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Exact Rototilling
03-03-2012, 02:09 PM
.....bed maintenance will be on a separate day independent of my route or schedule. She thinks $15 an hour is to much to charge. I think it not nearly.enough.

Here are the facts .....we don't work well together and the lawn biz has been a thorn in her side for years....long story.

I was surprised she even brought this up. She has a token job at my son's school. And really needs a real.summer job.

She doesn't think things through and has a time clock mentality.

I just don't want to have to assume her work if she bails on this at some.beat down rate.

Fire away.

Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 02:21 PM
Good idea in principle.
Price way too low.
She will tire of it quickly and pizz off the customer.
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Exact Rototilling
03-03-2012, 02:22 PM
Good idea in principle.
Price way too low.
She will tire of it quickly and pizz off the customer.
Posted via Mobile Device
Yup agreed
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Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 02:29 PM
Tell her to get a job at a local nursery that offers employee discounts.
Another detail is flower beds need work well before June and after September.
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Florida Gardener
03-03-2012, 02:49 PM
Yup, $15/hr for any service is too low. At minimum, for one person I would charge $35/hour, but get more if you can. I also wouldn't make a separate trip to clean up beds unless it is something that will be an all day event....
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Lefet2
03-03-2012, 03:31 PM
A few quick thoughts that come to mind is how will she handle it when it gets hot? It all sounds good until you have to do it in 90 degree temps. Think you don't work well together now can you imagine what it'll be like in 90 degrees? If she bails out you will have to pick up where she leaves off since they are your regular accounts. Will you be able to add that into your schedule? Has she ever worked with you before in the biz? Can she take direction from you when your on the job? Is this easier for her to create a job with you instead of finding a summer job herself? And my final thought is 15 dollars an hour is not nearly enough.

Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 03:45 PM
Tell her you'd like to hire her but the guys at the Lawnsite He~man Woman Haters Club said "girls are the bunk!"
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2brothersyardcare
03-03-2012, 04:02 PM
well i charge 40 so what dose that say?

Florida Gardener
03-03-2012, 04:30 PM
well i charge 40 so what dose that say?

That you charge 40
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shepoutside
03-03-2012, 04:38 PM
Great add on service, my daughter looks after all ours. Price for us is for the job, more then quoting a per/hr price, as that seems to scare people off around here.

jsslawncare
03-03-2012, 04:58 PM
I doesn't matter what you charge- that's not the issue. If you can't work together and she has never supported you I think you know the answer. Don't worry my wife feels the same way, she just doesn't want to work with me. THIS IS A BAD IDEA. Don't let her work with you.

NC Greenscaper
03-03-2012, 05:18 PM
That you charge 40
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Must you be so exact.:laugh:

Lefet2
03-03-2012, 05:30 PM
That you charge 40
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Too Funny!
It's a great add on service. We added this service last yr and our daughter was going to look after ours also but she became undependable. We had to finish the season. We are offering this service again this year since our customers really liked the option. The difference this season is that we are not counting on her this year, we know to fit it into our regular schedule. If she helps out great if not at least we were not counting on her.

Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Too Funny!
It's a great add on service. We added this service last yr and our daughter was going to look after ours also but she became undependable. We had to finish the season. We are offering this service again this year since our customers really liked the option. The difference this season is that we are not counting on her this year, we know to fit it into our regular schedule. If she helps out great if not at least we were not counting on her.

Are you related to the other Lefet or has he developed a multiple personality disorder?
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32vld
03-03-2012, 07:48 PM
$15 hour is not enough. If you had to pay someone on the books for $10 hr after workmans comp, UEI, then becomes $14.00 true cost.

So is taking on 1 hr of work worth generating $1.00 profit?

Next weeding should be done as a current add on service. Meaning weeding is performed while weekly service is being done.

That $1 profit is going to disappear real fast when the gas mileage wear and tear on taking another auto to run the same route a second time every week.

People do not want to hear that they will have to pay $30 for a half hour of weeding every week. They will balk at being charged $60 hr labor rate to do weeding.

So bill by the service/job not by the hour.

crazymike
03-03-2012, 08:19 PM
If you're going to do this, regardless of wife, etc...

best bet is to build it into the monthly cost. Then pay your wife $15 an hour to do it.

