Do you cut even when it doesnt need it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Clear-Cut, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    this past summer if the grass didnt need to be cut i didnt cut it...that really sucks because i didnt make much money in august.

    i was just wondering. do you guys go over the grass even though u know the mower isnt really going to cut it?

    i was thinking about making a contract saying that it is the customers responsibility to water the grass because i will do the job whether it needs it or not.

    what do yuo guys do when it comes to drought season?

    i know a high end landscaping co that just goes over it without the blades on.

    but then again if i keep the blade at the right height all season i should be able to cut the whole summer..right?
     
  2. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    My contracts (yes residential too) have a per month fee. If it does not need cutting I skip. My contract states I will be there every 6-10 days during the mowing season. The way I pitch it to the customer is tell them "I might be here every 6 days in the spring and then every 10 in the hot dry summer but you are paying based on the service and no need to worry feeling about your lawn". I have never had anyone balk at my reasoning behind the balnced pay plan of lawn care....
     
  3. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    I do not cut if the lawn does not need it. It is bad for the lawn to mow if it has not grown. I cut higher at 3-3.5 inches (mostly 3.5", tall fescue) and this will allow the lawn to put more energy into root growth rather than blade growth. This is important because the roots can tap into water far below ground and keep the grass healthier and greener during times of drought, which means you will skip less cuts because the grass will still be growing. I started cutting higher this year and I have seen an overall improvement of the health of the lawns as well as more growth when it is dry. I would love to have people on a flat fee each month but I don't see it going over well because of the dry spells we get here some years. I know that lawns will get skipped, and I just don't feel right charging for work that I have not done. Again, it's just better for the lawn to cut as needed and more fair to the customer.
     
  4. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    Lawn Bro. I know what you are saying about being fair to the lawn and the customer but I let them know that if I am there 5 times in april, may and june and monthly fee is 120.00 (just a figure for example) then when I am there 3 times in July and august and then 4 times in Septemeber and october that they are getting the same price all the time and not up one month and down the next. I base all of my contracts on 36 cuts per year. If I mow 32 it is my advantage if I mow 40 it is my loss but it still keeps things the same for them and me.....
     
  5. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    so what you are saying is basically you get $120 a month (just a figure) no matter how many time u cut it?
     
  6. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Year contract, same price each month, every month, all year long, we visit every week all summer and every other week all winter. We maintain the property, all year long. be it heavy mowing or just casual clean up.

    i know a high end landscaping co that just goes over it without the blades on.

    That seems dishonest
     
  7. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    Don't get me wrong, I like flat rate pricing, and your reasoning and selling points are very good. One article I read about a company that switched to flat rates said it increased their revenue by about 15%. I was just stating how I do things right now, but I agree that fixed price can be a better system under the right circumstances. It depends on a lot of factors which system works better. I do not know of any LCOs on this area that don't charge by the cut, not to say that there aren't some, but I think a lot of people expect per cut pricing here. I feel in my area it is the most fair to both me and the customer. I have been kicking around the thought of a flat rate system for a while, and I may give it a shot with new customers. I just need to come up with a fair and balanced pricing plan that people will go for and increases my revenue.
     
  8. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    All of my customers either agree to weekl or every other week service. Some I have on contracts, some I do not. All of my contract customers understand that I maintain the property and I will cut if it is needed and I will nto cut if it is not needed or it is too wet. If I have to skip due to weather, they will get that visit made up. If I visit and the grass does not need cutting, I will still edge, trim, blow and clean the yard as part of my contract and I still get paid the same.

    On the non-contract customers, if they do not call me to advise me not to come due to no (or slow) grass growth, then I will do the same as with my contract customers and clean the yard, edge and trim and they will pay for the visit at the same rate.

    My truck does not roll for free...
     
  9. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    I charge a monthly rate to all of my customers. If it doesn't need to be cut, don't cut it. But I do see your dilema charging per cut. I would offer some other services to your customers to make up for the loss revenue on your behalf. Say...I will trim your hedges or cleanout your gutters. Just an idea to keep the money flowing until you get some type of contractual agreements, verbal or written.
     
  10. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 448


    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Only "seems" dishonest???

    Just jerking your chain. :waving: :waving:

    Unfortunately, there are people out there that will do that. Unbelievable, but true. :nono:
     

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