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  #1  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:35 PM
GrassMannn2008 GrassMannn2008 is offline
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Location: Illinois
Posts: 18
Scheduled Grass Cuttings??? How do you do it?

Here is my situation. I'm 19 years old, a college student, I cut a little over 40 yards and do some landscaping (mowing accounts for the majority of my work though)

Many of my clients are elderly and I currently don't have them on a scheduled time to cut the grass. Most of the accounts I've been cutting since high school and they will call me a day or so before they want it done or I can just swing by a day or 2 before I want to cut as they are all relatively close to my house and it works out just fine. However, some have been calling me asking if I can come that day, while this usually works out if I'm already working squeezing in 1-2 more here and there is doable, but I don't want them to expect this to always be an option.

My question is does everyone have their customers on a scheduled basis? It does seem like the way to go and all new clients I have gotten this year are on a 7 or 10 day cutting cycle.

I just see this being an issue with some of the people in the area (mostly middle class). I'm also not sure how current customers might like it, if I did decide this I wouldn't implement it to them until next year though.

How do you handle objections like "Well what if the grass isn't growing that much?" "I'd rather just call you when I want it done?" and so on.

When I signed up a new customer last week I explained to her that I could cut her yard every 7 or 10 days for $35 but if she waited any time beyong that (with 2 weeksbeing the max) and it would be more ($40). It worked out well as we're on a weekly cutting now. I would like to know how others handle this.

Sorry for the length of this thread, I look forward to your responses.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:39 PM
GreenAcresLandscaping GreenAcresLandscaping is offline
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All of my yards are on a 7 day schedule. I can usually do 4-5 a day solo when im not in school. The customers know that unless i am set back by rain i mow there yard a certain day every week. Usually a Thursday or Friday
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:48 PM
kaferhaus kaferhaus is offline
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Gotta have a schedule dude, and hold them too it. Work with them on it but once it's set, it's set.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:51 PM
Szafranman Szafranman is offline
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I am 21 and in college and come home from college every weekend to do the work. I have 45 clients for weekly. I only cut on two days Thursday and Friday when the clients signed their contracts I told them what day of the week I would be coming on. If for some reason the grass really didn't need to be cut that week I told them I would skip it for that week. As you know being in Illinois this will begin to happen shortly as we approach July. Since I charge on a per cut basis they are satisfied with that. I know most people on here will advise against that saying it is income they rely on, well since I am in college and don't really rely on the income I can get away with it but eventually will change to charging a monthly fee no matter if I cut it twice or four times a month. After all you are providing service for the customers and it has to work into your schedule not theirs, there are enough lawns out there and enough appreciative and understanding clients that allows you to drop and not provide service for those that are causing you headaches. Those would be the ones that expect to be able to call you when ever they want it cut. You owe it to your thirty five other good clients to provide a schedule for them tell them this is the day I will come from here on out if you don't want me to come for a particular reason call me at least 24 hours in advance. Or if you pull up to the house once the equipment comes off the trailer you mow so they can't come out halfway through the cut and tell you to skip it this week. Just my thoughts if that helps at all.
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2009, 02:37 PM
GrassMannn2008 GrassMannn2008 is offline
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Location: Illinois
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tell them this is the day I will come from here on out if you don't want me to come for a particular reason call me at least 24 hours in advance.

GREAT IDEA! I think this sounds like the best solution. This not only provides a solid schedule, but also gives them the option to call me beforehand, but it must be at least 24 hours.

Then when late July and August hits and the grass isn't growing as much we can adjust the schedule accordingly.

Szafranman- you're a trooper coming home every weekend, I understand it can be hard to balance both college and the yards. Is this how you have done it every year of college? This was my first year and I had a couple friends from home take care of my yards and it actually worked out pretty good.

Thanks for all the input!
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2009, 03:01 PM
TheUfan TheUfan is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Louisiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassMannn2008 View Post
Here is my situation. I'm 19 years old, a college student, I cut a little over 40 yards and do some landscaping (mowing accounts for the majority of my work though)

Many of my clients are elderly and I currently don't have them on a scheduled time to cut the grass. Most of the accounts I've been cutting since high school and they will call me a day or so before they want it done or I can just swing by a day or 2 before I want to cut as they are all relatively close to my house and it works out just fine. However, some have been calling me asking if I can come that day, while this usually works out if I'm already working squeezing in 1-2 more here and there is doable, but I don't want them to expect this to always be an option.

