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View Full Version : 10 biggest mistakes a lawnboy makes


bobbygedd
10-28-2004, 09:19 PM
ok, let's hear it, in your own words, what are the biggest/worse mistakes a person in the lawn business makes. i'll start with #1, and you knew this was comming: having no control over payment policies. ALLOWING the customer to control your cashflow, acting like a credit company, when you don't know a damn thing ABOUT being a credit company. so, that's mine, PAYMENT POLICIES, or lack of them. add to the list

sodgod
10-28-2004, 09:28 PM
I would have to say that the first one is right. In my opinion the second worst mistake is not returning phone calls and not showing up for an estimate. This is only happened to me twice in all the jobs that i have done thank god. Honestly, i don't remember in both cases that i would show on saterday. I always write things down, those two i must not have. But with a little sweet talk and a lot of saying i'm sorry, You slowly gain back their trust.

grasswhacker
10-28-2004, 09:29 PM
Routes that spread over too large an area. They need to be tighter for more efficeint use of time.
Buying too much equipment that is not used enough to justify it's cost.
A trailer that is too small. Always go bigger than you think you need for hauling debris or mulch.

geogunn
10-28-2004, 09:30 PM
I think not knowing how to use a shovel properly rates right up there.

GEO

The LawnSmith
10-28-2004, 09:50 PM
Waiting too long to bid on a job you drive by everyday and then noticing that someone else did it.

PLI1
10-28-2004, 09:52 PM
laying sod green side down.

lqmustang
10-28-2004, 10:02 PM
Bidding too low, whether it's just to build a quick client base, or flat out lack of knowledge on going prices in ones specific market.

1MajorTom
10-28-2004, 10:03 PM
Buying too much equipment right at the start when the accounts aren't even there. Too much debt too quick is nothing but a disaster waiting to happen.

seven-up
10-28-2004, 10:07 PM
cutting the grass to short, ie scalping it year round....

Mo Green
10-28-2004, 10:09 PM
Running over dog $h!t.

SCAG POWER
10-28-2004, 10:14 PM
We get so wrapped up in the service side of the business that we forget to look for new business, we very rarely ask for referrals when mowing a customers yard.

I know my self that at the start of this season i was always looking for new business every day when i went out to mow, now i have slacked off and rely on other means to get business in.But you just cant replace cold calling it-works :help:

captaingreen
10-28-2004, 11:00 PM
Greeting the day with vigor you start out on your first property, carefully turning the sharp corners as to not tear any turf, then arriving back at the point of your initial trim pass only to realize, you forgot to drop your deck.

chipk1
10-28-2004, 11:06 PM
Greeting the day with vigor you start out on your first property, carefully turning the sharp corners as to not tear any turf, then arriving back at the point of your initial trim pass only to realize, you forgot to drop your deck.


That's a good one. Not that I never did that. :blush:

Mdirrigation
10-28-2004, 11:11 PM
Letting the business run you instead of you running the business

EastProLawn
10-28-2004, 11:14 PM
Buying too much equipment right at the start when the accounts aren't even there. Too much debt too quick is nothing but a disaster waiting to happen.I would say that is #1 here in Rhode Island, most guys want all the little toys before having the work for the toys.

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2004, 11:22 PM
Starting out at a lower profit to gain higher volume.

proenterprises
10-28-2004, 11:27 PM
Running over dog $h!t.


god that seems to happen every day :dizzy:

dvmcmrhp52
10-28-2004, 11:27 PM
Biggest mistake???????


Not going to college and getting a six figure desk job! :drinkup:


Other than that,not doing it sooner..............(lawncare)

KINGjosh
10-28-2004, 11:56 PM
Stop making excuses, just to finish the day a little early, so you can go fishing.(just kiddin) Stop procrastinating, if something needs to be done, do it now instead of tommorow morning

Timbo
10-28-2004, 11:57 PM
Making the first pass on a lawn and forgetting to turn the blades on. ;)

PR Fect
10-29-2004, 12:29 AM
Doing a bid from your truck instead of walking the property because it was raining. We got it, for a whoooole year. :realmad:

Runner
10-29-2004, 01:02 AM
Mine, I have to say actually sort of coincides with Bobby's in a way, as it is closely related. However, this one is actually one of the biggest downfalls to ANY business and has been written about in many text and business publications. That is poor cash flow. Sometimes it can be caused by slow paying customers and collection policies that are too laxed, but other times it can be caused by poor business practices which inevitibally lead to further troubles up the road. This is the case that I am in. I am having some difficulties right now (non-financial), and there are certain aspects of this business that are sliding - billing and collecting accounts recievable are one of them. This is just very poor business practices, plain and simple. I am almost to the point of being overwhelmed here, and know that I need to make some changes. I'm afraid I am going to have to take two steps back and step away for awhile while I regain my composure. The edge is just gone. There are certain decisions and choices that I need to make, and I can't do this when I am caught in this fog of confusion. I am tired of being a landscape management man who does this business......it is now time to once again become a businessman who does landscape management. Sorry for dumping that on you guys, but I just wanted to express that I see Boibby's first point clearly....as well as others that have posted on here. Thank you for everything that all of you do.

