Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

Leave the leaves to the newbies.


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 09-08-2007, 06:56 PM
StartALawnCareBusiness's Avatar
StartALawnCareBusiness StartALawnCareBusiness is offline
Keith
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 731
Rep Power: 0
StartALawnCareBusiness is on a distinguished road
Default

Hi all:

I was digging through some of my old blogs last week and I came across this article I wrote about taking on new customers during leaf raking season.

Leaves are already beginning to turn and fall in some parts of the country. *So, this article might be of interest to you.

Leaf raking can be a very profitable job for a lawn care business. *However, be aware of some common traps in raking a customer’s lawn.


As Autumn draws on and the green leaves of summer turn to the golden colors of fall, this is an exciting time for anyone in a lawn care business.

Leaf raking is a big profit point in the lawn care industry. *Damp leaves left clumped on a lawn can damage grass. *They clog gutters and down spouts. *They also make flower and shrub beds look untidy.

With all the potential problems that leaves contribute to a lawn, homeowners will soon be calling you for leaf management advice.

We are often asked by lawn care companies: “How do you estimate leaf raking for a new client.” *We tackle the estimating process and how much you should charge in our lawn care business course. *

In this week’s tip I want to caution you about taking on new customers at this time of year.

This is a true story that happened to me in my first year of owning a lawn care company. *A new customer called to get an estimate for raking the yard and cleaning out gutters. *He had several large trees in his yard. *Although his yard was covered with leaves more than half of the leaves were still on his trees. *Since he had a mulching area to keep me from having to haul off his leaves, I gave an estimate of $150. *He did not want to spend that much and said that if I would do it for $110, he would let me cut his yard next summer. *The leaf job went well and I collected my money and went home. *The next day he called to say that I had not raked all the leaves and that I needed to come back by. *I explained that the leaves in his yard had fallen after I had finished and that I was not responsible for those leaves. *Not wanting to lose his business next year, I went back and did a quick touch up job which took an hour. *Still, I was satisfied as it was a big yard and I would get to do his mowing work all the following year.

When Spring rolled around, I took my equipment to his house and was told that someone else had already been contracted to mow the lawn for the season. *I reminded him of our agreement and he said that the other people were doing it for $5 less than my estimate.

Though it made me mad, I didn’t think too much about it until the next fall when he called and said that his other lawn care company had quit and he wanted me to rake his leaves again. *My response was to remind him of our previous agreement and I told him the price for leaves alone would be $250. *He declined saying he would get someone else to do it.

I learned a few lessons from this customer.

1) *I did not have a signed agreement - You should be very careful about taking a customer’s word that they will let you do their lawn “next season” in return for a cheaper price today. *If the agreement is verbal it is very easy for a customer to back out of the agreement.

2) *Price each job as an individual effort - If a leaf job is worth $250 to you then bid it accordingly. *Do not let the potential of other work influence your price significantly downward. *That other work may never materialize.

3) *Explain to the customer that leaves on the trees are not included in the price - Leaves continue to fall through the entire season. *If you contract to do a leaf job, let the customer know that any leaf droppage that occurs after the job is done is not covered under the quoted price.

When we consult with new lawn care business owners, we often tell them that leaf pickup is very easy to under price. *A job which looks like it should take less than 1 hour can often wind up taking 4 times that long. *

This Autumn, when your phone starts ringing with new customers looking to get a great price on leaf management, take extra caution when giving estimates.



Keith
__________________
Start a profitable lawn care business.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 09-09-2007, 12:51 AM
Little's's Avatar
Little's Little's is offline
Brandon
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Shasta Lake CA.
Posts: 814
Rep Power: 8
Little's is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
When I started my business, I had a property management co. give them a bid on a leaf clean-up job. The yard had 3 large elms on it. I gave the bid of $150 and submitted it in writing. Well it was more than 2 weeks later when they had gotten back to me with the approval , and I told them I will get right on it tomorrw. In that 2 weeks, at least 3 times as many leaves had fallen, which turned a 2 hour job into almost 5 hours. It was a nightmare, not to mention it had rained the few days before. It was awful. This year I am going to tell people the bid is good for 48 hours, and bid accordingly. :blush:
__________________
Northern California
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-09-2007, 02:30 PM
StartALawnCareBusiness's Avatar
StartALawnCareBusiness StartALawnCareBusiness is offline
Keith
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 731
Rep Power: 0
StartALawnCareBusiness is on a distinguished road
Default

A 48 hour expiration on a bid is a grand idea. That will work on a variety of different tasks such as bed maintenance and shrub trimming...and those crackpot customers who get estimates in March and then call you back the end of May when their grass is 3 feet tall.

Keith
__________________
Start a profitable lawn care business.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-09-2007, 05:52 PM
Clean Lawn Clean Lawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 124
Rep Power: 8
Clean Lawn
Default

I am new to the business and don't know how to bid for fall clean-up so any advice for accurately bidding for it would be greatly appreciated. My worker and myself have done things for others but never had to price anything before. I know our customers will want it done and Hampton Roads is too large an area for us not to throw our hats in the ring for more fall work.
Any bidding help would be a blessing. Thanks so much for this post it was great!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-11-2007, 05:41 AM
svelasquez
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Keith, thank you for a lucid and insightful post. I'm very new to the business. This past summer is my first season and many of my customers are calling about leaf removal for the fall. I don't know how to answer their questions since I've never done this before. Many want to know if I'll take the leaves away, but I have no idea where to take them if I did. I've been offering to bag them and leave them for the client to dispose of.

Thank you again!

