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  #1  
Old 02-26-2014, 11:23 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Offering 2 levels of service in Mowing and Edging? One Perfect the other okay...?

Like I have said before the Exmark TurfMaster and the Toro 30's can deliver a solid decent cut with just one pass and bagged...as long as the higher lift blades are used.

My BOP Dually walk behinds will in fact smoke the Exmark/Toro 30's in the finished manicured cut quality department when I double cut the same lawn in mulch mode....but depending on how the lawn is set up it may take more time with the larger WB's but the advantage is no clippings to haul off.

One of my EOW accounts this last year actually complained about the lack of manicured cut when I didn't use my Green Quick Dually mowers. It is true the manicured cut of the BOP WB's leaves a tighter finished look and it in fact leaves a tighter look even days after.

This is not the first time people have noted the difference.

Granted the Exmark/Toro 30 is a great mower but part of me cringes [more than a little] when I internally make a call to save time at the expense of clipping haul off.

There are 2 other threads going where the attention to detail is raised.

So..... My question is should I offer an above average cut and a manicured perfection level of service?

Yes I'm a perfectionist by nature and my detail is very high.
Just need to get paid for it.

Other option is impose a higher minimum charge here for mowing and focus more on applications.

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  #2  
Old 02-26-2014, 11:49 AM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is online now
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I think your making it more complicated than needed. Most of the homes I do I make them look as good as I can, but I do have a few that I hack them down and leave the grass clumps and all.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:02 PM
lawnlandscape lawnlandscape is offline
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If your bagging, you should be charging more.

I don't think its a more 'perfect' service, its just different.

If a customer requires you to bag, you should be charging significantly more.

However, I also think you should explain the benefits to NOT bagging.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:40 PM
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Valk Valk is offline
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You mean kind of a Chevy vs Cadillac level of service?

I understand you're in Walker-land and bagging is often expected.
Have you performed any kind of analysis as to how much extra time it takes to either bag or/vs double-cut?
Always nice to not have to haul anything away, imho.

BOTH add time...therefore you're hopefully recouping.

My State Extension Service 'estimated' 1/3 longer = it takes 1 & 1/3 longer to bag. Will guess this as an 'on average' estimation since Fall (and Spring growth) presents its own issues...and in the heat of Summer it would actually add very little time. Though, and guessing, this may be different for your region and turf-types.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2014, 01:38 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling View Post
Like I have said before the Exmark TurfMaster and the Toro 30's can deliver a solid decent cut with just one pass and bagged...as long as the higher lift blades are used.

My BOP Dually walk behinds will in fact smoke the Exmark/Toro 30's in the finished manicured cut quality department when I double cut the same lawn in mulch mode....but depending on how the lawn is set up it may take more time with the larger WB's but the advantage is no clippings to haul off.

One of my EOW accounts this last year actually complained about the lack of manicured cut when I didn't use my Green Quick Dually mowers. It is true the manicured cut of the BOP WB's leaves a tighter finished look and it in fact leaves a tighter look even days after.

This is not the first time people have noted the difference.

Granted the Exmark/Toro 30 is a great mower but part of me cringes [more than a little] when I internally make a call to save time at the expense of clipping haul off.

There are 2 other threads going where the attention to detail is raised.

So..... My question is should I offer an above average cut and a manicured perfection level of service?

Yes I'm a perfectionist by nature and my detail is very high.
Just need to get paid for it.

Other option is impose a higher minimum charge here for mowing and focus more on applications.

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I think I PMd you something on this,
I offer three levels of service (and share this with other clients have the same issues)

Level 1: hack n slash...if there are a few clumps so be it.

Level 2: Standard... what most guys are doing

Level 3: Executive... I personally believe a double mulch cut is a higher grade of service than bagging...but that can be debated, and an argument for another day.

The neat trick for you, is if you offer the Exec level service, it's actually a little faster for you than the 'lower' level bagging (or standard) service.

So price lawns accordingly:

Side discharge (hack in slash)

Bagging (standard)

Executive (double mulch)

Many guys get all bent out of shape because they aren't getting work compared to other lower price guys...but type cast themselves, so to speak, by saying they 'only' do the best work.

Sell the customer what they want, let them choose.

Some people dont care if you side discharge and leave a few clumps, they want it mowed cheap.
Some lawns are worth the extra effort either, but can still make you money at hack n slash speeds.

Besides, where do you send the kids to learn the trade? Hack n slash customers I says!
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2014, 04:20 PM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
I think your making it more complicated than needed. Most of the homes I do I make them look as good as I can, but I do have a few that I hack them down and leave the grass clumps and all.
Larry,

I always tend to over think everything. I have a black belt in this. If I cant do something better quicker and faster....whats the point.

This what makes me a good technician, aircraft mechanic and general problem solver...trouble shooter. I loved figuring out what something was busted: mechanical, hydraulic and electrical. I really have a hatred for the mundane.

