End of season commitments for next year.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Currier, Oct 10, 2000.

  1. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    This year I am going to require customers to commit now for next year if they want to continue with my service. I plan on sending a letter explaining prices for next year, service options, and payment options. I may also include a survey for current satisfaction level.

    I will include a SASE and request that the letters are returned by a specific date, otherwise I will open the space for new customers.

    What I need is information from those that have done this before. What have you found to be especially helpful? What kinds of things should I avoid mentioning in the letter? How sucessful have your next season commitments been? Any tips greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    This is a good idea, and I'm planning on doing the same. I'd be interested in hearing feedback from others who do this as well.

    I plan to continue with significant price increases into the next season as well, as I continue to bring my business into the professional 'standard'. Switching to contracts & heavy price increases all at once could be my downfall, I realize, but it's long past time to sink or swim...

    -TGC
     
  3. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Suggestion, I would test the waters by trying this plan on maybe the less desirable half of your customer base, the half you are losing the most on. See what happens, if positive things come from it, then send out to the remaining half, if not then re-evaluate your plan.

    Ray
     
  4. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Good idea Ray.
    In am thinking of requiring all customers to be on our fertilization/weed control plan. If they don't sign up I will replace them. My goal is no mow only accounts.
    Other than Lazer, who has done this? Results?
     
  5. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Posts: 181

    It is a very good idea to try to get committments for next year now if your can b/c there's less to worry about in the winter. I will not accept accounts that do not have lawncare applications (pesticide use is optional as I resepct enviro/other concerns). I do have some accounts that are several years old that I only mow, but only because they are at the same stop as other houses. Also I suggest a pre-paid spring clean up discount offered mid-late winter to raise a bit of capital before spring. Sounds like you're getting there.
    SMALL HOUSES RULE, I'm talking suburbs, 40'*60' properties total up to maybe 1/4 to 1/2 acre. I can do 4 to 5 small houses in an hour by myself easy. At 17$ a piece I make over 1$ per minute gross. (The 1/2 acres are $45 and up) I have jungle wheels on a 36" JD, toro commercial 21 for tight or scalpable areas, f250 w/trailer and load handler to dump grass(it rocks by the way, the loadhandler)plus TONS of other equip. I've been doing this for 15 years now so any of you that say small yards are no good have absolutely no clue. (I know different subject, but had to vent)
     
  6. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Posts: 181

    Mr. Stone, thanks for your offer, but I have a brand new JD 36". I prefer to buy new (usually) from my dealer as everything is under warranty, I get great service and prices, etc. I may go with an exmark instead next year (want to buy a mower?!?!?!)because I don't like the way the JD handles leaves with the grass packer on. Anyway, thanks for the offer.
     
  7. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 268

    I'll let you know how mine work in a couple weeks, they're going in the mail in morning. Seems like an awesome time to send them out ,right before leaf pickup which they mostly call for anyway and a great rain season, cut almost every week. Hopefully most of them will sign up now(mine will be spread over 12 mths)to get in on the leaf cleanup.
     
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Sounds to me that if you give customers next years higher price information now, they have that much time to do some research and price comparison with other services. I'm waiting until Spring, when the weather is breaking, people are feeling good, and I touch base with them and they KNOW what I do so they'll say "Great to see ya!" and "How soon can you start?" Otherwise, they have this price hike to dwell on all winter, when without the "commitment", they wouldn't even be giving it a second thought. If you're pretty good, you know they'll have you back anyway.
     
  9. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    Actually, that's pretty good thinking, Runner. Between your bit o' wisdom and good Sir Charles, I think I will hold off on announcing hikes 'til Spring, and then make them a little more tenable. In the meantime, I'll raise my quotes on new customers and work out contracts with them.

    I'll turn this thing around yet... ;)

    -TGC
     

Share This Page