Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1MajorTom, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Based on previous years experience, how much churn are you expecting this season???
  2. dualsmows

    dualsmows LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    I guess I don't know what "churn" means.
  3. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    I used to have almost none but last year it was pretty significant. Im going to do the welcome letter thing this year, and also thought of using my old ledgers to selectively recycle some who have drifted away over the years just a thought.Of course Im skipping the PITAs.Just a thought.
  4. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Is churn a fancy way of saying customer turnover? Thats the good thing about florida. Year round service so we lose no one. And only do lawns every 2 weeks from nov-march with no income loss (fixed monthly price).
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Not really churn, not really disloyal customers, but what I experience the most are clients who pull up stakes and move. Elderly clients sell their homes and move into assisted care living areas. I don't want to raise my rates, but even if I did, I seriously doubt that I'd have a churn problem.
  6. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    well, this is a topic thats constantly in my mind every year this time. In previous years we have lost no more than 2 or 3 accounts. I expect that number to increase this year slightly say 5-8 accounts. Hopefully less, but I always plan for alot more than I actually do lose.

    a few always move, but I really don't count those.

    Every winter I worry about churn with the residentials, but it turns out good every spring.
  7. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 943

    I had a lot of turnover in my first 2 years, but it was all because I wanted to shake all the Pita.....I have been blessed to have had to same accounts from the last two years, and we are still growing, but growing smarter, and not working harder......I did have two customers to move, one to Ohio, so Ohio Guys look out, because I might have a referral for one of you, and one to another much bigger home and property about 10 mins from their old home.....I did cut off 12 of my old accounts, people who were bad and habitual late payers, and those who only wanted the minimal.....I have already replaced those accounts, plus more.....
  8. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I don't have alot of turnover. I utilize my old logs to see who has left me and for what reasons, and I pick some to send letters to each spring. Normally, I will get a few old ones who were decent clients to come back.
  9. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    Our churn rate has consistently averaged about 10-15% per year - for the past 25 years or so. The one exception I can remember was 2002 when we saw a churn of about 30-35% - that was really scary.
    Of course that was largely due to the fact that the country had just gone thru the 9/11 crisis and that Michigan had begun to experience an ecomonic downturn that, thru today has seen the state loose over 300,000 manufacturing jobs (even more f#cking scary!!!).
    A churn of about 10-15% is what most of us around here count on and plan for...... hope that helps.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I hear you there!!!!

    Back in 1995 we were #1 in the number of manufacturing jobs in the nation.

    I think we lost like 130,000 between 1995 - 2000.......
    218,000 +/- during the 90's.

    In Febuary of last year, the following was reported....

    "MNI's five-year analysis indicates North Carolina suffered a 12.5 percent drop in manufacturing employment, losing 108,604 jobs since 2001.

    So by now, I guess we have lost over 300,000 jobs since NAFTA was signed.

    This in itself has created turnover for me every year.
    Big losses in both the commercial and residential segments.

    Just to tell the truth about it, if I wasn't wedged into my little niche, I'd probably see a commercial turnover rate in the 90's every year. I don't though because I'm not out there with everyone else on 'price shopping' accounts that are looking for new bids every year. If I was, I'd loose about every one of them from year to year.

    Between both segments, I used to see frightning turnover from year to year.
    Looking at it from a normal perspective though, it's uncontrollable.

    But in reality, there are some measures I can take, so I do my very best to analyize everything I can and make decisions to hedge against it. I try to spread my risk, hedge against it and so forth.... And I also try to do everything I can within reason to minimize the typical churn the everyone normally experiences.

    My experiences in the last several years have been on-off, but for different reasons.

    2002-2003 was very rough, but I managed to cover it and grow.
    2003-2004 was not near as bad as before... dollar for dollar one of the best.
    2004-2005 was another very rough one (first year I did not exceed the previous earnings)
    2005-2006 was much better and I had the highest retention rate in years.

    2006-2007 is looking good so far, but there is a lot still left to chance with renewals at this point.

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