Mow and Go vs Full Meal Deal

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ZEKE, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. ZEKE

    ZEKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Doesn't always happen of course...but I try and make $200-$300 a day by myself and $500-$600 a day with a couple of helpers. Mainly mowing and some fertilizing. Try to keep it to 5-6 days a week. Don't have any yards with a complete maintenance package (beds, plants, fertilizer) and am wondering if I should include as many of those as possible or not. I figure I would have to drop alot of "mow and go's"....which are handle the extra work involved with total yard care by myself. Am I better off staying with mow and go's or should I be trying to get the full meal deal going with my customers (50-60 customers). Z
  2. I'm beginning to offer full maintenance services. I found several good reasons to go this route. Mainly for me it keeps competitors from coming to "my" lawns and bidding on this and that. (Maybe even my job!)
    Second most important is the extra income. Also it's getting easier to maintain the properties when I control more aspects of the lawn care.
    So far I mow, (plus trim, edge and blow) core aerate and topdress. Mulch, install bed edging and install some landscape stone and a little flower bed maintenance. I also mulch leaves.
    Everything else I'd been subbing out. This year I may take on fert & pest control.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Go the the Full Meal Deal on a couple of props to see if you like it and can handle it. Personally, I do as many as possble that way. As Dave mentioned it keeps out the competition and secondly I have found out over the years people would rather deal with one company for this kind of work than several.
  4. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    I agree with HAGGERTY. Offering other services is a way to LOCK UP your account. If they have you doing everything and are happy, there is no need to call anyone else. Also, if you charge right, you can make as much or more money. BUT you have to SCHEDULE really well. I have found it is not EFFICIENT to try to do mowing and other jobs the same day. If you are mowing, MOW ALL DAY. If you are mulching, set up all your mulch jobs the same day, ETC.

  5. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    We offer the full maintenance, Mowing, Fert, Pest, bedding maint. sprinkler maint, leaf removal, landscape install no design. I began doing this to eliminate much of the competion. Now I compete with about four companies instead of 100's. The advice from the previous post are great advice.
  6. macaw

    macaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I do a full lawn care for my customers. That is why I have only a few customers. I mow, edge, trim shrubbery, plant small trees and shrubs, clean and weed flower beds and gardens, pick up leaves ( note I didn't say rake). I use a cyclone rake. A wonderfull machine that I have been using for 4 years now. I also clean gutters, apply fertilizer and weed and feed. I spray lawns, gardens, shrubs, and trees. During the winter I clean outbuildings, garages, and basements. Fall and spring I mulch. I have had a few customers call in the so called Landscaping Professionals to do the mulching, planting and shrubery trimming but they all have called me back because I do a better job and for a lot less money.
  7. ZEKE

    ZEKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the advice. I will generally just mow folks and do the cleanups (beds, mulch, shrubs) one time at the beginning of the year and one time at the end of the season, when I have the time to do it...and need the work. It ends up being anywhere from $100-$800 for each time. I haven't figured out if I can make more the current way or by offering it as a monthly package (because I have never done it). My other dilemma is billing per mow (ala' carte I believe you fella's call it) or on a set monthly price all year to keep money coming in the offseason. I somehow seem to think I can make more per mow (but have to save for the winter) instead of the lower monthly set price for all year. I am usually able to mow customers almost all year round (once a month Jan, Feb and Dec) because rarely get snow and weekly or bi-weekly the rest of the year. I usually do ok through Dec. and Jan. but come Feb. when it's time to fire up again I am hurting for cash flow (not the first guy I'm sure). I have read a few threads on first or last (or both) months up front at the beginning of the year...which sounds cool...but I grew last year and was left by myself because of lame employees and struggled to keep up. For the first time in 3 years I was usually a day and sometimes two days behind. I feel I have a good relationship with most of my customers but they may be unwilling to pay ahead based on last year. I had prided myself in doing what needed to be or was asked to be done right away. I couldn't do that last year and it just killed my morale. I found myself coming up with excuses each week to give myself time to do what they wanted. I had a hard time saying no to the opportunity of making money even though I was too busy. I thought I would find a way to get it done...but ended up frustrating me and my customers. I guess I always thought I was going to be able to hire that 1 or 2 employee(s) that was going to save my butt....but I never found that person(s). A few people dropped me but those were the ones I put off till last because they were the ones I may not have wanted too bad anyway (crusty, late payers, anal). I'm not giving up and I feel I am still sitting pretty good because I have 50-60 customers who have stuck by me up to this point. WHEW! Let me get off the couch now!! Z
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I do both, but prefer mow and go. Its my preference to just do mowing, and for me its the most profitable.
  9. 4evergreenlawns

    4evergreenlawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    In the commercial market where I have been directing my business for the past two years I found that it is all or nothing for year round contracts and that includes snow.

    I agree that I like to have the account locked up with no other service providers doing any ground maintenance. I have found that my account might be shorter with less mow and go, but the flat monthly rates keep a steady cash flow and yields higher returns with less customers. This way I can also plan out my labor pretty close.

    When I was doing more homes I found it was nearly impossible to manage overtime with customer always call at the last minute to have something done that they did not want done a week or two ago. That really hits the margins. I just like being more organized and that works for me and make me the most money year round.

    The only draw back is having to depend on subs in the winter for snow work because there is not way to service the same number of account in the winter with the same equipment you use to do the summer work. Hope that made sense....

  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Same here. I'm sure that the full service dealie is very profitable, but I'm really not interested in doing all that other stuff. That's just me, though.


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