PDA

View Full Version : One Time Lawn Mowing


ringahding1
12-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Does your landscape or lawn care company offer One time Mowing?

mark123
12-05-2011, 05:00 PM
I don't accept one time mowing unless the planets align. In other words, if someone calls and requests it, has the money in hand, the lawn is near enough to a lawn I'm doing that day and I feel nice.

I never feel nice.

Hedgemaster
12-05-2011, 06:12 PM
There are rare occasions established lawn care providers will take on a “one time lawn mowing” jobs. Most hate to refuse work, but there are times they just have to. Newer lawn care providers may take on these type’s of requests in order to build-up a base of accounts, but soon will realize that they will have a hard time relying on a weekly income.

Receiving these particular calls, many customer’s can’t believe in this economy someone would refuse work. Established lawn care providers have a list of factors when making any decision regarding one time mowing:

Wear & tear on equipment
Client location
Maintenance of equipment
Scheduling
Customer service
Fuel
Hourly wages
Insurance

All landscape provider’s must watch the bottom line more accurately and wisely these days, since the cost of living continues to rise. Having such a demanding weekly schedule, not losing sight of their beginnings, and learning from their mistakes will help them adjust to their growth. Not losing sight that lawn mowing is their bread and butter, can only lead to success.

Being your own boss comes with responsibility that probably was not well thought out in the beginning and usually the following questions arise, maybe by word a mouth or maybe they read an article(like this one) somewhere: How much for insurance? Workmen Compensation? Fuel per month? Hourly wages? Part and labor costs? These are only a few of the most over-looked aspects of this industry.

When a potential client should all for a “One time lawn mowing“, they need to let them know that their schedule is set up for weekly lawn care , recommend them, or actually accommodate for this one time. Being upfront about your business and the services you provide will go along way. Some customers may not appreciate straight forwardness, but it will serve you well in the long run. “NO” is a word when implemented with kindness, can be respected.

If you have lost the passion or love of your niche, don’t just hang it up or quit. Take a step back and start over, YES I said start over and reevaluate your commitment to yourself and business and whom ever else will be affected by decisions you make. Growing and running a business can be scary in this economy or any economy for that matter. Having the right people in place for your operation can give the provider an opportunity to market and promote. Unless they have just enough accounts and figure there is no point to growing the business anymore. The landscape industry is demanding and only hard working and committed individuals are allowed.
I dunno... as someone with an advertising background it rubs me the wrong way. There's too much of a "negative" attitude in it. You want to address the situation in a positive manner. As it stands, it makes sense to "us", but as a consumer, I'd view it as a complaint against clients.

That doesn't come across as well as I had intended, but I hope it made some sense.

ringahding1
12-06-2011, 04:30 PM
I don't accept one time mowing unless the planets align. In other words, if someone calls and requests it, has the money in hand, the lawn is near enough to a lawn I'm doing that day and I feel nice.

I never feel nice.

If we do, it would have to be close to our route and already maintained...none of that "I hope there is no boulders in this grass":)

Ducke
12-06-2011, 08:54 PM
Yup
But I charge a premium for doing it and I explain that right up front.

ringahding1
12-07-2011, 08:55 PM
I dunno... as someone with an advertising background it rubs me the wrong way. There's too much of a "negative" attitude in it. You want to address the situation in a positive manner. As it stands, it makes sense to "us", but as a consumer, I'd view it as a complaint against clients.

That doesn't come across as well as I had intended, but I hope it made some sense.

Your right. It did sound pretty negative.

Steve
12-09-2011, 01:04 PM
I dunno... as someone with an advertising background it rubs me the wrong way. There's too much of a "negative" attitude in it. You want to address the situation in a positive manner. As it stands, it makes sense to "us", but as a consumer, I'd view it as a complaint against clients.

What's your view on how that all should be reworded to sound more pleasant?

CHEESE2009
12-09-2011, 10:49 PM
I have the same exact problem. Trying to get my clients to understand the reasons behind my, "NO".

Tends to always seem so negative, and the clients get all offended for no reason.

Good luck brotherrrr!

shadrach
12-10-2011, 08:43 PM
We do it & charge more than for a regular cut - provided it can be scheduled on a day we are in that area. An email confirmation is nice too.


I agree with Hedge about the advertising bit - I wouldn't list it at all. Would rather have to sort through a few more calls than potentially turn away work that I might be interested in.

ringahding1
12-10-2011, 11:22 PM
I have the same exact problem. Trying to get my clients to understand the reasons behind my, "NO".

Tends to always seem so negative, and the clients get all offended for no reason.

Good luck brotherrrr!

