Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Weekly vs. Bi-weekly

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Weekly vs. Bi-weekly

    When I started out I did the more frequent mowing's for the ones that would take it in the spring and slowed down to bi-weekly when the grass slowed down. I noticed two problems with bi-weekly mowing later in the summer though. #1 it can be very hard to keep track of whats getting cut and when because there are always some lawns you have to keep cutting every week. #2 weed free lawns are not very common around here and cutting the "whips" every couple weeks is usually fine unless we get a little rain in that period which cause's the weed stems to harden off sooner and your moving a lot slower again. So for the last few years I have been pretty strict with a weekly mowing contract. We mow every week rain or shine and always leave the property looking good. Which is fine and dandy, but this year I plan to add a fourth day to our mowing schedule because of the increasing number of accounts. Which has brought me back to thinking about offering the Spring mowings (every 4-5 days) to my customer base again. It gives a chance for some extra $money and its easier on equipment and cuts down on the mowing time. Only mowing weekly has been a deal breaker for some potential clients in the past also because the wanted it done more frequently, but I didn't feel I had enough to justify the extra trips into town.
    That's one dilemma the other would be bi-weekly mowings, there are a lot of vacation homes and cottages in my area that just don't grow very fast and you could easily make good money on a bi-weekly cut, but how do you schedule them. Is there an app or a computer program that will tell you when to go where? The problem with bi-weekly is if you forget one then you have 3 weeks between cuts and the weed stems are almost always harder to cut by then and you may have other parts of the lawn looking shaggy.
    Any thoughts or advice?

  • #2
    I'm trying to get away from biweekly clients as well. It means for each client you have biweekly one week you need the alternate week spot filled on your schedule. When you show up to do the work it is more difficult for you to accomplish. If you don't charge more for them you lose money. I'm going to offer it but it will have to cost considerably more.

    Comment


    • #3
      CD, I'm sure you already know that in our area we have to take the every other week accounts weather we want to or not right.... I do a lot of every other week (EOW) accounts and I fit them in pretty good at least at first. What started happening (and I let this happen) is that the majority of the EOW accounts would want cut on every holiday that comes weather they are scheduled on that week or not. Also a few would call and say "hey could you cut me on a Friday instead of Tuesday or a Wednesday"...you get any of that?

      I think I have a remedy for the EOW accounts now.

      Starting this season, I sent a letter to all customers explaining the cost of backtracking and labor/fuel cost wasted from doing this....I have changed my route around this year, and in doing so I will be shaving off about 1 1/2 days per week, 6 days down to 4 1/2 days.

      I let them know that I can cut them on an off week if they want me to, but I will be charging and billing them for that cut when its finished as this disrupts the regular scheduled route, and is considered an "on call" type of service. Then I will resume the regular scheduled route the following week so that I can keep my route intact.

      For the customers that are on a payment plan and have pre-paid or on a monthly (fixed) payment plan, I can cut their lawn on a non-scheduled week but will charge them separately from their payment plan.

      I have had a few tell me that they would like to be cut on an "as needed" basis for the first part of the season until the growth slows, so by doing this I have gained, inadvertently, a few every week accounts.

      I have in that same letter, to the customers wanting to be cut on a once a month or a one timer cut, I have explained that the price of cutting the longer grass and being harder on the machines, that it may not be any cheaper for them than if they were getting cut on a regular basis. So I'm tightening up my route and getting everyone on track to where its much more manageable. I can bend a little bit if they are cut on the scheduled week and want cut on a different day, but you have to be firm with what you want to do and stick with it...it will save you a lot of money in the long run and will gain you more room for more accounts at the same time.

      Hope this helps you a bit...it took me about two weeks to get the route figured out and get it where I needed it...

      Oh I forgot to mention that you have to explain to most of them that EVERY OTHER WEEK means EVERY OTHER WEEK, or every 14 days between cuttings!!! This gets their attention, and they know your serious about sticking to your scheduled route...and explain the extra costs of running around backtracking.....it works, just stick to your guns!!!
      Last edited by kslawn; 04-12-2014, 06:24 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm trying to get away from biweekly clients as well. It means for each client you have biweekly one week you need the alternate week spot filled on your schedule. When you show up to do the work it is more difficult for you to accomplish. If you don't charge more for them you lose money. I'm going to offer it but it will have to cost considerably more.
        Akers, I charge about half again what I would for an every week account. An every week account at say $30 would be around $40 or so at least just because you know you have to take the extra time to make the lawn look good. I explain that to them to so they know why you charge more than their neighbor who gets cut every week.

