is a very real Question. Although most customers are educated to Mulching because a push by the state to keep land fills Grass clipping free. There are many out there that insist on Bagging.

Back in the day I put a mulching deck on a Walker bagger and the customer never knew the differences. They saw the same machine mowing and never questioned.

TennisBum
08-20-2005, 11:17 AM
Bagging is a PIA but you have to look at the bright side: It does leave a cleaner looking yard and there's a lot less mess to cleanup. So my advice is the same as most: Bag and charge extra. The extra should be directly proportional to the additional time spent. :waving:

6'7 330
08-20-2005, 02:35 PM
Let me add a kink in the chain, the accounts will have a lot of grass to dispose of. At this point in time, the only compost dumpsite is 2 hours round trip. The five accounts, are your only Bagged accounts.

Also, is changing company policy for these five letting the customer dictate policy ,or is it called being a flexible smart businessman, able to adapt to the situation.

olderthandirt
08-20-2005, 02:44 PM
Let me add a kink in the chain, the accounts will have a lot of grass to dispose of. At this point in time, the only compost dumpsite is 2 hours round trip. The five accounts, are your only Bagged accounts.

Also, is changing company policy for these five letting the customer dictate policy ,or is it called being a flexible smart businessman, able to adapt to the situation.

It all comes down to the dollars payup Whats your time worth? Whats setting policy and never changing it worth?
For the right amout of money I'm willing to do most anything :D But the right amount can be a lot more than most people would pay

I will throw in "can your present equipment bag?????" also.
Ric, thats part of "do I need the money", if the answers yes then I would come up with the equipment if I did'nt have it.

It still comes down to how much I can put and keep in my pocket after the work is done. Not enough to satify me then the answers would always be NO

Scotts' Yard Care
08-20-2005, 02:44 PM
How desperate are you for the work? When Bill threw the other stipulations in
about the trip to the dump etc. I immediately thought drop 'em :D I think it will come down to whether your area allows grass dumping and whether you can find a farm or other place to leave the clippings. If every yard service refuses to bag where will that leave your troublesome customers? :D Hopefully they'll be forced to do the better thing and allow mulching or spreading from an open discharge.

sheshovel
08-20-2005, 03:22 PM
Sheshovel, I agree with running your biz your way. However, when you get so many request for it and there is 2 lco for every yard in your area you will do things you may not like to do. I actually lost a real good yard last May because I would not bag it so I had to change my policy to "survive". Now when I get so much biz I have to start turning it away then this will change. Have a good one :waving:

Read again..I said( I KEEP MY BUSINESS FLEXIBLE TO MEET MY CLIENTS NEEDS)

Ric
08-20-2005, 03:27 PM
:dizzy:

The Two hour trip to the dump would be a deal killer for me for sure. Regardless of the money involved. In fact the Idea of Bagging in the first place would be a deal killer with todays Methods. Granted at one time all we did was bag and didn't really get paid for it. What a PITA. But it was the Norm at that time. There are too many good customer out there to get involved Today.


Also, is changing company policy for these five letting the customer dictate policy ,or is it called being a flexible smart businessman, able to adapt to the situation.

In this case I would think it is letting the customer dictate My Policy. Once you start changing your Business design for one customer you are no longer a businessman but a handyman who will scratch for a buck anyway you can.

""What Kind of Mower should I buy??"" What kind of Market do have and Where is your Nitch?????????????? McDonalds and Walmart don't just throw up stores and hope to have customers. They research potential market area first and make a business plan. No, they can't get every customer and don't expect too. But they plan to get the best market with the greatest potential for them. Follow suit and Learn from the big boys.


flexible smart businessman, able to adapt to the situation

Part of being a Flexible Businessman is recognizing Situations and making the right choice of Adaptation to fit potential markets. In the case of Bagging (at Least here in Florida) It is pa sa and very much frowned on by the Environmentalist and State Agency. In addition let me add that customer who would make demands like this one would also be PITA on other things and not worth the stress. I have aways tried to stay away from customer who have special demands or needs outside of what I decided very normal or services I Offered.

:D

S man
08-20-2005, 03:36 PM
I have one I bag for an old lady but I mulch and she can't tell the difference.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-20-2005, 04:13 PM
Read again..I said( I KEEP MY BUSINESS FLEXIBLE TO MEET MY CLIENTS NEEDS)

LOL. Sheshovel, I understood your post perfect. If I dont get to ruffle your feathers at least once a day I feel like the whole day was wasted. I also have to ruffle the wifes feathers at least once a day too. :D Its what I do best next to lawn care.

