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View Full Version : HOW MANY LCO's friends want service at a discount?


MJhnson Lawn
04-12-2005, 01:12 PM
I service some of my friends Lawn and they expect some kind of discount,
because of friendship, and then when I cut them a little slack its
not enough. How many LCO's are having this problem?

br549oicu8
04-12-2005, 01:21 PM
No discount given to friends. I may help them out on some things or allow them to bring their own blades to the shop and sharpen them, assuming we are only spraying their lawns not mowing them.

BigMack
04-12-2005, 01:22 PM
They all do!!!!

pagefault
04-12-2005, 01:23 PM
I got it when I was in a law office, when I was doing computer service, when I was in software development, photography, etc. My wife gets it all the time too.

Her mother is in HR. The other day, she wanted me to come by and do a bunch of lawn work for her, as a favor. I told her that the business was not even off the ground yet, but that once it was I hoped to be too busy for any favors. She was bent out of shape, to say the least. I told her ok, how about I do your lawn work as a favor and you do all of my employee screening, hiring, training, paperwork and whatever the hell else you do, as a favor?

She didn't get it.

My experience has been that people who ask for a discount "because we're friends" or family, do not value your time or your work and they will take advantage of you to no end.

Tell your friend that you would be happy to tell him where you get your day laborers.

grassmanvt
04-12-2005, 01:31 PM
Gotta love the " yeah, I work with your dad's friend's neighbor's friend's cousin's sister, so what can you give me for a deal", probably the same one you would give me. I do have one or two friends that we trade off work and do things pretty reasonable for each other but it works with very few people.

MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
04-12-2005, 01:37 PM
All of them want it.

Todd's lawncare
04-12-2005, 01:49 PM
i only have one like that but when i asked him to run some new electric for me he said 20 an hour fuc@ that any one else know i run a business not a Charity !

Shawns Lawns
04-12-2005, 05:01 PM
My friend came over to see my new Grasshopper and saw my powerbroom and asked if he could use it to do his property. I had to call him later and tell him he could not use it since i just ran it over (by mistake). I was able to fix it but have not called him back to let him know that. :p

Tn Lawn Man
04-12-2005, 05:08 PM
The way that I have found to be successful is to tell them that if there is a "favor" that you need me to do I will try to fit it in my schedule. However, if you are looking for a long term business arrangement then I will have to bill you like a regular customer.

I offer a small discount, usually like $5 off of a $30 lawn, but that is it.

I tell them that I am very leary of doing business with friends as it has caused problems in the past.

Most (not all) have respected my position/stance. Those that haven't I have discovered weren't real friends anyways.

KINGjosh
04-12-2005, 05:19 PM
Direct familiy members get the service for free! I try to stay away from doing work for friends, its just not good to involve money with friends period.

One of my friends asked if i would resod his yard at cost. I told him I would drop off the sod at his house and tell him how to do it! :p

packerbacker
04-12-2005, 05:22 PM
I do work for friends now and then and not once have any of them asked for a discount. They pay on time also. The only person I dont charge to do work is my mom. I cut her place for nothing. She has had to put up with me for almost 31 years so I owe her something.

Todd's lawncare
04-12-2005, 05:23 PM
Direct familiy members get the service for free! I try to stay away from doing work for friends, its just not good to involve money with friends period.

One of my friends asked if i would resod his yard at cost. I told him I would drop off the sod at his house and tell him how to do it! :p
1. Cost or material
2. Cost of labor
3. Cost profit
4. Whats the problem you said cost didn't you ?

Todd's lawncare
04-12-2005, 05:24 PM
I do work for friends now and then and not once have any of them asked for a discount. They pay on time also. The only person I dont charge to do work is my mom. I cut her place for nothing. She has had to put up with me for almost 31 years so I owe her something.
You still live at home ?

KINGjosh
04-12-2005, 05:30 PM
1. Cost or material
2. Cost of labor
3. Cost profit
4. Whats the problem you said cost didn't you ?


Cost of material.

