PDA

View Full Version : I'll pay DOUBLE for a pro.. Are you one?


Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 03:04 PM
Last month my wife and I purchase a home, which needed some minor tune up work done, which meant I had to deal with various "Contractors".. This has taught me a hard lesson for when I start back up my LC business next year. Heres a couple true stories, from this week alone:

Wood Floor Guy:
Shows up late for the estimate, and forgets his tape measure. Quotes me a price that is 30% less than the big company that came out the day before.. So I go with this guy.. The day of the work, he doesn't show (family emergency). The next day, he was supposed to be there at 7am, and arrives at 10am (slept in most likely). I come back at 5pm, floors aren't done, and hes gone. I track him down on his cell phone, and he says "Yea, I had to leave early, I will be back tomorrow at 9am".. I meet him there the next day, hes another 30 min late. Then he tells me "Its turning out to be more work that I thought, can I ask for another $50 from you for the job?".. I was like, "Sorry, no.. I've wasted 3 hours alone waiting for you to arrive late, I think I will stay here till you finish, inspect the work, and then pay you what we agreed upon."... This guy is the true unprofessional, scrub type, that cuts into the pro's margins, yet offers lazy, "When I feel like it service."

Electrician:
I needed an outlet for my dryer power installed, about a 1 hour job for any electrician. I see one working on my neighbors house, so I ask him over for an estimate. He quotes me "$165.00" and says he can do it the next morning at 9am, and to leave him a check. The next night comes, I get home, and see the work isn't done, the check is still there. After 2 hours, he finally calls me back and says "Didn't have enough time, i'll call you tomorrow to schedule another time.". 1-2 weeks pass, no word from this guy. I finally call him, and he says "Oh yea, I remember the job, let me call you back, and setup a time.".. 6 days later, no return call... At this point, my wife is upset, and saying "I'm so sick of dealing with unprofessional JERKS, i'll pay DOUBLE to have professionals from now on!!". So the next morning she calls nearly every electrician in the book and leaves messages. Out of 16 called ONE... Yes.. *ONE*, returns her call.. This guy says "I'll come out in one hour, the cost will be $225.00".. ($60.00 more than the other lewzer)... Guy shows up ontime, is professional, does the job, and collects his PREMIUM payment from us..

Lawn Cutting:
While moving in, I didn't have time to deal with the lawn, let alone go buy a mower (sold mine to old neighbor and put a deposit on a ztr, which is currently demoing). Anyway.. Heres my lawncare experiance.. All of these I saw on sides of road in my area and approached to handle my job, which was to mow my lawn, every week REGARDLESS of the condition/length, and to trim and mow for the remainder of the summer.. Guy 1) Sorry, i'm all booked for the summer, and I am not taking new clients. Guy 2) Sure, i'll do it, $15.00 a week for everything. Guy 3) I guess I could do it, but I don't really want to mess up my routes if at all possible..

So we go with guy 2, hell, I wouldn't TOUCH my lawn for $15.00.. But he is the only guy that actually said he would do it.. Well, guess what, he shows up for 2 out of the 4 cuts, and harasses my wife for "Cash" payments each time. Missing a total of 2 cuts the first month, when my explicit instructions were to "Come out anyway, trim, blow some grass around, or whatever, and still be paid for the cut." Also, he said he would come out on every Monday.. Well the first cut, he was there on Tuesday, and the second one he was there on Thursday.. Blah!

I could go on and on.. But these are soem shining examples of the contractors and service people i've dealt with that have left a severely bad taste in my mouth for unprofessionalism.

So we an surmise that the wood floor guy is just a scrub, out there undercutting peoples business, showing no class, no professionalism, and most likely will be burned out of the business in a few years after pissing off all of his customers.

The electricians I cannot figure out!! Are they just lazy?? Would you MAKE TIME for a quick $165-200 job that would only take 1 hour? (on way home after another job). Do they just want 2-3-4k jobs only, and don't want to mess with the small stuff? What gives here?? Are some of these people just so unprofessional that they don't think they are worth a higher price? Therefore they just hide from work??

The lawn guys boggle me.. Don't want to mess up my route?? Booked for the season?? Come on!! I'm less than ONE block away from all their other work, and I would gladly spend $25.00 to have the yard mowed - shouldn't take em more than 20-25 minutes at the MOST... As for Mr. 15$, he won't be in business very long, as he doesn't have a CLUE what its like to run a business..

