How to make landscape customers understand man hours?

After reading this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you will think, surely such a situation didn’t really happen. But it did happen and it happens everyday to new business owners. If you have a landscape cleanup you are working on and you have multiple employees working on the job, don’t let the customer confuse the amount of time you spent at the job site with total man hours, especially when you have an agreement of the customer paying you per hour.

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Stump grinding and how to charge for the service.

Going from offering lawn care to tree pruning is a relatively small step to take and can be done by most lawn care professionals without too much hassle. But what about when you start getting into removal of tree stumps? What types of issues do you need to be aware of and be concerned about? That is what one business owner was interested in knowing when he asked how to improve his stump grinding estimates on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

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How to charge for a steep roof gutter cleaning.

If you are asked to perform a gutter cleaning on a client’s house, sometimes if the roof isn’t too steep, you can use a leaf blower and simply walk the roof line and blow out the leaves. As the roof gets steeper, it gets more difficult to perform this and you need to work from a ladder, which makes the job more dangerous. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one member who was called to bid on gutter cleaning on a steep roof. He tells us how he priced it and how long it took him to perform.

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My first lawn care bidding experience. Shot down.

Is this your first season and are you out looking to get mowing jobs? The first few jobs you bid on are usually the toughest to get because you don’t have the infrastructure in place to properly estimate how much a property should be charged. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear a few of the trial and tribulations one new business owner went through and the advice he was given to improve.

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Dealing with low ball lawn care bidders.

How many times has this happened to you? You get a phone call from a potential lawn care customer who wants you to bid on their property. You show up to bid and then never hear anything back from them. Or if you do hear back from them, you find out your price was too high. Is there something you can do differently in your sales technique to potentially get a different result with the same price? Yes! As we will see from this discussion in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, there are ways you can present your bid that can improve your chances of success.

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How long do you wait for your money?

Billing lawn mowing clients and being paid in a timely matter can be a monthly battle if you don’t set up a system that makes sense and is relatively standard across the industry. Too many new landscapers will go out and buy expensive equipment, take their time to perform the work, and then wait and wait and wait some more until they get paid, if they ever get paid at all. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from veterans of the industry on how they handle these situations to make sure they get paid for the work they perform.

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Why won’t my bermuda grass germinate?

So many things can go wrong when you are trying to perform a lawn renovation. You are probably starting with a lawn that has weeds or has issues in the first place, Next you have to get rid of the weeds, treat the soil to get it to where you need it to be for the grass to grow. Then you have to spread the seed, protect it, and make sure it’s watered properly in order for the seed to germinate. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who really had a heck of a time getting all the variables right and lost quite a bit of time and money when things went wrong. Hopefully by reading what went wrong for him, you can avoid the same issues and find success quicker.

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Blueing the lawn mowing blade when sharpening.

Keeping your lawn mowing blades sharp can cut back on the time you spend mowing a yard. With a properly sharpened blade, you may be able to make one pass on a lawn where you might need to make multiple passes when the mower blade is dull. If you spread that time savings out across a day, wee, month, and year, it becomes some serious money. There are a few variables you need to be aware of when sharpening a blade. One of those is trying to avoid blueing the blade. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we learn more about what that is and why you should avoid it.

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Some lawn care customers are just not worth the effort.

Some mowing customers will throw up red flags from the moment you start talking with them about lawn care. Maybe they will try to haggle with you on price or when it comes time to pay their first invoice, they will refuse to pay sales tax. Others may ask for a senior discount or want you to mow an overgrown lawn for the price of a regular lawn. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum we hear from entrepreneurs who deal with some odd customer situations. Read through them and prepare yourself for when you bump into a similar potential customer.

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Should I buy an entire landscape equipment setup on craigslist?

If you are looking to jump into the lawn care industry and want to buy a whole bunch of equipment at once in order to get started asap, maybe you have considered packages deals you have seen on craigslist or even possibly from a business owner in your area. The desire to do this may be considered because the seller will offer you payment options you don’t feel you can get anywhere else. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, there are other options that should be considered before you dump good money into a bunch of used lawn care equipment.

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Losing my shirt on a landscape bid.

You can be caught off guard in your landscape bids when you don’t have enough experience bidding and performing the jobs you are asked to do. Sometimes, what seems like a quick and easy job can become a great big time sucker. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum we hear from one landscaper who underbid a weeding job. As we will see from this discussion, there usually more than one way to perform a job and knowing the various ways can mean the difference between making money and losing money on a job.

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Lawn irrigation troubleshooting.

There are all sorts of issues you can have with lawn irrigation systems over time. Sprinkler heads won’t pop up. They won’t spray correctly. Then sometimes some of the heads spray but others won’t even pop up. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who had a problem with a tree root pinching a main water line that kept the system from performing properly. Let’s look into this further and find out how he diagnosed the problem and how he ultimately resolved the issue!

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How to sell and charge for aeration services.

There are only so many times you can mow a lawn per year. That amount of mowings will generate a certain amount of money. Now since you are already at these properties and generating income. It makes sense to try and upsell you customer base on additional service, like for instance, aeration. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we look into how some entrepreneurs charge and market this service in order to make more money from the same customer base. They also use their aeration marketing to attract mowing customers as well.

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What I do to take on larger landscape jobs.

You get a call for a job that sounds very enticing. It’s a larger landscape job that you cringe when you think about taking it on alone. Instead of simply turning the job down at first glance, have you considered your options? That is what one landscaper thought about when he wrote on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about his experience.¬† In the discussion, a bunch of options were brought to light that could make the difference from staying a one man operation, to being able to scale up and grow to having employees, without too much trouble.

