Full maintenance customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmasterswilson, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    I know this; on average, we'll spend about 15-20 minutes if a client is on our very basic package (bronze). And if the same property is on our most comprehensive package (gold) then we will spend 20-30 minutes for the same property. I hope that helps answer your question.
     
  2. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,540

    So my plan of attack now is to begin learning to ID common plants here and then when and how is the best way to prune them. As the cooler weather moves in I will start to drop some customers who don't want leaves cleaned up or their turf goes dormant and doesn't grow. I will use this time to spend a little extra time in the beds in hopes of the customer noticing, so when I try and upsale they will see what they are getting.
     
  3. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    NO,NO,NO..... Why on earth would you go to a customers place and do work they didn't ask you to do? You don't want the buggy in front of the horse. By saying what you said makes you sound like you don't know what you're doing. You need to go in KNOWING what you are doing BEFORE you offer the service. Don't drop any customers. I have a few that are just mow trim blow. The rest have slowly went to full service after I explained all the services I offer.
     
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    Don't drop any customers??? Nothing wrong with dropping customers who aren't willing to pay as much, have you come regularly (because they don't irrigate their turf), etc. as long as you can afford to lose them. Heck, if I still had the same customers I had 10 or 15 years ago, I'd be broke and out of business by now.

    Part of our success over the years has been realizing when certain customers were really no longer a good investment for us and being willing to lose them and make room in our schedule for new clients who were much more profitable and willing to keep us busy every single week, pay us a little more, or go with a higher service package.

    I'm not saying drop all of your customers who don't want to go with the most comprehensive maintenance package you offer. But there are definitely times when it's perfectly acceptable and even wise to drop certain customers.
     
  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,540

    I dont mean drop customers. We have some warm season turf who are only seasonal customers. So we don't visit the property after the turf goes dormant. We will pick back up when it starts to grow again.

    So by not having as many customers during the fall and winter I can spend some extra time. I was thinking I would take a few lawns (maybe a neighbor or relative) and spend a little more time on the details and get an idea o how much extra time it might take.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    We do everything and more...

    As for disease and insects, we include a clause that states that it is not included, but will be done upon approval as necessary for 20-30% over cost--most people don't mind a a small fee to spray some shrubs. No one questions this clause. Usually in the contract I'll also include a scouting schedule for when we will check for different things. Most of my accounts have been full service for about 3 years now. Works great for cash flow year round! We do 36-48 visits per year. Pruning sometimes is only twice, but usually on healthy aggressive growers, its up to 6. I also have a clause for renewal pruning for shrubs. Some plants are renewal pruned each year easily, and some cases our extra fee is several hundred dollars to change the height of the shrub--IE: if you have a customer with several years, and they decided that they want a certain hedge lower than a normal pruning can offer--happens quite often through up-sells during the fall. We usually do renewal pruning between January and March. Zone 7A.

    Everything else is included in the magic number per month. When I propose I dumb it down for customers to see price per normal cut, price per fall/winter clean up, weed control, and pruning allowance per year. I've seen its all in how you approach the customer with the idea, and not everyone will bite. If my new customers don't bite, I'm frankly not interested in the work--I want year round funds and that's what I push on everyone.
     
  7. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    So you want to drop a few customers so you can free up time to work for free? Learn to do what you want to offer first then charge accordingly.
     
  8. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    I think I have chased that same silver lining in the clouds, I find this thread a hoot...
    Can you let us all know how it turned out say, three years from now?
    Seriously...

    There's nothing wrong with pursuing what you speak of, I think we do need to aim in that direction...
    But if I may urge some caution as to pursuing it full force, when we start talking about dropping customers, that's not cool.
    We can't afford to lose money, you drop a customer the rest of us hope will call us!
    But how that customer is let go, they may never call any of us, don't drop them, so long they pay their money's as good as any.
    There is a reason why a lot, or most landscapers do things a certain way.
    You don't think we'd all like to have those thousand dollar customers?
    You think we enjoy the mow-n-blow routine, knowing we're cashing in dimes on the dollar, you think we like doing that?
    Come on man, have at it... DO...
    Do learn your plants.
    Do offer a range of services.
    Do all those things you want to do, and more.
    But do continue to service all walks of customer, too!

    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  9. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    He's dropping the bottom feeders so you'll have more work. :laugh:
     
  10. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    What we're talking about here...
    You eat a great big meal, you want just the desert?
    Guess what, someone made dry potatoes without gravy, son of a gun that sucks but you still have to eat it!
    We get to the desert as a result of eating the whole enchilada, dry potatoes and all.

    It is better, in my opinion, to learn how to work with them folks.
    I've got customers I only service once a month and they spend between $25 and $30 a service.

    Some would think it's not worth it but it's all in how you streamline the process, back in the old days when I did everything on paper it sure didn't seem worth keeping a monthly customer on paper that only covered two weeks at a time, I'd have extra work on account of them... But today it's all on computer, my schedule covers the entire year so it really doesn't matter whether they want service every week or every month or whatever...

    Because in all of that I get those who only call maybe once or twice a year, some call me as little as once every two years or so, but call they do!
    And I'm telling you, their money's just as good, their green spends as fast as the rest, sure does.

    Or you can go ahead and try and figure it out on your own, because I did,
    which is why I can almost guarantee in the end you'll come to the same conclusion...
    Those bottom feeders and all of that you folks speak of, it's all just par for the course.
    Because the grass really is not greener on the other side.
    There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
    And there is no silver in them dark clouds.
    No, it doesn't get any better than this.
    This is as good as it gets.

    Believe you me I know, I wasted many a year and countless hours of energy on this one so you can trust me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

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