Bi weeklys and their worth.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Kelly's Landscaping, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,256

    Darryl I'm with you. I'll shoot for weekly but if they don't take it and are willing to pay the biweekly price I still win. I am going to put the new customers on autopay from a CC because they are usually slow by the the end of the year.
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  2. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I can't remember if I posted on the subject but I had one bi-weekly that even if I let it go 3 weeks, I could still come in a bag the entire place (small 1/4 acre lot) in less then 40 minutes and have the place looking perfect for $60 per cut. There were times when I had forgotten about her and she would call saying it time to cut again. LOL I STILL made more per minute bagging it even in the worst conditions then I make on some of the larger high dollar properties I have. I did the property with my BOP 36 Dually most of the time. On occasion I would use my Scag with a 61in cut. I was in and out in less then 25 minutes using it. :)
  3. Aaronnc

    Aaronnc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7B
    Messages: 354

    I think it depends on how your business is set-up and your expectations and goals. Since your even considering dropping clients, I'm assuming your not based on cash flow to cover payments/overhead etc..... And more based on profit/time and efficiency.

    That being said, it's a simple question. Is the outcome/income from these clients worth your time and energy? Simple sure, but perplexing at the same time. Do a simple spreadsheet keeping them, and do one without. I tell people to put a price on their perceived and/or real headaches they have, and then do a simple P&L statement.
    If the $ is not worth it then drop. If the $ is then deal with it from a different approach, or else keep them till you replace them with another client.

    This is a hard question to help with without knowing your internals. Good Luck
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I think it honestly comes down to settling. I think most people on this site and who have chimed in on this thread would agree that if they had the choice, they'd rather have any account be a weekly account vs. bi-weekly. Nobody in this business is really HOPING they'll land a ton of bi-weekly accounts....let's be honest. But some are willing to SETTLE for a bi-weekly account, if that's the only way the customer will do it, because they feel it's better to take any account than to say no.
  5. I agree with everything you have said about bi-weeklies. In my area, they are not a good customer. You don't get any extras, and when winter hits, they let you go or you cut the property maybe 3 or 4 times while you are making the same money on your weeklies....

    Maybe for some guys on here, it works. But I don't want any part of it and in South Florida, it's not a good customer.
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  6. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I see your point Jim, but one other factor...if all of my accounts were weekly I wouldn't be able to get to them all at times. I would have to drop some accounts, hire someone from outside the family or add a mowing day to my schedule, none of which I want to do at this point.

    And keep in mind that mowing is only a small piece of the pie on some of these accounts...the cleanups, plowing and other maintenance and extras account for a larger portion of my income on them. I billed one of them over $3,500 last year...I left that one out of my figures because it's billed together with a small $30 monthly (their cottage "grass" parking area). Mowing only accounted for about 25% of my billing on that account last year. The guy isn't cheap, he just doesn't fertilize or irrigate, so it doesn't need cutting often.

    The bottom line is that my bi-weekly accounts fit in well with my operation and I don't want to replace them with weekly accounts...strange as that may seem. It all depends on your situation. The barometer for whether or not an account is worth holding onto for us smaller operators is different than for someone like you. For me it's largely how I feel when I pull up to the account to service it and how much it brings in per year. If I dread pulling up to the account and/or it's less than $1,000 per year it's a candidate for the axe.
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Very well said.
  9. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    Lively debate here. I like it. I think it's all a matter of where your company is located, what type of company you are running and what you want to take on. Simply saying that ALL companies who take on any bi weekly work are settling is a tad off kilter. That being said, I'm quite positive that if given the choice, the overwhelming majority of us would choose the weekly client over the bi weekly client, but not all. There is something to be said for the bi weekly client that ends up bringing in more money than a weekly client because they want clean ups and bed maintenance and other services that push them ahead of your average weekly client. I prefer weekly clients and only take on bi weekly clients that will fit well into my schedule and are profitable. I don't go out of my way to accomodate bi weekly clients. And I'd also like to point out that our views on cutting frequency are largely associated with the fact that we run on a 7 day weekly cycle. If we ran on an 8 or 9 day cycle and that's all we ever knew, I'd bet money that nobody would be on here saying "every 7 days is a must". I know most situations don't end up this way, but picture this... 3 lawns within 3 blocks of eachother. One lawn is smaller and weekly with no trees. The two other lawns are twice the size and have an abundance of trees but no irrigation and are bi weekly lawns. At the end of the year, all three lawns bring in the same amount because you did the weekly lawn and one of the bi weekly lawns on one week, and the weekly lawn and the other bi weekly on the next week. There were only seconds of difference in drive time between the two weeks and the work times ended up nearly identical so there's no real slack in the schedule from one week to the next. What's wrong with taking on those two bi weekly lawns in that scenario? This scenario busts the "settling" theory. It doesn't always work like this but when it makes sense to take on bi weekly lawns, I bet this scenario comes close.
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Good points as well. In my case, I have enough EOW accounts to fill an entire day, so I can theoretically work a day less every other week. In practice, this doesn't usually work out, because I often mix the weeklies and bi-weeklies, but am considering setting my schedule up this summer to get that extra day off.

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