Learning Experience

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Infinite, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Infinite

    Infinite LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    This is my 1st year in business in lawn care. Anyways the grass is growing slow and dying out in Ohio because of the extreme heat conditions and my customers are calling and telling me not to come for two weeks or even longer. This has to stop, I am losing money. Anyways what do you guys do about this(set up some sort of contract mowing every week or every ten days no matter what)?
  2. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    Find other things to do for your customers........mulch, weeding beds, trimming shrubs, clean-ups, etc.........
  3. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    I sneak out at night and water their grass while they are sleeping :sleeping:
  4. griffy77

    griffy77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Hello from West Virginia.

    We have been suffering the same here too. I had a feeling this was going to be a hot season so I staggered my customers over a 10 day mowing cycle, however I have a few that need it every week. At first it seems a little crazy keeping up but once the heat hits and every thing slows down we have enough work to keep busy. Also I line up enough mulch jobs that pay more than mowing and that helps out. We did several mulch jobs last week when it was so dry that made us more money than mowing. If you bid it right there is big money to be made in mulch. Also get some Sahara and charge to spray their fence lines. Its a win win deal, you get paid for the treatment and then you dont have to weed eat, just mow and go$$$. We have had alot of rain from these hurricanes blowing through so things should start to green up. Dont get discouraged. Next year stagger your accounts out over a 10 day cycle.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I had this problem my first year in virginia doing lawncare (2001). It was dry and I'm going to be real blunt:
    - If it doesn't rain, then the grass doesn't grow.
    - If the grass doesn't grow, then it doesn't need cutting.

    We're getting regular rain here now but as of a week ago, it had not rained for a month and most my accounts went on 2-4 week schedules.
    This is normal.

    Far as a learning experience, this is what I learned:
    Learn how to save your money.

    Hell we just went through a Grand spring where I grossed a Record 15 thousand dollars in 3 months, so what's the problem, right?

    In my case, I worked for years delivering pizza and washing dishes at a restaurant while I saved 5 thousand dollars. This money helped me get started but the skill I learned also is an invaluable tool in not only lawncare but any business: Dry spells / slow business is normal and can and will happen to you. If you can survive 4-6 months with almost no income, that is good, but 12-24 months is even better. The longer you can tough out the hard times, the less your chances of being part of the herd that thins out.

    Learn to reduce your cost of living.
    Good luck.
  6. Bgaz

    Bgaz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    We are located in Cincinnat and have cut some of our lawns once every 3 weeks for the past 9 weeks. Nothing you can do about it. Find other work to do for the customers and do the daily rain dance :blob3:

    Finally got some rain, over 2" at my place, so now we will be mowing weekly for at least the next few weeks.
  7. Billz

    Billz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Try signing up all new customers for a seasonal price...then if it doesn't need to be mowed, great...same money, but less work. I have had alot of success this year doing this.
  8. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    15 grand in 3 mnths boy you are so ate up its not funny

    Edited: watch your language. jodi
  9. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    yup, this is what i was going to say
  10. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    That is not a far fetched number... Do ya'll not like this guy? This is my first year and that just doesn't seem out of reach for us next year. We are doing a minimum of 4 a month.

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