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Scheduling issues

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by YardKeeper08, May 22, 2008.

  1. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    So I’m thinking about adjusting my frequency of my service for any new clients for now on. I originally started setting people up ether weekly or bi-weekly (mistake). I hate the bi-weekly option, it just looks bad every time I show up and it makes for a crappy schedule. Plus I’m always getting the can you bad it on the bi-weekly’s. Because of that I don’t bag other than spring and fall clean-ups, or special situations but it’s at a premium. I‘m thinking of adopting a 5, 7 or 10 day service schedule for all new clients. How does everyone else set the schedule up? What options do you offer? What do you do with your schedule when the grass isn’t growing much (no rain)?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    For me it varies from one lawn and one week to the next.

    First it depends on the turf condition and every other factor that can and will affect growth like sun/shade and fertilization programs and trees and tree lines and irrigation systems and whether they're active or not, and lay of the land and overall condition of the lawn and soil conditions, current and seasonal and annual rainfall / drought conditions and so on...

    It also varies as the seasons change, for example it grows faster in spring than it does in summer, and so the lawn's schedule varies throughout the year as well.

    For this reason I keep each and every lawn on its own independent schedule, that is, every single lawn's mow schedule is tailored for that lawn's needs and that lawn only.
  3. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    anyone else?? I'd like to see the options you give home owners.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,468

    once per week and the same day every week, Im part time so I dont need to m,any accounts
  5. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    So if a client wants it every other week do you oblige or request per week only. My issues I'm running into are I originally offered weekly or bi weekly service. Well everyone was choosing bi weekly because it would cost them less per month. Well by the time I show up the grass is out of control and looks like crap when I'm done. I'd really like to adopt a local company’s method of 5, 7 or 10 day visits. But was looking for some feedback on this.
  6. xtoyz

    xtoyz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Do biweekly and charge extra due to the extra labor-per-mow.
  7. bock

    bock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I actually dropped a guy because he was trying to "save" money by having me come by every other week. When I came by weekly it was already a jungle, so if i let it go every other week it would be a nightmare. If a customer wants it bagged I tell them it is going to be more and I try to talk them out of it. The soil is made up of 10% organic matter and the grass clipping fulfill that 10%. If you bag it everytime your damaging the turf. if you tell them that then they will change their mind.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Didn't you ever mow your own lawn before you got into this mess?
    And how often did you cut that, or did you forget?

    All right...
    This whole weekly/bi-weekly thing has had me puzzled for many years now, and I've said it many times but on it goes...
    I finally gave up, I figured sooner or later someone would notice. :p

    See, I mow a lawn when it has grown to that point, I mow it when it needs it, and only when it does, but I don't let it get any longer. Once the grass gets about yay tall, that's when I mow it, whether it has been however many days, I don't care.

    Rain affects this, as do sprinkler systems, as does the condition of the lawn.
    Every lawn is different, some will need it more often than others.

    To be nice to customers I let it go as long as I can, but I won't stand for folks who think I can just let it go a month because they can't afford for me to come by any more frequently than that, either. And for that to work, each and every lawn is set on my schedule as per that specific's lawns needs.

    So as for WHEN to cut it, that takes some practice... I like to let it go until it's just to that point that if I let it go another 2-3 days it's going to clump and make my day awful... That is, I like it to be as tall as it can get before it becomes a PITA. Because any shorter and the customers get frustrated, any longer and I do. So, when it's about that height.

    Now if you already understood all of that then I am sorry to have repeated myself.
  9. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    I mow every week or every two weeks. Every week I take care to make it look good but I still don't bag. I mulch and I got good mowers to do that. Every two weeks is fine with me but I charge extra even though I really don't spend any extra time, in fact, if it grows too fast to look good, I leave it like that and try and upsell them to weekly.

    Every 10 days, I don't do. I suppose if I feel I could charge even an extra premium and still have it look ok most times, I might do it. But It really is a pain to schedule (I only bill once a month) and I got this feeling that people like that are cheap pitas, so I don't even want to offer the service.
  10. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I've been offering the same thing: weekly or bi-weekly

    But, like topsites said, every lawn is different. Some need it weekly some dont. I'm not going to get all technical and say lawn A takes 4 days to grow before it needs to be cut, and lawn B takes 12 days. I don't have the time for that and it would make for messy routing. Impossible to keep up with.

    So it is what it is. Lawn A is weekly and Lawn B is bi-weekly.

    Now, if Mrs Pennypincher wants to start off with bi-weekly service in March, cool, most of them do, but come the day that I get out there and have to force my mower through her grass, I'll give her a call and recommend, NICELY, that her lawn should be cut at a weekly rate. I dont tell her its because it hurts my back or it takes me an extra 20 minutes because her lawn is overgrown, I tell her the reasons that she cares about... it looks bad, it not healthy for the lawn to be cut that low after it has grown so long, etc..

    If she doesn't care at that point, it isnt worth my time and I drop her. She was on a bi-weekly schedule with the majority of the lawns already so it wasnt jacking up my schedule, I've made my take on servicing her lawn, and probaby by tomorrow, I will have another to fill her place.

    I actually dont have to drop a customer because of this very often because I tell them from the beginning that we will start bi-weekly in the spring and weekly in the summer, thats just the way it is down here. Most of them understand.

    I also have an overgrown fee, so that if I have to do a double mow due to overgrown grass (which will happen if a weekly lawn is mowed bi-weekly) they pay the same amount anyhow, they just have a shitty looking lawn. Might as well have a good looking lawn and let me do it as it is recommended.

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