View Full Version : spending to much time being perfect

11-06-2001, 10:48 PM
Until recently I tried to make every lawn I cut perfect, whether or not it had any chance to be or not. Recently I stopped this as the excessive trimming made me wonder what would happen if I didnt trim quite as much. To tell you the truth my production has increased, no complaints and driving by the properties I don't notice anything. I am beginning to think I am just way too picky, most arent. Anybody else have the same realization?

11-06-2001, 10:58 PM
I do that my self ....Fact of the matter is . You do what you know you can get away with...after you do this type of work long enuf you know what needs to be done when you show up ....sometimes b-4 you show up!

11-06-2001, 11:00 PM
THis time of year you can get by with not much trimming/ edging. It works for me. I think I trim about every other week and some once per month. It is amazing how much time is saved, but come spring you know the drill.

i think we all deseve a brake sometimes.

11-06-2001, 11:03 PM
quality is everything!!!!!!

11-06-2001, 11:11 PM
I can't tell if you are talking about trimming hedges or trimming after you mow. In Florida you don't have choice if you trim after you mow or not. It must be done or it will look like crap. As for hedges I like to trim often so I can blow the clippings under the hedges, this saves time on clean up work plus it makes the yard look nicer. Like the above post said "Quality is everything."

11-06-2001, 11:18 PM
Same here. I seems like I spend more time trimming than do cutting the lawn. This year being the first year for me (really 1/2 year. July 2001 start), I have the time to be picky/ fussy. I really don't think it was a problem until about a month ago when I got hit with some "RAIN DELAYS" and I ended up trying to get as much done in one day as I could to get back on schedule. I knew I couldn't do it myself so I hired a day laboror for $10.00 hour. What a time saver! I COULD BE picky/ fussy because with the extra set of hands allowed me to at a reasonable cost to me. On my own, NO WAY....I have SOOO much to learn in this field, I know there are some shortcuts I can perform..but I feel that leads the way to a HALF-A$$ed job to present and future customers. Do it once, do it right! Charge accordingly.

11-06-2001, 11:37 PM

There are only 2 waysto do a job.

You can do the job right ..... or

you can do the job over!!!!

11-06-2001, 11:42 PM
It comes to you after a while. Every job I go in to, I make the same moves, and walk the same paths. Every move I make is for a reason. Much like a sport, anymore. People have said they enjoy watching the way I work, (whatever THAT means!)

grass chaser
11-06-2001, 11:53 PM
I agree with Runner that the more you do your properties the better you know them. It becomes a pattern and if done properly it will save you time and money. That is why I always try to keep the same people on the same route. They know the property and they know how to get it done in the least amount of time and done properly.

11-07-2001, 01:28 AM
One of the biggest myths perpetrated by this board is that the customer actually notices your "perfect" lawn & this gets you business. It has been my extensive experience that the customer notices only that the lawn was cut on the scheduled day. Your stripes, perfect edging & clean drives, walks etc. are wasted on yourself. By incorperating this fact we have been able to greatly increase the amount of contracts we can service.

11-07-2001, 07:26 AM
I used to be that way and you are right, you will become more productive. Its like leaf season was a hellish experience years ago since I wanted every leaf off of every lawn and out of every window well I did. I even used a leaf vacuum to pick them up. Wow did I waste time.
You can't be an absolute perfectionist and it is a hard thing to overcome but once you do overcome it, you will increase productivity.

I have found that with my current setup I don't have nearly as much trimming as I did when I started. Its also nice that the focus shifts as the fall arrives and even though you still mow in the fall there is not nearly as much trimming as in the spring.

11-07-2001, 08:12 AM
Casey and MowEd, my point indeed.

Atlantic Lawn
11-07-2001, 08:20 AM
I'd like to think we always give our customer good value for their dollar. I have always concentrated on areas that my customers see the most. A perfect edge job that looks really sharp as he walks to his front door does make a difference.The back fence, that only the dog sees is not quite as important to me or to my customers.

11-07-2001, 10:36 AM
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you. The way that yard looks when you leave it is your signature. I'm not a perfectionist to the point of loosing money, but I don't leave a property unless it looks sharp. I charge accordingly also. Customers who care about what their lawn looks like are the ones I'm after. The more familiar you become with a yard the more efficient you become. That doesn't mean cutting corners.
Just my opinion. I aslo realize it's different for me because I'm a solo operator, but that's probably "why" I'm a solo operator.

