Only servicing a 20 minute radius?

lawncarerookie

LawnSite Member
Location
ontario
Like how a pizza store has their max 15 minute driving distance.

A person covers an area that is 20 minute max driving distance for lawn care. It allows for way less windshield time especially since you can get a customer call in, cut their lawn without knocking, send an invoice on a later date. If there are many on bi weekly or weekly you can schedule them where the next lawn is always a few minutes away since it is all compacted in an area. Hiring someone else to service a different area.

Essentially, reducing windshield time. Hiring others to service another area. Is this something that you seen?

I'd also love to hear ideas on how to get multiple lawns in the same 5 minute radius. Like if I could put up a sign where if they have 15 bi weekly or weekly customers I reduce the price for all of them. 25 in the area is reduced further and so on. Sort of like drop.com giving bulk deals the more people join in. Anyone seen lawn care people incentivize people to sign on to weekly or biweekly like this?

I am aware this is an out there question. Just curious how I can reduce windshield time, and get more people a bulk deal if more people in their neighbourhood go bi weekly or weekly.
 
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gcbailey

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
WV
My BIL has a decent sized company in the Charlotte area and he's basically only 15-20 minutes from their shop with over 300 clients....

My company is in 5 counties with the furthest client 1 hour away (commercial). It's all about route/population density.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
Most of my accounts are within 5 minutes drive time and the furthest is 15 minutes away. So basically all of my mowing accounts are within 5 miles of my home/shop/office. Most of them are within 2.5 miles. I didn't get my route that way with discounts or any sort of advertising. I got it that way by visibility (being seen working) word of mouth referrals and being selective of where I work.

Are you currently doing lawn care or are you just thinking about getting into it?
 

gardiner

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MASSILLON OHIO
If a property is too far off my route.
I just tell them that. I did start a Ohio 2021 thread. To get to know other members. That may service that area.
I felt like a party pooper. Telling her I did not know anyone who does her area.
As far as a price break for neighborhood. Is a No.
Every property will be what it is worth.
That if you start to lose a couple of them. & have to raise prices. You will most likely lose another. Creating a vicious cycle. if the neighborhood talked to get you . They will talk to lose you.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
Like how a pizza store has their max 15 minute driving distance.

A person covers an area that is 20 minute max driving distance for lawn care. It allows for way less windshield time especially since you can get a customer call in, cut their lawn without knocking, send an invoice on a later date. If there are many on bi weekly or weekly you can schedule them where the next lawn is always a few minutes away since it is all compacted in an area. Hiring someone else to service a different area.

Essentially, reducing windshield time. Hiring others to service another area. Is this something that you seen?

I'd also love to hear ideas on how to get multiple lawns in the same 5 minute radius. Like if I could put up a sign where if they have 15 bi weekly or weekly customers I reduce the price for all of them. 25 in the area is reduced further and so on. Sort of like drop.com giving bulk deals the more people join in. Anyone seen lawn care people incentivize people to sign on to weekly or biweekly like this?

I am aware this is an out there question. Just curious how I can reduce windshield time, and get more people a bulk deal if more people in their neighbourhood go bi weekly or weekly.
Don't do that. You could offer a one time small discount if someone refers you to a customer that hires you. But there isn't enough margin in mowing to do group discounts. How do you incentivize people to sign up for weekly or biweekly mowing? You tell them that is their two options. Weekly rates are your lowest price to still make good profit on that lawn. Biweekly rate is 1.5 times the weekly rate at a minimum. One time mows should be double the weekly at a minimum, and should still be fairly close to your route, meaning you schedule it when you are near. Don't drive across town for a one time cut. Anyone that wants something different will need to find someone else to mow.

Starting out, you'll have to take stuff with a little windshield time most likely. You won't just land everything in the same neighborhood. But yard signs and door hangers in your desires neighborhood can be a good method. Look up posts from @Hurryupelectric where he talked about how he targeted specific neighborhoods and even specific houses with his door hangers. If the yard looked to be a hassle, he didn't leave a card. 100% of the people that called him from his cards hired him. As time goes on, you start to tighten up your route. I've turned away multiple calls this year for mowing outside of my route. And I've landed numerous ones on the same street or neighborhood as existing clients. 2 streets I park and ride the mower to the next yard.
 

