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  #41  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:57 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Jim: Bi-weekly accounts aren't all bad. Don't forget that they all have friends and neighbors, so you get additional exposure as well as potential for additional side work from them. A lot of mine are senior citizens who don't do any of their own yard work. And my bi-weekly accounts pay full rate for all extras and generally pay a surcharge as well for mowing. They are among my most profitable accounts when analyzed on gross income/hour.

I put this up earlier in the thread, but here it is again. These numbers are for 2012. I have 19 bi-weekly accounts (actually one is monthly) that ranged from $640 to $1,892 in total charges for the year with a total gross of $20,966. They were serviced between 11 (he does the first couple and last couple himself) and 16 times with the norm being around 14. My average per account was $1,103. I don't think that's too bad.

Of course they do have their down sides which I'm sure everyone is aware of, so I won't go into that. But bi-weekly accounts can be quite profitable as long as you're charging accordingly, and in some cases moreso than higher end accounts. You're in and out and no need to get fussy. Are you going to get big install jobs off of them...almost certainly not, but I do get a fair amount of maintenance work out of them they're generally pretty easy to please...I am pretty selective with them though.
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  #42  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:16 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
Jim: Bi-weekly accounts aren't all bad.....They are among my most profitable accounts when analyzed on gross income/hour.......
Yah, I get all that. I understand it's more profitable per hour, if you want to think of it that way. But I'm looking at the bigger picture. Let's say I have 100 weekly accounts. And for easy math let's say they each pay me $200 a month. So I'm grossing $20,000 a month from these accounts.

But what if 30 of those accounts are bi-weekly, because I've convinced myself that it's a good idea not to turn down bi-weekly accounts. Now I'm still doing 100 accounts, but 30 of them are only at $120 a month. Now, my gross per month is only $17,600. Sure, those bi-weekly accounts are making me 20% more money. Sounds pretty awesome, until you realize that I'm actually making $2,400 less each month. What good is it to have "more profitable" accounts, when they mean I'm going to end up bring in less total revenue? Especially when I could have just stuck to my guns and got 100 weekly accounts?

The other problem is that hole in your schedule. Every other week you now have a little hole in the middle of your daily schedule at a certain time every day. I'd rather fill that hole in my schedule with someone who wants to hire me EVERY week rather than filling it with someone who can't afford to do that.

And all your other points don't hold any water at all. Your bi-weekly customers have customers next door who will see you and give you more exposure???? So what! So do every one of my weekly accounts. They feed you extra work sometimes? So what! So do my weekly accounts. They pay the full rate for all extras??? Again, the same with weekly accounts. None of these "advantages" are exclusive to bi-weekly accounts.

And then there's the fact that when people don't allow you to cut every week you end up cutting 50-100% more grass each time you mow. That's a pretty big down side as well. I just don't see the point. No advantage at all, to me.
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  #43  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:48 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Jim, Jim, Jim...you're missing the point....you split your bi-weekly accounts so half are on one week and the other half on the opposing week, so there is no hole. You wouldn't replace 30 weekly accounts with 30 bi-weekly accounts, you'd replace them with 60 bi-weekly accounts. The point is that you get twice as many next door neighbors, twice as many people to refer me to friends, neighbors and relatives. You have to pick bi-weekly accounts so that they're accounts that really don't need to be cut every week. And I think I said this earlier, but I do reserve the right to cut them "as-needed" during peak growth in the spring.

I think in your case it would be more of an image problem than anything else...you just wouldn't want to be seen on some of them.

