There is a delicate balance that a lawn care business owner must consider when they create their business plan. Will they be going for a quantity of customers and profit little per each customer or will they go for quality and profit more per customer but have less of them? You only have so much time to work during your day and the more time you spend per lawn, the better it may look but the less customers you can servie per day. You can charge more per lawn and profit more when you do a better job, but there is always that allure with beating your competitors price and going for quantity.
This topic was discussed on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when a member wrote “I think success in this business has a lot to do with the balance of quality or quantity of work.
If you shoot for the quantity, you need to be very efficient and waste no time. That allows you to decrease expenses and price as compared to your competition. In return you will gain clients that are shopping based on price. With this strategy you can have a lot of lower paying customers but in the end make money because of your efficiencies.
On the other hand, if you take the extra time to look at the little things and talk to your customers every now and then, you are providing more quality work. Efficiencies are lower and you will probably have to charge a little more to make as much as the competition. Your niche market will be those customers looking for quality work and are willing to pay the extra bucks per mow which in the end can make you more money than the quantity strategy.”
Another lawn care business owner said “Quantity vs. Quality. Mow and Go vs. Stay and Pay …or perhaps a bit of both? I find myself changing it up all of the time, but I mostly lean towards quality (there are exceptions). All of this depends on the situation, client, property. In the lawn care business you really need to adapt.
There are methods to maintain premium quality and still mow 25+ lawns per day.The secret is you need to build routines and be consistent. Once you do that you’ll find that your route will run like a well oiled machine.
The fact of the matter is you should never sacrifice quality in order to push your business forward. If you do this you’ll find yourself in a decline and you’ll never know what happened until it is too late.
Here is an example:
I received a phone call last spring requesting a quote for lawn maintenance. They told me that the company they have been using for the past year shows up with 3 guys they all hop on machines fly around, grass is going everywhere, skid marks in their lawn and on their driveway from the mowers, gardens are full of grass and they don’t blow anything out so the clippings are everywhere. It was a rant for sure!
So I showed up to the property 1 hour after the initial call. I was surprised to find out that it was a 1.5 acre lot and the lawn was a mess. One of the first questions I always asked was how long does it usually take to mow the lawn? Asking that loaded question gives me tons of info about the previous company and what the client is looking for. From it I found out that it took them 2.5 hours to cut, trim and blow (even though there showed no signs of blowing), and they charged $45.00 per cut.
First of all there is no way that company was making any money with productivity rate of $6.00 per man hour. I laughed in my head.
I quoted the job at $75.00 per mow on a 26 visit contract, which came to $1950.00 a year. I got the job. It takes us 1 hour to mow, trim and blow.
2 workers x 0.5hrs = 1hr total
$75.00 / 1hr / 2 = $37.50 productivity per man hour
Those are not bad numbers but I would like them to be higher.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that the other lawn care company was not as efficient as mine. They wasted time by not delegating tasks and it took them 1.5hrs longer to mow the lawn. On top of that, they low balled the property to begin with. In the end they lost the job due to quality issues.
You can find efficiencies by doing the job right. Make sure you quote the job to be profitable! Nothing gets my goat more then listening to people say things like ‘if I charge less I’ll get more customers’.
The biggest thing lacking in the lawn care industry is structure. Anyone has the ability to say ‘I’ll cut your lawn for $10.00′ and you know what they might get the job and they might get lots of jobs, but in the end quality will fall and clients will realize that they made a wrong choice. Once the customer realizes that, they will be looking for their next lawn care service provider.”