Full maintenance customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmasterswilson, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Im going to try and get my customers to switch over and let me do everything. I'm assuming most of you include mowing, leaf clean up, 2-3 prunings, fertilizer and weed control. Some may include mulch.

    How do you handle grubs or disease? Include it also?

    What do you figure into your price for extra stuff? Maybe trimming back a few bushes that have shoots, or other small things that come up?

    I would love to include everything under the sun, but we figure 48 or so weekly cuts and the price might be too high for the market.
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  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Extra means exactly that. Anything not originally agreed upon is an added cost. We include everything you have listed, but anything else is another service agreement. Also make sure you are very clear as to the terms and what scope of work you plan on performing. We have run into this, a customer has a landscape that they want to change. We show them that we "maintain" the landscaping and this is considered a seperate project, and therefore an added cost.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Over the 13 years I've been on lawnsite, I have come to realize that the majority of LCOs here just do a fairly basic service. Mow, Blow, Go and maybe a little more. There aren't too many who do the full service you're mentioning. That's why not too many replies to this thread so far.

    But you're on the right track, IMO. Going full service is where it's at, if you live in an area where people can afford it. Most people in the neighborhoods we service have a landscape maintenance company (as opposed to doing the yard care themselves). Many of them have some sort of version of full-service. It's sort of expected around here. I think if you went around just offering a mow-blow-go service in the neighborhoods we work in you wouldn't get much business. You'd just get the pikers, late payers, cheapskates and price shoppers only. That's the clientele I USED to have, about 16 years ago when I first started, because I didn't know any better. But after a few years I wised up and finally realized that we could make a lot more per account per month if we would just offer a more comprehensive service.

    We offer a bronze, silver, and gold service. But even the bronze service offers a lot more than just your standard mow-blow-go. You can read more about each service and what's included on our website. We only get about 5-10% of the people who chose bronze. About 70% choose Gold and around 20-25 choose Silver, which is basically full service except not pruning of shrubs and trees.

    I think the best approach is to offer several service options like this. This way, you're not FORCING anyone into a more comprehensive service. You're just allowing them to choose. I find, in our area, most people CHOOSE the most comprehensive service, but your mileage may vary.

    As for add'l cost, it really doesn't take a whole lot more time per week to make sure weeds are taken care of, leaves are removed, grass is fertilized, perennials are trimmed back, etc. It's easy just to spend 10-15 minutes more each week just working on one or two of these items, outside the lawn. Then the next week you work on another. And so forth. Just a little extra time each week. But it will allow you to charge anywhere from 20-50% more, depending on the property. Properties with larger trees that drop tons of leaves in fall obviously pay a lot more than a property with only a few 8' ornamental trees. Etc.

    Hope that helps a little.
  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961


    How do you figure 48 weekly services as a norm in your area? That would pretty much be a commecial account that is over seeded down here in Texas.

    I think Jim gave some great advice. I only include what is routine and normal.

    I often exclude insect or disease control. Tree work over 14 feet and clearly state the goal is to do light pruning to remove low limbs, crossing limbs and things touching the house.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    We offer full service but do not include insect and disease control.

    We do like JimLewis, we may not trim all shrubs this week...some get trimmed over a few weeks.
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  6. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    I found that out too after the first few years of taking everything and everyone. It is because of you Jim and a few others that are not here anymore that convinced me of using contracts or agreements and offering full service.

    Its a slow growth process but much more profitable.

  7. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    We would normally start mowing in March(warm season starting to green and fescue already growing) mowing would slow around October and the leaves would start falling and go into december.

    So we are visiting a property either mowing or leaf removal from March - December. I then stop some customers completely or my monthly people get every 2 week services in Jaunuary and Feburary.

    So I usually figure on 48 stops a year if they are weekly. It could be less if someone has bermuda and no trees. We may stop in October.
  8. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I would love to push weekly mowing March ~ Dec but the reality is in my area we start slowing down in Oct and go to bi-weekly in most cases. We are lucky to get a full 38 mowings in even with a Monthly visit in December, Jan and Feb.

    I would count on 44 visits but that would include shrub triiming, leaf clean up and such. Try to do the shrubs on the shoulder season but you always have to touch them up in the early summer.
  9. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Usually I average 1 truly full service account per every 15-20 accounts or so... The rest fall somewhere between a once-a-month mow-and-blow and all the in between, sure the actual figure may vary some but the reality is that most customers won't (or can't) go full service, no matter what they say I found out you might turn one or the other customer into full service but I don't foresee bigger changes other than some customers will start to fly the coop and in the end you will probably see, as I saw, that even the cheapest accounts are worth keeping so long they pay on time and all of that... I done been down that road of trying to get everyone to go this way or that, and you are certainly more than welcome to try your best but at least for this kid it was a big waste of my time thou I did learn a lot, that I did.

    I mean, in ways of the crazies, they're all a bit crazy...
    But then again I think so am I.
    That, I found out, is the most likely reason why we get along.
    The full service bit, nyah, not so much.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    We do everything also.

    Other items to consider.

    1.) Garbage pick up, but is mostly figured into the price per mow.
    2.) Irrigation Inspections, Start-Ups, and Blow-Outs
    3.) Tree Pruning up to 10-15 feet.
    4.) Edging
    5.) Light Parking lot detailing once a month


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