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View Full Version : Any advice for a part timer. (solo)


Courvillez71
03-24-2009, 02:46 PM
To the part timers.How do you go about taking your lawns when you have a full time job? I have a few people who e-mailed me from a post i put on Craiglist and want it done now, but i work during the day till 4:30 and might not beale to get to them right away..What is your advice when this happens to you?

GracesLandscaping
03-24-2009, 02:54 PM
well basically you have two options.... after work and on Sat. OR pay some high schooler to do it and reapair your equipment very frequently.... I say that because it will be nearly impossible to find someone to work cheap thats going to actually give a rats @$$ about YOUR equipment.

N&CLandscaping
03-24-2009, 03:00 PM
Simple: Weekends. Tell your clients up front that you do it part time, aim for saturdays, and if you have to work on sundays, no one ever said it was against the law to work on sundays.

Courvillez71
03-24-2009, 04:06 PM
Yeah i was thinking about Sat and Sun. Do they understand or do you normally not get the job?

N&CLandscaping
03-24-2009, 04:39 PM
When I was in school, most people would understand, I never really had a problem with it. Now I am full time. If they do not understand, then don't take them on as a client, they will more than likely be a pia along the way. There are plently of good clients out there. Over time you will sort them out

Courvillez71
03-24-2009, 06:21 PM
Yeah i'm starting out slow and don't want to get the wrong kind of customers off the back lol..I would like to make it full time but will take my time and see what happens.

Courvillez71
03-24-2009, 06:23 PM
Anyone have any feelings on my equiptment? All we used were Kubota's when i worked for a lco and we never had any major problems so thats why i sprung for it.Plus i really really wanted one to cut my 2 acres with lol shhh don't tell my wife..

nobagger
03-24-2009, 07:12 PM
To the part timers.How do you go about taking your lawns when you have a full time job? I have a few people who e-mailed me from a post i put on Craiglist and want it done now, but i work during the day till 4:30 and might not beale to get to them right away..What is your advice when this happens to you?

I am actually going full time this season. I have more than enough work to do it f/t for several years but still worked a mon-fri 7-3 day job. It was tough trying to meet all of the needs of all my customer's every week. I know what you mean about people wanting things done within a day or so. My advise...You need to be upfront with them and tell them you have a full time job as well and if they cant wait then you dont want them! Not that they are bad people but 99.9% of customer's think this is all we do and many were very surprised to hear I worked full time. Another piece of advise, dont take more than you can handle. Over extending your self will lead to more headaches and unhappy customer's and before you know it you'll be in my position where your forced to go down a path you might not want. Not that I was forced to go f/t but more customer's lead to more equipment, more equipment lead to more payments, which lead to more customer's to pay for it and on and on, you get my point,lol. Ive been doing this since 2003 and I've learned over the years that if your going to do this p/t then be discipline enough to keep it p/t. What I mean is if you can only mow 5-10-15 or how ever many lawns a week then keep it within those parameters because before you know it your mowing handfuls of customer's and trying to keep up with all of their demands as well. All this advice is if you plan on staying p/t. Good luck!

nobagger
03-24-2009, 07:29 PM
Yeah i was thinking about Sat and Sun. Do they understand or do you normally not get the job?

Just wanted to share my p/t experiences in hopes of helping you. Ive lost many jobs and a few mowing customer's due to the fact we could only mow their property in the late, late afternoon or evenings. Very rarely we worked on a Sunday and most people dont like it, but there are a few who wont care. Just ask them if they have a problem with it. If they say yes they dont want mowed on Sundays but you can only do them on a Sunday then there is your answer. Truth be told, there are a few places we were turned down to even turn in a bid because I did it p/t. Many people think as long as your doing it p/t your not a professional company.

jpp
03-24-2009, 07:45 PM
Simple: Weekends. Tell your clients up front that you do it part time, aim for saturdays, and if you have to work on sundays, no one ever said it was against the law to work on sundays.

A small piece of advice is to check the laws in the communities you work in. Around here, there are two that I know of which do not allow commercial work on Sunday. Had one enforce it last year on a contractor that was trying to clean up after IKE blew through in September.


JP

metro36
03-24-2009, 08:31 PM
I work one day after school and then on Saturday. I am in a sport so I can only get one day off during the week. The people who really want it done during the week get done on that day which is usually a Thursday. The rest get done on Saturday after 10. I don't like to start early on Saturday because sometimes people sleep in and get pissed when they wake up to my engines roaring outside their windows.
Most people are understanding. The rest if they don't agree with my schedule then I don't take them on.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Yeah i'm starting out slow and don't want to get the wrong kind of customers off the back lol..I would like to make it full time but will take my time and see what happens.

