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Old 11-28-2012, 10:56 AM
HPI_Savage25 HPI_Savage25 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Martinez, GA
Posts: 192
How to make the change

Ok so I have always just done yards as a "Call when you need me" type of thing. I have been telling new customers from this past year that I do weekly or bi weekly to keep from customers wanting to wait 3 weeks or more. I am wanting to get ALL of my accounts on a schedule. Whether the schedule is weekly or bi weekly I don't mind, I just want them to all be on a schedule. I'm just trying to figure out how to notify the customers in a polite way as to hopefully not lose any due to the change.

Anyone else done the same ?
2003 Silverado 1500HD
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Walker GHS 36"
Encore Premier 36" WB
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:16 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Posts: 8,038
I've never done the "call when you need me" thing, but I would just tell those customers that you need to put them on your schedule in order to give them a fixed price for mowing, to ensure that their lawns are presentable at all times and to allow you to properly schedule your time.

Here's the thing can't worry about losing them. If they don't want their lawns maintained on a regular basis they aren't customers you want to begin with. If they insist on the "call when you need me" thing and you want to keep them as customers, I recommend you go to hourly "shop to shop" billing, where the clock starts when you leave your shop and ends when you return, or you bill hourly with a 2 hour minimum or something.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:21 AM
HPI_Savage25 HPI_Savage25 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Martinez, GA
Posts: 192
The "Call when you need me" started when I was in middle school and high school. I was always relying on my dad to bring me to the yards and such. Some of these yards I have been doing since I was about 13, currently I am 19 so I have had some yards for quite a while. I am in school but next season I want to make things easier on my part. Have them all on a schedule and not worry about those that call asking to be squeezed in.
2003 Silverado 1500HD
7x16 enclosed trailer
Walker GHS 36"
Encore Premier 36" WB
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:24 AM
TX Easymoney TX Easymoney is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas-The Hilly part
Posts: 3,991
years ago, we looked at the average number of mowings people had performed over the years--biweekly and weekly and then came up with a number of mowings that we thought we could include in our contracts--

then, we carefully drafted a letter that we sent to each customer educating them on the benefits of regular mowing (health of turf etc.) and also the need to keep a regular schedule to avoid delays in service and provide a more consistently beautiful lawn-(two types of folks, those who want their yard knocked down when it gets tall an those which like to keep the lawn looking nice--we marketed toward the latter)

we also offered that they could call in 48 hours prior to the scheduled date and cancel and we would skip their yard--

The 'call in' price was slightly high than the contract price--also we added a surcharge if the grass was overgrown and went beyond two weeks to account for the additional work--most all folks opted for the contract--though, most all our customers already had been on a tentative schedule for several years-
your problem will be that it seems as though most of your folks are people who don't necessarily like to keep the lawn looking nice, so you will havee some growing pains-
good luck--
fyi--no 10 day mowing schedule, that will be a nightmare to accomplish week for week--weekly or biweekly on the same day each week--
contracts and the regular mowing day will make your life so much easier and more consistent and easier to plan for other work--
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:18 PM
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Blades Lawn Maintenance Blades Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, La
Posts: 1,232
I had kinda similar situation this year. I had a lady move then toward the end of the year call me when she moved into a house. At the time I was cutting her house I was going just EOW but when I talked to her to cut her second house I just told her "I do things a little bit differently since I last cut for you, I now come on a weekly basis" and she was cool with it.

So my advice would be to contact them and tell them this year you are doing things differently and and you come on a weekly or EOW schedule.
“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”
*Les Brown

"There is no such thing as failure. There are only results." – Tony Robbins

Enough Said...
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:27 PM
rbljack rbljack is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 675
I too mow on an "as needed basis" for most customers and it is NOT the best option. I would like to switch over, but have some questions that maybe yall can help with.

Here in west texas, weekly would be no problem in the spring, but last two years has been excessivly dry, and we are on serious watering restrictions. This causes the grass to stop growing during the summer months. How do yall account for this? Still mowing the grass weekly even though its not growing? There were a few customers whos lawns probably didnt get mowed more than 4 or 5 times the whole season.

I have a few customers that have wells, so they can water when they want and those have been my only weekly customers. I guess what yall are saying is drop customers that dont pay weekly, and find more customers that water regularly...but here in this area, that isnt as easy as it may seem.
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2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:58 AM
Luke Reedy Luke Reedy is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Luling, LA
Posts: 75
once i went full time and started growing, after college, i converted our customers over to weekly by explaining to them that
1) i want to keep their yards nice and neat
2) if it rains on the day i was going to come then it would be tough to get back into shape
3) it's a scheduling nightmare to do it on any other time frame
4) any longer than a week makes it tough on the guys and equipment
5) an extended time frame other than once a week i'd have to charge more so let's just keep it nice and neat all the time

do you see how that is just one big circle?

for new customers i tell them that we come once a week on a certain day and in a nice way tell them that that is the way it is. we have not gotten some yards bc of this, but for the reasons above, that's ok. someone else will cater to those folks. not us.

I also explain to them that in the late fall winter and early spring we come as needed and i may be calling alot during this time to check with them. you never know who has company coming over for the holidays. people appreciate that. you get to know your clients after awhile and you can pass by and take a look and may or may not do the yard. i tell them that i'm a pretty good judge on if it needs it or not and am not out to take advantage. not had any complaints doing it this way.

you just need to decide what works best for you.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:26 AM
205mx 205mx is offline
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Try a monthly rate ?
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:58 PM
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Puddle of Oil Puddle of Oil is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Akron/Canton Ohio
Posts: 1,201
Must be a southern thing......
Originally Posted by Drew Gemma View Post
I get paid to keep the property looking good. It is not hard what we do like anything else in life, added will power, desire and the ability to look for solutions not excuses then you will succeed.
Stay focused and leave distractions for those who will fail in their ventures
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:16 PM
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jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 1,677
Originally Posted by Puddle of Oil View Post
Must be a southern thing......
I think so too.
All equipment is wore out. <- Never mind. All equipment has been repainted and with new decals. It's like I have new mower's again!
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<- That's how I feel at the end of the day.
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