quality concerns as a newbie

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by eyes&earsopen, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. eyes&earsopen

    eyes&earsopen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I have been looking at some of the pics of the work of a lot of the vets on here and a lot of you do some great work! So I just had a few questions about quality. I have read some posts on here and some fellas have said they just cut a basic cut cause most of their yards aren't great yards to begin with. I think I cut my yard pretty decent, but I don't get into anything too advanced yet (although I plan to mess around here towards my last cuts of the season). So what should I be focusing on as a new mowing service? I hope that's not too broad of a question but I'd appreciate any responses. Also, did most of you just improve your skills with time and when you became comfortable you offered fancier cuts? Or do you try to accomodate the customer's requests? I do realize that this is also advertisement for your LCO and could help one in gaining or losing customers.
     
  2. DaveRave07

    DaveRave07 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 69

    You want an image of good quality you need to get high quality equipment. There is definitely a learning curve to use the equipment well and have good results but it is easily gained in experience. To get the good image you need to be cutting with machines and not toys, if you do that you will be fine.
     
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    The bottom line is you need to look at the time that you spend on each lawn, and you will need to price accordingly. You mention "fancier" cuts, will this cost you more time?
    We aren't about fancy. We are about being dependable, being consistent and offering a nice quality cut. In and out, while still leaving the lawn looking nice. If you are going to be doing this lawn care biz as your full time income, then you will need to worry about production, not fancy cuts.
    We do above average work, but we maintain our clients thru dependabilty and consistency. We win every time that way.
    I say forget the fancy smancy work, good work is just fine.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I learned over time, twice over is ALWAYS better at least with a 5-speed 48" Proline but it depends on demand as well. When demand is HIGH and I'm doing everything I can to keep up, once over will do... Then when I have a little extra time, I give it back to the customer by striping the lawn and/or doing a really meticulous job. As an example, I completed 8 yards today, out of which 5 of them got striped and I really paid attention to detail which took longer, but I STILL got them all done because NOW is a good time to do this, there is usually less weed-eating later in the season as when compared to spring when there is SO much work it's ridiculous.

    One learns that quality means a loss of speed, thus I try to balance my speed to meet demand and quality falls in there somewhere. Of course as you get better over time, you realize you can go faster while turning out the SAME quality as before while at the same time you can turn out a higher quality lawn while still maintaining a half-decent speed... Still, every once in a while I catch myself and then I get all up on this QUALITY kick and make sure 99% of my yards for an entire WEEK are primo-super-duper stuff, then that helps because it's like training myself, you might try that get on a quality kick for a bit, it really helps.

    Regardless of demand, my blades are sharpened daily OR every 4 yards, whichever comes last. The zircs are greased daily, the tanks are filled up so I don't run out in mid-yard (it is VERY rare I have to re-fuel while in someone's yard) and this all makes up for efficiency (speed) as well, hence more time for the actual work - Efficiency is also learned over time.

    But yes, to me it is usually a balance between quality and speed and both are VERY important, couldn't tell you which one is MORE important other than both are very high in that priority list.

    Good luck !
     
  5. eyes&earsopen

    eyes&earsopen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I have already purchased and been working with a 36" hydro wb from one of the leading manufacturers in the industry. I have really noticed the difference in the cut from my home mower. I have to admit, I even crack a little smile when I look out my window and I see the cut I get from my mower. I was just comparing my work to some of the pics on here and wanted to know should I be concerned with what some of the pros on here are doing. Once again Topsites echoes what I'm shooting for. I guess I just want to be as ready as I can be when next season comes around. We had a bad summer here in OH and I really didn't get the work in with my equipment that I wanted to get, but with the temps going down a bit and some rainfall; hopefully I can get proficient with my equipment. Thanks for the responses guys.
     
  6. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    What brand of mower do you have?
     
  7. Twigs

    Twigs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    You got to be fast and good to make money. Its like playing an instrument. Before you get fast and good, you got to be slow and good. Get good first, then get fast. If not, you will develop habits that will keep you in a fast, "poor quality" rut. Concentate on one operaton at a time and get good. Then the speed will come. Your customers don't care how fast you are, only how good you are. You got to be fast to make a good living, but you got to be good to make a good living for a long time. Remember, good mowing makes the grass look good, and good trimming makes the yard look great. Don't forget to pay attention to the dollars, the pennies will take care of themselves.
     
  8. eyes&earsopen

    eyes&earsopen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I ended up going with Ferris.
     

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