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easing into fall in the south...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mcclureandson, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    This is my first season in the south and I'm not certain what to expect this fall. In Colorado it was pretty clear-cut...snow was on the ground, long, barren winters etc. But here in South Carolina the climate is more agreeable to year-round work. I'm not concerned about the commercial accounts, but what about residential? Do most people want to cut back on service Nov - Jan? Decrease the number of services per month? Expect a discounted rate? I'm not planning on doing any of that...but what can I expect? I know there's plenty to still do, but how can I best sell a year-round service (other than with the threat of not saving a place for them on next season's schedule, not locking in a rate etc...) I'm a solo operator with around 60 residential/10 commercial accounts, good relationship with every one. Thanks.
     
  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Not much work my way in the winter.Customers don't want cuttings or overseeding in the fall.Most don't want a fall cleanup.They figure the wind will blow the leaves into the neighbors lawn.
    You can try to sell winterizer,aerating,mulching,and topdressing over the winter months.Also,try to get lime into the picture if needed.Lime is the least used maintenance add on in my area,although the pH is hurting from all the fertilizer and irrigation.Some of my bermuda lawns are at 4.5 right now.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    go with yearly accounts based on a designated number of mows.

    My contract (in FLorida) ar for +/- 42 mows. Weekly from April - Nov. EOW from Dec - Mar. So from Dec to Mar I make the same money and work half as hard.

    I explain it to my clients as a way of keeping the budgeting easier for them and spreading the payments out. Otherwise the summers will be very expensive right when the Ac bill is the worst. Most have no problem when they see they are getting the same number of cuts.
     
  4. CJ GreenScapes

    CJ GreenScapes LawnSite Member
    from AL
    Posts: 249

    That's exactly what I am doing except that here it is 35 visits per year. Customers seem to appreciate it, and so do I...
     
  5. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    That's a good idea (# of mows in contract). What about new accounts picked up in the fall/winter vs. summertime? I assume it's a 12-month contract and not based on a calendar year? Like most solo-operators, I don't have maintenance contracts and use them only for installs or other large onetime jobs, and have some (probably unwarranted) concerns over switching my existing client base to contracts. I'd like to believe I wouldn't lose a single one...but you never know. I've had alot of success without contracts and it seems against common sense to fix something that isn't broke (in that sense anyway...)
     

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