drought, heatwave billing issues

OP
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Thecrow1

LawnSite Member
If the grass slows down sell other work. Every year the grass slows around this time I find it useful to help get caught up on all the smaller stuff that I could not get to during the spring rush of fast growing grass.

If your hurting this bad during season what are you going to do in the winter off season?
Hurting?. I have so much landscaping work I'm booked 3 weeks out. I had to start turning down smaller jobs.. I however hired extra help for the lawns but I could only use so many guys for mulching trimming lot clearing etc. So basically ill call them back when it starts growing again. We're playing on their phones when I pulled up this m.witer is great, even if we get Dustin' all winter I salt and still make out very well with my commercial accounts.
 
OP
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Thecrow1

LawnSite Member
Exactly why you shouldn’t be a maint only company. Unless you have serious volume.
I'm a full landscaping company who is licensed and fully insured with 27 years experience so i get all kinds of work besides lawns. This forum seems like you get less help and more criticism than anything else.
 

KUMA01

LawnSite Bronze Member
I'm a full landscaping company who is licensed and fully insured with 27 years experience so i get all kinds of work besides lawns. This forum seems like you get less help and more criticism than anything else.
good for you I wasn’t bashing you. Just stating something that is overlooked a lot. Have a great day.
 

BigJlittleC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Chicago
I'm a full landscaping company who is licensed and fully insured with 27 years experience so i get all kinds of work besides lawns. This forum seems like you get less help and more criticism than anything else.
With 27 years experience you would think one would know how to deal with weather in this profession.

Every year it gets hot and cool season grass slows down. Very rarely does it stay cool enough to not slow its growth.


If you want to sign people up for flat rate billing that is an option. I like monthly billing and so do the majority of my clients. I sell it not as lawn mowing but property maintenance. Sell a maintained look with cutting at your discretion. So when the grass slows growth you keep the same income. The catch is in the spring or when the grass is growing very fast you might have to cut more often or even double/triple cut to get that maintained look your selling. So you'll work extra for the same pay. It all evens out but it take a solid sales pitch and service follow through to make it work.
 

BigJlittleC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Chicago
Why would your customers sign up for this? They’re paying you for work not done. Would you sign a deal at the gas station to pay for gas not used every month?
If your selling grass cuts only then yeah it's a hard sell. If your selling full service grounds care it becomes much easier to wrap everything into one nice bill. It also makes it much easier for you as the professional to control the schedule and timing of services.

Also how you portray your company imagine comes into play. Do you come off as Jimmy the grass cutting man or James the property maintenance specialist? If you give off a level of knowledge and professionalism selling your service is like walking. It's just so natural and easy you don't even think about it.
 
OP
T

Thecrow1

LawnSite Member
With 27 years experience you would think one would know how to deal with weather in this profession.

Every year it gets hot and cool season grass slows down. Very rarely does it stay cool enough to not slow its growth.


If you want to sign people up for flat rate billing that is an option. I like monthly billing and so do the majority of my clients. I sell it not as lawn mowing but property maintenance. Sell a maintained look with cutting at your discretion. So when the grass slows growth you keep the same income. The catch is in the spring or when the grass is growing very fast you might have to cut more often or even double/triple cut to get that maintained look your selling. So you'll work extra for the same pay. It all evens out but it take a solid sales pitch and service follow through to make it work.
Yes you would think.. but doesn't really apply because not lots of experience with lawns. Ill admit to it. However, after this year I'll be better equipped if not for your smart remark the other information is valuable thanks ill be selling property maintenance from here on out with s monthly fee for everyone more work in the spring and less now but the same extra cash flow.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA
Yes you would think.. but doesn't really apply because not lots of experience with lawns. Ill admit to it. However, after this year I'll be better equipped if not for your smart remark the other information is valuable thanks ill be selling property maintenance from here on out with s monthly fee for everyone more work in the spring and less now but the same extra cash flow.
Calculate leaf cleanup in fall, spring mulch, shrub trims, everything for the year. If you do a $500 shrub trim, $3-500 mulch install, few hundred for leaf cleanup. You sell the fact they don't have to pay a huge bill for each service and get to split it up in equal payments.
 

GRANTSKI

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Ct Shoreline
Learn to avoid burning your lawns to start. Even 1/2 inch too low will burn a lawn during drought. Don’t let customers tell you cut it lower mid summer that’s the opposite of what you should do. Upsell customers on Overseeding and fertilizer programs that will Also help keep the lawns growing all summer.
 

phasthound

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Mt. Laurel, NJ
Yes you would think.. but doesn't really apply because not lots of experience with lawns. Ill admit to it. However, after this year I'll be better equipped if not for your smart remark the other information is valuable thanks ill be selling property maintenance from here on out with s monthly fee for everyone more work in the spring and less now but the same extra cash flow.
The reason I highlighted part of your quote is to point out that people are giving you free advice on how to improve your business based on your request and the information you provided. Your comment makes it less likely you get free advice from others on this list. Lighten up.
 

grass4gas

LawnSite Senior Member
To the OP... I do not cut grass anymore. But this is what I used to do. The first year of a new customer, I would do a pay per cut contract. That way, I got to know them and they got to know me and saw what their lawn would look like over the course of the year. Kind of like a feeling out process if you will. The following year they were put on a monthly in season payment plan-9 payments-to cover the cutting. I based it off of 27 cuts per season. In my area, 27 cuts per season was pretty normal. Yeah you could have one or two more or fewer cuts depending on the weather. If there were more than 27 cuts, I would charge the additional amount. If there were less cuts, I subtracted it off of the cost of leaf removal or other fall services.

This worked for me because at the time there wasn’t as much competition as there is today. Plus the fact that what I was getting to cut a 5000 square foot lawn 10 years ago, guys are getting that to cut an acre now. Prices have tanked big-time for cutting grass.

I strictly do lawn care and shrub care applications and 95% of my customers are invoiced the day the job is done. The other 5% have either paid in full or are on a monthly payment plan.

I haven’t provided lawn cutting in over 10 years, but what was mentioned earlier, you should sell it as property maintenance and not cutting and it should be a lot easier to convince people to pay monthly
 
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