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Old 05-28-2013, 05:37 PM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is offline
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Dealing with the stress of the business

This spring has been the worse for me. My advertising has took off, lots of new customers, and adding employees. I have a history of trying to be superman and meeting everyone's needs. Well I am learning I can't do it all over the past couple of years. So I am wondering how you all deal with customer complaints, pushing schedules back, and turning down work while being able to go home to your family and not letting family/work become one. I don't think I have seen anyone make a thread about this in this way.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:12 PM
Callahan's Lawn Services Callahan's Lawn Services is offline
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New customers = new expectations / problems. Always make time for family. It will keep the stress level down while you are on site meaning you will slow down and offer an excellent finished product consistanly. If I get in a hurry I sometimes catch myself cutting corners and to my customers that is unacceptable. Keep Calm And Mulch On.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:04 PM
GrassGuerilla GrassGuerilla is offline
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I have a little ritual. Each time I see a competitor going out of business, selling off trucks and equipment, I have a little celebration. Today as a matter of fact, I just found an ad for a guy that tried to steal a bunch of accounts. Guy asked me how much do I charge for a yard like his? Next week I started getting calls about his "half price" introductory special. Today he posted his stuff for sale on CL. Must be beer thirty.

Can't let this business get you down. Go watch a ball game while you can. Think of it like this, if you went to the Dr. tomorrow and he told you you have 6 weeks to live. Would you try to work every day to provide a little more for your family? Or do you think those ball games would suddenly seem more important? There's a reason some folks try to live each day like it may be your last. Chances are, you won't know when it is your final weeks.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:00 PM
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94gt331 94gt331 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCLawn and more View Post
This spring has been the worse for me. My advertising has took off, lots of new customers, and adding employees. I have a history of trying to be superman and meeting everyone's needs. Well I am learning I can't do it all over the past couple of years. So I am wondering how you all deal with customer complaints, pushing schedules back, and turning down work while being able to go home to your family and not letting family/work become one. I don't think I have seen anyone make a thread about this in this way.
Over the last 10 years in buisiness this started happening to me about 5 years ago, I'd take on too much work and piss alot of people off. I learned to try to communicate with customers better now and to turn work down if I have too. It happens constantly. And I know now to really attack my work list hard in the spring to get everyone happy. I have to work 7 days a week for april thru august before I take any weekends off. As long as complaints go, I take them right away and talk to the customers as soon as a complaint comes in and try to make them happy. I litterally fill my schedule in april to last the entire spring and summer, I seriously can't even take any more work on. It's crazy in this buisiness. I can relate to you by the way. I'm not a lco owner that cuts 3 days a week and has a backup day on friday for rain days. Whats a backup day?
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:19 PM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is offline
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Originally Posted by 94gt331 View Post
Over the last 10 years in buisiness this started happening to me about 5 years ago, I'd take on too much work and piss alot of people off. I learned to try to communicate with customers better now and to turn work down if I have too. It happens constantly. And I know now to really attack my work list hard in the spring to get everyone happy. I have to work 7 days a week for april thru august before I take any weekends off. As long as complaints go, I take them right away and talk to the customers as soon as a complaint comes in and try to make them happy. I litterally fill my schedule in april to last the entire spring and summer, I seriously can't even take any more work on. It's crazy in this buisiness. I can relate to you by the way. I'm not a lco owner that cuts 3 days a week and has a backup day on friday for rain days. Whats a backup day?
My backup day is sunday and between the hrs of 9pm and 7 am. I'm pretty good at dealing with people but like today I hate getting the email that said "I know your working on it but I need my grass cut now." Mind you 3 out of the last 5 days have been rain. Its never anything to bad but its just stressful trying to get stuff done. I have a girl and turning out to be a good friend who picks up me thinking everytime I think about a customer or what needs done. This spring when things got bad I just stopped answering the phone to get crap done. I know its not recommended but that how it did it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:46 PM
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matt spinniken matt spinniken is offline
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It sounds like you are in demand and you might want to raise your prices. If someone demands to be mowed in a certain amount of time do your best but if you can't make it don't worry about it. The worse that will happen is that one of your customers will drop you and free up a little time.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:51 PM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is offline
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Originally Posted by matt spinniken View Post
It sounds like you are in demand and you might want to raise your prices. If someone demands to be mowed in a certain amount of time do your best but if you can't make it don't worry about it. The worse that will happen is that one of your customers will drop you and free up a little time.
I've raised priced about 50 this year. I've geared my advertising where people who call me are either calling out of desperation or they are not price shopping. One place I took on I trippled the price because it was to far away, well I got it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:10 PM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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If somone calls and theatens you or gives you an ultimatum, just politely ask them to go thru with it now and fire you since thats usually what they threatten you with. Life is too short for one client to rock your boat.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:15 PM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is offline
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Originally Posted by Efficiency View Post
If somone calls and theatens you or gives you an ultimatum, just politely ask them to go thru with it now and fire you since thats usually what they threatten you with. Life is too short for one client to rock your boat.
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I've only had to do that with one guy. He was 80 some years old too. Guy was freaking nuts. I've never had an customer ask something not reasonable as of yet except for that one guy who I had to tell off over the phone who was 80+ years old.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:01 AM
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Kelly's Landscaping Kelly's Landscaping is online now
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The ultimatum is the end of our working relationship even if they stay on the damage is done. Not sure why so many people are incapable of asking for stuff in a nice unoffensive way but there are tons of low class jerks out there.

Iv basically had the month of May stolen from me with constant rain we spend all the non lawn days chasing down the lawns that got pushed back from rain. I am hoping June goes better. I have a ability to solve most anything thrown at me instinctively and effortlessly and while the problems do cause a lot of stress it also keeps it interesting. It helps me cope with being in a trade thats way below my natural abilities. It is said no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy and business plans seem to have the same fate with unpredictable weather and breakdowns. So while stressful it is also quite satisfying figuring out how to solve never ending issues where the normal person would throw in the towel.
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