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, 05:56 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 09-08-2007, 11:51 PM
Little's's Avatar
Little's Little's is offline
Brandon
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Shasta Lake CA.
Posts: 814
Rep Power: 9
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, 01:30 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, 04:52 PM
Clean Lawn Clean Lawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 124
Rep Power: 9
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, 04:41 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
best way to.....
Wolf4dk
Today 11:35 AM
Today 11:35 AM
by Wolf4dk
0 14
Your 2015 summer review.
Steve
Yesterday 11:01 AM
Today 11:19 AM
by Wolf4dk
1 45
SCAG Tiger Cat DECK...
rower30
08-24-2013 10:07 AM
Yesterday 02:51 PM
by Sunpointair
12 4,910
John Deere 667a
acrajchel
08-30-2015 10:00 AM
Yesterday 11:06 AM
by Steve
4 104
Dane Scag
Steve
08-28-2015 12:29 PM
08-28-2015 12:29 PM
by Steve
0 85
24 and 50 acre cemetery...
grassmasterswilson
08-18-2015 10:09 AM
08-26-2015 02:42 PM
by Steve
13 567
Rookie business question...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-05-2015 05:20 PM
08-26-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
3 418
How to clean an old...
rmccutchan
08-16-2015 05:23 PM
08-26-2015 02:31 PM
by Steve
9 435
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
08-26-2015 12:25 PM
by kslawn
19 3,777
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
08-25-2015 11:31 AM
by acrajchel
9 2,488
Big mowing job
Bradcook21
07-30-2015 03:57 PM
08-25-2015 11:23 AM
by acrajchel
17 1,013
ZTR Review
Shark1611
05-31-2012 10:42 PM
08-25-2015 11:16 AM
by acrajchel
8 3,779
Hi Everyone
mmays29
08-25-2015 08:16 AM
08-25-2015 11:15 AM
by Steve
3 131
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
07-03-2015 09:22 AM
08-25-2015 11:08 AM
by acrajchel
11 1,208
Old Business New Owner
Toyman
06-17-2014 08:57 PM
08-25-2015 11:00 AM
by acrajchel
17 1,598
Hi everyone! We're new...
alltrades
08-22-2015 12:46 PM
08-24-2015 10:41 AM
by Steve
2 184
CAn I get some help with...
rootytalbot
08-11-2015 06:14 PM
08-24-2015 10:36 AM
by Steve
12 536
Hi
Wemowjunction
08-16-2015 08:45 PM
08-20-2015 01:46 PM
by Steve
11 424
Drive cable bad?
SGL1
08-10-2015 11:16 PM
08-20-2015 01:41 PM
by Steve
5 385
Hey there everyone
Cole8999
08-16-2015 04:42 PM
08-18-2015 04:35 PM
by Steve
3 266
Help with a truck
bdodson89
04-27-2015 08:15 PM
08-18-2015 11:47 AM
by rmccutchan
7 985
I need some aeration...
rootytalbot
08-14-2015 12:32 PM
08-18-2015 07:59 AM
by rootytalbot
7 409
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
08-17-2015 04:34 PM
by Steve
1,229 406,229
Whats wrong with this...
GreenWorx
07-28-2015 07:56 PM
08-16-2015 11:42 PM
by rmccutchan
3 605
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 11:54 AM
08-16-2015 11:09 PM
by SC93
16 1,264
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
08-14-2015 11:08 PM
by scaypa
95 11,508
New Biz
kufnerins
08-14-2015 05:52 PM
08-14-2015 08:56 PM
by Steve
1 224
Chemical and Fertilizer...
rmccutchan
08-09-2015 10:36 PM
08-13-2015 11:11 PM
by rmccutchan
6 423
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
08-13-2015 02:10 PM
by rootytalbot
12 2,095
Hello all thinking about...
bernie
08-11-2015 04:28 PM
08-13-2015 10:33 AM
by Steve
8 384
Logo Help Font Color
LZLC
08-08-2015 09:26 PM
08-12-2015 03:50 PM
by Steve
4 365
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 06:15 AM
08-12-2015 12:30 AM
by Jeff1
20 1,834
My new mower
Chilehead
08-08-2015 09:09 PM
08-11-2015 08:36 PM
by Chilehead
9 535
Thought this was a good...
Just for Cuts
08-06-2015 03:38 PM
08-11-2015 10:54 AM
by Steve
8 531
Plowing pricing
jcurr33
08-08-2015 04:58 PM
08-11-2015 10:51 AM
by Steve
6 489
Should I upgrade my back...
googus
08-07-2015 10:50 AM
08-11-2015 10:44 AM
by googus
7 454
Keeping it clean....
Wolf4dk
08-09-2015 11:31 PM
08-11-2015 06:34 AM
by Chilehead
7 380
I have been rude and...
biglee
06-15-2015 10:11 PM
08-10-2015 09:41 PM
by stallman419
12 2,765
Newbie Saying Hi.
LZLC
08-08-2015 09:22 PM
08-10-2015 11:20 AM
by Steve
1 269
How much do I charge to...
Chris Herrera
08-06-2015 09:30 PM
08-09-2015 11:31 AM
by biglee
2 412
scag SWZT review!
mattthelawnguy
07-23-2015 02:28 PM
08-07-2015 03:26 PM
by Steve
17 1,161
Best commercial contract...
sanlanct
08-04-2015 12:18 PM
08-06-2015 06:20 AM
by sanlanct
2 406
I came across this on a...
rootytalbot
08-02-2015 11:04 AM
08-05-2015 08:17 PM
by SC93
9 640
Help bidding a hedge...
hopolb33
08-02-2015 06:09 PM
08-05-2015 02:07 PM
by Steve
3 444
recycler toro 22"
rvezakis
08-03-2015 12:10 PM
08-04-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
1 326
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping advertising aerocore applying bark billy goat brushcutter blowout bob villa bush collections contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts demonstration design door hangers edging employee problems equipment dealer equipment rental facebook flyers free advertising free lawn care google hiring how to hydro increase customers jobs landscape landscaping landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave mulch new business ordinance past due per hour charge per hour service plowing pricing profit on employee roundup scag secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell shreaded solo solo backpack sprayer sq ft square foot swzt tree tree pics up sell employee walk behind web design website website design winterization wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:26 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:26 PM.

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