        I also stagger my EOW accounts so that I have half one week then the other half the next week.

        I wouldn't just offer EOW cutting...I do them because some just can't aford every week or they aren't here all the time or have a second home so they just can't justify cutting it every week.

        I would offer every week as a standard but if the subject of cutting EOW comes up, then certainly don't turn them down, but try and get the every week cuttings out of them if at all possible.

        I would say this, its worked for me..."I can cut you every other week if you want but your lawn really should be cut on a weekly basis...at least until the growth slows" and "it will cost more for cutting every other week "then they will ask why? and I say "cutting every other week will cost more per cutting because I like to make lawns look good and don't like to leave clippings on the lawn when I'm finished with it so I have to take more time to make it look as good as the rest of my lawns and I just can't bring myself to leave a lawn looking shabby" and "if I leave lawns not looking there best then it reflects a bad view on my company from prospective customers"

        Some lawns wouldn't be saving any, like a bigger lawn, it will take you a lot more to cut it twice or go slower to try and make it look good compared to a smaller lawn that you can still knock out fairly quick...
        Last edited by kslawn; 04-12-2014, 06:51 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have 6 EOW accounts. All them about 1 acre, It takes me about the same amount of time as weekly cuts but the good part is THEY ARE NOT HERE. I can leave the clippings lay. One guy sprayed round up everywhere he could not cut with his mower so that means very little weed eating. One told me not to weed eat anything! I still do a little, and spray roundup a lot. One does not want weed eating along the fence (vinyl), so EOW accounts for me, are ok. I will not do residential account EOW. If your home during the summer, I will cut weekly or hire someone else.

          Comment


          • #6
            Service Taks offers a web site that has some really great scheduling capabilities. You can setup your accounts for reoccuring mowing based on day or frequency (bi-monthly as opposed to every two weeks). It then takes your schedule and builds a route for you with it. Whats really cool is you can then run it through the route optimizer and it will rearrange your schedule for that day to be the most efficient. You can also setup jobs (mow, fertilize, aerate individually or setup Service Plans if you offer package deals to your customers.) It runs completely off the internet, no apps to download, so you can access it anywhere with internet.

            Comment


            • #7
              KS, Let me first say just because we are in a more remote area you don't have to take EOW accounts to make it. I gave that up a few years back and surprisingly didn't loose very many accounts when I told them it was every week or nothing. I just explained to them that we need the summer faster cuts to make up for spring when everything is growing much faster, and that this way your lawn looks nice all the time and doesn't get shaggy in between. For the clients that don't live around here I remind them that its good to have activity around your place to make it look like someone is around and help keep the thieves at bay. Then if a property does get damaged from a storm or by unwanted visitors the problem can be detected sooner and fixed before it gets worse. Many people like that kind of peace of mind that someone is watching over their property when they are away.
              The only properties I usually will let go EOW are cemeteries, because most are in sandy soil and don't grow very fast and we make more money knocking out residentials than we do cemeteries. But its still a good form of advertising because there are 100's of people that visit cemeteries every year.
              Like I said my biggest problem would be scheduling EOW or even twice a week mowings. Its just too hard to keep track of everything in your head when you have a lot on your plate. I will have to check out servicetaks and see if that would help out.

              Steve1201, the only way I would ever "skip the trimming" is if there isn't any. Like if someone sprayed it, and we never leave the clippings on the lawn either. Many of my customers wouldn't care, but quite frankly I don't give a rats behind what they think. It has to look good when we pull away because that is our name and reputation on the line. The customer might not care but the person driving by or coming over to visit might... I am always looking for the people that care rather than the ones that don't because they are usually the ones that will pay more to have it looking nice.

              Comment


              • #8
                KS another thing I seen you mention was splitting up your EOW's and doing half one week and half the next. That is what I did when I was still allowing it but when you think about it why do in two weeks what you could do in one? save money and open up more time for other work. You were just saying how you were tightening your route to cut out days... Another tid-bit that can be pointed out when convincing people out of EOW is that they wouldn't go to their day job every other week, that is unless they were getting paid not to go.

