Sending out 2013 renewals

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,866

    I am working up my 2013 app renewals as I speak. How many of you guys are doing the same? How are you handling price increases? For gas/fert etc?

    I have increased the price on about 1/3 of my customers, those who's price was perhaps a bit low to start with, or have fallen behind the costs of doing business. 10% increase is about average. The new customers I got in 2012 will generally not see an increase until at least a year from now. Otherwise I feel I would risk losing them.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,514

    I will try to send mine out the 1st of Janurary. I will do a direct mailer mid jan. Our 1st round starts the middle of feburary.

    I will selectively raise some prices on lawns that don't make good margins or aggravating. It all depends on how much work I do for them. I mow many of my application accounts also.
     
  3. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 281

    I have typically sent out renewals in Feb/early March. I guess, I enjoy the initial time off when I finish up a season as well as I figure my customers get a break from their lawn expense too! Not saying that my way is right though. Seems I see competition sending out their info sooner very year. Of course I don't worry much about competition at least concerning existing customers.

    I typically do price increases just like you. Very rarely on a new customer for the same reason. Same as increases to the older ones that have fallen behind concerning costs.

    How do you do renewals? I send out letters to every customer, but it states that renewal is automatic unless I am contacted and told otherwise. One thing that I have never done but I see some bigger companies do is push to upsell services right from spring as a total package. For example aeration. I have always offered that when the time comes in the year. I am thinking about somehow adding that in with a discount if the customer commits in the spring.

    Or another idea, that I suspect others do is, renew the entire service the same as last year. For example, if last years service was 5 or 6 apps, grub control and aeration, that whole program is automatically renewed as performed the prior year. Less nagging the customer and automatic service to them and business for the company.

    Thoughts?
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,912

    I like Foxtrot's plan. I always increased prices to all customers the same. Computer does the calculations...no sweat. Add a few cents to base fee. Add a few cent per thousand sqft. Automatic renewal on their same program and number of aps.
    If not included, grub control available at extra cost, (quoted) just call.
     
  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,866

    I auto renew every customer I have that had two or more apps the previous season. They get renewed with exactly the same program they had the last season. I also list one upgrade option for those customers who's lawn could really afford me on it a little more throughout the season.

    As for aeration, I incorporate it into my programs automatically. You buy a season program, you bought aeration too. It is that important, esp here with the muck clay soils.

    I don't send out prepay notices until Feb or so. The letters I send now simply tell customers they are auto renewed and they MUST call or e-mail me to cancel or I AM showing up next year.
     
  6. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    All of our clients are auto-renewal. If we have to raise price for whatever reason we contact the clients with post cards stating the cost increase and the option to discontinue services if they don' t like the new price.
     
  7. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    We mailed our 2013 prepay letters to arrive on Dec 1,
    Did not raise price per treatment but, dropped our 10% prepay discount to 7%.

    We want the cash for early order purchases and to lockup the clients before fert. & squirts lowball us.

    Grubs are back big time in Maryland so we are adding preventative treatments (Merit)

    We now have mandatory soil testing so selling lime, Potash appl.
     
  8. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Auto Renewal here.

    I send out a cover letter with greetings, thank you's, updates, and reminders of cool extra services like the insect controls, aeration, seeding and tree/shrub care. I also remind them of referral deals that are in place or any other teasers.

    I include a printed copy of their scheduled services for this upcoming season, which is always the same as last season unless discussed prior.

    I include the pre payment deal (5%) and include an envelope.

    I suck at raising prices. Honestly? I don't hardly ever do it. Fortunately for me I charge plenty upfront and am not low bidding too many jobs.

    I do however stick to a pretty tight pricing structure that goes up with the times, or down as my market prices adjust.

    I never mail anything out till mid February. I am in Michigan.
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,912

    Eventually, auto-renew has an important advantage.
    When you retire or sell your company--your customer list is a lot more valuable. Without auto-renewal...your clients are just a list...not worth much.
     
  10. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,387

    Riggle - Great point...I love this idea. I'm going to do that this coming year, I'll send out the agreements and have a statement saying they will auto-renew from year to year until we hear otherwise from them. This should help a lot - so many people are busy and procrastinate and we miss out on some work because they don't get it back to us in time...

    Love this idea...thanks!!!

    Jason
     

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