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cleancutlawncare5382
04-28-2011, 05:51 AM
My first under bin of the season. UGH!

I won’t know until I mow for the first time but I think I under estimated the difficultly of this one. Not a very big lawn but has 2 very steep banks. I would give them about a 30 degree slop.
It was hard to focus on the estimate, customer was following me around and talking then rain started again. So the whole thing was rushed on my part.

Two questions:
1. How do you factor in difficultly?
2. Will I do damage to the 4 stroke mower at the 30 degrees? ( oil )

bruces
04-28-2011, 10:56 AM
is your mower pressure or splash lubed ?

cleancutlawncare5382
04-28-2011, 12:23 PM
I don't know. Its a new Toro 21" push

CHEESE2009
04-28-2011, 05:13 PM
Sometimes it's hard to quote a job without having done the job at least once.

I have lawns which seemed like they would be a problem, only to find out they are pretty simple to manage.



For slopes, I find it best to go across them - than it is to mow up/down.
It can be tricky leg work, but if your mower isn't that heavy, you'll be alright!


I have lawns with slopes 60-70 degrees. Go slow, keep your feet spread open.

Steve
04-29-2011, 12:06 PM
Sometimes it's hard to quote a job without having done the job at least once.

Do you ever mow a property first for free to get an accurate time on how long it will take or how do you recommend going about this?

Hedgemaster
04-29-2011, 10:41 PM
My first under bin of the season. UGH!

I won’t know until I mow for the first time but I think I under estimated the difficultly of this one. Not a very big lawn but has 2 very steep banks. I would give them about a 30 degree slop.
It was hard to focus on the estimate, customer was following me around and talking then rain started again. So the whole thing was rushed on my part.

Two questions:
1. How do you factor in difficultly?
2. Will I do damage to the 4 stroke mower at the 30 degrees? ( oil )


Hahaha! "hard to focus"... I had a very similar "distracting customer" situation recently, but it involved "cleavage".

:D :o

I quoted $35, and after doing it for a second time today, I'm kicking myself for not saying $45!

CHEESE2009
04-30-2011, 12:11 AM
Do you ever mow a property first for free to get an accurate time on how long it will take or how do you recommend going about this?

To make sure you don't screw yourself over, you can charge a "assessment fee".

Basically, get a worst case scenario price in which you'd charge - and charge them that before you give them the exact price. If they are willing to pay it, feel free to maintain their lawn.

You can say, "this fee is for us to become familiar with your lawn in order to avoid any possible danger to my equipment and/or myself."

They will understand that it is a one time fee, and will be awaiting your exact service charge. The only thing that could go wrong, is if the lawn is always a "worst case scenario".

cruzgardening
04-30-2011, 04:39 AM
To make sure you don't screw yourself over, you can charge a "assessment fee".

Basically, get a worst case scenario price in which you'd charge - and charge them that before you give them the exact price. If they are willing to pay it, feel free to maintain their lawn.

You can say, "this fee is for us to become familiar with your lawn in order to avoid any possible danger to my equipment and/or myself."

They will understand that it is a one time fee, and will be awaiting your exact service charge. The only thing that could go wrong, is if the lawn is always a "worst case scenario".


i currently have a one time fee for most of my clients quoting them about 25-50% more then i would charge them normally the first time i go, it has helped me since i know how much to charge them for their monthly fee all the time.

Hedgemaster
04-30-2011, 10:05 PM
I did an "underbid" today. :(

I mowed my largest property to date. It had not been cut yet this season and it was BAD. I quoted $100. I didn't get burned TOO badly, but had I known it would have been so difficult, I would have asked for $150.

He ended up giving me $120, so that helped. (and was appreciated)
It took me 4 solid hours with only one break to get a drink of water.
I had to cut the front twice. First at the maximum hight adjustment, then going the other direction set at the "middle" height adjustment.

This was not a job for a push mower. I had to make most of the passes at only half the width of the mower because it was so thick and high. Next year I'm going to have a walk behind for this kind of nonsense!

Steve
05-01-2011, 12:36 PM
What do you feel messed you up on bidding it more accurately? Was it the size of the property? The height of the grass or a combination of both or more?

Hedgemaster
05-01-2011, 01:09 PM
What do you feel messed you up on bidding it more accurately? Was it the size of the property? The height of the grass or a combination of both or more?

Yes. Unfamiliar with that size lawn, and have never cut grass of that height before. While I mostly knew what I was getting into (need to mow it twice), I didn't consider the added time because of the hight/thickness of this grass, as it was trying to choke the mower at some points.

Next year people who procrastinate will pay dearly for doing so. That, or they can pay some other chump to bust his a$$ and ruin his equipment for a few dollars. Why should I have to work 3-4 times harder because they either neglected to get it cut all month, or thought they could save money by waiting.

brettly
05-01-2011, 06:44 PM
My first year as well, and i learnt the hard way ..cutting after they neglected it for 1-2 months, cutting twice and some three times it was that bad, i dont pull any punches anymore, if its cut twice on an avg sized lawn its double the $.

cruzgardening
05-02-2011, 01:01 AM
My first year as well, and i learnt the hard way ..cutting after they neglected it for 1-2 months, cutting twice and some three times it was that bad, i dont pull any punches anymore, if its cut twice on an avg sized lawn its double the $.

hey guys hope this helps, as you guys have been talking about tall grass, i assume 8-36 inches or taller is what you guys are talking about. I learned from the previous Landscape company i worked for that if a lawn is over grown the company only would take an "under bid" job only if the client was willing for the company to come back at least 3 times after the first cut.

if the grass was taller then one foot we would let them know we would only cut it to about 8 inches then come back and cut it back to 4 inches and back down to where the grasses original height should be so we would charge them a bit more for the first mowing about 20% more then the usual service then we would come back 3 times at that price then if they hired us we would charge them their regular service fee, this made it easier for them to pay and see results and we gained lots of clients.

now thats a bit different then what i do but i still leave the grass longer then usual even if they just hired me for a one time cut since if i cut it shorter i can damage their lawn.

elrascal
05-02-2011, 03:26 AM
To make sure you don't screw yourself over, you can charge a "assessment fee".

Basically, get a worst case scenario price in which you'd charge - and charge them that before you give them the exact price. If they are willing to pay it, feel free to maintain their lawn.

You can say, "this fee is for us to become familiar with your lawn in order to avoid any possible danger to my equipment and/or myself."

They will understand that it is a one time fee, and will be awaiting your exact service charge. The only thing that could go wrong, is if the lawn is always a "worst case scenario".

You raise some interesting points and I can see that this is great way to protect yourself but I wouldn't be to keen to do this myself. I am definatly a big fan of offering a free trial mow for two reasons.

1. You will avoid underquoting as per the o.p.
2. It is an incredibly fast way to build a large business.

Sure it really sucks when you are first starting out your business and have to do it all yourself and then have someone turn around and say they "nah I don't want your service's."

But its important to relise its a numbers game and all you need to do is think of the life time value of each customer.

Steve
05-04-2011, 04:57 PM
if the grass was taller then one foot we would let them know we would only cut it to about 8 inches then come back and cut it back to 4 inches and back down to where the grasses original height should be so we would charge them a bit more for the first mowing about 20% more

How would you cut it to 8in? Would you just use a line trimmer and trim it down the first time?

cruzgardening
05-05-2011, 03:20 AM
How would you cut it to 8in? Would you just use a line trimmer and trim it down the first time?

the company had a walk behind line trimer somthing that looks like thishttp://s.shld.net/is/image/Sears/spin_prod_167350001?hei=248&wid=248&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0
a bit bigger and it was gas powered.