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  #31  
Old 12-03-2012, 08:47 PM
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Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
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MD - you customers, since you have not experienced drought , should be the easiest to convince, if you have been in business for awhile, you know how many cuts a property gets.

Just be honest with them and explain...try it out on a few, you might be surprised if you do a effective job explaining why, how much and showing them that you are not going to rip them off but are just trying to actually run a business. You might be surprised at what their thoughts are.
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  #32  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:02 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
MD - you customers, since you have not experienced drought , should be the easiest to convince, if you have been in business for awhile, you know how many cuts a property gets.

Just be honest with them and explain...try it out on a few, you might be surprised if you do a effective job explaining why, how much and showing them that you are not going to rip them off but are just trying to actually run a business. You might be surprised at what their thoughts are.
I agree, it makes sense to the customer who understands you're a business not a hobbyiest, I explain that we're a full time professional landscaping company we're not the kid from down the street or joe blow doing it on the side. This is where image is so important, how do you dress when you go to an appointment? do you listen and take notes when the customer is talking? do you drive up in a fred sanford truck? it makes a difference.
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  #33  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:10 PM
pseudosun pseudosun is online now
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I may fall into the fred sanford category.

Last edited by pseudosun; 12-03-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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  #34  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:23 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
I agree, it makes sense to the customer who understands you're a business not a hobbyiest, I explain that we're a full time professional landscaping company we're not the kid from down the street or joe blow doing it on the side. This is where image is so important, how do you dress when you go to an appointment? do you listen and take notes when the customer is talking? do you drive up in a fred sanford truck? it makes a difference.
A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

D.) I have a full website.

I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
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  #35  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:40 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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The other thing with the mulch work is most of my jobs are not just slinging mulch. It's tons of edging, trimming bushes, general clean up and anywhere from 2-12 yards of mulch. Full days of work for each job. I really don't like mulch only jobs. They just look like hell without good edging and trimmed bushes. Nothing I'd want to stamp my name on. I do one 7 yard job where the homeowner "edges" and trims. Ugh.....looks good but I know it would look much better if I did the whole job. But it would more than double the price and I think he knows that.

ANYWAYS.......keep the ideas flowing.
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  #36  
Old 12-03-2012, 10:06 PM
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The other thing with the mulch work is most of my jobs are not just slinging mulch. It's tons of edging, trimming bushes, general clean up and anywhere from 2-12 yards of mulch. Full days of work for each job. I really don't like mulch only jobs. They just look like hell without good edging and trimmed bushes. Nothing I'd want to stamp my name on. I do one 7 yard job where the homeowner "edges" and trims. Ugh.....looks good but I know it would look much better if I did the whole job. But it would more than double the price and I think he knows that.

ANYWAYS.......keep the ideas flowing.
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Properties are edged weekly here including the beds during the most active time of growth, when we go EOW obviously so does the edging. Most customers will choose to have the shrubs included in their service because if they are not going out in the heat to mow the lawn or do not have the time, they will not for the shrubs either, so generally speaking that is already taken care of.

If they are a new customer and the previous LCO did not address these ....there is a " clean up" cost incurred prior to taking the account on.
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"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

Providing Lawn Services, Landscape Installations and Solutions and Sod Services in the Oviedo Florida Market

If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
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  #37  
Old 12-03-2012, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

D.) I have a full website.

I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
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All that is fine and dandy , but personally I think the most important is that the customer trust you and your abilities. They have to have confidence in your and your knowledge and desire to care for their property. If you are able to give that....it goes a long way.
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"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

Providing Lawn Services, Landscape Installations and Solutions and Sod Services in the Oviedo Florida Market

If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
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  #38  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:13 AM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

D.) I have a full website.

I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
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I wasn't putting the part time guys down, I started out part time as well. I don't even have a full website yet, as for the rest sounds like you got the right idea.
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  #39  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:44 AM
hi_speedreed hi_speedreed is offline
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It was previously noted just because thats the way it was always done doesn't mean that's the way it should be done. I agree with that, but in this instance don't believe it to be completely true.

As a business owner you should realize that customers control the market not the other way around. If a customer balks at paying monthly I will not drop them. I won't throw away good money because the customer wants to walk out, say hi and hand me a check when I am loading up. If I don't then they will find someone who will.

I also agree it is a money management issue. I know that what I make from April until November has to carry me through the winter. Some people do not have the ability to plan and budget a weekly paycheck let alone planning what you are going to need 10 months down the road. I am not saying any poster of this thread can't. I don't know if you can or not.

You have found what works best for you. Others have found what works best for them. That's the beauty of owning your business. You get final say in what is best.
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  #40  
Old 12-04-2012, 07:28 AM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
Again so standards are just different?????? No matter if it is the property mgr or the business owner who lives next to you owns that property....they see that their is work to be done and are willing to pay for it...according to you at their business......but they do not have the same standards for their home.....most likely their largest investment they own?
Business image is everything. I do a commercial account where I mow the business and the owners house. He cares about the appearance of both of them. There are others where I have no idea where the owner lives. Their lawn could look great or it could be a foot tall. Commercial accounts want their business to reflect an image of professionalism which includes the exterior. Most resi customers just want their grass shorter than before you showed up. We have per cut, and yearly contracts. Yearly contracts are the way to go if you can sell it to your customers.
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