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 > Business > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Discounts on services


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-24-2009, 09:53 PM
SuperiorPower
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Lightbulb Discounts on services

I have seen people in other businesses make a marketing mistake and thought I would share this with you all so you can avoid the mistake.

In the housing rental market you have people competing for the same clients just like in the landscaping busniess. In an effort to attract customers some of them offer 2 months free or something to that affect if they sign a 1 year contract. What happens then is the customer does not have to pay for 2 months. when the 3rd month rolls around they don't pay the rent. By the time the land owner gets enough to evict them the "customer" has been living in the apartment for up to 5 months without paying a single month rent. It does not take a rocket scientist to see this is rather hard on profits. How does this apply to landscaping?

I suppose most of you have customers sign contracts (or as most folks prefer to call them, "service agreements"). When you have them sign the agreement you may give away a free service like one or two mowings for free or something to that affect. Some businesses may prefer to mow for free up front to help attract customers. I am not against using free services but would suggest a different approach. (I am not talking about giving them a free soil test or something to that affect to get you there to give an estimate.) Perhaps if you give a free mowing, give it at the end of the season. For example, you may want to mow the yard for half price half way through the season and then maybe do it for free at the end of the season. This gives the customer a motivation to complete the contract. Otherwise, if you mow their yard the first time free they may cancel the contract/agreement after the first week or two and go to your competitor who may provide them with the same "deal". As with the renters, deadbeat landscaping customers can do this several times and get a service for free for an extended time period. Don't let your business be taken for a ride......
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 03-25-2009, 04:34 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 9
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
We did this in the security industry and it worked well however you are correct about giving the incentive up front so what we did is if you signed a one year contract you received one month free however it was the 12th month of the contract, that seemed to cure the problem of people taking a free ride up front.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-25-2009, 09:25 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,533
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
We did this in the security industry and it worked well however you are correct about giving the incentive up front so what we did is if you signed a one year contract you received one month free however it was the 12th month of the contract, that seemed to cure the problem of people taking a free ride up front.
Very neat! How did the company get customers to resign up for the next year? I bet a lot of what they did could be applied to lawn care as well.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-25-2009, 10:57 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 9
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Very neat! How did the company get customers to resign up for the next year? I bet a lot of what they did could be applied to lawn care as well.
We had the best automation software on the market, problem was selling the service as we were the smallest monitoring station in Canada at the time. Once the clients experienced the level of service compared to what they were receiving we knew we would have a high retention rate. We also gave commercial accounts access to their own alarm activity, open and close information for their store so they could ensure employees were opening and closing on time and a host of other small things the competition was not able to do. Our retention was 99.6% and in 5 years we went from the smallest to the largest, 18 employees to start 451 when I resigned in January. Average growth after the first year stayed around 300%....it was quite a ride!
Reply With Quote

Last edited by musician/lawnman; 03-25-2009 at 05:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-25-2009, 05:15 PM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 7
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default Food for thought...

Here is my only issue with this:
I considered offering a free service or free month type of a deal & it immediately occured to me that I would have to make it the last month of the contract. Then I thought about how I have written into my contracts that (there is an early cancellation fee) if a client wishes to discontinue service after the 12 months please notify us, & do not pay the 13th invoice (My monthly clients are required to pay for each month by the 1st of the month for the following month - they pay in advance). If the client does not notify us & does pay the 13th invoice this automatically starts the next year with the same conditions as the 1st year (including early cancellation fee).
I did this bacause it occured to me that If I have to go to each client & point out "hey your done with 12 months! Thank you, Now, would you like to sign up for the next 12?" It raises the question, "Do I want to continue?" Why waive this flag? Why make something that is a non-issue suddenly an issue?

When you sign up for cell service for 2 years they don't call you up at 730 days & say do you want phone service tommorrow do they? No, they just continue to provide their service at the same rate & everyone is happy. They have already had you for 2 years & covered the initial cost of the phone, so now you continue contract free until your phone breaks.... Want a new one? Sign this 2 year contract....

Our situation is similar but different. In my case my clients are allowed to finance the expensive rainy season over the slower months, If the sign up in the spring (& that's when most do) then I need those slow months to get back to a profitable figure for that account. We need the whole 12 months so the contract protects us so they don't cancel after the 7 month growing season. I need that contract to renew to protect me the 2nd year too (& for each & every subsequent year).

So, If I gave them the 12th month free then that would be a huge reminder to clients that they are now free of any future obligation, this would probably cause your retention numbers to drop off a bit. Now, I do quality work so I don't rely on an agreement alone to retain clients, but they are a good security net to have in place.

Sorry to run on here. Do you guys follow my thoughts on this?
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #6  
Old 03-25-2009, 05:33 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,533
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Yes that is a very good point.

How do you suggest wording your contracts so that they are automatically Re-newed or however that is handled?

Also, one problem I think could arise is if you are not cutting in the winter months or late fall and early spring, do you do anything or suggest a lawn care business owner do anything to keep your face shown?

If so, what should you do? Any additional services?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2009, 06:25 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 9
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

With cell phone contracts, at least here it;'s month to month after the initial term. One can word into their agreement the contract will automatically renew for a period of 12 months unless 90 days notice is given however, once again, at least here you can't enforce the automatic renewal in court should you have to go that route. I understand laws are very different between countries, states or even municipal so it's worth looking into just FYI.

I personally see clients as relationship building more than just a cheque/payment etc. I send a woodworking letter to my woodworking clients every quarter updating them on what we are up to, recently included the lawn care business and received quite a few emails back. I will do the same with the lawn care business.

Having said that we all loose a customer for whatever reason from time to time but I know for myself the service is there so I don't tend to concern myself so much about them leaving at the end of a contract or term.

