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

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

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    MD - you customers, since you have not experienced drought , should be the easiest to convince, if you have been in business for awhile, you know how many cuts a property gets.

    Just be honest with them and explain...try it out on a few, you might be surprised if you do a effective job explaining why, how much and showing them that you are not going to rip them off but are just trying to actually run a business. You might be surprised at what their thoughts are.
     
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I agree, it makes sense to the customer who understands you're a business not a hobbyiest, I explain that we're a full time professional landscaping company we're not the kid from down the street or joe blow doing it on the side. This is where image is so important, how do you dress when you go to an appointment? do you listen and take notes when the customer is talking? do you drive up in a fred sanford truck? it makes a difference.
     
  3. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    I may fall into the fred sanford category.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

    B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

    C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

    D.) I have a full website.

    I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
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  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    The other thing with the mulch work is most of my jobs are not just slinging mulch. It's tons of edging, trimming bushes, general clean up and anywhere from 2-12 yards of mulch. Full days of work for each job. I really don't like mulch only jobs. They just look like hell without good edging and trimmed bushes. Nothing I'd want to stamp my name on. I do one 7 yard job where the homeowner "edges" and trims. Ugh.....looks good but I know it would look much better if I did the whole job. But it would more than double the price and I think he knows that.

    ANYWAYS.......keep the ideas flowing.
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  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    Properties are edged weekly here including the beds during the most active time of growth, when we go EOW obviously so does the edging. Most customers will choose to have the shrubs included in their service because if they are not going out in the heat to mow the lawn or do not have the time, they will not for the shrubs either, so generally speaking that is already taken care of.

    If they are a new customer and the previous LCO did not address these ....there is a " clean up" cost incurred prior to taking the account on.
     
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    All that is fine and dandy , but personally I think the most important is that the customer trust you and your abilities. They have to have confidence in your and your knowledge and desire to care for their property. If you are able to give that....it goes a long way.
     
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I wasn't putting the part time guys down, I started out part time as well. I don't even have a full website yet, as for the rest sounds like you got the right idea.
     
  9. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    It was previously noted just because thats the way it was always done doesn't mean that's the way it should be done. I agree with that, but in this instance don't believe it to be completely true.

    As a business owner you should realize that customers control the market not the other way around. If a customer balks at paying monthly I will not drop them. I won't throw away good money because the customer wants to walk out, say hi and hand me a check when I am loading up. If I don't then they will find someone who will.

    I also agree it is a money management issue. I know that what I make from April until November has to carry me through the winter. Some people do not have the ability to plan and budget a weekly paycheck let alone planning what you are going to need 10 months down the road. I am not saying any poster of this thread can't. I don't know if you can or not.

    You have found what works best for you. Others have found what works best for them. That's the beauty of owning your business. You get final say in what is best.
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  10. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,720

    Business image is everything. I do a commercial account where I mow the business and the owners house. He cares about the appearance of both of them. There are others where I have no idea where the owner lives. Their lawn could look great or it could be a foot tall. Commercial accounts want their business to reflect an image of professionalism which includes the exterior. Most resi customers just want their grass shorter than before you showed up. We have per cut, and yearly contracts. Yearly contracts are the way to go if you can sell it to your customers.
     

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