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Shane7258
03-26-2006, 07:39 PM
Can't believe it is the start to year two. I have recieved and called myself all of last years accounts plus I've added quite a few more. They came by Word of mouth the most and some advertising. Lessons learned
A. Be a better salesman when quoting prices
how can you do this? Get a book on sales and let me say it is all in the verbage for example. When you greet someone... How are yall doing...wow you've got a nice size yard and go from there what does that do it gets them thinking higher in price because they know the yard is really bigger than what they want to pay for and it allows them to pay more..

B. Deal with idiots better and get time hackers off of my to do list. Idiots who always say something stupid about the yard and expect you to be there all day for 50 bucks.

C. Gas costs money charge for it.

I learned that a 48 inch deck is to big for my area and I need a 42 and I am looking at a Mini Z by hustler

Try not to bag anybodys yard period and if you do charge for it

And lastly but most importantly NUMBERS NEVER LIE

Hope this helps I hope to get into the 40,000 bracket after overhead this year

Landscape25
03-26-2006, 08:05 PM
I started my second year in Oct. but no lawn service. That is so true about the numbers though. I am finally starting to get a grip on true numbers although I still have not been to good about calculating things like estimate time and have not calculated book/numbers time at all. I intend to pay myself this year quarterly, although not as much as I would like since I don't have enough business to really cover my overhead and make a profit. It is really kind of fun learning though. I could use a sales book for sure but would probably forget what it said when I got to the property, I still get a little nervous, but I am sure that passes with more and more estimates. Congratulations on making it to your second year.

Green-Cuts
03-26-2006, 08:22 PM
Hey

How much would you charge for baging? Most of the other LCO's bag around here and I personally do not want to do it but will do it to make sure the lawn looks good. I have heard that $5.00 for a bag is good.
THanks
BJ

2 clowns mowing
03-26-2006, 08:31 PM
starting my second year april 8th, did well last year did 60 yards a week. then over winter plowed snow and did tree work. delivered over 1000 flyers have little responce but it's still cold here. my brother-in-law is helping me this year. used a 48" ferris last year. buying a 60" and a 42" this year. set my customers up on prepaid programs which work very well. :)

chriscraft
03-26-2006, 08:31 PM
we dont bag unells its absoultely isisted upon . We charge 2.00 per bag (compost bag) plus 2.00 per bag if we have to haul to dump. Its still to cheap

Green-Cuts
03-26-2006, 11:26 PM
HI

What is a compost bag? Can you drop off bags of grass at most landfills?

THanks
BJ

topsites
03-26-2006, 11:36 PM
Hey

How much would you charge for baging? Most of the other LCO's bag around here and I personally do not want to do it but will do it to make sure the lawn looks good. I have heard that $5.00 for a bag is good.
THanks
BJ

You mean, 5 dollars per every time you empty the bag or 5 dollars for the whole yard?

Reason I ask is I don't bag because:
- 5 dollars for the whole yard isn't worth it when it takes me twice as long just to cut the grass.
- 5 dollars / bag might be a bit much (my bag is smallish) but then 15 dollars / yard for a 30-35 dollar yard wouldn't be that far off... My problem is I don't see many folks willing to pay 45-50 for this and then they want it hauled off which means it's still too cheap.

It is for this reason I removed the hardware from my machine that makes this possible.
For the most part, I just act like I can't do it but if I have to, I'll throw the bag away next (it stays underneath the house because it does raise the value of the machine come time to sell it).
I figure they didn't call these mowers 'recyclers' for no reason, I truly believe the Toro commercial Walk-behind was never designed to bag, thou it does come as an accessory (300 dollars for a bagging system to boot).

sheshovel
03-26-2006, 11:48 PM
#1-Lesson you should have learned is not to think of any of your customers as "Idiots".They can see it in your eyes and read it on your face.It's a bad habit to get into and bad business to think or speak of your customers in such a derogatory manner.

LawnBrother
03-27-2006, 05:32 AM
It is my 3rd year in business and I have also learned a few things I can share.
-First, keep good records. A Dome accounting log book is a great way to do this when you are small time. It is easy, you just have to be disciplined about putting your numbers in every day.
-Second, always keep looking for ways to to become more efficient. Keep your routes tight, and don't waste your time doing lawns you don't make any money on.
-Always do great work. It is a direct reflection on your company and yourself.
-Find yourself a niche. There are a lot of companies cutting grass. You have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the rest. Only you can decide how to do this.
-Never stop learning. Be an information junkie. Become the expert at what you do.
-I have learned a tremendous amount from all the people here on Lawnsite. Stay tuned, it is a great resource.
Good luck this year, everyone!