Todd's lawncare
04-12-2005, 05:35 PM
Cost of material.
I was just busting your chop buddy.
But i told a friend that live in a nice house on a main street . That i would do the front of his house for cost if he let me put a sing up ! said yea but then he wants stone that like 65 a scoop full i was thinking some nice flowers and mulch no more then 200 something like that but you give an inch they want a mile.

KINGjosh
04-12-2005, 05:48 PM
I still wouldn't do it for the sign deal. My friends know that i'm not a push over, if anything they say, " hey buddy, Come over this Saturday for a real nice Bar-B-Q, and some beer." Then they pull the old come a little early i need some help with this project. LOL

packerbacker
04-12-2005, 11:09 PM
You still live at home ?




You must of missed the sentence where i said "her place". Let me introduce you to the english language




http://www.dictionary.com


Its a wealth of info as is this:


http://www.starfall.com/

bicmudpuppy
04-12-2005, 11:53 PM
When I was still punching the clock, an employer told me "never work for friends you want to stay friends with........" I believed him and have seen nothing to change it.

People asking for disounts......I guess it happens in every service industry, but the green industry has got to be the worst.
My standard answer when someone asks for some slack or discount..."where do YOU work?" I trade a LOT and if the grocer around the corner ever bites I promise anything I can do for him is FREE. But then he knows my kids and has seen them EAT. It ain't going to happen.

ChadA
04-13-2005, 12:24 AM
My really close friends I give a discount to. But the call you when they need something friends, they are always charged full price.

CuttingCrew
04-13-2005, 12:58 AM
The first boss I had when I was 13 taught me a valuable lesson. One day at the store (a shoe repair shop) I noticed he charged a friend full price for some work the guy had done. I asked him "why didn't you give your friend a break?" his reply was "If you give all your friends a break, you end up with lots of friends and no money."

Everybody but mom and my church pay full price. Mom's is free, God gets a discount.

promower
04-13-2005, 01:02 AM
I work for a friend and it has worked out fine. If you have a $30 minimum, tell them your minimum is $35 but you'll do it for $30. You get full price and they feel like its a deal, everyone wins.

joeg2246
04-13-2005, 01:54 AM
All of them and some expect it for free!!!!

JimLewis
04-13-2005, 03:31 AM
I service some of my friends Lawn and they expect some kind of discount,
because of friendship, and then when I cut them a little slack its
not enough. How many LCO's are having this problem?

I always find it hillarious when someone posts this thread (it's come up many times over the years.) And to read all of the negative responses that results from the thread.

I sometimes think I am the only one who "gets it." So for those of you who don't get how this is supposed to work, let me explain.

First of all, we need to differentiate between who is a real friend and who is just an acquaintance. The guy who works at your wife's office and you see him occasionally at her company Christmas parties - that's an acquaintance. He deserves no discount. The guy who you used to go to school with and you still call each other once in a while or play poker once every 3 months - that's not really a friend either. More like an old friend you're barely hanging onto for no particular reason. He, too, deserves no discount.

But there is a difference between them and true friends. True friends do stuff for one another. They give one another big breaks when they are in the position to do so. And it should go both ways. If you are the only person giving the other guy a break on something then either you haven't given him enough time to do something for you or he just isn't a true friend and he's using you.

I give my close friends approx. a 50% discount on their maintenance service and try to give as big as discount as I can on irrigation work or install work.

For that, I get stuff in return. Here is a brief list of a few of the things I've got in return from my friends over the last 2 years;

1) Complete custom interior paint job for our 3,000 sq. ft. home. Value; $3000. I paid $800 (the cost of his paint and his workers' pay. My friend worked for free).

2) Matching Italian Leather couch, loveseat, chair and ottoman. Value; $4,500. I paid less than $1000. (Long story how he got me that good of a discount on it. But it's true.)

3) Custom built cabinets in my garage. Value; I don't know. But all I paid for was materials. My friend who is a contractor took 2 days to custom build them for me and charged me nothing because I've always given him a deal on landscape maintenence.

