Don’t let your dethatching job turn the lawn into a warzone.

Lawn care business owners love to offer their customers dethatching services because they are a fairly simple upsell and can improve the health of a lawn. However, they can also make a lawn look like a warzone. This discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum will help you understand the best way to perform dethatching as well as how to educate the customer about the service. In the end the goal is to keep everyone on the same page and make the customer’s lawn look better.

One lawn care business owner wrote “before I start any dethatching job, I always make it a point to explain the process to the customer. Before I perform the work, I want them to know what to expect now and later. The more educated the customer is, the less explaining you’ll have to do later. You need to let the customer know exactly what ‘thatching’ is and how it effects their lawn. Then I would explain that the process will be revealing bare spots, and that they would be very noticeable for a few weeks after I finish. With that in mind, I would then try and sell an overseeding job and explain that with the proper watering, they should see results in 2-3 weeks. The best thing to tell a customer is it’s only temporary, but it’s in the best interests of their lawn, and that the end results will be well worth the minor inconvenience.”

A second lawn care business owner had an opposing view on and wrote “I do not and will not use a commercial de-thatching machine on a customer’s lawn as there are other and better options. Instead I use a tow behind lawn sweeper which removes the majority of the dead grass. Then I spray with an organic de-thacher, which gives an end results that looks 10 times better. By performing the job this way, I make three times the profit plus I pick up a spraying job and it looks excellent.

Dethachers in general, especially the cheap ones, tear the heck out of the client’s lawn and it is not necessary. If someone did that to my lawn I would throw them off the property and they would not be paid.

Since there are so many options, we have to educate ourselves and put ourselves in the client’s shoes. Do you want your $400,000+ home with a front yard that looks like it went to war for three or four weeks? I don’t and I am sure they don’t either. Because I use this in my sales presentation I get almost the customer almost every time and I get the upsell package deal from spraying to seeding, rolling, clean up etc.

The key to making money at this service is you have to educate the client on how the thatch happens and what they are doing wrong. Even if they initially call you to only dethatch their lawn, after you educate them you may find your clients will asking you to take over their mowing service as well.

After every job you perform, before any crew member leaves the property, you need to ensure the customer is happy with what was done. If they are not home you need to leave them a message, or send them an email by the end of the day to see if they are satisfied. You don’t want to wait until you pull up one day and find another lawn care company mowing the property, to hear that the customer was unhappy with your service.

Also, too many lawn care companies go out and buy the cheapest equipment they can and think it will do the job. I can tell you from experience, it won’t and the end result will be a disaster. Then these new lawn care companies wonder why their company isn’t making any money or growing.

If you want to do really good work, do your research and homework, before you start offering a service. Buy quality equipment and get into services that will make you money. If you do that, you will grow beyond your dreams.

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