There are ways to say "NO" to a customer, but we all know how people are in general...so it will most likely be 50/50 they take offense. Focusing on the word "No"...is reflecting on my always saying "YES" (YES MAN) Yes sometimes can get you into trouble or take on work that may becoming overwhelming. I guarantee you LCO's that say yes yes yes all the time cannot deny they wish they would've just said "NO".

Steve
12-12-2011, 10:27 AM
In the past nine plus years we’ve grown 60%, so now we really have to watch the bottom-line more accurately and wisely. When a potential client should all for a “One time mowing”, we will either let them know our schedule is set up for weekly lawn care or recommend them to one of our partners that can be serviceable.

Having such a demanding weekly schedule now, we have not lost sight of our beginnings, we have just adjusted to our growth. We have not lost sight that Lawn mowing is our bread and butter. This is not why I started my company nine years ago. The love & passion I have for my industry is as strong today as it was than ( maybe a few more headaches). I’ve learned many things about business, and the biggest one is how and when to say “NO”.

When you wrote this and talk about saying no, is this one time mow discussion focused more on new customers or would this apply to current customers you have that you provide other services for and they sometimes want one time mowings too?

Also what's your view on why blog about this? How is it helpful?

ringahding1
12-13-2011, 12:15 AM
When you wrote this and talk about saying no, is this one time mow discussion focused more on new customers or would this apply to current customers you have that you provide other services for and they sometimes want one time mowings too?

Also what's your view on why blog about this? How is it helpful?

"NO" some LCO's feel compelled to take every job as to be pressured, I know I have and for us personally, normally ends up being a dead-end. Even customers we've actually have done work for, would depend on locale.

WHY: This post is directed for those of us in the industry directly.
HELPFUL: To get feed back of industry experiences with one time mowings.

ringahding1
12-13-2011, 07:14 PM
We do it & charge more than for a regular cut - provided it can be scheduled on a day we are in that area. An email confirmation is nice too.


I agree with Hedge about the advertising bit - I wouldn't list it at all. Would rather have to sort through a few more calls than potentially turn away work that I might be interested in.

For sure I would not advertise one time..How much more would you charge?

mark123
12-13-2011, 08:44 PM
I came up with another reason that I'd take a one time cut. I was sitting on my butt anyway. Doing nothing, phone rang, "Yeah, I'll be there". $60. May as well. I'm lubing up the mower on Thursday and putting it away so this guy snuck in just in time.

ringahding1
12-27-2011, 08:18 AM
I came up with another reason that I'd take a one time cut. I was sitting on my butt anyway. Doing nothing, phone rang, "Yeah, I'll be there". $60. May as well. I'm lubing up the mower on Thursday and putting it away so this guy snuck in just in time.

That's a good way of looking at it..lol

stevef1201
12-28-2011, 07:42 PM
Humm, one time. I ask how long ago was it mowed? I LOOK at it, is it tall (more than 6 inches) is it 'easy', or 'hard'. If I were to charge say 25 for a weekly cut for that size lawn, and it looked tall or Extreme , I would charge 4 times or more, if it was just not mowed for a week because ' my mower is in the shop and wont be back for two more week (that happened to me two times last year) two times regular. BTW I picked up one of those as a weekly customer.
I never turn down work, but price it appropriatly.

ringahding1
01-14-2012, 05:46 PM
Humm, one time. I ask how long ago was it mowed? I LOOK at it, is it tall (more than 6 inches) is it 'easy', or 'hard'. If I were to charge say 25 for a weekly cut for that size lawn, and it looked tall or Extreme , I would charge 4 times or more, if it was just not mowed for a week because ' my mower is in the shop and wont be back for two more week (that happened to me two times last year) two times regular. BTW I picked up one of those as a weekly customer.
I never turn down work, but price it appropriatly.


The biggest reason I made this thread and posted it on my website, is to bring awareness of the pitfalls that may came with a one-time mowing. And yes if the grass has become overgrown and the ground cannot be seen while mowing, there is a good chance of driving your mower over rodent mounds, boulders and maybe even tree limbs. Anyway that has been my own experience.

I would also like to think I would "never turn down work", but we are at a point where we almost have to. It wasn't always like this, especially when my company was younger.

dpld
01-15-2012, 12:51 AM
I dunno... as someone with an advertising background it rubs me the wrong way. There's too much of a "negative" attitude in it. You want to address the situation in a positive manner. As it stands, it makes sense to "us", but as a consumer, I'd view it as a complaint against clients.

