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View Full Version : i think i went to far this time!!


scagwildcat
11-02-2006, 12:36 PM
i have this client that is really a pain, i dont know if you all remember the thread about mowing on sunday and someone else mulched the flowerbeds and hacked them. but anyway, i get to his home yesterday afternoon to perform a fall cleanup, i start blowing around all the edges, 30 min into it, he comes out and asks me if we should wait till dec to clean up the lawn? im like wtf!! he says that the oak trees still have some leaves on them, i tell him that the oaks hold their leaves and i cant wait till dec to do a fall cleanup, so he starts with how many leaves to you think will fall? i say, let me go get a ladder so i can count them for you!! then he says well, do you think that the lawn will have leaves on it after you leave? i say maybe one or two here and there if the wind blows them off the trees. so i tell him that if he wants me to wait, i have to charge him for today and i might not be able to get to him later to complete the cleanup, he didnt understand why i couldnt get to him later, so i told him that he wasnt my only client and i still have 22 other cleanups i need to get done, and it flurried last sunday, so he says, whens it going to snow? heres when i lost it!! i said what do i look like god to you? i dont know when its going to snow,or if its going to be windy tonight and make the rest of the leaves fall down from the trees!!! he stood there with this look on his face, like i cant believe he just said that to me! so i told him that yes i understand his point, but he needs to understand mine, this is the day i scheduled the cleanup, i am here, i could be at another clients house right now, and if he waits he might not get done at all, i need to get these done and put my equipment in storage for the winter and then get ready for winter .. then he asks me how hard it is for me to take my equipment out of storage to do the cleanup? i told him that no clean up is worth taking my sander off the truck, moving the trailer and machines/tools around in the garage just to do one cleanup...then put it all back in it!! then i told him that the more he holds me up the more it will cost him, DO YOU WANT IT DONE OR NOT? i still had wait a few for him to decide !! this guy is from a big city and never had a lawn before, now that he lives in the woods so to speak, he has no clue!!! he does this to me all the time, it takes me 40 min to mow his lawn, but it takes one and a half hours because he asks so many clueless things..this is how bad he is, in the winter he shovels half the driveway, then he tells me that seeing that he shoveled i should charge him less, well he doesn't shovel by the road, he shovels right in front of were the snow gets stacked? im tired of the head aches he gives me, im thinking that he needs to find someone else, thanks for letting me vent...

hobbsd
11-02-2006, 12:44 PM
The best thing that I would do is to make it clear that you will charge for all of your time at his property, this way you either make a killing or he drops you and you have no more headache. However, I always call my clients before I do fall clean-ups to make sure that they want it at that point in the season.

:usflag:

lawnguyland
11-02-2006, 12:50 PM
Fire his worthless butt.

Randy Scott
11-02-2006, 01:16 PM
Basically, all you did was tell him you couldn't handle the work load. Like it or not, your problems of having other customers, winterizing equipment, getting the plow stuff out, isn't his problem. Either you can do the work or you can't. You told him you can't, so you are of no use to him. You made a big deal about nothing. Tell him, hey, I have to charge you for the half hour I've been here, I can put you at the end of the schedule because I know oak leaves hang on forever, and if winter doesn't come real early, we can get the cleanup done for you. Our schedule is really busy this time of year and we need to run a tight efficient ship.


Unfortunately for me, I USED to handle things like some of you are right now. I learned it was wrong. I don't know what made it click finally in my head, but you cannot handle situations like this with the attitude you have and then presented to the customer. One man operations that think they have too much work and don't need the headaches of certain clients will soon run out of work.

I guess until it clicks, you really won't understand what I'm saying. Those of you that have been there, know the feeling and the experience. It's really simple. Today's society demands excellent personal service. You either learn how to give that, or be prepared for a long road of upsetting days and nights. I by no means am saying to lay down for every customer, but you need to learn ethics and get better people skills. No doubt, some customers are idiots, but their money spends just like anyone else's, you just need to learn how to get it, and get it professionally. Customers DO NOT CARE, nor do they want to hear excuses from a service provider. You can either do what they want and need, when they want and need it, or you can't. It is YOUR responsibility to figure out how to provide this to them.

John Gamba
11-02-2006, 01:29 PM
If you can afford it, send him a end of service letter.

lawnguyland
11-02-2006, 04:02 PM
Actually, if you get all work spelled out in a contract or otherwise let the customer know your policies before you begin working for him there would be no problem in the first place. Other than that the customer does sound quite annoying and for that reason plus the time wasting (=$ wasting) you should get rid of him. As nicely as possible of course, white lies are good. Don't burn bridges or get a bad rep. Plus, it's just the right thing to do it nicely. Also, you'll feel better, not worse!

John Gamba
11-02-2006, 04:31 PM
Actually, if you get all work spelled out in a contract or otherwise let the customer know your policies before you begin working for him there would be no problem in the first place. Other than that the customer does sound quite annoying and for that reason plus the time wasting (=$ wasting) you should get rid of him. As nicely as possible of course, white lies are good. Don't burn bridges or get a bad rep. Plus, it's just the right thing to do it nicely. Also, you'll feel better, not worse!


They are costing you money when they interrupt you cutting --- think about it.

you should go to where they work to talk cutting????

dave k
11-02-2006, 05:02 PM
Drop him and give him one of your competetors phone #'s who you don't like, that'll fix them both!

lawnguyland
11-02-2006, 05:30 PM
"That'll fix them both!"

hee hee -sounds like a cartoon or sitcom line!

MarkintheGarden
11-02-2006, 05:30 PM
i have this client that is really a pain, i dont know if you all remember the thread about mowing on sunday and someone else mulched the flowerbeds and hacked them. but anyway, i get to his home yesterday afternoon to perform a fall cleanup, i start blowing around all the edges, 30 min into it, he comes out and asks me if we should wait till dec to clean up the lawn? im like wtf!! he says that the oak trees still have some leaves on them, i tell him that the oaks hold their leaves and i cant wait till dec to do a fall cleanup, so he starts with how many leaves to you think will fall? i say, let me go get a ladder so i can count them for you!! then he says well, do you think that the lawn will have leaves on it after you leave? i say maybe one or two here and there if the wind blows them off the trees. so i tell him that if he wants me to wait, i have to charge him for today and i might not be able to get to him later to complete the cleanup, he didnt understand why i couldnt get to him later, so i told him that he wasnt my only client and i still have 22 other cleanups i need to get done, and it flurried last sunday, so he says, whens it going to snow? heres when i lost it!! i said what do i look like god to you? i dont know when its going to snow,or if its going to be windy tonight and make the rest of the leaves fall down from the trees!!! he stood there with this look on his face, like i cant believe he just said that to me! so i told him that yes i understand his point, but he needs to understand mine, this is the day i scheduled the cleanup, i am here, i could be at another clients house right now, and if he waits he might not get done at all, i need to get these done and put my equipment in storage for the winter and then get ready for winter .. then he asks me how hard it is for me to take my equipment out of storage to do the cleanup? i told him that no clean up is worth taking my sander off the truck, moving the trailer and machines/tools around in the garage just to do one cleanup...then put it all back in it!! then i told him that the more he holds me up the more it will cost him, DO YOU WANT IT DONE OR NOT? i still had wait a few for him to decide !! this guy is from a big city and never had a lawn before, now that he lives in the woods so to speak, he has no clue!!! he does this to me all the time, it takes me 40 min to mow his lawn, but it takes one and a half hours because he asks so many clueless things..this is how bad he is, in the winter he shovels half the driveway, then he tells me that seeing that he shoveled i should charge him less, well he doesn't shovel by the road, he shovels right in front of were the snow gets stacked? im tired of the head aches he gives me, im thinking that he needs to find someone else, thanks for letting me vent...