Long post, I know, but i'd like to hear your guys input on this.. Seems to me, if a lawn guy is reliable, professional, intelligent, and offers extremely high quality - wouldn't most anyone pay a premium for that?? Heck I know I would! Scrubs, in ALL types of businesses need to die or something.. I'm so discouraged at dealing with MORONS when working with my house that I can't begin to express the frustration in words. These guys need to be put out of business.

Frustrated Homeowner

AltaLawnCare
08-06-2001, 03:14 PM
It's very hard to get subcontractors to do work for an individual, they know its a one time deal. A contractor, on the other hand will call them every time they build a new house - so this is how they prioritize their work.
Just out of curiosity, did you happen to mention to any of the lawn guys that you were getting ready to start up?
Competition is bad, angry competition is much worse.

awm
08-06-2001, 03:17 PM
the good ones were gone by the time you got there.
1 and 3 probably would have been alright ,as they seem to be concerneds with keeping current customers happy.
wish you lived here ive got some primetime available.
and you would be satisfied or i would end service after a notice.

LoneStarLawn
08-06-2001, 03:24 PM
"You get what you pay for"

You will understand #1 and #3 concerns abut doing your lawn when you get started in the business. They are trying to make sure that they are meeting costs and being booked is just being booked (He has to take care of his current customers first)

Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 03:26 PM
Didn't mention my impending business to them. =P

However, one lawn guy was in my Radioshack yesturday. I tried to talk to him about the business and he wanted no part in educating more competition.. His reply was "Mowing sucks, theres no money in it.. I only do a couple lawns a week to keep my plowing customers happy.." -- Yea, like I beleive that when I see his 3 ZTR's, and quad cab filled with employees.. Liar! =p

thelawnguy
08-06-2001, 03:31 PM
"Shows up late for the estimate, and forgets his tape measure. Quotes me a price that is 30% less than the big company that came out the day before.. So I go with this guy"

You picked your battle with this guy, live with your mistake.

Electricians are all the same, which is why I can now do anything electrical around the home except hook up the power head-and thats because the power co. wont reconnect the meter unless the work was done by a licensed electrician who has to pull a permit.

Lawn guys, I wouldnt do neighbors to a customer either if I was already strapped. You should have picked up the local ad paper or yellow pages instead of hiring the scrub. Once again, you got what you paid for, and deserved.

"i'd like to hear your guys input on this"

All this talk about scrubs, and you go and hire two. What do you do for fun, be the drunken bus driver on the way back from a M.A.D.D. convention???

Lawn Wizard
08-06-2001, 03:44 PM
The one thing I learned in this business is customer service! It almost everything! In any trade be it flooring, electrical, or lawn maintenance there seems to be al sorts of lowballers and scrubs and they come and go cos they run themselves out of business! Why? No Customer Service! Whne you say your gonna show up at 7 am you do, when someone wants a price you quote it to them to the best of your ability. I think its rather simple myself and that is why I will survive all the lowballers.

A short story of my own: My girlfirends mother had here kitchen redone. Was quoted 2 weeks and $12,000. I took 6 weeks and $15,000. The contractors excuse? We wont make any money on this job so its not a priority! LMAO now thats a killer a $15,000 job and they wont make any money! It kills me! There are hacks in very business.

kutnkru
08-06-2001, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Bob_McNaughton
... Lawn Cutting:
Guy 1) Sorry, i'm all booked for the summer, and I am not taking new clients.
Guy 2) Sure, i'll do it, $15.00 a week for everything.
Guy 3) I guess I could do it, but I don't really want to mess up my routes if at all possible..
GUY 1.
You will soon find out just as Alan stated that at times it wont matter if they are willing to pay 3x's the amount of what you would normally charge and live right next door - Your SCHEDULE just wont accept any more clientele.

From a professional standpoint, this would have been the guy to ask referrals from to avoid your current situation from happening.

GUY 2.
BUYER BEWARE!!! If you know that your property is a $25+ account and he/she is willing to do it for much less than that - The RED FLAGS should have gone up!

GUY 3.
This guy is probably almost in the same category as the 1st contender. You would have a 50/50 shot at reputable service from him not knowing what his guesstimate would have been.

My .02
Kris

AltaLawnCare
08-06-2001, 03:46 PM
LOL :D

Time for some more Bob Bashing..

Alanky
08-06-2001, 03:50 PM
I know what you mean. Thats why we built a house ourself, only thing we didnt do was run the electrical out from the house and wire the breaker. Other than that we did everything. The electrician that did that work took our extension cord, radio, and two very nice fishing rods! Had to be him, because he was the only contractor we dealt with. He wasnt late or anything and i guess he did a pretty good job, but i sure do miss those fishing rods!

