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selling weekly service vs.bi-weekly

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  • #16
    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.

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    • #17
      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.

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      • #18
        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 ?

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        • #19
          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.

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          • #20
            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.
            08 F250 Ext Cab/04 Chevy 3500
            05 F350/04 F350 Diesel/12 Ram 4500 Dump
            4 -60 Toro Zmaster/Lesco 48
            3 -8'2" Boss V-Plows
            1- Hiniker 9'6" V-Plow
            20' Enclosed trailer
            18' Skid & 16' Open Trailer
            2012 - S185 Bobcat


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            • #21
              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.

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              • #22
                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
                Krzysztof
                Zawadzki Landscaping
                203-212-2498

                www.zawadzkilandscaping.com
                http://www.facebook.com/ZawadzkiLandscaping

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                • #23
                  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.

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                  • #24
                    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.

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                    • #25
                      I have a feeling that over seeding will be an easy sell later this summer.

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                      • #26
                        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.

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                        • #27
                          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.

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                          • #28
                            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?

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                            • #29
                              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.

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