Well, if you're doing $100K projects, you're working on a larger scale than we are, so this info may not apply to the same degree.
3-4 years ago, I saw a big surge in biz and wanted to make everyone happy, so I scheduled things really tight, because everyone seemed to want things done asap. Then we got 2 solid weeks of rain. Rain I didn't plan for. I literally spent the majority of the rest of the season apologizing to customers for not starting their projects on time.
So here's what I do now -
I schedule 1 rain day EVERY week. So when I'm mapping out work, I only count on 4 work days per week. And for projects that will take 2.5 days, I plan on them taking 3, etc.
So what ends up happening is, in the worst case scenario (like now, where we've have 13 days with rain in the last 18), when everyone else is 2-3 weeks behind, we're right on schedule. We look like heroes. And if it doesn't rain, we'll be 2-3 weeks ahead come mid-season. We're heroes again.
The only balancing act you have to do is to make sure you don't lose business because this scheduling method makes you appear booked further into the season than the competition, and the anxious customer may not want to wait. I lose a couple every year because of this. But it's usually because they wanted it done in 2 weeks.
But the bonus is, if it's dry, you can even squeeze a customer like that in (and give them an upcharge for 'squeezing'), and not end up behind in your schedule.
One more thing - I give them a week range for a start date. And I'm finding that giving them the last day of that week works best (for example, if you say 'start date will be during the week beginning July 1st', all they remember is July 1st. They don't recall the 'week of' part).
Last edited by Stonehenge; 06-19-2001 at 07:03 PM.