musselman
10-29-2004, 03:25 AM
Show up on the day you say you will and if you cant give them a call. Ive picked up alot of accounts over the years because the other guy is 3-4 days late. Im with Jodi also dont over extend yourself, but when you do spend buy good quality equipment.

Littleriver1
10-29-2004, 08:21 AM
Musselman is right on. I have picked up a lot of new accounts late in the seasons because lawns are not getting cut on time. If you have any, even 1 phone message, asking you to please cut my lawn, you may have a problem. Do not skip lawns.

crawdad
10-29-2004, 08:48 AM
Begging, pleading, whimpering for work, and, when refused, doing the work for free.
Crawdad

pfifla1
10-29-2004, 08:49 AM
using the stairs to enter a backyard

crawdad
10-29-2004, 09:23 AM
using the stairs to enter a backyard
That's worth a few points. Always good to bring up the stair story.
What a dolt! What a maroon!
Crawdad

Acute Cut
10-29-2004, 09:24 AM
pfifla1 using the stairs to enter a backyard
OH YA! I would also have to say running this like a hobby vs a business. When i finally decided to make the switch i quadrupaled my gross. WTF was i thinking before? The biggest one i would have to say is being "friends" with your employees. It never, never works out.

ScCo
10-29-2004, 12:10 PM
Greeting the day with vigor you start out on your first property, carefully turning the sharp corners as to not tear any turf, then arriving back at the point of your initial trim pass only to realize, you forgot to drop your deck.

I'd hate to even admit how many times I've done this.

LCME
10-29-2004, 12:30 PM
New customer wants a estimate to install mulch and weekly mowing. You spend the time, trip, measuring, energy, etc. to only find out after presenting... They say, you're way to high. I already have a friend in the landscape business who will do the work for nothing. Oh and also the other LCO will cut my 20,000 sq ft lot for only $20. :dizzy: I should of asked if they got other estimates first. :realmad:

Lawn-Scapes
10-29-2004, 01:26 PM
I agree with Joe (Runner) that cash flow is a major issue. Mine has gotten better over the last couple of years and it has definitely improved the direction in which my business is headed. I'm still a little lax when it comes to getting invoices out and adding late fees... but getting better. I hate doing paperwork! :(

Joe.. I'm sorry to hear you are having difficulties and I hope you get it all worked out! Good luck!!!

JustMowIt
10-29-2004, 07:42 PM
Biggest mistake???????


Not going to college and getting a six figure desk job! :drinkup:


Other than that,not doing it sooner..............(lawncare)

Running a lawn company can be a desk job, if you design the business around that goal!

tinman
11-15-2004, 12:42 AM
using the stairs to enter a backyard
Freaking hilarious,,,just read that old post today.

tinman
11-15-2004, 12:48 AM
New customer wants a estimate to install mulch and weekly mowing. You spend the time, trip, measuring, energy, etc. to only find out after presenting... They say, you're way to high. I already have a friend in the landscape business who will do the work for nothing. Oh and also the other LCO will cut my 20,000 sq ft lot for only $20. :dizzy: I should of asked if they got other estimates first. :realmad:

My Dad is a Painting Contractor and he just finished a house for an older gentleman & wanted a price for doing his son's house. He then told him his son would probably get another price to compare with. MY Dad told him if he was gonna get another price there was no need in him even going to look at it as his price would probably be more. The older guy said, "Well go ahead & do it & just send me the bill".

TURF DOCTOR
11-15-2004, 12:52 AM
Mowing and forgeting to turn the deck on.

absolutelawnman
11-15-2004, 02:20 AM
Trusting professional (doctors, lawyers) to pay their bills on time or at all.

rodfather
11-15-2004, 07:05 AM
Having the customer tell you what time and/or day of the week you can work. See ya...

RICHIE K
11-15-2004, 07:21 AM
GIVING A CUSTOMER YOUR CELL # ;)



RICHIE K


www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:

YardPro
11-15-2004, 08:47 AM
thinking that you can do everything, and not hiring people to handle things like accounts receiveable/payable, etc.

if you are doung over $150K per year you really should have at least a part time book keeper.