Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Silent sorrow in empty trucks

Believe me, it's not too often I feel sorry for the big three in the lawn care industry, but as we still wait for the beginning of the 2014 lawn season I can't help but wonder the problems Mother Nature's temper tantrum have caused.
First of all let's do the math; you have a fleet of 40-or-so trucks doing 30 plus applications a day each...that's 1,280 customers, give or take, you will have to pick-up with every day lost.

Seems Steve Stronge who spends much of his time now apologizing to Weedman customers on Homestars might have a few additions to that list?

Because it is such a game of numbers with the bigger companies they are usually out no later than the end of March letting the fertilizer fly. With the winter we've had such a thing is not possible even mid-way into April. Now add in the massive clean up from the ice storm. Many properties are still littered with the shrapnel of fallen tree branches.
Do you really want a lawn tech playing hopscotch with a 80lb hopper of fertilizer around all of it? Yet, mark my words, in a day-or-two it is exactly what you'll see.

I've already witnessed Property Stars out aerating lawns as of April 7th. One lawn had a mound of snow and ice on it and they simply aerated around it.
A fool and his money I guess?

Please people! Understand, if your lawn is too soggy, or too frozen, aeration is going to be ineffective and cause more damage than benefit.
I'm not saying this for my own gain, this is aeration 101 if you care to do some research. Most of our aerations are performed in the fall because in spring, I'm just pulling up cores packed with weed-seeds and exposing them to the elements making them ripe for germination.

As a business owner I understand the issues with keeping a customer base happy when playing catch-up, but as a consumer, when I pay for a service I am trusting someone to do it correctly.

In the new era of "organic only" lawn care, customer service is key. Otherwise, one day there may not be enough lawns for everyone. The big guys should take note: with social media front and foremost, there are only so many suckers out there ripe for the picking.

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