As needed customers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by longislandlawn, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. longislandlawn

    longislandlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    It seems these days with me, that a lot of people are saying " I will call you when my grass grows" or "my grass is not long enough to cut yet", when I show up. Or stop my service for 2 weeks. Do you guys even waste your time on these type of people?. To me they are useless and don't bring in any money.
  2. Whippit96

    Whippit96 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    I'm just a home owner myself, but if I were mowing even part time I would ditch people like that. Just my opinion.
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,717

    We had a guy ask us for "as needed" service, he meant twice a year :hammerhead:

    I gave him a price, he said "that's triple what the last guy charged..."

    That is the reason he is no longer returning your calls :laugh:

    Make it worth while, if your charging regular rates for "as needed" you'll lose money. Tell them, this is what I need to get to be "on call", they'll either agree and you can float them in a couple days after they call you or cut them and fill the spot with a regular customer..........
  4. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,486

    i did in previous years, but now i have enough account to where i don't do that kind of stuff anymore, except for one of my customers from last year, i got who ended up referring me to one of his friends and i have been doing his lawn half of last year, all of this year, and i took a tree down for him, and 4 trees for his neighbor, so for him i will make an exception. but otherwise no they are useless and don't bring in much money. even bi-weekly customers are getting close to being dropped from me unless they have me do other work, to where it is worth it to stay with them. if i'm not getting close 1000 per season from the customer and they are bi-weekly they aren't worth it. could be only 300 a season in mowing and 700 a season in clean ups and shrub pruning but i need to get atleast 1000 a season per customer for it to be worth it, unless they are right near my house, or next to another lawn i already do then it would be worth it. but i dropped one this year, because they wanted it cut every other week and it needed it every week, and they wouldn't switch.
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    I started a new customer. She hinted at EOW. I told her I would have to see how much her lawn grows to see if she had to have weekly or EOW.

    I told her $35 a week. Small property. She agreed. So I mowed her lawn. Week goes bye. I show up the lawn needs to be cut tell her service will have to be weekly. She stalls, I tell her being the lawn is small and easy to do I will give her a break and do her lawn for $30 for this year to give her a break. Smallest lawn I have this year.

    She called me on a Monday the day before I was to the third weekly cut. She left a message saying her lawn does not need to be cut this week. So I wait one week.

    Today I show up (week four) and the lawn grew too much for EOW. She had left me an envelope with the check in it and a note saying lets keep it EOW.

    She now openly was insisting on EOW. I told her that her lawn grows too much for EOW.

    I then recalled for the her the reason why I gave her the discount. Told her that I understood that money is tight for her that is why I gave her a $5 discount for this year because she needed her lawn mowed every week.

    Then I handed her a note:

    $35 week 4/5 = $140-$175 month

    $52 EOW 2/3 = $102-$156 month

    That EOW price has to be hirer because of the extra stress the taller grass places on the mower and the extra time trimming and edging takes on EOW.
    Even though The EOW price is higher the customer saves when comparing monthly totals.

    Now I will stand behind my discount for the rest of the year @ $30 weekly
    4/5 = $120-$150 month. Or I will do the EOW at $52 each service.

    She went for the weekly discounted service today.

    The customer has to go by your terms. If not then you move on.

    Money is tight when you starting a business. Letting the customer set the terms is not the way to run a business. Those kinds of customers, are cheap, and never will provide much profit. Better to let them find a low baller.

    Better for you to not wear out your equipment on customers that will not pay you enough money to replaced the equipment their property wears out.

    Money that tight for a new LCo then get a part time job until you have enough good customers.

  6. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    I love it when someone new says about 'as needed basis'. I say "sure no problem, so we will come once a week then." That's when it's needed lol.
  7. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    I don't work for these people, so yes I'd drop them. But what I don't understand is why some will only cut every week. It must just be my area. I wouldn't have any work if it weren't for EOW. The customer tells you what they want and you name a price.
  8. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    Easy there....I got a feeling 2 weeks growth of Northern wet grass in early summer is a whole different animal that what you are cutting right now. It's a mess after two weeks growth...not worth it....

    Posts: 1,343

    We won't do as needed. However I will do non irrigated accounts on an eow schedule if it is an account that is possible on. We will often improve they're properties to a point where it becomes weekly. But if we are on a eow schedule we will cut every two weeks.
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  10. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 448

    I do "as needed" all the time. As needed as determined by ME!!!!!!!!!!!

    When they argue and want to tell me how to do my job, I ask them if I can tell them how to do their job. That will either shut them up and they won't bother you again, or you will quickly realize you need to drop them on the spot. Either is a win.

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