Bill your regular man hour rate. If it's a separate service, it won't be practical. You can't make money at $15, and nobody wants to pay a seperate $50 bill every month for gardening. But if you add $50 a month into the bill and she spends 30 minutes there over the course of a month. You win.

sjessen
03-03-2012, 10:10 PM
My thought is to put your marriage ahead of the business. Then, decide whether or not you want her to work with you. If not, suggest she start her own business/get a side job for the summer.

Good luck. Hope it work out.

LindblomRJ
03-03-2012, 11:16 PM
If she doesn't see eye to eye with you on what to charge it isn't going to work. I have an ex wife to prove that point. If you don't work well together it isn't worth the headache.

If she wants to take on the work, let her. Make it clear that she should charge a fair rate and make it clear on the terms of the agreement.

soloscaperman
03-03-2012, 11:29 PM
No because girls have cooties.

LindblomRJ
03-03-2012, 11:48 PM
No because girls have cooties.

They also have breasts. I like breasts. A lot. I like them a lot.

soloscaperman
03-04-2012, 12:04 AM
Being serious let her do it because if you don't she will remember it forever and you will never hear the end of it. I remember my Ex and I doing light tree work and my customer about 65 years old was reversing his car out of the driveway and looking at my ex and reversed into his sons car or students car (forgot who's car it was.) I was watching him and I knew he was going to hit it lol. My ex for a high maintenance girl actually hustled and it also built our relationship.

Exact Rototilling
03-04-2012, 02:29 AM
Being serious let her do it because if you don't she will remember it forever and you will never hear the end of it. ....snip....

Yes lots of good input here. And yes this just confirms what I already believe and/or know.

The facts are:


She canít take the heat and doesnít like the cold or wind either. Pretty much has to be a near perfect day. :rolleyes:
She has a bum shoulder that gets tweaked easily.
Last year I asked her repeatedly that one of my elderly clients needs a considerable amount of hand weeding done and she could never get to it. Wasnít working then either.
This service is best done at the time of mowing or just before for the cleanest possible appearance of the surrounding lawn area.
She would be driving around with a Honda Civic 34 mpg not a truck. Small truck is ideal.

Last summer I told her if you want to learn how the run my bigger WB mowers we can tag team and knock out lawns quicker - you are wasting time on a 21Ē. Fact is she canít lift the side catchers on the bigger WB well . And she could care less on keeping straight lines or if the lawn looks its best. I care and I strive for a finished appearance.

So.....fact is she canít work with me directly.

Going to ponder it a few more days and I might add the bed maintenance as an incidental service not weekly or constantly. I frankly canít handle it solo in the Spring due to aerations, garden tilling's and mowing's clogging my schedule....plus my other business at night. Once the Spring rush is over I could take over if needed.

I think an hourly rate for a big nightmare entangled areas is warranted. Incidental light hand weeding I can quote that and do fine for time spent.

What she is trying to do is not have to work a regular summer job when school is out.

Years ago she did Mary Kay. I wanted to boat anchor it ..... but I didnít want to be a party pooper and I wanted to see her succeed and give her a chance. Sure enough she struggled with it and she missed the 90% sell back date by a few day for the product she bought and was stuck with inventory.

I have my doubts this will create any real sustained work load for her. Time will tell.

Okay....there is a possibility this could....just maybe flow with another service I was going to offer and market near and ONLY near existing mowing accounts.

Many people struggle with edging and trimming but actually donít mind running the mower over the lawn. What I would do is weekly edging and trimming and blow off the hard surfaces. The selling point is they can have the manicured clean cut vertical summer burn free edges with out the cost of the full mowing service. Wife would do the hand weeding etc. She canít edge BTW that will never happen - not going to go there.

[B]The logistical log jam for her is the Spring schedule while she is working at the school. Going to talk turkey with her on a realistic time commitment from April to Early June.

sjessen
03-04-2012, 07:14 AM
Talking is the easy part. Following through is another matter.

3rdDayBrad
03-04-2012, 04:21 PM
New here, but not to landscaping and lawn maintenance..... Seems like you already have your answer to your own question. All your comments point to not taking this on with her. Sounds like more headaches in the long run. If you want to offer this service, then I agree that it should be a part of your weekly service. (Although, once the beds are under control, bi-weekly, or even every 3 or 4 weeks should work fine.) Just my opinion. Good luck with whatever your decision may be.