Glad you feel better now that you got all that off your chest.
Yes you did go too far, but realy how can you complain about the waste of time when it was you who brought up all that talk about why you needed to do the clean up at that time. Why did you not just say, yes this absolutely needs to be done now, if you want me to do it, and by the way don't worry about the leaves on the oak tree they will blow into your neighbors yard.

I like the comment "what do I look like god?" What I do not understand is why you lost it. Of course your customers are clueless, look around people work in cubicles these days. All his clueless questions should be telling you he needs your advice and services, you should be able to make the situation pay in your favor, charge him a consultation fee, do your homework about the things he is concerned about and give him good advice, and most important show him he can count on you to provide what he needs. Instead you explained it as what you need. It is not easy, and sometimes a pita, but you can manage your customers in reasonable time. Well if you can't someone will.

JJLandscapes
11-02-2006, 05:32 PM
just a typical old person u cant let them get to you......

come every week until december and do weekly maintenance then leave a bill for the cleanup at the end you get an extra months worth of payments

scagwildcat
11-02-2006, 07:11 PM
thanks for all the replies,
you all bring good points, i know that i should have just told him i can come back later on. but then when i couldnt get to the cleanup i would have let them down anyway, this guy is in his late 40's, they want all this work done, then they call the night before and tell me that they cant decide what they want ao they need to hold the project off. then the following year it comes up again.... i guess ive put up with it for six years and just couldnt hold back any more.. i feel bad about it, they are nice people... i guess what added to all this was every time im there to mow he has to take some swings with his clubs, he says when im mowing he hits better ? or the fact that his kids havent used the train sand box or battery powered truck that has a bee's nest in it or the 3 plastic slides in the yard for a few years, but they say that they like the look of the kids toys in the yard ?so every week i have to move all these toys so i can mow.. i dont get it? yes it does sound like im complaining, and maybe i am. i wish i could make up my mind what to do about them, i can get rid of them in a nice way, or i can keep my mouth shut and take what ever they give me ? the hardest part for me is im not the type of person that quits.

WildWest
11-02-2006, 09:53 PM
Sorry to hear about the troubles....

If I were you (which i'm not) I would give him the benifit of a doubt.... So he's never had a lawn.... take some time out and TALK TO HIM about his lawn and landscaoe. Explain to him how things work, how valuable YOUR TIME is and why you do the thing you do to his lawn. You're not there to take advantage of him! You are there to HELP him. He may not understand WHAT you are doing, hence, the questioning.... if he pays you on time and generally seems to be a nice guy. Give him the benefit of a doubt and take a half hour to walk and talk with him.... it may pay off!:)

If you've done this, and he's just not getting it..... he's either bored and needs someone to talk to, or bustin' your ball$!:rolleyes:

dcondon
11-02-2006, 10:01 PM
If you can afford it, send him a end of service letter.


I agree John!!! I would cancel anymore services with him. We do it all the time.

MarkintheGarden
11-02-2006, 11:00 PM
thanks for all the replies,
you all bring good points, i know that i should have just told him i can come back later on. but then when i couldnt get to the cleanup i would have let them down anyway, this guy is in his late 40's, they want all this work done, then they call the night before and tell me that they cant decide what they want ao they need to hold the project off. then the following year it comes up again.... i guess ive put up with it for six years and just couldnt hold back any more.. i feel bad about it, they are nice people... i guess what added to all this was every time im there to mow he has to take some swings with his clubs, he says when im mowing he hits better ? or the fact that his kids havent used the train sand box or battery powered truck that has a bee's nest in it or the 3 plastic slides in the yard for a few years, but they say that they like the look of the kids toys in the yard ?so every week i have to move all these toys so i can mow.. i dont get it? yes it does sound like im complaining, and maybe i am. i wish i could make up my mind what to do about them, i can get rid of them in a nice way, or i can keep my mouth shut and take what ever they give me ? the hardest part for me is im not the type of person that quits.

These customers of yours are starting to sound like some that I have had.

You gotta draw the line somewhere, how long to chat, move the toys from the lawn/put them back, start a project, change their mind, on and on...

Hitting golf balls while your mowing? Hits better huh? Sounds like Gomez Adams!

You gotta either figure out how to do business with these lunatics, or get them off your back. You cannot afford to "Keep your mouth shut and take whatever they give you". If you let people take advantage of you, they will. Some people act totaly clueless while they take advantage of you!

And don't tell me cause I already know, they are the nicest people.

Envy Lawn Service
11-02-2006, 11:52 PM
These customers of yours are starting to sound like some that I have had.

You gotta draw the line somewhere, how long to chat, move the toys from the lawn/put them back, start a project, change their mind, on and on...

Hitting golf balls while your mowing? Hits better huh? Sounds like Gomez Adams!

You gotta either figure out how to do business with these lunatics, or get them off your back. You cannot afford to "Keep your mouth shut and take whatever they give you". If you let people take advantage of you, they will. Some people act totaly clueless while they take advantage of you!

And don't tell me cause I already know, they are the nicest people.

That's good stuff there ^.

scagwildcat,

I have had my fair share of these types of customers. Some good in that way about wanting to talk and ask too many questions (this type spends a lot with me for additional stuff). Some BAD because every question or conversation is focused on some way they are looking to save money that instant and make work harder and/or more inconvienent for me later.

I've found out that the best thing to do is to not get mad....
But for God's sake be HONEST with them even if it hurts a little.
Here is what I would have said to him and I assure you I have said this recently myself.

"I totally understand where you are going here with this. But here is the thing.... this is not the final cleanup and the results point of today's scheduled work is not a spotless lawn... Today is about getting the majority of the leaves off right now before we enter the danger zone with winter weather... and it is also about breaking up the workload and dividing the expense...

So I understand the idea you have here about saving some money on this work. But sending me on my way today is not going to save you a penny. All it is going to do is increase the risk that 99% of the leaves will be down and end up under a snow blanket during the process of you waiting for the last leaf to fall."

Trying to negotiate terms with me to put off a job AFTER I have already scheduled and arrived to the site to do the work is unreasonable. Coming out of the house and trying to do this once I'm a half hour into the job.... get real!!!

I don't get rude with people. I'm just straight forward and honest. No need to tip-toe around the issue at hand. Certain things are just unreasonable to expect from someone such as myself that is actually doing this for a LIVING and to provide for myself and family.

I find that as much as anything... people just don't think and are unable to see anything once they reach for the checkbook/wallet. So sometimes, you need to bring common sense things to their attention because they seem unable to have a rational thought by themselves once they start thinking about their money.

Think I dance around about it. Think again. I'm always more than glad to point out the obvious. I've got better things to do with my time than have someone like that waste it and deminish my earnings potential in the process. So I speak up.

Anyone who allows this to go on within their business will ALWAYS fall short and NEVER reach their full potential.

Josh.S
11-03-2006, 12:49 AM
Instead of quiting him, I would just raise his price next year way up, and then if he quites then don't worry about it, and if he stays it will be well worth your time. Thats the best thing to do IMO

Charles
11-03-2006, 09:58 AM
I understand this is a northern operation but we get cold weather down here too with ice etc. My final cleanups are when my customers want them to end. YOu could have just advised this guy that you will cleanup today and charge him for another visit to cleanup after all the leaves have fallen. Or just left and came back when most of the leaves have fallen--just to placate him. Looks like you have a snow removal biz but like has been said, that is not his problem. Lawncare does not end until the trees are almost bare and the customer is satisfied. I have never worked past January 15th.
As for all the yapping. Just keep the equipment running and pretend you can't hear them. Really, I never turn off the equipment when a customer approaches me in the yard. I may stop and let them get a few words in over the noise. Then I will put the headphones back on and say "I GOT TO GET BACK TO WORK" lol

lawncuttinfoo
11-03-2006, 10:53 AM
In my contract I have a line that says due to saftey reasons no one besides the workers my be in the yard at the time of servicing.

At the end of the contract I have a line that says if you do not follow this contract you may get additional charges.

If they waste my time I have it in writing that they will pay extra.

scagwildcat
11-03-2006, 03:53 PM
These customers of yours are starting to sound like some that I have had.

You gotta draw the line somewhere, how long to chat, move the toys from the lawn/put them back, start a project, change their mind, on and on...

Hitting golf balls while your mowing? Hits better huh? Sounds like Gomez Adams!

You gotta either figure out how to do business with these lunatics, or get them off your back. You cannot afford to "Keep your mouth shut and take whatever they give you". If you let people take advantage of you, they will. Some people act totaly clueless while they take advantage of you!

And don't tell me cause I already know, they are the nicest people.
THANKS YOU BRING GOOD POINTS!!

scagwildcat
11-03-2006, 03:56 PM
That's good stuff there ^.

scagwildcat,

I have had my fair share of these types of customers. Some good in that way about wanting to talk and ask too many questions (this type spends a lot with me for additional stuff). Some BAD because every question or conversation is focused on some way they are looking to save money that instant and make work harder and/or more inconvienent for me later.

I've found out that the best thing to do is to not get mad....
But for God's sake be HONEST with them even if it hurts a little.
Here is what I would have said to him and I assure you I have said this recently myself.

"I totally understand where you are going here with this. But here is the thing.... this is not the final cleanup and the results point of today's scheduled work is not a spotless lawn... Today is about getting the majority of the leaves off right now before we enter the danger zone with winter weather... and it is also about breaking up the workload and dividing the expense...

So I understand the idea you have here about saving some money on this work. But sending me on my way today is not going to save you a penny. All it is going to do is increase the risk that 99% of the leaves will be down and end up under a snow blanket during the process of you waiting for the last leaf to fall."

Trying to negotiate terms with me to put off a job AFTER I have already scheduled and arrived to the site to do the work is unreasonable. Coming out of the house and trying to do this once I'm a half hour into the job.... get real!!!

I don't get rude with people. I'm just straight forward and honest. No need to tip-toe around the issue at hand. Certain things are just unreasonable to expect from someone such as myself that is actually doing this for a LIVING and to provide for myself and family.

I find that as much as anything... people just don't think and are unable to see anything once they reach for the checkbook/wallet. So sometimes, you need to bring common sense things to their attention because they seem unable to have a rational thought by themselves once they start thinking about their money.

Think I dance around about it. Think again. I'm always more than glad to point out the obvious. I've got better things to do with my time than have someone like that waste it and deminish my earnings potential in the process. So I speak up.

Anyone who allows this to go on within their business will ALWAYS fall short and NEVER reach their full potential.
ANOTHER GREAT POINT. IM TO EASY GOING,

scagwildcat
11-03-2006, 04:23 PM
I understand this is a northern operation but we get cold weather down here too with ice etc. My final cleanups are when my customers want them to end. You could have just advised this guy that you will cleanup today and charge him for another visit to cleanup after all the leaves have fallen. Or just left and came back when most of the leaves have fallen--just to placate him. Looks like you have a snow removal biz but like has been said, that is not his problem. Lawncare does not end until the trees are almost bare and the customer is satisfied. I have never worked past January 15th.
As for all the yapping. Just keep the equipment running and pretend you can't hear them. Really, I never turn off the equipment when a customer approaches me in the yard. I may stop and let them get a few words in over the noise. Then I will put the headphones back on and say "I GOT TO GET BACK TO WORK" lol
i wait till most all leaves are on the ground, i start my cleanups off with all the small ones then i work up to the larger ones, this way atleast if i have to go back or need to clean them a bit in the spring its not that bad, but in this case we are talking about two trees with about a garbage bag full of leaves,on two acres, as far as the snow plowing, we had snow last Sunday morning, around here most stop mowing in late sept to late Oct and do cleanups till Nov or until it snows.. some people live in areas that dont have to many large trees,(I'm not saying you) but for them (like my sister in TX) cleanup means go around the house with a bagger and charge them $$ extra. what i mean by a cleanup is you get to a clients home and there is atleast four to five inches of leaves over a one /two three acre area, plus beds, the average cleanup will take half a day to do ,with 30 to 40 mph wind.. as far as the plowing not being his problem, your right its not, but if it snows he will want me there to plow for him, and what i meant by that comment to him was that i need to prepare for snow, once again i cant wait till last minute just for him when i have other clients as well. I explained to him before that first off if we dont get most of them off the lawn ,what we worked hard at all summer will be lost next spring,(making the lawn lush and green) secondly, if we dont get most off now it will cost a lot more to do a cleanup in the spring, the last time we spoke about a cleanup was in the middle of september, he told me that he likes how clean his yard looks after im done and i told him thats why in his case we dont have to do much for a spring cleanup, just pick up some sticks that have fallen in the winter months...so maybe he remembered what i said to him before and thought that i would have to do a major cleanup in the spring...

LwnmwrMan22
11-03-2006, 04:44 PM
i wait till most all leaves are on the ground, i start my cleanups off with all the small ones then i work up to the larger ones, this way atleast if i have to go back or need to clean them a bit in the spring its not that bad, but in this case we are talking about two trees with about a garbage bag full of leaves,on two acres, as far as the snow plowing, we had snow last Sunday morning, around here most stop mowing in late sept to late Oct and do cleanups till Nov or until it snows.. some people live in areas that dont have to many large trees,(I'm not saying you) but for them (like my sister in TX) cleanup means go around the house with a bagger and charge them $$ extra. what i mean by a cleanup is you get to a clients home and there is atleast four to five inches of leaves over a one /two three acre area, plus beds, the average cleanup will take half a day to do ,with 30 to 40 mph wind.. as far as the plowing not being his problem, your right its not, but if it snows he will want me there to plow for him, and what i meant by that comment to him was that i need to prepare for snow, once again i cant wait till last minute just for him when i have other clients as well. I explained to him before that first off if we dont get most of them off the lawn ,what we worked hard at all summer will be lost next spring,(making the lawn lush and green) secondly, if we dont get most off now it will cost a lot more to do a cleanup in the spring, the last time we spoke about a cleanup was in the middle of september, he told me that he likes how clean his yard looks after im done and i told him thats why in his case we dont have to do much for a spring cleanup, just pick up some sticks that have fallen in the winter months...so maybe he remembered what i said to him before and thought that i would have to do a major cleanup in the spring...

I AM trying to be a jerk here.

Learn how to use paragraphs or break it up into sentence structure.

Anyways, just tell him, sure, I'll put you at the end of the list. Run over to your truck, grab a piece of paper, even a scratch piece and write on it.... "Joe Blow requests that the lawn be moved to the last on the list" and have him sign it.

Even if it's a scratch piece of paper, that makes it look better, you just tell him "listen, I don't do this very often, that's why I don't have official letterhead to write this on, but this one time I'll make an exception".

Don't say anything about charging him. Just tack on the 1/2 hour to when you actually do the cleanup or next spring.

You said yourself that you've already done the property for 6 years, so most likely there's less of a chance that you'll lose it going about this way, than how you reacted.

People DO think they're the only one on the list. That's the way they SHOULD feel. If you have too many that you can't make everyone feel like they're number one, then you need to change your customer base around.

Just like this guy. You say you have 22 left to do. Well, if not all 22 are requesting that they be last on the list, you can make this guy feel like he IS your best customer by putting him there. By making him sign the piece of paper, now if it DOES snow, then you're covered, he can't come back at you.

I wouldn't use that piece of paper so you could sit on your butt though and NOT do his property.

I just don't get how / why people blow up at their customers. If you're not happy working for someone, just point blank tell them that you're not comfortable with the working relationship and would like to head in a different direction.

Either that, or in the spring, you know what you're getting into with a past client, so you really have no one to blame but yourself when you sign that client up again.

HOOLIE
11-03-2006, 05:57 PM
With clients like this, you just have to explain that you're doing the job the best, most cost-effective way for them...if they really have other plans then they can do so at their own risk.

MuleCutter
11-03-2006, 09:22 PM
i had an old man just like that.... i cut his yard about 4 or 5 times and dropped him... everytime i went he wanted something extra for nothing and i had to end up buyin odd tools to do the job so i really wasnt making money. that would have been my original reason for letting him go. he was a nice man but he'd come outside to bs with me every 10 minutes and it gets on my nerves. but thankfully my cousin sold me his lawn service and the last time i cut his grass i told him that they yards i acquired from the business i bought was enough to keep me happy and that it would be the last time i cut his grass. he understood....

puppypaws
11-04-2006, 03:15 PM
You boy's need to figure out you are working for the public they are not working for you, if wanted to do work for me and I am paying the bill you would do it the way I want it done not the way it suits you. I will tell you it is not a problem to get lawn maintenance done they are a dime a dozen in this area, be glad the man gave you a job to start with.

MarkintheGarden
11-04-2006, 04:43 PM
You boy's need to figure out you are working for the public they are not working for you, if wanted to do work for me and I am paying the bill you would do it the way I want it done not the way it suits you. I will tell you it is not a problem to get lawn maintenance done they are a dime a dozen in this area, be glad the man gave you a job to start with.

Puppypaws We are not dime a dozen businesses with dime a dozen services. I resent that remark. The truth is customers are a dime a dozen, good honest contractors are rare.

We are not public providers, we are contractors. Neither I or Scagwildcat need to be everyones lawn service providers. We invest a lot of sweat, time, and cash into our businesses. We own our businesses and own the right to choose who we will and will not contract to do business for.

Scagwildcat made it clear he was glad to have this customer to start with, and did lots of things to provide quality service. These people put out hoops for him to jump through and he did until he got angry about the circus!

The public is made up of all kinds of individuals so it takes alternative methods to deal with alternative personalities. We have all had customers who just make it too dificult to be worth doing business with. People can be like that, as I said before they are always nice people, just not any good as customers, I could tell a dozen stories!

I am trained, experienced, and well equiped and prepared to provide landscape maintenance design and installation. So I would not do it your way, unless your way was a reasonable safe method conducive to my schedule. No business owner can give their customers control of their schedule. If a customer has ordered work, it cannot be halted in progress, to wait for what might be a better day to do it.

Would you tell your doctor how to treat you? or tell your lawyer how to present your case?. Would you expect them to listen? Well if you are gonna stand in the yard, and try to tell me and my crew how to mow your lawn, I will not mow your lawn. and you would have to go out and find some dime a dozen, unsafe, uninsured, and untrained turfburners, who do not know any better than to let customers play havoc with their schedules, methods, and safety requirements.

By the way I am in all ways a man, the boy in me is an all but forgotten memory.

puppypaws
11-04-2006, 05:05 PM
Puppypaws We are not dime a dozen businesses with dime a dozen services. I resent that remark. The truth is customers are a dime a dozen, good honest contractors are rare.

We are not public providers, we are contractors. Neither I or Scagwildcat need to be everyones lawn service providers. We invest a lot of sweat, time, and cash into our businesses. We own our businesses and own the right to choose who we will and will not contract to do business for.

Scagwildcat made it clear he was glad to have this customer to start with, and did lots of things to provide quality service. These people put out hoops for him to jump through and he did until he got angry about the circus!

The public is made up of all kinds of individuals so it takes alternative methods to deal with alternative personalities. We have all had customers who just make it too dificult to be worth doing business with. People can be like that, as I said before they are always nice people, just not any good as customers, I could tell a dozen stories!

I am trained, experienced, and well equiped and prepared to provide landscape maintenance design and installation. So I would not do it your way, unless your way was a reasonable safe method conducive to my schedule. No business owner can give their customers control of their schedule. If a customer has ordered work, it cannot be halted in progress, to wait for what might be a better day to do it.

Would you tell your doctor how to treat you? or tell your lawyer how to present your case?. Would you expect them to listen? Well if you are gonna stand in the yard, and try to tell me and my crew how to mow your lawn, I will not mow your lawn. and you would have to go out and find some dime a dozen, unsafe, uninsured, and untrained turfburners, who do not know any better than to let customers play havoc with their schedules, methods, and safety requirements.

By the way I am in all ways a man, the boy in me is an all but forgotten memory.Please don't resent that remark, if you noticed I said they were a dime a dozen in this area you will see mowers on trailers very often in this part of the country, they are everywhere. You can fire one today and hire one tomorrow. I guess I would have to get your wife's opinion on the "all ways a man" statement, you may just be telling your side of the story.

sheshovel
11-04-2006, 05:14 PM
You boy's need to figure out you are working for the public they are not working for you, if wanted to do work for me and I am paying the bill you would do it the way I want it done not the way it suits you. I will tell you it is not a problem to get lawn maintenance done they are a dime a dozen in this area, be glad the man gave you a job to start with.
I sure as heck don't allow my customers to dictate to me how I do my work. You hired me because I am a professional and have knowledge that you don't, don't expect me to do it your way.
I am going to do my job in the most efficient, productive manner possible, if you want me to waste time and do more work for less money because it is "your way" then find somebody else.

puppypaws
11-04-2006, 05:23 PM
I sure as heck don't allow my customers to dictate to me how I do my work. You hired me because I am a professional and have knowledge that you don't, don't expect me to do it your way.
I am going to do my job in the most efficient, productive manner possible, if you want me to waste time and do more work for less money because it is "your way" then find somebody else.So you are saying if a man is paying you $50.00 for a 20 minute cut and you are mowing at 3 1/2" and he decides he wants it to be cut at 3" you will say no, I want cut it at 3" because it is not my way, you will have to find someone else.

Big Bad Bob
11-04-2006, 09:36 PM
You boy's need to figure out you are working for the public they are not working for you, if wanted to do work for me and I am paying the bill you would do it the way I want it done not the way it suits you. I will tell you it is not a problem to get lawn maintenance done they are a dime a dozen in this area, be glad the man gave you a job to start with.



then you are doing something wrong. those "dime a dozen" lco's should not be your competition. you should strive to have only quality customers and that takes time and perseverance. i will do all i can to educate a clueless customer who is truly willing to try to understand the service i am providing but my time must be accounted and paid for. ie consultation fee.
i will not, however, tolerate a customer who tries to tell me what services are needed and when they are needed. there are too many good customers to waste time on these. i leave them to the fly by nighters.
i am not insinuating that you are a fly by nighter and i suppose your philosophy works for you but my philosophy works well for me and i guess that's what it's all about.
it's like the guy who mows the same size lots as i do but charges half as much. we do the same job but he works twice as hard for the same money. he is, however, filling a niche and he can have it.
of course, some bull is inevitable and all customers will be pita's from time to time. it's a matter of degree.

puppypaws
11-05-2006, 08:44 AM
then you are doing something wrong. those "dime a dozen" lco's should not be your competition. you should strive to have only quality customers and that takes time and perseverance. i will do all i can to educate a clueless customer who is truly willing to try to understand the service i am providing but my time must be accounted and paid for. ie consultation fee.
i will not, however, tolerate a customer who tries to tell me what services are needed and when they are needed. there are too many good customers to waste time on these. i leave them to the fly by nighters.
i am not insinuating that you are a fly by nighter and i suppose your philosophy works for you but my philosophy works well for me and i guess that's what it's all about.
it's like the guy who mows the same size lots as i do but charges half as much. we do the same job but he works twice as hard for the same money. he is, however, filling a niche and he can have it.
of course, some bull is inevitable and all customers will be pita's from time to time. it's a matter of degree.It is a very very simple rule, you treat people exactly the way you want to be treated, if you have someone that tries to treat you like an idiot you very calmly make him feel like a jackass and like it, this is psychology. If you are good at it he will even think to himself I am a jackass but boy I'm a nice jackass.

Tim Wright
11-05-2006, 09:27 AM
Basically, all you did was tell him you couldn't handle the work load. Like it or not, your problems of having other customers, winterizing equipment, getting the plow stuff out, isn't his problem. Either you can do the work or you can't. You told him you can't, so you are of no use to him. You made a big deal about nothing. Tell him, hey, I have to charge you for the half hour I've been here, I can put you at the end of the schedule because I know oak leaves hang on forever, and if winter doesn't come real early, we can get the cleanup done for you. Our schedule is really busy this time of year and we need to run a tight efficient ship.


Unfortunately for me, I USED to handle things like some of you are right now. I learned it was wrong. I don't know what made it click finally in my head, but you cannot handle situations like this with the attitude you have and then presented to the customer. One man operations that think they have too much work and don't need the headaches of certain clients will soon run out of work.

I guess until it clicks, you really won't understand what I'm saying. Those of you that have been there, know the feeling and the experience. It's really simple. Today's society demands excellent personal service. You either learn how to give that, or be prepared for a long road of upsetting days and nights. I by no means am saying to lay down for every customer, but you need to learn ethics and get better people skills. No doubt, some customers are idiots, but their money spends just like anyone else's, you just need to learn how to get it, and get it professionally. Customers DO NOT CARE, nor do they want to hear excuses from a service provider. You can either do what they want and need, when they want and need it, or you can't. It is YOUR responsibility to figure out how to provide this to them.


I agree with Randy Scott here. There are other good points on this thread also.

I was just talking with my wife this morning about this type of customer. Everything is changing next year for us, from the "can you come today" customer to everything being scheduled and systemetized. So here is what I am thinking.

Have your basic minimum charge, your quotes, and for the customer that wants it done today, right now, or off of schedule, charge emergancy rates of double standard, or premium service a higher fee. In other words simply offer service that caters to whims that blow in the breeze, but make money doing it.

And who of us do not like to feel that we are the only customer when we ask for an electrician or plumber or service person to come to the house, or when we go to a garage to have the motor worked on? Just let someone cut in front of us and we are all over that. (Generally speaking of how most people act today). So Randy Scott is right. Find a way to handle it and continue to make money doing it.

Just my thoughts.

Tim

puppypaws
11-05-2006, 09:54 AM
I agree with Randy Scott here. There are other good points on this thread also.

I was just talking with my wife this morning about this type of customer. Everything is changing next year for us, from the "can you come today" customer to everything being scheduled and systemetized. So here is what I am thinking.

Have your basic minimum charge, your quotes, and for the customer that wants it done today, right now, or off of schedule, charge emergancy rates of double standard, or premium service a higher fee. In other words simply offer service that caters to whims that blow in the breeze, but make money doing it.

And who of us do not like to feel that we are the only customer when we ask for an electrician or plumber or service person to come to the house, or when we go to a garage to have the motor worked on? Just let someone cut in front of us and we are all over that. (Generally speaking of how most people act today). So Randy Scott is right. Find a way to handle it and continue to make money doing it.

Just my thoughts.

TimYou are referring to exactly what I just said, it is all about psychology, you can make anyone think the way you want them to think if you know how to use your words. There are thieves in this world today that are so good with working peoples minds that they can beat you out of money and make you feel good about giving it to them. It is kind of like a game, see if you can make your customers like the way you do it even though they may have a different idea on the way they would like it done. Working people is kind of like working cattle you just need to get them all started in the same direction and if you get one that wants to stray take your horse and cut him off before he develops his own thought process about what he wants to do.

Tim Wright
11-05-2006, 04:16 PM
I am listening to a 12 CD audio series that I bought at Sam's Club for $35.00. It is Sales Success. It has guys like Zig Ziglar, and other men and women that go into the selling thing. One CD I don't care for because it is psychobable, but the others are fairly good.

They have other series also: "Leadership" and "Real Estate" and others.

I am always looking/listening to keep my education going.

It might be worth it to drop into Sams Club and check them out.

Tim

puppypaws
11-05-2006, 05:42 PM
I am listening to a 12 CD audio series that I bought at Sam's Club for $35.00. It is Sales Success. It has guys like Zig Ziglar, and other men and women that go into the selling thing. One CD I don't care for because it is psychobable, but the others are fairly good.

They have other series also: "Leadership" and "Real Estate" and others.

I am always looking/listening to keep my education going.

It might be worth it to drop into Sams Club and check them out.

TimYou are a long way from Highway 64 across your state but that is probably the most beautiful roads I have ever traveled, especially the New River area.

MarkintheGarden
11-05-2006, 06:16 PM
Please don't resent that remark, if you noticed I said they were a dime a dozen in this area you will see mowers on trailers very often in this part of the country, they are everywhere. You can fire one today and hire one tomorrow. I guess I would have to get your wife's opinion on the "all ways a man" statement, you may just be telling your side of the story.

Puppypaws, I see buicks everywhere too, but when I went to get me one, it seems they were not a dime a dozen. I think if you were to call up some of those companies you will find your dimes will not buy you much landscape maintenance.

What I see mostly everywhere are sprawling private residences inhabited by people who go months without stepping off the pavement and never spend a single hour outdoors, unless they are prone on a recliner, covered in sunblock, with a cocktail with it's own little umbrella!

Puppypaws, I appreciate your perspective, but it is not the perspective of a landscape contractor or the perspective of landscape contract customer.

Your "you boys need to service the public" attitude is incorrect and inappropriate to this discussion. Here we are talking about the nuances of a contractual relationship that you do not engage in. As I said, I could tell you a dozen stories and so could any contractor. Without the benefit of these experiences I feel you are missing out on the very nuances we are dealing with.

Regarding my manhood, of course I mean in the sense that I have a mature outlook, as to what my wife might say well that is a topic for another forum.

MarkintheGarden
11-05-2006, 06:25 PM
You are referring to exactly what I just said, it is all about psychology, you can make anyone think the way you want them to think if you know how to use your words. There are thieves in this world today that are so good with working peoples minds that they can beat you out of money and make you feel good about giving it to them. It is kind of like a game, see if you can make your customers like the way you do it even though they may have a different idea on the way they would like it done. Working people is kind of like working cattle you just need to get them all started in the same direction and if you get one that wants to stray take your horse and cut him off before he develops his own thought process about what he wants to do.

You are starting to get the point, but it does get more complicated;

To take your analogy further, sometimes on the cattle drive you find yourself following the cattle rather than driving them, as well sometimes you just have to shoot one of the herd! Not what you want or plan, but then not unexpected either.

fga
11-05-2006, 08:10 PM
if wanted to do work for me and I am paying the bill you would do it the way I want it done not the way it suits you. .
this would make sense if hiring the paperboy to pull weeds on a sunday afternoon.... not a legit business with a schedule and technique that works for them.

if you drop your car off to get fixed, do you instruct the mechanic on how he should fix your car?

puppypaws
11-05-2006, 09:09 PM
this would make sense if hiring the paperboy to pull weeds on a sunday afternoon.... not a legit business with a schedule and technique that works for them.

if you drop your car off to get fixed, do you instruct the mechanic on how he should fix your car?I am just stating facts about the area I am in and it is at the top of the list as being the fastest growing area in the country. If every lawn maintenance contractor in the business quit tomorrow there are so many Mexican's here that it would never miss a beat. Mexican's supply 90% or more of the actual work force in lawn care here, you have probably never seen this where you are located. These Mexican's are not stupid they have already taken a large percentage of other work areas such as hanging and finishing sheet rock over. I have a friend that has made a lot of money in that business who actually has Mexican's doing the work saying "they are starting there own companies and doing the same caliber of work but a whole lot cheaper" and American's have lost a lot of their business to Mexican's that they actually taught the trade to. I am saying in this area lawn maintenance is very easy to come by, no matter how good a job you do if you were working here and quit a customer today he would have someone (a Mexican) there next week doing the same thing just as well. You evidently don't have the competition in your area there is here because there is such a strong work force in everything (not just lawn maintenance) that if you fire somebody tomorrow you can have two more line up to choose from that afternoon. You can flat believe these Mexican's pay very close attention to everything and can do anything they need to, I know of a couple in this area that are already millionaires and it came by taking it away from American's. They just don't quit, their work ethic is stronger, they will work seven days a week twelve hours a day if that is what it takes to get the job done quicker and make more money.

MarkintheGarden
11-06-2006, 01:38 AM
I am just stating facts about the area I am in and it is at the top of the list as being the fastest growing area in the country. If every lawn maintenance contractor in the business quit tomorrow there are so many Mexican's here that it would never miss a beat. Mexican's supply 90% or more of the actual work force in lawn care here, you have probably never seen this where you are located. These Mexican's are not stupid they have already taken a large percentage of other work areas such as hanging and finishing sheet rock over. I have a friend that has made a lot of money in that business who actually has Mexican's doing the work saying "they are starting there own companies and doing the same caliber of work but a whole lot cheaper" and American's have lost a lot of their business to Mexican's that they actually taught the trade to. I am saying in this area lawn maintenance is very easy to come by, no matter how good a job you do if you were working here and quit a customer today he would have someone (a Mexican) there next week doing the same thing just as well. You evidently don't have the competition in your area there is here because there is such a strong work force in everything (not just lawn maintenance) that if you fire somebody tomorrow you can have two more line up to choose from that afternoon. You can flat believe these Mexican's pay very close attention to everything and can do anything they need to, I know of a couple in this area that are already millionaires and it came by taking it away from American's. They just don't quit, their work ethic is stronger, they will work seven days a week twelve hours a day if that is what it takes to get the job done quicker and make more money.

You keep talking about this business like it is something anyone can do. It is not easy and I do not think that you or most Mexicans even understand what it takes.

Anyone can plant corn or feed hens, does that mean anyone can run a farm? Can I buy some land hire mexicans and put all the other farmers out of business???

If this thread can inform you of anything it is the fact that customer skills are not something you cannot survive without in this and many other industries.

If Mexican businesses can bring customer skills along with investment, horticultural practices, marketing savy, organisational skills, and mechanical skills, If they have experience in the legal, licsensing and insurance matters, if they are good at networking and purchasing materials, and if they work nearly as hard as you say, then yes, they will be giving us a run for the money.

I have worked with mexicans in this business, most are good workers, some are great and some are lousy. I know one who now owns his own business, he started cheap and now prices his work the same as anyone else in this business. He has to price his work the same as I do, because his machines and truck and help all cost the same as mine does.

puppypaws
11-06-2006, 09:04 AM
You keep talking about this business like it is something anyone can do. It is not easy and I do not think that you or most Mexicans even understand what it takes.

Anyone can plant corn or feed hens, does that mean anyone can run a farm? Can I buy some land hire mexicans and put all the other farmers out of business???

If this thread can inform you of anything it is the fact that customer skills are not something you cannot survive without in this and many other industries.

If Mexican businesses can bring customer skills along with investment, horticultural practices, marketing savy, organisational skills, and mechanical skills, If they have experience in the legal, licsensing and insurance matters, if they are good at networking and purchasing materials, and if they work nearly as hard as you say, then yes, they will be giving us a run for the money.

I have worked with mexicans in this business, most are good workers, some are great and some are lousy. I know one who now owns his own business, he started cheap and now prices his work the same as anyone else in this business. He has to price his work the same as I do, because his machines and truck and help all cost the same as mine does.There is a difference you have to own land and invest 3/4 of a million dollars to get in the business I am in, you must have very strong credit to swing this kind of business but I am seeing more and more Vietnamese and Laotians buying farms. By them being so called immigrants they get money breaks you and I could not get and I don't understand how this happens other than our screwed up government. I have seen them buy older 1/2 million dollar farms and cannot even communicate with the company they grow poultry for, they also have made some devastating mistakes. I can tell you the Mexican's that are smart are very courteous and polite which leads to very good people skills, it only takes one to run the show and cheap labor is easy for them to come by. I see them everywhere putting in irrigation and laying sod in very high dollar neighborhoods, the Mexican's are by far better at catering to American's wants and needs than we are, they don't care what it is or how hard it can be they will get it done and you will never hear them complain. All this will change with time once they pick up on how to work the government hand outs, their good cheap labor will be harder to come by unless you bring in a fresh group that has not learned the system. The social services and welfare departments are over run in this area because the Hispanic population is so high. I saw the poultry processing plant close to me go from all black employee's to all Hispanic in a very short time and the people in charge said they loved all Hispanic labor because they work hard and never complain. Now all the blacks that were run out of their jobs are causing more and more criminal activity, it is a vicious circle.

MarkintheGarden
11-06-2006, 10:52 AM
There is a difference you have to own land and invest 3/4 of a million dollars to get in the business I am in, you must have very strong credit to swing this kind of business but I am seeing more and more Vietnamese and Laotians buying farms. By them being so called immigrants they get money breaks you and I could not get and I don't understand how this happens other than our screwed up government. I have seen them buy older 1/2 million dollar farms and cannot even communicate with the company they grow poultry for, they also have made some devastating mistakes. I can tell you the Mexican's that are smart are very courteous and polite which leads to very good people skills, it only takes one to run the show and cheap labor is easy for them to come by. I see them everywhere putting in irrigation and laying sod in very high dollar neighborhoods, the Mexican's are by far better at catering to American's wants and needs than we are, they don't care what it is or how hard it can be they will get it done and you will never hear them complain. All this will change with time once they pick up on how to work the government hand outs, their good cheap labor will be harder to come by unless you bring in a fresh group that has not learned the system. The social services and welfare departments are over run in this area because the Hispanic population is so high. I saw the poultry processing plant close to me go from all black employee's to all Hispanic in a very short time and the people in charge said they loved all Hispanic labor because they work hard and never complain. Now all the blacks that were run out of their jobs are causing more and more criminal activity, it is a vicious circle.

I understand the immigration situation, it has been like this for a hundred years! I have worked with many Hispanics, I know some that are also business owners, they do not work harder or longer than I do. I have yet to meet one that can work as smart as I do. As you said they make devastating mistakes, and soon acclimate to our society.

Your attempts to contribute to this discussion about how to deal with customers is proof that it is not as easy as you think. You have gone from "You boys need to serve the public" to "just use some psychology". You could not manage a landscape companies customer accounts with that naive approach, and being courteous and polite will help but again, it takes experience and knowledge.

OK so answer my question, I can float the loan for the land, so all I need now is a truck load of mexicans and I can put you out of business right? No of course not, that is stupid thinking, and it is just as stupid to think that Mexicans is all that is needed to put a landscape company out of business.

If you ever need a landscape company just do not forget to ask them if they know when and how to prune, plant and transplant, when and how to apply chemical treatments, ask them if they are insured and licsensed, ask if they know what kind of turfgrass they are cutting, what diseases are present, and how do we treat them, ask if they can identify the plants on your property, can they tell how tall they will grow, ask if they can train topiaries, bonsai, and espallier, can they tell you why the roses are dying, or why the hydrangea are pink and not blue, is that Ginko tree a male or female, Why should we not plant juniper near the apple orchard, or currant near the pine trees, should I top my trees, what do I do about termites, how do we solve the drainage problems, what are good perennial combinations, why are some not so good, when do we divide perennials, what genetic science developments are impacting our landscapes, what products to use when and where, are they familiar with the thousands of products available, where should you plant the dogwoods, witchhazel, spice bush, will the peonies bloom in the shade, how tall will the bottlebrush buckeye get, will japanese pieris grow in my landscape, if so where, is bugle weed a weed or a ground cover??????????? ?????????? If you can find a landscaper with the answers to even half these questions, then hire him regardless of his nation of origin, if he cannot answer these questions then do not hire him regardless of his nation of origin.

Landscape maintenance requires education, experience and hard work. I find a little good old fashioned American ingenuity and resourcefulness can still get the job done better than cheap immigrant labor. If you do not believe this in spite of the infinite details right here in this forum, then go out hire a bunch of mexicans and put us out of business. In the meantime I will continue to thrive in spite of the obstacles you think I cannot overcome.

topsites
11-06-2006, 11:00 AM
You own your company, thus you are the owner, not an employee.
As such, you have the right to do as you please and the customer is not your boss.
But, some think they are...

There are only two ways to do this: Either they're in charge, or you are.
This isn't always under our control, sometimes we bring it on ourselves but other times the customer is convinced that they're better than us and there's no amount of talking will get this fixed, regardless of how it got started.
It doesn't matter how it comes about, whether it's in your face or more subtle, either way it's frustrating...
This thing with them coming out to blablabla endlessly, I will tolerate it so long that when I say 'ok I need to go because I have a lot of work,' they then say ok and let me get on with things. Some do, some don't...
Again, I have found there's not much you can do if they don't.

This can happen a bit with the elderly, sometimes the best answer is to just shake your head up and down and go 'uh-hmmmm' for a bit and see if it passes... Basically, be understanding of the dilemma because you're not agreeing to do extra work or whatever, just be quietly understanding, maybe smile a little (but not in a smart way).

And, if it gets to be too much but you can (or have to) tolerate it, just finish out the season best you can, and at the end of the season send them a short 'end of service' letter.

That way, you both win: You get your money for the year and don't have to worry about replacement until spring, which is the busiest season anyhow.
They get 2-3 maybe 4 months of time in which to find someone else, and are not left high and dry.

puppypaws
11-06-2006, 01:13 PM
I understand the immigration situation, it has been like this for a hundred years! I have worked with many Hispanics, I know some that are also business owners, they do not work harder or longer than I do. I have yet to meet one that can work as smart as I do. As you said they make devastating mistakes, and soon acclimate to our society.

Your attempts to contribute to this discussion about how to deal with customers is proof that it is not as easy as you think. You have gone from "You boys need to serve the public" to "just use some psychology". You could not manage a landscape companies customer accounts with that naive approach, and being courteous and polite will help but again, it takes experience and knowledge.

OK so answer my question, I can float the loan for the land, so all I need now is a truck load of mexicans and I can put you out of business right? No of course not, that is stupid thinking, and it is just as stupid to think that Mexicans is all that is needed to put a landscape company out of business.

If you ever need a landscape company just do not forget to ask them if they know when and how to prune, plant and transplant, when and how to apply chemical treatments, ask them if they are insured and licsensed, ask if they know what kind of turfgrass they are cutting, what diseases are present, and how do we treat them, ask if they can identify the plants on your property, can they tell how tall they will grow, ask if they can train topiaries, bonsai, and espallier, can they tell you why the roses are dying, or why the hydrangea are pink and not blue, is that Ginko tree a male or female, Why should we not plant juniper near the apple orchard, or currant near the pine trees, should I top my trees, what do I do about termites, how do we solve the drainage problems, what are good perennial combinations, why are some not so good, when do we divide perennials, what genetic science developments are impacting our landscapes, what products to use when and where, are they familiar with the thousands of products available, where should you plant the dogwoods, witchhazel, spice bush, will the peonies bloom in the shade, how tall will the bottlebrush buckeye get, will japanese pieris grow in my landscape, if so where, is bugle weed a weed or a ground cover??????????? ?????????? If you can find a landscaper with the answers to even half these questions, then hire him regardless of his nation of origin, if he cannot answer these questions then do not hire him regardless of his nation of origin.

Landscape maintenance requires education, experience and hard work. I find a little good old fashioned American ingenuity and resourcefulness can still get the job done better than cheap immigrant labor. If you do not believe this in spite of the infinite details right here in this forum, then go out hire a bunch of mexicans and put us out of business. In the meantime I will continue to thrive in spite of the obstacles you think I cannot overcome.Take yourself out of the equation, how many people in your field have your knowledge, what percent. There are people in this area that have the knowledge you do but very few, most of the landscape maintenance people in this area mow grass, spread pine needles or mulch, fertilize, lime and spray for broad leafs, maintain shrubbery and plant beds. Have you had any college education in Horticulture or landscape design? Where did you hear me say there were obstacles you could not overcome, you can do anything if you want to badly enough. I have Mexican's that do the manual labor for me and they do a very good job and I pay them very well plus I give them bonuses when the chickens do well, that gives them the incentive to look after the chickens as if they owned them. I am saying if you were in this area you would definitely do well but you would have a lot more competition and if you made a mistake or said the wrong thing to someone they would replace you very easily, I watch these companies in this area take the cheapest bids for their lawn work all the time and if they don't like their work they fire them for breach of contract and hire another one. There is just too much competition in this area, if you don't have a lot of competiting companies things are entirely different. They are in the process of cutting every tree down in this area and building something with grass around it, sickening is what most people think about the situation.

MarkintheGarden
11-06-2006, 02:48 PM
Take yourself out of the equation, how many people in your field have your knowledge, what percent. There are people in this area that have the knowledge you do but very few, most of the landscape maintenance people in this area mow grass, spread pine needles or mulch, fertilize, lime and spray for broad leafs, maintain shrubbery and plant beds. Have you had any college education in Horticulture or landscape design? Where did you hear me say there were obstacles you could not overcome, you can do anything if you want to badly enough. I have Mexican's that do the manual labor for me and they do a very good job and I pay them very well plus I give them bonuses when the chickens do well, that gives them the incentive to look after the chickens as if they owned them. I am saying if you were in this area you would definitely do well but you would have a lot more competition and if you made a mistake or said the wrong thing to someone they would replace you very easily, I watch these companies in this area take the cheapest bids for their lawn work all the time and if they don't like their work they fire them for breach of contract and hire another one. There is just too much competition in this area, if you don't have a lot of competiting companies things are entirely different. They are in the process of cutting every tree down in this area and building something with grass around it, sickening is what most people think about the situation.

Yes if you take experience, training, education, administration and resources out of the equation you are left with only the labor factor. This is as true as in any business, lawn care no more or less than any business.

We agree on the facts but seem to draw different conclusions, I conclude that not all lawn companies are the same, (only a few could be called a dime a dozen). like any business there are levels of service and quality. McDonalds will never put a good steakhouse out of business, and start up lawn care businesses (regardless of the owners nationality or heritage) will not put many established businesses out of business.

I did study horticulture and landscape design, but I have met many lawn company owners who did not, a lesson learned is a lesson learned regardless of where the learning took place. The school of hard knocks commences many good landscape professionals every year. If you read this forum you have read about how much work and investment it takes to get established.

Yes Mexicans are and will be a factor in this industry. They sure do carry their own weight in the workplace. They will get the jobs that the nintendo jockeys should be doing. I do not think the nintendo jockeys will complain.

How many times have you seen a post here on lawnsite from some teenager who has 10.000. worth of equipment? Yes the American work ethic is still alive and well.