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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First year and i am a bit confused. Leaves will fall during and in between regular cuts.
Do you just run them over or wait till they accumulate and inform the customer that you will remove them for a fee?
Do you just remove and charge accordingly or should this be an option?
Finally, for areas that do leaf pickups is it acceptable to only bag em and leave curbside or should service include full removal from site?

Is a little wonder worth the investment for say 15 lawns and how much do they run?
 

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If the city will pick them up, leave them at the curb and do not bag. Secondly, for just a handful of leaves, I do not charge extra. Once I have to start collecting them the price goes up with the quantity of leaves. At the peak of leaf season this works out to about $50.00 per hour for just myself. I specialize in small residential properties.
 

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you should be able to tell by the time it takes you on the property. If it only takes you 5 extra minutes to mulch them down or bag them up then don't charge the customer. They will remember that about you. You don't want anybody to be mad at you for being in only the first year.

Once it gets into the season we charge extra for the leaves though.
 

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The city here picks up leaves from the curb. THerefore, if necessary I will blow the leaves off the lawn and onto the street at the curb, and charge a minimal fee if I feel it took long enough. The grass will keep growing for a while, and I will keep mowing. The yards I do certainly look better than the yards that goofball lawn mowing does and mulches leaves all over the lawn.
 

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Depending on how big the lawns you do are, a Little Wonder is well worth the $$. Get the Honda engine though, If they're small residentials, the Redmax mentioned is also a good bet too. I've got 15 accounts w/ vary from 1/4 acre to 1 acre. I've got a Little wonder, fradan(both 9hp Honda), a Redmax 630 & an Echo PB. I don't always use all of them unless I've got a helper and this year I got a Lazer w/ the Ultra-vac so I might have an easier time of it.
 

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its called "grasscutting" until oct. 15, after that, its called "leaf cleanup/grasscutting", and charged as such. im sorry, 5-10 min extra on each property adds up at the end of the week
 

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^Yea it does. 15 lawns X 10 min = 150 min. (extra). If you're used to going out every week and doing 2 1/2 hours of charity labor then feel free. I charge accordingly, and don't have any complaints from my customers. They've been homeowners for some time now and understand that extra services take extra time which in turn cost extra money. My suggestion is to approach your customers before hand. They will be very reseptive and understanding. Just don't spring a surprise on them after you perform a service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Customer asked about leaf removal today.
I said I would, customer said how much and I vapor locked.

If it takes me 20 min to cut lawn and i charge $30 then i figure that if it takes me 40 min to clean up leaves then its $60

I really don't see this happening but what would be a realistic figure for a solo operator.

I just went through this today as well. If i don't do the removal and leave it up to them then it probably won't get done. So then how do i get the last few cuts in with leaves all over the place and if i just cut em up the lawn will look like s#$%. I may just tell them that the removal comes with the service, add the charge and argue the point later.

And yes, this is Jersey so there will be an argument one way or the other.
 

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You really need to first get a handle on exactly what the avg time is that you spend on each property each week. You need to keep this data anyway if you hope to stay in this biz long term. You;ve gotta know your production times, costs, and how these relate to your fee structure.

For example, if Harry Homeowner's cutting only, normally takes me 20 minutes and 10 minutes to trim , and the fee is normally $40(this example shows a charge of of $1.35 per minute...just an example...you may charge more/less) and I spend an extra 20 minutes doing leaves, then the leaf fee of $26 is added on to that weeks fee....total then is $66.

If it takes only a few minutes more to mulch them or bag a little bit, I dont charge them anything....but I do note the work on that months invoice. This lets them and you have a record of all the things you did for them all year, whether or not there was a fee. It also shows your cust. that you don't nickel and dime them to death. Again, the key point here is knowing precisely how profitable/unprofitable that particular job is week in week out. If you have some fat in your fee, you can do a few leaves for no charge...but if you're at the wall on the fee, then I would charge them for the leaf work....sorry this response got so long but I didn't want to confuse you
 
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