We offer a 4 step program as our standard program. We add grub control/surface insect control to customers as needed or requested.
I guess my question is...what is wrong with a 4 step program?
If you are using a good quality fertilizer with slow release feeding you don't need to visit the lawn 6 times per year.
I have built a great business on 4 apps and I guess I would ask what your 6 steps are and when they are applied.
There was NO REASON to apply anything on lawns this year in IN or OH during the summer months of June, July and August.
Now if we have a "wet" summer I can see where you could offer customers a summer fertilization with spot weed etc.
How did you improve your customers lawns with two summer apps during the drought this summer?
We sell against 6 apps all the time and our cost per application is always higher but at the end of the day we save our customers money. We sell to the customer that we are giving them better product and feel we net more then our competition at the end of the day because we are slightly less for the year but don't have to make the 2 extra apps.
Here is a real life example of what we see:
Competitor is charging $42 per app x 6 apps =$252 per year
We will do the same lawn for $50 per app x 4 apps = $200 per year.
That means I am doing 2 less apps and I would have only grossed another $52 or $26 per app.
We tell the customer that our competitors product may last half the time as our slow release will last twice as long so we don't have to come back as quickly hence saving them money.
Your margins are better, you saved to customer money and you are doing less apps which = less work.
Most customers that we pick up and offer 4 apps to felt like their previous company was making too many apps. We hear that it lot. I think most customers think they are being taken care of especially when dealing with the larger national companies.
Guess you just have to do whats best for the customer both agronomically and financially.
You also need to price your service to where you can do less apps and be profitable. I have had no problem doing it so it can be done.