weekly mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Andrews Lawn, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Andrews Lawn

    Andrews Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I have a question that hopefully someone can give me adivice about:

    This season I am only going to take customers that want a weekly mowing and none of that bi-weekly stuff that is not worth the time so this is what i was wondering.

    Say if there is a dry, hot period in July and the grass isn't growing much and the account is a mowing-only account, could I tell the customer when I give them a estimate that I would still come to their property and do other yard work so I can keep a weekly schedule and still charge them the price of the lawn? I know this works with complete lawn care packages but when i only mow the lawn will it work?

    What are some things I could do at the property that would take as much time as mowing? Weeding? Pruning? If you have any ideas on how this would work please help because I will be passing out flyers and giving estimates soon
     
  2. cowman66

    cowman66 Banned
    Posts: 71

    once a week seems fast to me, but u could do planting work maybe? trees, flowers, etc.
     
  3. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    Don't limit yourself. Sell your time, not your service. If the client is in agreement to pay for a year's worth of mowing they are in essence reserving your time. If you arrive and feel obligated to still perform some sort of service, you will find something to do. Focus on not wasting your time or their money. If you are capable of providing full service maintenance (mowing, fertilization, pruning, trimming, clean-up, mulching, etc...) maybe those are the types of clients you should pursue anyway as opposed to "mowing only".

    Sean Adams
     
  4. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    Andrews Lawn - I think you're wise to establish a weekly circuit. In order for you to effectively monitor the condition of their landscape, you need to see if frequently enough. They're hiring an expert to be at their property 30 plus times a season (depending on your season).

    Rather than charge a mowing price, we'll charge our hourly rate if we don't cut for weeding, bush trimming etc. If the property took 1/2 hour before to service, we'll look to spend a similar amount of time, or if things are slow and there is more work, take the time to do it.

    As well, you may still need to cut a few areas that are growing, or line trim a few spots. So you might prorate the cut if you want. But this can be dangerous. People who want a rebate because only their front lawn was cut since the back yard was blocked by another service/remodeling company don't get the discount they want. Your primary cost is to show up. It's not your fault you can't access the property. So prorating service can open the door to other problems.

    At times, we'll do a driveby and charge nothing if we're in drought conditions. We have other properties that can take up our time with bed maintenance - so we'll do nothing at some to give us the extra time for projects at others. No foul no fuss.
     
  5. Andrews Lawn

    Andrews Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Thanks for the advice. Do some of you guys put in your contracts that you will still mow the lot if there is minimal growth? Do people actually go for that or is that why you try and convince them to apply fert. to keep it green?
     
  6. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    andrews lawns, you have much to learn, up north of you i cut on a 4-5 day schedule in the spring and fall, and when needed in the summer and still end up cutting 26-28 times a year. but i also due full property maintance on about half my properties.
    in the summer when it is hot and dry and can put down some nitrogen but it wouldn't do much good unless you water, but why put down the nitrogen when you can put down iron and get the greening effect without the growing. because if you have to cut when its over 86 degrees you are putting more stress on the yard than if you weren't to cut. so that brings me to my next point on educating your customers and telling them to water their lawns during the summer if you get a hot and dry period granted most won't but some may and there lawns will be greener and still growing which is good for the both of you because it will look good and you will still get paid.
     
  7. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    We tell our customers... you've hired a professional to manage your turf/landscape. We'll determine when the work has to be done that you've contracted with us to complete.

    Therefore - we decide if it's too hot to cut, hasn't grown enough, etc. We don't want customers calling us off, second guessing our service program. If we allow them to do this, we're just undercutting our own value. Therefore, just as Joshua explained, you've got to educate your customers. Sell them value - and the value comes from knowledge. That's why they've hired you!
     
  8. Hodge

    Hodge LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    :rolleyes: The main complaint I have new customers make is the previous guys cut the yard when it did'nt need it...like in Oct and Nov...
     
  9. Tim Canavan

    Tim Canavan LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 218

    Take the bi- weeklys too. Charge them more than you normally would to make it worth your time. If this is too much for you to manage then stay within your boundaries. You really need to consider some sort of an agreement (not contract) for your customers.
     
  10. Messenger Gardens

    Messenger Gardens LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    We word our mowing agreements that the lawn will "... be mowed on a weekly basis but may be mowed on a more or less frequent basis as growth patterns dictate." Of the 102 residential lawns we maintain, 93 are irrigated and drought conditions generally do not play a major role.

    If we do not mow during a particular week, the customer is not charged. In addition to mowing, we typically average doing an average of just under $1,000 in landscaping work for most mowing customers. I would rather keep them happy with the mowing service and make additional charges off landscaping work than trying to get a couple of extra mows off of them.

    Typically, when the grass slows in late July and August, we move a couple of guys from mowing to landscaping. We try to schedule heavier hardscape jobs then, knowing we can have a couple of extra hands.
     

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