Over grown lawn / should I give up the customer

JakeZBOG

LawnSite Member
I have some customers that are hard to manage.
The lawn is normally anywhere between 6 1/2 and 8 inches long. I cut these customers on Friday. They range between 45 and $50 for 2/3 of an acre. I have a 36,48 Scag vRides. I side discharge, use gator blades, and have the blades raised to the highest setting at 4.5 inches. I double cut, and then I have to triple cut and bag or bag first then double cut. Normally takes an hour for me and my guy. So $20 for him $5 gas $20-25 me. It’s not worth it at all especially when I have lawns at $30 that take about 10 to 15 minutes.
These customers are nice, pay every week and have been with me since I started 6 years ago. I just know there not worth the money as I make more else we’re. Also if they used me for home improvements or cleanups I’d think differently but they don’t. Strictly cuts and I feel lost and wonder what should I do?
 
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Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
I have some customers that are hard to manage.
The lawn is normally anywhere between 6 1/2 and 8 inches long. I cut these customers on Friday. They range between 45 and $50 for 2/3 of an acre. I have a 36,48 Scag vRides. I side discharge, use gator blades, and have the blades raised to the highest setting at 4.5 inches. I double cut, and then I have to triple cut and bag or bag first then double cut. Normally takes an hour for me and my guy. So $20 for him $5 gas $20-25 me. It’s not worth it at all especially when I have lawns at $30 that take about 10 to 15 minutes.
These customers are nice, pay every week and have been with me since I started 6 years ago. I just know there not worth the money as I make more else we’re. Also if they used me for home improvements or cleanups I’d think differently but they don’t. Strictly cuts and I feel lost and wonder what should I do?
How often are you cutting it, bi weekly? Have you raised prices in those 6 years? Why is it that high, over watering/fertilizing? No way I'd be bagging and double cutting. Look for the other thread with the guy making essentially the same post. If it isn't worth it, you're losing money.
 

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
You've answered your own question. You're not making any money so.....

It sound as if you have a good relationship with these customers so end it on a good note. Explain it to them as best as possible but they probably wont' understand why grossing $20 an hour is a problem. Leave the door open for them to call you back if things are corrected. Give them a little time to find a new service.

In the future ID lawns that fit you. Suggestion, when first talking to the customer let it be known the frequency of cut is determined by rate of growth and not some one-size-fits-all number. Grass doesn't grow the same all year so it doesn't make sense to cut it on some pre determined schedule.

I could go into "how to deal with overgrown lawns" but that's a whole nuther thread and for those of you that only mow it wouldn't make a lot of sense.
 

DavidsonLandscaping

LawnSite Senior Member
Just tell them you need to raise the rate and put them on a better schedule. Some people have no clue.
 

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
Maybe not let them know what hourly rate you expect. I try hard to not bring up that I shoot for $50-$60hr, prices are by lawn size and difficulty I say. Talking is worth a shot before just leaving. If you have a problem with that discussion consider slowly easing off doing all that extra work and if/when they notice you can explain the economics aren’t working, you’re running a business. Maybe just find a middle ground where you cut out the 3rd cut and bagging. With your equipment it sounds like you should be done In 20min.
 

EricC

LawnSite Bronze Member
you don't have to bring your profit into it at all. Nicely say, my prices are based on one pass and a clean cut. your yard requires, 3 passes and bagging. You're not going to be happy with a single pass and I won't put my name on that either, but I can't continue cutting it 3 times for the price of 1. If you'd like me to continue the new rate will be X dollars.

I'm happy to keep servicing your lawn, we have a good relationship... add whatever you feel is necessary, but usually less is more.
 

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