4) 4 Speeding tickets off and counting....... My best friend is a cop. He has nothing really to offer me in return. But because he's my best friend I've always given him his landscape maint. service at about 40% of what I'd normally charge. Also because I appreciate police officers and what they do and it was my way to help him. I appreciate the sacrifices they make and I don't think they get paid what they are worth. So it's my way of helping him. He doesn't have anything to offer me in exchange and I never expected anything in exchange. But the last 4 speeding tickets I got - he's managed to pursuade his buddies to rip them up. So that was a nice deal and a good example of how and why friends help each other.

AND, now I work for 3 of his co-workers. That's 3 more cops I give discounts too (although not as big of a discount as my best friend gets) and that's also 3 more cops who won't be giving me tickets if they ever pull me over.

5) I have a friend who works at a audio/electronics store. Even before I was giving him discounts for landscaping stuff, he was hooking me up with amazing deals on my car audio stuff. I've got a whole list of items from him over the years from him at 35% off retail prices (stereo stuff, amps, speakers, PIAA lights, etc.) Recently, I was shopping for a new HD TV. He took me to the place where his store buys from (only large retail stores and the managers of these stores can buy here) and got me this TV;

http://www.plasma.com/jvcdlptv/HD-52Z575.htm

for $1900.00. Which was quite a discount at the time. The TV has come down in price since. But it still doesn't sell for any less than $2450.00 today. It was quite a savings.

Anyway. That's how it works. Quit being so damn greedy with your money. If they are true friends, it should work both ways. If it isn't working both ways, hey, I hate to break it to ya - but you got some bum friends.

br549oicu8
04-13-2005, 08:34 AM
Jim Lewis!!
Excellent point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree completely!!

spcfoor
04-13-2005, 09:57 AM
I agree with Jim. If they are really true friends I will give them a break on their lawn care. Just recently a workout friend needed his yard mowed and bagged for the first cut of the year.(His mower broke down) So I went and did it for him. Now I am getting to play golf at one of the nicer golf course here in town. If I had charged him my rate to mow his yard I would not have enough to play at this course. So it works out if the friend is a friend like Jim said.

MJhnson Lawn
04-13-2005, 02:09 PM
I always find it hillarious when someone posts this thread (it's come up many times over the years.) And to read all of the negative responses that results from the thread.

I sometimes think I am the only one who "gets it." So for those of you who don't get how this is supposed to work, let me explain.

First of all, we need to differentiate between who is a real friend and who is just an acquaintance. The guy who works at your wife's office and you see him occasionally at her company Christmas parties - that's an acquaintance. He deserves no discount. The guy who you used to go to school with and you still call each other once in a while or play poker once every 3 months - that's not really a friend either. More like an old friend you're barely hanging onto for no particular reason. He, too, deserves no discount.

But there is a difference between them and true friends. True friends do stuff for one another. They give one another big breaks when they are in the position to do so. And it should go both ways. If you are the only person giving the other guy a break on something then either you haven't given him enough time to do something for you or he just isn't a true friend and he's using you.

I give my close friends approx. a 50% discount on their maintenance service and try to give as big as discount as I can on irrigation work or install work.

For that, I get stuff in return. Here is a brief list of a few of the things I've got in return from my friends over the last 2 years;

1) Complete custom interior paint job for our 3,000 sq. ft. home. Value; $3000. I paid $800 (the cost of his paint and his workers' pay. My friend worked for free).

2) Matching Italian Leather couch, loveseat, chair and ottoman. Value; $4,500. I paid less than $1000. (Long story how he got me that good of a discount on it. But it's true.)

3) Custom built cabinets in my garage. Value; I don't know. But all I paid for was materials. My friend who is a contractor took 2 days to custom build them for me and charged me nothing because I've always given him a deal on landscape maintenence.

4) 4 Speeding tickets off and counting....... My best friend is a cop. He has nothing really to offer me in return. But because he's my best friend I've always given him his landscape maint. service at about 40% of what I'd normally charge. Also because I appreciate police officers and what they do and it was my way to help him. I appreciate the sacrifices they make and I don't think they get paid what they are worth. So it's my way of helping him. He doesn't have anything to offer me in exchange and I never expected anything in exchange. But the last 4 speeding tickets I got - he's managed to pursuade his buddies to rip them up. So that was a nice deal and a good example of how and why friends help each other.

