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View Full Version : selling weekly service vs.bi-weekly


lonestarlawn
07-05-2012, 12:39 PM
So far I have 2 will call as needed customers and the rest bi-weekly. Any time I've mentioned weekly service it's shot down pretty quick.

Any advice on selling weekly services?

mark123
07-05-2012, 01:22 PM
Charge more for bi-weekly. If a weekly lawn is $25 then make a bi-weekly lawn $32 or even $37 (1.25-1.5x).

Warm season grass is different than cool season grass so you may not need mowing as often. Just take advantage of that and make more money per cut.

Otherwise if you only want to offer weekly services just turn down the bi-weekly and as-needed jobs.

Steve
07-05-2012, 02:22 PM
How are you finding these bi-weekly customers? It could be there area other marketing methods that could help you attract higher quality customers. Also, do the areas differ where you are mowing weekly vs. bi-weekly?

stevef1201
07-05-2012, 03:00 PM
So far I have 2 will call as needed customers and the rest bi-weekly. Any time I've mentioned weekly service it's shot down pretty quick.

Any advice on selling weekly services?

I qoute as a monthly or yearly price. If they ask for bi weekly, I tell them it is the same price have 58 customers now and just picked up one more today

Hedgemaster
07-05-2012, 09:42 PM
Charge more for biweekly because of the pain in the a$$ factor alone.

Our lawns are drying up here to the point where even the biweekly accts don't need cut this week. "Can you skip this Friday and come next week?"

Well, if you are doing biweekly jobs and have a brain in your head, you schedule OTHER biweekly accounts for the "other" week. Now if I push all this Friday's biweekly accounts to next week, I have TWO FULL DAYS worth of work to do in ONE day unless I NOW move the OTHER group of biweekly accounts back another week.

Aside from the extra growth to deal with, and the cheap clients that usually accompany it, a biweekly job is usually a pain in the butt.

lonestarlawn
07-06-2012, 02:17 AM
@ mark123 thanks i'll try offering a small discount for the weekly service.


@steve i don't have any weekly customers so far but i think the quality of the customer does have alot to do with. The majority of my customers are renters not homeowners, so it seems like they are more interested in just keeping the grass mowed instead of improving it.


@stevefl201 I like the idea of yearly services alot. Something i've promoted from the start. I'm curios how you sell this. Does the customer seem ok with you being there less in the winter and heat of summer since you'll be visiting maybe weekly during peak months? Do you offer additional services during the slow months for the same monthly price so you are still working on there lawn?


@Hedgemaster agreed, alot of it has to do with the lack of rain here also. My bi-weekly lawns aren't growing enough at the moment to even think about mowing weekly right now since none of my clients are watering. I have been able to split my customers between the 2 weeks so I have half 1 week and the other half the next.

RSE
07-06-2012, 05:37 AM
Here in the Berkshires the grass is two hundred years of cow and chicken poo so, we are still mowing on a weekly basis. Some people have asked us to not come this week (no rain for the past like 10 days) and I understand. Mowing now would cause the grass to go dormant and cast a brownish tint across the lawn.
Resort to other landscape/caretaking tactics; awesome weather for powerwashing the customers house or garage. Field mowing is big out here too. Stonework and driveway installs bring in much needed revenue, prickers and brush are peaking out as well so offer to do a cut back and charge hourly. Good Luck!!

RSE
07-06-2012, 05:51 AM
Contracts...up front and in your face!!!! Jesus loves you but get it in writing!
You see, a quality customer will understand the lawn is the prime focal point of the property. When the lawn always looks good, people walking/driving by ALWAYS notice. Homeowners never have to think twice about the weekend or guests stopping in and the condition of the lawn.
You are selling peace of mind, just as a mattress dealer sells sleep. Customers become conditioned when they know the lawn never needs attention and the only way that will ever happen is with a contract.

Steve
07-06-2012, 11:03 AM
i don't have any weekly customers so far but i think the quality of the customer does have alot to do with. The majority of my customers are renters not homeowners, so it seems like they are more interested in just keeping the grass mowed instead of improving it.


How are you marketing where you are reaching more renters than owners? Can you alter your marketing method to reach out to more home owners instead?

lonestarlawn
07-06-2012, 04:24 PM
How are you marketing where you are reaching more renters than owners? Can you alter your marketing method to reach out to more home owners instead?

So far marketing has been word of mouth, placing business cards out on the counters of local stores and an ad on craigslist.

Steve
07-09-2012, 10:41 AM
Are there wealthier areas in town that you could go door to door with some flyers to see if you could reach out to them?

sunsetlandscaping
07-10-2012, 05:49 AM
In my area, because of the sandy soil conditions, it is hard to find people that want it mowed every week. Unless they fertilize, which I try to upsell. Most of the people I mow for, have second homes up here, and they don't put much money into the lawn. I am not turning down any work at this point just starting out. It is what it is. If your area is just that way, you may have to upsell on different services or get more accounts.

