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Per Cut, Monthly, Yearly...What's your take on it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MDLawn, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Merry Christmas all. Sitting here in front of wood stove with coffee .... the Bassett Hound is snoring...awaiting Skype call from my son.

    Good point about mowing at 2.5" vs 3.0" and letting customers pick their day. This is precisely what I want to move away from.

    Except for the early spring low mow often down to less than 2-2.5" I prefer to mow most of my accounts at 3.25" to 3.5". Cool season grass just does better.... taller. Most LCO here cut too low and haul off clippings. I only bag when I'm forced to.

    My cut quality is hands down better than 95% of my competitors. I edge vertically along sidewalks and drives and I'm one of those rare few that can maintain that crisp vertical edge with a string trimmer.

    I thinks it's time that I dictate to my client base how its going to work best. My way or the highway. The.key is to be.diplomatic about.it.and.explain the.benefits.

    Many homeowners water too frequently and at the wrong time.of.day creating a host of.turf.issues. The older the client.is.the.more set.in.their ways and stubborn they are. The ones in their 80's are the worst.

    It seems many Lawn Cutters here are pretty clueless about ideal turf management.

    So why not bundle weekly mowing, fertilization and weed.control...?
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  2. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    well you can move away from clients you can't control and I'll behind you to gladly work for them.

    sure I cut most at a healthy 3" or higher height. sure most ask me my opinion and take my advice and let me do what I know is the proper thing for there property.

    but my point is I don't try and control the client. it's not a my way or the high way business. I give my recommendation and if they don't take it I ultimately do what they want. they are the ones who sign my checks.

    in this business I see it somewhat as I am the employee and they are the boss. but you guys are free to run your business however you want.
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    If one doesn't bundle proper fertilization as per what is best for the lawn (remember you're supposed to be the lawn pro NOT the customer] ..especially the late season applications where more over 60% of the seasons nitrogen is supposed to be applied than earlier in the season....the client tends to skip out on it due to costs.

    Just saying.....
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  4. If you want to grow as a company, have people working for you, and be profitable, listen to the guys on here that have companies like that. Letting customers tell you when they want to pay is pretty rediculous IMO.
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  5. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

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  6. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    The longer that i am in business, the more i am "my way". There is a huge difference btwn my way and the highway and "my way". My wife has invested in her education and as a result "our way" is the right way. I have learned that a customer who will not listen to you about how to water or cut the grass is going to blame you for the brown spot disease. We have the confidence to say no. I personally go to repairmen or professionals that have the courage to tell me their convictions and even tell me no, if I won't listen. I always present myself, not as a know it all, but a professional expert.
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  7. Exactly, great point. I agree 100%.
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  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

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  9. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    I learned a LOOOOOOONG time ago that perfecting my skill at edging with a string trimmer is crucial to maximizing the efficiency of productivity. I only use a steel blade edger for the first cut of the year, or new a new client's first cut. Rock on!:drinkup:
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    My goal in this business is for MY clients to have to healthiest and best looking lawn possible and to make it easier for the client to pay it all is to bank roll the aerations, fertilizations and weed control across 12 months if they are both lawn care client and a flat rate snow client. If they don’t want snow service then they can sign up for a “pay the same amount every month from March-November or maybe a scaled back program from April-October/November. It just reflects well on contractor since the important stuff doesn’t get skipped due to “funds are tighter this month....um ...lets just skip it this time...” excuse.

    Unfortunately I still mow some biweeklies but I feel it reflects poorly on the mowing contractor and on me. Those accounts will be replaced this next season.

    If you are a personal trainer do you want a client who is obese and lazy and eats junk food and is only motivated 1/10 of the time ......or do you want a training client that is motivated to loose their gut and get fit and eats a decent diets and sticks to it 90% of the time and wants to start training for a Triathlon. The trainer looks good - as does the client.

    I will be a licensed applicator here shortly and to be brutally honest I don’t want application clients that like to have their grass scalp mowed because they think it looks better or that’s what their neighbor does or what the putting green looks like. I do not want to broadcast spray lawns with anymore herbicide than I have to. I don’t want to even put down fertilizer “only” for people who water at the wrong times of day etc. Every lawn this last season that struggled to respond to fertilizer I have put down was either watered daily and at the worst possible time of day and had a thick thatch layer due to constant watering or had a history of fertilization with fast release products. The customer education process of “Healthy Grass Practices” has frankly been an uphill battle. People in out culture want quick and easy.

    I mow my accounts as high as possible in the summer 3.25'” – 3.5” and my own grass is mowed at 4”+ in the summer to reduce water demands. [cool season grass]

    If a clients like the short crew cut look and they want it mowed below 2.5” in the summer heat and insist on daily afternoon water cycles.... they can walk as far as I’m concerned.

    This area is epidemic with Johnny upstarts and and lawn cutters who scalp mow and have zero clue about turf management. Many Irrigation contractors have timers set to water everyday in the summer at the worst possible times. I just don’t want to be enabling these types of clients.


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