AND, now I work for 3 of his co-workers. That's 3 more cops I give discounts too (although not as big of a discount as my best friend gets) and that's also 3 more cops who won't be giving me tickets if they ever pull me over.

5) I have a friend who works at a audio/electronics store. Even before I was giving him discounts for landscaping stuff, he was hooking me up with amazing deals on my car audio stuff. I've got a whole list of items from him over the years from him at 35% off retail prices (stereo stuff, amps, speakers, PIAA lights, etc.) Recently, I was shopping for a new HD TV. He took me to the place where his store buys from (only large retail stores and the managers of these stores can buy here) and got me this TV;

http://www.plasma.com/jvcdlptv/HD-52Z575.htm

for $1900.00. Which was quite a discount at the time. The TV has come down in price since. But it still doesn't sell for any less than $2450.00 today. It was quite a savings.

Anyway. That's how it works. Quit being so damn greedy with your money. If they are true friends, it should work both ways. If it isn't working both ways, hey, I hate to break it to ya - but you got some bum friends.
I was pretty much thinking along those terms,with a few friends that I've known
for years, and we help each other; but I only do my parents yard for free. All
acquaintences get regular price. My neighbors think because they live next door
they should get some kind of discount and even IOUs

tjgray
04-13-2005, 02:17 PM
We started doing our really close friends lawn three years ago with a small discount.....now we do their neighbors and their neighbors lawns too :D

And we spray any weeds that might pop up in our neighbor to the left of us because he works really hard to keep his property maintained and has shown us many acts of good neighbor kindness over the years *when we didn't own a lawn mower he mowed our lawn*

Now as for my neighbor to the right *my head hurts just looking at their lawn* we have offered to get it in shape with a big discount but they just don't care....so we try not too either.

Across the street they work for hours and hours on their shrubs and beds....hours in their yard digging up huge thistles, mowing, edging etc...to see it completely covered in weeds is sad and we have tried repeatedly to get them to let us help them BUT sighs I guess some people just don't want to spend money on lawn and ornamental maintenance :(

Personally I am waiting until they just can't stand how good me and my neighbor to the lefts lawn looks and how bad theirs look that they break down and give in :)

dvmcmrhp52
04-13-2005, 02:36 PM
If they are true friends why wouldn't you give them a discount?
That doesn't mean doing it for free...........
It's been explained well...........it works both ways.

JOEWOOD
04-13-2005, 03:37 PM
Jim Lewis, I agree with all you said, except the Corrupt Cop Thing!

Itsgottobegreen
04-13-2005, 05:43 PM
Barter system here. Got some nice deals out of that system.

Only one friend gets a break. My best friend. He always is seems to be waiting for me to finish on fridays before we go hang out. So he always stops by and grabs a trimmer to help finish. So I cut him a break on everything. The only time I ever had paid him was while he was in between jobs. Other wise I never pay him. You keep friends that way.

Parents if free (I still live there and its considered my rent)

No one else gets a discount. If they do, they just think they are getting one.

JimLewis
04-14-2005, 06:15 AM
Jim Lewis, I agree with all you said, except the Corrupt Cop Thing!

I disagree that it's corruption. Cops always have the leeway to give or not give tickets when they stop someone. It's within their power and best judgement to give you the benefit of the doubt and NOT write a ticket if they want to. But If they don't know you from Jack, they often just assume you are some careless speeder who doesn't care about police or the laws. So not knowing anything more about you, they write the ticket.

But when a friend of theirs comes up and says, "Hey, this guy you stopped a little while ago is actually a very good friend of mine. He must have been in a hurry or something but he's usually a very safe driver and you and I both know 60 in a 50 on that country road on a sunny day isn't putting anyone at much risk. He has helped several of us here in the department out over the years. Do you think you could give him the benefit of the doubt on this one?" Then, having more information about what kind of person you are, they can decide not to write or turn in the ticket.

And actually I misspoke. The 4 tickets he's helped me with were probably over the last 3 years and not all of them were for speeding. One of them was for a rolling stop (California stop) in an area where I had stopped only long enough to see there weren't any other cars or people around, then kept going.