6'7 330
08-21-2005, 03:38 AM
:dizzy:

The Two hour trip to the dump would be a deal killer for me for sure. Regardless of the money involved. In fact the Idea of Bagging in the first place would be a deal killer with todays Methods. Granted at one time all we did was bag and didn't really get paid for it. What a PITA. But it was the Norm at that time. There are too many good customer out there to get involved Today.




In this case I would think it is letting the customer dictate My Policy. Once you start changing your Business design for one customer you are no longer a businessman but a handyman who will scratch for a buck anyway you can.

""What Kind of Mower should I buy??"" What kind of Market do have and Where is your Nitch?????????????? McDonalds and Walmart don't just throw up stores and hope to have customers. They research potential market area first and make a business plan. No, they can't get every customer and don't expect too. But they plan to get the best market with the greatest potential for them. Follow suit and Learn from the big boys.




Part of being a Flexible Businessman is recognizing Situations and making the right choice of Adaptation to fit potential markets. In the case of Bagging (at Least here in Florida) It is pa sa and very much frowned on by the Environmentalist and State Agency. In addition let me add that customer who would make demands like this one would also be PITA on other things and not worth the stress. I have aways tried to stay away from customer who have special demands or needs outside of what I decided very normal or services I Offered.

:D


Business lesson from Ric, the businessman does not let potential pain in the ass customers dictate policy.

topsites
08-21-2005, 04:15 AM
it comes down to 2 deciding factors
Do I or don't I need the work?

I am with you and the rest of the guys who feel a bit testy about this bit thou I can only be as testy as the schedule indicates ... Right now my schedule is full, but even when it's empty, bagging ONE small lot is one thing but 5? Did you say a lot of grass? What, cubic yards worth? That's 60 dollars / trailer load just for the haul fee, they wouldn't go for it but wait...

First of all, it's NOT the amount of work that really matters because I've had my share of ppl offer me a LOT of work in the past and the general idea has this ring to it that I would do it cheaper (you know, wholesale rate). Yeah, so a lot of work doesn't mean a lot of money, not always.

Second of all, I don't bag and it's one of those things if you push me wrong or I don't like your hair, we're done before we get started because I don't break the rules for NOBODY and the reason for not breaking the rules is because it usually spells trouble.

Thirdly, I no longer have the advantage of a big 16-acre farm at my disposal where for the first 3 years I not only kept my equipment but was able to dispose of most any amount of organic debris without further ado. Today any disposal goes on my own 1-acre lot and it is in a residential zone so I am none too keen on taking on LARGE amounts of detritus (I really want NONE) because I already know I will need a small tractor soon just to help process it into mulch and if it looks bad then the neighbors can call the county officials on me and I will be in a world of trouble.

Last but not least, MOST people can't afford the extra it costs to bag. MOST people assume it's only 5 bucks extra but them folk can kiss my arse because it takes almost TWICE as long to bag a lawn vs. not bagging especially since I need to get paid for UNLOADING off my trailer as well and then there is a disposal fee if you want to call it that, so let those hags come around and wait until you see the look on their faces when I quote them the price for bagging, I can assure you the joke is over right then and there.

However, it COULD be they're actually willing to pay for it and if such were the case then I would bag it... thou somehow I doubt it.

topsites
08-21-2005, 04:17 AM
it comes down to 2 deciding factors
Do I or don't I need the work?

I am with you and the rest of the guys who feel a bit testy about this bit thou I can only be as testy as the schedule indicates ... Right now my schedule is full, but even when it's empty, bagging ONE small lot is one thing but 5? Did you say a lot of grass? What, cubic yards worth? That's 60 dollars / trailer load just for the haul fee, they wouldn't go for it but wait...

First of all, it's NOT the amount of work that really matters because I've had my share of ppl offer me a LOT of work in the past and the general idea has this ring to it that I would do it cheaper (you know, wholesale rate). Yeah, so a lot of work doesn't mean a lot of money, not always.

Second of all, I don't bag and it's one of those things if you push me wrong or I don't like your hair, we're done before we get started because I don't break the rules for NOBODY and the reason for not breaking the rules is because it usually spells trouble.

Thirdly, I no longer have the advantage of a big 16-acre farm at my disposal where for the first 3 years I not only kept my equipment but was able to dispose of most any amount of organic debris without further ado. Today any disposal goes on my own 1-acre lot and it is in a residential zone so I am none too keen on taking on LARGE amounts of detritus (I really want NONE) because I already know I will need a small tractor soon just to help process it into mulch and if it looks bad then the neighbors can call the county officials on me and I will be in a world of trouble.