P.S. - So you also get twice as many spring and fall cleanups, which in my area can be a substantial money maker.
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  #44  
Old 01-06-2013, 10:05 PM
bel-nor bel-nor is online now
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Darryl G you got the idea right, you can take on more bi wks and circulate your name with more people. When you lose accounts or extended heat and drought takes place your still making money. Even with sprinkler systems you probably can not cut every week. I got two friends plumber and HVAC and their prices per hour and per job blows our prices out the sky. Not many repeat customers and plenty of competition. I say be flexible even in advertizing you never no who you may offend with doing thins one way.
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  #45  
Old 01-06-2013, 10:12 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
Jim, Jim, Jim...you're missing the point....you split your bi-weekly accounts so half are on one week and the other half on the opposing week, so there is no hole.
Well, that really only works if the two bi-weekly accounts are in the exact same area. Otherwise, you're driving clear across town one week and another part of town the following week.

We do just about 300 accounts. They are very tight routes. All the homes on any given service day are usually within a mile or two of each other. If I was going to take on a bi-weekly account, the other bi-weekly account would have to be in the same small area, otherwise, it would mean we'd be driving a ways outside of our standard route.

Plus, even if they WERE in the same exact neighborhood and I was doing one landscape one week and the other landscape the second week, I'd still have 50-100% more work to do when I arrived after 2 weeks of the lawn growing, 2 weeks of weeds growing, 2 weeks of leaves falling, etc. No thanks! I find it pretty easy to pick up weekly accounts. My competitors can have the cheap-skate bi-weeklies.
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  #46  
Old 01-06-2013, 10:30 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Jim: I've learned enough about you and your business over the years that I know bi-weekly accounts would not fit your business model. But for some of us they can work out pretty well. And yes, my bi-weekly routes are in two different areas, but they're still nearby and fairly tight. It's just one day a week. $21K/year is a substantial amount to us smaller operators...well it is to me anyway. Some people have a hard time with this, but I'm not looking to grow my business to having crews...I'm happy with it being a small family business, but I am always looking to grow my revenue and increase my profitability, and for that bi-weekly accounts can fit the bill nicely. I have a hard time turning down an account pays me $1,000 per year for their spring and fall cleanups at a rate of $60/hr plus hauling fees just because I only cut the grass 15 times a year instead of 26 times.
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  #47  
Old 01-06-2013, 10:42 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Darryl, I have nothing but respect for you. You know that. We can agree to disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
....I have a hard time turning down an account pays me $1,000 per year for their spring and fall cleanups at a rate of $60/hr plus hauling fees just because I only cut the grass 15 times a year instead of 26 times.
See, I wouldn't have any problem not taking that account. Because I know for sure a different weekly account would fill that same slot soon, earning me $1800 a year. It's like fishing. If the fish are biting and you only have a certain limit of fish to catch, you just keep the big ones and throw back the small ones, even though the small ones are good eatin' too. Now, if you're in an area where the fish ain't biting (or maybe you're using the wrong bait) I guess you gotta take whatever you can catch.
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  #48  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:16 PM
weaver weaver is offline
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I say if you can make 1100 per season from an EOW customer that's good but around here the people that call for that service are looking to get by cheap and are the first ones that call you in June and tell you just skip this wk and catch me next. Done been through all that. I'm solo and can only do so much and fill my spots with the wkly people. As far as having 60 EOW customers vs 30 wkly I'll take the 30 wkly. Way easier to please 30 bitchin people vs 60. Just my opinion..
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  #49  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:17 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Jim: I don't think we really disagree, we're just in different places. I wouldn't take bi-weekly customers if I were you either, lol.

Weaver: See, I have a finite amount of manpower too, so to me it's all about optomizing my $/hour and having flexibility. Lets say it rains on Wednesday and I can't cut them. My weekly customers still get cut on schedule and the EOW ones get cut as I can get to them. They get bottom priority and all but lose their right to complain. And keep in mind that these accounts are cut EOW because that's all they need most of the time. If I feel they need to be cut weekly in May and June that's what I do. And in the summer they still get cut EOW and are paying me extra even though they don't take any more time then. I don't expect to convince anyone to go dumping their weekly customers to take on EOW ones, I'm just trying to explain that there are some positives to having them and why I personally continue to offer it as an option.
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  #50  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:21 AM
weaver weaver is offline
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Totally agree.. good stuff Darryl...
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