Scheduling mowing days

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MWHC, Jan 12, 2000.

  1. MWHC

    MWHC LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 243

    I have over 100 accounts we mow every week. It seems like 80 of them wan't mowed on Friday. (Which is impossible)<p>I am not real flexible about driving across town to pick people up, I really like the accounts to be in tight groups. This saves a ton of driving time/gas, and we can take a few more accounts every day.<p>I was wondering if others have this type of scheduling problem and how you handle it?
  2. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    As far as a solution, I don't guess I really have one. We have a few customers who ask to have theirs done on a Friday, and I guess it matters how they go about it. If they are a really good account and they spend a lot of money on extras, they may get what they want. If they are a new customer and make a request right away, this may be an indicator of their future as a client. In other words if they have a demand now, they may find it is easy to get you to bend. If it requires rescheduling an entire area just to suit them, you have to tell them it is not possible and explain why. Chances are if 80% or your customers want service on Friday, 80% of your competition's customers want service on Friday, so there is really no huge threat of losing the account just because some other guy will do it on Friday. <p>As an option you could service the 20% who don't ask on Friday. j/k
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,860

    Sometimes you just have to humor customers. Just say to them that you will try your best to cut it toward the weekend. But that your schedule is controlled by many factors such as the weather etc. The word try is the keyword. Then you never mention it again. I have alot smaller % that want theirs done toward the weekend. I try to get those weekend customers done thursday or friday or saturday. As many times as I can.<br>Charles
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    I don't really have much of a solution to that either. But I'll explain how we do it. Hopefully that will help. <p>We too have a little over 100 customers. I always pre-empt them when it comes to day we mow. That is, I try to bring it up before they do. Then I am dictating to them, not the other way around. I show up to give the bid and if they like the price and want to start asap, I say this, &quot;Great. We can get started next week. We are already in your area every Wednessday, so we'll be by then. And as for our billing process, it's explained at the bottom of the estimate there. But to put it simply....&quot; I just breeze right by the day of the week thing and get on to another topic.<p>I'd say 90% of the time people just say &quot;Ok, sounds good. Thanks&quot; and let me go on my way. Maybe 10% of the time someone will bring up the day of the week thing. Usually it's someone to whom I've told their day would be Monday or Tuesday. I rarely, if ever, get a complaint about mowing Thurday or Friday. And Wednessday is pretty rare too. But if I tell them it'll be Monday or Tuesday and they start to ask why or start complaining, I just tell them like it is. We have to mow every day of the week and we can't do everyone at the end of the week. I wish we could. But since we are mowing every single week during the growing season, the lawn should still look pretty nice even 4 days later, when the weekend gets here. That's the best I can do.<p>Most people are satisfied with that. I don't know that I've ever had anyone say &quot;Oh, well nevermind. If you can't cut it on Friday then forget it.&quot; Just doesn't happen. <p>One more tip - I always cut the &quot;richest&quot; neighborhoods near Thursday or Friday. I know it's important to people but I want my best customers to get the best days. They are paying me more typically anyway. And they are often the ones who are more concerned about weekend gatherings, etc. <p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>
  5. MJM Landscaping Inc

    MJM Landscaping Inc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I agree with Jim. Thats pretty much what we do and its worked out pretty well. Just remember 1 important thing, you dont have to get every lawn you bid. I know thats a tough thing to learn. You show up to a bid you want to land the job. We have been putting all are larger properties on thus and fridays and the smaller ones on the other days. Because of that we have found now that we are back tracking a little. We are redoing are whole schedule so we are in 1 area whether the lawn is a large one or small one. Im sure we are going to lose some accounts but im not worried about it. You can always pick up more and it doesnt matter how many accounts you have its whether you are profitable or not. Let me tell you a short story... A few years back we had a big decision to make, like everyone else when you first start out you take evry job no matter where it is. Our co grew to a descent size but we were doing alot of traveling. We held our breath and dropped about 35 accounts at once! There was alot of worrying <br>about the money we were going to lose but we picked up 5-6 accounts in our area right away that made up for all 35 then just continued from there. Remember, you are doing this to provide a good service AND make a living. You have to stick to your guns<br>and politely dictate policy to your customers. Do not worry about getting every job but worry more about building a good reputation, the customers will come. Hope this helps.<br>Mark A Musolf
  6. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    hey guys-<br>i think we all run into that problem at one time or another. My clients are grouped by location, so this part of town gets mowed on this day, etc.<br>Usually new cust. will think they deserve top billing; I remind them that a bit of seniority applies here- Older (& nicer) acct.'s get 1st dibs on any openings for those days (which is rarely ever).<br>But usually if they bring it up, my 1st answer is that Friday is reserved for all my businesses, so they look nice for weekend traffic & business- they'll usually understand, & if not, tough. It's your lawn service, not theirs. <br>My first year I even had people complain about whose I did 1st (I had 3 on the same street)-I think old people are about the worst! Them, & doctors/wives, & teachers. They usually give me the most grief. Just smile & say thank you as you take their $$$.<br>Just be firm, & remind them that your sytem of scheduling/arranging is the way it is so that everyone gets mowed on time, & no one is forgotten, & in the most efficient manner, enabling you to keep your prices low.<br>Hope this helps. Smitty
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Amen Smitty, I agree with you and that is how we do it. I agree, the older ones are the worst, but someone has to do it. :)<p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Friday mowing? Possible, but we mow every day. If we have a day and a half of rain next week, do you really want us to mow at your house on Sunday morning? Also look how lush the Wed. mowings look on the weekend.<br>Sure, we can do yours on Wed then.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN
  9. CGS

    CGS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    What do you guys do when it rains on the day your are going to service your clients? <p>What I mean is do you charge them anyway, what about major Holidays? I'm having a hard time to make up days when this happens. <p>We do yard maintenance 6 days a week and no gaps in between. Sundays are not for maintenance do too City Ordinance, perhaps big jobs without using noisy equip.<p>But anyway is there such a contract that you guys can use? Or due handle it differently?
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,860

    No matter what happens during the week. I have one day when I don't even think about yard work. That day is Sunday. I just have to have a day of rest mentally and physically. I mean rainy days off during the week stresses me out and I do maintenance. Monday through Saturday I think I should be working. But Sunday is more relaxing because I have never done yard work on it and therefore its way back in the back of my mind. I can depend on that day to have fun or whatever. I think everyone needs something to look forward too. I look forward to that day off no matter what happens.<br>Charles

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