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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Charging for grass catchng?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #21  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:25 AM
dpld dpld is offline
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i don't really see the need to discuss all the little details with a customer.

you charge accordingly when it is tall you bag it and when it is not you don't, it is really that simple and it works out in the end.

also, the biggest problem is putting out bids on a individual service to begin with and i know nobody wants to hear me say this but you should really start targeting customers that want their property to look their best at all times.

when the grass is tall you can waste just as much time and money blowing the whole thing off then just bagging it and doing it once as well as people with kids and pets don't want their dogs or kids dragging clippings into the home.

it is not really a issue of what is better for the lawn, bagging or mulching.
it is more of a issue of what is better for the customers needs and from a commercial landscapers prospective that is what matters.

there are many types of customers out there, there is the ones that are too lazy to do it themselves that pinch every penny and there are the ones who want it to be done right and look professionally maintained and are willing to incur the cost to do so.
the latter is the obvious choice of a customer you want not the penny pinching type.

i understand it varies from region to region and you got to make a living but if need be when starting out it is better to work a second job then build up a bunch of tightwad customers.

it gets too taxing to have a list of 50, 60, 70 or more accounts and sit there at the end of the month and figure out that this guy gets two cuts per month and this guy gets 4 cuts.

no real successful company deals with that type of customer and building a solid business takes years to do and not every phone call or inquiry you get about your services is a job you should take.
the only way to make money in this business is to do it quickly and do a lot of it and do it well.

the best way to deal with the bagging issue is to use contracts and let that do the talking for you and put in your contracts that you will bag only when the need arises.

when i did homeowners i used to have contracts with every detail of the service listed as well as my contracts were all inclusive and i got plenty of jobs that i was not the lowest bidder in because when the customer read the contract and seen what they were getting for the money it puts better clarification to the number.
contracts do the talking for you and if properly written and spelled out with every little detail of the service you provide it explains your point of view in a consistent format for each and every one you hand out.

sometimes you are tired or have a bad day or might not be in a good mood for making a good sales pitch and if you use a contract to your advantage and adhere to its contents it will act as a fail safe to sell better on a more consistent bases.

then when mrs jones calls you for a quote you can go there and introduce yourself and keep the conversation cordial take some measurements and fill in the blanks and hand her the bid and tell her if she has any questions to feel free to contact you and you will gladly answer them.
if your contract is well written and very detailed whether she likes your price or not she will have all the answers and most people do business with the person who comes off as the most professional that satisfies all the questions whether they are talking to you or looking at your contract.

you can not price a job based on what everyone else is going to price it for you have to price it based on what you want for it and use your contract to show what the difference is and what makes you the better choice.

that is my two cents, flame away.
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:41 AM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post

also, the biggest problem is putting out bids on a individual service to begin with and i know nobody wants to hear me say this but you should really start targeting customers that want their property to look their best at all times.
no i agree with this completely, as i stated in my opening post. i'm beginning to advertise in high income areas only and hoping to see a lot less fickle customers that way. i would rather have customers that care more about the appearance of their lawn than penny pinchers..

Last edited by greenscaper123; 10-14-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:44 AM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post

it is not really a issue of what is better for the lawn, bagging or mulching.
it is more of a issue of what is better for the customers needs and from a commercial landscapers prospective that is what matters.
so do you think it's better to give them two prices? one for bagging and one for not bagging? that's what i was also asking in the beginning but everyone kept saying to not bring it up. i feel like giving the customer options is the best way to meet their needs like you stated here

Last edited by greenscaper123; 10-14-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:54 PM
dpld dpld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenscaper123 View Post
so do you think it's better to give them two prices? one for bagging and one for not bagging? that's what i was also asking in the beginning but everyone kept saying to not bring it up. i feel like giving the customer options is the best way to meet their needs like you stated here
no i would give them one price and keep it in the middle and i would only bag when it needed to be bagged and what you lose in the bagging months you gain in the non bagging months.

but in the end i don't price that way. i add up the number of cuts in a season multiply that times how much per cut and then i figure a spring clean up price, fall clean up price, shrub trimming price and a 6 step lawn app price and then add up all the numbers and divide by ten and that is what they pay per month.

the only exceptions are if they call me in july i deduct the spring clean up, the amount of cuts that would already be done and the amount of lawn apps that would be done to date and take it from there.

