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mark lagasse
05-04-2006, 10:55 PM
customer only wants service twice monthly in prime growing season. Do you do what the customer wants or say no because it might reflect on your work. High end subdivision.
Mark.

LLandscaping
05-04-2006, 11:05 PM
I would try to convince them to go weekly, if you really want the job give them two separate prices. Make the every other week price almost double the weekly price. We usually tell them we need to come weekly or find someone else.

HOOLIE
05-04-2006, 11:28 PM
No....I offer my services on my terms, up to the customer if they want to accept. Not the other way around...

My policy is, all lawns are cut weekly, with the possiblility of less frequent service in mid-summer if conditions warrant it. But all customers sign up with the understanding that mowing is a weekly thing.

nekos
05-04-2006, 11:32 PM
i only mow weekly also .
i have a few reasons why i wont mow every other week but the #1 reason is...
people that want their grass cut bi weekly are almost always cheap PITA's.

sheshovel
05-04-2006, 11:35 PM
I would say no or if you really need the money..mowing twice monthly I would double my price per mow.So your mowing twice but getting paid for 4 mows because it will be twice as hard to do.

1MajorTom
05-04-2006, 11:41 PM
Your profile says you are a new startup, and most new LCO's are hungry for work, and I can understand you not wanting to turn them away. It would be nice to start out with all premium accounts, but that's not the way it works.
We were actually able to slowly but surely switch a few of our every other week customers to weekly service, once they realized that the lawn looked so much better getting cut more often. I say take it for the time being, see if you can switch them to weekly as the season goes on, but make sure not to underbid this one. Every other week accounts are more work, unless it is a very slow growing lawn.

Brianslawn
05-04-2006, 11:43 PM
we offer twice monthly mowing. just take the brush hog out.

ATVracer
05-04-2006, 11:44 PM
after their biweekly cut they will ***** and want it bagged or swept up since grass will be everywhere. prime growing season its hard to go past 10 days. try to get them to tri-monthly cuts.

mark lagasse
05-05-2006, 10:10 AM
Thanks. Thats what I was thinking , twice the price or no thank you if you don't want weekly

cwlawley
05-05-2006, 10:19 AM
I would take the work. Let her know upfront that the quality of the work, only biweekly will not be as good as the service would if done weekly. Also, let her know that you could do it weekly through prime growing times and switch to biweekly later. Charge her more for biweekly if she wants it and let her know that you have a "high grass" surcharge. If the grass gets over a certain point, charge her $5-10 extra.

MTR
05-05-2006, 01:14 PM
customer only wants service twice monthly in prime growing season. Do you do what the customer wants or say no because it might reflect on your work. High end subdivision.
Mark.

What mower you use? If your have like 23 hp and higher...those grass cut twice monthly is not gonna be much problem. I would charge extra not regular price for sure, but you have to be upfront with them on price. I have seen mostly wb that have problem doublecut, or triple cut those tall thick grass due to its lower hp. These type of yards are income restricted and not high-end neighbors, and most of their yards are not thickly fertilized, so just cut, mow, blow and go...then get paid, no question asked. I would not spend time for word, manicure...cause there is not what they want.

ENDURO
05-05-2006, 05:42 PM
Personally, I love the bi-weeklies. I get to charge more per hour to make it worth my time. Most are not premium lawns, they just want it cut so the other neighbors don't start complaining. I don't have to worry about making it look perfect b/c these are usually people that don't really give a crap what their lawn looks like. I do agree w/ what you guys said though, most are PITA's, you need to charge more, you need to make sure they understand it's not healthy for the grass, it will not look as good, and there will be lots of clippings left. As long as they agree to all of that and pre-pay w/ a credit card, no problems.

brucec32
05-05-2006, 05:47 PM
If it is a lawn that truely does not get that tall in 2 weeks you can make this work for you, instead of passing on potential customers in search of the weekly ones.

Charge about 25-30% more per cut for the lawn than you would for similar time-on-site for a weekly job. So instead of mowing a smallish lawn maybe 32 times at $30, you mow two different lawns 16 times at $39. The budget consious customer is happy to be paying $78 each month instead of $120 and percieves it to be a bargain (especially after two or three "weekly only" snobs have preceeded you in the quoting process). Meanwhile, you receive $1248 instead of $960 for that "slot" of time during your peak season. The key is, calculate the time needed to mow taller grass, then add the 25-30% on top of that.


