Originally Posted by willshome
I would like to know more about prepay like what about up-sales or add-ons (cleaning up after a storm...) And what about customer being a pain about when you mow, i have customers that bug out if most of the time i am there thursday morning and i get there in the afternoon what would happen if they already paid. With fall cleanup how do you pick when to do it and what if leaves take longer than normal to fall?
has anyone had these problems, I could just see some problems with doing it like that but knowing you have the money in the bank must be GREAT!
any additional work would mean additional money unless you plan on working for free.
the pre payment is for the normal week to week services and it would not include storm damage or anything else that reared it's head in outside of the norm.
leaves take longer to do and schedules generally do not go unaffected as a result especially as you get into the peak of leaf season.
as far as customers complaining goes, they need to be informed that you do not work exclusively for them and every customer wants their lawn done on thursday and fridays as well as when it rains or the grass is growing fast and furious that it will effect the schedule.
there are a lot of things that come into play that alters our schedules and weather is a obvious one.
the smaller guys that are limited in how much equipment they have can be greatly hampered by a breakdown. it always pays to let your customers know that the normal schedule is that your lawn will be done on this particular time slot but when unforeseen circumstances arrise like rain, breakdowns etc etc that it will reflect on when you arrive to their home for the week.
my route is the same every week in the same order and if rain pushes us back a day then mondays route is now tuesday and tuesday is now wednsday and so on and so on.
it is the only fair way to do it and every one of us has to deal with changing the schedule a dozen times every year.
it is not worth losing sleep over and you really can't let your customers dictate when you work.
i have had new people come along and say i will sign up with you right now only if you cut my lawn on fridays and meanwhile their house is located in a part of my route that i do on tuesdays.
i can't re-arrainge my schedule for one new customer when i have clients that been with me for 15 years that don't tell me when i got to be there.
i tell them, sorry the only day i can service this area is on tuesday. then they try to come up with some line like, its the only day i can be here, and i tell them there is no need for you to be here.
you have no fences, no pets, no kids and your yard is wide open, why would you need to be here?
then they say well i just like my yard to be nice for the weekend, and then i am like so does you and every person who hires a landscaper and if we cut your lawn on tuesday it is not gonna be in desperate need for a cutting in 3 days.
unfortunately it is part of being in the business dealing with insane customer demands and delays, and there is no way to thwart off these complaints ahead of time and you cant please everyone.
so the best bet is to tell them staright up from the beginning that your schedule is only as solid as mother nature allows you to be.
also, to re touch on the subject of add ons those questions and issues can be cut off right from the start by having a detailed contract drawn up that is signed and each party has a copy of.
something like that is even far more important when dealing with pre pays because going by word and handshake don't cut it when someone hands you over a lump sum and then they think you are doing everything for one price.