Free mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mdenton, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. mdenton

    mdenton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Was looking thru the local sales network and saw this ad. Guy said he would do the first mowing for free. If you didn't like his work just tell him not to come back. Do any of you guys do this type of business practice?
    I'm not really into charity work, but am I missing something here?
  2. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    I don't offer the first cut for free because theres a lot of dead beats out there looking to get things for free. But if they become a customer i will give them a free cut if they refer someone else that signs up. I thin the best thing is to only offer someone thats already your customer to keep them happy
  3. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Nope ... I don't ... but there was a guy in my neighborhood last year who passed out homemade printed flyers in everyone mailbox (illegal by the way), that offered a free mowing to try his service. This is a grown man, who does this part time in the neighborhood, pulling a 5x8 trailer with his mini-van, using a residential lawn tractor, trimmer laying on the floor of the trailer ... etc. I would venture to say this guy spent the better part of 1½ hours to do a lawn that I can do in 45 minutes.

    I should have talked to him about my lawn .... asked if he had insurance, etc. What would he have done if he threw a rock up against my truck in the drive, through a window, or worse yet, hit someone with one.

    These guys don't bother me as far as me getting enough work for myself ... they bother me because they have not thought their little endeavor through very well.

    Wonder what happens when mom has to go to the grocery store, or take the kids to soccer practice or something on a Saturday?

    My feeling has always been that if you want to offer something ... offer a discount, and not on the first mowing ... but maybe the 2nd, or better yet, the 4th mowing. By doing the 4th mowing, you've mowed them for a month now, and they see what having it done on a schedule really feels like, and how it feels to not be tied down by their lawn work each weekend. Let'em see what it feels like to be spoiled a little.
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Last season I offered one free cut with a one-year agreement. I won't do it again.

    If you're offering the first cut free(with no stipulation that an agreement be signed) so the customer can "see what they think", you're going to get screwed many times over by people who love getting something for nothing.
  5. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Nope, I have never offered free anything and I won't start now.
    I'm running a business, offer exceptional services which the customer has to pay for in order to receive.
    My fuel isn't free, nor my insurance, employee payroll, mowers and everything else that comprises my operational overhead.
    I say do a good job, advertise and let word of mouth bring your business along.
  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I have bills to pay so unless I get a month free on bills I'm not doing free anything.
  7. mdenton

    mdenton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Seems like we're all on the same page. I just couldn't see where giving away your services would benefit from anything other than a good work out. If I wanted the exercise I would join a Fitness club. I see where the potentional is to get new customers but its a 50/50 chance your going to get to keep them after the first mowing.
  8. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    im going to try and offer a free cut if a referral turns into a seasonal contract. but if its just a one-time cut. they only get 5 $ off. something like that....
  9. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    your not missing nothing... can you go to the store and get a free gallon of milk??? Can you get a free gallon of gas when that new gas station opens up down the road from you??? the concept on giving something for free just to land an account is the stupidest thing i ever hurd. just my 2 cents.
  10. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Bad enough that we dont have pricing power much less do it for free, thumbs down.We all have to start somewhere but that is not the way to start unless hes doing it for the exercise.

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