What’s better, a big lawn care account or many small ones?

Every lawn care business owner seems to wish for more and more business. But what would you do if you had the chance to take on not just a little, but a lot more business with a single customer? Would you take it or would you pass on the opportunity? That is what one lawn care business owner pondered when he wrote about his current situation on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

He shared “at the moment we are at our limit for lawn mowing accounts. To add more would mean adding another vehicle, another trailer, and a mowing setup.

The reason why I brought this up is that I got a call from a very long time friend, who has lot’s of cash. He bought a place on the ocean really close to one of our largest lawn care accounts. He asked for a lawn care quote last year, and I gave him one. We were higher than the current lawn care provider he had, although he wasn’t happy with the quality, we left it at that and he said maybe some other time. The property is 7 acres with easy mowing, and has mainly wide open areas.

Anyhow he calls to say he has had it with the current landscaper and needs his summer home done right away. We were swamped yesterday like most days but I said we would do it today as I have two more guys starting, however it is honestly not something I could do every week unless we drop a few small lawn accounts which isn’t really fair as they are all good payer’s. Yet from a bottom line stand point, my profit would jump as the mowing staff would not have to travel to 6 places and burn all that fuel and waste all that time getting from place to place. I figure it would take dumping 6 current lawn care customers to fit this one in or I would have to scale the business up more.

I am really torn over what to do with this although my gut tells me to dump a few accounts and take on his property. There is about $20 grand in work to be done, which would include trees, chipping, turf dressing, rock wall building, better drain along the side of a private road etc.

The problem I have though is how in the heck do I tell good lawn care customers we are no longer able to service their lot? I think this new mowing account will work well due to our being able to leave gear there.

If that wasn’t enough stress, get this. His neighbor, who has 6 acres, called last night and wants us to take over his place from another company as well. I went over with him what the other was not doing and what he wants done. It was all pretty simple actually. Proper trimming seemed to be the big issue. I did notice yesterday his place had an amazing mowing job but really poor trimming. The other lawn care company did not blow the grass clippings off his road and walk. Instead they blew clippings into his mulch and they do not run mulching blades on their mowers. I did notice clumps of grass in a bunch of spots as well.

Lawn mowing customer

Lawn mowing customer

Anyhow I gave him a mowing estimate, he accepted and said to put him on the list. These two places will take two staff a full day to complete. In a way, this is perfect because I am thinking if I take these accounts, I could go after the other owners on this private road too. All properties look to be within the 2 to 4 million price range.”

A second lawn care business owner shared “man, that is a tough decision. I would have a hard time not adding that lawn care account. But I also wouldn’t want to drop any of my current well paying customers either. I guess I would have to add those new accounts and bite the bullet as I scaled up the business with a new mowing crew, equipment, and truck set up. You shouldn’t let yourself get too worked up over this. Most lawn care business owners would dream of having this happen to them. Jump on it while you can and expand the business.”

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