My question is does everyone have their customers on a scheduled basis? It does seem like the way to go and all new clients I have gotten this year are on a 7 or 10 day cutting cycle.

I just see this being an issue with some of the people in the area (mostly middle class). I'm also not sure how current customers might like it, if I did decide this I wouldn't implement it to them until next year though.

How do you handle objections like "Well what if the grass isn't growing that much?" "I'd rather just call you when I want it done?" and so on.

When I signed up a new customer last week I explained to her that I could cut her yard every 7 or 10 days for $35 but if she waited any time beyong that (with 2 weeksbeing the max) and it would be more ($40). It worked out well as we're on a weekly cutting now. I would like to know how others handle this.

Sorry for the length of this thread, I look forward to your responses.
This is how I do it. Weekly customers who own primo yards and give me a lot of there overall business get first pick on day of the week. Some want early in the week some want late. whatev. Then weekly mow onlys get next pick, then 2 weekers, then 10 dayers- really only get to choose one of 2 schedules monday and thursday or tuesday and friday. IMO dont give 2 weekers an option. fit them in to your schedule not vice versa. The majority of my problem clients have been 2 weekers, so i try to maintain weeklys only.
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2009, 03:34 PM
Szafranman Szafranman is offline
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Yeah this is how I have done it every year. I am going into my senior year now with 45 accounts. When I was going into my freshman year I had only 25 so it made it a little easier but less MONEY. However, I do have a brother that is your age 19 and over the years he has become more and more involved to a point where now if there is a weekend I have to stay at school because of a project or whatever he has the ability and ambition to do all the accounts himself. He usually will seek a friend to help with the work. But so far it seems to be doing good as you might expect come October and November it gets really heck tick with leaves and fall cleanups etc... But it sounds like your doing good with that many accounts and have reliable help keep it up.
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2009, 03:37 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassMannn2008 View Post
Here is my situation. I'm 19 years old, a college student, I cut a little over 40 yards and do some landscaping (mowing accounts for the majority of my work though)

Many of my clients are elderly and I currently don't have them on a scheduled time to cut the grass. Most of the accounts I've been cutting since high school and they will call me a day or so before they want it done or I can just swing by a day or 2 before I want to cut as they are all relatively close to my house and it works out just fine. However, some have been calling me asking if I can come that day, while this usually works out if I'm already working squeezing in 1-2 more here and there is doable, but I don't want them to expect this to always be an option.

My question is does everyone have their customers on a scheduled basis? It does seem like the way to go and all new clients I have gotten this year are on a 7 or 10 day cutting cycle.

I just see this being an issue with some of the people in the area (mostly middle class). I'm also not sure how current customers might like it, if I did decide this I wouldn't implement it to them until next year though.

How do you handle objections like "Well what if the grass isn't growing that much?" "I'd rather just call you when I want it done?" and so on.

When I signed up a new customer last week I explained to her that I could cut her yard every 7 or 10 days for $35 but if she waited any time beyong that (with 2 weeksbeing the max) and it would be more ($40). It worked out well as we're on a weekly cutting now. I would like to know how others handle this.

Sorry for the length of this thread, I look forward to your responses.
Your comment about customers telling you "Well, I just will call you when it need mowed." DON'T do it, don't go there. The other option being you charge them a good premium for the 'on call' nonsense.

Also, you can plan out a nice schedule with certain customers getting cut certain days of the week. I tried that - but what I found out is weather will throw that all WAY off after just a couple weeks. Lets say you have to push back a weekly lawn to 10 days because of rain. Then the following week, you will be cutting on a different day of the week because of the original delay. You will find that customers may not mind so much if you are a day or two late because of the weather - but if you start coming a few days early (more than a day) to 'catch up' on your schedule, they may not like that so much. They might think you are just out to bill them as much as possible.
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