Year round contracts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ncmedic581, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. ncmedic581

    ncmedic581 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I'm thinking of advertising year round contracts but not really sure what to include. May thoughts were to include weekly or bi-weekly cuts, overseeding in the fall, three leaf cleanups, and fertilization in the spring. Any input from the more experienced than I is appreciated.
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    We take care of a Dr.'s office this way and its much easier this way for us and him, he doesn't have to be bothered with other companies soliciting every day. Next season we are going to offer him a multi year, year round contract. It's also nicer knowing you don't have to bid on lawn care then snow plowing etc. Iv'e seen more and more companies around here at least going to this method. Although its tougher on you to find work sometimes.
  3. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I run my contracts for yearly maintenance as follows....

    They all include a spring / fall clean-up.

    Fertilizing 4 times.

    One pre-emergent application (at same time as one of the fertilizings).

    2 Broadleaf control applications.

    Keeping weeds out of the planting areas.

    Picking up the trash on the mowing areas when I'm there to mow.

    Keeping the height of the grass between 3 and 5".

    Snowplowing when there's 1" of snow or more.

    What I DON'T do anymore is list that grass will be mowed on a specific day, or that it will be mowed weekly / bi-weekly. I specifically put in that it will be kept at a height between 3 and 5".

    What I had the most problems with, was that it would get dry out, so I would skip a week on the lawns that weren't irrigated, then the people would complain that I wasn't there every week.

    What you might also want to do is put in 3-5" on 40% of the property. Right now if I get to a larger property, and there's just patches here and there that have grown, I mow the patches. If you had a limit where it had to be 40% of the property, then you could get by without mowing these certain areas.

    I've got 1/2 of my accounts set up on year-round contracts. It's nice, because you're basically a salaried employee for "x" number of bosses. You can actually set up a yearly budget this way.

    The other 1/2 of my accounts are on flat rate fees in the summer for the mowing.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I don't know your area. And I don't know what the weather is like around your area during the winter. But I have successfully maintained 160+ landscapes all-year for several years now. So I'll list a few of the things we do during the winter to keep our clients happy all-year. Keep in mind it doesn't really ever snow here. It just gets a little cold (50s and 60s) and rains a lot. And the grass doesn't grow very fast. But we still find the following things to do at each of the properties we maintain during the winter.

    * Limestone applications.
    * Winter fertilizer applications
    * Moss killer applications
    * leaf clean-ups
    * Pruning and hedge trimming (only for our full-service customers)
    * Blowing off driveways, walkways, decks, patios
    * We still mow and edge once every 4-6 weeks during the winter, just to keep the lawn looking crisp
    * Haul away seasonal debris for free (pumpkins, Christmas trees, etc.)
    * Soil testing

    We cut our service back to twice a month for about 4.5 months of the year. But the idea is that we still come by every 2 weeks and just do at least SOMETHING. Even if it's just a quick limestone app. and blowing off their driveway and sidewalks. Most people are just happy that we're stopping by and doing something and keeping tabs on the landsape.

    Of course, I really need to add that this is where check-off lists come in really handy. We always leave a checklist of items we've done whenever we're done maintaining a property - any time of the year. But in the winter, it's particularly important because they often wouldn't be able to tell we were there until they see the checklist. Then the checklist might have the following items checked.....applied limestone to lawn, blow off driveways and walkways, raked leaves in lawn.... Then they take a look around and notice that we actually did do those things. They probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise. So the checklist is really key to keeping winter customers happy.
  5. ncmedic581

    ncmedic581 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thank you guys for the tips. The weather around here is hot (90-100) during the summer and cold in the winter (upper 20'S and 30'S) starting in about late october with a few small snows a winter. My Ideas for the year round consisted of:

    Regular cutting during the summer
    Aeration and overseeding in the fall
    Leaf Removal 3-4 times from fall to spring
    3 fertilizations a year
    Any snow removal from steps, walkways, and driveway

    If there is anything you think I could do different let me know. Thanks again.
  6. KillaWhale

    KillaWhale LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    I do year around, but give options. Regular mowing, trimming and blow off. Then add fert and pre-emergent, bed matainence, leaves and etc. I give a little discount with each add on. Start mowing price a lil high then sell up to the client. This seems to work for me.

Share This Page