Don't cut when it's not growing as much?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MowerMoney, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    How do you guys get around the problem of customers who want to TELL YOU when the lawn needs cutting? If it's not really long they want you to skip it till next week. During dryer season they don't want to pay for the service if the grass is not growing 4" per week.
    How do you get it across to them that this is your livelyhood and you count on the income throughout the ENTIRE season, not just part of the season. I have several like this. I have tried to explain to them that their price is really too low for the time it takes me in the spring BUT evens out in the dry summer when it doesn't take me as long. They don't want formal contracts and won't accept double charges every other week.
    Dropping them is currently not an option as this is only my second full time year and am still building a client base.

    I love this site. It is addictive. Been reading it for over a year but am just now posting.
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,930

    For one thing, you price a yard initially as if it has high grass all the time.
    When you are trying to build a client base you have to put up with alot. Once you are established then you can give these people an ultimatum. You tell them as long as it is raining on a regular basis you have to mow. When it dries up then you will spread out the cutting times. But you will decide
    But really you should start a business with enough working capital so you wont have to put up with so much crud
  3. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Seasonal agreements! They hire us for the season. They don't need to know the per week price. No agreement, no service. Next.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Exactly...or color me gone. Period
  5. dcwalker

    dcwalker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Don't do it. My first season I was taking whatever I could get and it wasn't worth it. I was knocking myself out for nothing. These people just wanted cuts when their lawn looked bad and they didn't want to pay for it. If their lawns look bad, then I look bad. The people that want their lawn to look good will pay for it, you just have to be patient and advertise, advertise, advertise. Don't give up.
    Any area I get a weekly account, I saturate the whole neighborhood with flyers, talk to anyone I see, and let the neighbors know I'm here every such and such day and if they want their lawn to look like the one I'm doing I'd be happy to do it. That's hard to do if I'm only there every 2 or 3 weeks and the lawn looks like crap most of the time. It's really a waste of time.
    Good luck, and remember, don't settle for less than the best!

  6. green with envy

    green with envy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    In my contracts they can call me with 24 hours notice and they just recieve a "cancel/stop" charge but if the lawn needs a double cut the next week there will be a double charge.

    Not many people have me skip, they don't want to chance savint a couple of bucks to maybe pay more the next week.

  7. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    If a customer cancels within 24 hours, they are charged a fee for the cancellation. This also applies for the showing up, and having them come out and tell me to skip it. Otherwise, skip it, and charge for additional times the next week if the lawn requires a doubel cut.
  8. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    I need to make a strict policy for this. Talking to one of last years customers, she wants me to cut every other week in April instead of weekly. She said this AFTER I told her it would be the same price as last year(even though she has added a bunch of trees to go around, and an additional area to mow.)
  9. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    Why don't you charge her a monthly price, make them sign a 1 year contract, and leave it at that. This way you get paid year-round! Whether you cut their yard 28 times, 32 times, or 42 times.... they pay you that amount over a 12 month basis. Otherwise, give them a 9 month contract. It is still the same principle. Basically it is then your decision if the grass needs to be mowed. During the summer, it may not need it but every two weeks, but then again you may mow up til Thanksgiving.
  10. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    I don't think contracts would go over too well in this area, as very few cutters around here require them. Maybe I'm wrong, let me see your contract, I'll try to use it, and let you know how it works out. Tell me, how do you know if it's gonna be 28, 32, or 42? Do you have problems with people wanting out of the contract when cutting season's over, but they're still paying?

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