Last but not least, MOST people can't afford the extra it costs to bag. MOST people assume it's only 5 bucks extra but them folk can kiss my arse because it takes almost TWICE as long to bag a lawn vs. not bagging especially since I need to get paid for UNLOADING off my trailer as well and then there is a disposal fee if you want to call it that, so let those hags come around and wait until you see the look on their faces when I quote them the price for bagging, I can assure you the joke is over right then and there.

However, it COULD be they're willing to pay for it and if such were the case then I would bag it... thou somehow I doubt it and I am sure if I ever get a phonecall asking me to do something like this, I likely wouldn't get excited enough to even go give the estimate and there's a 50-50 chance at best I won't even bother.

topsites
08-21-2005, 04:27 AM
I have read this suggestion many times on LS. Does anybody really do this? If so, do you get into wrangles with the customer on bag counts?

I keep track of bag counts, but for my own purposes. I cannot help but thinking of the feedback when the customers get their invoice and start questioning bag counts. In theory it sounds great -- heavy grass, more time, more $$$. But, can it really be implemented without a huge hassle? I doubt it.

Yeah, I don't see it working either. Thing is I don't always let the bag fill up because once it's full I'm not always near the trailer thus I empty it when I'm near the trailer and if it isn't full then so be it.
I just figure it takes twice as long, so charge them double IF they want to insist on this bagging nonsense. Personally and to be quite blunt, I think bagging is for people who are new in the business OR for when things are real bad and you gotta kiss their arse and I really HATE that crap, so much in fact that I now spend several thousand / year on advertising just because I been there one too many times... No man f*k the competition factor, I got at LEAST 100 lco's in my area and I can tell you it boils down to who is WILLING to do it because the demand is sky high and at LEAST HALF of these 100+ lco's are newer than I am and far as I'm concerned, one of THEM can do it.

Roger
08-21-2005, 06:40 AM
Topsites ... I will have to disagree with the comment about bagging for those new, or when things are bag. I've read so many posts on LS about this topic and believe the general statements just don't apply across the board.

For this area, during heavy growth periods, the idea of mulching is just not practical. And, many properties have small islands of turf, penninsulas, narrow strips, etc that make discharge impractical. Rarely does any customer permit mowing less than once per week, so the grass cutter had to deal with what is there when he shows up. And, for me, I don't want five day customers at some time of the season, seven days at other times of the season.

I do selective bagging. I'm solo, with most properties .50 or .75 acre. The average turf to mow is probably about 25K sq ft. Often the front and around the house is bagged, but the larger, more open rear areas are not. Of the 40 properties, only two are totally bagged. About 10 have no bagging.

I know of no LCO in this area who mulches, even part of the time.

Obviously, I've established my operation to include bagging. Bagging does not take twice the time for me. Having multiple bags (for the hand mowers), and knowing where to place tarps for dumping is key to a more productive process. I think my operation is very typical of most other LCOs -- bags for thier hand mowers, Gobblers for w/b, vacs for ZTRs, and something to haul clippings away. It is just a way in this area. The need has nothing to do with senior citizens, hags, or ridiculous customer requirements.

To be sure, in recent weeks with hot, dry conditions, bagging has become more rare. Many of those with heavy bagging needs in the Spring have been mulched. So many mowings have been skipped since late June -- I would rather mow every week with bagging, than have lost so many mowings because of lack of grass growth.

I'm glad the 'no bagging' idea works for many in other areas, but it isn't the way grass cutting works in my area.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-21-2005, 09:15 AM
I agree with Ric and topsite. However like the above poster said it does not apply to every area. I HATE bagging as bad as anyone. However, it does not take me any longer to mulch or bag a yard with short grass and pine straw if its done on a regular schedule. What I WILL NOT do is haul it off, must be on site dumping. Last week my 8 year commercial account manager asked me if I would bag for a special occasion they were having outside. I do not have to haul it off and I dump it by the curb for city pickup. I dont mind this once in awhile. Also, the Exmark with the large dump from the seat bagger made me not dread to bag as I used to, actually it made it a LOT more tolerable. Having the right equipment for the job makes it more bearable. I also have one older lady that wanted it bagged and I finally got her to let me bag every 4th time and she is happy and yard looks great. Got the older lady next door and doing her same way, mulch 3 times and bag it the 4th and it takes me no longer doing it either way.