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View Full Version : How Would You Handle This??????


LAWNS AND MOWER
10-29-2002, 11:07 AM
Here's my situation. I picked up 2 accounts side by side this spring. Was a referral, so was hard to say no. One yard is a piece of cake. 20 minutes max. $30/cut. Other yard is a major PITA. Flower beds all over the yard. Impossible to keep the clippings out of the beds. I get dizzy mowing this yard. Lady puts out cedar mulch everyother month. Way too much weedeating. It was hinted to me when I priced the yards that if I did one I would have to do the other. I would love to keep the easy yard and dump the other one next season. Any suggestions?????

MacLawnCo
10-29-2002, 11:16 AM
raise the price on the PITA. That way you can keep the tight route and both customers.

LAWNS AND MOWER
10-29-2002, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by MacLawnCo
raise the price on the PITA. That way you can keep the tight route and both customers.
I don't think she could pay me enough to mow it next year. I started counting in my head back in August how many more times I would have to mow it this year. I'm sure we all have accounts like this. I would look at my schedule for the week on Mon and have this yard down for Thurs and already start dreading having to mow it.

Green Pastures
10-29-2002, 11:36 AM
Either raise the price on the PITB yard to make it worth your time, of just dump them and hope for the best.

I have one customer that I love, she has a really cool yard and easy to take care of. It's made a real improvement since I've taken over.

Well her neighbor noticed her lawn improving and asked me for an estimate. They told me I was to high, so I said sorry but thats the price for the quality you can see.

Somehow, she got my customer, the lady I like to include her side yard which is connected to my customers front/side yard in my customers mowing contract. I told my customer there would (obviously) be an increase in price since I would be mowing/fertilizing and weeding more area. She agreed to the price. NOW, the neighbor lady always seems to find something to complain about, even though I've made improvements in her portion of the yard as well. She'll be out there sweeping grass clippings off her driveway AS I'M MOWING. I've stopped the mower several times and told her, I'll take care of any debris I get on your driveway when I get finished mowing. She just smiles and say's i'ts ok "I just like to help out". Then after I leave she goes and complains to my customer that I leave a mess for her to clean up! :angry:

The other day I was putting Pansies in the same customers front beds, the neighbor lady came out and told me I had them placed all wrong. I should move these here and move those there. I politely told her that I was the landscape professional and since I was ultimately responsible for the finished product, I would be the one to decide what looks best. You got it, she waited till my customer came home and complained to her saying, "since I can see the flower beds from my house I thought I should have a say in how they were planted"! My customer said she thought they looked just fine, and that she was very happy with my services. I think in so many words she told her to mind her own business.

My customer want's to keep my services but she also want's good relations with her neighbor. Difficult balance with a neighbor like this. Good luck to you.

Scott

awm
10-29-2002, 12:17 PM
it takes all kinds and that kind is the hardest to be patient with. mabe u could talk some buisiness into callin her and asking her if she wants a job. :D mabe if she was tired at the end o the day ,she wouldnt be so meddlesome an onnery..

bubble boy
10-29-2002, 12:35 PM
you could analyze the two as one. figure what you want to make for the stop, and then raise the pain only, by the full amount required. if you lose both, so be it. if the pain agrees, great. if the pain only quits, then you have the good prop at the same $30.

hey green pastures, years ago my parents had a neighbor who was not to keen on splitting the cost on a fence. they were the only neighbor to raise a complaint, to split the cost is the norm here.

my dad told them fine, he'll pay for it all. but he told them he was putting the fence 3" over on our side, and was going to paint the side facing them pink. they agreed to split the cost.

i thought you'd get a laugh out of that story.:cool:

Runner
10-29-2002, 12:46 PM
You can't just dump it because you don't "feel like" doing it. This is not a good way to do business, and would SURELY not look good to the neighbor or any other for that matter. You are already there, so just do it. Oh sure, you could price yourself for what you have to have, but you can't just "dump" someone because you don't like the job.

greenman
10-29-2002, 01:15 PM
You have to take the good with the bad,The easy with the hard. If your not losing money on it, and making money on the easy one, then just keep it (let your helper do that one, while you do the easy one:D ).

I have a yard that is a PITA. It has to be done with a 21" because it on a slope and there is a 2.5' wall separating the back, so the mower has to be picked up off the ground and on to wall. (cant do that with any other mower). But I am holding on to this account, because they love my work, I have gotten (and still do) alot of work from this guy. But he also pays pretty good. The yard is only 5500 sq.ft and its take almost an hour and a half to service. Almost twice as long for the leaves.

BAMARED
10-29-2002, 02:03 PM
Lawns and Mower,

If I'm reading your post correctly, it looks like you're obligated to cut both yards. But, now, you regret giving the same price to both accounts due to one of them being very difficult. Right?

If you are obligated, then I would just suck it up. Personally, I would not raise the price or even mention raising the price on the difficult yard after agreeing to it originally. It seems to me that all this should have been "hashed" out on the front end of this deal.

Good luck with it,

BAMARED

turfman33
10-29-2002, 03:36 PM
Raise your price a bit on the "pita" lady if she has more landscaping and it's harder to do. I had a lawn like this. But I got paid good bucks for it so it didn't bother me to do it. Then I have others where I priced wrong and don't like doing them because I priced it wrong. My fault I know, but it does get up ya nose when ya thinking that your not getting paid for what the job is worth.

Steve

bubble boy
10-29-2002, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by Runner
but you can't just "dump" someone because you don't like the job.

you can. and i have. don't tell them you're dropping them because they're a pain. tell them a good reason, make it a business decision, and give notice.

i do however prefer the price increase. that way it is worth my while if they stay. same with estimates. stuff i hate i jack the price.

anyone here in business for themself should not be forced to do something they don't want to, or need to, or have to.

Mowwithhustler's
10-29-2002, 04:21 PM
Man t know how u feel, ive been in the same position, we raised the price like almost double the cost of what it stated with just to have them to hire someone else.

Runner
10-29-2002, 06:32 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Runner
but you can't just "dump" someone because you don't like the job.

QUOTE]Originally posted by bubble boy
[B]you can. and i have. don't tell them you're dropping them because they're a pain. tell them a good reason, make it a business decision, and give notice.

I'm sorry, but I just don't feel that too many objects in a yard, and the giving of a price that was too low makes up or justifies a pita customer. Who knows, this customer might be willing to PAY more for this service if you explain this to them. Also, for whoever said you can't raise the price compared to the neighbor; Yes, you can as long as you have justification such as this.

wmsland
10-29-2002, 08:10 PM
I've had this same situation before. My solution was to raise them both by half the amount I wanted to raise the PITA customer. That way I got my raise in price and the customers were still being charged the same price.

greenman
10-29-2002, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Mowwithhustler's
Man t know how u feel, ive been in the same position, we raised the price like almost double the cost of what it stated with just to have them to hire someone else.

We know one position you've been in:D :D .

Sorry, dude, but your going to have to do get picked on for a while, its all in fun:D .

Gravely_Man
10-30-2002, 10:51 AM
I would try and be honest with the customer with the "busy" lawn and let them know the issues. They might surprise you or they may just state they don't want to have you continue on the account. That is the route I would try.


Gravely_Man

cutting edge
10-30-2002, 11:47 AM
From your post it sounds like if you lose one, you lose both.

$30 for 20 minutes is $90 an hour for the easy yard. You did not say how long it takes to do the difficult yard or how much you are getting paid. Does the difficult account pay enough to meet your minimum price or is it only profitable when combined with the easy account? When I have multiple accounts at one stop I price each one separately instead of averaging them together. That way if you lose one, you are not losing money on the stop.

LAWNS AND MOWER
10-30-2002, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by cutting edge
From your post it sounds like if you lose one, you lose both.

$30 for 20 minutes is $90 an hour for the easy yard. You did not say how long it takes to do the difficult yard or how much you are getting paid. Does the difficult account pay enough to meet your minimum price or is it only profitable when combined with the easy account? When I have multiple accounts at one stop I price each one separately instead of averaging them together. That way if you lose one, you are not losing money on the stop.
Okay, here's the deal. Both these accounts are mowed weekly and weedeated everyother week. Cupcake yard takes 20 min. mowing and 15 min weedeating. PITA account takes 30 min mowing and 25 min weedeating. I get $30 for cupcake yard and $40 for PITA yard. Comes out to $1 per minute (140 minutes,$140 everyother week) which is just over my hourly rate of $50. I'm in a position where I have all the work I need, probably too much. I could of dropped them in the middle of the season but felt I was obligated to finish out the season. As for Runner's comment "You can't dump them because you don't like them", I totally disagree. I've been in this biz for 16 years and have paid my dues. One advantage of being self-employed is that you can call all the shots. Take on jobs you want, turn down what you don't want. If I do decide to dump them, I'll inform them of this after the last cut of the season so they will have plenty of time to find a replacement.

Scraper
10-30-2002, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by LAWNS AND MOWER
If I do decide to dump them, I'll inform them of this after the last cut of the season so they will have plenty of time to find a replacement.

That's the professional way of handling.

cutting edge
10-30-2002, 12:38 PM
I agree with you on waiting till the end of the season to drop them.

In your post you stated "I have all the work I need, probably too much". Here is a way for you to try to drop one and keep the other. Explain to both customers that you have taken on too much work and that you are planning to cut back next year. Tell them you can only keep one of them, and since the easy yard takes the less time to do, that it is the only one you can continue to service due to your new schedule next year.