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Transition from Grass to Leaves

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  • Transition from Grass to Leaves

    When dealing with my regular customers, when (and how) should I start to charge for leaf removal? For example, we go for the regular scheduled cut and there are leaves in the yard. If you chop them up, they look bad. If you bag them, it takes longer. How do you charge for the leaf removal without making your customer mad?
    Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
    http://www.totallygreenlc.com

  • #2
    I would think to just let them know ahead of time, and give them the options...either you mow over them and they stay behind or you bag them up for a certain amount...

    That gives them the option to clean them up themselves if they don't want to pay.

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    • #3
      Gary,

      I don't know how your area is but is there a slow down in mowing when the bulk of the leaves fall?
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      • #4
        This is my first year, but our grass can grow all the way into October. That leaves us at least a month or so of doing both.
        Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
        http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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        • #5
          Hi Steve,
          This is off subject, but yesterday I was looking over a thread searching for a business plan (now I can't find it) and noticed you use to help companies through, I think you called it, a "head start" program. I was curious why you don't do that any more.
          Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
          http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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          • #6
            Here check this link out http://gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=357
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            • #7
              This is my first year, but our grass can grow all the way into October. That leaves us at least a month or so of doing both.
              This is a very interesting question especially for those who live in warmer areas. When you don't have a break between mowing and leaves falling, how do you tell the customer that cleaning up the leaves will be an additional fall cleanup rate?

              Any other thoughts on this?
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              • #8
                Annual lawn care contracts come in handy.

                Anyone who has read the "leaf work" section of my lawn care material or my posts on this board knows I'm not a huge fan of annual contracts. However, this thread is a perfect example of one benefit of contracts.

                With an annual contract, leaf work will have already been outlined. The cost of leaf work is either tacked onto Autumn invoices or adjusted into the monthly price during the entire contract.

                I have never had much of a problem getting people to pay more for leaf work. The main problem I've seen is with customers calling a day or two after their service wanting to know why their are leaves all over their lawns. Sometimes it's difficult to make them understand that they are paying for removal of the leaves that are on their lawn at the time of service and not the ones that fall 10 minutes after we exit their neighborhood.

                Keith
                Start a profitable lawn care business.

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                • #9
                  seperate.

                  i have always seperated the lawn care with fall cleanup. I have a leaf blower vac that i use for the debris jobs and include bed clean up also.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    Mike is there a slow down for you between lawn cutting and when the leaves fall?
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                    • #11
                      Good question. My slow down starts when the tempurature gets to almost freezing. The grass stops growing and the waiting for the snow to fly starts. The gutter cleaning is also picking up at this time. Everyone usually waits to the last minute. Then they give me a call when the laeves have backed up the gutters.

                      Mike

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                      • #12
                        Do you have any advice on how to estimate gutter cleaning? Do you offer additional services to the gutters like putting screens on top of them or those gutter helmets to keep leaves out?
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                        • #13
                          To let my regular customers know about leaf cleanup charges, here is a letter I worked up and plan to send out with their next invoice. Comments are welcome.

                          We clean gutters at $60.00 per hour (1 hour minimum).
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by Totally Green; 08-26-2008, 11:00 AM.
                          Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
                          http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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                          • #14
                            I really like that. I do wonder if it would be helpful in selling more services if you had prices and a check box where they could check off the services and return the letter in an invoice.

                            Or maybe they could just check off the services they want a quote for and return it with their invoice?

                            What do you think would work better?

                            Also when you are bidding your gutter cleanups, do you at all use linear feet of the gutters in your mental calculations of how to bid the jobs?

                            Do you take into account the use of ladders and the difficulty of getting to the gutters?
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                            • #15
                              To let my regular customers know about leaf cleanup charges, here is a letter I worked up and plan to send out with their next invoice. Comments are welcome.

                              We clean gutters at $60.00 per hour (1 hour minimum).
                              Hey Steve do you think us landscaper's here in the Northeast area, can get away with charging more than $60 an hour? Price's tend to be cheaper out West, would $60 an hour be a competitive price for the Northeast? Any other landscapers in the Northeast area have any advice? $60 sounds fair to me, but I don't want to sell my self short if I could charge more.

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