An added bonus is that these are often very undemanding lawns that do not require a huge degree of technical mowing. Here, these lawns are mostly huge rectangles of weeds with minimal trimming/edging. I can mow some 3/4 acre lots faster than 1/4 intricately landscaped gems. You might sit on a ztr for 20 min, then trim, edge and blow in 10. Instead of maybe 15/15 on a nicer lawn, often where the tight conditions or owner preferences mean you are walk-mowing instead of riding. I use a walk behind on a lot of nicer lawns to get the look I want on rolling terrain. I'd rather sit, of course.

You're also less likely to get fired for a gouge or pivot mark on these lawns.

I prefer a mix of both. But generally I find the less appealing bi-weekly lots easier on the mind and body and more profitable overall. They are also often longer term customers, since here, the nice lawns are on the new homes, with corporate owners who move a lot.

Damian
05-05-2006, 08:01 PM
customer only wants service twice monthly in prime growing season. Do you do what the customer wants or say no because it might reflect on your work. High end subdivision.
Mark.

How do you feel about doing it twice monthly? Will your machines easily handle it? How much harder will you have to work doing the edging/blowing? What about trees and leafs? Will leafs pose an additional problem?

Personally, I don't like the irregular schedule of biweekly mowings, but I also use a 21" machine, so in the prime growing season, even a 10 day schedule can be too hard, especially if it becomes a two weeker due to weather. Also, depending on leafs, layout of the yard, etc., blowing off can sometimes add too much extra time, so be thoughtful there. It may not be an issue now, but what are you looking at in the Fall?

If you believe your equipment will handle it without a problem though, and like the others say, the customer is on the same page as to what kind of mess may be left behind, I say go for it. Double is too much, but extra is certainly warranted.

Obviously, getting them to go weekly is prime, and while they may eventually decide to do that, take the money in the meantime. Who knows, you may add a neighbor just being there.

cantoo
05-05-2006, 08:13 PM
We don't mind the biweekly ones, mow and go. If we feel the people are trying to save money we give them a decent price then suggest roundup instead of trimming and they usually go for it. We get on the mower in the cube van then go cut then get back off in the cube van and drive away. We don't even walk on the grass. These people just want the grass cut and aren't fussy at all. We have even converted some to weekly cuts and kept the same price and the round up trimmer.

topsites
05-05-2006, 08:21 PM
Thanks. Thats what I was thinking , twice the price or no thank you if you don't want weekly

Not all lawns need cutting EVERY 7 days guys... The only lawns I have need it that often are fertilized and sprinklered (or if it's raining lots). Most average lawns easily fall under a 8-10 or 10-12 day schedule but I schedule the lawn based on my experience of how often I think it needs cutting, and do not usually let the customer dictate this.

Exception to the rule:
I have a customer who has evidently been burned (or feels burned) by the 'we insist on weekly' Lco's. The guy has a decent yard but I can see it does NOT need it every 7 days on the dot, it can easily wait 10 maybe 12 days. Either way, the guy is nervous and only someone perceptive can catch where he's coming from, so he said he would call me and he did, and the grass was NOT outrageous thou it was tall, it wasn't beyond what I normally would or would not accept. It took a couple of passes but we're talking about 1/8 acre lot and I quoted the man 30 dollars and I'm in and out of there in 20 minutes with all that weedeating and stuff, it's fair as can be and it's almost to where I feel bad for charging so much (but I have to set a minimum).

But yes you have to be careful, a bimonthly cut is also a red-flag sign someone might be trying to get over on you!

So as you can see, it is a fine line we walk somedays in exchange for customer service.
In time, it gets better and you will become a finer judge of how often a yard truly needs cutting: It is my advice to you to please don't get greedy on yourself, remember the customers don't grow money on trees and thou there are a FEW out there who can spend thousands / year, most can not and will not do so and our fees add up quick and it strains their budget. I'm not saying bend over backwards, but do be reasonable and use your logic and common sense to work in such a way that your service is financially a smart move for them because you are the expert and that is why they hired you.