Steve in NJ
My Webpage
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
fall cleanup

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
How much do you up sell...
Essex Groundskeeping
Yesterday 07:13 PM
Today 01:41 PM
by jrs.landscaping
5 90
Hello from Kentucky
TRV
09-30-2014 06:42 PM
Today 08:37 AM
by acrajchel
7 1,286
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
Yesterday 07:46 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 2,387
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
Yesterday 07:40 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 255
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 05:56 PM
Yesterday 11:56 AM
by achri12
15 3,133
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
11-22-2014 10:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
16 501
Pics for website
tbtigers03
11-21-2014 05:40 PM
11-22-2014 10:01 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 134
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
11-22-2014 05:56 PM
by AGPS
9 304
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 12:45 PM
11-22-2014 02:42 PM
by stevef1201
22 6,146
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
11-21-2014 09:48 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
174 14,024
Contract or no contract?
TRV
11-20-2014 09:18 PM
11-21-2014 09:33 PM
by TRV
3 161
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
11-21-2014 08:02 PM
by stevef1201
4 322
Billboards for marketing
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-16-2014 08:39 PM
11-21-2014 07:05 PM
by acrajchel
13 385
Belt dealer problem
googus
11-21-2014 08:45 AM
11-21-2014 06:36 PM
by Steve
2 116
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
11-21-2014 06:32 PM
by Steve
7 225
How to: Use Thumbtack...
acrajchel
11-17-2014 06:39 PM
11-21-2014 06:07 PM
by acrajchel
15 487
What is going on with...
biglee
11-14-2014 03:04 PM
11-20-2014 02:50 PM
by biglee
40 960
My advice for new guys
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 09:32 AM
11-19-2014 01:47 PM
by biglee
10 492
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 02:23 PM
11-19-2014 12:39 PM
by acrajchel
28 1,852
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 10:19 PM
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
by acrajchel
14 1,450
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 05:14 PM
11-17-2014 07:34 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,198
sod job
SGlawncare
10-30-2014 09:21 PM
11-17-2014 07:10 PM
by acrajchel
7 775
Customer wants me to...
Mr. Mow
11-09-2014 07:13 AM
11-17-2014 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
10 535
Hello!
Brian3137
11-11-2014 07:15 PM
11-17-2014 06:46 PM
by acrajchel
14 474
small biz in Phoenix,AZ
anthonyramos1
11-08-2014 09:35 PM
11-17-2014 05:59 PM
by acrajchel
2 326
Client won't pay...
WesleySnips
10-30-2014 03:53 PM
11-17-2014 05:37 PM
by acrajchel
22 1,379
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
11-17-2014 12:59 PM
by Steve
2 258
Need help on deciding a...
Brian3137
11-10-2014 06:32 PM
11-17-2014 12:44 PM
by Steve
12 523
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 10:51 PM
11-16-2014 07:54 AM
by stevef1201
8 1,602
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 08:55 AM
11-15-2014 08:44 AM
by avetslawncare
14 1,719
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
11-13-2014 08:35 AM
by jrs.landscaping
81 31,840
The most dangerous part...
Steve
10-06-2014 03:45 PM
11-12-2014 05:05 PM
by stevef1201
14 1,689
A little hang up in snow...
stevef1201
11-08-2014 07:05 AM
11-12-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
4 431
Bi-weekly winter...
lxarth
11-04-2014 08:37 PM
11-12-2014 10:06 AM
by WesleySnips
9 627
taking first steps...
sizemorelawncare
11-10-2014 08:24 PM
11-11-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
1 333
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
11-11-2014 08:12 AM
by Just for Cuts
4 385
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 01:03 PM
11-11-2014 07:56 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 1,337
How the unregister?
alive101
11-04-2014 07:39 AM
11-10-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
4 616
Belt adjustment question
googus
11-05-2014 06:43 AM
11-10-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
5 518
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
11-10-2014 01:25 PM
by Steve
2 354
Podcast
Shark1611
11-07-2014 05:42 PM
11-10-2014 11:41 AM
by Steve
1 317
hi, from Minnesota
rjklohn
11-07-2014 02:21 AM
11-07-2014 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 332
New to snow plowing
SS.Lawncare
11-05-2014 04:00 PM
11-07-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
6 571
New Member
tonyap
11-05-2014 10:35 PM
11-07-2014 01:15 PM
by Steve
1 375
New to the business
jcurr33
11-05-2014 03:21 PM
11-07-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
1 431
Lines
Matther777
11-04-2014 02:19 PM
11-07-2014 12:54 PM
by Steve
1 464
hello, new to this site
tonyorwig
10-31-2014 10:49 PM
11-04-2014 02:24 PM
by tonyorwig
3 654
Aloha from Hawaii.
Gary R
11-02-2014 12:44 AM
11-03-2014 03:02 PM
by Steve
1 566
Pavers
crieg122
10-28-2014 03:49 PM
10-31-2014 01:49 PM
by Steve
6 865
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 02:59 PM
10-31-2014 12:56 PM
by Steve
5 1,202
» Popular Tags
4wd aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying article marketing bid billy goat brushcutter blades bush charge decorating deliquentaccounts ditches employee problems estimate exmark ferris first truck foreman gopherhaul gravely growing a lawn care business hiring how much to charge how to how to bid installation introduction kawasaki landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website marketing mulch mulch price new mower ordinance per hour charge podcast profit on employee pto reo running a business scag scag v-ride search engine optimization seo shreaded snow snow plowing starting a business start up lawn care business steep lawns steve stihl toro toro grand stand trailer mate pro truck new used landscape turfgrass consulting walker won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:07 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:07 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy