How do you do your leaf clean ups?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by spitfire3416, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    I'm curious to know how everyone structures their fall clean ups on this site. Do you wait till they all fall down and do one big clean up at the end? Break it up into 2-3? Or do you start picking them up now while you cut the grass so that theres less to do in November/December?

    Reason why I ask is because I've noticed some of my customers leaves have started falling a couple weeks ago and it's taking me 10 min longer on each house roughly. The way I've always done it in the past is cut up until end of Oct and then I give 2 big clean ups in Nov/Dec when they all fall down. But this year they seem to be falling so early.
     
  2. DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING

    DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,343

    All our clean ups start after the leaves have fallen.
    We have noticed in the past if we start doing mini clean ups each week people cancel the actual end of year clean up.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I do them weekly (or as often as I can get to them) just like mowing and charge accordingly.
     
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Last year I thought about doing them weekly. Lawn mowing is done the last week of October. So I figured that November thru December 15 would give me 6 weekly lawn clean ups.

    Trying to come up with a pricing system that would gross the same money. Thing is if on a $35 lawn if I went there and charged $35 @ 6 visits = $210. Where if I showed up once when all the leaves are down cost would be $360.

    So I would have to charge $60 a visit for a mini clean up. Thing is a customer is use to seeing a LCO be there for 30 minutes for a mow and paying $35. He is not going to be happy seeing you run a mower with a bag sucking up leaves for the same amount of time for $60.

    Then as the other poster said I feared that a lot people would cancel and not have all the scheduled clean ups done. Content to feel most of the leaves are gone the customer can live with the leaves that are left and save some money.

    Thing is even if I could get the customers to go for 6 visits and not cancel and charge high enough weekly price that the gross would be the same, I would lose money on the deal because There would be a lot more driving on my part.

    At this point I sticking with one time fall clean up. Who knows if I may reconsider this in the future. Customers have not asked for this type of service so it appears there is no need.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  5. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I agree with what you are saying about basically leaving money on the table if you are there weekly. But from my personal point of view and the customers I have they want it done once a week. I don't have to give prices upfront before I do cleanups so for me it works out better to be there as often as possible. They're paying for time. (like mowing etc) but if I spend the same amount of time doing a cleanup as I would a normal mow they are still getting charged extra because I am going to leave their house with much more material than a normal mow.
     
  6. PineyPower

    PineyPower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    What I am starting to do is I'm now uping the price of my weekly poeple. Not all of them have leaves falling yet but tha ones I add 10 to 15 more a week. For the most part, me poeple don't mind
     
  7. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    yea this is exactly what i was thinking of doing for my customers where the leaves are falling early. i figure charging an extra $10 dollars for making the lawn look nice and clean until they all fall is not a big deal in my personal opinion. it just looks nicer and seems so unprofessional to chop them up and leave them on the ground until November
     
  8. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 665

    Every property is different and so is the amount of time/difficulty/material you have to take into consideration. How do you charge when the leaves DO all come down? Break it down into an hourly rate concerning how much you want to profit along with pricing in cost of operation (gas/employee's)? Or do try to price it as the amount of debris haul your going to take away with you? Or anothr way?
     
  9. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    I'm just gonna bill them for time worked. If it only takes me another 10 minutes to cut the lawn and clean it up, I can't really charge more than $10-15. I'm fine with doing it that way until November when I start my clean ups. Most of my customers whose leaves are falling I usually charge about $700. I don't think they'll mind being charged an extra $10 for the next 4 weeks.
     
  10. WorldsStrongestLandscaper

    WorldsStrongestLandscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    This is how we do it through the first week of nov. then do a fall cleanup in mid to late November in a fraction of the time. 45 mins -1.5 hrs compared to 1.5 hrs to 3 hrs. Cuts time in half. = more time to do the new clients We currently handle 125 of our customers and 50 just fall cleanups and prob 25 phone calls (new clients). So 10-20 $ extra bucks a week the customers are ok with.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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