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
I’ve built a nice route with the density you’ve mentioned. However, I will go, and do go quite a bit out of my ideal radius for work until I completely fill up in my town. I look at it this way, if I have the free time in my work days to drive 30 minutes for a $50+ lawn I’ll do it. What else would I be doing, getting home early enough to catch Jerry Springer? Every other Friday I help a friend mow a group of properties 45 minutes away, I spend like 5 hours leaving my garage till I return and only make like $200. I do about 30 subdivision type properties a week, Tuesday through Thursday and have Friday open. I go out there and get a little bonus cash.
My opinion is you should most definitely strive for your tight route but before you achieve it take any work, anywhere you find profitable in the mean time. Next year I will begin to filter out the outliers and hassle jobs and they will be replaced with $2 per minute accounts. Almost every new client I landed this year is at or above $2/min and when I have only these I will consider my routes well pruned for maximum profit.
Door hangers in the early spring. The last two years I have walked well over 50 miles placing hangers on properties. In the beginning I wouldn’t be picky as revenue is needed. This year I was a diva, only perfect square properties without any ditches or old lady clutter, bird feeders ect. Landing these easy square yards has been the biggest way for me to get over $2/min. Most people only see the amount of actual grass, not all the mower turning and excess trimming, even a tree in the front yard will add 5 minutes. I’ll do a square half acre in 25 minutes while a postage stamp yard with excessive trimming and details might take 50 minutes.
 
OP
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lawncarerookie

LawnSite Member
Location
ontario
If a property is too far off my route.
I just tell them that. I did start a Ohio 2021 thread. To get to know other members. That may service that area.
I felt like a party pooper. Telling her I did not know anyone who does her area.
As far as a price break for neighborhood. Is a No.
Every property will be what it is worth.
That if you start to lose a couple of them. & have to raise prices. You will most likely lose another. Creating a vicious cycle. if the neighborhood talked to get you . They will talk to lose you.

It seems like it is all about managing the schedule. Putting weekly/bi weekly on all the slow time slots/days and explaining it helps you serve more people in the area and keep price reasonable. That $20 push mower kid/adult pushing their lawn mower door to door, or on craigslist is like the grim reaper so things need to be run well, and prices justifiable for your premium service over the $20 per job guy.

Is the general idea to try to schedule as many close proximity regular customers on the same day? And try to reduce windshield time in order to free up time to serve new customers, and maybe put up signs.
 
OP
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lawncarerookie

LawnSite Member
Location
ontario
But there isn't enough margin in mowing to do group discounts. How do you incentivize people to sign up for weekly or biweekly mowing?

I think you are right about the group discounts. It is also too hard to manage.

I believe the key in my area since it is so many houses close together and really tiny lawns is to make the price appropriate to their house size. Putting up posters and going door to door of 15 dollar cuts for their 10 minute lawn cuts. Bigger lawns are 20 to 25 dollars. And bigger lawns are more. Then getting them on the weekly and biweekly cuts, and lower their price after 3 months, 6 months.

This will retain a lot of customers and bring in more customers. Hiring more people to make it possible to serve all these customers. Cons: It is less profit margin per job Pros: it is more money long term if it works. 50+% less windshield time, more new customers, more customers on weekly/biweekly, they stay for longer on schedule, and since the price is low they may go for the upsales like lawn repair, fertilizer, aerator.

Just thinking out loud, because I am seeing 90% of these lawns are very very tiny(1/10th of a small yard), or very small. Getting more quantity is key in my area I think, and getting more people on weekly or biweekly for cheaper because their lawns are so small.
 

Jeff@diyokc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Owasso, Oklahoma
While I admire your free thinking, and having answered your other post on here, finding and retaining people will be a major challenge. In some cases insurmountable. It’s a fact of this business, and certainly in the last year. Just use the search feature, you’ll will be amazed.
 

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