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tiedeman
12-09-2004, 03:31 PM
Well, just received two more contracts in the mail today for next year and beyond (depends on whether they signed up for one, two, or three years). That brings my total to approx 93% signed up.

I have four that haven't signed up yet. Out of those four, one I am going to be leaving here in about 15 mins to get them signed up hopefully.

Another one she probably won't sign up and I probably really don't want her to sign up because she has $168.00 in outstanding balances since July, but she paid her one bill in August, go figure. I have stopped all services with her until paid in full. And I have sent her numerous letters. I think she is mad that I haven't done her snow removal because of the outstanding balances.

The third, is a residential guy that always waits until the last minute, which is fine with me because I do his business, which has already signed up, and is like my #4 top customer.

The final one already told me flat out NO. Which I still haven't got a clue why that would be. The only reason I can think of is I screwed up on his billing for two months (stupid error) but I caught it and give him a credit of $92.00. But the weird thing is, I do his snow removal.

Well, out the door to get some more payup

Mark McC
12-09-2004, 03:42 PM
93% of how many clients?

tiedeman
12-09-2004, 04:26 PM
just got back, signed on one more, 61/64 clients are signed on now. 95%!!! I do know for sure that the highest I can get is 98% because the one client has already said flat out no. Not bad for a solo operation

YardPro
12-09-2004, 05:22 PM
that's the goal all operators should work towards...
happy customers.

cward
12-09-2004, 05:52 PM
Tiedeman,
Those are great numbers. I am at 31/32 verbally committed for next year. My one holdout is a developer that is giving the common area over to the HOA in January. I will have to wait on that one. I haven't used contracts yet. I am implimenting contracts for next year. Everyone knows about the contract, I hope it doesn't scare anyone off. We'll see. Again, congrats.

lawnguyland
12-09-2004, 06:04 PM
That's sweet! I always seem to be about 90% plus with a few moving, dying, and me firing a few crapa asssss customers. The good thing is it thins the herd and makes room for fresh, healthy, full service, on time paying customers!

DennisF
12-09-2004, 06:17 PM
I have 60 out of 63 committed for 2005. Three of the homes are up for sale and the homeowners don't know if they will need lawn service after Dec 31, 04. Those three have agreed to go on a weekly basis until their homes sell. They will also recommend my service to the buyers.

Mico Landscaping design
12-09-2004, 06:50 PM
we have got 110 out of 115 not bad so far... we will have everything back just waiting on few contracts :cool2:

tiedeman
12-09-2004, 09:29 PM
great numbers guys on retaining the customers.

Tomorrow I am going to try to get one more (that guy's residential, that has the business I do) after that the others I really don't care about.

mastercare
12-10-2004, 12:16 PM
HEy there Michigan Neighbors..

Do you guys always sign up lawn customers this soon after the season is done? I've always done it Feb-March. It may seem later, but I still seem to get a high retention rate.

I think you guys have had a couple decent snows by now. I'm still waiting. The snow seems to move eastward and stop in Pontiac every time....still waiting.

MMLawn
12-10-2004, 12:28 PM
just got back, signed on one more, 61/64 clients are signed on now. 95%!!! I do know for sure that the highest I can get is 98% because the one client has already said flat out no. Not bad for a solo operation

Tell me this though. How in the world are you servicing 64 accts Solo and yet still posting an average of 9 post a day every single day since Jan at a total of already 6000+ post with nearly all of them during the day? I am in my office daily so I need to know how you do it because it looks like my 2 man crews that are cutting 60+ accts also a week are dragging.. :dizzy:

tiedeman
12-10-2004, 01:16 PM
most of my accounts are on avg about 6,000 to 8,000 sq ft. Also I load days on purpose. So I will load the first part of the week, so then Thursday and Friday is super light. I also don't work weekends. It's mostly just having a very tight and organized route with the right equipment for the job. The other thing since I am a solo operation, I can go to work and come home when i went to. So those times when I post during the day, I have either not gone to work, left for work late, come home from work early, or just decided to come home for a break. Heck the past summer I was home almost everything day at 2 to 3pm.

