drought, heatwave billing issues

grigs04

LawnSite Member
Location
LaSalle illinois
Raise your mower deck. Makes a big difference. Stops the grass from browning out so u can still go every week or every other. Or if the grass is dead just substitute mowing for a landscape clean up or bush trimming. That’s what we do and I don’t hear much grief from the customers. Stay busy!
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA
Raise your mower deck. Makes a big difference. Stops the grass from browning out so u can still go every week or every other. Or if the grass is dead just substitute mowing for a landscape clean up or bush trimming. That’s what we do and I don’t hear much grief from the customers. Stay busy!
I don't have any irrigated lawns that I cut. So everything has dried out after 4 weeks of no rain. But I just booked a $725 shrub job for this week and another couple jobs for a buddy that will be probably be around $500 .
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
The model I advocate is “you pay x for y result at an annual price”

so let’s say typically you have 30 cuts per year and it’s going to be $60 per cut
That’s an $1800 seasonal price
You pay $200 per month , paying a month ahead (meaning I get $200 before I do any work) and you make 9 payments
So your first payment is March 15
Your last is November 15

If I cut it more than 30 times so be it
If I cut it less than 30
So be it
I maintain the turf as needed
The route is designed around 4 days a week.
Maybe you need to cut more often than every seven days in the spring so be it

what do I do in draughts?
If the customer recurved significantly less than 30 cuts
I give them a free aerating and overseeding
So something else to spruce up their lawn after the rain comes back and the heat dies down
The job is to maintain the turf
They pay for the appearance and the maintenance
Yes it’s based on x visits
But it’s not billed that way
Emphasize results and annual agreements not singular services
Think of it like pest control or insurance
You’re paying for a result ... if it happens you’re covered
Got rats? No? Good! Then what you’re paying for is working.

I’ll add youre unlikely to get this type of billing system until you have an established client list and you’re at the top of the food chain
You’re not dying to set up new clients
Mowing isn’t your only revenue steam and you can afford to let customers go who don’t want to sign up like that

the customers you do get will have gone through all the bottom feeders and are tired of micro managing
Those are the ones that will sign up
They’re also more likely to buy upsells
These are the customers you eventually want

the annual contract system is a way to weed out the tire kickers and stop running around doing $50 estimates

but you rarely can start out the way
 

jetson

LawnSite Member
Yeah I see everyone is different. I have to be fair but also cant be sitting here with the proverbial thumb up..... if you know what I mean. If it werent for my landscaping I wouldnt be hardly cutting now until late August
We just go to every other week mowing regardless of how dry it is because weeds become your friends in a drought. Also we charge per cut. No one has ever gone to an actual contract in my 15 years. Your small residential are probably better clients than your commercial clients if your doing year round maintenance on them or full maintenance. Shrubs, mulch, fert, leaves, and anything else. When I first started I chased commercial thinking it’s where the money is and in reality my residential customers are very profitable. Just my 2 cents. Plus commercial companies are cheap.. they will try to nickel and dime you! Smh summer droughts are just part of it.. sometimes I wish this year would be drought! Lol it so much easier to mow grass which is slow growing
 
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