6'7 330
05-05-2006, 08:38 PM
If your a start-up, think you can handle the always ass high grass during fast growth periods, price according.The way it is around here now, I would hate to see how tall the grass would be after that second week,probably need a bush hog,the grass around here needs every three days. As you work your way up to better accounts ,get out of the per cut , or per anything, as soon as possible. Keep an eye on getting your clients on seasonal contract's, and full service contracts.

Scottscape
05-05-2006, 08:47 PM
charge almost double as said, and no raking. and make it clear to her that your quality of work reflects your customers so your trying to benifit the both of you by making her lawn look better by cutting weekly. I have a deal that I work out with alot of my customers that are 5000 sq/ft of under that I do 120 month and that means no more than 4 occurences a month and no less than 2 its work with alot of people and they seem to be happy and plus in the dry season more $$$. Something you guys might wanna give a try

mark lagasse
05-05-2006, 10:20 PM
This house is in a high end subdivision. It will need it every week after fert and rain. My yard needs it every five after fert and rain. Since I am fairly new at this I don't want to turn down accts but I want to reflect excellence in what I do. I also am getting some accts in a very high end country club. I got the clean up and maint on a house listed at 1.2mil. I under bid the weekly but that is a learning mistake for me. I will learn and do better next time. I put God in my business and he is blessing me with some very nice accts. I also have made a very good contact with a sales agent in the country club. She gets me bids.
Mark (new lco)
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jameson
05-05-2006, 10:29 PM
customer only wants service twice monthly in prime growing season. Do you do what the customer wants or say no because it might reflect on your work. High end subdivision.
Mark.

Depends on the lawn- How many sq. ft? Do they fertilize? Do they irrigate? I have some postage stamps (400 sq ft or less) that I do bi-monthly, no fertilizing and no irrigation. Happy me, happy client.

James

Evergreenpros
05-05-2006, 11:00 PM
Bi-weekly mowing, when bagging, takes 3-4x as long as weekly. When just discharging it's 1.5x but 2x to trim/edge/blow.

I learned the hard way to run from bi-weekly cuts. I can see bi-weekly in the summer if not watered or the late fall but no way in the spring.

dcgreenspro
05-05-2006, 11:19 PM
If you need the work, do it. But if you can, charge 2.5x than you normally would. it's going to be a head ache in the spring but you will make out in the summer and fall months. hope this helps.

twj721
05-06-2006, 12:02 AM
In my neck of the sticks that is all most of them want of coarse most of them have a pasture for either a front yard or back yard I have 1 customer that we do and with two 72" mowers it takes us 2 hrs to mow this place and then 2 hrs of weeder work guess that is one reason my smallest mower is a 61 inch cut the other 2 are 72 inch cuts do not mess with small yards only like wide spaces Pefer no fences or flower beds or trees

oldturf
05-06-2006, 01:45 AM
I informed two customers today that they will have to have two cuts per week during this fast growing season, (they both have extremely plush yards and have over fertilized them). One agreed almost instantly, his charge goes from $70.00 per week to $140.00 per week, the other who pays $65.00 per mow says he will have to think about it. I told him I will need to know by Monday in order to do my scheduling. Both of these customers came to me because of the lawns we do in the area and they were informed when they signed up that we only do quality lawns and they will cost what they cost. I have quit the bargain hunters, mainly because I have more work at present than I can keep up with and don,t need the hassle. Twice monthly is always trouble during the growing season, but not bad in July and Aug. around here.
I have done them in the past just to have enough cash flow to pay everyone forty hrs. a week, but thankfully those times are gone. So do what you have to do to build your business and you can slowly mold it to the way you want it to be. It is amazing how many people will look you up for service and be willing to pay for it when they see that your lawns stand out from the ordinary. Good luck.

justanotherlawnguy
05-07-2006, 12:42 AM
I wouldnt even bother with them. If a customer feels they have to tell me how often to cut their grass, then I dont even mess with them.

mark lagasse
05-08-2006, 01:28 PM
Thanks for the input. I am oing to bill for the cut and it will be 85 per cut if twice monthly.