Scraper
08-06-2001, 04:00 PM
So now you see why scrubs can and do exist...because people like you will hire them to save a buck. Remember that next season while you are starting up.

Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 04:13 PM
You don't seem to understand, I regretfully went with the hacks because I was in a TIME CRUNCH. I needed my lawn mowed now, not next week - or whenever the pro's decide they can fit me into their routes.. I needed my wood floors done today, not next week.. The pro-floor guys were backlogged for 2-3 weeks and with a 30% premium on their bids, I figured hell with it.. Unfortunately, the deal for the house moved fast, and I had little time to plan ahead to deal with professional contractors.

But I learned! The hard way! I figured I would "Give the little guy some business.." and it got me screwed!

So it was a mix of lack of time, wanting a good price, and someone available to do the job - which lead to a influx of pile of crap scrub workers flooding through the doors of my house..

Never again!

(I guess the moral of the story is.. Why would anyone want to be a hack? What purpose did it serve for those guys to price so low, then offer such crappy service? NOTHING.. One of them got a little money from me, but lost alot of potential referrals, and a bad mark from the BBB. My floors look pretty good - not perfect, but I am happy with them. NOT happy with their service though.)

Just imagine how much money those guys would make if they did their jobs right, bidded properly, and relished in the referrals from dozens of happy customers? They'd be mighty well off I would guess!

I'm sure anyone that has built, or owns a home and has dealt with contractors knowns EXACTLY what I mean. Ungodly frustrating, maybe I should mow part-time, and study to be an electrician? Hehe

kutnkru
08-06-2001, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Bob_McNaughton
You don't seem to understand, I regretfully went with the hacks because I was in a TIME CRUNCH. I needed my lawn mowed now, not next week - or whenever the pro's decide they can fit me into their routes.. Im not trying to harass you here, and am trying to keep my frustrations as professional as possible here.

What YOU dont seem to understand - is that no matter what the reason(s) are, its this very same mentality that keep our industry as a whole in the gutters!

There IS no reason to hire the uninsured! There IS no reason to hire the non-licensed! There IS no reason to take the quick way way out -without hurting ourselves!

Its these same lame, b.s., reasons that keeps those in biz who are not struggling to feed their families and are out of alternatives - but rather trying to cheat the system, working in unsafe manners, smearing the industry perspective as a unit.

You have done nothing more than fuel the fire that you are about to try to extinguish and fight on daily basis to survive as a reputable LCO.

I wish you luck in your biz, but I also wish that people like yourself would take the time to find a "By-The-Book" LCO/LMO.

Kris :(

Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 05:00 PM
Hey, don't be so brutal on me.. I TRIED to do business with the so-called "Professionals" but they either didn't return calls or turned down the business.. I didn't have the luxury of waiting a few weeks for them to open their schedules up and rework their routes.

Maybe.. They really aren't so professional at all if they can't even return a simple phone call?? (like the 16 electricians we called)

I'd imagine professional AND timely lawn care companies out there must be pretty darn busy - have alot of happy customers and flowing with referrals eh?

Yes, I did sell out to a hack when I hired one to do my floors - I will digress to that and fully regret it. But it is a lesson well learned, since there won't be anymore hack contractors findin work around my house.. Mission accomplished and they are one step closer to working at 7-11.. (since he DID say he lost money on my job, and thats why he was begging for more cash at the end..)

bubble boy
08-06-2001, 05:38 PM
bob, what he says may have been bull. likely he thought he could squeeze more cash out of you.

i have defended your enthusiam in the past, but the fact is


IF YOU AINT PART OF THE SOLUTION YOUR PART OF THE PROBLEM.

jeffyr
08-06-2001, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by kutnkru

GUY 1.
You will soon find out just as Alan stated that at times it wont matter if they are willing to pay 3x's the amount of what you would normally charge and live right next door - Your SCHEDULE just wont accept any more clientele.

From a professional standpoint, this would have been the guy to ask referrals from to avoid your current situation from happening.

GUY 2.
BUYER BEWARE!!! If you know that your property is a $25+ account and he/she is willing to do it for much less than that - The RED FLAGS should have gone up!

GUY 3.
This guy is probably almost in the same category as the 1st contender. You would have a 50/50 shot at reputable service from him not knowing what his guesstimate would have been.

My .02
Kris

Good post Chris.
I have turned down work for the same reasons listed here. Just can not possibly do any more work in the day. The last guy actually had the nerve to reply "who needs you then" after I told him I was too busy. My reply was "Sounds like you do" and he walked away.

