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View Full Version : Charging more for 14day v.s. 7day accounts?


HighGrass
08-14-2004, 06:46 PM
For next year, I'm thinking about giving my customers the option to go to a 14day cut schedule (but only after July 1 when growth spurt ends).

What do most of you do to calculate the cost?

Have your customers been receptive to this?

Pecker
08-14-2004, 07:12 PM
Granted, I'm sure your grass types are different than mine, but unless my customers water regularly, or if they have a lawn full of fast growing weeds, about half prefer every other week. Of course, they have this option up front, and I've never changed my options to them. My pricing would typically be something like $40 per week or $55/$60 every other week. This gives an incentive to the customer to choose weekly service and helps detour the cheapskates (the ones who only let you cut every other week and try to get you to cut it really really short so it won't need cutting as soon; and then get mad when I'm not willing to abuse MY equipment for them). Hope it helps.

DennisF
08-14-2004, 07:56 PM
I can't imagine going 2 weeks between cuts on Florida grasses. But even if you can, why would you shortchange yourself? You can't charge twice as much for the cut, otherwise they would have you come every week. If you charged 50% more than you would for a weekly cut you are leaving money on the table. I wouldn't suggest it to a customer, but if one of them did ask for every other week service and it could be done without putting too much strain on the mower, I would increase the weekly rate by at least 75%.

EX. weekly rate - $20
every other week - $35

rodfather
08-14-2004, 08:04 PM
The ONLY time I allow a 14 day cut rotation is when THEY mow on the weeks I don't.

I have a few business men who like to cut their own lawns for exercise (and some consider it therapy from being away from their desks), but can't do it every week. So they do it one week and I do it the next. I have absolutely no problem with that and they will always call me ahead of time if they cannot do it the week they normally do it themselves.

Fine by me.

o-so-n-so
08-14-2004, 08:16 PM
In my area most homeowners want a 14 day rotation. I hate 14 dayers. I really push the weekly service and can't imagine selling a weekly service only to go back to 14 day service mid summer.

If you start the 14 day rotation they will eventually want 14 day service in the growing season...I think

tiedeman
08-14-2004, 08:41 PM
my advice is not to give them the option of going to 14 days.

A1 Grass
08-14-2004, 08:47 PM
I charge the same whether it's weekly or bi-weekly. Unless the grass is tall enough to slow me down and then I might charge extra (it rarely is). I also NEVER use contracts. All that stuff you guys have mentioned is not something I worry about... and life is easy...

MudslinginFX4
08-15-2004, 04:28 PM
I always charge more for bi-weekly customers. It takes me longer to trim, mow, and edge. Next year I'm not going to be offering bi-weekly cuts, I am only going to be doing weekly. I want my schedule to be the same for cutting grass every week. I'm tired of fooling with the bi-weekly stuff.

Mr. Magpie
08-15-2004, 04:52 PM
I'm in South Florida and the vast majority of our lawns are every two weeks. This is not a problem for us, but of course the lawn does not look as good after it is cut and it is also not healthy for the lawns to be cut so infrequently. But, as long as I am not slowed down by the excess grass (which I am usually not), and the client is satisfied with their lawn looking slightly sub-par, I don't see it as a problem, so I don't charge any extra.

When we get new business, we usually don't try to push the once a week service on people because people inevitably realize it is way too expensive and terminate service a couple months later. Besides, we don't feel it an option to give a per cut discount for a weekly contract.... the time at the site is the same for a 1 or 2 week service for us, usually. So the average price is the same, around $28 per visit standard grass service.

I'm realizing that the differences in climates and size of lawns where we operate our businesses are so different, my advice may not be applicable.

HighGrass
08-15-2004, 04:54 PM
Basically what I was going to do is offer it to the ones that have inquired about mowing every two weeks because of the growth reduction. Mind you, the grass does grow less after July 1st here, but it's still tall in 2 weeks. So what i thought I would do this year, is just keep track of the time (that it take to mow once every two weeks) and charge them accordingly.

So for the same lawn...
every 7 days- 35 minutes=35.00
every 14 days-47 minutes=47.00

smlavin
08-15-2004, 06:45 PM
Highgrass,

You picked the right name - cutting every other week.:D

Actually, your price structure looks reasonable and MOST importantly it meets your CUSTOMERS needs. Like ECM was saying the same schedule each week is ideal but until you build your client base to that point you may not be able to dictate to the customers.

Mr. Magpie seems to make every other week service work for him but I would always charge a premium for it because those cuts ALWAYS take longer. I have to make more passes to clean up the clippings and trimming does take longer than on a weekly schedule.

If you can fill a schedule with every other week cuttings and keep your hourly rate what it needs to be it sounds like a business plan that would work to me. JMO

HOOLIE
08-15-2004, 07:23 PM
I try to avoid the EOW customers. I haven't met any that would want to pay extra for 14 day service. Usually I can deal with the mowing aspect, its the trimming that gets bad. This year, I just laid down the law, only those very few lawns that can really go 2 weeks are allowed to do so. I've been turning away customers all season, I'm not going to keep some cheapskate on my schedule when I can fill their space with a good customer.

DennisF
08-15-2004, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by HOOLIE
I try to avoid the EOW customers. I haven't met any that would want to pay extra for 14 day service. Usually I can deal with the mowing aspect, its the trimming that gets bad. This year, I just laid down the law, only those very few lawns that can really go 2 weeks are allowed to do so. I've been turning away customers all season, I'm not going to keep some cheapskate on my schedule when I can fill their space with a good customer.


Ditto to that!! The only customers that would ask for EOW service are the cheapskates that don't care about how the lawn looks. I avoid those type of accounts. If one of them asks for a bid on EOW service I quote a very high rate just to avoid the account.

Fareway Lawncare
08-15-2004, 11:05 PM
Will cut Bi-Weekly July-Sept....Same Price....No Irrigation Only....but then who w/irrigation would Want Bi-Weekly?!?!

Customer sez "I want it cut every 2 Weeks" in Growing Season ?

Mabe...Depends on Routing & Health of Lawn.....

fga
08-15-2004, 11:14 PM
when i give a price for an everyother week account, i figure what i would charge by the month for 4 cuts, then take 3/4 of that as the price for the everyother week monthly cost.

example.. $100 for 4 cuts (once weekly)
$75 for 2 (everyother week)

i explain all the extra time i'll be spending there compared to every week cutting, then they usually go with the weekly thinking they're getting a great deal....

ken50
08-16-2004, 12:12 AM
Down here, most of mine are EOW. LOVE the ones that are weekly, they are so much faster and easier to do, but when you are just starting out, like me, you pretty much have to be flexible. I look forward to the day I can pick and choose my customers a little more than I do now.

HOOLIE
08-16-2004, 12:34 AM
I should add that when I did "lay down the law" with my EOW customers, there was a lot of whining and complaining, but NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM CANCELLED. Which just confirmed my belief that there are a lot of cheap people out there. They just needed some tough love.