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  #21  
Old 05-08-2013, 09:26 PM
Above Par Lawns's Avatar
Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Good thread! I'm going through the same thing right now. Plus I work 40 hrs a week elsewhere. I'm starting to think maybe I should just quit the other job.
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  #22  
Old 05-08-2013, 11:07 PM
pseudosun pseudosun is online now
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I know .... i couldn't do what you do. 40 hours plus this, no thanks.
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  #23  
Old 05-08-2013, 11:21 PM
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weeze weeze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
The 6 hour 4 day model is nice, but I need to make a little more money, hopefully in a few years I can go to that model.
yeah it's just an idea. even 6hrs a day 5 days a week would work. that still leaves you a few hrs extra each day and saturday to catch up if needed.

you just have to find the right balance and what works for you.

i'm not even totally full yet but i'm turning away work. i used to just jump at almost anything to make a few extra bucks. now i'm seeing how building your customer base to fit what you want for your business is more important in the long run.

i'm done with these 1-2 time cuts or anything out of the ordinary like that. sure you'll make an extra $50-$100 but it's more of a hassle than anything else and that extra money isn't gonna be enough to make you rich and pay your bills.

i'm only interested in serious customers that want me to mow their lawns all season long year after year. anything else is a waste of time and effort. gotta think long term not short term.
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  #24  
Old 05-09-2013, 09:00 AM
smallstripesnc smallstripesnc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
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I always have people "thinking" its going to rain because they see 10% chance of rain on weather.com and they want me to drop everything and come as soon as I get their call or email. Its pretty ridiculous. They don't understand that I have many other lawns and each day my schedule is maxed out and I don't have time and want to waste fuel to go out of my way for one lawn and then fall behind.

I've tried having a helper but no one edges or trims like I do. I can run while edging and trimming and still do a great job but the people I try out can't even walk like a turtle and do it right and I end up going back doing it anyways. Maybe I haven't found the right person but at the same time I don't make enough as it is to have to pay an employee.

I agree there's disadvantages of being solo. Situations like this, getting home at dark, if you get sick your stuck working because no one can fill in for you, and when you see a client actually at home (rare for me) you talk their ears off haha.

Advantages are there's absolutely no miscommunication, job is always done right, I don't have to worry about anyone hitting any wires near A/C units or on the side of the home since I know all my properties I manage, and one of the biggest is that you don't have to worry about a guy not showing up.

I agree with the above poster that I've learned its very important to find the RIGHT clients not just any and all. I am turning down a lot of work as well. My phone rings off the hook and there's just not enough hours in the day to add their lawn to my schedule. I only offer weekly service. Many want bi-weekly but its proof that it just grows way too fast for bi-weekly around here. I had to skip a few lawns last week and I'm definitely paying the price because they look like a fescue forest and they email me saying they're getting letters from their HOA complaining their lawn is way too high but they're the one who asked me to skip last week. I don't do one time cuts or anything either. Its a lot of hassle to go out of my way for one lawn.

Last edited by smallstripesnc; 05-09-2013 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Forgot something.
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  #25  
Old 05-09-2013, 10:19 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Location: Zone: 5B
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I could not agree more.

One has to pick the right clients.
And stick to your guns on rates and let the biweekly cheapies go.




Quote:
Originally Posted by smallstripesnc View Post
I always have people "thinking" its going to rain because they see 10% chance of rain on weather.com and they want me to drop everything and come as soon as I get their call or email. Its pretty ridiculous. They don't understand that I have many other lawns and each day my schedule is maxed out and I don't have time and want to waste fuel to go out of my way for one lawn and then fall behind.

I've tried having a helper but no one edges or trims like I do. I can run while edging and trimming and still do a great job but the people I try out can't even walk like a turtle and do it right and I end up going back doing it anyways. Maybe I haven't found the right person but at the same time I don't make enough as it is to have to pay an employee.

I agree there's disadvantages of being solo. Situations like this, getting home at dark, if you get sick your stuck working because no one can fill in for you, and when you see a client actually at home (rare for me) you talk their ears off haha.

Advantages are there's absolutely no miscommunication, job is always done right, I don't have to worry about anyone hitting any wires near A/C units or on the side of the home since I know all my properties I manage, and one of the biggest is that you don't have to worry about a guy not showing up.

I agree with the above poster that I've learned its very important to find the RIGHT clients not just any and all. I am turning down a lot of work as well. My phone rings off the hook and there's just not enough hours in the day to add their lawn to my schedule. I only offer weekly service. Many want bi-weekly but its proof that it just grows way too fast for bi-weekly around here. I had to skip a few lawns last week and I'm definitely paying the price because they look like a fescue forest and they email me saying they're getting letters from their HOA complaining their lawn is way too high but they're the one who asked me to skip last week. I don't do one time cuts or anything either. Its a lot of hassle to go out of my way for one lawn.
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  #26  
Old 05-09-2013, 10:30 AM
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Landscraper1 Landscraper1 is offline
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Location: Southeastern Ma.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudosun View Post
Yes, i admit it, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Right now my friday customers think it's going to rain friday and want their yard cut thursday. They can't even see the problem with that. They're thinking is that i'm probably sitting at home waiting to cut their yard for the week. I haven't caught up yet, and i'm getting jammed up because of their paranoia. It's just frustrating. It's mother's day this weekend, but i'm not superman. Would you cut early to accommodate a request like this, or just say "if it rains, i'll catch up later"? Someone will be pissed. It's going to be the people i HAVE to push out thursday, or the friday customers who may get rained out.
Being solo has nothing to do with your problem. You have to schedule lawn cuttings on Monday to Thursday. If it rains one day, you cut on Friday. If it rains two days you cut on Saturday.
You have to schedule this way and explain to your customers how it works. Be sure to tell them that this is not for when it rains on their day but, any day that rains on or before their scheduled day.
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  #27  
Old 05-09-2013, 10:36 AM
Caddyshack Lawn Care Caddyshack Lawn Care is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Columbia MO
Posts: 501
All this talk about bi-weeklies had me scratching my head. For the first time in 15 years I had someone yesterday ask me if I could mow bi-weekly. I'm normally polite and respectful, but I just shook my head and walked back to my truck. Around here most lawns need cutting every 3-5 days this time of year. The longest I'll go is 7. I'd need a bush hog to let one go two weeks.
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  #28  
Old 05-09-2013, 11:43 AM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is online now
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Location: Humid S. Fl. with sights set on San Diego
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Bi weekly down here in my area of fl is almost non existent.
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  #29  
Old 05-09-2013, 12:28 PM
pseudosun pseudosun is online now
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i work very close to weeze's suggestion (6 hours / 5 days). This is so true - ""I've tried having a helper but no one edges or trims like I do."" Scheduling for monday through thursday only won't work for me. I have premium customers on friday who requested friday. It's simple, top payers get that spot. I'd rather play catch up than play it safe each week, and not schedule friday work.
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  #30  
Old 05-09-2013, 12:42 PM
zackvbra zackvbra is offline
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Location: Lake park, ga
Posts: 543
I think a disadvantage of being solo is you have to wear like 5 different hats at the same time. Accountant, salesman, laborer and all.
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