Mike Paulsen
11-07-2001, 12:29 PM
Casey I'm with you on this one. I was one of though that had to have everything perfect but when I seen that it didn't matter to the customer I realized I was over doing it and then production went up,up,up. I agree there is a line not to go past for production but every customer is different and you have to find it.

11-07-2001, 12:45 PM
I think this post is the perfect example of the difference between a true lawn care professional, and a weekend lawn warrior. I believe that a seasoned veteran of the lawn care industry, as with any industry, gains the knowledge to do the job properly over time. Those of you that spend the additional time trying to make everything perfect, have a veteran counterpart out there that makes everything perfect in half the time. Experience is the key to success in this industry. As casey pointed out, over the coarse of time they have found what works in their area for their company, and I bet, comparing one of their properties to someone who spends additional time being a perfectionist, would result in very little differences. As we all become more experienced, our day to day duties become second nature, and our daily stops are remembered like the back of our hand. We find ways of improving our productivity and enhancing our bottom line. And the most intelligent of us are here asking when we do not know.

After all, isn't that the reason why we are all here posting; To learn more and gain from others experience?

bubble boy
11-07-2001, 01:01 PM
wow, i think the floodgates are about to open.:eek:

first let me say i agree with casey. i am not a solo op. either so i must subscribe to that view that perfection is not possible due to my employees.

when i first started to read docheres post i thought he was going to refer to us non-perfectionists as being weekend warriors. then after finishing the post it seems he means the opposite. did i read wrong or misunderstand?

i dont know that i would refer to those solo ops who do a perfect job as that. if you sell the perfect job to those who want it great.

but i think more often the reality is that customers do not notice. that has been my experience.

11-07-2001, 01:07 PM
I am very attention to detail oriented. With this in mind I have spent way to much time on things I shouldn't. With this I mean, on some of these little old ladies that live on a "fixed income" that only want you to cut when the cows need to be there, I would try to make them perfect. They are usually in the middle of several lawns I have so no big deal. But, when the bermuda is growing way out over the sidewalk because its been 3 weeks I would spend to much time getting this perfect every time. I had to stop. Now we run the edger down 1 time very quick and that is it. No going back. If they want to save a buck I must save my equipment. I will not double cut either. One time over and I'm gone. I try not to have many of these old ladies, but someone has to cut them. Usually they end up being the mother of one of my good customers. They get what they want, to have it cut, I get what I want, not to be there long.

This only goes for the ones that I do because I have a heart and want to help the little old ladies. All others get my ABSOLUTE best. No cutting corners.

11-07-2001, 01:21 PM
My take is, if you are a perfectionist you will have a very hard time making a decent living in this business.

When I ran a body shop, the perfectionist was always complaining why he wasn't making any money (flat-rate shop) while the other guy, whom the perfectionist called a "slob" would routinely put out 150+ flat rate hours a week. Guess what? more complaints about the perfectionist's finished product also, mostly why the car wasn't ready when promised.

Experience will teach you what is and is not acceptable to the customer. Anything beyond acceptable, well you would be better off volunteering your time to a charity.

11-07-2001, 04:19 PM
you got to do what you got to do to get enough volume
to get by. one thing though ,we humans are creatures of
habit.dont allow this to cost u in your work standards or ethics.

11-07-2001, 07:13 PM
Let me clear up my statement.I'am no weekend warrior been at it for 8yrs. All i way saying is you know what every client expects an they get what they pay for .If the pay to (hand )pick every leaf thats what you do, if they just want them gone,an don't care how it looks ,that what they get .Rental property is bad for that.:blush:

11-07-2001, 10:58 PM
My wife has told me time and again that I was a perfectionist and nobody would actually notice all the extra time I was putting into my work. I'm starting to believe her because I have purposely left things that I would normally go back to fix and haven't heard anyone complain yet nor have I lost any business because of it.

I'm not talking major problems, if I left a strip of grass uncut I would get that. I'm mainly talking about the, for the most part, "hidden" areas.................you know, the ones that you think everyone will see if you don't get on your hands and knees with your trimmer to get! Ya, that's the one. My time has increased too since I quit sweating over the ridiculous things I used to. Now I will say my curbs and concrete are always trimmed out............that's my pet peeve and I'll continue doing that as long as I'm in this business.

Sometimes you can polish something so much you lose the lustre. I've never lost a yard to quality so you can say I'm testing the waters.