Mr. _McNaughton,
Sometimes turning down work just shows that you are a professional and are capable of managing your schedule so that the work is completed as promised.

.02

jeffyr

Ssouth
08-06-2001, 05:44 PM
I quess my number one rule is to do what I say I'm going to do. My father taught me this very valuable rule. Being in the service industry I've found you don't even have to do the best work as long as you show up when you say you will and complete the work in a timely manner. (Although, I do try to set my self apart from others with high quality work) When I make an appt. I'm ten minutes early and have normally already driven by the property to get a sneek peek at what needs to be done and can give suggestions as soon as I get out of the truck.
Long story short: Last summer a man calls about some minor landscaping job. Says he called everyone in the book and they either didn't show up or didn't return his calls. He called a local landscaping supplier who gave him my name. I was at his house that afternoon and had his job finished in three days. On this particular job I doubled my price because I knew I had him in the bag. He had great service I was paid well and everyone was happy.
Bob, take this as a lesson and do what your contractors didn't do and you will never have to sell another radio.

Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 05:58 PM
Ssouth is the man. Thats exactly the point I was trying to make.

Thanks man.

George777
08-06-2001, 06:26 PM
I think the 80,20,20 rule applies to this business
80% is just showing up
20% how well you handle customers
20% how well you do the job

I could be wrong but I have found this statement to be true.

kutnkru
08-06-2001, 06:34 PM
I guess the point that I was trying to make was that you should have taken the same liberty to thumb thru the local yellar pages for an LCO before hireing who you did - just as was done with your electrician after a frustrating week!

Yes, SSouth makes valid points about the proper way to run your business. We to often hear "Im so glad that you could stop by for an estimate -or- Thank You so much for at least extending the courtesy to call us back, even if you cant do the work right away."

However, not all of us can squeeze or fit into our schedules the workload that comes thru our phonelines. I wish that I had enough people to refer work to. :D

As for being professional and timely, without a scheduled route how do you propose that we accoimplish this??? :confused: I dont think that if we tell clients "I'll make sure that your cut weekly" and they dont know when to expect us is the answer. You yourself didnt like that approach.

You have obviously devised your business plan and Im just curious what you plan to tell your clients as they get jumbled around to make room for new work??? I know that our answer was to wait until we could justify starting up another crew. Until we had enough clients for it the rest had to wait or find someone else before we would jeopardize dependable service.

Kris

Charles
08-06-2001, 06:36 PM
When it comes to my home i will waite a few weeks for the best. NO time to cut corners for any reason. Faulty electrical job can lead to fire very easily.
I turned down a job the other day that was next door to the one I was doing because for the entire week I was booked up. If I had took on one more yard that would have put one of my regular customers 3 days late because of the weekend coming up. Now that wouldnt have been very professional to stick it to one of my good regulars for greed. There is just only so much time in a day and only so much you can and feel like doing. Even if you have a crew you and they get worn out sooner or later.

Calvin
08-06-2001, 06:49 PM
<b>*** Violation of Posting Guidelines ***</b>

Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 07:03 PM
Calvin, you haven't met me, and have no clue about any "Tude" or anything IRL.. Most people drastically mis-interperate typing - after all, its not a medium that allows for much expression. In this case, I will apologize in advance for mis-interpeting you as a moron.

I've seen no constructive posts from you Calvin, so why bother replying with anything that doesn't add to the conversation? Basically, I can surmise your nothing but a Troll.

No Tude Dude, I pulled up, asked them for an estimate on the job, and got the ole "No time bro, sorry."..

But according to you, sounds like I pulled up in my Rolls, asked for some grey poupon, and instructed the "Hired Hands" to mow my grass for a quarter. Not likely.. On the street, i'm just like any other joe blow needing crap done around his house, and willing to pay alot for good service.

WTF is this board so full of flaming fools? Alot of people are cool and all, but the SAME PEOPLE over and over again flame anyone and everyone that posts on here. Its getting old! Don't deny it, ive watched over 5 dozen threads in the last week or so, and like clockwork, the flamers show up, each and every time. Life suck that bad for jooz?

Calvin
08-06-2001, 07:13 PM
<b> *** Violation of Posting Guidelines *** </b>

guntruck
08-06-2001, 07:16 PM
All in all I think its best said.........YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET!!!!........WORKS EVERYTIME!! However i am sorry to hear about your bad experiances and its not just you its everywhere you go!!:angry:

Richard Martin
08-06-2001, 08:29 PM
Bob, did you just move to the area that you bought your house in? A lot of times people have a little trouble adjusting to the way things are done when they move to a new area. It is often times a competition thing. When local contractors have a lot of competition they tend to get to things a lot quicker. When there isn't so much competition it may take a while longer to get the job done.