                Comment


                • #9
                  KS another thing I seen you mention was splitting up your EOW's and doing half one week and half the next. That is what I did when I was still allowing it but when you think about it why do in two weeks what you could do in one? save money and open up more time for other work. You were just saying how you were tightening your route to cut out days... Another tid-bit that can be pointed out when convincing people out of EOW is that they wouldn't go to their day job every other week, that is unless they were getting paid not to go.
                  The reason for splitting them up is because about half of my customers are every other week accounts.

                  I don't want to work a 7 day week one week then turn around and work a 2 day week the next. They are spread out a bit too much to get them all done in one week really, with rain I'd be screwed and they would be pushed to the next week.

                  By splitting them up it evens out the weeks so they are about the same hours each week. This not only saves me drive time and labor costs, but leaves me room on each day of each week to pick up more accounts in each area I service and not be backtracking to do it.

                  I have 3 areas in the town I live in and 1 area west of me and 1 area east of me.

                  All east of me are every other week accounts except one that I pick up on a Friday (1/2 day). The area west of me is mixed EW and EOW so I split the EOW cut up so I'm not just running up there (20 Miles 1 one way) to do 2 cuts. But I do fill up with fuel while I'm up there. The areas in the town I live in are fairly close to each other but can't get them all done in one or two days even so I split the areas up....south/north and down town areas.

                  By changing my route the way I did...cuts it from 5 1/2 - 6 days minimum each week down to 4 1/2 days each week and because I split the EOW accounts into two weeks, I have room to do more cuts every week.

                  In short, I can now take on about 20 or more accounts easily every week now because of how I set the route up....and splitting up the EOW accounts is what allowed me to do that.

                  I know we don't have to accept EOW accounts but its hard for me to turn them down, most of them are here in the town I live in and I do pretty good on them too. I don't think it would go over very well, for me at least, to start turn them down if they won't do an EW scheduled cutting.
                  Last edited by kslawn; 04-13-2014, 05:52 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What really made my weeks longer in past years compared to how I have it set up now is because of the unnecessary back tracking that I let get out of hand. changing the route around the way I did cuts back on that severely.

                    I have to add that I have always split up the EOW accounts for the most part from day one. But as I picked up more and more accounts through the years it kind of got out of control so I had to change things around. Not backtracking was huge for time saving and overall cost.

                    Saving time and costs means more profit pretty much immediately. Having more room to pick up more accounts every week now.....priceless!!! lol!

                    It also gives me more fishing time!!!
                    Last edited by kslawn; 04-13-2014, 06:07 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a few EOW's last season and they turned into a real PITA!! Going 16miles to the same area for 2 cuts this next week then again next week really sucked the fuel up. I still have 1 but lost the others to lowballers. The other 3 were always late on payment or I had to chase them for my money anyway, so them the low ballers deal with that. almost all my accounts now are every 10 days. This (for me) works very well as I still work full time yet also. I have them setup on a monthly payment plan and pay me from May-Dec. Spring clean up-dethac-aero- fertilizer-mulch- and mowing are all rolled into one monthly payment. 7 of them pay me cash up front for the whole year, the rest stick to the payment plan. Any landscaping and tree work is all paid seperate. The only way I take a biweekly anymore is if it's big money! I know for me being in this 2seasons I shouldn't be that way but as long as I have a second salary I'll stick to my guns

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another way to think about EOW. Learn to bill per month and instead of using the words it's $45.00 every visit so it come to say $90.00 a month
                        Try yes maam we get $210.00 a month for this size property.
                        If they go then your not out of anything if they bite it pays to work your way .

                        We have a lot of EOW clients that live out of town and we are there every week just the same. For those EOW clients who come out an go it's EOW , why are you here, I do t way to pay for this as its not my week, it will come off soi nice when all you say is " yes ma'am it's on us it just looks so nice , you have a good day , see you next week for your regular cut.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          At this point in time I don't mind the EOW mow. I charge $30. for up to .14 acres (takes me less than 15 min. If they want EOW, it costs them $45.

                          If it became confusing for me, I might feel differently about it. Right now, I have my spreadsheet/cut calendar set up in color fonts. Green is for EW and Red is for EOW.

                          Comment

                          Bottom Ad Widget

                          Collapse
                          Working...
                          X