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Two for Two - Woo-Hoo! First Scheduled Mowing Clients

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  • #16
    is he mailing you the money order? or are you collecting it at a cashing place? if you are getting it via mail make sure its real... there are some that look real, counterfeited, but once you try to cash them they have no value check before!
    He is mailing it to me.

    I do recall cashing one a year or two ago and the bank teller asked if it was from someone I know/trust. I wasn't sure why, and I didn't ask, as it was from someone I knew.

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    • #17
      (sizzle)

      I'm on fire. seven for seven!

      Or six for six - time will tell if one of them wants me to do regular maintenance.
      I was finishing up one of the previous jobs today and had a call from a guy who said he emailed a reply to my CL ad, then decided to try and call me. He's unsure if he will have me do regular mowing, but he's busy and needed it done today for Easter weekend. "No problem", I said.

      I gave him a ballpark figure based on what I could see on a satellite view of the property. I told him I would drive over and take a look. He said if the price I quoted works, "go ahead and cut it" - if I think it will be more, give him a call first.
      After looking it over (and speaking to a neighbor who was happy to see me there to mow that yard), I felt my quote was fair, and went ahead with the job, leaving an invoice in the door when I finished.

      He could use a good spring cleanup - hopefully he calls back with more good news.


      NUMBER 7...

      Earlier I had a call from a girl who saw my CL ad and was interested in "regular mowing service". I explained that I would try to stop today to look at it and give a quote. I almost didn't make it today because the job described above took a while and I was a good 15 miles away from her place at the end of rush hour. Fortunately I put aside the urge to go home and go see her tomorrow, because I got the job.

      As we walked around the property, she mentioned that she had spoken to one other person, but he hadn't been by - they only spoke on the phone.*
      I told her the price would be in the $35-$45 range.

      I then made the following offer... "Let me throw this idea out there and you can let me know if it works for you" I said. "I can do the first cut for $35 - afterward, I can assess if that will be sufficient, or if it will need to be a few dollars more". As I explained it, "If $35 works out - great. If the price needs too be a bit more, you saved a few dollars on the first cut."

      Cash payment. Weekly maintenance unless not needed when growth slows, then bi-weekly.

      She was agreeable on all counts. Sweeeet.

      Oh, and she asked if I was insured. I replied "Yes, I have a copy of my policy in the truck if you'd like to see it". She's the first person to say "Yes, actually, that would be great."
      We ended up talking about other things though and we both forgot about the policy. It's there if she needs it though.


      Another good day.



      * I was told by a guy in the business - "Do NOT wait to call ANYONE back. If you do, they will call someone ELSE." In this case, not only did I return her call within minutes, I went out of my way to get there TODAY, and by doing so, I got the job. (Well, unless the other guy gave her a higher quote without even seeing it)
      Point is - you snooze, you lose.
      Last edited by Hedgemaster; 04-21-2011, 09:10 PM.

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      • #18
        You sound like your starting to have a good year. Now i am confused. Do you have 7 clients total or 7 from this year and others who carried over the contract of your services from last year?

        I started the year (my 3rd year in operation) with 16 clients who were carried over from last year and all have told me from my welcome email I sent out in March to the start of the year. I distributed 443 flyers in 3 distinct areas on March 31st. Since then I have recieved 16 calls. Of thoses about 10 signed with us. 7 other new clients i have gotten came from referrals from friends, family, current clients, and 1 who searched lawn care on google in my area.

        As for pricing. I dont chance it with giving a discounted 1st cut price. I may have considered doing that my first year. The way i establish pricing is this :

        1. Middle of group townhomes vary from $20-25
        2. end of group townhomes vary from $25-30
        3. Corner lot townhomes (either it touches 2 streets or an alley and a street automatically get charged $30.

        Single family homes:
        Any property 10,890 square feet (1/4 acre) and under range from $30-45.
        10,890 sqft (1/4 acre) to 21,780 sqft (1/2 acre) range from $45-60. Over 21,780 sqft we tend to need to come out to do an estimate as my experience with such size I have no experence yet. Amount of obstacles, gardens, trees, etc don't matter that much.

        I explain that most customers who only prefer bi-weekly service are those who own the property and do not live there and only need it maintained to keep the county or city ordinance off their backs with fines. Most who live on the property who request bi-weekly i end up talking them into weekly service.

        So far this year we have 33 clients, 34 after tomorrow as we are signing another one tomorrow afternoon. (the google places guy who search lawn care in my area) We did lose one client today.

