What do you southern guys do in the winter?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by davislawncare, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. davislawncare

    davislawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I live in south Mississippi and have about 35 residential accounts at this time. I read where you guys up north do snow blowing for winter work but what about you guys down south. Do you have contracts year round or is there another service that you offer? I don't do alot of landscaping plus there are too many of those operations around here anyway. Any suggestions?

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Time off from 5 and 6 days a week.
    Maintenance to all the stuff.
    Ads for next year.
    Maybe Christmas Dec.
    In south Miss. you should not have that long of a break anyway. We do a lot of handyman work which runs all year. Also 75% of our work is on contract and carries all year. If you really want to stay busy there is all kinds of work out there.
  3. yardman1

    yardman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    I work all year long, get some form of a break in the winter, but I have 12 month service packages.
  4. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    much happens here in extreme North Mississippi is Feb.

    Fall brings leaves, and they drop through out Winter, and most of

    my customers want them picked up on a weekly basis.

    It is hard work and you really work your machines....

    However, I make a living in the "Green" industry....

    Fall and Winter the green turns to brown.

    I have a bagger for my Hustler Z and use it plenty...

    Only in the Fall/Winter.
  5. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Go farther south and enjoy the warm weather in Florida. I also do advertisments, fix broken equipment, etc..
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    man i got a good one, but i just know i'll hear it from the forces who guide us if i say it.
  7. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    bobby got no b***s?
  8. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I do residential accounts here in South Texas, have been for over 20 yrs.

    Early on, I learned 2 things:

    1) Get accounts with sprinkler systems(irrigation).

    In South Texas, we dont get much rain (this year being the weird exception...I mean, X-Files weird...). If your accounts don't have irrigation, your not working in the summer. Irrigated accounts need to have their yards mowed every week. They start growing earlier, stop growing later...need fertilizer more often, etc.

    2.) Put as many as you can on "Contract".

    20 yrs ago, this was unheard of around here for residential. But, I figured...if commercials can do it, why not residentials.

    Since my accounts were irrigated, after a couple yrs I figured out their growing cycle...how many cuts a yr I was doing, on average, etc.

    So, I started offering a "Yearly Contract" for residential customers.

    For me, It was around 36-40 cuts a yr. Weekly mowings from April - Sept. Every-other-week March and Oct-Dec. Once a month cleanups in Jan & Feb.

    I basically figured out how many cuts per year this schedule came out to be, multiplied it by the cost per cut I was charging...then when I had a final figure, I discounted it 5-10% to give the customer an incentive to choose it.

    This worked best for customers who pay the highest per mowing cost. When we're mowing weekly in the summer, some of my residentials were getting $300-$400 a month bills, where in the winter they were $50-$75. (have several multi-acre estates).

    I offered them a monthly contract where they pay the same amount every month. It's less in the Summer, but more in the Winter...and they actually pay less over the course of a year.

    When I first offered it, I had been in business a coupla yrs, so I already had good customers who trusted me. I got over half to go for the Contract...and VOILA! No more winter jobs!

    In fact, I was finding, since my costs/payroll, etc. were down in the Winter...I was making more in the Winter, when I wasn't workin as much.

    South Texas Winters are the best time to be in Texas...and now I actually have money AND the spare time to enjoy them.
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Thats only the natives. I work, but cut down to every other week on my lawns.
  10. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    We offer tax accounting, sell christmas trees, perform light dentistry, deliver babies, file lawsuits, fix plumbing, sell cars, give golf lessons, and also do dog grooming.


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