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  #41  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:32 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
That's the key stick to your guns and don't go down on price and your right you have to be in this for the long run. The guys that think this is a get rich quick scheme are in for a rude awaking. There is a lot of bad advice giving on here and I just bite my tongue. I made a lot of mistakes and listened to the wrong advice sometimes,but you live and learn. Like I said earlier I hope to finally be in the black this year.

I finally paid off most of my equipment but I should be able to pay the rest off this year. It seems like your always needing something else. Another thing I'm doing this year is not taking on cheap customers. Guys will say you have to take anything and everything when first starting out and to some point that is true, but what you soon find out is that those customers don't last. Some will last a few weeks and some a few months but they either find someone cheaper or they can't afford the service and drop you for that.

Many people have the mentality of getting more and more customers = more money. So they work themselves to death and quit. Worker Smarter, not harder should really be the mindset. Believe me its hard work but some really take the hard work too far. They get 200 lawns they cant service because they are so cheap, instead of 50 properties with full service and make more money and invest less time.

Its a roller coaster that way, up down up down. Just when you think your getting a full schedule the phone rings and they cancel. When you've been around for a while you can spot them immediately. If they want every other week service then they can find someone else. I know that is going to limit me and slow my growth but I figure in the long run it will pay off. There is just no money in those kinds of clients.

I'm much better at also spotting these kinds of customers and just thank them and walk away. I think a lot of people have a difficult time of taking "No" from a customer when they give them a price. They take it too personally and then just lower their price to get the job instead of selling quality. It's not easy but you need to be able to walk away.

I don't know how the mow and blow guys make money at this, too much turnover with clients and no extra's. One of the guys I talk to locally said run your business the way you need to and don't let the customers run you or you will go broke. I asked him how he gets around working for the every other week crowd and he said he doesn't give them a choice, he tells them what is done, when its done and if they don't like it well then they can find someone else. He's been around a while and runs a nice business so I know it works.

People have to understand business, not how to mow a lawn. The more quality customers one can get the more quality referrals, the more work at your price, the better ones business reputation becomes allowing you to charge your price without question.

Another interesting little fact I came upon while looking at different local websites. I'm in the process of getting one built so I was looking at what I liked and didn't like about other companies websites. Well one thing that was consistent with the larger firms was that they don't offer bi weekly mowing or once a month mowing or call me when its a foot tall mowing. One website, and I wish I would have bookmarked it had on their maintenance page, something to the effect of " most of our maintenance packages run X amount per month, are you committed to spending that on your landscape?

I will be updating my website as such and already have on it about how if you are customer that appreciates quality first over cheap prices please contact. I am debating putting some prices on some services such as mowing just to keep price shoppers away.

In other words they were saying in a round about way, before filling out the contact page and requesting an estimate, unless you have the money, don't waste our time. They are a local company and they only deal in yearly maintenance packages.

If I was full time I would have to do yearly contracts or something similar for consistent income, you have to. Right now being part time I can deal with per cut lawn maintenance but full time no way. Yearly packages would include lawn maintenance, landscape maintenance, snow removal, etc.... If people want a great service and are willing to pay for it and you can provide that service they wont have a problem with it. But that goes back to establishing a business with good customers who can give good referrals. Hopefully I will continue to get good referrals

Good motto to build a business by I think. There used to be a lot of good guys that posted here that are not around anymore and they all said that they dropped the bi weeklys and the non contract customers years ago and it was the best thing they ever did, and I used to think that you would never get any work because around here that is what everyone wants. But those guys were not only right they were smart.

I posted in a thread called "KIDS" and talked about how this site has been taken over. All people on here just seem to care about is the picture thread and instead of taking a good companies advice they bother them with "When can you post more pics of your Dump Truck, Mower, Trimmer, etc..." Rather than asking advice they keep buggin for more pics of trucks and the such. I would rather know production times, advice on how to better install something, etc... I can go to a dealer to look at a crew cab F350, but that doesnt help me in how to better my business.

When they call me they are getting screened from the get go and if they don't fit the profile I'm not wasting my time.

Dave...
I'm just sticking to my plan and hopefully it'll work out.
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  #42  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:05 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Originally Posted by diamondlandscaping View Post
Right away you can tell that company has years and are professionals. Bi-weeklies are a means to an end, they generate income and help you as you grow and get better quality accounts. I had some that paid good and I needed at the time. I won't take them anymore but they served their purpose. A great thing is also getting an account on a high traffic area and make it shine. Even if you have one account on the street make sure it looks better than all the rest.
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Yeah they operate all over Atlanta, I'm glad I found that site because I couldn't remember who it was so I started looking and got lucky and found it. Anyway I have some bi weekly's right now and I don't plan on dropping them, but I won't take on anymore. The problem with those types of customers are they come and go and you never know how long they will stay with you. They rarely will refer you to other customers, and if they do the customer is just another cheap #$$.

You hear a lot of guys talk about referrals and how they are the best customers, which is true. But if you build your customer base off of these types then you will never grow because typically or at least from my own experience, they don't refer you, they come and go to often, they are low profit and in the end are not worth it. It seems like every year I pick up a decent amount of new customers, but I also lose customers from the year before. You know the type, come every two weeks and then call to skip when the lawn slows down because you had a few weeks without rain and in there opinion not yours, "the lawn doesn't need to be mowed this week" , so now your going every 3 wks on a lousy $30 or $35 lawn.

Pull up that customers account info at the end of the year and see how much you actually made, not the fantasy number you figured when you through out that number in the beginning when you thought you would be there every other week. So the outcome is slow growth on cheap customers that you go through like toilet paper and you slowly starve to death.

Illegals and the newbies can have them.

Dave...
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  #43  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:19 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Location: Western NY
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Thats why I love quickbooks. Gives me instant detailed info on income per customer. That way I know who to keep when it comes time to add and drop. Plus it tells you the truth on income, as long as you enter EVERYTHING. Its amazing how much goes into running the business.

Referrals are not always the best but getting in a great neighborhood can showcase your work to potential clients.
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  #44  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:28 PM
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Lefet Lefet is offline
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Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
I'm just sticking to my plan and hopefully it'll work out.
Nice post MD, nice post.
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  #45  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:48 PM
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Puddle of Oil Puddle of Oil is offline
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Originally Posted by Drew Gemma View Post
I get paid to keep the property looking good. It is not hard what we do like anything else in life, added will power, desire and the ability to look for solutions not excuses then you will succeed.
Stay focused and leave distractions for those who will fail in their ventures
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  #46  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:56 PM
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White Gardens White Gardens is online now
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Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
Busted I'm just messing with you guys. I saw that post yesterday from the guy that said he made money his first month and thought I would start a post like this to mess with you guys but also show what kinds of expenses can be expected with this business.


Should of known better after looking at your Join Date in your Avatar.
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  #47  
Old 01-17-2011, 07:00 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Originally Posted by White Gardens View Post


Should of known better after looking at your Join Date in your Avatar.
Gotcha!

Dave...
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  #48  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:34 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Originally Posted by Lefet View Post
Nice post MD, nice post.
Is this real or sarcastic?
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  #49  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:36 PM
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Lefet Lefet is offline
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Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
Is this real or sarcastic?
Thoroughly real. I won't waste my time or yours being sarcastic.
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  #50  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:42 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Originally Posted by Lefet View Post
Thoroughly real. I won't waste my time or yours being sarcastic.
I figured but with the written word you can never tell For the first few years I was lost and just playing follow the leader, without know who the leader was. After some "learning experiences" I made up my mind to do one thing and one thing only.....my way. If it works then I did something right, if not I'll have to re-evaluate to see what went wrong or ask for guidance. Too many continue to play follow the leader, even if the leader is wrong or failing.
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