For example one of my customers used to live in Washington D.C.. When she moved to my area she complained that she couldn't get anybody to do anything. She said in D.C. that the contractors would jump on work. Now that she has gotten used to the slower pace she is quite happy.

Also, if a potential new customer calls me on the phone and says that the grass needs to be cut today and not next week they can just go jump in a lake. When a customer calls me I like to set the expectations and take control of a given situation. You learn that in Business 101.

Randy Scott
08-06-2001, 08:46 PM
Just because someone owns a business doesn't mean they are better, or more " professional" than anyone else. People often put a business owner on a pedestal thinking they are a step above the hired help.They are not neccessarily better then the rest. They just want something different then to be an employee. So with that said, there are going to be just as many stupid business owners as there are the stupid help that scalps every time he uses a string trimmer. People have different perceptions as to how they run and conduct their business. The people that some of us may think are idiots, are content with how they handle people and their situations in the business world. As long as we are all able to take oxygen on this planet, there will always be someone willing to try the "cheap guy". If we laugh at their work ethics and how they may have handled us, I don't think they know or care what we thought. They may struggle a little more than a more intelligent business man but they will get through life just like others do. I get a kick out of all the people that say the lowballers will put themselves out of business. I doubt they will, they will just struggle through life more then some. But that is only our opinions.What is crap to others is gold to someone. Everyone lives on a different level and are content with certain ways of life. I sometimes think about what the people hiring us think of any of us, the large outfits and the small. Maybe they think were losers, scrubs, lowballers. I'm sure the "well to do" people that we service have people lowballing them at their work for multi-million dollar deals and they get pissed off also. We all have opinions about others and I think certain things in life will always be the way they are. I guess each of us just has to do our best and to please yourself, because you have to live with yourself, not others. Just my worthless opinion!

Bob_McNaughton
08-06-2001, 10:09 PM
Alot of people out there are like me I think.. I "admire" people out there, doing their own thing, being their own boss, and running the show. --provided they do it legit and pro.

I see a guy pull up to a house in a nice outfit, and people piling out of the truck getting the job done, and think "Dang! That guy has THE hookup!"..


Sucks to be behind a desk.

SLS
08-07-2001, 08:37 AM
"The Hookup"

Is this a new corporate term for "lots of debt"? LOL :)
(joking)

I still say..."Go Get 'Em, Bob!" :D

kutnkru
08-07-2001, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by SLS
"The Hookup" ... Is this a new corporate term for "lots of debt"? LOL :)

I believe your correct. However, ...

"THE hookup" would refer to stylin and profilin :D

LOL!!!:laugh:
Kris

HBFOXJr
08-07-2001, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by George777
I think the 80,20,20 rule applies to this business
80% is just showing up
20% how well you handle customers
20% how well you do the job

I could be wrong but I have found this statement to be true.

The Philadelphia metro market including South Jersey is a business plan destroyer. Many large companys that have succeeded else where have come here to struggle or fail.

80% is price for guys like Bob
20% is for the stuff that counts

I've been told tooooo... many times over the years about how I was the first to call back or come out or whatever. I can't seem to recall those that said that and then purchased anything. And no, I'm not weird or incompetent.

TGCummings
08-07-2001, 09:52 AM
I didn't have the luxury of waiting a few weeks for them to open their schedules up and rework their routes

Just bear in mind that, when dealing with true professionals, this is exactly the sort of thing you'll have to deal with. The good ones are in demand, have established routes, and don't flake on 'em for every new prospect. If you want the job done right, you'll have to accept that you're not the first thing on the professional's list, but that the true professional will get to you when they say they will, i.e. a few weeks down the road.

I pass up jobs all the time because the potential client calls me on Wednesday and says they need the job done by Friday. I book my extra work on Friday's, and try to have three of them filled up in advance, so my answer to a customer like that would be "not this Friday, next Friday, or the one after that, but I can lock you in for the following Friday at $xxx...". Of course, if I can fit a regular lawn into my Tues-Thurs schedule I can generally start those within the first week. However, if they don't fit my established routes, I have to seriously consider passing on the job.

It sounds to me like you had professionals to deal with there, but you couldn't wait. Next time, plan to get things done a few weeks in advance and I'm betting you can get the job you want done, by the people you want doing it...

-TgC

CMerLand
08-07-2001, 09:53 AM
Im surprised no one mentioned this before as Ive been on vacation.

