Things getting long dont ya think?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by YardKeeper08, May 2, 2008.

  1. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    On my flyers (the back) I have some check boxes where people can fill out what they want, when they want it and how they want billed then they return it to me. Well (now regret) I gave three options for mowing weekly, biweekly, and on-call. So guess what most are checking off.:dizzy: I'm thinking about telling people that the "on-call" option" is reserved for just that (not regulars):nono:. Maybe a situation where someone is out of town or to busy that usually does their own. This became a problem after I had to mow a few lawns that were maybe 6"-8" in height (really nasty and took way to long to make anything). Do you guys/ gals think thatÂ’s reasonable to tell them or how would you handle this? How do most of you setup your accounts?
  2. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    Ouch. My first year I would let people call me when they wanted it cut and I would work them into the schedule. Thing was, gas was a lot cheaper then and I wasn't busy so I needed all the work I could get. People walked all over me then, and it was because I let them. I handled it by telling the "on-callers" the plain and simple truth: "It is not profitable for me to do on call cuts anymore, so you have to be on either a weekly or biweekly schedule or I can no longer mow you lawn."
    See, that was easy. No excuses, no apologies, right to the point. You have to learn to control your customers, not the other way around. Make them play by your rules and don't be afraid of losing a bad account, it's just a lesson learned and it makes room for a better one.
  3. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    So very true. I'm going to get on top of this before it gets out of hand.
  4. FNG

    FNG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Never tell them NO, tell them what it cost for it to be profitable for you. If they respond "damn that's expensive" you priced it right.

    At that time you can follow on with "I can however, put you on a weekly cut program where the cost is much more affordable."

    You have the opportunity to convert them to a regular customer while not saying NO.

  5. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    Yeah I hate saying no period. Right now I'm just working out some kinks in the system.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Just tell people your schedule is filling up, so no more on-calls are being accepted at this time.

    Whenever you give people options, you want to steer them toward the option you want them to take, you could offer some incentive to go with the weekly service that makes it look like a good deal.
  7. executive property maintenance

    executive property maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    on this same subject i have a lot of new customers say well what if the grass isnt growing r u still gonna cut it and bill me i.e. in august the grass isnt growing as rapid as say june am i still to go out and cut this customers grass and bill them every week
  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    first off yardkeeper - don't worry about making mistakes we all do it.....

    Good suggestions per above. You definitely want to be in control of your mowing schedule. I would totally disban 'on calls' from your program. Personally, I don't want someone calling me telling me when to cut - by then its probably 6 inches tall and will look like crap when you cut it, hence they will say "You didn't do a very good job..." See what I am saying? Bad deal for you any way you look at it.

    You are in Iowa, near here. Offer weekly cuts, put it in your agreement that YOU have control. Advise during periods of drought/low growth, can go to 10-14 day cut but YOU decide that principally. You can also offer one time cuts which the customer calls and you go cut one time only, bill on the spot - that is different from 'on calls'.

    Hope this helps.
  9. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    Thanks for the advice. That’s probably the best thing for me to do. A lot of people seem to get all “It doesn’t need mowed that often” when we talk about weekly service. I’m just thinking it does if I don’t want to bale it and take 2hours for a 30-45min job. I guess its going to be this is what it is or I don’t need the headache.
  10. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Your right on yardkeeper. Explain to their customer that you don't want your cut looking like a half rear end job due to infrequent cutting. If they said "oh, I don't mind, do mine bi-weekly..." I would decline and advise you only cut lawns to make them look nice, you have a quality standard, and if customers are into that then they can find someone else.

    Nothing worse than a bunched up lawn due to overgrowth. You also don't want to get stuck doing a lot of double cutting...thats lots of gas wasted...

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