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Two for Two - Woo-Hoo! First Scheduled Mowing Clients


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  #11  
Old 04-20-2011, 09:00 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Hedgemaster is now five for five!
All UR Lawns R Belong 2 Me! LOL


Tune in at 11 for the full story...
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2011, 12:19 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Picked up the "I'm on a fixed income" lady today. That was number three.
That one is an "iffy" one. The lawn should probably be priced closer to $30-$35, but it's not one that will require any special attention - sort of "run down" looking property all around. Just the bare minimum is all she wants. I really only accepted it at $25 since the other job is only a mile away.

The upside is that the rest of the neighborhood is well kept, so my hope is that by being there I can pick up some others nearby. If it doesn't work out with this client, I politely explain why, and move on.


Later, I got a call from the guy who had emailed me a request to look at his property. (Number four)
He's out of state - bought a foreclosure here, and is moving here in August. We discussed mowing and a clean up. I need to finalize the cleanup estimate, but he's mailing me a money order to go cut the grass.
Property is 19,500 sq ft. I gave him a "ballpark figure" of $65. I guess I'll find out when I mow it if I screwed myself on that estimate. (21" Toro push mower)
He only wants it cut once a month, so I'm not making a lot on this one. He's going to try and make it here once a month and mow it himself, so that essentially it will be cut every two weeks by one of us. Said that if he can't make it, he'll pay me to do it.


As I was on my way to the grocery store I got a call from "Number five".
He said he got my card from the board at that same store I was at. He wanted a quote on regular lawn mowing as well as some other items. Since he was located only a mile or so from me, I stopped by on my way home.
Simple lawn, nice, laid back guy. Agreed to my $35 quote, wanted WEEKLY service, was open to having me quote a price for a clean up, and asked about having some mulching done. He even has a hillside in the back to dump debris over if needed. WIN!

Also, he and the first lady with the large lawn (that I did the discounted cut for) are located in the area that does not allow solicitation! I had mentioned elsewhere that it sucked that I couldn't distribute flyers there because it's an area CLOSE to me, and has the income to hire people to do this work. I'm REALLY hoping I can land some others there.

Oh yeah, and no dog poop on all but one of these and they take care of it prior to my arrival.

It was a good day.

Last edited by Hedgemaster; 04-21-2011 at 12:23 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-21-2011, 03:11 AM
cruzgardening cruzgardening is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post

Later, I got a call from the guy who had emailed me a request to look at his property. (Number four)
He's out of state - bought a foreclosure here, and is moving here in August. We discussed mowing and a clean up. I need to finalize the cleanup estimate, but he's mailing me a money order to go cut the grass.
Property is 19,500 sq ft. I gave him a "ballpark figure" of $65. I guess I'll find out when I mow it if I screwed myself on that estimate. (21" Toro push mower)
He only wants it cut once a month, so I'm not making a lot on this one. He's going to try and make it here once a month and mow it himself, so that essentially it will be cut every two weeks by one of us. Said that if he can't make it, he'll pay me to do it.
Awesome it seems that leaving cards on the local market works! haha i had doubts about that one

about the guy who called and told you he was sending you a money order, becareful i had a friend who is a Gardener get screwed by some guy claiming to be from outer state did the same thing witht he money order and never got paid! just make sure he signs a contract and you get the money upfront tell him you will rather get a personal check... I really think you should be wary about clients who you don't meet in person! haha anyhow congratulations man hope to see client number 30 pretty soon! haha
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2011, 08:04 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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I have very little firsthand experience with money orders, so I guess I'm confused as to how you "don't get paid" if you wait until you have the money order cashed before doing the job.

I was leery of taking this one due to the fact that he wasn't living here yet. That's why I told him I'd wait until I had the money order before starting.

If there's something I'm not aware of, let me know.
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2011, 01:27 PM
cruzgardening cruzgardening is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
I have very little firsthand experience with money orders, so I guess I'm confused as to how you "don't get paid" if you wait until you have the money order cashed before doing the job.

I was leery of taking this one due to the fact that he wasn't living here yet. That's why I told him I'd wait until I had the money order before starting.

If there's something I'm not aware of, let me know.
is he mailing you the money order? or are you collecting it at a cashing place? if you are getting it via mail make sure its real... there are some that look real, counterfeited, but once you try to cash them they have no value check before!
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2011, 09:31 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzgardening View Post
is he mailing you the money order? or are you collecting it at a cashing place? if you are getting it via mail make sure its real... there are some that look real, counterfeited, but once you try to cash them they have no value check before!
He is mailing it to me.

I do recall cashing one a year or two ago and the bank teller asked if it was from someone I know/trust. I wasn't sure why, and I didn't ask, as it was from someone I knew.
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2011, 10:04 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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(sizzle)

I'm on fire. seven for seven!

Or six for six - time will tell if one of them wants me to do regular maintenance.
I was finishing up one of the previous jobs today and had a call from a guy who said he emailed a reply to my CL ad, then decided to try and call me. He's unsure if he will have me do regular mowing, but he's busy and needed it done today for Easter weekend. "No problem", I said.

I gave him a ballpark figure based on what I could see on a satellite view of the property. I told him I would drive over and take a look. He said if the price I quoted works, "go ahead and cut it" - if I think it will be more, give him a call first.
After looking it over (and speaking to a neighbor who was happy to see me there to mow that yard), I felt my quote was fair, and went ahead with the job, leaving an invoice in the door when I finished.

He could use a good spring cleanup - hopefully he calls back with more good news.


NUMBER 7...

Earlier I had a call from a girl who saw my CL ad and was interested in "regular mowing service". I explained that I would try to stop today to look at it and give a quote. I almost didn't make it today because the job described above took a while and I was a good 15 miles away from her place at the end of rush hour. Fortunately I put aside the urge to go home and go see her tomorrow, because I got the job.

As we walked around the property, she mentioned that she had spoken to one other person, but he hadn't been by - they only spoke on the phone.*
I told her the price would be in the $35-$45 range.

I then made the following offer... "Let me throw this idea out there and you can let me know if it works for you" I said. "I can do the first cut for $35 - afterward, I can assess if that will be sufficient, or if it will need to be a few dollars more". As I explained it, "If $35 works out - great. If the price needs too be a bit more, you saved a few dollars on the first cut."

Cash payment. Weekly maintenance unless not needed when growth slows, then bi-weekly.

She was agreeable on all counts. Sweeeet.

Oh, and she asked if I was insured. I replied "Yes, I have a copy of my policy in the truck if you'd like to see it". She's the first person to say "Yes, actually, that would be great."
We ended up talking about other things though and we both forgot about the policy. It's there if she needs it though.


Another good day.



* I was told by a guy in the business - "Do NOT wait to call ANYONE back. If you do, they will call someone ELSE." In this case, not only did I return her call within minutes, I went out of my way to get there TODAY, and by doing so, I got the job. (Well, unless the other guy gave her a higher quote without even seeing it)
Point is - you snooze, you lose.

Last edited by Hedgemaster; 04-21-2011 at 10:10 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-23-2011, 12:04 AM
psparaco psparaco is offline
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You sound like your starting to have a good year. Now i am confused. Do you have 7 clients total or 7 from this year and others who carried over the contract of your services from last year?

I started the year (my 3rd year in operation) with 16 clients who were carried over from last year and all have told me from my welcome email I sent out in March to the start of the year. I distributed 443 flyers in 3 distinct areas on March 31st. Since then I have recieved 16 calls. Of thoses about 10 signed with us. 7 other new clients i have gotten came from referrals from friends, family, current clients, and 1 who searched lawn care on google in my area.

As for pricing. I dont chance it with giving a discounted 1st cut price. I may have considered doing that my first year. The way i establish pricing is this :

1. Middle of group townhomes vary from $20-25
2. end of group townhomes vary from $25-30
3. Corner lot townhomes (either it touches 2 streets or an alley and a street automatically get charged $30.

Single family homes:
Any property 10,890 square feet (1/4 acre) and under range from $30-45.
10,890 sqft (1/4 acre) to 21,780 sqft (1/2 acre) range from $45-60. Over 21,780 sqft we tend to need to come out to do an estimate as my experience with such size I have no experence yet. Amount of obstacles, gardens, trees, etc don't matter that much.

I explain that most customers who only prefer bi-weekly service are those who own the property and do not live there and only need it maintained to keep the county or city ordinance off their backs with fines. Most who live on the property who request bi-weekly i end up talking them into weekly service.

So far this year we have 33 clients, 34 after tomorrow as we are signing another one tomorrow afternoon. (the google places guy who search lawn care in my area) We did lose one client today.

