PDA

View Full Version : Lost a good account today


meets1
04-27-2011, 07:53 PM
I was doing a hopstial. 4 z's, one on the wb and alot of trimming. All bagged, trimmed, edged, looking great every week.

I am also fert/spraying there which I am continuing and sweeping and striping the parking lot.

They decided to go with another lawn care company for mowing. I don't understand people. They were getting a good deal cuz the bushes were getting done twice a year, spring and fall clean up, branches hauled away which were many, they have two gravel parking lots which we would come in after hours and spray them down with roundup and kept things looking good.

it was a contracted deal from april 15 till the last fall clean up. It was pennies to say the least but thinking that were now full service with these guys i can cut a good deal. Well here we are.

People are always changing at this place as well. First the ceo, then the mantaince guy, then a secrarty lady, now the CFO lady who thinks she is all it.

Tired of people already and I have only become the lanwcare biz for the year.

just a little ranting I guess!

4 seasons lawn&land
04-27-2011, 07:59 PM
people go with price. loyalty is out the widow and thats even more the case with commercials. Maybe they come back, maybe not. New ones will come.

soloscaperman
04-27-2011, 09:02 PM
Dude up in CT Hospitals are cutting back. I have a customer that got laid off from a major hospital and she worked in the ER. I have another customer that had her hours lowered and she is a nurse.

mowcrazy
04-27-2011, 09:53 PM
Here where I am there was a solo operator that took care of our local county hospital for years. He did a great job to say the least. after 9 years with him they went with someone else. That place now looks like a$$ but you know what. come to find out the hospital signed the contract with the new fellas to only mow 14 times in the 2011 season. Our small county hospital is to say the least in really bad shape financially and in the process of trying to sell.

I had a post not long ago with a bank. I came in and mowed for 2 years, got all the weeds taken care of and landscaping in shape. Place looked GREAT and they canned me. There is no loyaly with commercial jobs.

Like I said in my post a while back. I WOULD TRADE EVERY COMMERCIAL ACCOUNT I HAVE FOR A RESIDENTIAL ACCT. I have never lost a res acct in 14 years unless they moved or deid. Ive gotten rid of them before but never lost 1

That stinks man, hope you find some more work to replace it!

meets1
04-27-2011, 10:08 PM
It pee's me off. Keep this but forget the mowing??

Thats just it - I did land another big account a week ago and then loss this hospital account. Never fails - always seems to even out, never really get ahead in this game.

ALC-GregH
04-27-2011, 10:19 PM
Fert the crap out of the place so the other guy mowing can't keep up. :) Then when you get the mowing part back, use a growth inhibitor.

Premier landscaping south
04-27-2011, 10:36 PM
You put forth a good effort and are proud of your work and believe you are the best crew for the job and whamo it's gone. I feel you my friend. Keep your head up and keep on keepin on. I have had similar experiences and know how you feel.

topsites
04-27-2011, 11:12 PM
I sometimes think, maybe they weren't such good customers after all.

Because I tell you what, I've got customers that have been with me 8, 9 and 10 years.
I mean to tell you, I still have some that I've had since day 1!

And one does hate to lose them.

It pee's me off. Keep this but forget the mowing??

Thats just it - I did land another big account a week ago and then loss this hospital account. Never fails - always seems to even out, never really get ahead in this game.

Yup, it's always the same money at the end of the month.

But look at it this way, at least you're gaining over top of losing instead of just losing.

KS_Grasscutter
04-27-2011, 11:16 PM
The hospital here has had 3 contractors in 3 years. I think they just changed again a few weeks ago. It was all done in house till they were recently bought out. Now they must put it up for bids every year and go with whoever is lowest. No loyalty at all. And it is a HUGE account, at least for our area.

soloscaperman
04-27-2011, 11:40 PM
I think whats happening is the guys are bidding low thinking they will raise the price the next year and then the hospital finds someone else. Right when you think your on top of the game they pull a quick one.

ALC-GregH
04-28-2011, 09:25 AM
I think whats happening is the guys are bidding low thinking they will raise the price the next year and then the hospital finds someone else. Right when you think your on top of the game they pull a quick one.

