Spring cleanups

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dingo, Feb 15, 2000.

  1. Dingo

    Dingo LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 133

    I was wondering what all do you do for spring cleanups? Do most people that get spring cleanup become regular mowing clients? and how do you charge? any info would be a help thanks<br>
     
  2. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Spring and Fall clean up is hard to call sometimes. Most guys around here charge $45 per hour. I think customers are put off by the high per hour charge. I bid around 3 times the regular mowing fee. The customer does not usually know how long you are on the property....just happy with good results.<br>Bid right to make your money and do quaility work to please the customer.<br>Alot with stay as regular mowing customers. Market yourself!
     
  3. MWHC

    MWHC LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Posts: 202

    Clean-ups are one of the hardest items to bid. Sometimes you have to take a W.A.G. (wild ass guess) on how much time it will take to complete the task. The more clean-ups you do, the better you get at estimating time. Here are a couple of things to consider.<p>1. Clean-ups usually require the disposal of lawn debris. Does your landfill charge you to dump? If so, you have to work that into your price.<br>2. How much travel time is between the work site and dumpsite? This needs to be worked into the price also.<br>3. Is there enough debris to merit multiple trips to the landfill?<br>4. Have a minimum charge. This eliminates the customers that wan't you to come over for $5.00 to clean a corner out.<br>5. To find a price, you need to know how much per hour it costs YOU to do business. After you know that, you can put whatever profit margin in you like. If it's to high, you won't win many bids. To low, you win lots of bids but make no money. Many posts suggest charging $30-40/man hour.<p>You will find some spring clean up customers become full time accounts while others will not. Do a quality job and the customer will at least see you care about your quality of work.
     
  4. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I have changed my attitude about it, might be a little nasty but if people don't see the need for yearly maintenance I don't see killing myself and getting behind. My NEW price for one timers is $100.00 minimum. I have been burnt sooooooo many times I feel justified in charging so much. If they want to look around for a better price they are welcome to it. Maybe another guy will get lucky and land them year round. Figure it like this, they have saved money all winter long by not paying for it to be done, they should expect it to cost a lot!<p>Don't give your services away, let somebody else lose their a$$$!<p>Homer
     
  5. mountain man

    mountain man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    Homer is right. This is a good way to loose money. Alot of the people that call for cleanup have no idea what it costs to run a business. Most probably need the neighborhood kid that they can hire on a Saturday for $50. If there is no regular maintenance then I am not going to do it for less than $200. It is just not worth doing the smaller jobs after factoring in risks, costs etc vs the potential profit.
     
  6. Homer,<p>Now your starting to think like a man who controls his own destiny.<p>In the spring I will get calls for a one time<br>spring clean up. The conversation will sometimes go like this:<p>Mr. Stone I would like a price on a one time<br>spring clean up.<p>Stone: Who is doing your lawn mowing maint.?<p>Well I am or when I get sick I have a &quot;scrub&quot;<br>do it on a per occourance basis.<p>Stone: Who handles your fertilization and<br>pesticide application needs?<p>Well Chemlawn does for they are the biggest and the best in the biz.<p>Stone: I can provide you a complete lawn and<br>landscpe maint. package that includes mowing maint., fertilizations, pest. apps., aeration<br>dethatching and spring clean up on a yearly<br>basis. Can I give you a quote?<p>No Mr. Stone we only want you to perform the one time spring clean up.<p>Mr. Stone: Due the great demand for my services I cannot take time from my busy<br>schedule now and not make any revenue from a customer througout the rest of the year.<br>If you decide to change your mind in the future and want to have one company service handle all your lawn care and landscape maint. needs I will be waiting for your call. Thank you for your interest in my company and good day.<p>They key is to qualify these cold calls over the phone and not to get involved with marginal residential business.<p>
     
  7. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Good points Homer, Mountainman, Larry. I think some of us will take the clean up work in hopes of gaining a new customer. By quailifing them in advance you know where you stand. There is no need to work on a clean up project, only to find out the kid down the street mows it all summer and Chem Lawn provides the fertilization.
     
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Now thats what I call useful information! I don't normally look at it in that fashion but will start. Even if you get the $100.00 min and go up from there you tend to tie up your &quot;free time&quot;, are not going to make anymore off the customer, and are going to piss yourself off for taking on such a headache.<p>I could spend that time trying to make $1000.00 to $1500.00 over the next year by sitting at this computer printing brochures or out scouring the city looking for potential annual customers. <p>Nope, forget the one time clean-ups, I have never made money on them anyway. I suggest (unless you have to have it) you spend your time figuring out how to survive the long, cold, money tight winters! And the only way to do that is to establish customers that are willing to avoid the need for that one time crap.<p>Good Advice Larry,<p>Homer
     
  9. ashlandscaping

    ashlandscaping Banned
    Posts: 113

    Those one time clean-ups can be a headache but they can also lead to farther work like landscape install brick walk and ect. I hated doing them at first but we charge high the crews in and out on most lawns with in 30minutes and the waste is min. But when I go to look at the job I take a good look over the job plus look to see any areas that can be improved a homeowner installed brick walkway that lifting all over old out date landscape and so on. Out of 60 lawns we do in the spring from calls we land between 40 and 50 for lawn maint. Maybe it will not be at first but with in the next 30 days or so. Plus we average about 10 landscapes per year from those cleanup might not be from them might be their kids or friend that seen the job we did or saw the note we left to home onwer telling them of other servies like redoing that paver walkway that we land work from someone that other wise would not have. YES they can be a headache BUT if you really look at whats on the grounds and have an added note telling between now and time of the cleanup any added limbs and so forth will cost more. Some will be like that was their but in same ran when it comes to gets those call for cleanup we have all are customers done and the crews can hit these real quick so not much problem their.
     
  10. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Well I guess I agree with that philosophy as well, only I don't do any landscaping. If I did that would be the opportune time to look around and see what else could be done. I tried doing the landscape, irrigation thing and could not keep up with all of it so we just mow. If you &quot;just mow&quot;, they are real time wasters IF you aren't going to get any more revenue from them. I can run over to my regular customer and be in and out in a few minutes, I can't there. Most of the cleanups I have gotten into are large yards that have been let go for a long time. I haven't seen one we can do in 30 minutes, I really don't call that a big job. I see your point and in that sense it might make cents!<p>Homer
     

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