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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.

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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.
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:36 AM
grass guru grass guru is offline
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Schedule ew, or eow. If you show up, and customer runs out and tells you they don't want it mowed, charge them a fee to at least recoup costs. I charge anywhere from $15 to $30 if they do that. If I get there, unload my mower, and they run out, I charge them at least half the service price. If I do any mowing at all, even if its just one strip, they are charged full price. They know this going into the agreement, and I remind them when they request it. Most times, the customer doesnt mind the fee. Its thheir fault they didnt call or text in the required call ahead time. Even if I'm mowing their neighbors lawn first, and they run out to postpone, I will charge. Why? Because had I known ahead of time, I may have scheduled another job that day that could have been done, or squeezed in another lawn. Again, if A customer is able to call the shots every week, they will do whats best for them, and not whats best for the lawn.

I would double check on the fertilizer. Some places its ok to just apply fert. You only have to be certified to apply pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
If you can't/don't want to deal w/fert right now, sub it out to a company that only apply's fert. I use numerous companies to do my fert, and it pays to have a relationship w/one of their sales reps. The national company that I use has sales reps that go door to door all year long. When one of those people he is targeting, asks him who he would recommend for lawn care he hands them my biz card. Imagine, if he knocks on 50 doors a day, how many of them just moved in, and want "the whole package". He gets the sale for fert, I get the call for a quote, and the customer gets his lawn serviced. Free word of mouth advertising. Even if he only refers 2 or 3 people a year to me, why not? He scratches my back, I scratch his.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2013, 10:38 AM
kslawn kslawn is offline
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I charge extra for every other week cuts..what I here mostly is that they just cant aford getting cut every week, but they still want there lawn to look as good as it can so I have to go over more or takes longer to make it look nice,than I have to charge extra...a 30$ lawn every week would be about 40 or so but depends on growth of the grass etc...you allmost allways have to go over it twice in some areas of the lawn b-cuz of two weeks growth between cuts..
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:59 PM
CDLAWNCARE CDLAWNCARE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslawn View Post
I charge extra for every other week cuts..what I here mostly is that they just cant aford getting cut every week, but they still want there lawn to look as good as it can so I have to go over more or takes longer to make it look nice,than I have to charge extra...a 30$ lawn every week would be about 40 or so but depends on growth of the grass etc...you allmost allways have to go over it twice in some areas of the lawn b-cuz of two weeks growth between cuts..
I dont know where exactly your at, but I am in Upper Michigan too. I know alot of people cant afford weekly around here, but I also know I cant afford to loose money. 2 weeks on lawns that grow fast enough your going over them twice is just to hard on equipment unless your gonna charge them double. I've done it, but most of the time you tell them you gotta charge double for every other week they will just let you mow it weekly like it should be. If they dont like it let them go, they are usually the problem customers anyway.
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  #24  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:39 AM
kslawn kslawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLAWNCARE View Post
I dont know where exactly your at, but I am in Upper Michigan too. I know alot of people cant afford weekly around here, but I also know I cant afford to loose money. 2 weeks on lawns that grow fast enough your going over them twice is just to hard on equipment unless your gonna charge them double. I've done it, but most of the time you tell them you gotta charge double for every other week they will just let you mow it weekly like it should be. If they dont like it let them go, they are usually the problem customers anyway.
I'm in the eastern end 20 miles east of Newberry & 45 miles west of Sault Ste Marie... Most of my jobs are in the small town of Hulbert & I have some in Newberry, so the ones that are every other week dont grow all that much & most of my lawns are not that big, so example:average lawn takes about 30 minutes to do (mow & trim etc) & I charge around 40$ or so..But I dont mow everything twice (should have been more specific) just the thicker places if needed & they only need it in the early summer,& get dryer/thinner in mid to late summer, but I still make good time & there close together & for the most part they are mostly customers that live in lower mich. & have cabins or homes here....where are you located in the western end somewhere??
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  #25  
Old 04-10-2013, 10:59 PM
CDLAWNCARE CDLAWNCARE is offline
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Originally Posted by kslawn View Post
I'm in the eastern end 20 miles east of Newberry & 45 miles west of Sault Ste Marie... Most of my jobs are in the small town of Hulbert & I have some in Newberry, so the ones that are every other week dont grow all that much & most of my lawns are not that big, so example:average lawn takes about 30 minutes to do (mow & trim etc) & I charge around 40$ or so..But I dont mow everything twice (should have been more specific) just the thicker places if needed & they only need it in the early summer,& get dryer/thinner in mid to late summer, but I still make good time & there close together & for the most part they are mostly customers that live in lower mich. & have cabins or homes here....where are you located in the western end somewhere??
If most of them are vacation homes you can also explain to them that they get peace of mind with weekly services. In the event of a storm or burglary you are around more and can report the damage sooner to prevent further damage. Plus with more activity on a propert it is less likely to get robbed if it looks like someone is around. Ultimately its your company so you decide whats best for you, but just remember that long grass that has to be cut twice puts alot more strain on your equipment.
I am in the Baraga area on the western end of the U.P.
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  #26  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:32 AM
kslawn kslawn is offline
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I'll have to try & sell that to them,we have had some robberys with some cabins way out on the tahquamenon river, I only do 3 out there & get paid pretty good for those b-cuz of travel time etc...the other ones are right here in Hulbert & a few more out of town that I do charge more for...what I am going to do this year is try to sell the benifits of aerating/de-thatching/& firtilizing etc... I dont get a lot of calls for that,but have done it before,just not steady & I think a lot of my customers just dont know the benifits of having it done...I havent looked into getting certified yet,so I have to do that too.I heard a while ago that you dont have to be certifide to put down granular firt if you are not selling the firt for profit,just the labor ,but sounds a little scetchy to me...I think I'd be better off to just get my certifications anyway! What do you think ..& do you firtilize alot on that end?
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  #27  
Old 04-11-2013, 09:50 AM
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I assume you are charging per visit, which is a problem in itself.

