Letter to customers about watering?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jpmako, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593

    I have never sent out a letter to my clients about watering their lawns, but suddenly I felt that I needed to explain to some clients that they have to water or else...

    This is what I came up with, some is common knowledge and some is just an explanation of what I do in the event of their lawn needing a visit from MR. SKIP.

    Feedback is much appreciated :)


    Attached Files:

  2. perfectlawncare

    perfectlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Love the Letter. I just sent out one just like that.
  3. mow king

    mow king LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 571

    Very well written letter you have there.
  4. sethsodsquad

    sethsodsquad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I tried it before - actually have a letter like that. In my experience, I lost a couple customers because of this. Some people just don't want to water. One customer said that they wanted to conserve water by not watering at all. If the customer doesn't comply with the points in your letter - I'd warn them, and then drop them if they don't start watering. It's a waste of your time to maintain someone's lawn when the owner doesn't even care.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Well the twice a week for two hours I would question,each lawn is different and the watering should be individualized to each situation.And the only other thing I think is rather strange is the :"President"by line you would be more an Owner than the "President"of your company.
  6. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593

    Thanks all for the replies,

    This letter serves as a guideline for watering and to let them know that I might be skipping. I know that every lawn is different and that soil conditions also dictate how much water is needed, but like I said this is a general letter. Some water is better than none!!!

    As for "President" of my company - That is what I am.
    It is a Corp., there are no owners, I am the primary shareholder and the President.

  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If this is your attitude then you are nothing but a greedy sob who deserves to not only lose all your customers but you should be out of business.

    To run a business in this manner is to cut the customer's throat and is a dishonest practice which ought to be illegal, thou I guess greed and ignorance isn't inherently against the law and since you're not pimping it can't be considered racketeering, though maybe it ought to be...
    I mean, what part of NO rain do you not understand?

    Some of you are acting as if you've never been through a drought and to make matters worse, you're doing nothing to prevent the outcome except forcing the customer to spend more money in times of a tough economy. You are not only stealing the customer's money but you are contributing to a state of affairs that if this turns to a drought, is detrimental to our water reserves which we, the people, need for survival and not the lawn.

    - If it doesn't rain, then the grass does NOT grow.
    - If the grass does not grow, then the grass does NOT need cutting.
    How much simpler does it get?

    If the customer doesn't want to spend the money to water their lawn, I don't blame them. If that means their lawn won't need cutting until after it rains and it doesn't rain for a month (or 3), then I will see them in a month (or 3) and have a nice day. I accidentally turned a FEW of my yards yellow but MOST of my yards are GREEN because I did not cut them and NOT cutting grass when it doesn't rain keeps them GREEN and you can water them but you will consume hundreds and thousands of gallons of water that you don't need to just so long your lawnboy is not blinded by greed. Yes, greed clouds your judgement so if you can't see this then maybe you are being greedy.

    Grass is a plant and when you cut grass, you inflict a wound upon the plant that causes the plant to lose fluids vital to its very survival. The plant can only replace these fluids if it has water and nutrients, and in the absence of this the plant is left no choice: It dies. First it turns yellow, then brown:
    Yellow is ok, the plant will recover but you HAVE to leave it alone!
    Brown is bad, the plant is dead and will turn to dirt - If any of your yards have turned this color, then you have killed the grass.

    If it doesn't rain for a lengthy period of time, then you have a drought. To water extensively when it doesn't rain only consumes water from large reserves we will need later. Our water reserves were designed 20-50 years ago, some even earlier than that, and were not intended to withstand the rigors and demands of today's population. These reserves will drain within a month or two and by september you will have a condition where the counties will pass laws that make it illegal for you to water your lawn or wash your car. At that point you can not aerate the lawn, either, because you need WATER for aeration / fertilizer / seed and if your lawn is dead, you're done.

    This is what frustrates me with folk who been in this business for several years doing absolutely nothing to save the customer money except 'it HAS to be cut weekly' in late JUNE with soaring temps and NO rain that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and is why most of my lawns are on 2-3 week schedules and may (with no rain) be delayed for another week (or month), and that is how it goes.

    Now I'm going for a drive (in my car to conserve fuel) to check and see if any lawns need cutting and if they do, I'll go do them maybe tomorrow but if they don't (which is likely most), then I DONT cut them. This saves the customer money as their lawn stays green and they save money in not only grass-cutting fees but water fees as well AND their lawn won't need all the extra money come september to recover a dead lawn that shouldn't be dead in the first place, AND it helps somewhat prevent the ultimate effect of a possible drought which is a severe water shortage from watering lawns which most of us can't afford the dang water bill in the first place.

    And if you're not out to help your customer save money, then why are you running a business? Should the customer's budget not be your ultimate priority? If it isn't, then how are they going to pay you and why should they hire you, you're really only looking out for yourself and don't give a rat about them, and in that case they don't need you.

    Customers didn't hire me so they could spend 1-2 thousand or more per year on their lawn, they hired me because they don't want to futz with the lawn AND they don't got all the money in the world, either. They like it when their lawn stays properly maintained for a budget of 400 - 600, and maybe 700 dollars/year because it costs them as much money to do it themselves and they would rather go to work and earn a little more to pay me to do it so they don't gotta sweat it no more.

    So go ahead and drop those customers that refuse to water their lawns. Drop every single one of them because you are absolutely right: you don't need them.

    Now don't get mad, get smart and listen, just for once.
  8. arborist-28

    arborist-28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I would have to agree with topsite on this one thehehe..c
  9. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Gotta agree with topsites on this one, thats a good bit of audacity sending out a letter demanding your customers water their lawns, I know I wouldn't react well to that. That would be similar to a gas station sending me a letter demanding that I drive more to consume more fuel because they are not meeting their quota for gas sales for the month due to conservation in light of recent gas hikes.

    I have been fortunate enough to have many other jobs lined up (bed edging, mulching, hedge/tree trimming, planting perennials) to keep me and my worker going through this drought. Its up to you as a company to explore/find more ways to be efficient, and more/other types of services to offer in order to add to your bottom line. Holding up a customer at gunpoint only works once in a great while, sooner or later you will have to be smarter about running a business and quit relying on the customer to be the only addition to the "bottom line"

    jmy .02

  10. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    hmm interesting. I didnt get out of the letter " water your lawn or else!!!!" i got more of a "water your lawn or else it may die and not look so good and then i wont look so good"
    I cant imagine the east coast in such a bad drought that the water supplies will be depleted in a month if people water their lawn.

    I send out letters to some of my pond customers asking them to do a water change of 10% a week. IF they dont then their pond looks like crap and they think im not doing my job. Im not a personal investor or accountant for my customers, Im a maintenance company. I make the lawn or ponds look good, IF they dont look good then i must not be doing my job right and i will "be let go" by the home owner sooner or later,might as well be at my descrestion

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