Making changes

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOMER, May 27, 2001.

  1. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    When I began this business a few years ago I told everyone that I would cut 3 times per month. As time went on I have since picked up several weekly accounts and some accounts that need to be done on a weekly basis. I struggle every month to get all those on the 3 cut plan cut.............I'm pulling what's left of my hair out! I can get the weeklys fine, I can usually get all of the 3 timers twice with no problem. If I try real hard I can even get some of the 3 timers a 3rd time, there are always some that I miss:( . If I had 2 more days in every month I might get all of them!

    I am going to send a letter out this month with my invoices explaining this problem to my customers and giving them the option to go with weekly service or bi-weekly service, one or the other. In theory I would have one heavy week and one light week unless I scattered them out evenly. I would have to adjust invoices accordingly, up or down, whatever they decided to do.

    Has anyone made this conversion before and if so did you lose any customers over it? I don't need to lose any but if I continue on my present course I think I might get the reputation of being undependable.................and that would be a bad thing in this business. Several of these yards are not irrigated, they only need it twice a month, the ones that are irrigated seem to be overgrown when I get there.

    I HAVE to make this change and I HAVE to do it now. I would also suggest to anyone starting out NOT to do a 10 day scedule, it doesn't mix well with anything else. I did it in the beginning because I had listened to the customers, I didn't know any better. I do now so I think I will take back my business and run it as I see fit.
     
  2. Make it work for YOU.

    Weekly for the lawns that are watered and every 14 days for the
    dust bowls.

    Do the light/heavy thing so half the time you can get to the
    beach for a few days every two weeks.
     
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Sounds like a plan, my wife would love me for that!

    Not that she doesn't already.

    Well..............sometimes I don't think she does!

    The beach would make her love me again.

    A night out wouldn't hurt.

    Took her to see Shrek last night, had our son with us, good movie, made her laugh...............that's a good thing, our son laughed too, thats always a good thing too.
     
  4. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    homer hire a helper .my friend has a little over a hundred acounts he only works tues-fri two guys using two 36 inch scags cutting 25 lawns a day but if you have big lawns then i can see were thats a problem.
     
  5. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    I too make that same mistake, Homer. I am learning that it is YOUR business and you can't let the customer do your scheduling for you. I have one that says he only wants it cut 2 times a month, no matter what. During the season it's rough. I need to talk to him and/or raise his cost per cut. Homer, I'm sure things will work out for you. Hang in there and good luck.
     
  6. Lawn DOG

    Lawn DOG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 276

    Hi Homer,
    Sounds like you might want to pick up some help. If there is one thing I have learned it is that we are here to provide a service and please the customer. If you try to stick to a strict schedule and it rains for 5 days everything is thrown off. Most people understand weather conflict but don't want to hear that your too busy and can't get to them in time. This reflects on you as a poor manager. If you can't provide the kind of timely service they require and you can't get help then you might want to scale back. Remember a upset customer will tell ten friends and happy one will tell one. Hope this helps. Change is never a easy thing but can bring alot of relief.

    :D
     
  7. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    Bite the bullet,
    I would continue the service as you are doing. Next season implement your changes at the beginning of the year.

    I had four customers last year on a ten day schedule. I had the same concerns as you. Ths season I explained it to the customers the dilemna of the ten day schedule. They understood, and of the four only one did not go with the weekly schedule. The fourth would have taken a bi-weekly schedule, but I had to let him go. He was an outstanding customer, my schedule came first however.

    These are the issues the customer rarely sees us sweating over.

    Shrek was awesome!
     
  8. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    Homer...

    Send your letters, make the phone calls. It's the right thing to do, and if you lose a client or two, so what! You're not asking the world of them. There are more out there.
     
  9. Freetime

    Freetime LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    It is customer dependability; if they want you to be there for them customers have to do the same for you remember, dependability goes both ways cutting every three weeks is to much hassle to schedule. We cut once weekly or every two during the growing season if some one wants “three weeks or so, you know when it needs it” I tell them our weekly customers are our priority and we will mow three week cuts when we can.

    Yes, do write letters or make phone calls to let your people know the situation give them the option of twelve-month pay out maybe. All are correct in that it is your business and you control the schedule not Mrs. Snodgrass or Mr. Tightwad. If they can’t work with you send them to some one else.

    There is a point in time where more work becomes just that, more work, more pay out, more taxes, more hair off your head, more years off your life.
    :D :angel:
     
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    A friend of mine mixes the weekly/bi-weekly cuts with 10 day cuts and it drives him nuts too. I stick to a straight weekly with all of my customers unless I get there and it doesn't need to be cut but it is my call, not their's.
     

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