That doesn't come across as well as I had intended, but I hope it made some sense.

how so, if the customers can pick and choose why can't we?

i highly doubt someones business is gonna take a dive because he or she turned down a one time job.
also, if a business is allready busy and has a full schedule, why should any customers who signed up months before take a back seat to johnny come lately?

if you are too busy and you come right out and tell them "i am very sorry but i do not have any openings in my schedule for the next two weeks and i do not believe i can help you" how would that have a negitive effect on a business?
if you lied and said you would and did not that would be entirely different.

i have had doctors chase me away because they were too busy i even had home heating oil co's turn me down for a delivery, not because they were too busy but because i was not a customer, what? if you came and delivered oil to my residence would'nt that make me a customer?
you mean to tell me that the only customer you will service is a customer that has allready spent money with you but you will not take on any new customers that want to give you new money but yet in the summer you advertise looking for new customers?.

it is perfectly fine to turn down work its all in how you do it. we are in a service business and regardless of what size your business is there is a limit to how much you can do.
if i were a retail store then i would want as many customers as i could get in my store to sell everything and re-stock it with some more stuff but when you got 5 guys and you are allready burning the candles at both ends there is no way you can take new work without putting someone who allready planned in advance in the back seat.
now that would not be fair either, right?

dpld
01-15-2012, 12:59 AM
The biggest reason I made this thread and posted it on my website, is to bring awareness of the pitfalls that may came with a one-time mowing. And yes if the grass has become overgrown and the ground cannot be seen while mowing, there is a good chance of driving your mower over rodent mounds, boulders and maybe even tree limbs. Anyway that has been my own experience.

I would also like to think I would "never turn down work", but we are at a point where we almost have to. It wasn't always like this, especially when my company was younger.

years ago when i was starting out i had a lady call me in july who's lawn was not cut yet that year and i did her a favor and there were boulders in the grass that i could not see and my deck jumped right over it and screwed up my deck big time.
i was just starting out and that machine was my bread winner and it took two weeks to get that machine fixed and i could not keep up with my accounts during that span and i not only lost out on two weeks worth of cuts that totaled about three grand it was all for 100 bucks and doing someone who never called me again a favor.

now i have too much on the line to jepordize it for a one time charlie.

Hedgemaster
01-15-2012, 08:41 PM
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster
I dunno... as someone with an advertising background it rubs me the wrong way. There's too much of a "negative" attitude in it. You want to address the situation in a positive manner. As it stands, it makes sense to "us", but as a consumer, I'd view it as a complaint against clients.

That doesn't come across as well as I had intended, but I hope it made some sense.

how so, if the customers can pick and choose why can't we?

i highly doubt someones business is gonna take a dive because he or she turned down a one time job.
also, if a business is allready busy and has a full schedule, why should any customers who signed up months before take a back seat to johnny come lately?

if you are too busy and you come right out and tell them "i am very sorry but i do not have any openings in my schedule for the next two weeks and i do not believe i can help you" how would that have a negitive effect on a business?
if you lied and said you would and did not that would be entirely different.

i have had doctors chase me away because they were too busy i even had home heating oil co's turn me down for a delivery, not because they were too busy but because i was not a customer, what? if you came and delivered oil to my residence would'nt that make me a customer?
you mean to tell me that the only customer you will service is a customer that has allready spent money with you but you will not take on any new customers that want to give you new money but yet in the summer you advertise looking for new customers?.

it is perfectly fine to turn down work its all in how you do it. we are in a service business and regardless of what size your business is there is a limit to how much you can do.
if i were a retail store then i would want as many customers as i could get in my store to sell everything and re-stock it with some more stuff but when you got 5 guys and you are allready burning the candles at both ends there is no way you can take new work without putting someone who allready planned in advance in the back seat.
now that would not be fair either, right?


Unfortunately, what you took the time to post has nothing at all to do with what I posted.


Something is "different" in the OP. I could swear the OP asked us to look at his website. Maybe I'm wrong, but anyway, what I did was quote what he has on his site/blog/whatever that is, and make an observation that the text, as written, is not "client friendly". It sounds like a "complaint" - like a post on a lawn forum.

There are better ways to say "Sorry, we do not offer one time cuts".
It's all in the wording. Even when you're turning away work, you should do so with a "positive tone".
Example:
"Weekly maintenance not only creates the appearance of a neat, well kept lawn, but actually builds a healthier, greener lawn. In order to provide the best possible service to our clients, we prefer to set up a weekly schedule, and do not currently offer "one-time" cuts."


That may work better for addressing "biweekly" inquiries, but I wrote that in a few seconds - hopefully you get my point. There's really no need to "spell it out" in detail why you don't want to bust your ***, bust your equipment, and all that other "crap" that a customer doesn't necessarily need to know. Accentuate the POSITIVE.

There's really no need to go into an explanation as to all the negative ways one-time cuts affect YOU, the lawn care operator - that's irrelevant to a client. Sure, it would be nice if they understood the reasons, but for the most part, they don't care - they just want their lawn cut.


That's what my post is about - I'm not saying that you shouldn't decline one time cuts - not at all.

