Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 10-06-2013, 03:33 PM
Laurel Leaf Laurel Leaf is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 34
It probably also depends where you are. Leaf collection can keep your accounts going as scheduled for over a month in the Northwest. In many scenarios you'll make more by continuing to make scheduled visits and taking care of leaves instead of the turf. Depends on disposal as well, which for me would be free.

You should just do what ya do, if it is working. It doesn't matter that you are offering a better deal then the other LCOs. Thats what being competitive is.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-06-2013, 05:41 PM
twomancrew twomancrew is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: East, IA
Posts: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel Leaf View Post
It probably also depends where you are. Leaf collection can keep your accounts going as scheduled for over a month in the Northwest. In many scenarios you'll make more by continuing to make scheduled visits and taking care of leaves instead of the turf. Depends on disposal as well, which for me would be free.

You should just do what ya do, if it is working. It doesn't matter that you are offering a better deal then the other LCOs. Thats what being competitive is.
Very well said.
__________________
[/SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-06-2013, 06:48 PM
echo echo is online now
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: somewhere out there
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidden Talents Lawn Care View Post
I have been delaying asking this question because I didnt want to sound stupid but here it goes. I have been mowing for about 3 years now so im still a rookie. I recently got ripped a new one by a local competitor because of my selling practices.
Here's the deal. When I sell a mowing service, I have always just included the leaf pickup from the lawn. I always considered a fall cleanup as being the flower beds and such. Apparently this guy has been losing customers to me because he charges extra for picking up the leaves from the lawn in the fall, even when ifs still mowing season. I have always considered that part of the mowing service. Am I wrong here? Should I be charging go clean the leaves from the lawn?
Posted via Mobile Device
Not sure which state your in but I'm assuming a southern state or have very few trees. Leaf cleanups are extremely lucrative and can be time consuming but if you're able to just mulch or bag them up(however you do lawn service)without losing any/much time there must not be many leaves. If there are a bunch of leaves you're definitely leaving money on the table. If not and you're making a good living doing what you're doing, I'd tell the guy who approached you to pound salt.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:42 PM
AllBrad AllBrad is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: somewhere south
Posts: 73
sub......................
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-04-2013, 12:05 AM
Hidden Talents Lawn Care Hidden Talents Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Livonia
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Runners View Post
If we can mulch the leaves and they disappear we don't charge extra. If there are too many to mulch they get charged for cleanup and removal. Same as mentioned above, land fill fees, gas and time to drive there add up quick.

Your competitor is probably mad because #1 you are taking his customers because you don't know how to bid work properly and #2 and most importantly, you are driving prices down for everyone including yourself. Once you do this with a customer they expect it from then on out and good luck to the next guy that tries to come in and bid the job at a fair price after you have gone out of business from lowballing, unintentional or otherwise.

If you have been doing this for 3 years and still haven't figured out what you should be bidding something is wrong. It took us about 1 cleanup job the first season to figure out we had made a mistake bidding.
Thanks for the response. I haven't done a job yet that I have felt that I was screwed. My current hourly rate is $45 per man. I typically continue to mow on a weekly basis until the first week of December and don't spend any extra time on the lawn because as someone else mentioned, there really isn;t any mowing going on so there isn't any edging or trimming either. This allows me to even sometimes go over some areas twice and still take less time than it usually does. Come December, I put the mowers away and pull out the blowers, rakes and leaf loaders for the beds and fence lines etc that don't normally get picked up with the mower.

I realize that some people feel that I am a "LowBaller" but in reality, I am actually charging more, but over a longer period. if I have a property that is $150 per cut without a clean up, then I am actually making more money than the guy who was pissed at me for losing accounts because I "Mowed" an extra 5 times = $750, while he stopped mowing 5 weeks sooner than me so he could charge the customer $450 to do a fall clean up which took way longer to blow all those wet leaves off the lawn.

Not to mention the customer satisfaction aspect where while I was continuing to "Mow" weekly and keep the leaves cleaned up, the didn't have to look at the leaves on the lawn until he arrived to do the clean up and then look at more leaves after the clean up was done because additional leaves fell. I was cleaning them up the entire time until there were no more.

I will admit I was a "Lowballer" when I first started until I needed more equipment that required more cash which ultimately led to a price increase. I think my competitor is losing business to me because of customer satisfaction, not because I am lowballing and making it difficult for other companies.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-04-2013, 08:21 AM
STIHL GUY's Avatar
STIHL GUY STIHL GUY is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 5,157
I have a few lawns where the leaves can be mulched with the mower which I don't charge extra for but the majority of lawns require large cleanups to get rid of all the leaves in the beds as well as in the lawn
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-04-2013, 10:15 AM
TTS TTS is online now
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidden Talents Lawn Care View Post
I realize that some people feel that I am a "LowBaller" but in reality, I am actually charging more, but over a longer period. if I have a property that is $150 per cut without a clean up, then I am actually making more money than the guy who was pissed at me for losing accounts because I "Mowed" an extra 5 times = $750, while he stopped mowing 5 weeks sooner than me so he could charge the customer $450 to do a fall clean up which took way longer to blow all those wet leaves off the lawn.
That is playing the game and in this particular game you're winning. You have found out how to sell the work in a way that makes you the most money. Tell your competitor if he's worried about losing business to you, you can save him some time and hassle and offer to buy his business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Pete View Post
Time is money............If you can clean things up a bit in the same time for "seasonal" mowing, fine. Since it's the fall, I can usually skip much of the standard trimming and apply that time to the "mini" cleanup. However, when things take longer, the price goes up.
FWIW........The customer is "always" right. Once you think your the boss and start dictating to the customer, you'll be out of business..........
The customer isn't always right, the customer is almost always un or undereducated. By providing education in the right manner you can dictate the terms and make them feel like they did.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-04-2013, 10:31 AM
Hidden Talents Lawn Care Hidden Talents Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Livonia
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTS View Post
That is playing the game and in this particular game you're winning. You have found out how to sell the work in a way that makes you the most money. Tell your competitor if he's worried about losing business to you, you can save him some time and hassle and offer to buy his business.



The customer isn't always right, the customer is almost always un or undereducated. By providing education in the right manner you can dictate the terms and make them feel like they did.
I agree completely. I educate my customers and set clear expectations right from the beginning. For example, if you do not need mowing this week, call me and let me know prior to me scheduling the Fay and I will not charge you. I do not bekive it is fair to charge when I don't do anything. But if you font call me and I arrive, then I have to charge you and I will. Time is money but I am fair.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-04-2013, 01:10 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 3,065
I do not know where Livonia is.

Where I am lawns will grow to the end of October. Some may need a final cut in November or the First or second week in December.

Leaves start to fall in October. The amount of leaves is not much and I mulch when I mow.

I do weekly fall clean ups. The beds blow out easier when the leaves are not left to pile up and the lawn does not get smothered an could die.

So starting with the first week in November I do 5 weekly clean ups. I skip Thanksgiving week, so I do the first two weeks in December.

Even if you use a mower and bag the leaves you are doing a clean up. That means you blow out all the beds, patios, decks, etc, onto the lawn then you pick up the leaves.

I get twice the price of mowing to do a clean up. So the $35 mow customer will be told that his clean up is $350. Each time I do a weekly service I bill out for $70. So Nov's bill will be $210, Dec's $140. I explain that the agreement is for $350 for the service. I am not charging by the week. This is to protect myself from some wise ass saying most of the leaves are gone I do not want to pay for the last visit or two and then canceling. I am charging to remove all of the leaves. Though it allows for the business to have cash flow to cover operating expenses.

If clean up season is already underway and there are only three weeks left in the schedule they still get charged the full price of $350.

So to the OP you are leaving money on the table which is never good.

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-09-2013, 05:53 PM
tyler_mott85's Avatar
tyler_mott85 tyler_mott85 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 584
I would much rather service a property weekly until all of the leaves have fallen and have been mulched up with the equipment I already own than to have to spend thousands of dollars on specialized equipment to service the property weeks or months between visits. The only thing I would charge "extra" for is to do some seriously clean up in the flower beds. If there are imbedded leaves or plants that need cut back for winter that is beyond the "walk around the property with a blower" method I prefer.

I understand that KS doesn't exactly have the sheer quantity of leaves that the NE part of the country has so maybe just how fast the leaves fall out that way you could not just simply keep up with weekly mulching mowings.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:34 AM.

Page generated in 0.07538 seconds with 7 queries