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-   -   No more bi-weekly accounts! (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=14943)

element009 10-06-2011 09:12 PM

No more bi-weekly accounts!
 
I really don't like my bi-weekly accounts. I feel like it's not worth the time or the hassle, and also the quality of a bi-weekly lawn seems inherently low, or else it would require weekly service. Does anyone think bi-weeklies are worth having?

stevef1201 10-06-2011 09:22 PM

Nope! I am dropping all of them at the end of this year. I have started quoteing a monthly price, and when asked I tell them one cut per week. When they say I only need every other week I say OK and then give them the same price.

Hedgemaster 10-06-2011 10:41 PM

I hate them. This is my first season and I hate them already.
When I get to the point where I don't "need" them, I don't think I'll do them any more.

They complicate the schedule and if you miss their scheduled day due to rain it just makes it that much more complicated to get them taken care of.
I started by putting all of my biweekly accounts on Tuesday. I had enough to pretty much fill my day with half of them, so by alternating between the two groups, I was doing OK.
THEN I had a stretch of really crappy weather and all of my "week 1" accounts got pushed to "week 2". :mad: Now I have ALL of my biweeklies on the same stinking day!

There are a few of them that truly only need to be cut every other week but the majority of them are biweekly due to cheapassedness - yeah, it's a word, look it up. ;)
The majority of them look like crap and are a pain to cut well due to the lack of proper care.

Note that these are the same people who think that the grass stops growing on October 1.

mark123 10-06-2011 10:56 PM

I still take them sometimes but only at 1.25 times the cost of weeklies. Eventually, I get over it and when they skip I don't show up until their next scheduled visit making it 4 weeks between mowing. :D They always say the same dumb thing: "I thought you'd come back in one week". Nope, I have someone else scheduled there, you lose, dummy.

I should post a recent email exchange. :D

element009 10-07-2011 01:18 AM

I only have a few bi-weekly accounts:

#1. is an old lady who truly only needs it cut bi-weekly. It's easy, takes 15 min and is near other accounts i have. She's nice and her daughter is a weekly client, so I'll keep her.

#2. This one is in a really upscale neighborhood in which I have 2 other houses. The lady is cheap. She only wants the front yard done weekly. Nobody sees the backyard so she wants it cut bi-weekly. Problem is that this is one of the earlier estimates I went on this year and I severely underbid the house by 30%. They got a sprinkler system mid-season, which made the bi-weekly backyard nearly impossible to cut nicely due to healthy growth. So I think I'm going to have to lose this account even though I don't want to. I need to raise the price significantly to justify the 1.5 hours I spend there, and I also need to tell her no dice on the bi-weekly cuts anymore because the grass grows too much. I'm sure she'll find some other sap willing to break his back for a season at a low price.

The rest of my bi-weeklies are essentially worthless. I am going to tell them next season I will no longer provide service on a bi-weekly basis.

I'm wondering if I should do this in a letter or a phone call.

Steve 10-07-2011 08:14 PM

Quote:

I'm wondering if I should do this in a letter or a phone call.
I would think it be better to talk to them about this because it would improve your chances of making the weekly sale.

Do you feel that taking bi-weekly customers is an important part of growth? Early on in your lawn care business career, is it wise to take what ever you can and then weed out the bi-weekly customers later or is it better to never take them in the first place?

Do they have their purpose for some?

element009 10-09-2011 06:25 PM

Quote:

Do you feel that taking bi-weekly customers is an important part of growth? Early on in your lawn care business career, is it wise to take what ever you can and then weed out the bi-weekly customers later or is it better to never take them in the first place?

Do they have their purpose for some?
Well early this season I was of the mindset that I would take whatever I can get in order to grow and then, as you said, weed out the ones I didn't want. But for me, halfway through the season I had already begun to want to weed out clients.

I live near the coast so the soil in my area is very sandy. If people haven't added top soil and planted grass in my area, there's usually a lot of sandy bare spots. In the hot, dry months you're basically just kicking up dust/sand in your face when you go to cut those lawns.

For me it seems like it's more hassle than it's worth. My blades dull quicker and I come home covered in a layer of sandy soil.

I think in general I want to be more selective with the clients I take on next year. Quality of lawn and frequency of service will be a factor. Also I have 1 customer who is an older lady and she wants to talk to me for 45 min everytime I'm there. Is it worth the 25 bucks I'm charging her to cut her front lawn??? Probably not.

Maybe I'm being picky, but for me owning your own business means being able to cut loose of the stuff that you don't want to deal with.

jymie 10-10-2011 10:59 AM

I take on bi-weekly cuts and charge them 1.5 times the cost of a weekly cut. I tell them that it takes longer to do as the grass is much taller than if we cut on a weekly basis.

Hedgemaster 10-10-2011 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jymie (Post 95710)
I take on bi-weekly cuts and charge them 1.5 times the cost of a weekly cut. I tell them that it takes longer to do as the grass is much taller than if we cut on a weekly basis.

Most clients don't seem to like this idea at all because the main reason they want to cut it every other week is to save money.

Then when it rains, two weeks can turn into 17 days and then were doing TWICE the work for only 1.5 times the pay. Grrr!!!

mark123 10-11-2011 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hedgemaster (Post 95755)
Most clients don't seem to like this idea at all because the main reason they want to cut it every other week is to save money.

Yes, they need to know that is no way to save money. Train your monkeys, err, customers.


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