First or One Time Mow

Jeff@diyokc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Owasso, Oklahoma
Update for you folks.

Several estimates and some jobs later I'm getting my target hourly rate. All the jobs I don't get I'm okay with... I wonder if city code enforcement has been out the last few weeks because I've gotten more urgent and frantic people that then go silent when I mention the first time charge is based upon lawn conditions.

I ended up talking to the neighbor the next week and he accepted an estimate I had for shrub trimming and weekly service. Last week I met his son who told me that they're moving him into a retirement home and selling the house. He prepaid me for four weeks and is going to let me know if they need more. Alas, onto the next one.
Count that as a win @Brad B. In time, there will be other better paying and better quality lawns that you’ll get that you too will pass these on to some new guy. It’s the lawn mowing version of “ paying your dues”.
 

Mr Stripe

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Seymour Missouri
Iv got alot on my plate & not just with lawn & landscape.
Anymore if someone calls me wanting a one-time, right then I tell em I'm not interested, or if they even admit that its overgrown, I dont want it, I got better things to do than walk through foot tall grass to search for the lawn mines, if they "Hmm & Huh" & supposedly its not a foot tall, "yea right, see it to believe it" we'll go further, talk about the lawn, does it have a fence, a dog, a trampoline, a boat in the corner & tons of crap, is there easy parking, "iv got a trailer Mam", is it a safe area or am I gonna get shot at for a weedeater? Are you good with weekly service right up through possibly August Mam?
Its an interview process really, I wanna hear as much as I possibly can good or bad about the lawn before I even act interested in it.
Let the client torpedo themselves right there on the phone just by telling the truth.
Always leave yourself an out, always come off as though your overbooked, even if you're not.
 

Mr Stripe

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Seymour Missouri
I mean sometimes this is a tuff issue that gets hit with a "dollar per min fig"
It depends what your mowin with, how fast you trim, you have to find your target market, you gotta decide a size limit to your lawns & an area that you won't go beyond, unless you expand. Im not gonna show up to a 2.5 acre yard with my 48 scags trying to hassle 200+ bucks out of em when my competition has bigger mowers and can charge less and be in & out in half the time.. Nor id think the dude push mowin em would feel too good about spending half the day for the 60 bucks he'd get for pushmowing one of my 1/2 to 3/4 acre lawns that im done in just literally minutes under an hour on.
I would say its like, you gotta figure out where you draw the line here & how far ya go there.
& trust me there will be a point you won't even wanna hear the phrase bi-weekly, fancy word for lawn care half price for the month.
 

Jeff@diyokc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Owasso, Oklahoma
Following up with @Mr Stripe post, the telephonic qualifying is key.

my experience has been if I show up to look it over and the folks are their, the assumption is I’m going to get busy doing it. Then I’m wasting time trying to explain limitations i might have, or that the property has such as @Mr Stripe has described.

this goes back to a post I wrote early this year that new guys cause their own pricing/job anxiety by procuring all types of equipment before customers. There forced to take these crappy jobs to pay for stuff. I agree, if your fortunate to grow or expand into other areas, you won’t even entertain EOW. I know people want to justify their EOW clients, but they (to me) are not people that are really concerned with lawn care.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
This is a big NO-NO
I did my old side by side neighbors, but one was already paying the guy on the other side of her to mow. She has paid for some landscaping work also and isn't looking for discounts luckily. I moved away and this year the guy on the other side of where I lived called. Been doing his 15 minute job for my $45/mininum.

I agree doing neighbors has the potential for going sideways though. My new neighbor I have helped a couple times with his grass and cleared snow for him during the winter for free.
 

Mr Stripe

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Seymour Missouri
my experience has been if I show up to look it over and the folks are their, the assumption is I’m going to get busy doing it. Then I’m wasting time trying to explain limitations i might have, or that the property has such as @Mr Stripe has described.
Exactly!
I also have an issue here. I dont want to spend an hr plus cutting a whooly burger down and doing a bunch of blowing and BS, I dont wanna cut multiple times just to make something that was horrible look all nice & clean for the neighbors to see it just get thick again,
I like to take properties & improve on them, maintain them, I dont want a decline, and thats what in my experience these types of clients do, they almost put handcuffs on you with their budget and you'll see progress... then decline, progress and decline.
 

fitph

LawnSite Senior Member
Following up with @Mr Stripe post, the telephonic qualifying is key.

my experience has been if I show up to look it over and the folks are their, the assumption is I’m going to get busy doing it. Then I’m wasting time trying to explain limitations i might have, or that the property has such as @Mr Stripe has described.

this goes back to a post I wrote early this year that new guys cause their own pricing/job anxiety by procuring all types of equipment before customers. There forced to take these crappy jobs to pay for stuff. I agree, if your fortunate to grow or expand into other areas, you won’t even entertain EOW. I know people want to justify their EOW clients, but they (to me) are not people that are really concerned with lawn care.

I do not mow but I have a good friend in Florida who mows large lots, acre plus with a 61" mower. He has set the mower up in a way that it cuts well EOW mowing his properties. Because almost no one wants to do these larger bumpy bahia lawns he is making a killing. Most of his customers don't want weed eating, they just want it knocked down so it is somewhat presentable. He is at 60 an hour plus in FLORIDA, which for those of you who know is huge. Most guys in Florida are low 30s an hour if they are really fast. My fathers lawn is 8000 sqft and it takes the guy almost an hour to mow and trim and edge (yes they edge every week in Florida) and my father pays $80 a month. That is 20 bucks a cut in the summer and 40 in the winter. So depending on where you are cutting EOW can be more profitable than cutting everyweek.
 

Oklawnhoma Lawn Service

LawnSite Senior Member
I have a Stihl Yard Boss with a trimmer head on it. For yards that look like Hay fields it does the job pretty good. ,, but I charge accordingly. It,s not Lawn mowing anymore it,s Land clearing. Then we can talk about mowing after words.
I've had backyards so overgrown that I just had to outright weed eat it all and not go over with the mower again after the weed eating...it's just so bad I make a pass with the mower and nope...gotta use my 2620 on the whole taaang
 

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