Ted,

Good points here....zero sense in casting pearls before swine.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:59 AM
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Son and Snow Son and Snow is offline
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I have seen a crew in my area do that 2 (or more)levels of mowing thing. Personally I think its over complicating things and makes some customers leery. Most people just want someone to show up and do a good job. When you talk to someone before you quote the job you will get a feel for them. If you know they are going to be picky and want a lot more detail done you might charge them a few bucks more than say a rental property you maintain that the owner just wants the grass cut and doesn't care too much what it looks like as long as its not terrible. No matter what, every yard of mine gets cut (cutting twice or blowing out clumps if need be), trimming, edging with blade edger as needed , and blowing. A lot of your work could be neighbors watching you and possibly signing up for your service so I want every yard to look good.

But by all means, bagging the grass is an up charge. Just the disposal fee alone can put a dent on your profit if you don't charge for it. I just don't believe in the "hack and go" method
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1996 dodge ram clean with 90,000 miles
7X18 Interstate enclosed trailer V nose
2013 Exmark lazer 52 inch
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Toro personal pace
2 Stihl FS 90 R Trimmers
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Stihl long reach hedge trimmer
McLane walk behind edger
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2014, 01:33 PM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Son and Snow,

Great point. I actually turn down rental properties if the property is scrubby or low rent. You never know who is watching and frankly a part of me dies when I show up to mow low end properties.

Charging extra for bagging is iffy here. With numerous long time grass cutters who under bid my granny lawns below my minimum. My minimum to show up few years back was $25 and even then a bigger established Co. shows up and under cuts my long time granny lawn at $20. Huge grass pile in bed of truck, crew of (2), Walker GHS and a few 21’s.

It is a very hard sell to get more for bagging here. The older the client the more insistent they want it bagged. My policy on bagging is “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell”. If one of the other application Co.’s especially Rue Green or Penske is in charge of the fert these lawns = “mowing hassle headaches”. Folks here don’t seem to understand that extra growth takes more time to mow down and no I’m not the neighbor kid with nothing better to do. I am STRONGLY considering implementing an excessive growth charge this year for lawns I am NOT in control of for fertilizer and irrigation.

Side discharging is extremely difficult to get away with here with my bigger WBs since clippings get blasted onto white fences, garage doors, side of the house, walks, driveways and beds. It can be done to some extent with the Time Master since this mower doesn’t over process, juice and blast the clippings all over and has a limited throw distance. Rear door discharge is an option with my yBravo 25 running a G6 gator.

Trying to educate clients on the nutrient benefit of mulch mowing and how it does NOT cause thatch build up....is NOT a good move when trying to acquire clients...at least in my experience. These folks “instantly” equate mulch mowing with clumps all over the lawn [picture a mowed hay field] like how the neighbor mows.

As much as I cringe at the thought of it I’m going to offer (2) levels of service:
  1. Single cut ABOVE AVERAGE QUALITY with no special attention to a manicured perfection. Few stringers in there....tough.
  2. Executive or some other Gucci label. Diamond alternating pattern, manicured perfection and immaculate edging.

To further complicate matters I’m NOW considering a discount if they sign up for my application package and also have me do the mowing....?

One fire put out...2 more created....
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2014, 01:51 PM
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Son and Snow Son and Snow is offline
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LOL the joys of being an LCO... I am just starting up on the fert/pesticide side of things and I am really hoping that my customers decide to use me for that service. I have not gave much thought to a discount yet. I figured maybe an incentive like a free mow or something but not a permanent discount.

I used to bag more but after getting tired of dealing with the hassle there is only 1 person who I bag their lawn for (older lady on fixed income and was my first customer). The others who doubted me gave me a shot and saw the improvement in their lawns when it was mulched. People didn't believe me when I told them I could mulch most of their leaves either My exmark with gator blades really does a good job. I run them year round and the cut quality is always really good and I am picky.
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not new to reading on lawnsite just new to posting

1996 dodge ram clean with 90,000 miles
7X18 Interstate enclosed trailer V nose
2013 Exmark lazer 52 inch
36 inch Wright stander
Toro personal pace
2 Stihl FS 90 R Trimmers
2 Stihl BR600 Blowers
Stihl long reach hedge trimmer
McLane walk behind edger
Various tools and shovels
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2014, 01:52 PM
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Son and Snow Son and Snow is offline
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adverse it as the "Gucci mowing package" lol.... you can change you name to Gucci Mowing haha
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http://sonandsnow.com

not new to reading on lawnsite just new to posting

1996 dodge ram clean with 90,000 miles
7X18 Interstate enclosed trailer V nose
2013 Exmark lazer 52 inch
36 inch Wright stander
Toro personal pace
2 Stihl FS 90 R Trimmers
2 Stihl BR600 Blowers
Stihl long reach hedge trimmer
McLane walk behind edger
Various tools and shovels
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