Weekly Or Bi-weekly ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Blades & Spades, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. Blades & Spades

    Blades & Spades LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Please imagine a THEORETICAL operation..

    21" Mow-Blow-Go
    Utility Grass: Bent, Fescue, Rye mix
    Small plots - 20 minutes In and Out
    Tight routes

    Challenges: Limitations of Single Operator : RAIN

    QUESTION: Is it better to have x number of weekly clients or would 2x number of bi-weekly clients provide....
    - Higher Price per cut
    - Increased market due to perceived value of lower annual prices.
    - Lower risks for "catching up" after periods of rain.

    I know there are many other considerations...alternative business concepts, wear on operator and machines, mower sizes etc.....but I am just looking at one aspect of it, and really would appreciate any feedback from those who have tried it or considered trying it.

    For the record, I am moving back from France to England this year, where it rains a bit more..hence the question.
     
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995


    weekly clients are always better than bi-weekly.
    the extra money made on bi-weekly rarely covers the extra time / cost.

    Weekly clients usually care, bi-weekly usually are cheap cheap cheap
    Weekly clients have lower turn over (assuming you are doing a good job)

    With bi weekly, you will not have higher market share, unless the area is full of cheap SOB's. You will be percieved by them as a sucker and by the quality clients as a subpar performer.

    My 2 pence.
     
  3. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 208

    mathamatical equatioin is;
    less customer x higher number of cutting services per month = more money and less work
    same customers x less services = less money and more work
     
  4. Blades & Spades

    Blades & Spades LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Many thanks for the replies, Precision and Ranger, and the good advice. It makes good sense.

    How about Rain, please?
    Would one full week of rain result in lost cuts (and income) if only serving weekly clients, or could a percentage mix of bi-weekly (with the disadvantages you already stated) give a chance to still do the bi-weekly cuts later and offset the loss?
     
  5. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    No per cut period-get them on yearly contacts, figure out x amount of cuts in your cutting season divided by 12 months.
     
  6. Blades & Spades

    Blades & Spades LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Thank you 6'7 330. Good advice.

    Do you state in your contracts how many cuts a year?
    If so, and you can't do the contractual amount because of prolonged rain how do you handle it so you don't lose out....more frequent cuts, extended season (difficult), compensate with other services...... ?
     
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Exactly. Charging by the cut isn't a smart idea especially if weather is such an issue.

    Only thing I would change, is divide by the number of months you are actually on the property. If you season is 8 months then divide by 8. In Florida, we are blessed / cursed with a 12 month season.
     
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    My contract states (a little prettier)

    roughly 42 cuts per season.

    april - nov weekly cutting
    Nov -April bi-weekly cutting

    Precision Lawncare is not responsible for acts of God that prohibit us from maintaining the normal schedule.

    we rarely (once) in the last 2 years had to completely skip a week. Hurricane, mandatory evacuation for 3 days and 2 days of 3+ inches of rain before. Not one customer complaint.

    be up front with them, tell them how you do business and explain that when it is raining like crazy it pushes back the entire schedule.

    "Now understand, that this rarely happens, but if we have to skip you for an entire week due to weather, don't worry, we don't charge double for the double work. It is already figured into the monthly payment."
     
  9. Blades & Spades

    Blades & Spades LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    "Now understand, that this rarely happens, but if we have to skip you for an entire week due to weather, don't worry, we don't charge double for the double work. It is already figured into the monthly payment."

    Thank you Precision. Thats exactly the kind of answer I was looking for.
    I've thought (and searched) for how to deal with rain without losing income.

    "Annual Contracts and Carefully-worded Honesty" That seems to be the way.

    Many thanks Precision, Ranger and 6'7 330 for pointing me in the right direction.
     
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    We do our "agreements" the same way as Precision.

    People have to realize that if there's a week or rain, you're either going to double cut or bag the grass the following week, but they're not getting charged extra for it.

    That's how you've got to sell it.
     

Share This Page