        I think i should elaborate on this one. I can't help but laugh about it cause you can't please everyone.

        ok here goes. I put a flyer in her door on 04/01/11. She called me on 04/10/11 and signed with us that day. We cut her that week and this past week. This is where it gets funny. We cut her grass on Monday 04/18/11. It rained all day on Tuesday and then 80 degeee weather on Wednesday. she calls me about 5pm on Wednesday to complain her front is longer in length then her neighbors who cut theirs sometime Wednesday afternoon. I explained to her about the rain and hot weather on Wednesday and that we can not control the length at which her neighbor cuts their grass, the type of mower they use and when their neighbor cuts their grass. I explained if she would have called us monday saying she was not satified with the service we could have come back out and re cut it free of charge. I texted her tonight asking when we can come pick up the payment tomorrow since the contract gives her a 5 day grace period to pay, that she was canceling her service because the grass was not cut to her standard. When i asked what her standard was. She explained it did not match her neighbor's grass length lmao. So i politely explained again about the rain and heat on wed. and sorry she was canceling and would be by tomorow to pick up the payment.

        Sorry i dont need clients like that. you want it super short aka scalped. Then hire the 10 yr old down the street to do it. We don't do that and never will. I explained the health of the grass about only cutting 1/3 of the grass total length and that scalping is unhealthy for her lawn but she didn't care. she claim she can't affford to pay $20.00 a week yet her landlord charges her $60 if its not cut. Be my guest fire us. We dont have time for clients like that.

        Well i am off to bed. Good luck hedge with your season. Hope it gets as busy as ours is getting.

        Paul

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        • #19
          LOL Interesting stuff. I have a lot to look forward to.


          No. I have 7 clients total.
          I just started up last summer and only had one mowing client for the summer. The rest of the work I did last season was handyman work and some mowing while working for hourly rate as a subcontractor fixing up properties to be sold.

          This is my first "real" season "on my own".

          So far, I've only offered the discount to one person, as the rest have been "OK" with my quote.

          The one I did this morning for $35 I may need to bump up to $40 as it was a bit more work than I expected. If she's willing to stay weekly though, I may leave it at $35.
          The damned gas prices are killing me. Even if I only need to go five miles, that's 10 miles round trip and getting close to $5 just to get there and back.



          Here's a question for you veterans...

          Do you charge MORE for the first cut of the season if they have waited too long to get it taken care of?
          I mean, I've cut my own lawn three times already, and these people have got some seriously high grass now with all the rain we've had/are having.

          I was going to cut Mrs. "fixed income" on Thursday, but she said "I don't get paid til Friday, and I don't have $25." The grass will be worse next week, but this one I don't trust to pay me AFTER I do the work.

          I also want to get my "beater mower" out of storage for her "lawn". It's got some questionable spots that could hold hidden surprises and I'm not willing to risk damaging my brand new Toro on some "crap yard".

          Comment


          • #20
            LOL Interesting stuff. I have a lot to look forward to.


            No. I have 7 clients total.
            I just started up last summer and only had one mowing client for the summer. The rest of the work I did last season was handyman work and some mowing while working for hourly rate as a subcontractor fixing up properties to be sold.

            This is my first "real" season "on my own".

            So far, I've only offered the discount to one person, as the rest have been "OK" with my quote.

            The one I did this morning for $35 I may need to bump up to $40 as it was a bit more work than I expected. If she's willing to stay weekly though, I may leave it at $35.
            The damned gas prices are killing me. Even if I only need to go five miles, that's 10 miles round trip and getting close to $5 just to get there and back.



            Here's a question for you veterans...

            Do you charge MORE for the first cut of the season if they have waited too long to get it taken care of?
            I mean, I've cut my own lawn three times already, and these people have got some seriously high grass now with all the rain we've had/are having.

            I was going to cut Mrs. "fixed income" on Thursday, but she said "I don't get paid til Friday, and I don't have $25." The grass will be worse next week, but this one I don't trust to pay me AFTER I do the work.

            I also want to get my "beater mower" out of storage for her "lawn". It's got some questionable spots that could hold hidden surprises and I'm not willing to risk damaging my brand new Toro on some "crap yard".
            hey bro from my experience working with a landscape/Lawn care company the people that have taller grass then 2 feet get charge a one time fee as if you charged them for a full month... so if you would charge that home $25 you would charge them $100 if you where to charge the home $35 you would charge them $140 even though i believe this is only for big companies i say its a good start, if you see my other post called Its a Jungle out there youll see what i just charged 2 clients that might bring some ideas ur way.

            another thing i can imagine is that it all depends on the size of the homes

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            • #21
              Here's a question for you veterans...

              Do you charge MORE for the first cut of the season if they have waited too long to get it taken care of?
              I mean, I've cut my own lawn three times already, and these people have got some seriously high grass now with all the rain we've had/are having.

