The show must go on for LawnRx, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
President Bruce Love says that despite the?coronavirus pandemic, his company has had steady workflow.
LawnRx provides a five-step fertilization program and performs about 15,000-20,000 per year. The company also provides preventative grub control, aeration, over seeding, tree and shrub treatments, flea and tick sprays, perimeter pest control and lime applications.
“It’s been business as usual,” he says. “We are pretty much hitting our numbers with what we did year-to-date last year.”
In Pennsylvania landscaping was deemed essential, so Love says he didn’t have to shut down.
“We did put some safety measures in place. We have hand sanitizer in the trucks, one man per vehicle and we did shut our office down,” he says, adding that his two office employees are working from home and technicians are able to complete their day-to-day work with no problems.
So far, Love says he hasn’t had many cancellations.
“We have approximately 3,000 customers and I think we may have had two cancellations for our programs this year that were COVID related,” he says.
Love admitted that when COVID-19 first hit, he was skeptical to how many customers would want crews showing up to their homes. But Love says his crews can better connect with their clients during these trying times.
“We’ve actually made more of a connection with our customers now because everybody is home, than we have it the past. Our technicians are able to talk with our customers now more than they ever were before,” he says.
Love says LawnRx has also had a lot of calls from new customers.
“We’ve actually grown the business so far this year, we’re looking at about 8% growth,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of requests coming in. We’ve probably sold about 75% of our estimate requests.”
Love attributes the growth to more people being at home and taking notice their lawns.
“There’s not much else to do, so they’re looking at their yards and spending more time out there. I think that contributes to it,” he says.
LawnRx has even launched a new service recently.
“We are starting a nutsedge program this year,” he says. “We have had a good response with that. Typically, we try to spot treat the lawns with nutsedge, but over the years the lawns have become inundated. We are now doing blanket applications and more than one treatment.”
Love notes that in addition to nutsedge, common weeds in his area include ground ivy, dandelions and clover.
Despite an increase in sales, Love says he will remain cautiously optimistic for now.
“It’s been definitely surprising,” he says. “The demand for it is up, but can people pay for lawn treatments versus their mortgage and other bills?” Are people going to have their jobs going forward when the restrictions end? I’m interested to see how it plays out six or eight months down the road.”
Love says that while clients aren’t cancelling, he has noticed some people are taking longer to pay.
“Our receivables are typically at an average of 11 days,” he says. “Those have slowed down. We have people who are not paying their bills quite as fast. We got started doing our service the first week of March, and we have a 30-day receivable, so we’re starting to see people a little bit later on their payments.”
Love says he expects things to slow down soon, as they do every year.
“Our selling season usually slows down in the end of May and beginning of June because the dandelions aren’t blooming as much,” he says. “Typically, our selling season is February through May. I don’t see that changing.”