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getting 2 week cuts to switch to weekly and pricing them

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmasterswilson, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,965

    I've got a few 2 week cuts that I'm trying to switch to weekly. Most take about 30-40 minutes to do and I charge $45 per cut. Some may even be on the weed and fert program.

    I'm wondering what the best way to charge that would encourage them to switch would be? I'm not willing to go below $30 per cut and that would be my min charge.

    Based on the time it takes I would think a $45 2 week cut could be done weekly for $35 and still make a proft. I see the value in $140 per month for weekly vs. $90 for 2 trips, but will the customer?

    I'm wondering how you guys got customers to successfully switch over without losing them? More than likely I will drop a few of the cheap ones because either they don't want to pay for weekly service or my 2 week price it too high.
  2. Jaxscaper904

    Jaxscaper904 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I usually tell all my customers thats its time to switch to weekly in the growing season luckily all mine agree or we work out a every ten day cut but your are right some will agree some won't I explain to my customers cutting every two weeks just plain sucks and is time costing and all my customers dont want their lawn looking like a jungle and also thanks to the hoa's and also I wouldnt go lower than 30 on small lot but I think $35 on the money to still make profit
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 756

    I feel the same way, I hate the bi-weekly ones but don't want to loose them either, sometimes I try just make the most of it and price them higher then a weekly cut, because they take longer and sometimes even double cut certian areas. Switching them to weekly is difficult because I usually try to do that before they even sign up, so trying later usually gives the same result, eventually I try to drop them in favour of weekly cuts, but whatever pays the bills.
  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    If they need to be weekly, based on the normal growth of the lawn, then great. You'll have to come up with a price that both parties can live with.

    If however, you simply want to switch them to weekly to generate more income, or simply don't like EOW accounts, then you are more than likely risking losing the accounts by trying to get them to switch.
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    My bi-weekly accounts are kind of hybrids...I mow them weekly or every 10 or 11 days in spring when the grass is growing like crazy and then switch to bi-weekly when growth slows down. So they end up with a month or 2 with 3 cuts instead of 2.

    Where I am lawns that are suitable to be cut bi-weekly in the spring are few and far between. I do have one lawn that is mostly Zoysia that I can cut bi-weekly all season, but the cool season grasses just grow too damn fast in spring.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,673

    Some customers think that a bi weekly cut will save them money.

    But you are doing more work to make the lawn look the same (in most cases)

    There are some lawns that just grow like crap and there is no reason to cut them more often.

    But lush green lawns? Bi weekly people are just trying to stick it to you.

    The best way I find is to NOT charge by the cut, but charge by the season.

    Figure out what it takes to cut your lawns each season on a schedule they SHOULD be cut on (every 5-6 days in the heavy season 7-10 if the slow grow season) Most areas this will be between 22 and 30 cuts, but it depends on where you are. In alaska we average 13-18 cuts.

    Multiply your per cut price by the number of cuts in your season and apply a SLIGHT discount (2-5%) then divide that number by the number of of months in your season (say 5)

    So for example: 18 cuts x $45 per cut = $810.00 at a contract discount (or $785.00) or $157/mo.
    The customer who wants to get 9 cuts a year? Tell him it's $96 per cut, OR you can sell him a monthly contract.

    What you say? it was $45 per cut last year? Well GOOD news! it's $43.11 this year, if you buy the contract package, otherwise it's $96 per cut on an "on call basis" we don't do scheduled bi weekly cuts anymore, sir. So you can call us when you want a cut (for $96 per cut) and we will get around to it when we can, or we can sell you the package which gives you better service at a better price!
    IF it was a tough sell you could drop say 2 cuts off the whole package. Effectively dropping the yearly price by $86.
    If he doesn't go for it, find a new customer.
  7. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 756

    Good points from everyone, when it comes down to it, bi-weeklys aren't where the money is at, more of a PITA, then anything else. Cheers.
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    When I have a EOW lawn that is weak and can be mowed EOW through the whole season I charge my regular rate.

    When I quote a EOW lawn that looks as it will grow too much I charge 50% more then is it was a weekly cut. So that a $30 lawn will be $45. And tell the customer so. I will point out that $120-150 total vs $90-125 depending on whether there will be 4/5 weekly cuts or 2/3 EOW cuts so they will be saving some money.

    I further explain to the customer that it is not fair to me to lose money from taking extra time because they chose to let their lawn get over grown by doing EOW along with that overgrown lawn puts excessive strain on my equipment causing them to wear out sooner.

    I don't want EOW because they are cheap and don't want to pay me a fair price for my labor But when they agree to my terms I will do EOW.

    Leave the cheap customers for the low ballers.

  9. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    Put them on a squirt and fert and hit them with some Primo. :D

    Keep the 45 a cut bi-weekly but put them on a contract so you benifit from the Primo.
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,673


    Usually, they are EOW because they dont want to pay a lot. Adding squirt and fert won't fly because they don't want to pay for their lawn to begin with, so wont want to buy squirt and fert wither.

    I dont mind EOW (I used) but there are usually enough of them these days that I can make a full route of EOWs for week 1 and a full route of EOWs for week 2, and I am just alternating, I put EOWs on the least favorable day of the week which is usually wednesdays (Mon/tues is commercials).

    the ones I want to switch because I want to fill a normal route or having trouble with them, I do as explained above.

    Since so many LCOs are trying to get away from EOWs, it seems there are plenty to pick up. A route is a route, I dont really care.

    If you only have a few of them and they screw up your normal week (making a 7 hour tuesday into a 10 hour tuesday) then it screws up your who equilibrium and you actually end up paying OT for a cheap skate lawn, aint worth it. you might even want to trade them out to another guy who CAN make an alternating route (like me) of EOWs if they are choking you up.

    One good thing about EOWs, they break up the monotony, you don't get the sense "gee i was JUST here mowing this place" because it's been TWO weeks since, and if you have an alternating route, it's always breaking up the pattern keeping things fresh, in my opinion.

    Not to mention, to your competition, it makes you seem like you are "every where"

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