1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Drought/winter time slow down..

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by txlawnking, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Question for those wiser than myself.. Recently we've gone about two solid weeks wothout any real rainfall, of course the grass is drying up and going " dormant "... Today, while cutting one of my best clients property, the gentleman came out side and said " Willy, please don't cut the front yard, it doesn't need it. Also, I was gonna ask you to start coming when we call..." I responded with " Mr. K, I don't operate on a Per Call basis." We have an agreement to service your property on a weekly scedule". He was obviously pertrubed by this, and said, " Well the grass just isn't growing right now, ( I agree!) and what are you going to do come winter?" To make a saga short, at first, I just said basically, that the "free" cuts in the months with 5 weeks helped to offset this. I left, ( he agreed to kepp things " as they were", but I could tell I was upsetting him ) . So I left and went to my Granpa's house ( the next street over LOL) and was speaking with him about it.. He said, Along the lines of " The customer needs to feel like your not ripping him off by cutting the grass when there's no growth, and still charging him for it."

    So here's what I did. After talking to Gramps, I rooled back to Mr. K's house and said, " Mr.K, I realise that I am not giving you a fair deal, How about this, During the drought/winter, I will cut back to an EOW scedule, and charge you Half of your usual price, again I appoligise for treating you in an unethical manner previously, and I would really like to kepp you guy's happy, and as a long term customer." He was VERY pleased, and agreed to that, and that when the growth resumes, we will go back to our orrigional arrangement..

    I felt like this was the right thing to do, and I kept my customer.

    My question is, How Do I word an agreement for yearly service to explain this policy, and how many of you more experienced guy's would do this?? I'm just wondering how some of the people I respect here would have handeled this.. Comments/suggestions are more than welcome..:)
  2. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Did I say something wrong?
  3. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Posts: 554

    Offer more in your service agreement for a little more money and when the grass doesnt need cut, hedge the bushes, pull weeds, are what ever else you can do.
  4. precisioncut

    precisioncut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    We have no rain out here, almost ever. Getting some now, which is wierd. Everyone I have ever know in these parts have sprinkler systems. No issue with the grass not growing. I would have thought that TX would have been the same.
  5. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Thanks Ryan, I do trim their hedges currently, I charge an extra $5 one visit per month to do the hedge maintenance. These folks are one of my best accts.. They have been happy for me to do other extra's, I started them off with aclean up, and I also did an Aeration as well. I dig what you're saying I do try to offer all of my " extras ", especially to people who sign up on a monthly billing cycle.. Thanks
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Precision, around here, there are some homes with irrigation, but they are mostly newer homes. Mr.K's neighborhood is about 35-40 years old.. and any irrigation has been installed recently.. Our area recieves a pretty good ammt. of annual rainfall, but lately, it almost seems like we're getting an early Fall.. Like the thread that Firstclass started, I'm just trying to keep my head above the water, this being my first year... I was also wondering if what I did was wise in a " Business " sense.. It sure felt like the Professional, ethical thing to do..
  7. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,128


    IMO that is the best thing you could have done. Because you now have free advertisement for your business.Mr. K is going to be talking to his friends and telling them that you came back to discuss this with a win win situation for him. IMO this is how it works the boss which is you decided instead of losing him you would work with him and it is a fair deal all the way around. It really is a win win for the both of you. Now you have a customer for life.

  8. ABCLawn

    ABCLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    We've had a lot of unexpected late rains here on the Edwards plateau so grass is growing faster than I can keep up. Hopefully it will continue maybe I'll hire some northerners for winter to come help me with my tree sales business, we install lots of oaks and adult pecans in the winter and my wife who has gotten really sick won't be helping me this winter. She drove the spade truck and could pick, travel, then plant the ten to fifteen year old trees and now it sits idle sadly. Its half of our income, only mow 24 lawns but landscape many more.
  9. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    Half price per month, or per cut??
  10. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Crawdad, half price per month.. On the weekly he was paying $195 a month.. Now, on Drought/winter EOW program, they'll be $97.50 per month..

Share This Page