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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

HELP experienced advice needed please! rainy days!


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:41 AM
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Exclamation HELP experienced advice needed please! rainy days!

I live in a area where it rains alot and grass grows every second which is a pain. I live in the Pacific northwest, wa.

1- If I quote a job and it rains for a week and pushes the job back and the grass gets taller do I ask for more money? Longer grass equals more gas and time/tear on machines due to extremely tall grass as you know. Plus you get soaked!

2-Do I just mow in the rain and charge extra due to the rediculous mess it makes of my machines and my gear? Plus extra passes because the mower sucks in the rain.... and the mow job looks ****ty but if I wait till its sunny the grass is way longer and I loose money from the original estimate.

I'm very busy and skipping a job can and will back up my route. What advice can you veterans or new guys give me?
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:03 PM
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Sounds like you may have your work week too packed, you may want to hire another hand to get more done when the weather is cooperating.

Or down size some, to keep your preferred customers happy. Your reputation will suffer if you mow in the rain and constantly leave a yard looking like crap. Most understand the weather and what it does to their lawn if your doing it in the rain and the ground is soft.

You can only charge more if your doing the yard by the cut. If it's a year-round customer you just have to suck it up and get the job done until the contract is up. Then reevaluate and make changes in the monthly payment. If the customer doesn't like the changes, they'll let you know.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:17 PM
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I find it hard to charge more for an act of god.
its not the customers fault it rained ,its not your fault it rained .it just happened .

I leave Wednesdays open on my scheldule that is the day I make up for rain on monday and tuesdays or do one time jobs ,mulching and such .

if it does not rain and no one time jobs on wednesday then i maintaince equipment wash truck ect
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:24 PM
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Theres not much you can do about that. I tried to cut a yard while it was down-pouring and it slid the belt off the mower. In another yard it left tire tracks in the grass and spread mud all over.

The only thing you can do if weather is forecasting rain the day you mow. Try to get it done the day before.

I have a similar problem where everyone wants biweekly. Then it rains 5 times between the times I mow it and its 5 inches high. Some have a nerve to say something about the clippings.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:19 PM
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Given all the rain we've had up here i've definitly been dealing with this issue. Actually just cancelled a customer (on very good terms) because she only gets it mowed bi weekly. By the time i mow it's a foot tall and triple the work. She understood and decided to go with someone else who will mow biweekly for her. I'm sure they will also quit in a year when they find out it's a nasty lawn to mow every other week.

I've been urging my biweekly customers to mow weekly until the wet season is over.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lopes Lawn Care View Post
Given all the rain we've had up here i've definitly been dealing with this issue. Actually just cancelled a customer (on very good terms) because she only gets it mowed bi weekly. By the time i mow it's a foot tall and triple the work. She understood and decided to go with someone else who will mow biweekly for her. I'm sure they will also quit in a year when they find out it's a nasty lawn to mow every other week.

I've been urging my biweekly customers to mow weekly until the wet season is over.
We're in the same area. I have a dozen of them and its starting to piss me off. Next year I will tell them I wont do biweekly till July.

I had a guy from last year that didnt renew in april then he called me a week ago to mow. I looked at it and it wasnt cut once this year. I called him back and told him I was charging 4xs the price. This guy thought he was saving money by not cutting it. I dont even get it , its a 4 family that charges $900-$1000 each to rent.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:55 PM
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Yeah that happened to me with a customer this year. He waited forever to give me the o.k. to start. When I got there it was up to my waist. It was sparce grass so it wasn't too thick but it still took 4 mows to get it down to size and looking nice plus it's a large property.

I charged him accordingly so he doesn't do it again next year. He's just lucky I didn't charge him to go rent a brush hog to do it.

Some people will try anything to save a buck.

(On a unrelated note, how the hell do you start a new thread? Am I missing something?)
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:31 AM
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Well I'm Glad most of you understand my issue.

I'm located in a small town and its hard to find reliable labor help. Otherwise I would have a worker in a heart beat. It rains so much here its hard to guarantee constitant work for a employee and if I wait for non-rainy days, I would need 5 workers to fit all my jobs in. So far I just assume employees are more of a pain in the *** than its worth due to entitlement issues in washington state than its worth.

Its not charging for acts of God its just knowing that if I give you a estimate for a single cut today and it rains for 2 weeks straight that the quote maybe higher than when i first told you.

Most of these situations are first time customers or just one timers not my current bi/or weekly clients.

In seattle it just rains and rains and canceling work it's just not a option. Its not my fault that they waited till I was way over due for a cut then expect me to just cut it on the spot when I'm already busy its crazy. Most people are realistic and dont complain it's more me. I try and do a perfect job and in the rain its just a all around ****ty situation to do yard work.

Cutting in the rain may not look as nice however when i get the call the grass is already well over 12 inches hight and waiting any longer the grass just gets farther out of control and way harder to cut.
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