When is the last time you are going to be able to mow for the season? When that time comes, will there be other ways for you to continue to make money or will you simply pack it in and wait it out until spring? One new landscaper was trying to find out more about this on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and asked about his potential options.
He wrote “being this is my first year in business, I have a question about the end of mowing season. Is there a cut off date when you offer your last mow for the season? In my area, the grass has really slowed down. I have already moved my customers to a bi-weekly mowing schedule because it just doesn’t need anymore then that.
I am wondering if you tell your customers ‘this is the last mow’ and about when that might be?”
A second lawn care business owner said “when I do my scheduling in the spring, using Gopher Lawn Care Software, what I do is set up mowing from April 1 to the week before Thanksgiving. When it gets close to the end of the season like this, many customers call and ask me to skip their lawn but I tell them that if they continue to let me cut I’ll pick up the leaves at the same time and save them money on any leaf cleaning they may want.
Some call and ask me to stop altogether in October and then rethink and call when the leaves start to get deep and it ends up costing them more than the money they saved by skipping the mowing. I noticed that the customers that I have on annual contracts don’t mind me cutting when it doesn’t really need it. Note to self, get everyone on annual lawn care contracts!
I also can decide to skip lawns that don’t need to be cut and only have a few leaves. I try to leave that up to the customer though because when they are having company over or a party they want the lawn freshly mowed for the weekend and they’ll call if I skip. It’s rare but I love that sort of customer.
Basically, leaf cleanups cover for the loss of income from mowing but each customer has their own style.
So when the season slows as long as there is no extra work needed on the property, the price is just a mowing. If I have to haul away any debris, I’ll charge a few extra bucks. This is mostly to discourage those that let the leaves get up to my belt line before asking me to clean up. If I pick them up as they fall it’s quick and easy. If they make me wait until they’re all down one lawn takes all day.”
A third added “it seems there are two ways to take care of those leaves and make money at the same time.
1. Continue to mow until the leaves are done falling and mulch them back into the soil. Collecting mowing rates even that the grass has slowed way down.
2. Stop mowing when the grass stops growing and collect on a one time leaf pickup.
I think option #1 is the ideal direction though. It took me a few years to realize it, so live and learn I guess.”
A fourth shared “I’ve always believed there is a ton of opportunity between now and the end of the year to make more money in the lawn care business.
The next couple months is leaf raking and overseeding time. Then there is pre-winter cleanup, winterizing, cleanup for customers that are having relatives in for Thanksgiving, and cleanup for customers that are having relatives in for Christmas. There is always a limb that’s fallen in a customer’s lawn or a flower bed that is full of leaves.
If you hustle, know what services to offer, know how to advertise, and know how to bid, it is fairly easy to keep a lawn care business operating year-round.”
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