If that's the way they are thinking then it's good they loose it. Any thoughts like that should be done through a contract. If you plan on raising the price the following year, you better have it in writing on a contract and signed BEFORE you consider the job. It has nothing to do with the guy cutting and everything to do with the property owner trying to save a buck.

topsites
04-28-2011, 10:48 AM
Yup, but that's just another common mistake rookies make, is to give a discount
initially in the hopes that they can make up for it later :nono:

Guys, whatever you do, don't do that!

And you might think you can raise the price later but the problem is once you start at the discount rate it sets your path,
and once your path is set you may think that won't matter but that's pretty much how it always seems to work out.

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
04-28-2011, 12:28 PM
I was doing a hopstial. 4 z's, one on the wb and alot of trimming. All bagged, trimmed, edged, looking great every week.

I am also fert/spraying there which I am continuing and sweeping and striping the parking lot.

They decided to go with another lawn care company for mowing. I don't understand people. They were getting a good deal cuz the bushes were getting done twice a year, spring and fall clean up, branches hauled away which were many, they have two gravel parking lots which we would come in after hours and spray them down with roundup and kept things looking good.

it was a contracted deal from april 15 till the last fall clean up. It was pennies to say the least but thinking that were now full service with these guys i can cut a good deal. Well here we are.

People are always changing at this place as well. First the ceo, then the mantaince guy, then a secrarty lady, now the CFO lady who thinks she is all it.

Tired of people already and I have only become the lanwcare biz for the year.

just a little ranting I guess!

I WAS, IN DRAMATIC FASHION, HISTORICALLY OUTBID ON 42 CITY PARKS, LOSING MY 3-YR CITY PARK CONTRACT FOR 475 ACRES EVERY OTHER WEEK OF THE YEAR. HOW'S THAT FOR LOSING A BIG ACCOUNT? There's no loyalty to nothing out there so just play the game as it is. That's $15,800/mo worth of business gone, gone, gone and not replaced. Happens to everybody sooner or later. Price is all anybody cares about...how cheap will you cut my grass! Quality? Dependability? Those were concerns decades ago, my friend...

wiselandscaping
04-28-2011, 12:29 PM
Yup, but that's just another common mistake rookies make, is to give a discount
initially in the hopes that they can make up for it later :nono:

Guys, whatever you do, don't do that!

And you might think you can raise the price later but the problem is once you start at the discount rate it sets your path,
and once your path is set you may think that won't matter but that's pretty much how it always seems to work out.


The only time you should ever do this is when you are signing on for multiple year contracts, and even then... don't sharpen your pencil too much. Building a relationship with the decision maker at commercial properties will result in loyalty to your company, even if the price is slightly higher in the long run to keep you around. Property managers don't want to have to worry about landscaping, so if you show that using your company for landscaping is value added for them in the long run, they will stick with you.

You can't beat contracts with guaranteed (albeit sometimes small) increases. That is how you get ahead in this business. Not having to worry about replacing commercial properties every year at a 1:1 rate (on lost, one gained) will allow you more time to sell yourself to new clients.

Dr.NewEarth
04-28-2011, 12:33 PM
you will rarely make up for a lower bid the next year.

Remember the movie "Catch 22?" I could never watch all of it.

Here's what I noticed....we take over a site, fix all of the problems, get the place looking attractive and healthy....the next guy comes along and says,
"oh there isn't as much work to do, so I can bid less"

The new contractor probably doesn't know how to recognize where site problems are going to occur and presumes the place will always look as it does when he inspects it.

Here's the catch. If we don't fix it we lose the site, if we do fix it we can still lose the site. Only my dog is loyal.

I have never regained a contract that we lost in fifteen years.

wiselandscaping
04-28-2011, 12:36 PM
I really feel for you guys. In our area, there is still loyalty between PMs and Landscape Companies. I am really thankful for that, unless it keeps me from getting the job for our company haha!

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
04-28-2011, 12:40 PM
you will rarely make up for a lower bid the next year.

Remember the movie "Catch 22?" I could never watch all of it.

Here's what I noticed....we take over a site, fix all of the problems, get the place looking attractive and healthy....the next guy comes along and says,
"oh there isn't as much work to do, so I can bid less"

The new contractor probably doesn't know how to recognize where site problems are going to occur and presumes the place will always look as it does when he inspects it.

Here's the catch. If we don't fix it we lose the site, if we do fix it we can still lose the site. Only my dog is loyal.

