doing a leaf cleanup for the cost of mowing....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by geogunn, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    who does this? a leaf cleanup for the cost of a mid-summer mowing?

    I am afraid I do a few of these and it doesn't seem right.

    I have weeklys that I am still doing...but the grass isn't tall now days.

    and it takes longer to make the leaves disappear.

    so I feel like it is worth more...but I never ask a regular customer more.

    first time leaf customers are a different story.......

    was there a famous thread similar to this one once???

    GEO :confused: :waving:
  2. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    I don't understand why you don't charge more. Doing anything with takes more time and time is money. JMO
  3. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,199

  4. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    DCON--I get your point for sure. the thing is it is still a mow...but takes a bit longer to make the leaves disappear.

    GEO :waving:
  5. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,016

    Most of our customers pay a monthly rate to maintain there properties. We make up for it because we are paid year around.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    For me, for regular existing customers... when the leaves become enough of an additional burden to charge extra I do charge EXTRA.

    How I handle the additional charges depends on the account setup.

    Some of them are billed accordingly "in addition" while others with long payment plans and pay for instance (12 pay-36 visits) start 'using up' visits at no additional charge until all are used up, including skipped visits, ect. For others, the charges are "built in" to the annual package.

    I try to do as many "built-ins" as possible, especially from year 2 on.
    This is easier for the customer and a smarter financial move on my part.
  7. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    The way i approach it is this... i continue my weekly cutting at those prices, bringing in my same "base" until atleast the second week of december. But i take note beginning in early october of the "extra time spent doing leaves". I then on my very last bill of the season add the charge to the balence.

    (to make numbers easy, i'll use a $10 a week cut)

    i'll recieve my price of $40 for october, and $40 for november... then in december, the final bill will say something similar to....:
    2 cuts = $20
    leaf charge = $180 (extra time/labor for leaf work since 10/1)

    final balence $200

    Happy holidays

    this has worked out great for me over the years. it makes my final bills a healthy sum going into the winter. I seem to be very unorthodox in this in this cuz i get strange looks when i try to explain this to other companies.

    it takes away all debate about how many leaves are there, while i'm cutting, etc. every so rarely, i get the lawn doesn't need to be cut, can you just do the leaves... i simply reply i get what i can via blowers/rakes, and the mower acts like a vacuum sucking up the stragglers leaving the property beautiful.

    am i crazy?
  8. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    ADAM--I have heard this question discussed before.

    the results were inconclusive but I have not yet voted.

    GEO :laugh: :waving:
  9. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    hey, i'm the most straight-edge, sane guy on here. i bring the balence to the site from the likes of guys like yourself:laugh: :waving:
  10. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    I sell leaf maintenance. Its a program where I mulch a customers leaves 2-3 times prior to the final cleanup. In some cases I skip the trimming and edging and grind the leaves for the same price as the lawn cut was. In other cases there is an additional charge if the lawn needs mowing and trimming as well as leaf mulching charge according to the extra time. This way I get my leaf money even if a early snow blankets the lawn and the people are resolved to being done with me for the season. It also makes final cleanups easier to just mulch up the leaves and make a pass with a bagger to give the lawn the vacuum look. Heavy leaves are hard to judge price so this method helps in estimating prices too. Many of my customers take the same time each year and it helps with scheduling how many to get done in a day. Keep in mind some people are done with you cutting their lawn after Oct. so this helps extend the money stream as long as you don't hit them too hard.

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