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  #31  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:48 PM
martyman martyman is offline
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Location: Markham Ontario Canada
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When I first started 15 years ago I worked for large lawn cutting companies and built up a clientele. I started out with home owner equipment and over the years you just learn how to deal with customers and if you're a professional as I am, fix all your own machines and vehicles. Over the years I've seen very many very unprofessional companies and they do not last long, its not hard to pick them out. Having a large company with broken down equipment, employees that make a mess is not professional. Customers that treat you will little or no respect by not paying promptly or not picking up dog crap means they are lazy and do not respect you and should be dumped. Being professional means that you run a business that you take pride in and make money, a few rude or ignorant people that you run into most likely have problems that have nothing to do with you.
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  #32  
Old 10-14-2012, 02:39 PM
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puppypaws puppypaws is offline
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Originally Posted by martyman View Post
When I first started 15 years ago I worked for large lawn cutting companies and built up a clientele. I started out with home owner equipment and over the years you just learn how to deal with customers and if you're a professional as I am, fix all your own machines and vehicles. Over the years I've seen very many very unprofessional companies and they do not last long, its not hard to pick them out. Having a large company with broken down equipment, employees that make a mess is not professional. Customers that treat you will little or no respect by not paying promptly or not picking up dog crap means they are lazy and do not respect you and should be dumped. Being professional means that you run a business that you take pride in and make money, a few rude or ignorant people that you run into most likely have problems that have nothing to do with you.
I wish you could explain to me how not picking up dog crap affects your mowing. What does dog crap do to a mower, I have a 50' x 50' fenced in area that my dogs use for exercise and crapping, I mow this area every five days with one of my two Hustler Super Z mowers of which one is brand new (22 hrs.). I mowed this area yesterday, and have been mowing it for 10 years, with nothing I can see that causes a problem to me or the mower.

I would like to hear (just for my curiosity) what you feel dog crap does to a mower, and yes, I keep my equipment very clean. What gives me a problem is the 100+ geese that stays on my 4 ac lake that is only 150' behind my house. I mow extremely fast around the lake, full speed with a Super Z is mowing around 13.5 mph, and this is how fast I start out, that is until goose crap flies up and hits me, which sometimes may be in the face.
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  #33  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:17 PM
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GMLC GMLC is offline
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Dog crap in the face while string trimming sucks, stepping in it sucks and smelling it in my enclosed trailer and in my truck on a 100 degree day sucks.
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  #34  
Old 10-14-2012, 04:47 PM
martyman martyman is offline
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Dog crap in the face while string trimming sucks, stepping in it sucks and smelling it in my enclosed trailer and in my truck on a 100 degree day sucks.
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Could not have answered it better...
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  #35  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:28 PM
TMlawncare TMlawncare is offline
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Location: nw missouri
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Originally Posted by herler View Post
Generally speaking, fulfilling a profession involves a formal education.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_professions

You see landscaping in there?

Most of the rest of those professions require master's degrees...
All except maybe nurses and military officers, and maybe there exist a few more but they all require college as well.



Maybe among criminals.
Wow you must be very naive and uneducated. Many of us on here including myself have a B.S degree. A business owner is a profession. It does not matter what business it might be it is what you accomplish. What about a company like Brickman? Same industry, same work, same business issues. By your statement the owner is still just some uneducated hack that you would find in some alley.
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  #36  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:37 PM
orangemower orangemower is offline
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Originally Posted by TMlawncare View Post
Wow you must be very naive and uneducated. Many of us on here including myself have a B.S degree. A business owner is a profession. It does not matter what business it might be it is what you accomplish. What about a company like Brickman? Same industry, same work, same business issues. By your statement the owner is still just some uneducated hack that you would find in some alley.
You do know who you're talking to right?
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  #37  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:07 PM
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CraigPLC CraigPLC is offline
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Location: Van Buren Twp., Michigan
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Sorry, I have not read all the posts, so if I repeat something, please forgive me.

People always want to feel they are superior to the people doing work for them, especially those doing manual labor. They look down on plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenters, gardeners, landscapers, roofers, auto mechanics, etc. Which cracks me up, because in most cases, all these people make as much or more than the people they are doing work for. But I too was caught off guard, and may be it's because I am in an unique area, being in the suburbs of Detroit. Because most of my customers who own these big fancy Lake Front homes, are auto workers. At first, I thought they were engineers, or managers, but I'm learning most are line workers. Who when the auto industry was rocking, and they were working 12-hours a day, 7-days a week saved their money and bought these beautiful homes. So here is a line worker living in the same neighborhood as doctors, lawyers, judges, and the VPs of their corporations.

We all have a tendency to feel we are superior. What do you think about the person making your hamburger or delivering your pizza? Well today, you may be shocked to learn they were white collar executive. Imagine my shock, when one night my pizza was delivered by one of my ex-colleagues (he was Corporate Director of Finance), and I felt bad for him because he felt embarrassed. I know for myself, I used to think erotic dancers were all drugs addicts or bimbos until I start cutting their lawns for their $1,000,000 house. Yep, one of my customers is a dancer at a local stripe club. So you might look down on her (well... you probably wish...) but she makes enough money to live a beautiful home and drive a BMW 7-Series.

My point, I wouldn't care if someone wants to look down on you, care more about who you are looking down on - chance are, you're wrong!
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  #38  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:47 PM
DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING is offline
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The only tike you should look down at someone is when you are giving them a hand up.
my grandfather taught me that one when i was young and it stuck. I think i am no better than anyone who works hard for what they have.
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  #39  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:34 PM
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puppypaws puppypaws is offline
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Originally Posted by DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING View Post
The only tike you should look down at someone is when you are giving them a hand up.
my grandfather taught me that one when i was young and it stuck. I think i am no better than anyone who works hard for what they have.
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Your grandfather was wise beyond years!
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  #40  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:58 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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I have to partially disagree with the post. At least from where I am sitting, I hardly ever get the feeling that customers don't respect me or my company. In fact, I usually get a lot of respect when I show up to a customer's house. Maybe because our company is well-known in the community. But I think there is a lot more that goes into it too. Typically, our customers have either heard from us from a friend who spoke really highly of us or found us on the internet. And by the time they've gone through our website and seen all the beautiful work we're capable of doing, I think they end up having a lot of respect for our company. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that mowing lawns is just PART of what we do. People see nice paver patios, impressive stone work, outdoor living areas, landscape design, carpentry, landscape installs, etc. and I think the level of skill that is needed to pull that stuff off shines through. Most people are impressed by that point and by the time we show up, they already have respect for me and our company.

I think it also helps to be looking professional too. From your business card to your uniforms to the estimate sheet you hand them. The more custom and non-generic that stuff is, the more people will think you have really invested in your company and take you as more professional.

It also helps to be able to converse with the clients on a level that they are familiar with as well. Most of my clients are middle aged and have kids - so do I. So I bring that up. Most of my clients are college educated, so am I. So if I see a OSU or UofO sticker in their car of flag in front of their house, I bring that up. If I notice a book on Shakespeare or The Bible on their table, I might discuss that a little. Often I'll ask what they do. I have friends in just about every profession out there. So if someone says they are an attorney or businessman or whatever, I know enough to talk a little shop with them. This all helps set the stage that I am someone who is a lot like them. It shows them that I am not just some dude that does this for beer money. All of this posturing, so to speak, is really important. People want to buy from other people who they feel are similar to them. It's an advantage I have, being the age that I am and having had the life experiences I have had. And we all have to use our different advantages to their best potential.

Anyway, that's my perspective, FWIW.
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