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  #31  
Old 07-07-2013, 12:25 AM
RWI RWI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildstarblazer View Post
People are not loyal to their lawn guy anymore. Soon as some ahole on a mower comes by and says I'll do it for half what your guy does, their gone. Since anybody who can afford and operate a mower can get in this business, this industry has been harder than ever to make it in.
I don't agree. If you develop personal relationships with your clients, they will give you a lot of slack.

One of my clients daughter died in a car crash a while back. They called me Sunday morning to put out pine straw at their home for the visitation. I could not get a hold of any of my employees so I did it myself for them. Things like that will guarantee a client for life.

And what I have learned over the last few years, you do not want price shoppers in the first place. That is why I never ever advertise with a coupon. You get what you pay for period. There are no good deals, just fair market value for the time we are going to spend on your property. You want clients that want quality, communication, and punctual service. Price is secondary.
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  #32  
Old 07-07-2013, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
That's why we also talk about things like "Attitude" & "Image" if you act, talk and look like a grass guy you'll be treated as such.
I really like your post. Over the last few years, I have really seen how effective "attitude and image" really are. Actually, probably more this year than any. I just do the selling and supervising for my company now. Now I wear my nice shirts to work. And I don't wear company shirts to estimates, I wear polo's. I want them to realize I do not live in a trailer park(nothing wrong with that), but I am a competent successful business owner. I am not a company man, they are dealing with someone that actually gives a sht about the outcome of the job and not just the bottom dollar. And when you speak of attitude, I would almost broaden it to "passion". When people see that you really love what you do and spend hours researching and continuing your education and that you just want the best possible outcome for their project... they will fall in love with you. Then you just have to figure out how to adapt the numbers to their budget.

I sold a job last week and I was higher than the other larger company in town. They went with my company. The estimator for the other company spent 20 minutes with the client, I spend an hour and a half with my ipad showing her images and trying to get her excited about her landscape... and it worked.
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  #33  
Old 07-07-2013, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
I was just listening to dave ramsey on the radio and his advice for any new small business owner is "Don't be afraid to grow slow because your going to make mistakes, Don't take on too much too soon, even if your business seems to be taking off don't go crazy, you still may have to say no to some people and some jobs if you don't know what your doing yet. Take on a small job then a lil bigger one and so on and so on. To much success to soon can spell doom for a small company.
I like this too. Also when you grow slower, you can really manage you quality control and have time to find the right people for the right roles. I have seen several companies go under bc they grew to quick.

I will never forget this. A guy that owned a large landscape business with about 20-25 brand new trucks saw me at a gas station. I acted like I was impressed by his business(even though it was just a debt bubble), and he told me, "you'll get there one day." He has since filed for bankruptcy and has IRS liens so he will never be able to own a piece of property.... ever. So I agree, grow slow and careful and have plenty of capital.
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  #34  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:01 PM
ExmarkBoy ExmarkBoy is offline
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True. I know what my costs are. My company is not very big so it is a LOT simpler than it would be for probably most of you. I do know my costs, so it is true that there isn't anything to be afraid about. Still I can't say it doesn't make me just a little bit nervous...
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  #35  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:21 PM
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razor1 razor1 is offline
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I know this might not work for some of you but if you get dumped, continue to treat that ex-customer with respect & a positive attitude. I've had a few come back after realizing they made a mistake.
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  #36  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:22 PM
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DQL10 DQL10 is offline
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I'm sure it made everyone nervous when they bid their first commercial properties. But ya don't know until you try.
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  #37  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:29 PM
ExmarkBoy ExmarkBoy is offline
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I'm thinking the first commercial property I'm going to bid will be the pool property in the neighborhood that I grew up and live in. Been passing it every day for years, and I've done other work for the HOA before. It's not real huge, and so I think that I could start with that and then work my way up.

And to razor1: Great reminder. That is what I have always done. The way I have grown my business, almost all my customers are within 2 miles of me, and I have all the work I could do on my own. I've never gone into debt, and I know my customers very well because I see them everyday like neighbors. The only problem is that even though I have (generally) TREMENDOUS customer loyalty, I can't go home and leave my business at the 'office'. I would have to leave town to leave my business. Guess it's good I love my work.
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  #38  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:38 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Even after five years of bidding all sorts of jobs I get nervous, not sure if that ever goes away. I know there are some on here that have been at this for wayyy longer than me, does the nervousness ever go away? Especially when your bidding on a job that you've never done before that's when I really get nervous, Can I do this? can I do this without losing my shirt? Is the customer going to be happy in the end? I hate that feeling.
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  #39  
Old 07-07-2013, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
Even after five years of bidding all sorts of jobs I get nervous, not sure if that ever goes away. I know there are some on here that have been at this for wayyy longer than me, does the nervousness ever go away? Especially when your bidding on a job that you've never done before that's when I really get nervous, Can I do this? can I do this without losing my shirt? Is the customer going to be happy in the end? I hate that feeling.
I think it does go away. If you know your costs to a penny, there is a number that if they cannot meet.... you walk. I have done a couple 300k jobs, and I have to be at a certain amount... or I might as well be on the river fishing for shoal bass.
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  #40  
Old 07-07-2013, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ExmarkBoy View Post
I'm thinking the first commercial property I'm going to bid will be the pool property in the neighborhood that I grew up and live in. Been passing it every day for years, and I've done other work for the HOA before. It's not real huge, and so I think that I could start with that and then work my way up.

And to razor1: Great reminder. That is what I have always done. The way I have grown my business, almost all my customers are within 2 miles of me, and I have all the work I could do on my own. I've never gone into debt, and I know my customers very well because I see them everyday like neighbors. The only problem is that even though I have (generally) TREMENDOUS customer loyalty, I can't go home and leave my business at the 'office'. I would have to leave town to leave my business. Guess it's good I love my work.
+plus one to your post.

Who really gives a sht about their business and is not involved in the daily operation everyday?

My description on my company facebook page is: A professional landscape company that cares.

People are searching for that company that is only looking out for their best interest. They crave somebody that is passionate about their profession. They crave for somebody extraordinary(not that hard to do in our industry). And when you sell... then deliver... the referrals will come like an avalanche.
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