What to do with your lawn care customer’s yard debris? That question may not seem like a big deal early on but as you go, you will find it can quickly become a money sucking burden! If you haven’t thought about it or your policy is still undetermined, consider what this lawn care business owner does. He shared with us, on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, how his policy had changed three times since he got started and how he now feels comfortable with his plan to deal with yard debris and compensate himself for the time and money it takes to remove it.
He wrote “here is a little about my lawn care business. I just bought a dump truck this past winter, but before, it wasn’t in the budget so instead I was using my 18′ landscape trailer. I put plywood up all around the trailer and made boxes on the sides for line trimmers and tools for easy access. More importantly, I could move 8-10 yards of mulch and around 4 yards of dirt with that trailer. I painted the wood black and put up some signage and my logo. I don’t think it looked half bad. It only cost me the treated plywood, bolts and paint which was less than $500.00.
So far all the lawn mowing machines I have, I really like. None of them have given me much problems. I have found you can get double the work you get done if you use a stander style mower compared to the walk behinds PLUS it doesn’t even feel like work! The only problem is they are double the price. But after everything is said and done, I really think it’s the way to go.
I’ve been in the lawn care business for about three years now. During that time I always have had a problem with taking a lot yard debris home with me. Early on, I would burn it, but the neighbors started complaining about that. So then I went and found a dump site that gave me a pretty good price. I bought a chipper to shred everything down so I could transport more at one time and get my money’s worth of my dump trips. I would still try and take as much grass or leaves with me home and roto til it into a large square garden I made on my property. I figured that way, nobody could tell what was there and the complaints stopped.
Going to the dump though started to get pricey for me and take up too much time, so I changed my policy again and have been leaving a lot more of the debris at my lawn care customer’s houses. My new policy says that dump fees are not included in the regular maintenance. Once a month or every two months I will send a note in the billing that says I’m going to be picking up debris for $x amount of dollars and if they want it removed, they pay for it.
Each yard is different when it comes to where I leave the yard waste. One lawn care customer has a pile that we add to in the corner of her backyard. I have some smaller houses where if we pickup branches and sticks we will put them by the curb near the driveway for the town to pick up. The thing I am finding is that it’s hard to switch some lawn care customers to pay for the debris removal services, when they had been initially accustomed to me taking it away for free. So you gotta think about this stuff early on or you will confuse your customers and most likely get them mad at you. As it stands now, if they don’t want to pay me, they can let the town’s yard waste service remove it from the curb or wait until we go to the dump!”
Order the book How To Get Commercial Lawn Care And Snow Plow Customers today.
Use these lawn care and snow plow estimators for your Android phone.