Godslapper
07-10-2012, 07:57 AM
The weekly customer draw backs are. Lets say you are a one man show. and you can mow 10 average lawns a day at one hour or less per lawn. You work 5 days a week that's only 50 customers. You can get some other work to keep you busy with 50 customers but you can only trim stuff and do mulch every so offten. In other words, you might run out of things to do for them. plus if you want to mow the same lawns on the same day every week then every thing has to go perfect all the time. Good luck with that. Plus it's hard to find weekly customers in a small area. Most people think once a week is to offten. If you can find enough to keep you busy, I think you'll find that the drive time each day will be more than you would like. Around here we mow about every 10 days (about) A one man crew can do around 90 customers if he has his act together. That also gives you tha oppertunity for other work. Just my .02 cent.

Godslapper
07-10-2012, 08:03 AM
In my area, because of the sandy soil conditions, it is hard to find people that want it mowed every week. Unless they fertilize, which I try to upsell. Most of the people I mow for, have second homes up here, and they don't put much money into the lawn. I am not turning down any work at this point just starting out. It is what it is. If your area is just that way, you may have to upsell on different services or get more accounts.

Don't forget that if you want to sell fertilizer you need a triangle on your truck and the guys that have them spend a lot of time and money for the privilege to do that work.

Von Bobbeh
07-10-2012, 02:49 PM
I use this method: after I get a call for a bid I give the costumer two options
weekly service is $30 a cut with free herbicide weed maintenance OR $40 a cut bi-weekly and $15/bottle for herbicide. Or what ever prices, biweekly always is more.

I also briefly discuss (if they are not already sold) that It is easier for me to keep their property in top-notch shape by having weekly service and they are in-fact, getting far more value for little more money.

I've learn I HATEEEEEEEEE bi-weekly barring July and August when I enjoy a bit more free time anyways.:cool:

sunsetlandscaping
07-10-2012, 03:42 PM
Don't forget that if you want to sell fertilizer you need a triangle on your truck and the guys that have them spend a lot of time and money for the privilege to do that work.

I not quite sure I follow when you say triangle. When I sell fertilizer, I sell just regular scotts turf builder with no pesticide or herbicide. This is legal in my state.

wat5150
07-10-2012, 04:41 PM
The weekly customer draw backs are. Lets say you are a one man show. and you can mow 10 average lawns a day at one hour or less per lawn. You work 5 days a week that's only 50 customers. You can get some other work to keep you busy with 50 customers but you can only trim stuff and do mulch every so offten. In other words, you might run out of things to do for them. plus if you want to mow the same lawns on the same day every week then every thing has to go perfect all the time. Good luck with that. Plus it's hard to find weekly customers in a small area. Most people think once a week is to offten. If you can find enough to keep you busy, I think you'll find that the drive time each day will be more than you would like. Around here we mow about every 10 days (about) A one man crew can do around 90 customers if he has his act together. That also gives you tha oppertunity for other work. Just my .02 cent.

Only 50 customers? Thats not bad for a one man show.

Godslapper
07-10-2012, 04:46 PM
I not quite sure I follow when you say triangle. When I sell fertilizer, I sell just regular scotts turf builder with no pesticide or herbicide. This is legal in my state.

You're lucky. In NY if you want to apply anything to a customers lawn you must commplete an 80 hour course and pay a bunch of money. After that you must attend classses a cupple of times a year. The average cost for that is about $500 bucks each time. You then get a certificate that says you were there. Each of these classes are worth between 1 or 2 credits. You must have a least 6 credits in order to renew your applicators licence. This doesn't even begin to touch on all the red tape at the end of the year or the neighbor notification law. Oh yeah if True Green or someone else that went through all the BS to do this sees you doing it and you don't have the Triangle marker on your truck... you could be in a lot of trouble. Of course it's ok to spot treat weeds, but that's it. What state are you in ?

sunsetlandscaping
07-11-2012, 02:55 AM
You're lucky. In NY if you want to apply anything to a customers lawn you must commplete an 80 hour course and pay a bunch of money. After that you must attend classses a cupple of times a year. The average cost for that is about $500 bucks each time. You then get a certificate that says you were there. Each of these classes are worth between 1 or 2 credits. You must have a least 6 credits in order to renew your applicators licence. This doesn't even begin to touch on all the red tape at the end of the year or the neighbor notification law. Oh yeah if True Green or someone else that went through all the BS to do this sees you doing it and you don't have the Triangle marker on your truck... you could be in a lot of trouble. Of course it's ok to spot treat weeds, but that's it. What state are you in ?

I am in Michigan, we have to get an applicator's license to, but not if only your putting down regular fertilizer. No wonder guy's are not afraid to charge for fertilizing.

ringahding1
07-11-2012, 06:12 AM
When I sell...I know I am selling me. But, I have written a post on my website to help weed through customers that want bi-weekly or one time mowing. Do not get me wrong, we will take on these jobs if in our area, but will charge more than a normal weekly mowing.
The one thing I have learned over the years is that I had to realize people are contacting a professional. So this is the way I need to conduct myself when selling my services. Almost teaching the potential client the benefits of a weekly lawn cutting as opposed to a bi-weekly.

Hope that helps.

lonestarlawn
07-13-2012, 11:06 PM
It seems not so much a customer quality issue as a grass isn't growing issue.

I did get a couple jobs this week though, cleaned some flower beds for a new customer, and got a job clearing some overgrown weeds in a small backyard. The second job may lead to trenching job if the guy accepts the bid.

krzys666
07-14-2012, 07:33 AM
If you have a problem finding weekly clients something is not right.
we work in a higher end area.
there are a few types of clients.
1 the ones that want everything perfect, grass cut every week no matter what, and they pay.
2) the ones that want a perfect grass for free, and pay late
3) biweekly clients that dont relly care about the grass but care about everything else, weeding, mulch in beds, pool care, powerwashing, ect. they dont mind paying for extras.
4) cheap clients that dont want anything done

we dont atract the 4 type of client because of price.
we still have a bunch of the 2nd type of clients, but we take care of them by charging there credit cards on a weekly basis.
we have a small percentage of biweekly cuts.

if you find the grass is drying up then offer irigation

Godslapper
07-14-2012, 08:42 AM
Time for me to make a change. After this year I'm going to sell only a monthly service. No more of this by the mowing stuff. The dry weather is putting me in the poor house. I'm running out of trimming and mulch work. Maybe 3 or 4 days of that left. On the plus side. The trucks and equipment are tip top. All the rust has been painted and payroll is down a bit. yeah.

Only problem is how to convince my old customers that even though they will pay a little more each month and they might see me a little less that it is still a good thing. I think it will be a hard sell.

sunsetlandscaping
07-15-2012, 05:48 AM
Well like I said, most of the mowings I do are for people that have second houses, and the soil is really acidic and sandy. Really the only thing I can since I don't know anything about irrigation, is offer overseeding and fertilizing. I say this because, a lot of the yards around here are just weeds and not grass. They come up here to play on the lakes, not sit around and work in the yard. Leaf clean up is probably my biggest money maker as of right now. Mowing is second. Right now I am trying to learn a little hardscaping over the next couple of years because I've had some requests for that. Haven't had any for irrigation, although I would love it in my own yard.

Godslapper
07-15-2012, 07:50 AM
I have a feeling that over seeding will be an easy sell later this summer.

sunsetlandscaping
07-15-2012, 09:01 AM
This kind of brings me to my next question. Considering that my clients have second homes, after I slice seed there lawn, what is a fair price to charge for watering twice a day for them. Because obviously they are not there to do it.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
07-15-2012, 10:34 AM
This kind of brings me to my next question. Considering that my clients have second homes, after I slice seed there lawn, what is a fair price to charge for watering twice a day for them. Because obviously they are not there to do it.

I have 2 vacation homes that I take care of for existing customers...I bought these:
<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/5627ebfb.jpg>

It's not one of them hard to read turn dial manual ones, this is all digital. Hook it up to the spickit and it offers two zone control. $39 at home depot. I had the same issue as you, I just billed them for all the supplies, a couples hoses , sprinklers, and two of these, and made a 30% mark up on it. Then I charge them to just drive out and take a peak every now and then.

sunsetlandscaping
07-15-2012, 09:42 PM
I have 2 vacation homes that I take care of for existing customers...I bought these:
<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/5627ebfb.jpg>

It's not one of them hard to read turn dial manual ones, this is all digital. Hook it up to the spickit and it offers two zone control. $39 at home depot. I had the same issue as you, I just billed them for all the supplies, a couples hoses , sprinklers, and two of these, and made a 30% mark up on it. Then I charge them to just drive out and take a peak every now and then.

I actually went and picked one up today. I bought one for like 24 bucks, think it was on sale. Only this one is a one zone, but I figure, I could hook up a 3 male in to it, and be set. Of course, I would have a complex system of water hose, but it would save me from having to drive out 2 times a day and water right?

lonestarlawn
07-15-2012, 11:10 PM
I have 2 vacation homes that I take care of for existing customers...I bought these:
<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/5627ebfb.jpg>

It's not one of them hard to read turn dial manual ones, this is all digital. Hook it up to the spickit and it offers two zone control. $39 at home depot. I had the same issue as you, I just billed them for all the supplies, a couples hoses , sprinklers, and two of these, and made a 30% mark up on it. Then I charge them to just drive out and take a peak every now and then.

Thats a great idea. I just picked up a couple lake houses where the owners only visit on the weekends. I'll try to sell them on some of those.