Hope that helps clarify.

ringahding1
01-17-2012, 01:31 PM
Actually I did re-write that post as I agreed with Hedge that it did sound pretty negative when I actually read for the 20th time...

I still believe customers do need to know the service we are providing is one that does have an actual over-head and risks.

How many times have we given an estimate and then you get that look from the customer like: "You gotta be kidding?"

So to actually straight talk about your industry may be appreciated, if a customer calls after reading information from the site owner. In other words there will be no surprises about how we run our operation.

I'm not saying this is for everybody, some just don't know how to sell even though they know their industry like the back of their hand.

dpld
01-17-2012, 03:27 PM
Unfortunately, what you took the time to post has nothing at all to do with what I posted.


Something is "different" in the OP. I could swear the OP asked us to look at his website. Maybe I'm wrong, but anyway, what I did was quote what he has on his site/blog/whatever that is, and make an observation that the text, as written, is not "client friendly". It sounds like a "complaint" - like a post on a lawn forum.

There are better ways to say "Sorry, we do not offer one time cuts".
It's all in the wording. Even when you're turning away work, you should do so with a "positive tone".
Example:
"Weekly maintenance not only creates the appearance of a neat, well kept lawn, but actually builds a healthier, greener lawn. In order to provide the best possible service to our clients, we prefer to set up a weekly schedule, and do not currently offer "one-time" cuts."


That may work better for addressing "biweekly" inquiries, but I wrote that in a few seconds - hopefully you get my point. There's really no need to "spell it out" in detail why you don't want to bust your ***, bust your equipment, and all that other "crap" that a customer doesn't necessarily need to know. Accentuate the POSITIVE.

There's really no need to go into an explanation as to all the negative ways one-time cuts affect YOU, the lawn care operator - that's irrelevant to a client. Sure, it would be nice if they understood the reasons, but for the most part, they don't care - they just want their lawn cut.


That's what my post is about - I'm not saying that you shouldn't decline one time cuts - not at all.

Hope that helps clarify.




i was just joining in on the topic in general and i get what you are saying. i was in a round about way responding to your post and the op at the same time and basicly saying the same thing as far as wordage is concerned in a long winded kind of way.

i certainly would not make any public declarations in any of my advertiseing as far as who i would not work for and if you do find yourself in that position you need to do it politely in a private conversation between you and that person, not the whole planet.

i have seen guys in the past do things like that and in theory they think they are weeding the bad apples out in advance and saving themselves some trouble. but to the everyday consumer it can only come off as a negitive in the eyes of a prospective client.

Hedgemaster
01-17-2012, 05:18 PM
i was just joining in on the topic in general and i get what you are saying. i was in a round about way responding to your post and the op at the same time and basicly saying the same thing as far as wordage is concerned in a long winded kind of way.

i certainly would not make any public declarations in any of my advertiseing as far as who i would not work for and if you do find yourself in that position you need to do it politely in a private conversation between you and that person, not the whole planet.

i have seen guys in the past do things like that and in theory they think they are weeding the bad apples out in advance and saving themselves some trouble. but to the everyday consumer it can only come off as a negitive in the eyes of a prospective client.

Exactly.

;)

Steve
01-18-2012, 02:16 PM
i have seen guys in the past do things like that and in theory they think they are weeding the bad apples out in advance and saving themselves some trouble. but to the everyday consumer it can only come off as a negitive in the eyes of a prospective client.

Are there ways you can craft your marketing to weed out undesirable customers or is that better left to your first conversation with them on the phone or even when you show up in person for an estimate?

dpld
01-18-2012, 02:41 PM
Are there ways you can craft your marketing to weed out undesirable customers or is that better left to your first conversation with them on the phone or even when you show up in person for an estimate?

i never tried that type of marketing and it has crossed my mind as i am sure it has with others but it's more of a i had a bad day and dealt with a crappy customer reaction.
then reason kicks in and the next day you wake up and forget about it and move on.

i have seen other products pushed in a fashion that targets a specific crowd be it rich or poor but being we sell a service it is hard to single anyone out and it not be taken the wrong way.

there are many reasons as to why someone may need just a one time cut, it could be due to their own mower being down or a injury temporarily prevents them from doing it themselves.
it could even be a older person that just can not afford it.
some may even hire a guy to try out useing a lawn service and may not only want to compare cost but also if they feel the service is worth it after its been done compared to before.

i think in the end you reap what you sow and if you want your business to grow and prosper you have to tread water carefully in these situations and if you don't want to do the job it does not mean you can not help them out and recommend someone for them.

it's about the only way i can sum it up because i am sure there are a million ways to weed out people but in the end as a business owner unless you are pretty solid as far as your schedule goes and you can not do more we are all in business to make money and i think from that perspective it is more about making money more then where and who it is coming from.