every other week customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by p0wd3rp1l0t, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. p0wd3rp1l0t

    p0wd3rp1l0t LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    i have a few larger accts that like there lawn serviced every other week. now a few of them the yards are composed of a sandy soil therefore they dont grow quick. but for the other ones, they say oh well the yard should be mowed twice a month or every other week. now my question is should i tell them they need to be every week otherwise i am dropping them or should i try and convince them to go to every other week otherwise my price will increase? i guess for me as a business owner its frustrating cuz everyother week i have alot more work than my reg week and it throws the scheduling off especially around holidays because all them everyother weeker people want there yards done for the holidays.
  2. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    I would tell the customers that your service is a weekly mowing service. You have schedules to set up etc. I have one lawn that I made an exception for this year, due to all the shade on this lawn, the grass just barely grows. You can't let your customers tell you how to run your business, you need to tell them that there is no way especially during the spring that the lawns can wait for two weeks. If they still demand it, I would let them go. Good luck!
  3. Siesta Key Lawn Service

    Siesta Key Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I agree with Coonman.If you start scheduling properties every other week,you automatically make every other week more difficult to manage.Explain to these customers your dilemma.Can you afford to drop these customers and pick up replacements, only you can make that call. I personally have never had much problem replacing customers who are more difficult to deal with.A few here and there might not be that big a deal, but I wouldn't make a practice out of every other week properties.
  4. gl1200a

    gl1200a LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I charge them an extra stipend as a penalty for bi-weekly mowing.

    I explain to them that there is an extra fee to cover more strain on equipment due to the extra length as it does take more horsepower and wear on the blades and deck. Also that this could cause due harm to your business if the idea would catch on with all your customers. What of the homeowners salary were some how instantly cut in half as yours would be, in this case, if all of your customers decided for cuts only every other week.
  5. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    The bi-weekly customers seem to always throw me off. If you don't have many customers you may have to deal with it for the short term. I would at least try to convert them. The best way (for me anyway) is to explain that you charge a flat monthly fee, or that you only provide year-round service. I like to go every week during the active growing season, and every other week during the off season. Some customers like it, some don't. This generally weeds out any new "every other week customers." Of course You have to work up getting rid of the ones you already have. I still have some of the "every two week" customers myself. I just replace them as I get better customers. Some are so nice and good to work with, that I find it hard to drop them. Some have stuck with me for nearly 5 years....The flat monthly rate customers always get priority with me though...
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It's real simple, now it took a few years and until I could afford to be this way I did what I had to do.
    Yes, I cut more than a few of them kind, time after time, until one day...

    If you take my advice you may well run into a severe customer shortage, but I'll mention it.

    Today here is my system:

    - The price I quote is for a standard double cut, that's included for the price and it is to be on my schedule.
    > IF it gets away from me, my fault, might be 5 bucks extra if it's really bad, but no matter how bad it's my butt.

    - Customer wants to set the schedule?
    > No problem, +$5 for being on call. Yes, eow or any other scheduling requests, +$5 automatic.
    > Every single pass beyond the standard two is +$5 per pass, per 1/4 acre.
    > Windrowing the clippings and tarp + rake? +$10 per pile.
    > If I can use the backpack blower to get rid of them, +$10 total.

    It can get expensive quick, if it's pretty thick and it gets to be knee high before I come out it will likely run close to $100 for a 1/4 acre.
    Something to keep in mind, it's not all peaches either, I don't get too many calls from EOW's, see...

    But it's not my fault it got like that, I likely would've been out there much sooner.
    And it is done the way it is supposed to be done, the lawn doesn't get ruined due to clumping and it looks right, first time, everytime.
    Of course, teh bs is always over right then and there.

    So it gets better in time, it really does.
  7. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    EOWC = Every other week customers = WOTC-------->Waste of Time Customers

    I only have 2 that are older folk, friends of family or ive had since I began but I don't take them on anymore. Its weekly or nothing
  8. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I like the every other weekers. They are not as picky about their lawns and that allows me to be more flexible with the schedule when I have to be. Some times of the year we cut the two-weekers on the same week and use the slow weeks to do other things(like fertilizing or landscaping projects). Other times of the year we split them up. If you have 10 two-weekers and do 5 each week the schedule stays pretty even.

  9. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    I tell people something like this:

    "I can only take on "X" number of accounts. And I can't award any of those positions to a property that doesn't maximize my ability to make a living..."
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I think there are too many variables involved to simply say EOW customers are either good, or bad, depending upon how your business is structured, and how fully booked you are.

    Some properties don't grow as quickly as others. Some have more weeds, and less turf. Some years are dry, some are wet, etc. I had one this year that worked out fine, because her yard really didn't grow enough to warrant weekly cutting. I also have a large one I took on in August, that I'm going to have to explain to that come next spring, I simply will have to cut more often, because it has no trees, and will probably grow 8 inches or more in 2 weeks.

    In other words, I think one needs to be a little flexible, unless you are actually in the position where you don't need to be. I ain't there yet. :)

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