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  • #16
    Steve,

    My clients husband is 87 years old but still active. He loves to mow, so he takes care of that. Also, they have a prior contract for lawn fertilizing, so we edge, trim and blow twice per month. We weed the flower beds once per month, prune and mulch as required and replace plants as necessary for an extra charge unless they are covered by warranty. We fertilized the beds 3 times per year. We are also available to help out with small odd jobs as needed (also extra). We do this for $150.00 per month for 12 months. Now keep in mind that our company is less than a year old and only time will tell how profitable this agreement turns out to be.
    Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
    http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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    • #17
      We do this for $150.00 per month for 12 months.
      Do you find that you perform a service on site every one of those 12 months or is this more of a budgeting price where you perform a service over say 8 months put spread it across a 12 month period to lower the monthly fee?
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      • #18
        Do you find that you perform a service on site every one of those 12 months or is this more of a budgeting price where you perform a service over say 8 months put spread it across a 12 month period to lower the monthly fee?
        It's more of the latter. We'll probably do a little more than required during the growing season and very little during the winter. The main thing is to get some income during the winter. We learned the hard way this year. We budgeted enough to pay the bills during the off season, however, now that spring is kicking off, we are struggling to make payroll while waiting for payments to come in. We bill at the end of the month, so I've already paid labor, but still have another 2 weeks before billing, followed by another 2 to get all payments.
        Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
        http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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        • #19
          Ahh good point.

          With this landscape project and future projects, how did you handle payment terms? Did they have to pay anything up front? Or how did that work? Also, I am guessing you sold your maintenance agreement to them as you sold them this landscape project? If so that was a great upsell.
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          • #20
            Hi Gary,
            You did a great job on the install. All the colors flow nicely and the fountain is great.
            Are the 2 large trees oaks? The reason I ask is because (and I dont expect many people to know this, but it is my job as a tree worker to notice these things), oaks need to have the base of the truck and top roots exposed to air. If you cover the exposed top roots and begin giving extra water, it can make the oaks very sick and may eventually die.
            Just a little tip for future use. Next time you can impress your customers with some professional landscaping tips!
            Brandon:

            Thanks for pointing that out.

            I have been taking aboriculture classes the last few weeks. I have really been surprised how little I actually knew about trees.

            Do you find yourself driving down the road thinking "gee, look at how horribly that tree is being treated"? I do that all the time now.

            In the Southeast, mulch piled high around a tree base is called Volcano Mulching. Tree roots will grow up and into the mulch in an attempt to find air and water. When the mulch is inevitably washed away, tremendous damage to the feeder roots that have grown into the mulch will occur injuring the tree.

            Keith
            Start a profitable lawn care business.

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            • #21
              Steve,

              Actually, there was no need to sell to this lady. Let me tell you a story. About a month ago, we quoted a yard which we looked up on Google Earth. The lady wasn't home so I looked at the yard and spoke to her neighbor since he seemed curious. He said she was only there on the weekend. The lady accepted our quote and we took care of the yard the next day. That evening, I called to see if she was happy. She said it didn't look like we had mowed. Well, it didn't take long to figure out that we had serviced the wrong yard. I freaked. I went back to the house and saw the neighbor outside. I explained what had happened and asked him to let her know and to call me if she was upset. Well, she did call a couple of days later. She was ecstatic. She said her yard had never looked so good and even her dog was happy. To make a long story short, she fired her lawn service guy and hired us. Then she told her mother (my landscaping client) who was thrilled with our work and gave us free reign landscaping her home. Plus we kept the lawn of the original lady who called us for a quote. That's how we got our first landscaping job and three new clients.
              Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
              http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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              • #22
                Brandon:

                Thanks for pointing that out.

                I have been taking aboriculture classes the last few weeks. I have really been surprised how little I actually knew about trees.

                Do you find yourself driving down the road thinking "gee, look at how horribly that tree is being treated"? I do that all the time now.

                In the Southeast, mulch piled high around a tree base is called Volcano Mulching. Tree roots will grow up and into the mulch in an attempt to find air and water. When the mulch is inevitably washed away, tremendous damage to the feeder roots that have grown into the mulch will occur injuring the tree.

                Keith
                Just so you'll know, we did not mulch that high up the tree. The mound was old. Our mulch is actually only an inch or two deep at the tree trunk.
                Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
                http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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                • #23
                  Recycled mulch?

                  Just so you'll know, we did not mulch that high up the tree. The mound was old. Our mulch is actually only an inch or two deep at the tree trunk.
                  Speaking of mulch; have you tried any of the new recycled mulch products? I've always used organic mulch but the selection of recycled products is getting better and better.

                  I am wondering about long-term viability of recycled mulch. Does it keep it's color? Does it attract slimy mold or other bacterial *****ies? Does it wash away easier than organic mulch?

                  I'm planning to use some this spring. I guess I'll have my answers in a few months.

                  Please let me know if you have any experience with it.

                  Keith
                  PS: I took a look at your landscaping pictures....very nice job.
                  Start a profitable lawn care business.

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                  • #24
                    Gary,

                    Another thing I think a lot of new lawn care business owners get stuck on is when they mulch.

                    What advice do you have for them as far as charging for mulch jobs. Should they add a 25% markup to the mulch and then charge for the amount of man hours to install it?
                    - 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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                    • #25
                      I read a comment on another forum and this landscaper said he charges a flat $50.00 per yard of mulch. That sounded good to me since I usually about $32.00 in bulk and $45.00 if I buy retail. I also charge my normal hourly rate.

                      Gary
                      Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
                      http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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                      • #26
                        $50.00 per yard of mulch
                        Ok so $50 per yard of mulch plus X amount of man hours to install it.

                        Do you have any thoughts on the average amount of time it takes you to remove old mulch and install the new mulch per yard?
                        - 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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                        • #27
                          Ok so $50 per yard of mulch plus X amount of man hours to install it.

                          Do you have any thoughts on the average amount of time it takes you to remove old mulch and install the new mulch per yard?
                          We can clean a 400 sq ft bed in about 20 minutes if its not too deep. Laying new mulch takes about the same if we can pull up close to the bed.
                          Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
                          http://www.totallygreenlc.com

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Brandon:

                            Thanks for pointing that out.

                            I have been taking aboriculture classes the last few weeks. I have really been surprised how little I actually knew about trees.

                            Do you find yourself driving down the road thinking "gee, look at how horribly that tree is being treated"? I do that all the time now.

                            In the Southeast, mulch piled high around a tree base is called Volcano Mulching. Tree roots will grow up and into the mulch in an attempt to find air and water. When the mulch is inevitably washed away, tremendous damage to the feeder roots that have grown into the mulch will occur injuring the tree.

                            Keith
                            Yes all the time. I actually notice dead and dangerous trees more often. Many times I will stop at the houses and inform them of the danger, or drop them a price to remove it. I can remove trees for $500 that the big companies would charge $1500.
                            People are so used to thinking that trees cost a fortune to remove, that I will surprise them with the cheaper price, and sometimes they jump on it.
                            Northern California

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                            • #29
                              I read a comment on another forum and this landscaper said he charges a flat $50.00 per yard of mulch. That sounded good to me since I usually about $32.00 in bulk and $45.00 if I buy retail. I also charge my normal hourly rate.

                              Gary
                              that was me, ya that is the norm around here.

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                              • #30
                                Thanks for all the advice. One thing though. Did my bottom line seem reasonable? Too high? Too Low?
                                Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
                                http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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