Lefet2
03-04-2012, 04:23 PM
Are you related to the other Lefet or has he developed a multiple personality disorder?
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Yes I am. The other half of the biz.

Kelly's Landscaping
03-05-2012, 08:27 PM
Go into this assuming the worse. She will leave you hanging and you'll have to cover this bs work and yes it is bs work. She may be vindictive and mouth off to clients or bad talk you and cost you accounts that way. You get a partial payment or its months late yet your end up fronting her hours despite not collecting because it could never be her money that didn't show its yours.

When your new to this and need the work your take anything and we probably have all wasted our time with this. But landscaping and lawn care are not gardening and they have much different overheads. A light duty truck with a wheel barrel and a few hand tools can do this line of work for 15-25 an hour. But landscapers can not and thus is a poor add on because you can not compete against real gardeners. Is it worth it to someone to pay me 60 an hour to weed their beds and dead head their flowers of course not but is is worth it for me to do it for under that Nope. Weather the 4 of us put in 180 hours a week or 260 we still need every hour to be billed at the appropriate rate even more so when we add on this stuff because then its at OT rates.

Patriot Services
03-05-2012, 08:44 PM
BS work? Hardly, just because it doesn't work for your model don't assume everybody else fits that mold.
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Florida Gardener
03-05-2012, 08:52 PM
BS work? Hardly, just because it doesn't work for your model don't assume everybody else fits that mold.
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Yup, I have a customer that pays me $40/hour and $20/hour for my employee to pick weeds, deadhead flowers, and garden. I would much rather do this all day than run big mowers and weedeat grass...that's just me though.
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Green Skapes
03-06-2012, 12:45 PM
$15/hr is way too cheap! How can you even make money at that rate? We do bed maintenance as part of our full service option and charge a monthly fee for it. However, we ONLY provide bed maintenance to customers who hire us to do mulch installation because the amount of weeds in planting beds varies by the type of mulch installed, the thickness and the prep before the mulch is installed. So, if we don't do that work, we will not do bed maintenance. When we started, we took on all bed maintenance and got burned by a lot of jobs. The key to being sucessful in this business in taking on the right kinds of work and working as efficient as possible.

Exact Rototilling
03-06-2012, 04:24 PM
Okay....I've got this figured out about 95%. I think I can make this work. I'm promoting this in my current customer mailer that goes out this next week. Snow is melting people will.be chomping at the bit here in a few weeks.

I had my doubts for the last few days but it just all clicked today :clapping:

I'll post some details later tonight when I have more time. :)
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Exact Rototilling
03-06-2012, 04:28 PM
Okay....I've got this figured out about 95%. I think I can make this work. I'm promoting this in my current customer mailer that goes out this next week. Snow is melting people will.be chomping at the bit here in a few weeks.

Labor rate will be higher than just $15 or $20. $25-$35 range.

I had my doubts for the last few days but it just all clicked today :clapping:

I'll post some details later tonight when I have more time. :)
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Patriot Services
03-06-2012, 04:39 PM
I can't wait to hear how your wife convinced you she is going to see this through.
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Get Some...
03-07-2012, 02:04 PM
I tend to shy away fron any hourly rate.
I work fast and have experiance, so things get done pretty quickly and done well.

Most folks relate hourly to what they can get done in an hour, so $35 or $40 sounds high to them.

Bed maintenance can be broken down to four or five visits in a season or once a month with a charge of $X per month.

Runner
03-08-2012, 02:31 AM
There is more money in beds than ANYone can possibly make with a mower... I net more in beds than I do fertilizing and spraying lawns. I gross more than the mowing crew by myself, as well. I have considered dumping EVERYthing and just focusing on bedwork. I have a good friend that does the same thing. His full time applicator can't touch what he makes (net), and each of 3 man his mowing crews don't even come close to the gross. Now, mind you,...this is only if the person doing it knows their stuff, and it is done right.

Exact Rototilling
03-08-2012, 02:57 AM
There is more money in beds than ANYone can possibly make with a mower... I net more in beds than I do fertilizing and spraying lawns. I gross more than the mowing crew by myself, as well. I have considered dumping EVERYthing and just focusing on bedwork. I have a good friend that does the same thing. His full time applicator can't touch what he makes (net), and each of 3 man his mowing crews don't even come close to the gross. Now, mind you,...this is only if the person doing it knows their stuff, and it is done right.

