Mow-n-Blow vs. Full Service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mike M, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    What's more profitable in your opinion, multiple and quick cuts-only accounts, or accounts which are more manicured and full-service? Two very different business models.

    Thanks in advance, Mike
  2. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I will say the fulll service route is the way to go.I have picked up 4 new accounts since september because the other guy just did mowing only.
    I have picked up 7 total this year from mow and go guys.
    The customer is looking for a company to do all aspects of their maintenance.
    You need to do all services, mowing, landscape maintenance, fertilizing, install landscape, core aeration, slit seeding, leaf cleanup and removal. I will be adding more new services next season to attract more customers.And actually, the full service customers are more profitable because they want their properties to look good all the time.
  3. robertsturf

    robertsturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    I feel if you price either way right they can both be profitable. That being said I personally think that full service maintenance offers the most opportunities to earn better income. It can open more doors to people that want one company to do everything. I like Premo have been able to pick up several accounts this year for the same reason.
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I think its benificial to offer both. We have some mow n go accts that ask for extras as needed... We also have some accts where all maint is included and they pay extra for beds.

    Its ok to include maint of beds but protect yourself... offer discounts on additional work but do not include renovations...mulch...add ons like seasonal color but do offer these services are discounted (10% discount will keep your client looking elsewhere for these)

    If you dont offer some of these services and do not have the equipment for them like areation or slit seeding then network and find someone to sub them out. Someone who has no problem with a no compete claus.

    No matter which way you go be sure to offer extras. Not only is it a great source of extra revenue but it keeps your clients from calling joe blow.

    I too have picked up 4 clients this year due to the previous company not maintaining the beds.
  5. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    In my short term doing this (first year) I have come to the conclusion that full service is the way to go. Too often I meet other LCOs that are busting their arse servicing 70, 100, 150 mow-and-blow accounts and are actually earning less than me.

    With 2 exceptions, ALL my customers have hired me because the previous guy only mowed at much higher rates.

    Full service attracts a better paying client since they are most likely to care how their property looks and can afford higher services (ie: higher profits)
  6. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Pro-Scapes has the right idea. I would rather do the full service, but I do provide some accounts with mow-blow-go service. These customers understand that I can and will provide extra servcies at their request. If you only offer mow and go, you are allowing your competition to step in and do extra services for your customers. Many will drop you when the other guy will priovide full service.
    But, that being said, their is that guy that was on lawnsite some time ago that offered just mowing services. This guy had, or still has, a jam up business with lots of accounts. So that proves that it can work. I think he was "Just mow it" or "just mowing"
    Was it T.J. or something like that....?Anyone know if he still posts on lawnsite?
  7. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Full service only. Why waste your time with cheapo accounts?
  8. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    In the time it would take me to service 1, $150 per month full service i can get in 4, $80 ($320 total) per month done in the same amount of time. In 2008 I'm going to phase out the full service accounts to mow and go. but will still offer full as an option for them.
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    as long as you offer the upsells its ok to do the mow n go accts but if you offer mow n go I would find someone who likes to do gardening and beds and network with them as long as they will sign no compete for your beds.

    TJ at just mow it does have a thriving business in TX I think. You can make money in volume but keep in mind he is cutting cookie cutter lawns and his crews are cutting more lawns before lunch than most of us cut all week.

    Bottom line... some clients dont want the full show. Some like to do the beds themselves.

    My stucture for full service is... I charge the same flat fee monthly YEAR AROUND. They get 3-4 cuts as needed in growing months and 2 visits per month november thru feb. While I make money in the summer time with these the real profit comes once the leaves fall. BE CARFUL what you include and I highly and I mean HIGHLY reccomend you have a contract or terms of service with these people. I preffer to call it terms of service. In our terms we state that they will get 3 prunings per year... we will pull all visable briars and other vines out of ornamentals at each visit (takes 2 min for most accts) and spray for weeds.

    We go a step further and offer the fert programs (we sub out) as an upsell and also offer all additional services at discounted rates. This keeps people from shopping elsewhere. If they know you are there for them they wont shop around. If they get a post card like mine in the mail and look out and see thier beds are trashed but the lawn looks good Im betting they are going to call.

    Most clients like the hassel free of one set price. It also allows us to budget cashflow. Unfortunatly unless your targeting a certain niche and your a smaller operation you will need to be flexible. Dont be afraid to ask clients what they would like to see or what you can do to improve your service.

    We also find a free flat of color or something of the likes goes a long way. We put color in some empty pots for a client and ended up selling 12 more flats of vinca this spring and a mulch job just because we showed em how much nicer color looked in thier yard.
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    the trick is pricing to profit.

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