Customers who want to reschedule

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
To the original poster -

your question is a good one, but as some made suggestions, I read your responses as being defensive.

you asked a question that then becomes a catch 22. You want to find a solution to a situation that your kids presently have, but build processes for the future. I think it’s great that your thinking ahead for them, but that still doesn’t change the answers that some gave.

Mowing is the absolute worst, least profitable section of the landscape industry. Most companies that have actually made it, turning a profit, only mow so that they can sell enhancement work like bush trimming, weeding, clean ups and installs. To make that worst your indicating that your area will not even buy weekly services or contract services. It’s going to be very hard to sell these higher profit services if your correct on that.


Anyone that has major success in business would suggest that you have to analyze the market you intend to enter. Some markets don’t have a solution, the answer truly is don’t start a business in a given area.

so in my opinion I would either let the kids do their thing locally, not worry about much, knowing that a lot would change if they decided to go full time...or.... build for the future but know that you need a plan and things may not seem ideal like driving 30 mins.

all that said, the fert side of the industry has mush better profit and is more forgiving. And I think it has a lower cost to entry.
Great post! At this point I think we're really only mowing for 2 main reasons....1. It's steady and predictable even though the profits are low. 2. We upsell our clients on our other services. If they don't want our other services, they are likely getting dropped after their initial season with us.
 

BigJlittleC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Chicago
Great post! At this point I think we're really only mowing for 2 main reasons....1. It's steady and predictable even though the profits are low. 2. We upsell our clients on our other services. If they don't want our other services, they are likely getting dropped after their initial season with us.
My goal is to get every client to spend at minimum 2k.

Mowing is the easy in on the property to up sell the high margin work.

Let's be real if these kids are having trouble with EOW grass mows. These clients are not stepping up to full service squirt and fert with gardening upsells.

Hate to break it to you but I guarantee there is plenty of grass getting mowed weekly in your area. That is unless your in weezertonfieldville where everything is different.
 
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Marshall Reid

LawnSite Member
Location
Birmingham, AL
To the original poster -

your question is a good one, but as some made suggestions, I read your responses as being defensive.

you asked a question that then becomes a catch 22. You want to find a solution to a situation that your kids presently have, but build processes for the future. I think it’s great that your thinking ahead for them, but that still doesn’t change the answers that some gave.
The only thing I'm being defensive about is people from other areas that know absolutely nothing about my area telling me how it really is in my area. That and offering solutions that have nothing to do with my original question and didn't answer my question of how to reply to a customer who was asking my boys to wait another week.

Mowing is the absolute worst, least profitable section of the landscape industry. Most companies that have actually made it, turning a profit, only mow so that they can sell enhancement work like bush trimming, weeding, clean ups and installs. To make that worst your indicating that your area will not even buy weekly services or contract services. It’s going to be very hard to sell these higher profit services if your correct on that.

all that said, the fert side of the industry has mush better profit and is more forgiving. And I think it has a lower cost to entry.
Yes, this is good information - one that I'm familiar with but that we have not started implementing yet since it will be at least a couple of years before they are able to do this full-time. I will need to do more research into this part of the business before then, of course. Thank you.
 
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Marshall Reid

LawnSite Member
Location
Birmingham, AL
Hate to break it to you but I guarantee there is plenty of grass getting mowed weekly in your area. That is unless your in weezertonfieldville where everything is different.
Hate to break it to you, but you don't have a clue about my area. For our part of the Birmingham metro area, it is and has always been every 2 weeks. As I said in another comment, there are probably some areas of Birmingham (the more affluent ones) where customers have their yards mowed every week, but for the vast majority of this middle class area, including the area where we live and my boys are currently working, it is every 2 weeks. Even Jason Creel, the owner of Lawn Care Life (he lives in this area) has stated this in many of his YouTube videos. Now, when my boys want to take this full time and start branching out, they'll look for the higher end clients and opportunities for other services, but right now, it's just the typical mow, trim, edge every 2 weeks with some bush trimming every now and then.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA
No way I would skip a bi -weekly. The few I have are currently a pain because they get so tall every other week.

Try to get the people on a monthly payment plan spread over 12 months. If your biweekly is $50, thats $100/month for what is your mowing season like, 8 months? That's $800 spent. See if they will agree to spread that $800 out over 12 months. Put them on auto pay. That's $66/month, so they save money each month by spreading it out. I'd raise my prices a bit too, and give a discount to do it weekly.

BTW, why doesn't grass grow in Birmingham? Do you not get rain?
 
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Marshall Reid

LawnSite Member
Location
Birmingham, AL
No way I would skip a bi -weekly. The few I have are currently a pain because they get so tall every other week.

Try to get the people on a monthly payment plan spread over 12 months. If your biweekly is $50, thats $100/month for what is your mowing season like, 8 months? That's $800 spent. See if they will agree to spread that $800 out over 12 months. Put them on auto pay. That's $66/month, so they save money each month by spreading it out. I'd raise my prices a bit too, and give a discount to do it weekly.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand. How is it better to take the $800 that the customer normally spends in 8 months and spread out that same $800 over 12 months? I must be missing something with your comment.

BTW, why doesn't grass grow in Birmingham? Do you not get rain?
Yes, we get plenty of rain, but the majority of the yards around here are not overgrown at the 2 week mark. There are occasions, especially when there's been a lot of rain, that the grass is higher than normal, but everyone around here is fine with the way at looks between that 1 week mark and 2 week mark. And my boys are not mowing more than 1/3 of the blades of grass most of the time. It's simply the culture here.
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
Good to hear they are working their way to pay for college, i know it can get expensive. Working and classes can be hard to do both so sounds like there is strong work ethics....
So what to do with every other week customers that want to delay service? Depends on how badly the cash flow is needed. If saying no means losing a significant book of business then you may have to suck it up for now. But certainly be looking to replace those customers with better ones. I think your sons should put as much time into school work as cutting grass....
You don't need a college degree to cut grass.....to run a business yes. Hard work pays off. I suggest working harder at school right now.
 

BigJlittleC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Chicago
Hate to break it to you, but you don't have a clue about my area. For our part of the Birmingham metro area, it is and has always been every 2 weeks. As I said in another comment, there are probably some areas of Birmingham (the more affluent ones) where customers have their yards mowed every week, but for the vast majority of this middle class area, including the area where we live and my boys are currently working, it is every 2 weeks. Even Jason Creel, the owner of Lawn Care Life (he lives in this area) has stated this in many of his YouTube videos. Now, when my boys want to take this full time and start branching out, they'll look for the higher end clients and opportunities for other services, but right now, it's just the typical mow, trim, edge every 2 weeks with some bush trimming every now and then.
If your following the 1/3 rule cutting at 2inches means your grass only grows 1 inch in 2 weeks.
 
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