To answer the other question I always send them out in October or November with the season still fresh in there minds. Very few people want to be talking about lawn care in February when there is 2 ft of snow on the ground.

About 4 years ago I started doing the fall sign up instead of the late winter/early spring. It was like pulling teeth to try to sign up people in later winter/early spring. And then those that wanted services that were new it was almost impossible to give them an accurate estimate because of the snow. Something must be working because I have not ever dropped below a 90% retention rate when signing up customers for the next year.

MMLawn
12-10-2004, 01:24 PM
most of my accounts are on avg about 6,000 to 8,000 sq ft. Also I load days on purpose. So I will load the first part of the week, so then Thursday and Friday is super light. I also don't work weekends. It's mostly just having a very tight and organized route with the right equipment for the job. The other thing since I am a solo operation, I can go to work and come home when i went to. So those times when I post during the day, I have either not gone to work, left for work late, come home from work early, or just decided to come home for a break. Heck the past summer I was home almost everything day at 2 to 3pm.

Wow, thats amazing then cause it takes my folks servicing 60-80 accts a week all day all week and we are loaded up on Thur & Fri. I guess our props most be a ton bigger. Cut on! :D

tiedeman
12-10-2004, 01:29 PM
on average they only take about 20-30 mins per property. The largest property I have takes 1hr 15 mins

GrassMasterNC
12-10-2004, 03:30 PM
How do you express the incentive for using a contract? I am trying to find a NICE way to explain that my contracted customers will have priority over verbals. I do send a letter to my verbals explaining the services they will be receiving and on a weekly, every 10 days, or bi-weekly basis, but I am trying to find a pleasant way to let them know my written contract customers will be getting the priority services when weather, time, etc becomes a factor and encourage them to sign up....any suggestions?

Matt

PMLAWN
12-10-2004, 04:23 PM
Still waiting for the grass to stop growing so I can start working on the contracts for next year. Some hard freeze coming next week so that may be it. Just from casual conversation on the job it sounds like better than 90% will be back.
Do you do 2 or 3 year contracts? On most of my bigger contracts I write 3 years which is nice because you dont have to work on them each year.
I have noticed that the bigger stuff (40-60K per year) seems to be getting much more competitive. One HOA I do has been contacted by over 10 other LOC's this fall. In the past it was maybe one or two.

Well Merry Christmas to all and good luck in 05.

DennisF
12-10-2004, 04:42 PM
Wow, thats amazing then cause it takes my folks servicing 60-80 accts a week all day all week and we are loaded up on Thur & Fri. I guess our props most be a ton bigger. Cut on! :D

Your guys might be slacking off on the job. I'm solo and I do 63 lawns in 4 or 4-1/2 days. The smallest lawn is 8K SF, the largest is 2-1/2 acres. Average lawn is 15,000 SF. I can usually do 15 lawns in 10 hours. If I want to finish early for the week I'll cut 16 or 17 in 11 hours and still be done in 4 days. The route is tight for most days, but I do have a few high dollar accounts that I have to spend time traveling to.

A crew of 2 should be able to handle 25, 1/4 acre lawns, in 10 hours without much trouble. I'm not saying that your crew is slacking, but I see mowing crews all day while I'm cutting and I've seen plenty of them wasting time.

tiedeman
12-10-2004, 05:04 PM
I offer customers 3 choices for the length of contract, 1, 2, or 3 years. If they sign on for the 2 or 3 year period their prices are locked in and will never change during that time period

tiedeman
12-14-2004, 06:24 PM
great numbers guys on retaining the customers.

Tomorrow I am going to try to get one more (that guy's residential, that has the business I do) after that the others I really don't care about.

well, I got this guy signed up today. I am now at approx 97% signed up of returning customers. I only have two that have not, which I already know (like stated above) that one for sure is not signing up.

Norm Al
12-14-2004, 06:49 PM
thats awesome tiedeman im glad that applying all the stuff you learned from bobbym is paying off!:)