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I am finding a market in cleaning rooftop moss.

A big off season money maker for lawn care professionals is fall leaf cleanups and spring yard cleanups. With all those leaves falling on the ground, they can make a yard look like a mess. But what about up above? Roofs and gutters? It might not seem like a perfect add on at first, but think about it. If you are already offering property care services, how difficult is it to clean out gutters and while you are up there, clean roofs of moss. That is an idea an entrepreneur on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum implemented and with it, he found a way to bring in money when the grass isn’t growing.

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I need help bidding a 2 acre mowing job.

Everyone loves to mow smaller yards. You can get in and out quick and you can make money on a competitive rate. What should you do though if a customer calls and wants you to mow a larger area the size of 2 acres? Is taking on a larger job worthwhile? The answer as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum really depends on a number of factors. The first being the size of your equipment and the second being how often they want the property mowed. If your mower is too small, it will take you forever to mow the property. If the customer only wants the property mowed once in a while, by the next time you come back to mow, you may find yourself waist high in grass and weeds!

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Thinking about adding home improvement services as well.

Lawn care businesses quite often hire employees that are skilled in various trades. Sometimes they are out of work carpenters or painters. What should you do if your company has these skilled employees to better utilize their skill set? Should you test out offering various services outside of your core competency? That is what one entrepreneur wanted to know in this discussion at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Maybe some of the advice he got could help you consider bigger moves in your future.

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Lessons learned from a mulch bed installation job.

Every job you perform as a landscaper helps you improve your knowledge base and skill set that you can apply to future jobs. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one member talks about his latest mulch job. As we will see, smaller areas can be misleading when it comes to estimating mulch bed installs, especially when there are a lot of obstacles in your way. Compare the amount of time it took him to perform the job to what it takes you on current or upcoming jobs.

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How graphics on your landscape trailer can attract customers.

Getting your landscape truck and trailer done up with some cool vinyl graphics can cost a bit of money and it tends to be lower on the list of things to do for new business owner. It’s not that most business owner don’t want the nice looking artwork to promote themselves, it’s that they don’t know if it will be worth the money and bring them mowing customers. Well in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who went ahead and got the graphics designed and installed. The response he got from new customers seemed to really make it worth his while.

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Are these lawn mower blades sharp enough?

Most new lawn care business owners can’t tell what a properly sharpened mowing blade looks like. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we learn that if you can’t tell what a blade is supposed to look like sharpened, you will never be able to properly sharpen your blades. Here we see some examples of how not to sharpen blades and how you can’t blindly rely on your local mower dealer to sharpen blades properly for you.

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Smoking and lawn care employees.

Your lawn care employee’s personal habits can have an effect on your bottom line. You may let some things slide if you feel they do good work, but should you? In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who wants to know if he should allow his employees to smoke while working? Other owners share their experiences and really make him think about his employee policies.

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Someone stole my landscape trailer!

Sometimes it can take one small event to really mess up your business. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who was gone from his house for a short appointment only to return to find his landscape trailers and equipment stolen. This story should give us all pause to think about how quickly a theft can happen and how devastating it can be. Also, it opens your eyes as to what you need to do to prevent it and protect yourself.

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Should you be charging for soil tests?

If you are looking for a way to improve your sales presentation to a new potential lawn care customer and would also like to add a new service, why not consider soil testing? There are different levels of complexity you can perform with your soil tests that can really help you find out what a lawn needs to look lush. But should you charge for this service or should it be a free add on? That is what one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was interested in knowing more about.

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Mowing customer won’t sign contract!

Many variables can effect the desire of a customer to have their lawn mowed. The economy, the weather, their attitude and yours. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one frustrated business owner trying to figure out why his customers are wanting their lawn mowed only on demand when they need it versus being on a schedule. What can he do about it he wonders? Why won’t customers sign contracts and would that even help? Other business owners offer advice.

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Using a sulky with your lawn mower.

There are a few different types of mower sulkies out there. They come in handy when you have a walk behind mower and larger properties to mow. You can attach them to the back of your lawn mower and have the mower pull you around the property. Different variations in the designs can cause different side effects though. As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you need to pay attention when buying to make sure you get one that is best for you.

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Should I take this realtor on as a lawn care customer?

Some mowing customers you will never see. You will show up, mow their property and at the end of the month collect your money like clock work. Others will watch you through their window and complain about everything, including the price. Then, there are customers who promise you the world. They will tell you that they can get you all sorts of customers, if you give them a discount on their property. How do you handle such mowing customers? That is what one entrepreneur was wondering when he talked about his current issue in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and heard a few pieces of advice on how to handle such clients.

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I got too many lawn care customers!

We all dream that some lawn care marketing message we send out is going to be the golden ticket to more mowing accounts. More often than not, it seems not to happen. But ever once in a while, it does. Then what do you do when you are flooded with 150 new mowing accounts? That’s just what happened to this entrepreneur from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Read on to see what he did to handle it.

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Bidding a garden rototilling job.

If you find yourself being asked to bid a rototilling job on a garden bed and don’t know where to start when it comes to pricing, consider this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. In it, one entrepreneur talks about what he bid the tilling job at and how he came up with the price.

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Mulch job pricing can be cutthroat!

Estimates to install mulch in beds can vary quite a bit depending on multiple factors. In this discussion, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we get to hear from a few different business owners in different stages of growth and hear how they price jobs and how to deal with the cutthroat nature of estimating such jobs.

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Getting high end lawn care customers.

If you have never dealt with higher end lawn care customers, they are different than your average mowing customers. They demand more from you but they can pay a lot more and make it worth your while. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from some entrepreneurs about how they target higher end customers and how they benefit from doing so.

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