              I was going to cut Mrs. "fixed income" on Thursday, but she said "I don't get paid til Friday, and I don't have $25." The grass will be worse next week, but this one I don't trust to pay me AFTER I do the work.

              I also want to get my "beater mower" out of storage for her "lawn". It's got some questionable spots that could hold hidden surprises and I'm not willing to risk damaging my brand new Toro on some "crap yard".
              If for some god forsaken reason they haven't cut their grass at all since the season began on April 4th, we would charge them $10-$20 more than the normal rate depending on the actually height of the grass. Some lawns were 12-16 inches. We have cut our own lawn twice. It would have been 3 times but it rained again on Friday this week and we couldn't get to it. UGHHHHH i hate rain.

              We request all clients sign a General service agreement if they want to be put on our schedule. Anyone who refuses either we dont hire them or they dont get placed on the schedule and are cut if we have the extra time. (rarely) I am attaching a copy of it if you would like to use it.

              Our contract states you have 5 days to pay from completion of work.

              If you do not trust her enough to pay afterwards. Change something in the contract that says she must pay for services prior to any work being performed. Most clients who i dont trust. I don't hire. PERIOD. why deal with problem customers. AVOID them. you'll thank me later.

              As with worrying about damaging your mower. ALWAYS walk a new property on foot first to address any issues that may injury you, someone else or damage your mower and mark it with something so you know to pay special attention when you goto cut that area. Last thing you need is to hit a rock, it fires like a bullet and takes out a car or house window, your blade gets bent, you mess your leg up, and the list goes on.

              Hope my advice has helped ya.

              Paul

              p.s. Stop sending all this dang rain to baltimore. I dont want no more lol. jk.
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #22
                psparaco,
                Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply. ^^^


                I picked up another weekly client today!

                I should have charged more for this first cut I did, as the grass was pretty high. Live and learn.
                Divorcee selling her house - called and asked if I could come over for an estimate and "cut it today", as she had potential buyers coming by.

                I was able to fit her in and she also asked about trimming some of the shrubs. I sort of made up for the loss on the grass with the shrub trim, as it was pretty simple. But either way, she wants me to "do it every week".
                Awesome.


                I also got a call for a "one time" mow that I was able to grab while I was out doing the lady above. (wait - that didn't come out right. )
                I gave him a price for a regular service as well - just in case, but I doubt I'll be doing his again, since he just called because his mower wasn't working.

                This one was a bear to cut. I tried bagging, but two rows and it was full, so back to mulching I went. That Toro really is impressive - only a few clumps in the thickest part of the yard - the rest was great.

                from now on I'm taking the advice above and charging MORE for the first cut if it's the first it has been cut this season.


                A few more calls from my Craigslist ad and one email... it's about time!

                A couple estimates tomorrow too.

                Comment


                • #23
                  What is your view now on craigslist and why you feel you didn't get much in the way of calls previously but now it seemed to pick up. Do you think it was your message or do you think it was more of a timing issue?
                  - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                  Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                  • #24
                    What is your view now on craigslist and why you feel you didn't get much in the way of calls previously but now it seemed to pick up. Do you think it was your message or do you think it was more of a timing issue?
                    I'm guessing it was mostly the timing. Bad weather had kept everyone indoors. Now that they have come outside, they see grass that needed cut 3 weeks ago!

                    Also, it seems to be a mix of people who search CL. Rich, poor, young, old...

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                    • #25
                      Yesterday I got my first rejection due to price.

                      I told him it would be about $40. He said that was higher than he was paying a company last year, so I asked how far off I was.
                      "I was paying them $28 - three guys came in, and were done in about 10 minutes", he said. While he acknowledged that it was hard for someone like me (using a 21" push mower) to compete with that, it didn't help HIM any that my price was higher.
                      Oh well - moving on...



                      Today I picked up two more weekly clients. One for $35 and another for $25. The funny thing is that the $35 client is a property I maintained last summer while the home was for sale. I also did some home repairs that needed done there in order to comply with "code" and while working in the house, I placed one of my cards in a kitchen drawer with a "Welcome to your new home" note indicating that I had been caring for the lawn, and that if they should need any help in that regard, to feel free to contact me. She did.

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                      • #26
                        Cograts mate. It's such a good feeling when things go the way you want them to. Well done and keep it up.

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                        • #27
                          First of all, today I got one of the best calls you can get - the next door neighbor of a client wanting to have their lawn cut too!
                          (happy dance!)
                          The original client is just a $25 yard - very small, and this one will be much the same, but the fact that I only have to unload ONCE is priceless. The fact that they have a GATE connecting the two back yards is icing on the cake!


