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2010 Renewals, slow to roll in

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,894

    Guys, sent out my fert/squirt 2010 renewals mid-Oct (right after last app), due middle of this month, and they have been straggling in, to say the least. Lots of reminders being sent to get those suckers in. You might think I am being aggressive sending them out so early and asking for them back by Nov BUT I know once the snow flies around here, I will NOT get anything back so I have to get my biz booked NOW.

    My point is this, I am putting all renewals on Auto-Renew next season with a clear Opt-Out clause for those that don't want it anymore. (Applies to mowing agreements as well). I can't stand sitting through the winter, wondering if my good customers are going to come back or not. That's a long time to wait for a response, and the last thing you want to hear in May is that they got someone else!

    Perhaps most of you guys do this already?? I know, I am slow to the table but am learning from my mistakes.
  2. grass4gas

    grass4gas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 473

    I don't send mine out until January. I let them catch a breather first.

    Now I am just a small sole operator, and have got to know my customers very well. I talk with them during the year as the season goes on to let them know what, if any changes to the program might be necessary for the next season. This way, I have let them know I am already thinking ahead.

    I did have more than normal cancels this year because of the economy, but picked up enough to replace them. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but my customers don't cancel because of the service I provide. It is either money, moving, or things out of my control. My service is not cheap, but neither is it the most expensive in my area, so my customers will not leave me for any national company for the price they give and the lack of quality service they provide.

    My point is, if you do quality work (pun not intended) then I would think you should be just fine. How did your renewels go this year? The economy is slightly better than this time last year, only because we have a year under our belts dealing with this. Customers should be in a better position for next year I would think. Of course, I could be completely wrong.

  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,056

    I have chosen since day one not to send out renewals. I only send out prepay letters and if they don't cancel then I will see them in early spring.

    Not sure which way is better...but I chose the way with less headaches and paperwork.
  4. Grandview

    Grandview LawnSite Gold Member
    from WI
    Posts: 3,251

    This is what I do except I do not do the prepay. I might start that this year.
    Most of my customers like it that way. Less hassles for them and me. They just want the lawn green and weed free. I will finish flat this year. I should have been up 15% but the economy just seemed to get worse as the year went. Never had so many cancels late in the year because of job losses and finances. I expect 2010 to be worse than this year.
  5. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,182

    I am the same as Rodney. I send out my PrePay letters in early February. If I sent out renewals this early people would procrastinate anyway. I out on the letter that I will be back unless I hear from them. I clearly put on the letter it is auto-renewing unless I hear from them.
    My year was very good and I still was picking up customers in October. Hope next year is just as good.
  6. n-green

    n-green LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    No renewals here, seems like a pain. I send out prepays Jan 1 with a discount and a Feb. 15 expiration. Then a second prepay with a smaller discount. Keeps the cash flow goin.
  7. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,279

    We drop our renewal letter jan 1st. They have to send it back to us, its a good way to update phone numbers, email, and sell extras like aeration.
  8. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    Same as the rest of the poster. I send them out Jan1- prepays. I try not to rock the boat before Christmas.
  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    we have changed our policies over the past couple of years. the headache of paperwork was getting too much for constantly having to do renewals. we chose instead to make very contract auto renewing unless otherwise notified by us or them. so now we only call them starting now as we are finishing up to let them know everything is good to go for next year as to keep in contact
  10. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    That is exactly what we do. We send out a prepay/change in service form, which allows the clients to either prepay, add additional services or cancel. If they don't change the agreement, it stays the same.

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