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View Full Version : Weekly Mowing Blues!


alpine692003
01-12-2004, 01:29 PM
Where I live, people mow their lawns bi-weekly, not weekly :( I've been talking to some people, my friend's parents residential homes and they have been telling me they cut twice a month.

I was beginning to think I could get a weekly cut if I schduled it on different times? What do you guys think?

Week 1 : Sun
Week 2 : Mon
Week 3 : Tues
Week 4 : Wed

What do you guys think of this method?

Phishook
01-12-2004, 01:38 PM
Try 10 days.

That way you're not doubling it.

1MajorTom
01-12-2004, 01:39 PM
I don't know if that will work or not.
If I am reading your schedule right, you would be cutting every 8 days, is that correct?
So it seems to me, that if your customers want their grass cut every other week, they would soon figure it out that they were getting their grass cut every eight days.

I guess the easiest thing to say would be to find better customers, ones that want their grass looking nice every week. But I know that is easier said than done.

If you are just starting out, then you need to test the waters. Just because your friends parents might only cut their grass twice a month, doesn't mean every single person in your area is only going to want their grass cut that way.
You will need to investigate your market. Find good upscale neighborhoods where you can target your services and sell them on a weekly maintenance plan.
Because having only bi-weekly accounts isn't going to be good enough.

And I'm not trying to make this come across as something that is simple to do. It takes time to build up a good customer list. Believe me, I know.

rodfather
01-12-2004, 01:41 PM
Why bi-weekly? Doesn't it grow much?

greenback
01-12-2004, 01:43 PM
just take on double the customers and make sure you mow different weeks. instead of 50, cut 100 lawns. one week 50, the next the other 50.

alpine692003
01-12-2004, 01:58 PM
Well, I will try and investigate the market for bi-weekly cuts.

The area where I am targetting is a very upscale neighbourhood where people's homes are 800k + ..

I've learnt so much on this site and I will learn more.

I appreciate the info guys, even though you guys are from the US. Too bad there isn't a CANADiAN version of lawnsite.com so people will know exactly what I'm talking about :P

DFW Area Landscaper
01-12-2004, 02:42 PM
There's definitely a market for bi-weekly service in my area. I didn't offer bi-weekly until September, but I think it's going to work out.

I schedule my bi-weekly accounts on Mon-Tue and do weekly customers on Wed-Thu-Fri.

I also add 40% to the price of a weekly cut to get the price of a bi-weekly cut.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Shadetree Ltd
01-12-2004, 03:04 PM
There are tons of weekly cuts. I do not know where you are looking/marketing but keep looking. When we started we only did weekly cuts. If someone doesn't want their lawn cut weekly, they do not really care how it looks.

Scott

mtdman
01-12-2004, 10:45 PM
I'm not sure about further north or further south of me, but around here it's my experience that very few lawns actually only need it every other week. I've had lots of cheap people that try to get by with getting it done that way, only to have to cut long grass in 2 weeks time. I don't give EOW estimates any more, it's not worth my time. I've got a few folks that were veteran customers that are EOW, and they are going to have to convert to weekly or hit the road this spring. Or maybe I'll just double their rates?

:D

proenterprises
01-12-2004, 10:51 PM
i would try and put everyone on 10 days and hope that most of them dont say bopeep about it.

i have to agree with mtd here-i have had alot of the cheapos that think they can beat my system and have me their every 2-3 weeks mowing a jungle-dont stand for their crap.

alpine692003
01-12-2004, 11:01 PM
Okay, if you guys were to do weekly cuts how will it work for most of you?

week 1: sunday
week 2: sunday
and so forth on every sunday.

or

week 1: sunday
week 2: 10 days after which is wednesday
week 3: 10 days after wednesday which is saturday
week 4: 10 days after saturday is tuesday

which method?

mtdman
01-12-2004, 11:03 PM
I don't do 10 day cuts either. Weekly mowing, I set the same schedule every week. Cut Monday, come back again on Monday next week. Etc.

:D

alpine692003
01-12-2004, 11:09 PM
okay..

proenterprises
01-12-2004, 11:11 PM
ok...maybe 10 days is a bad idea.

maybe talk with them and try and push for everyweek. i sounds like its going to be rough with the scheduling. talk to them and maybe you can meet an agreement that satisfies both parties.

mtdman
01-12-2004, 11:18 PM
Do the lawns really grow that slowly up there that they need EOW mowing? I dunno. If so, maybe increasing your load and doing EOW is okay. But don't do it just to get cheapo clients. You'll be spending more time double cutting and cleaning up your mess than it's worth. Aim to the people who are willing to pay to have their yard look nice, every week. Not the lazy cheapos that just want it cut as cheap as possible, and don't care what it looks like.