I think i should elaborate on this one. I can't help but laugh about it cause you can't please everyone.

ok here goes. I put a flyer in her door on 04/01/11. She called me on 04/10/11 and signed with us that day. We cut her that week and this past week. This is where it gets funny. We cut her grass on Monday 04/18/11. It rained all day on Tuesday and then 80 degeee weather on Wednesday. she calls me about 5pm on Wednesday to complain her front is longer in length then her neighbors who cut theirs sometime Wednesday afternoon. I explained to her about the rain and hot weather on Wednesday and that we can not control the length at which her neighbor cuts their grass, the type of mower they use and when their neighbor cuts their grass. I explained if she would have called us monday saying she was not satified with the service we could have come back out and re cut it free of charge. I texted her tonight asking when we can come pick up the payment tomorrow since the contract gives her a 5 day grace period to pay, that she was canceling her service because the grass was not cut to her standard. When i asked what her standard was. She explained it did not match her neighbor's grass length lmao. So i politely explained again about the rain and heat on wed. and sorry she was canceling and would be by tomorow to pick up the payment.

Sorry i dont need clients like that. you want it super short aka scalped. Then hire the 10 yr old down the street to do it. We don't do that and never will. I explained the health of the grass about only cutting 1/3 of the grass total length and that scalping is unhealthy for her lawn but she didn't care. she claim she can't affford to pay $20.00 a week yet her landlord charges her $60 if its not cut. Be my guest fire us. We dont have time for clients like that.

Well i am off to bed. Good luck hedge with your season. Hope it gets as busy as ours is getting.

Paul
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  #19  
Old 04-23-2011, 01:32 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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LOL Interesting stuff. I have a lot to look forward to.


No. I have 7 clients total.
I just started up last summer and only had one mowing client for the summer. The rest of the work I did last season was handyman work and some mowing while working for hourly rate as a subcontractor fixing up properties to be sold.

This is my first "real" season "on my own".

So far, I've only offered the discount to one person, as the rest have been "OK" with my quote.

The one I did this morning for $35 I may need to bump up to $40 as it was a bit more work than I expected. If she's willing to stay weekly though, I may leave it at $35.
The damned gas prices are killing me. Even if I only need to go five miles, that's 10 miles round trip and getting close to $5 just to get there and back.



Here's a question for you veterans...

Do you charge MORE for the first cut of the season if they have waited too long to get it taken care of?
I mean, I've cut my own lawn three times already, and these people have got some seriously high grass now with all the rain we've had/are having.

I was going to cut Mrs. "fixed income" on Thursday, but she said "I don't get paid til Friday, and I don't have $25." The grass will be worse next week, but this one I don't trust to pay me AFTER I do the work.

I also want to get my "beater mower" out of storage for her "lawn". It's got some questionable spots that could hold hidden surprises and I'm not willing to risk damaging my brand new Toro on some "crap yard".
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:31 AM
cruzgardening cruzgardening is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
LOL Interesting stuff. I have a lot to look forward to.


No. I have 7 clients total.
I just started up last summer and only had one mowing client for the summer. The rest of the work I did last season was handyman work and some mowing while working for hourly rate as a subcontractor fixing up properties to be sold.

This is my first "real" season "on my own".

So far, I've only offered the discount to one person, as the rest have been "OK" with my quote.

The one I did this morning for $35 I may need to bump up to $40 as it was a bit more work than I expected. If she's willing to stay weekly though, I may leave it at $35.
The damned gas prices are killing me. Even if I only need to go five miles, that's 10 miles round trip and getting close to $5 just to get there and back.



Here's a question for you veterans...

Do you charge MORE for the first cut of the season if they have waited too long to get it taken care of?
I mean, I've cut my own lawn three times already, and these people have got some seriously high grass now with all the rain we've had/are having.

I was going to cut Mrs. "fixed income" on Thursday, but she said "I don't get paid til Friday, and I don't have $25." The grass will be worse next week, but this one I don't trust to pay me AFTER I do the work.

I also want to get my "beater mower" out of storage for her "lawn". It's got some questionable spots that could hold hidden surprises and I'm not willing to risk damaging my brand new Toro on some "crap yard".
hey bro from my experience working with a landscape/Lawn care company the people that have taller grass then 2 feet get charge a one time fee as if you charged them for a full month... so if you would charge that home $25 you would charge them $100 if you where to charge the home $35 you would charge them $140 even though i believe this is only for big companies i say its a good start, if you see my other post called Its a Jungle out there youll see what i just charged 2 clients that might bring some ideas ur way.

another thing i can imagine is that it all depends on the size of the homes
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