First or One Time Mow

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
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
I trim first and knock down any really tall stuff while I'm at it. It helpd to get to mow the lawn a bit first. I'll sometimes go backwards with my walk-behind and sulky using the sulky to find any machine killers. It's a castering fixed mount sulky on a hydro machine so backing it isn't an issue. The bottom of it is lower than the deck, since I'd have that up high so it will hit anything before I run it over. Also I can see what's ahead (behind) more clearly.
 

MikeyVedia

LawnSite Member
Location
Magnolia Tx
Your just getting started and it's been pointed out that you need to look at every job and that's true. Don't even consider charging in the 100-200 range , your goal now is to get regular steady long-term customers . When approached with someone needing a yard done ask if they want you to do it weekly or bi- weekly and you'll save on being disappointed . Get contact info and in the beginning ask if there happy with your work or if they want you to do something different. Most people have this in common , they either like the grass cut short or not to short. You'll learn as you go but these are my personal suggestions that you should consider trying, GL
 

CleanGreenLC

LawnSite Member
Location
Coral Springs
Also beware starting out - your marketing can be attracting cheap skates. Some ppl look for the “new” or “little” companies because they think they can get a cheap price. Aka they are looking for a service that they can’t afford. Esp true if you have lines like “fair rates” “will beat any estimate” or a cheap cartoon logo pulled from Google ...
Either way a foot tall grass is considered a property cleanup at that point. For reference I would price a similar first cut that took 2.5 hours at around $250 and only do it for a guaranteed new weekly client. Esp Now you gotta sharpen your blades cuz they are shot so add another 20-30 minutes of hassle. (Every minute counts and needs to be paid the busier you get)
What are some ways of guaranteeing weekly client? Contract? I seen a lot of people mention that they get ghosted after the 1st cut. How do you avoid being ghosted or is that just what comes with the business.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
What are some ways of guaranteeing weekly client? Contract? I seen a lot of people mention that they get ghosted after the 1st cut. How do you avoid being ghosted or is that just what comes with the business.
First thing is just flat out ask them. Is this a one time thing or do you want to get on the schedule.
 

CleanGreenLC

LawnSite Member
Location
Coral Springs
I had a neighbor call last season. Against my better judgement (never work for neighbors/friends/family), I took her on.

$35 a week. "OK, sounds great", she says.
The first cut was easy - she had been mowing it herself, so it wasn't overgrown at all.
She gives me $40 and I say "Let me go get you some change."
She tells me to keep it - she's thrilled that she didn't have to mow it.
She continues to pay $40 each week through the end of the season.

This season, I contact her and confirm that she still wants me to keep her on my schedule. "YES!"
First cut - she says "What was I paying last season? $55???"
LOL! "No", I say. "I told you $35 and you were paying me $40."
She hands me a fifty dollar bill. "Keep it - the grass was high." (it really wasn't)
The next week - another fifty dollar bill.
The next week - "This is too much", I say. "I quoted you $35!"
"No, you take it - I'm just so happy that I don't have to do it and never have to worry about someone not showing up!"

$50... Job takes 20 minutes at a casual pace with my 30" mower.
Mulching - not bagging. Very little trimming needed. The grass is just a weed/grass mix and really doesn't grow much - most people would want it cut every other week.

Just thought I would make you feel even worse. :)
To be honest lawns should not be cut for less than $50 no matter what size. I'm talking just mow and blow and you can throw in an edge if you feel up to it. With such an oversaturated market and everybody trying to undercut everybody else this is why people only want to pay $20-$35 per cut. As lawn maintenance operators we have to set the bar higher. Gas prices is going up which means both for vehicle and equipment. Cost of maintenance for the equipment and car is going up. Cost of living is going up, Cost of rent is going up. The only thing not going up is cost of lawn service. That needs to change. $50 a cut at minimum. You guys can keep selling yourself short and charging $35 a yard. But, theres people out theres willing to pay $50 a cut. The more companies start base rate at $50 per cut the more customers have no choice to pay it. Most of these other companies that charge $25+ per cut go out of business and burn themselves out after a year or 2 of work because they are just trying to steal the market from someone else. Perfect example is your exact story where the girl says she's happy that she never has to worry about someone not showing up, which could cost her extra for another company charging the 1st cut and over grown premium. Stop trying to complete with the lowballers and people who quit lawn service after a year. Stack up on clients that are willing to what you really want to pay.. Work smarter not harder. $500 days should be standard, specially when the cost of gas, oil equipment maintenance is more common than any other field. 100 clients x ($50 cuts x Bi weekly) = $10,000 gross per month. Thats $120k gross per year. Its not impossible to find 100 clients that pay $50 per cut bi weekly. It is hard to have to cut 14 yards per day at $35 per cut, 5 days a week, every week, to make the same gross. smh
 

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