mbricker
01-12-2004, 11:31 PM
Here's how I schedule 10 day cuts--about half of my customers are weekly, about half 10 day.
Mondays and Thursdays are reserved for 10 day--but I call it one and a half week scheduling, because you will see the actual interval is 10 days sometimes, 11 days sometimes. This week, Monday I mow Springdale westside, Thursday I mow Fayetteville northwest. Monday next week I mow Fayetteville southwest. Thursday next week I mow Springdale westside, where I started this week. You see how it rotates around. If you look at a calendar and plan this out, you can see that using 2 days a week for 1 1/2 week scheduling, you have room for 3 separate groups of customers. I use Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for Weekly, and the few bi-weekly customers. I do most of my commercial on Saturday because I hate the liability risk of having my customer's customers coming and going while I'm running mowers. But a very few non-picky commercial are on a "do-it-when-it-needs-it" basis (like a couple of state facilities) and I stick them on the end of any convenient day, preferably after closing.

The nicer lawns I mow are mostly weekly. But a lot of my customers in older neighborhoods with a lot of shade trees don't even have real great grass in the best times of late spring. Hardly ever need mowing 7 days after the previous cut. I started offering 1-1/2 week scheduling because if I was mowing weekly, most of them would start complaining and asking me to skip every other cut in the heat of summer.

Popsicle
01-13-2004, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by Shadetree Ltd
There are tons of weekly cuts. I do not know where you are looking/marketing but keep looking. When we started we only did weekly cuts. If someone doesn't want their lawn cut weekly, they do not really care how it looks.

Scott

I'm basically in the same climate as you guys (west of Seattle). Shadetree and DFW hit the nail on the head. There are plenty of customers who will want the lawn cut weekly. I do have a few bi-weekly cuts and they pay anywhere from 30%-50% more per service. I also dump them on Monday and Tuesday.

walker-talker
01-13-2004, 10:01 AM
I do weekly and bi-weekly (only until my schedule is full, which at point I will drop them). No matter how bad I need the business....no 10 day accounts. Even had a couple that wanted me to drive by and check. "just mow it when it needs it".....yeah right. The same one that said that also said "the LCO before you would mow the fescue in my mostly bermuda lawn for free until the burmuda needed it"......double YEAH RIGHT!!!! She was only a block away and still wanted no part of her.

LawnPerfect
01-13-2004, 10:08 AM
I think you guys are meaning bi-monthly (every other week).

I do like DFW does and increase the price by about 40-50%.

Popsicle
01-13-2004, 11:42 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by lawndoctorllc
[B]I think you guys are meaning bi-monthly (every other week).


bi·week·ly adj.
Happening every two weeks.

bi·month·ly adj.
Happening every two months.

bastalker
01-13-2004, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by mtdmaster
Do the lawns really grow that slowly up there that they need EOW mowing?.

Some yards grow very slow, some ya have to cut every 4-5 days. Depends on how many trees are in the yard. If ya got a client that is in the shade most of the time, obviously it isn;t going to grow as fast.

Ya have clients that dont want ferts, dont water, just want it cut. I have one yard I cut every 2 weeks. The only reason I keep it, is because she always calls me to do little things here an there, and she is just around the corner. My cut off is 10 days.

DFW Area Landscaper
01-13-2004, 12:36 PM
++++I don't do 10 day cuts either. Weekly mowing, I set the same schedule every week. Cut Monday, come back again on Monday next week. Etc.++++

A lot of my customers ask for Th-Fr service when I give them my sales pitch. How accepting are weekly customers of early week service?

I've noticed it helps when I explain that "I'd be glad to cut you later in the week, but I only service weekly accounts Wed thru Fri. Mondays and Tuesdays are the days I schedule bi-weekly service." Then a little white lie: "From what I understand, that's pretty much the way everyone around here does it."

Another thing I have noticed, though, is that I make a lot more $$ per hour doing the bi-weekly accounts. I charge 40% more per cut than I would charge for weekly service, but because I use a Ferris 32 with 13 hp Kawi, I don't have much trouble, really. I can see where a guy would be cussing with a 21" doing bi-weekly cuts. So far, it hasn't been a real problem for me.

One other nice thing about bi-weekly service: In the fall, from mid-October thru first freeze, which is usually around Thanksgiving, I convert all my weekly accounts to bi-weekly service. This cuts my weekly revenue. With the bi-weekly accounts, I won't miss a single cut in the fall.

The problem with bi-weekly accounts for me is that you have to get and keep twice as many customers. If I had my 'druthers, I think I'd have nothing but bi-weekly customers. I just make so much more $$ per hour.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

mtdman
01-13-2004, 03:34 PM
EVERYONE wants end of the week service. I can't mow everyone at the end of the week. I explain what day of the week I'm in their neighborhood (I break up my schedule into neighborhoods so I'm not running all over the place every day), and tell them that's the day I can mow them. Most people understand. I've got 75 customers, I can only cut 30 of them Thurs and Fri. The other 45 have to get it earlier in the week. That's business.

I have a few exceptions, a couple people I do twice a week and a woman that I highly value that pays me well, so I cut her on Friday.

:D