Customers who want to reschedule

grass man 11

LawnSite Senior Member
I meant to ask you, what are installs? I've seen that term used before, but I don't know what that includes.
meaning plant or tree installation or brick installation. This is where big money is made.

back to some points others made, I can’t say we know your market, but I can say the basics of business and this industry do not very much over the country. Bi-weekly accounts do not normally produce enough revenue to stay in business.

I’ll leave you with one last though. I hear all the time “my market is different.....”. My market this , my market that. I have to tell you, it’s in your head. All markets have their challenges but all can be conquered and you would be surprised to learn they really are not that different. If a bi-weekly client is skipping service, you have a bad client.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA
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.



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.
By spreading out the $800 over 12 months on auto pay, if you do skip a mow then you still get paid. If your agreement is that you will maintain their grass at a certain height for this amount of money. Most guys like to do it based in weekly mows. You mow more in springtime and customer gets an extra or two, and you win some in summer when it may not be needed.

Secondarily, I don't like to wait until grass is overgrown before cutting it. It's just not healthy for the grass.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Senior Member
By spreading out the $800 over 12 months on auto pay, if you do skip a mow then you still get paid. If your agreement is that you will maintain their grass at a certain height for this amount of money. Most guys like to do it based in weekly mows. You mow more in springtime and customer gets an extra or two, and you win some in summer when it may not be needed.

Secondarily, I don't like to wait until grass is overgrown before cutting it. It's just not healthy for the grass.
this concept can be bad for cash flow unless payments start before service is rendered, otherwise your causing a delay in recovering money for services rendered. Done forward, with payments first it becomes a prepayment. Done after, with services starting on day 1, payments starting on day 1, 8-9months of service but 12 payments, this is the same as a client not paying your invoices in full and ending up on the AR report as past due.
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
If an every other week customer wants to be skip service now, most certainly don't put them on a 12 month payment plan, you will be financing their costs and in the south east they won't pay during the dormant season. Hell they don't want to pay now in peak season. Keep your regular ones on every 2 weeks move the skip ones to if i have time. Try and focus on replacing those customers with better ones. I'm 2 hours away in Atlanta, grass, pruning and weeds are crazy right now with all the rain. 3 weeks on mowing? I don't know your market or your finances, if u need $ then cut it, they probably not expecting a well manicured lawn. Make your money and collect your money as quickly as possible. Both
 

kemco

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Memphis TN
I've got am acquaintance that does the 12 month pay for roughly 7 months of service. I just don't get it but to each their own. I would not like paying 5 months when nothing and I mean nothing is being done on my lawn. Even though it spreads the payments out. (from a customer perspective). But we work year round so that may be the difference.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA
I've got am acquaintance that does the 12 month pay for roughly 7 months of service. I just don't get it but to each their own. I would not like paying 5 months when nothing and I mean nothing is being done on my lawn. Even though it spreads the payments out. (from a customer perspective). But we work year round so that may be the difference.
You can figure in leaf cleanup in fall and spring cleanup, even a mulch job, overseed/aeration. Put them on auto pay. But like mentioned, someone wanting to skip their biweekly mow just needs to find another teenager.
 

knox gsl

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
knoxville, tn
I've got family all over the Birmingham area. There is weekly mowing there in any direction from downtown, you just gotta look for it. Stay away from the yards with bahia and centipede as they will be either junky or slow growing. Target irrigated properties that are lush and green as they will most likely be hybrid 419 and will require weekly service.

Now to answer the your question in the short term would be to tell the customers that you can skip this cut but the next cut will be the next scheduled time whether it be a week or 2 out and if it's too tall they should expect to pay extra.

I can tell you this much, my father in law who lives in Birmingham does detailed gardening work in that area and nets $300/ day for basic work. Now this is for a retired 80 year old man. There is lots of work in that area, just gotta get out and look.
 

jetson

LawnSite Member
My two teenage boys have a very part time lawn care business, but after college, they will be taking it full time. We're trying to employ practices now, though, that are as if they have a full time business.

One problem that has come up recently is when a customer (residential) asks to wait a week or a few days to have their lawn mowed. This customer is on a normal 2 week schedule, and we have the route planned, and it's the same customers on the same day every 2 weeks. If we put him off a week at his request, that throws the route out of whack. We have learned that a tight efficient route is critical to making the most money in the shortest amount of time possible, so putting him on a different day messes that up since it would mean going out of the way to get to his house.

The main reason this has been requested (it's come up a few times over the last couple of years with different customers) is that due to lack of rain, the customer doesn't feel it's necessary for them to come mow. I can completely understand their position, but at the same time, we need to worry about our efficiency. Nobody does contracts in this area, so we can't fall back on that and tell them it's in the contract that they're coming to mow every 2 weeks no matter what. If they just totally skip them and wait another 2 weeks, that's lost money as they don't get to mow that yard, plus it means it'll end up being 4 weeks before that yard is mowed which presents the problem of being high and overgrown at that point.

How do y'all address this with customers who make these requests from time to time? Do you explain these things up front with customers when you first procure their business that you'll be coming every 2 weeks regardless of what's happened and how high or low the grass is? Do you address it only as it comes up, and if so, what do you say? Do you move the customer to a different day or week and just suck it up as part of doing business, even if it means a less efficient route?

Thanks in advance for any help y'all can provide!
What I have learned is this. It just happens. Every customer is different, every customer has different request. It’s just part of it. You can’t cancel them because of it especially if they pay the bill on time every time you bill them. Also people will talk if u cancel 10 clients every year because they want mowing every 2 weeks. You have to accept the schedule isn’t going to always be the same. Traffic, construction, weather. You also are probably cutting to low. When the weather warms up and the grass slows down we raise our decks around here to 4.25 4.5 to at least help it stay green and usually grow enough every week to clip the tops. The main grass here is fescue. Although Bermuda is also prevalent.

I have 1 guy who works with me now. I do only mowing. Last year I made just under 200k in only mowing. After expensive probably 150k. So don’t let these fools tell you you can’t make it only mowing. They clearly don’t have a clue on how to budget or how to do anything with money. If they can’t make 150k after expenses by just mowing. Yes money is in Landscaing but so is time. A project could take 4 weeks because it rains for 2 weeks and you got other projects to do and now ur so far behind all the money you make on the 1st project is hoping to clear the checks you’re writing for the other projects. And ur people are complaining

These guys doing both are usually crews for each. These guys mow these guys landscape. It is very possible to do both and to do it very well. I did both with a crew for a long time it’s just for me, the mowing is always consistent. Always. in the summer it doesn’t rain often u cut and go and a work day starts at 530 and ur home by 1 pm.

everyone is different . Mowing only works amazing for me. It’s really been less stressful. I also have a guy who works for me. I can’t imagine trying to split the money 50/50 tho and that’s where the issues will come in and why you will need more money! Lol.. maybe one can run each division so they aren’t both sucking the account dry. ‍♂
 
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