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View Full Version : New to this business woes....


doug1980
06-15-2009, 03:45 PM
So I only have a few customers and thought things were going good.....wrong! One of my customers, who is my boss at my full time job, told me she mowed the lawn this weekend. I was like, ummm why? She said, "well I didn't know if you were going to do it." I mowed her yard on the 6th and she wanted it cut every ten days. So that would make the next cut be on the 16th. So instead of calling me or...oh I don't know.... asking me at work when I was going to cut it she just cuts it. So I lose out on $40.00. Then she says well next time just drive by and if it needs it then cut it. WTF I don't think so. No way am I going to operate my business like that. I told her "how could I do that with over 20 customers?" I have to have a schedule and can't just drive by and cut everyones yard as needed. I sure hope they are not all like that.

david shumaker
06-15-2009, 06:09 PM
You will get some like that. I let it slide the first time. I tell them I can't ride by everyones house everday to check and I must know in advance if they have cut it.

If they continue the routine you are talking about, drop them as you will be playing a guessing game.

After you have done a persons yard a few times, you will know if their yard needs cutting every week, 10 days, etc. Some yards I had to check on when they were new because I didn't know how fast their yard grows. In the spring just about every yard needs cutting at least weekly.

JDiepstra
06-15-2009, 06:20 PM
I charge a seasonal fee to maintain a customers lawn for the year. Then I divide that payment into 8 installments, due April through November. They pay the same every month whether I mow once, 4 times, or do a spring or fall cleanup. No confusion. Ever.

howardsells2000
06-15-2009, 09:01 PM
I think since she is your boss at your full time job she thinks she is your boss at her home also. It's a tough situation. I would wait to see what happens next time but if she cuts it or tells you it doesn't need it, I would drop her.

ashelton
06-15-2009, 09:09 PM
With it being your boss, I would tell her that it would be better if you didn't cut her grass. Explain that you are worried that it might cause conflict. Although you probably plan on going full time with your LCO, you don't want to jeopardize your main source of income over $40 every 10-20 days.

Not all customers are a PITA, but you will have PLENTY of them in the future. I just bite my tongue, and remind myself how much they pay, then try to replace them ASAP.

bohiaa
06-15-2009, 09:43 PM
WELCOME TO THE WONDERFULL WORLD OF LCO.
these are called PITA, customers. to bad it's your boss...

drop'em

marcuslawnguy
06-15-2009, 09:52 PM
Skilled labor is underappreciated many times and is not understood by many of the industries customers we service. Trust me equipment, gas, time, and money are all too important to lead your self over a cliff. Complainers that get top notch service are not going to stop complaining, its in some peoples blood to complain or try to get over on you. Drop them and move on to a customer that pays, enjoys your service and you can make happy. I had one of these guys the other week and he decided he just felt that the price agreed on was too much and didn't want to pay that. And yes he had all of the tall tell signs leading up to this nice guy, then became a complainer then a no payer. luckly I have a lot of tolerance for bs and business is booming. Remember a customer will drop you like a bad habit with this economy so if they start acting like that, I start looking for someone to fill their spot because they will do the same to me.

johnnybravo8802
06-15-2009, 09:56 PM
Welcome to the Green Industry!!!!!!!!:clapping::clapping: No, seriously...........Welcome to the Green Industry!!!!!!!!!!!!:laugh::laugh:

marcuslawnguy
06-15-2009, 10:05 PM
To me the biggest most important thing with big lots is the FREQUENCY OF THE CUT. Lots that are bigger tend to get less care and can turn into a bear if you don't take this into consideration. for example I took up a 2 acre lot in july and maintained it all season and since I started it in the summer I didn't know what it was like during the spring. luckly the customer wanted it to look nice and had me come more often than every 3 weeks in the spring to every 2 weeks then back to every 3 weeks in july. but that thing was a bear in the spring with the poor drainage it grew grass like I fertilized the crap out of it. lol

Toy2
06-15-2009, 10:10 PM
Lesson learned long ago, do not, repeat do not do work for family or your boss, that 10 day is BS, every week, or every two weeks, or monthly....tell her you got so much to do that you will help her find a LCO....let him/her deal with her.......to much stress involved with that crap...