With the lawn guy you hired, if he priced you at $ 15 and you then told him listen, I will pay you double that, $ 30.00 to cut the lawn for the next 4 weeks dont you think he would have been there.

Instead of being just another $ 15 cut in this guys eyes when he knows hes losing money on it, he would have looked at you as a prime time customer.

I agree with the others that if your booked your booked. However since he was willing to do the work, me thinks he would have jumped at the opportunity to get twice the value for his work.

LAWNGODFATHER
08-07-2001, 02:09 PM
Looks like Bob had a case of:

Got to get some one fast I need it done in a hurry

I would have seen that and definantly charged up the A$$ for it

Bob was making an excellent point for all of us guys to take advantage of.

If you didnít get it like ďCalvin driving a mower down stairsĒ (sorry bud)

WE ARE NOT CHARGING ENOUGH even if we show the professionalism.

The point I got out of this was that he hired a scrub, got much less than he paid for, and regrets what he did.
Point 2 was we should charge more for our professional, reliable, quality, and much more distinguished services.
Point 3 was contractor should have picked up on the neediness for service now and charged him a lot more for it.

Bob if I am wrong please correct me?

LGF:blob1:

Remsen1
08-07-2001, 04:21 PM
TGCummings, you are exactly right.
Bob, you can't get a proffessional and get him now. you should have received a return call from more of the electricians, but I don't think I could blame them if they are booked solid with no signs of slowing down with big $$ accounts. As for the LCO's you should have asked them for a referral to somebody else. If somebody walked up to me on the side of the road while I was working and demanded service now I would be annoyed that my day work was interupted and I would definately say "No". A big red flag would go up and I would wonder why does this guy need me, so urgently, in the middle of the season? Did he tick-off the last LCO? Depending on my read of you personally, I would consider taking you on as a new customer, next week. Why didn't you think about your lawn sooner?

There are some lessons for us all in Bob's post. Lessons for Bob: 1. Sometimes you have to wait for a pro, who is in high demand, to fit you in.
2. Don't hire based on hurry or emergency. You will get screwed.
3. Ask your friends.
4. Mow your own grass if you haven't made previous arrangements.

For LCO's:
1. Return calls
2. Watch out for "bobs" walking up to you on the street.
3. Show up on time, ready to work.
4. Set reasonable expectations, meet those expectations.

Bob, When are you going to get your business off the ground so you can talk the talk (I know, I know "I used to operate my own LCO, so I am not a rookie... blah, blah, blah, blah". When will you stop acting like you are the only person in the world with a brain? People like you rub me and many others the wrong way, I admire you wife for putting up with you.

HBFOXJr
08-07-2001, 04:44 PM
From a marketing perspective, I'd like to know more about this Bob thing and the electrical contractors from the phone book.

Were the calls made from the top of the alphabet, largest ads, smallest ads, just plain listings or what? Was there any selection available more than the 16 called?

LJ lawn
08-07-2001, 04:45 PM
oh and here i thought it was just a central jersey thing and i was the only one (i see you have your share of strokers down there too hbfoxjr).i've lost track of how many people tell me that i was the only one to call back or to show up only to not get the job over some scrub.same story,people want it done for next to nothing.here's an example of MY problems dealing with idiots in other types of business.anyone ever find a competent machine shop or body man? there ain't too many round here.i just brought over 2 exhaust manifolds to a machine shop last week to get glass beaded.guy tells me $40 and they'll be done by friday (dropped em off tuesday).i call 'em friday -still not done.they tell me should be done monday. i wait till wednesday and stopped by figuring they'd be done -nah.so i took them and left.now this should have taken them only about 20 minutes to do these.the last guy i had to deal with took a year to get around to do my engine work.i hear the same thing from a lot of my friends who try to have stuff done-guy only works on it when he feels like it.i could write volumes of rant about the sheer incompetence of dealing with these type of people.yeah i get to that point too where i'll gladly pay a little extra for someone to do the job right and on time.you gotta wonder how these people stay in business at all.

lawnboy82
08-07-2001, 05:10 PM
WOW! this is a lot to read. hehe.

HOMER
08-07-2001, 05:30 PM
Bob...................it'll be alright:p

Ya'll leave the man alone..............he was merely sharing an experience he had with people like us and I believe he was trying to make a point from a consumers perspective. Why chastise the man for that?

The "people like us" comment was for those of us in business, that was not meant to stereotype anyone.