Well this begs the question are we talking just hand weeding beds or getting into mulch, pruning smaller shrubs, clean up of beds etc. ? What is the secret in doing this right?

I typically shy away from.this type.of.work and typically only breakdown and offer it when I realize a client needs it done.and I.offer it on the spot etc. Typically after the spring rush.

I still see this as a workable add on service but logistically she will quickly Max out the capacity of of our hatchback Civic or 4runner. With any kind of haul off of debris. Using and little old lady's 96 gallon curbside trash can may.not always be available.

If there is real traction on this I have no problem getting her a small.truck whatever.

I asked her about light pruning of small.shrubs maybe even low.hedges. She said she doesn't know much about pruning. But I said people.will.ask. Then she said I'm making.it to.complicated ....:rolleyes:

On a personal note I shy away from spring and fall cleanups and I.try to push aerations during that tme.frame. What I'm getting at is a client will think "hey how about a full throttle cleanup to go with.the bed.maintenance. That is were I will get.pulled in and stuck working.with her.

Maybe I am over analyzing this....:confused:
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Patriot Services
03-08-2012, 09:03 AM
No your not over analyzing your looking at every angle and what could blow up in your face. Here's the problem I see. A customer likes your mowing and now your bed weeding work. Customer wants the hedges and bushes trimmed. Maybe some annuals or new plants installed. Now the customer has to call another company to perform that task? My experience has been one company for the customer to deal with. What I am not equipped/licensed to do I have every trade on speed dial. You either need to make the big jump to full service or go with what you know best. I'm still not convinced she had this epiphany and is now all gung-ho to do what you do.:usflag:

Florida Gardener
03-08-2012, 09:14 AM
No your not over analyzing your looking at every angle and what could blow up in your face. Here's the problem I see. A customer likes your mowing and now your bed weeding work. Customer wants the hedges and bushes trimmed. Maybe some annuals or new plants installed. Now the customer has to call another company to perform that task? My experience has been one company for the customer to deal with. What I am not equipped/licensed to do I have every trade on speed dial. You either need to make the big jump to full service or go with what you know best. I'm still not convinced she had this epiphany and is now all gung-ho to do what you do.:usflag:
Great points patriot.
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Runner
03-08-2012, 01:09 PM
I am referring to just the weeding. If you get in to the shrub trimming, then we are talking about a limit on income like mowing, again (you can only get so much to trim a shrub, no matter HOW well it is done and how fast you can get through them).

Exact Rototilling
03-08-2012, 01:17 PM
Patriot Services,

I agree.

What Iím going to do is only offer the bed weeding for my current customer who I already know what their expectation are and there is an established relationship with. This will limit her workload and there will probably not be much demand for it and there will be no excuses for her to NOT look for other summer work since she will not beall that busy with weeding or helping me.

No mention of this service for new customers. If Iím asked I will explain the limitations.

:waving:

Patriot Services
03-08-2012, 01:32 PM
I wish you the best of luck. Take your patience pill every morning and don't go to bed angry at each other.
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kmzlawncare
03-08-2012, 09:19 PM
We have a flower bed maintenance service my wife takes care of on her own and does very well with it she also has a weekly watering service. Good way of bringing more money In

4 seasons lawn&land
03-08-2012, 11:02 PM
Dude
i think I know who your wife is!

Florida Gardener
03-08-2012, 11:07 PM
Dude
i think I know who your wife is!

Dang, that's just wrong.
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Patriot Services
03-16-2012, 09:51 PM
So, is wifey gonna get an early start during spring break?
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Exact Rototilling
03-17-2012, 06:48 PM
So, is wifey gonna get an early start during spring break?
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As of yet no. Zero demand as of yet. She will help me on a small cleanup, light prune, if the weather ever dries out. Been wet and cold. Phone has been ringing though. :)

I'm pretty much demanding she go to physical therapy for ultrasound to get the calcified tendon worked on. I'm getting her a Toro Timemaster 30" electric start and I'm willing let her help me.mow again if she is also willing to learn the BOP dually mower controls. The Toro 30 is far less intimidating. Now if she can keep straight lines ....? :rolleyes:

Time will tell.
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