If you were operating your lawn care business last year, you may be wondering what is the best way to reach out and contact your customers to renew service for this new year. That is something one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Owner was curious to know about and we got a great response from another business owner on how he handles that.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I am about to launch a lawn care business this spring in Ohio. I have been looking forward to it for a while now. I have most of the legal stuff taken care of, but now I am trying to gather the rest of the equipment that I will need, and start advertising. I am really trying to get some customers for the upcoming mowing season. I know I am behind the curve, but I think that a slow start will be good for me.
Anybody from Ohio? or a nearby state? What month do you begin and end your mowing season. When should I start getting mowing customers?”
A second business owner shared “I am going into my third season. My first season I was a little late getting everything going and did not start until the third week in March. Last year I sent my lawn care customer renewal letters out mid February letting all my clients know that we would be starting the first Monday in March weather permitting. I found that some of my customers were not ready to start that early, so this year I am going to start them out in 2 waves. Some the first week of March, and the others the 3rd week.
Sending the letters out half way through February and the beginning of March respectively, you might not be able to start this early being further North. You should try to get 16 mowings out of your bi-weeklys and 32 mowings out of your weekly customers each season.
So this year my season will end for some clients the first of November, and mid November. The last couple mowings are usually leaf cleanups for a lot of my clients, and some select clients also continue to get leaf service all the way up to Christmas.
My residential customers are not on contract, and yes I just begin service at the date noted in the letter, but I make sure to have the letters out 2 weeks before the start date. That way the customer has a chance to respond, and let me know if they want to wait, or if something else is going on etc.
I’ve never ran into any problems with this renewal method because I give them an opportunity to contact me before we start. I have had a couple of my weekly mowing customers say let’s do bi-weekly for this first month after the first mow or, something like that. I’ve never had a problem with a customer saying they weren’t going to pay, because we started too early. I do give all of my clients cleanups, and I did have one lady who refused to pay for her cleanup, because she didn’t request it two years ago. I didn’t even charge her any more than her regular mowing. Anyways, she was a real problem of a customer, so I was glad to let her $35 dollars go to not have to deal with her anymore.
After dealing with that situation with the client, I put a bulletin regarding cleanups in my renewal letter last year explaining that all of our customers will receive cleanups and there may be a small extra charge for the disposal of the leaves. I also let all of them know that they are getting a discounted rate on this service. My disposal charge is usually $15.
So, for a regular mowing customer who’s price is $37.50, their charge would be $52.50, but for a client who just calls me once a year for a cleanup it would be significantly more, like $105. Also, with my regular customers, I put how much time we were at their property for the cleanup, and once they see how much time we spent on their leaves for the price they get, that tends to alleviate all their concerns.
I try to stay on the same weekly-biweekly, schedule throughout the leaf season, so everybody gets several cleanups, but there are a few who request that we wait until all the leaves fall. We charge them the full cleanup price.”
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