Shane7258
03-27-2006, 09:20 AM
How to avoid bagging a yard remember we have to be salesman. If you're not running a walker mower that always bags for the most part here is a technique

Try to let them know like this Ok Great, so I will mulch the front and back... pause and wait for a response 9 out of ten they will agree.. the one will say well I want it bagged... then lead in with this Is there an area in your back yard that I can put the clippings now you will get some that will sya yeah right over there and there will be some that say I A. want it bagged and ask him can you leave it for the trash man or he will tell you he wants you to hall it.
Bagged and dumbed on their property 5
Bagged and bagged for the trash 10
bagged and hauled 15
On reasonable yards bump the prices according to size
Some will change their mind and go with the mulch or dumpped on property

Someone had the right idea don't spend time on accounts that are idiots drop them for example I got ripped off on a yard for 50 bucks for 5 hours and the man was a nice guy but was a butt hole. If there was one blade of grass out of a million turned the other way he wouold say something but he failed to realize he had bermuda, st augustines, centapeod and someother grasses all mixed to gether he was and is an idiot and I don't and would never service someone like him again.

People forget like when they buy cars we have to make an honest living and the margins of profit are so small we can not waste time on idiots not every one is an idiot but they are out there

Shane7258
03-27-2006, 09:22 AM
Ps I had a lady that had seventy five bags of grass and she couldn't understand why I charged 150 for a spring clean up my truck and trailer was full I just showed her the truck and asked her this what would you yourself charge someone to haul this away.... she said I see and I said fair enough... I not bringing you to the bank this is just what it costs

daveintoledo
03-27-2006, 10:03 AM
i tell them this...

have you ever seen the golf course you play at bag the grass, do you think they bag the grass on athletic feilds.....
bagging the grass robs the lawn of vitual nutrition, i tell them its like taking the vegetables off your dinner plate for the summer, just not done like that anymore, and things have changed

Shane7258
03-27-2006, 07:23 PM
you're not being a salesman and a nice salesman will get more and they will be happy paying more because they like you. Believe me it's true and I don't know why people don't like the truth they are afraid of it surgar coat and charge and its a win win

Tn Lawn Man
03-27-2006, 07:47 PM
Here is one tip that I have learned.

I quit providing alternate services like shrub pruning and mulching for people who are not my regular mowing customers.

I found that I spent WAY too much time giving estimates on alternate services and not getting the job. The jobs that I did get did not compensate for the time lost on the estimates for the lost jobs.

lowballer17
03-27-2006, 08:43 PM
Here is one tip that I have learned.

I quit providing alternate services like shrub pruning and mulching for people who are not my regular mowing customers.

I found that I spent WAY too much time giving estimates on alternate services and not getting the job. The jobs that I did get did not compensate for the time lost on the estimates for the lost jobs.

Bingo.

Cut, Edge & Trim for one low price.

CC Lawncare
03-27-2006, 08:59 PM
bagging the grass robs the lawn of vitual nutrition
I agree Dave. Customers agree once you educate them. :) There are times that we NEED to bag though for various reasons and at that time I typically charge double the cost of just mowing the lawn. That works out to be the fair charge for almost all of the sites that we do.

CC Lawncare
03-27-2006, 09:12 PM
I don't know why people don't like the truth they are afraid of it
I agree with you that people are more apt to pay well when they "like you" but if you keep refering to your customers as "idiots", they will soon see through your acting and rip the rug out from under you. You will be a lot further ahead in the long run by telling them the truth of what is best for their lawn health. If you are "selling" the facts and not fiction, it will go they way that it should for you and them both.
Please don't misinterpret my comments. I only mean this to be CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and really think it will benifit you.:)

rfed32
03-27-2006, 09:15 PM
if i do leaf jobs or bag i charge them 5dollars per bag and then bag it right there put it in the back of my truck and put it out front of my hosue...at my township building i can by bags for 15bucks and i got 100bags so i am making out in the long run...not many people use this but if they do i make out...i also buy 200bags right away and buy 100 here and there as i need them