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JFizzle
11-04-2006, 05:50 PM
I know this is a dumb question but I'm curious how you guys with 100 accounts determine when to stop mowing a particular lawn for the season. I know you could ask them. Is that what you do? - Call all 100, shoot the breeze and then ask if you're done?

MY MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION: When you decide you are done how do you leave it with them? (assuming you want them back again next year) Do you write a letter or just a note on their statement? Do you do anything to get an idea as to whether or not they'll want you again come spring?

sildoc
11-04-2006, 06:31 PM
I know this is a dumb question but I'm curious how you guys with 100 accounts determine when to stop mowing a particular lawn for the season. I know you could ask them. Is that what you do? - Call all 100, shoot the breeze and then ask if you're done?

MY MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION: When you decide you are done how do you leave it with them? (assuming you want them back again next year) Do you write a letter or just a note on their statement? Do you do anything to get an idea as to whether or not they'll want you again come spring?
This all begins when you bid them. Lay out your program. Now here we mow nearly year round but in nov we to to 2 x a month and dec,jan and feb 1x. March is 2 again and then april through oct is every week. Now there is exceptions to every yard as some go near dormant earlier and a couple we dang near mow every week year round.
As for if you are wanted next year, if you are doing a good job then you will always be wanted. I send out all my next year contracts on the 15th of January. That gives them 1-2 months to get it signed and you know what you are doing next year. Now most of my accounts always say if we don't see you before the holidays have a good one, if not we will see you next year.
Most will ask for a contract before you are done with this year. Just make sure you add some cost of living allowance for unforeseen fuel and other price hikes and give yourself a little raise.

ECS
11-04-2006, 07:43 PM
I treat every property as though it was my own. If I wouldn't want it done, I would not expect my people to want it done.

gqnine44
11-05-2006, 10:18 AM
I treat every property as though it was my own. If I wouldn't want it done, I would not expect my people to want it done.

You've never had any trouble with this strategy? Customers are weird. Some people will think their grass needs cut when it hasnt grown at all and others dont think their jungle of a front yard has grown at all. I cant predict what these wierdos want. Also, as soon as we skip someone without calling them it will turn out they are having some big event at their house that weekend. We try to stay in touch with customers either by phone or seeing them or leaving service sheets on their door. We can also use past history as a judge of what to do.

ECS
11-05-2006, 11:29 AM
The only time I have to worry about this is in the fall for cleanup. Just about every lawn here is on a sprinkler system, so I don't have to worry about the drought conditions as some do in other parts of the country. With that being said, all of my accounts get done on a weekly schedule until mid September. After that, it is up to me to decide as to when it will get done.

topsites
11-05-2006, 01:24 PM
It all falls into place while I'm doing leaf cleanups, I usually keep the Wb on the trailer just in case, and right now it still gets used considerably but it's fast coming to an end.

So as I drive past / do leaves, I also determine when is the last cut, usually right about now is the last one for most of them, thou a few may need one more cut in a month or so, depends on the weather really.

As for next year, some agree now, others call me in spring, and for the rest a few are dropped while one or two never call back / cancel, and then there's one or three for whom I resume services automatically (kinda like the Electric Co., if you don't cancel, they keep on providing services).

One way or the other, I don't call most but if I get a chance to talk to any, certainly I try and remember to present the question.

Oh yeah... DO keep your records!!! You'll need their names and numbers next spring!

J Hisch
11-05-2006, 03:45 PM
We continue service from season to season unless they cancel. We keep going back weekly for the leaves this time of year most call and request that we stop for the season. BUt if they dont then we mow through the first week of December. 3 weeks to go!!!!!

bamaone
11-05-2006, 04:14 PM
Very important. We send letters out in Oct. notifying that all customers that we will be changing their service from weekly to every other week w/ options for them to choose from:
-Continue weekly visits until instructed otherwise
-Every other week visits - Include Holidays (Thanksgiving & Christmas)
-Every other week visits - Exclude Holidays
-Holidays only
-Discontinue service thru Feb. - Contact us in Feb. regarding re-starting Spring service
etc.

This is also a good opportunity to include other services that you offer:
Mulch/Pinestraw
Existing Landscape Enhancements
Annual color installations
Weed control/fertilization

Gene $immons
11-07-2006, 08:09 AM
I send out a letter in the middle of February letting them know that we will begin services again around the 1st of March. This gives them time to call if they are cancelling.

ECS
11-07-2006, 08:58 AM
As far as them wanting me back in the spring goes, we contact each and every one of them and ask them. I do not beleive in just assuming that we are still doing the property. The same thing goes for plowing in the winter. One of my biggest lawn accounts I have because the LCO before me, just assumed they were doing it, never called or wrote.

We have had several people thank us for calling and asking. They said it was very professional.