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Greenmind
03-04-2008, 01:42 AM
I have about 35 maintenance customers that are either biweekly or weekly accounts. Last year was my first year full time and non of my customers except for 5 of the 35 accounts stayed with me through the winter months. Most accounts were average residential lots with bermuda grass. I understand that bermuda goes dormant in the winter months, but I have several friends with annual accounts in the same area. And what about the big companies, the cut all year long. I understand that alot of weekly customers go biweekly in the winter. How do I convert these customers to year round business so I don't have to get a winter job?

Thanks
Greenmind

Steve
03-04-2008, 02:15 AM
Hi Greenmind,

One of the things we see is that a lawn care business owner will get their customers on a budget monthly payment. Instead of paying a certain price for lawn care each month, you can figure out how many cuts you will do per year and then budget it out over a 12 month period with equal payments.

You can also offer a prepay option where you your customers pay you at the beginning of the season for the entire season and get a % off the total price.

What do you think of any of these ideas?

Also do you use a maintenance contract?

Greenmind
03-04-2008, 08:45 PM
Thanks for the reply. I have thought of some of these ideas but have been hesitant. I don't want to lose any customers and I don't know if a contract will scare them off. I dont know until I try.
I'm gonna promote the prepay discount this year and try to get a commited amount of cuts from each. I am going to start introducing it as an annual agreement this year right off the bat and see how that goes. I started part time in the back of my wifes honda suv and I was just trying to see if I could do it and if I enjoyed or not. I'm committed now and lovin it!

I LOVE GOPHERHAUL! WHAT A GREAT SITE! THANKS!

Steve
03-04-2008, 09:34 PM
Hi Greenmind,

I got a couple of more things for you. First off you could make all your new customers sign an annual lawn care agreement and then offer the contract and maybe a discount to your previous customers.

We actually talked about how to get your older customers to convert to using lawn care contracts in a previous podcast. Maybe listening to it will help you.

Here is the podcast blog entry (http://lawnchat.com/?p=103) so you can read about it.

Here is a post that discusses (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=17;t=7343;) it complete with a sample letter you can download.

Also don't forget we are having another lawn care business podcast this Thursday night at 6:30PM est

Check out this post on how to listen in or call up (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=22&t=7207&st=&&#entry34919).

Let me know if all this helps.

StartALawnCareBusiness
03-07-2008, 01:28 AM
I think the easiest way to get them on to an annual contract is to offer them incentives.

These can either be budgeting incentives like Steve suggested or they can be service incentives offered through the winter months.

I feel very few 'cutting only' customers will stick with you through the dormant months. You have to offer them work that they see value in. Aerate their grass when needed, blow out their beds weekly, offer one free gutter cleaning after the leaves have fallen, etc.

Consider your pricing carefully.

Good luck:

Keith