Oh yeah, welcome....:usflag:

delphied
06-15-2009, 10:49 PM
Just tell her every 10 days doesnt fit your schedule and your sorry you wont be able to mow her lawn. Save both of you the embarressment of her dropping you. Thats where this is going.

mississippiturf
06-15-2009, 11:22 PM
Sad to say, but your options to remedy this situation are very limited.

One possible solution is to sub this customer to a local high school or college kid who will do it for 30-35 bucks on an "as needed" basis. You pocket the extra and don't really have to do anything. If the student or whoever "steals" your customer, the stress is still off you.

Good luck.

doug1980
06-15-2009, 11:51 PM
Well I think I will just let it be for now and wait to see if see wants me to mow it again. I will not drive by or ask her she wants me to do it. If she does then I will mow it and require a weekly service contract after that if she declines that then I'll drop here.

MileHigh
06-16-2009, 12:19 AM
I charge a seasonal fee to maintain a customers lawn for the year. Then I divide that payment into 8 installments, due April through November. They pay the same every month whether I mow once, 4 times, or do a spring or fall cleanup. No confusion. Ever.

That's cool, I like that.

I wanna ask though...Did you somewhat transfer that style of charging from your experience plowing?

PROCUT1
06-16-2009, 08:07 AM
Some good points here.

You need to realize this business for what it is and work it.

A plumber who shows up and fixes the broken pipe and charges out the wazoo.....Hes appreciated.

The mechanic who fixes your car, makes it run great, and charges out the wazoo.....Hes appreciated.

The roofer who stops water from dripping on your head in the livingroom and charges out the wazoo.....Hes appreciated.


The guy who comes and cuts the lawn......Is charging WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

bohiaa
06-16-2009, 08:17 AM
To me the biggest most important thing with big lots is the FREQUENCY OF THE CUT. Lots that are bigger tend to get less care and can turn into a bear if you don't take this into consideration. for example I took up a 2 acre lot in july and maintained it all season and since I started it in the summer I didn't know what it was like during the spring. luckly the customer wanted it to look nice and had me come more often than every 3 weeks in the spring to every 2 weeks then back to every 3 weeks in july. but that thing was a bear in the spring with the poor drainage it grew grass like I fertilized the crap out of it. lol

I could NOT emigane calling a 2 acer lot large.

Stillwater
06-16-2009, 08:19 AM
I think since she is your boss at your full time job she thinks she is your boss at her home also. It's a tough situation. I would wait to see what happens next time but if she cuts it or tells you it doesn't need it, I would drop her.

Duh, she is the boss, she owns the home she is the boss. Now on the other hand the only thing this Lco is boss of... is his business, he has a choice to drop her and move on.

IHusky
06-16-2009, 10:02 AM
Don't crap where you eat!! Never do business with co-workers or family. Just easier that way. Conflict of intrest. She should know better than that herself if she's the boss. How does that look to the other co-workers. You get promoted and eveyone else thinks it because you do favors for her, not because of hard work.

johnnybravo8802
06-16-2009, 10:05 AM
Some good points here.

You need to realize this business for what it is and work it.

A plumber who shows up and fixes the broken pipe and charges out the wazoo.....Hes appreciated.

The mechanic who fixes your car, makes it run great, and charges out the wazoo.....Hes appreciated.

The roofer who stops water from dripping on your head in the livingroom and charges out the wazoo.....Hes appreciated.


The guy who comes and cuts the lawn......Is charging WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Man, I couldn't have said it better!!!!!!I'm going to hang that on my wall. It's funny, but I am still getting prices I charged in 1980 and was just using a junk push mower back then. I don't think people will ever be willing to pay what this business is worth and they will not listen when you tell them your expenses. A lot of people still don't view a lawn guy as a professional because even a high schooler can do what we are doing.:drinkup::drinkup: I'll tell you what makes it worse-soc sec. statements. In 2007, I was working more at my fulltime job and made $54,000. In 2008, I started mowing more and dropped to $35,000 and I was working a he@# of a lot more and was under more stress. It makes one wonder.:cry: