Sorry, you may not be a good candidate for organics

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Under or irregular watering. Not being able to sharpen mower blades. Wants the grass cut too short. Too many weeds (especially grassy) to begin with. Doesn't follow the 1/3 rule when mowing. And most importantly.. not willing to pay a premium.
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Customers are going to call you for a variety of reasons, not just for 100% organic lawn care. Some just want a nice lawn (because you do good work :usflag:), or maybe their neighbor made a referral and they called you. You will have the people that want organic lawn care, but that might only be 50% of your business. Some might want organic ferts/soil amendments with a weed spot treatment in the spring or fall. It depends. Some people can offer strict organic lawn care. It's a tough sell here.

    As far as turning down customers for various mowing or watering issues, I tend not to do that. I'd say 75% of our customers don't mow their own lawns. I can tell (and give handouts) the customers about proper cultural practices and some listen, some don't. We don't deal with a lot of customers with irrigation, but once we get them on a good schedule, they're fine. It does take a little extra work at first though.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I appreciate all the feedback, from everyone. :)

    Grass too short is definately a problem. Good point.

    Too many weeds - will depend on the person and their ultimate goals. It would be fun to have a lawn in which the grass is given a chance to overtake the weeds to some extent and see how well it fills in naturally.

    Little or no irrigation is not an issue for me at all. Many lawns are without, whether organic or not.

    As far as the premium goes... I promise it is inexpensive [compared to 6 app TG] so the Milorganite once in the fall may be all some of them get.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I am advertising for organic lawncare. No details about it in the ad.
    I will try to meet with every call in person. Walk the lawn with them, plugging samples as we go. Once I see what their soil is like, what the HO is like, what kind of a hurry they are in, etc.
    Then I will decide to take on the lawn or not.

    Why would I make myself "look bad" by continuing to offer synthetics?

    I sub out all the pesticide applications and I use synthetic ferts for large areas where gras shouldn't really be growing just to keep it from dying out.
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    One company we sell to that is pretty large always says to me " we do not associate ourselves with failure, we want the customer to get to NO as quickly as possible so we don't waste each others time!"
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is exactly why I don't want to even start with some people. No association with failure.
    I don't want to get to 'no' too quickly because I would like to be able to discuss soil structure with them for a while. Usually good PR is not a waste of time.
  7. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    If they want a great green ,weed free lawn quick
    If they want a good price:rolleyes:
    If they want to do cutting
    If they want to tell you when to cut there lawn:hammerhead:
    If they say I really don't need the lawn cut every week....:)
  8. Grandview

    Grandview LawnSite Gold Member
    from WI
    Messages: 3,251

    Just curious, to whom do you have to show proof. I think this is more nannyism than forward thinking.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Good idea, about whether this is a client who expects it all NOW - or - has a clue about what I'm saying, as we discuss what should/could be done.

    I can basically give a good price... compared to TGCL, anyways.

    No time for mowing. I run a solo operation and don't really need more work. Most organic clients will see me two or three times a year. Of course I can upsell on regular standard practices such as fall/spring cleanups, aeration, overseeding, topdressing, and the like.

    Which just made me think of another problem to keep in mind... If they do not do prompt cleanups and leave the fall debris until spring!!! Some people do that and magically want a wonderful lawn. :hammerhead:

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