Twelve month agreements would never fly here, lawn care is a 5 month top service requirement, lots of other things that tie into it, especially leaf clean up as we are mainly old growth hardwood in Halifax, we get a lot of wind damage so there is tree work etc. That would be a major concern if I am only at the property 5 months a year but billing 12, although I know the number of visits is being spread over time, clients may become a receivables issue. Snow season is 4 to 5 months so that is an additional service also.
Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:18 PM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 7
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

I realize that makes it a completely different situation, I understand that. Here in Florida it's year round,it's just about half the frequency (bi-weekly) in the off season months.

Steve,

For your refference (& others too), here is how I have it worded in my agreement:

This agreement will continue in effect as long as both parties are satisfied. To cancel service client must provide written notice 30 days in advance of intended cancel date. If you do not wish to have us continue a 2nd year simply notify us & do not pay the 13th monthly invoice. Otherwise the 12 month cycle will automatically restart with the same conditions as the 1st year.

If I were to move north & start my business there, I would figure out a way to include maybe lawn care (for the summers), Spring & fall Clean ups, & figure out an average price per sq ft per season for snow removal (so you take the good with the bad if you have a heavey winter the client lucks out, if you have a light one then you do). I'd want to add it all up & divide it by 12, Then you are in constant contact with clients all year round & in a better position to maintain the relationships from year to year & retain clients year after year.

That would be would I would try if it were me. Might not work for everyone up there? I would present it as a better way for the client to budget all the work they will need all year round at a predictable preset rate. Everyone likes to know what's coming up as far as expenses because you can be ready for it. That's why people use credit cards or finance cars, tv's etc. "I want this but can't pay it all right now, On credit I can make payments that are predictable & manageable!" So tap into the way Americans (& most of the world) are used to buying goods & services, Let em' finance it!
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

Reply

Bookmarks

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discounts ckoffman Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 0 08-13-2007 10:00 AM
Discounts Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 3 12-26-2005 02:24 AM
senior discounts JamesK Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 1 08-12-2003 06:51 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Business Name
sanchez5
10-28-2014 11:55 PM
Today 09:03 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
3 154
Difference between lawn...
sanchez5
Yesterday 04:20 PM
Today 05:58 AM
by Billy Goat
1 104
Gie-review / What's new...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-25-2014 09:19 AM
Yesterday 10:35 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 378
My Newest Toy (B.P....
Dan Tanner
10-23-2014 05:50 PM
Yesterday 12:26 PM
by Steve
6 481
Pavers
crieg122
10-28-2014 02:49 PM
Yesterday 12:24 PM
by Steve
3 165
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 09:51 PM
10-28-2014 11:08 PM
by SGlawncare
4 842
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-28-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
1,193 340,980
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
10-28-2014 02:38 PM
by Steve
14 1,875
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 12:03 PM
10-28-2014 02:37 PM
by crieg122
4 353
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 01:23 PM
10-28-2014 11:28 AM
by crieg122
15 665
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 07:55 AM
10-28-2014 04:56 AM
by Billy Goat
2 297
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:59 PM
10-28-2014 01:37 AM
by Steve
3 492
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
10-27-2014 10:36 PM
by SGlawncare
12 1,212
new to the forum
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 02:52 PM
10-27-2014 12:14 PM
by Steve
1 311
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:41 PM
10-26-2014 10:59 AM
by stevef1201
13 675
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 04:14 PM
10-26-2014 07:45 AM
by Mr. Mow
5 431
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 09:19 PM
10-25-2014 12:09 PM
by biglee
10 585
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
10-21-2014 06:20 AM
10-25-2014 11:46 AM
by crieg122
6 576
hey everyone
robert8509
10-22-2014 08:16 PM
10-24-2014 11:07 PM
by robert8509
7 476
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 08:07 AM
10-23-2014 11:08 PM
by Chilehead
2 403
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
10-20-2014 06:33 AM
10-23-2014 05:55 PM
by biglee
13 731
Hi from SoCal
Jmoney
10-23-2014 11:29 AM
10-23-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
1 366
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
10-23-2014 12:33 PM
by Steve
5 832
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
10-23-2014 06:12 AM
by ringahding1
4 658
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
10-22-2014 01:27 PM
by Steve
6 722
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
10-22-2014 01:23 PM
by Steve
3 688
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
10-22-2014 07:47 AM
by ringahding1
4 1,682
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
10-21-2014 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 967
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
10-21-2014 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 830
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
10-21-2014 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 11,921
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
10-21-2014 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 556
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
10-20-2014 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 2,153
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
10-20-2014 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,642
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
10-20-2014 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 532
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
10-20-2014 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 596
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
10-20-2014 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 1,051
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
10-20-2014 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,574
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
10-20-2014 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 779
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
10-20-2014 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 633
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 965
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 1,271
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,673
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 987
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 708
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,839
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,834
Apartment Complex and...
lxarth
06-22-2011 01:10 PM
10-14-2014 06:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
42 9,960
I LOVE hedge trimming
stevef1201
10-13-2014 09:05 AM
10-14-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
5 845
Help with seeder...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-09-2014 07:39 AM
10-13-2014 08:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 1,011
The Market watch
WesleySnips
10-12-2014 08:47 PM
10-13-2014 05:40 PM
by SGL1
3 839
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying billy goat brushcutter bush charge christmas deliquentaccounts exmark ferris foreman georgia gopherhaul grass gravely hills holiday how much to charge how to how to bid hydraulic labor cost landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business book lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lighting lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business marketing mechanic mowing mulch mulch estimate new buisness new business ordinance podcast promotion property management company push versus ride savannah scag scag v-ride scripts seo snow plowing starting a business starting a lawn care business stihl sulky theft toro tractor auger trailer mate pro walk behind walker wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 AM.

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