I have never regained a contract that we lost in fifteen years.

I can remember regaining one big contract years ago that I lost to an insider church member on a big church property. One. And that was only becasue the church flunkie did such a horrible job that they immediately had to go back to somebody able with a quick phone call. So, once you lose 'em they're probably gone for good, I agree. Landscaping business is like any other high-competition biz. I was in the franchise pizza business in the 1990's...you talk about competition!!! And cheap priced pies!!!! Little Ceasars was the lowball king and the reason Pizza Hut and most all chains now give pizza away. Pizza was never supposed to be $5 per pie, believe me.

meets1
04-30-2011, 10:14 PM
RECESSION PROOF - yes that is a big account that you had. Tops my account. Sorry to the loss though man. What you doing with extra equipment??

Anyway - these guys who mowed my lost account did it today. First they tried to jump in our existing lines but that didn't happen and looks ok from other directions but just a matter of time and it will look like crap. Second, they used jd tractors with 4 wheel steer - made more a mess around trees than I have ever seen with a z turn. Third - I think they were mowing as fast as that jd could go or theere blades were awful cuz alot of missed grass. Fourth - there are areas that they missed due to being in a hurry maybe? Fifth they didn't mow everything that we mowed. Sixth - they never trimmed a thing but up close to the front doors.

Then the guys that did this mowing - one is a banker here in my town the other works as an electrican for a guy here in town, there father drives truck during the week. They do mow a few lawns in and around town but to me residential is one thing, commercial is another.

This place has a rather large irrigation system. I don't know if there taking care of that but that was part of our job. When we trimmed bushes, two guys all day. Fall clean up - cut down bushes, leaves, blow out landscapes - 3 ppl all day last year. Alot of maintanence.

Now i am still spraying/fert this account, i am still doing the sweeping and striping the parking lot, so If I see these guys out spraying weeds in the landscape - turn them in, take a picture, or let it go. There is 2 acres of gravel/rock parking lots with railroad ties bordering the parking - always was spraying those weeds, weeds throughout landscape beds, cracks in the cement, weeds growing aloong the curb. I am saying there was more to our work or price than mowing.

Sometimes I think in small towns people see what the others are going and think I can do that or be cheaper. Then I beleive there is inside info or people knowing people to fall into a job of this scale.

Just pisses me off really!

Another job we lost of a large catholic cemetary - did it for years but every year they publish it in there bullentin - well this year a retired school principle wanted it. He was told by there board how much I charged - therefore he said he would do it for that. So they kept him within the church - OK I say. Well he spent all day there yesterday mowing with 38' deck from craftsman. He managed to mow only the wide open empty part of the cem. where as I took the WAM and knocked it out quickly. Now I have watched, my wife and few of our guys today - he has spent all day mowing with a wb 21" around all the headstone - as of 8:30 he was still there. This cem. has 4 sections as well call it. He had section one 1/4 the way done with the pusher. What a joke!

Real good way to enjoy the weekend! Thanks for listening and being supportive but the big account really bites!

meets1
04-30-2011, 10:17 PM
Also didn't no if mentioned - I was told they decided to go else where for mowing via email. No repsonce back, to phone calls returned of why, pricing, reasoning nothing. Told by head maintanence man to plan on it for 2011 then get told via email all to find out that the maintanence guy left, in fact all them gone now as of this week - I guess I am gone as well - at least the mowing part.

georgiagrass
05-02-2011, 02:25 AM
When I started this business, I wrote as part of my business plan that no single account would represent more than 5% of our revenue. I've held to that self-imposed rule ever since. I sleep better at night knowing that I can fire any customer if it's a bad fit, or if the customer quits us, it doesn't have any material effect on the business.

MR-G
05-02-2011, 07:45 AM
When I started this business, I wrote as part of my business plan that no single account would represent more than 5% of our revenue. I've held to that self-imposed rule ever since. I sleep better at night knowing that I can fire any customer if it's a bad fit, or if the customer quits us, it doesn't have any material effect on the business....same here..we weed out the bad eggs as soon as they start to hatch...lol..pitas,slow payers, ect get cut from the list quickly....and never put on anything that exceeds 5% of our sales...would rather walk away than have an acct that "OWNS" US......:usflag: