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Lawn Magic
06-15-2003, 05:13 PM
Our season started early this year, actually on Feb. 14 with a terrible ice storm here in Kentucky. But, other's misfortune helped us make-up from a season cut-short last year with an early freeze and snow in Nov. Usually we work up to xmas eve with leaf removal.
After the ice storm, we quickly put together a five man crew for storm damage clean-ups and subcontracted alot of tree service, bucket trucks, chippers, tree climbers, etc. They came in from several states. We produced half of last years total revenue in the first 8 wks with referal fees and doing all the ground work from dawn till dark.
All the rain here is hurting us right now. This yr's rainfall is ahead of last yr (2nd 150 yr record in a row) On the bright side, it is allowing me to catch up on bookkeeping and developing a better accounting system. The down-side is we lost 6 clients who were unhappy with our frequency**a few that fell between the cracks in our schedule. (I should say what schedule?) We are postponing 4 remaining lawn renovations until fall because it has been too wet to run the machines and too risky to seed this late in the season.
I would appreciate hearing how your season is going so far...

Partime Mower
06-15-2003, 10:03 PM
This year it's been raining alot and I have had to postpone a lot of weekly accounts. I wish I could charge based on grass height and then I wouldn't mind so much but I can't. So I guess it's just something to live with. Some years it rains alot, some years you have no rain and wish you did cause the lawns die. So maybe at least this year I won't be blamed for a dried up lawn that I didn't cause.

Lawn Magic
06-15-2003, 10:12 PM
We do charge extra when the grass is high. (50% more 6-8", double 8-10", taller, by the hour only). I explain this to customers when they sign up for service. One, weather is not controllable on our part. Two, those trying to save by only cutting every two weeks when it needs it once a week they pay the same if it was done once a week. They might as well have it look good all the time (if there is a dry spell, we dont cut anybody if it doesnt need it.)

Yardboy
06-16-2003, 01:13 AM
do then bill your clients on a monthly contract? or you just change them per cut based on grass height?

Lawn Magic
06-16-2003, 01:29 AM
For mowing, I have a regular price for each customer per cut. I also have an item set up called Extra Mowing. I put in the extra amount at 50% or 100%. Some first time cuts are up to 2 ft tall. I only do those by the hour. The rates depend on the equipment we use (each has a seperate houly price on the invoice). As long as your upfront with the customers on the services you provide and your policies, you wont have a problem**except the one who want to take advantage.

Lawn Magic
06-16-2003, 03:39 PM
Dang, rained out again. Back in the office for other work. What is going on with this weather. (at least we got the remaining jobs done from last week and they werent too terribly tall**-YET. Flash flood warnings for Kentucky.

Lawn Butler
06-16-2003, 04:27 PM
When you get a new customer, do you have them sign a contract that spells out for them your policies on mowing or do you just tell them in the beginning and then that's it?

Lawn Magic
06-16-2003, 05:34 PM
When I meet with a new customer, I discuss the various services we provide and what they can expect from us. For each of *the services they want, I explain how those services are priced. Normal height, for grass cutting, what the charge is if we mow more than one time with tall grass, hourly or by bag for leaf removal, etc. I also explain the why's for pricing as we do. If it is in anyway from our neglect, I would not assess an additional charge for extra mowing. Commercial accounts with an annual contract are a different case. These are priced with average cutting times throughout the year, with a risk factor included.