I think he brought up some good points that should viewed as constructive............maybe it doesn't apply to you or me but I'm sure someone on here can learn from it.

wallzwallz
08-07-2001, 05:39 PM
I must agree with remsen 1, Bob. I'm new here but i've seen several of your long posts on what's right + wrong,how long ago were you a LCO? what happened ?Maybe once you get back in the business you'll find out you can't take every job that's offered.Also once you get back in it you will find theory's on business and actually running one can be very different. I haven't taken on any new customers for 2 years,the economy is good my prices are high + i don't need any more work:cool:

Cassidy
08-07-2001, 06:30 PM
Personally I don't like to see someone with aspirations to be an LCO slam professional LCO's because they are too busy to fit him into their route. I would NEVER take on a customer who only wanted my services for 4 or 5 weeks. Why kill myself for a few extra bucks when you will not be a long term customer? If you want temp lawn service generally you will have to hire a scrub.

SLS
08-07-2001, 06:58 PM
Cassidy has a point there.

I turned one down today because they only needed me to do it while the temperature is scorching hot...then they will do it themselves again. :eek:

They need a scrub.

Long term and regular or not at all is my way of doing it.

Besides, I'm pretty well booked up so I'm getting VERY picky about just which yards/clients I'll take on. :D

I'm trying to hold out till next season to hire a helper.

bubble boy
08-07-2001, 08:04 PM
maybe your right homer and we shouldn't chastise him. but the fact is that he holds opinions and theories and ideas about business that we all hold, but he aint one of us-not yet.

what he did years ago is different. i assume that when he used to be a lco he wasn't planning on the business being sustainable for the long run, he was 17 i think. also, i dont believe he was relying on the paycheque to pay bills, buy food, etc. I could be wrong, but bob went to school after his lco operation closed. it was a temporary cash cow.(bob will kindly correct me if im wrong) someone in that situation does not face the same business pressures and problems i do.

i think he did work for an lco after he had his own operation, but that is neither here nor there. my employees don't have a clue as to what i do to keep my operation running, and running for profit.

bobs enthusiasm is great, i can never get enough of that. enthusiasm is contagious, and thats great

but the preaching i could do without until he has his foot in the door.

TGCummings
08-08-2001, 09:39 AM
No disrespect intended from this end, Homey. :)

I think Bob opened a good discussion, and I was inspired to respond. That's what we're all about here on LawnSite.

Bob, take the good responses and throw out the bad. Consider all the angles and take from it all that you can. As always, turn your bad experiences into another lesson of life. Once what is done is done, that's all we can do.

And keep your chin up! ;)

-TgC

Grapevine
08-09-2001, 06:07 AM
We have folks calling us all the time for 1 shot mowing or pruning etc.. I politely tell them we can only do work for our regular, weekly customers. Most people understand and it's not a problem. My philosophy is that the time I'm doing a 1 shot deal for them is time I should be working for the customers who really pay the bills.

Island Lawn
08-09-2001, 12:14 PM
DITTO on what Homer said!

Bob, thank you for your honesty and canid-ness
You have given me some insight into home owner expectations

Some replies have mentioned how booked up the pros are.
( In demand, reliable, accurate estimates,

But what if the home owner has unreasonable expectations?
(do it now, for cheap

It seems these pros that did not return the call could use some communication tips and let the homeowner in on the secret as to why he will have to wait
(To quote LGF: professional, reliable, quality, distinguished)
(To quote TGCummings: In demand, have established routes, And wont flake on them for every new prospect)

A homeowner dosent know the what the pros know.
That's what makes us pros.

There are a lot of reasons that a homeowner will wait till the last minute to make the call (scared of bad workmanship and high prices w/ last minute add ons might top that list)

We are either a solution or part of the problem

professional organizations can help

I only do yr round, full service.
No one timers or come when I call you's or using someone else for fert. or landscape maint

BTW, Richard M has a good point.
Island time is a different pace for Yankee Golfers!
LOL!.

Also Bob, please read HBFOX's post as I am interested in your decision making process as well. How did you choose the ones you chose?

My .02

LAWNGODFATHER
08-11-2001, 01:57 AM
Island Lawn

I am not getting defensive, but thatís what I do keep the guys caught up and mow the one or so time callers. Why if you had the TIME to cut one timers or ones who need it done in a hurry would you turn them away. I just make them pay for speedy response. Then they will still get the quality they are going to pay for. Yes this has worked for me. I have turned one timers and neediness customers in to loyal LGF full time full service customers. They go on my mailing list for other services I do. I also have just fert/spay and just leaf pick up customers. When you go for a sale to a potential customer they donít only get a mowing price but a price for all lawn care services. This is what they call marketing. Remember that word, which is what you are trying to do with you business make it grow and be profitable.

