Requiring the Fert/Weed Control

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Just wondering how many other LCO's require the fert/weed control program?

    I have noticed that those customers who have irrigation systems, take my weed/fert program and use me for weekly (as opposed to bi-weekly) cuts are simply not cancelling service unless they sell their homes. Same goes for customers with Chemlawn, too. Not all weed/feed companies, but Chemlawn around here does outstanding work with bermuda lawns. These lawns all look nice after we cut. I'd be surprised if any of these customers would fire us to save a few bucks with another LCO. Their lawns just look outstanding after we cut.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    i live in Euless/tx now DFW! ive seen some pretty nice lawns out here!

    customers are sick and tired of having a battle between the lawn man, spray man and sprinkler man! if you can be ALL of them you will definetly be solving your customers head aches!
     
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I've got a ton of customers that use Chemlawn. I'm not hearing of any problems from my customers. Their lawns look great.

    I get irritated, though: Customers sign up for service and they select weekly mowings but they want to keep the bill down so they don't select fert/weed apps. Then, as time goes on, they're not happy with the way the lawn looks, so they cancel. Or, they sign up with Chemlawn later on. For whatever reason, they won't take fert/weed from me. Either they've forgotten that I offer it or maybe they just don't think I'm capable of doing a good job.

    I think what I'll start doing is offering the first two or three apps free with weekly mowing service.

    Of course, I refuse to provide weed/feed to customers without irrigation systems. It's just too hard to get the turf thick enough to prevent an onslaught of winter weeds in a dormant bermuda lawn without a sprinkler system. The bermuda lawns with sprinkler systems are a breeze, though. I've noticed the unirrigated lawns are a lot more work with the backpacks. It's like night and day as far as time requirements.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    If I was going to offer "free" fertilization and so on, I'd include the cost in the charge for mowing. It strikes me that restaurants have to remind people that something is available because we forget. Could be you'd do more weed-n-feed business if you reminded your customers from time to time that you offer it.
     
  5. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Might be a good idea to add the information about your service to the weekly/monthly bill.
     
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I think that with new customers going forward, if they sign up for weekly service and if they have an irrigation system, I'll tell them that they get four or six months worth of free fert/weed control just for signing up, as long they stay on the mowing schedule. After that, the applications are the normal price and they can cancel at any time. This will have the cheapskate in them cancelling service with Chemlawn or who ever and switching to me. If they haven't been using someone's fert/weed control plan, it'll also show them, over time, how important it is.

    Then, once they've got a nice pretty green lawn and one company is responsible for all of it, that company is not likely to be let go.---My opinion.

    I just think this is the only way to build a "moat" around the mowing business. Everybody knows how to mow a lawn, but not everyone knows how to make a lawn look good. And a happy customer with a nice green lawn will think twice before going with a cheaper competitor. Especially if that competitor doesn't offer fert/weed control service or barely speaks english.

    If you're just mowing, I think customers see you as a lot more "disposable", especially if they're not using a fert/weed control plan and the lawn looks bad.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Well, my common sense hunch is also backed up by statistical data.

    15% of all customers who have ever subscribed to my weekly mowing service and either my fert/weed plan or a competitor's fert weed plan have fired me and didn't sell their home.

    35% of all customers who have ever subscribed to my weekly mowing and had no weed control/fert program have fired me and didn't sell their home.

    The odds of being fired by a weekly mowing client are 133% greater if they don't subscribe to a professional fert/weed control program.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     

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