You can't charge an inconvenience fee if they want to reschedule, because they would be nagging you for a refund every time you don't show up (things happen). You don't want that.

It's a complicated situation, and I think your best bet is to charge your clients in advance for at least one month of service, and if they don't want you to show a few times at least you'll still have the money. They have the option of wasting their money, or allowing you to mow - no refunds.

Your clients should pay you for a full month of service, regardless if they hire you on the last day of a month. Their money does not carry over to the next month. In business, you're looking for stable income; clients with sporadic payments are a waste of time.


Here's an example

Client: I didn't want you to show up once last month, but I paid for it already. I wanted to know if you can give me a mowing for free this month?

Me: I'm sorry but I can't do that. As annoying as it may be, my company needs to make consistent income; if all of my clients had me mow when they wanted, I'd be mowing grass up to my neck and be out of business within a month.
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  #28  
Old 04-11-2013, 07:11 PM
kslawn kslawn is offline
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Cheese, are you refering to the cabins that I cut way out on the river? If so,I only cut them 4 to 6 times or so a year between end of May & begining of October, but they just want them knocked down for the most part so they dont get to out of hand...I charge extra on those b-cuz of growth between cuts but also about 1 hour drive one way & 1/2 of it is two track road on the one lawn & bent the trailer jack on the tounge of my trailer & another time lost my wiring to it..& the beavers had the road washed out about 300ft from the cabin...so it is an inconvenience to a certain point ..but even though they are doing well at keeping the (shared) road in fair condition now, its still a long way to go for a lawn that takes about an hour at most to cut when you get there...& I try & do them on the same day too. Also,you cant forget about the bug factor here & for them,its an inconvenience to come up here & have to mow a lawn thats a foot high while being eaten up by the bugs......
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  #29  
Old 04-11-2013, 11:02 PM
CDLAWNCARE CDLAWNCARE is offline
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I do apply fertilizer around here, when I can talk people into it. But like most people in the U.P. the majority dont care. I dont think you need to be certified to apply fertilizer up here. I am currently working on getting my applicators license for applying chemicals and have seen nothing about granular fertilizer.

I hope you charging at least double for them lawns way out in the sticks, with washed out roads and all the other foolishness. Remember to charge travel time on those properties that are off the beaten path or you could find yourself loosing money in a hurry.
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  #30  
Old 04-12-2013, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLAWNCARE View Post
I do apply fertilizer around here, when I can talk people into it. But like most people in the U.P. the majority dont care. I dont think you need to be certified to apply fertilizer up here. I am currently working on getting my applicators license for applying chemicals and have seen nothing about granular fertilizer.

I hope you charging at least double for them lawns way out in the sticks, with washed out roads and all the other foolishness. Remember to charge travel time on those properties that are off the beaten path or you could find yourself loosing money in a hurry.
Yep, I get the same around here with firt! The lawns out there I do charge well, like I said before Its more of an inconvenience for them to cut it for themselves when they get here so they dont mind the extra cost & understand it too! couldnt ask for better customers than that..Did you get snow on that end? Got 8 inches here & still coming!
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