this way every week i go there and do something and if the grass is not growing we trim the shrubs, weed, edge beds in lieu of the cut and the property looks good at all times and every month i get the same money.

i explain to them in a polite manner this is how we do it to provide the best service possible without anything on their property ever looking as if something needs to be done.
a property that looks perfect and needs nothing is a by-product of staying on top of it and shrubs need to be trimmed at different times and they all don't need to be trimmed at the same time they all grow at different rates depending on the species and in some cases if you did it at the wrong time you could be cutting the flowers off before they bloom as well as some plants can get stressed out if you pruned them at the wrong time of year.

i am completely ok with my services not being a good fit for some customers because i target a specific type of customer and not all customers are the ideal candidate for my company and there are plenty of other companies that will gladly bend @ss over backwards for 30 bucks a week.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:18 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post

but in the end i don't price that way. i add up the number of cuts in a season multiply that times how much per cut and then i figure a spring clean up price, fall clean up price, shrub trimming price and a 6 step lawn app price and then add up all the numbers and divide by ten and that is what they pay per month.
right, a full service flat rate. this is ultimately where i'm trying to get to, offering a variety of different comprehensive packages. but 10 months? i've been figuring 9 months.. march-november. what are you doing in that extra month exactly? pruning and shrub trimming in dec? what consists of your 6 step fert? sorry for all the questions..
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2012, 02:32 PM
dpld dpld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenscaper123 View Post
right, a full service flat rate. this is ultimately where i'm trying to get to, offering a variety of different comprehensive packages. but 10 months? i've been figuring 9 months.. march-november. what are you doing in that extra month exactly? pruning and shrub trimming in dec? what consists of your 6 step fert? sorry for all the questions..
the 10th month just works out as another month to divide the money by to make the payments lower as well as gives me income for 10 solid months.

the 6 step is just 1 pre-emergence, 2 weed and feeds, 1 grub and fert app followed by two ferts.

the 6 step is just a basic program to keep things under control and looking lush but i do have other services that i can and do add on like aeration and overseeding and spot treatments for weeds.

i am also a arborist by trade and we also take care of the trees as well because i learned long ago that i do not want anyone else servicing my customers and try to keep everything in house to have better control in the overall appearance of the property.
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:07 PM
willshome willshome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenscaper123 View Post

for a person to be "willing"
Most people that spend the money on watering are willing to spend a little extra on mowing
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  #28  
Old 10-15-2012, 01:25 AM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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If you give the option for clients grass to be bagged or mulched, you're going to have a bad time.

Nothing is more annoying to our fellow man, than having to waste a second more on crap like replacing a plug with a bag every time you unload the trailer, vice versa for some anal client.

-

My clients don't have that option. I make the decision whether or not their lawn needs to be bagged or not. Sometimes what is best for a lawn, is not what's best for your company.

In the spring, I will only bag the grass to slow the rate at which the grass is growing - which would be FAST and also very annoying.

So if you find you can't keep up with your lawns, sure, bag em! It doesn't matter if mulching is good for the lawn at this point, what matters is your ability to prevent yourself from doing more work the following week.

-

If my clients had the option, some would choose bagging just so I can waste my time picking up the leaves that fell early (October). That's not going to happen, it's us being cheated out of money for another service which they should be paying for: Leaf Removal.

My clients wouldn't hire me for leaf removal if they knew I'd be picking up 70% of the leaves anyway for the cost of regular mowing visits.


I hope I brought some insight.
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  #29  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:13 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willshome View Post
Most people that spend the money on watering are willing to spend a little extra on mowing
this is true..
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  #30  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:16 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post

If my clients had the option, some would choose bagging just so I can waste my time picking up the leaves that fell early (October). That's not going to happen, it's us being cheated out of money for another service which they should be paying for: Leaf Removal.

My clients wouldn't hire me for leaf removal if they knew I'd be picking up 70% of the leaves anyway for the cost of regular mowing visits.
wait, so you don't charge to pick up the leaves as they fall early in october? i've been picking them up since late september for some lawns. i mean if a lawn that i charge $40 takes me 30 min, you better believe I'm charging them $60 if it takes 45 min to pick up the leaves.

and yes it was insightful.. thank you
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