                          Also, back to the pricing for "too high" grass...
                          I stopped to give an estimate for a "one time" mow to get them started for the season. Hectic schedules have kept them from mowing, and now it's higher than even my Toro can probably handle. I actually mentioned to the guy that he may want to consider getting a price from someone with a zero turn, as I'd hate to do the job "half-assed", leaving a mess behind, because I'm not equipped for that large of a job.

                          I realize it's not the best marketing strategy to point out your weaknesses to a potential client, but truthfully, I've always had good results with being honest, and this was no exception. He said something to the effect of "I appreciate your honesty", and went on talking about how long it normally takes him to mow which was helpful, as I've never cut a lawn of this size, and wasn't really sure how long it would take. I said I would probably charge around $60-$65 for a "normal" cut. He mentioned "cutting it twice" and I said I could do that. He must have liked something about what I was "selling", because he said I could think it over and give a call with a quote.

                          I texted them a quote of $100 and the reply was essentially "OK - When can you come and do it?" LOL
                          I told them I will do it on Saturday.


                          Five estimates to do tomorrow! Two are for rental properties. I don't know what to expect there. Either they will want it for nothing, or they won't care, and just want it "done".

                          Wish me luck.

                          Oh yeah... psparaco - thanks again for that agreement. I utilized it and made some slight modifications to a few items. (see attachment)
                          I really appreciate you sharing that - it was very kind of you and this new guy truly appreciates the help! Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #28
                            I am finding that most folks this time of year will say yes to the "One Time/First Mows" as long as it's not too high of a quote. I've only had one person say no so far. They just really need to have it done and don't want to deal with it, or can't.

                            It's great that you are turning these into weeklies too. Way to go!

                            Just got a call from a woman who lives just around the corner from me, she wanted a weekly service, signed her up, her Mom needed some serious mowing/weed eating done (which looks like it is going to turn permanent, 52,000 sq ft baby!) and her grandma also wants an estimate...whohoooo 3 potential jobs from one doorhanger!

                            Keep it up Hedge!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Man. I'm so tired I don't even know what to type.

                              I did estimates all day today with the exception of one cut.

                              I think I picked up two or three more today, binging my total of regular clients to ELEVEN (11)

                              There are also two "one-time" jobs, one of which has the potential for biweekly service and the other is a rental who just requested two specific dates for cuts... maybe she has other properties and will like what I do when I fill in on those dates?

                              I'm waiting to hear back from about five others...
                              Damn. I went from ZERO accounts to "all this" in less than two weeks!



                              On a side note, I finally calculated my gas mileage for my truck today... just a hair over 11 MPG. Ugh.

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                              • #30
                                Sheesh. I don't even know how many clients I have now... I seem to pick up one or two every other day. Have to go through my paperwork when I get a minute.


                                THIS one was the freakiest one yet. The other day I was on my way to mow two client's lawns in the same area. When I turn onto the road that gets me there, I noticed a home with a lawn that has obviously not been cut this season.
                                I drive on and complete my jobs.

                                Today, as I drove to the same area for another client, and an estimate, I noted that the lawn at this same home still has not had it's lawn cut. "Hmmm...", I thought. "I wonder if I should stop there and leave a card on my way back through?" It is obvious that the lawn needed cut - maybe I would get lucky?

                                I stopped and did my scheduled estimate and proceeded to the first cut of the day. As I turned off the ignition and wrote down my mileage my phone rang.
                                "Hi, I saw your ad on Craigslist, and I need an estimate to have my lawn mowed", says the voice on the other end. "I live in (town name) and I'm right across from the high school."

                                I'm thinking "No - freaking - way" LOL!
                                "You wouldn't happen to be the first house on the right when you turn onto (name of road) would you?", I asked curiously.
                                "YES! that's me, the one that hasn't been cut yet!"

                                Honest to God. The owner of the house that I was going to drop of a card at CALLED ME 15 minutes after I drove by.

                                FREAKY!!!

                                She asked when I could cut it if the price was agreeable - said some other people never showed up as promised. "I can cut it today if you'd like", was my reply.
                                "I love you!" she said! Hahaha! Too funny!

                                I told her about the whole "was going to drop off a card" thing. "It must be fate" she said.


                                I ended up stopping by to look at it, and she happened to pull in at the same time. (more "freaky") I told her it would be $45 for a regular cut, but for the first cut I'd have to charge $60 and that I'd need to cut the front yard twice, as it was SO high. She agreed, asked me for a quote on hedge trimming, and I went to work on that beast of a job.
                                Last edited by Hedgemaster; 05-09-2011, 11:35 PM.

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