You aren't a LCO if you don't get a bad customer:laugh::laugh::laugh:

It's like they told me when I learned how to ski(YES THIS CAJUN BOY KNOWS HOW TO SKI). "If you aren't falling, you aren't learning."

The thing is to learn from your experiences.

turfbuilder
03-25-2009, 03:25 AM
I have been part time for over 20 years. I work from 4pm till 2am though in my full time job which has been the perfect setup for my LC business. As a solo operator I have maintained about 20 accounts weekly. This is just right for me. Anymore accounts I would have to expand and add a guy. I tried that a number of years ago and didn't care for it. I prefer to depend on myself. Having said that you may have to decide if you want to take that next step and go full time or add employees. Staying part time will limit your income. I opted to stay part time because of the security of being in the Trades full time. There are advantages and disadvantages either way. Good Luck
Turf :weightlifter::usflag::weightlifter::usflag:

Big C
03-25-2009, 10:46 AM
To the part timers.How do you go about taking your lawns when you have a full time job? I have a few people who e-mailed me from a post i put on Craiglist and want it done now, but i work during the day till 4:30 and might not beale to get to them right away..What is your advice when this happens to you?

I write out my mowing schedule for the entire month...around my days off etc....when someone calls especially a newcomer, I fit them into the first avaialble slot.....bottem line.....that maybe the next day.....that maybe 2 weeks later....they will have to take it or leave it!....Just tell them in a nice way when you next opening is and let them make the choice....for my regular customers that call requesting other services besides routine mowing same rules apply but i will try my best to accmodate them. I take this approach because otherwise people will drive you crazy, not to mention screw up your mowing schedule.

Courvillez71
03-25-2009, 11:47 AM
Got the Job and he is willing to wait for my day off..That makes 4 clients and i have to do an estimate when i get off this afternoon...Things are going good so far.I had got a job offer at a machine shop and it would be nights hmmm i'm wondering if i shouldn't take it and cut a few before i go to work in the afternoon.

Courvillez71
03-25-2009, 11:48 AM
Ohh yeah and the four are from Craigslist lol. Free advertisement got to love it.

Curb Appeal Lawn Care
03-25-2009, 12:04 PM
To part timer:

The very best way to grow your business is to make the customers you have happy and satisfied. They will talk and they will do your advertising for you.

Do quality work and it speaks for itself. Do crap work and that speaks for itself as well.


Also, see the comments in " Had a real pita today" posting.

I've grown my business through referrals and customers come looking for me instead of the other way around.

HAPPY CUSTOMERS, HAPPY LAWN CARE BUSINESS OWNER!

:waving:

Curb Appeal Lawn Care
03-25-2009, 12:09 PM
To part timer:

The very best way to grow your business is to make the customers you have happy and satisfied. They will talk and they will do your advertising for you.

Do quality work and it speaks for itself. Do crap work and that speaks for itself as well.


Also, see the comments in " Had a real pita today" posting.

I've grown my business through referrals and customers come looking for me instead of the other way around.

HAPPY CUSTOMERS, HAPPY LAWN CARE BUSINESS OWNER!

:waving:




Another note:

If your customers are happy and satisfied, they will work around your schedule and be understanding. I am currently part time working to grow my business, and all my customers are cool with it.

Just remember, part of keeping happy customers is keeping up with them. Nothing pisses people off worse than a lawn guy who doesn't mow often enough.

Courvillez71
03-25-2009, 02:12 PM
I plan on making the few i have very happy :laugh:

1styear
05-12-2009, 03:47 AM
around these parts it would seem that it pisses them off more if you mow too often rather than not often enough. I know I am not the only one running into the cheapskates... the more expensive the land and house, the tighter they seem to be.

I have a feeling you are not charging enough if they are telling you to come cut it more often than you do already.

Craiglist=rice and beans

I know because I tried it. I'll try just about anything once.

MOturkey
05-12-2009, 04:53 AM
I'm part time as well, and approaching the saturation point as to the number of clients I can handle, and still work my day job. I have a little different situaition in that I am eligible for retirement, and am staying iwth my job primarily for health insurance, but can see a time in the, hopefully, near future when I can do only this.

One thing you have to do, is prioritize. I try to treat all my customers well, but you will find that there are some more demanding than others, so if I get in a pinch, which has happened a lot this spring due to all the wet weather we've had, I will mow not only by the time since the last mowing, but according to which I feel need service the worst, ie, a business acccount. I've only got 2 commercial accounts, plus a Head Start, and a church, but if I am short on time, those 4 will be at the top of my priority list. I've some customers who aren't going to get excited if I'm a week late, and others that will be if I'm a day late. You'll learn who those people are, and deal with it accordingly. Good luck.