Some of you guys have bashed Bob enough. That just shows unprofessional attitudes on this site and is disrespectful. Not only to Bob but also to all of the others who really want to learn how to grow their biz. You sound and act like children. I am not perfect; I have made smart aleck comments too. I do think that Bob has a lot of good input for us to use and if you donít like it just skip over it.

SAME GOES FOR MY INPUT.

LGF:blob1:

exco
08-11-2001, 05:58 AM
But I learned! The hard way! I figured I would "Give the little guy some business.." and it got me screwed!

Yes it did, you got screwed and how much did you think about that when the guy showed up without his tape measure was a scrub?
I can only picture Kano Reves(sp) doing an estimate on hard wood floors.
Kano: Looks like 1500 sqf, dude.
You: Actually it is 2950, with the runner under the doors.
Kano: Yea I didn't see that.
You: Can you get all of this done by tomorrow?
Kano: Sure, surf at 6:00am, hit Home Depot at 9:00am be here no later than 11:am. Job done by 6:30pm. 1800 sqf no problem.
You: Actually it's 2950....
Kano: Aye, aye captain, I'll be here bright and early. 11:am at the latest!

Next time you want some business to go to the little guy make sure he is licensed and insured. As far as you know your house could burn down with you and your family in it because you needed it done today.

Island Lawn
08-11-2001, 09:13 AM
LGF,
I meant to be agreeing with you when I typed it.

I guess maybe I'm not the communicator I thought! :eek:

I was attempting to give your quote as an example of why the home-owner might have to wait for a pro and how we can better communicater those reasons to the home-owner.

BTW
Very good input on marketing to the one timer!

Thanks!

Bob_McNaughton
08-11-2001, 10:42 AM
I gave the scrub some walking papers.

Ran into a pro at a hardware store buying some leaf bags, asked him if he would cut my lawn for another 6-8 weeks to finish out the summer.

He said he was booked too. But when I explained my lawn is a 20-25$ cut, but that I would pay $35, he jumped on it. =p He followed me home even, and cut the thing right that day.

In fact, hes been out twice thus far, and the job has been outstanding.

Guess i've become one of his premium customers in the area now. Also told him i'm going in the business next season, and he said depending on my quality, and the kind of operation I will be running, he could throw me some of his overflow to help me get started.. Nice guy!!

On a side note, the scrub showed up the last time the pro was here mowing (awesome coincidence), and kocked on my door all angry.. I'll leave the rest of the conversation to your imaginations. =p

Island Lawn
08-11-2001, 12:10 PM
Ah c'mon!
You gotta finish the story!


Sounds like you've got a friend in the biz!
Congrats

bubble boy
08-11-2001, 01:07 PM
who knows Bob, maybe the scrub will learn from his experience with you.

LAWNGODFATHER
08-11-2001, 01:28 PM
Island Lawn I was just just giving one of my marketing stratagies away

Was just making it clear to the guys who just skim through and don't read every thing. I did comprehend what you had typed and quoted

As far as being professionals, when people call and you just tell them you are to busy or booked up give them another LCO's phone number to call that could handle them. Yes you guy do talk to other LCO's there has got to be one you can recomend. On the other hand yu could also sub them out to the other LCO till you can fit them in your schedule. Just a thaught.

LGF:blob1:

crazygator
08-14-2001, 04:01 AM
When my brother moved into his current house, he was not set up to mow his own lawn yet. So that week he noticed a LCO up the road and asked for a price. The guys finished their job and came to look. Normally his place should get about $45.00. So they looked and asked him "Is this 1 time or for the season", and he replied "Just 1 time". So they quoted $65.00 and he told them to cut it. They did it right then, and with a dixie chopper and a guy trimming and blowing was done in 25 minutes. So who won here? They both did. I never turn down a dollar, unless it's too much work for too little pay. So I guess it's all in how you look at it. Glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty!

peteloare
08-14-2001, 05:01 AM
Bob
What is it your looking for? I am located in the Howell area and have been in turfgrass for 20 years.

GreenStar
08-14-2001, 09:58 PM
should have bought pergo floors and a case of bud.i would have been over in a flash(free beer) bob i'm not trying to bust your chops but booked is booked.how can you consider yourself priority late season? to be honest i could't fit you in my program either.hey i just waited for wallside(1 week late 5k)and the siding guy's(2 weeks late 7k)it's everywhere buddy.

David Gretzmier
08-15-2001, 06:29 PM
after reading all these posts, I can say with authirity...I should've been an electrician. 225 bucks an hour, yee haaa Dave g