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  #11  
Old 09-15-2005, 11:44 AM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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sorry mr addams, rule numero uno- don't do business with friends. they can have jonnygedd. they all come back, every time
  #12  
Old 09-15-2005, 12:28 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
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Location: Pennsylvania
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SORRY, I SHOULD HAVE EXPLAINED FURTHER...

if you notice, in my last post I mentioned making your clients your "friends"... the word friends is in quotes...I should have said [friendly]...

meaning if your clients like you, trust you, etc... they are then less inclined to hire a shovel-swinging gedd - even if you charge a bit more
  #13  
Old 09-15-2005, 12:37 PM
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Soupy Soupy is offline
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Location: IL. (St Louis Metro)
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Bobby, you have a point. The trash company services my property every week and gives me nothing. On the other hand they were just replaced by a cheaper company.

Here is were I agree with Sean. We provide a more personal service and it isn't uncommon to receive gestures of appreciation for such business. You may find that some insurance agents, accountants, etc. view this as a standard business practice. I get regular carpet cleaning (darn kids) and the company I use gives a free bottle of spot remover out to all their good customers each visit.

Sometimes you have to look at the big picture. Sean's tip (and he didn't invent anything new here) isn't about throwing money out the window. It is just another ideal to reinvest in your business. I'm sure you have heard the phrase it takes money to make money? Well you may find this to be true. I give holiday cards out to each customer every year, and to a select group I will give a free service, or a gift certificate. I don't always give to the same customers each year, sometimes I mix it up a little. I charge a premium and this offsets any expenses, so I am not actually giving anything away free.

I guarantee you that most LCO's make well beyond 7% profit. It's true that very large companies working on volume have very high overhead. But this industry is made up of many more smaller companies that have very low overhead compared to most other types of business. We don't have to continually market for our next job because we provide a subscription based service. Many are able to work out of their home, etc.

Bobby, here is a business tip just for you buddy. That 7% profit you mentioned already has the gift giving factored into it. So you may not have to reach in your wallet just yet. If you do not have enough money in your variable expense budget this year. You can always wait until next year. Then you can choose to make it a fixed expense by allotting X amount of money for X amount of deserving customers. If your customers act and view you as you described, then a little PR (personal relations) might just be what the doctor ordered for your business.
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2005, 01:11 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
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Well said...great post
  #15  
Old 09-15-2005, 01:49 PM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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well, i can't try and hijack seans post, but......let's face facts, sean don't cut grass for a living, i wonder why like i said though, in my neck of the woods, clients gross you about 2k per season, IF THEY are on full service. if not, then it's around $1200 per client. if you're smart like me, you net around 75%. i think i give them enough reason to keep using my service. they can buy thier own spot remover. whatever makes you feel good, then do it. once again though, it should be the other way around. i work hard for these people, i should be getting the gifts, not them. you know, all that cat litter gets heavy after awhile
  #16  
Old 09-15-2005, 02:33 PM
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Soupy Soupy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbygedd
well, i can't try and hijack seans post, but......let's face facts, sean don't cut grass for a living, i wonder why like i said though, in my neck of the woods, clients gross you about 2k per season, IF THEY are on full service. if not, then it's around $1200 per client. if you're smart like me, you net around 75%. i think i give them enough reason to keep using my service. they can buy thier own spot remover. whatever makes you feel good, then do it. once again though, it should be the other way around. i work hard for these people, i should be getting the gifts, not them. you know, all that cat litter gets heavy after awhile
I agree about hijacking a thread so I'll make this my last post. But I wanted to point out that In the past years my turn over rate has been next to 0. This year I did lose one customer to a friend of the family that entered the business. Other then that I usually don't lose customers other then death or relocation. I have been doing this for 14 years and my prices are high for my area. I will own up to the fact that my customers could probably get just as good service at a cheaper price too, but for some reason they just like me :blush:

EDIT: one other thing I will point out to you Bobby (even though you have the perfect operation). If you follow Sean's advice and create a friendly relationship with your customers, you might just start receiving those gifts that you think you deserve.
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  #17  
Old 09-15-2005, 02:52 PM
GrazerZ GrazerZ is offline
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Location: Lisbon Falls ME.
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Actually I HAVE gotten gifts from my customers. Like a gift for my newborn and a card when they found out We just had a baby.or a yearly thankyou gift box of brownies or candies. Oh, and guess which ones those gifts were frm... yeap you guessed it. This is my last post to beat this horse.
  #18  
Old 09-15-2005, 03:45 PM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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my turnover rate is zero, unless i choose to eliminate the client. and, i don't send gifts, or kiss butt. go figure. later
  #19  
Old 09-15-2005, 03:54 PM
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DLS1 DLS1 is offline
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Location: Kansas City, Mo. area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbygedd
my turnover rate is zero, unless i choose to eliminate the client. and, i don't send gifts, or kiss butt. go figure. later
Like we believe that. You surely have had customers fire you after seeing your mullet and seeing a walkbehind mowing their grass with two eyes just barely above the handles bars and a large shovel sitting on the walkbehind and a beer sitting in the water holder.
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  #20  
Old 09-15-2005, 05:24 PM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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ha ha, that's a good one. ok, i got one for you. WHY did the guy from kansas city cross the road?
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