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First 3 skips of the year are in! What to do!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by AL's, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. AL's

    AL's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,057

    Every year I get the "skippers". people calling up saying dont come for 2 or 3 weeks.... um we dont even have an every 3 weeks route but ok. Skipping makes them once a month.

    Its worse now that I have an employee, because I have a set route, a set schedule, projected revenue, etc.

    I just dont want it to become a bigger problem.

    There are alot of options here.

    new agreements where charge comes out regardless of skipping. Essentially making a once a month cut cost equal to double the EOW rate. i.e. 45 yard now 90.

    drop them

    explain it all to them in hopes they dont skip

    show up anyway

    what have you done and what is the best solution to eliminating lost revenue from skipping?
  2. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,118

    I've stop selling a per cut package. I'm selling a monthly maintenance package. It includes weekly as needed lawn mowing. As the professional I determine the as needed. Now I don't worry about the skips and have total control on my schedule.

    This works well on my target clients who want full service. Who want a professional and know they will not be the cheapest.
  3. zlandman

    zlandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,079

    Skip me is always a problem in the industry. It's a cancellation of planned and agreed to work. Thus you have already scheduled dedicated labor and equipment to the task, there is a cost there someone's got to pay - it should be the guy that agreed to pay it! Breech of contract in my opinion.

    That said it's been stupid dry here and my mower hasn't started in weeks. I don't mow if it's not needed.
    To keep your guy busy I'd offer to do another landscaping task in place of the mowing;, edge, trim shrubs etc. Just explain that your employee has become accustomed to being able to buy his family food at the grocery and would prefer to continue.
    ltdlawn and BCHOutdoor like this.
  4. BCHOutdoor

    BCHOutdoor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I usually get a couple of these a year, but these last 2 months there have been a lot. I managed to get one to change there mind early on because some parts of her yard would be 6 inches tall and others wouldn't have grown at all every time she wanted to skip.

    It is tough, and I try to work through it, but much like you I have employees looking for hours, overhead and other expenses that still have to be paid. I usually try to find some other small jobs like landscaping or mulching, or some tractor work to stay busy, but when I don't hours get cut to maintain.

    Next year I am going to drop a few of my problem clients (about 3 or 4) and make a more a shift towards commercial and irrigated properties when looking for new work. And somewhat like BigllittleC I have an annual contract on my commercial properties, but I like the idea of setting up a monthly fee on the residentials.
    kemco likes this.

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    Here’s an idea :
    Tell them you cannot skip service due to set schedules / etc. offer a service in place of mowing when lawns are burnt. For example if the lawn takes 20 minutes - then offer 20 minutes of pulling weeds instead. The obvious problem there is customers could try to take advantage of that esp if they are penny pinchers. Could work if simplified
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,371

    skips are just part of it unless you are on a yearly contract or monthly contract.

    i had to skip a whole week of work last week and it looks like i'll be skipping the whole month of October as no rain is in sight.
    kemco and Madison Landscaping like this.
  7. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,574

    You do what you gotta do.

    Drop them, skip them, make other arrangements... whatever works for that particular situation, because every job is different - at least in my world it is.

    I have one who has come up with a different reason to skip or stop mowing prematurely every year. This year it's "climate change" that's the reason I need to go to every other week. Meanwhile, her lawn is THE GREENEST one I've seen on all my routes!

    I was going to flat out drop her and let her find someone else to finish the season, but ultimately, half the money is better than none of the money, so I'll finish the season and then maybe talk to her about how it's going to have to be next year - my way, or part ways.
  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,574

    And to add to that, the one that needs to go to every other week now because of "climate change" - it's getting mowed and getting bare bones trimming/blowing.

    I used to go the extra mile and buzz weeds that are growing in the street along the curb as well as blowing leaves out of many nooks and crannies. Not today - I mowed it, leaving some faint clipping strips because it should be cut weekly and is too tall to properly mulch now, and I edged along the front sidewalk - didn't trim anything else that I normally trim.

    You don't get the good stuff for half price.
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,371

    skipper lipper dippers
  10. zlandman

    zlandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,079

    That's my stance on EOW too. You get a basic cut and run. No double cut, no touch up, no stick edger, no crack sprayn' and NO standin' around small talkin'.!!!

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