Originally Posted by Nitroman
We have a six step turf program, most go with the standard six. Some customers want five so only one summer app instead of two, then there are customers with a taste for wine on a beer budget. They want three or four apps. That's fine save money I get it, but here is my question. Tell me if you agree.
I couldn't figure out years ago why some companies would not give a early fall app to these customers when it's the best time for weed control. They would give a spring, summer, and winterizer. I finally got on board with the same program for these accounts because I don't feel it's fair to give them the "premium" apps i.e. blanket spray and fert when it is the most time consuming round and most expensive. It doesn't seem fair to have all the work load to hire a couple of extra guys April through May and September through October. With less work and revenue through the summer so they can save money. The way I look at it is these people don't care enough about they're turf to get the full program so give them a little weed control & rounds 1 & 6. Thoughts?
IMO, the answer to your question is this.
For the most part, fert is by far your most expensive input. My partial program customers usually request and are mainly interested in weed control. So, I offer a Spring pre/post, Fall pre/post and usually a summer fert/ spot spray. My Early Spring and Late Fall apps usually contain much less fert. Most of the annual amount of fert in my program is applied during the summer months. I always make it understood that a partial program is not going to get them "lawn of the month" . If they want that with a partial program, they are going to have to do a lot of things on their own between my visits. When we are done talking, they realize that their lawn is not going to be perfect with only 3 apps
This doesn't break the bank for me on materials and it keeps us busy in two typically slower times of the year...Early Spring and Late Fall. I've never had to hire "extra" help to filter these folks in route with full program customers when their time comes and get everyone done. I have a few, but I guess not that many partial program customers.
As far as what you offer in your area and what some others have said here. My advice is to do what it takes to make your customers lawns better than the rest. Whether that takes 4 apps, 5 or 6. If their budget won't allow that, then it is your job to let them know what they can expect from the part of your "full program" they will be getting.