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  #11  
Old 07-17-2013, 07:00 AM
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chesterlawn chesterlawn is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: s.e. pa.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllawson View Post
Schmidt, every business owner can relate to how you are feeling. The longer you stay in business the more comfortable you will be dealing with difficult customers. I have been in the business about 15 years. I met a prospective customer a few weeks ago, and I could tell by the way he answered the door that I would never be able to make him happy. I was politely out of his yard in less than 5 minutes.

Customers can be unhappy when you make a mistake or because of an honest misunderstanding. Unfortunately, there are also some people who are impossible to please. Not only are those customers a headache, but you can bet they are costing you money.

The average net profit margin for landscape companies is around 10%. That means an average business would profit as little as $15 each month from a $150 monthly account. One return trip can easily ruin the profit on a job for the next 2 or 3 months.
So you are saying if I cut all day and make $500 my net is $50. If you are only making a 10% profit don't assume that that is all others make.
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2013, 05:44 PM
205mx 205mx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterlawn View Post
So you are saying if I cut all day and make $500 my net is $50. If you are only making a 10% profit don't assume that that is all others make.
Pretty sh!tty, huh?
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2013, 12:55 AM
herler herler is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Dont let puny trifles get to you like that, plants get in the way, simple solution is trim them back, no charge.

That's what you do, plants get in the way, trim them back, done.
The customer won't say a word, some will later thank you, some won't say squat.
But you are learning a new skill: How to trim.
And if you do it enough times you will learn how to trim FAST.

Or use the 21"
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2013, 02:33 AM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterlawn View Post
So you are saying if I cut all day and make $500 my net is $50. If you are only making a 10% profit don't assume that that is all others make.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 205mx View Post
Pretty sh!tty, huh?
What you earn and what your business profits are two different things. The money left in your business after you pay your bills and pay yourself is your net profit. If you cut all day, make $500, and pay yourself $250; that does not mean your business had a 50% profit. It means you earned $250 for your labor that day.

My point is that problem customers are not profitable, so look at the numbers another way. If you personally cut all day (8 hours) and make $500, then you would be billing $40 an hour.

Think about what happens to your profits if one of those customers regularly complains causing you to make return visits.
1. When you spend a second hour driving back to their property and fixing a problem, your hourly rate for that customer drops from $40 to $20.
2. You also lose the $40 you could have billed another customer for that hour of your time.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2013, 07:02 AM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
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Looks like my math is bad when I post late at night. This example is a little more accurate.

My point is that problem customers are not profitable, so look at the numbers another way. If you personally cut all day (10 hours) and make $500, then you would be billing $50 an hour.

Think about what happens to your profits if one of those customers regularly complains causing you to make return visits.
1. When you spend a second hour driving back to their property and fixing a problem, your hourly rate for that customer drops from $50 to $25.
2. You also lose the $50 you could have billed another customer for that hour of your time.
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2013, 07:02 AM
caseysmowing caseysmowing is online now
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Location: Staunton VA
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[QUOTE=dllawson;4818507]

My point is that problem customers are not profitable, so look at the numbers another way. If you personally cut all day (8 hours) and make $500, then you would be billing $40 an hour.

I'm confused on this. Maybe I'm missing something but the numbers don't add up.
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2013, 09:56 AM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
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Late night numbers never add up. Please see my second post with corrected numbers. 10 hours a day, $500 billed, $50 per hour. Sorry.

The point is, regular return trips for a problem customer drop your hourly rate for their property and cost you the opportunity to bill another customer for that time.

Last edited by dllawson; 07-18-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2013, 10:15 AM
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schmidt78 schmidt78 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Kendall County,IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herler View Post
Dont let puny trifles get to you like that, plants get in the way, simple solution is trim them back, no charge.

That's what you do, plants get in the way, trim them back, done.
The customer won't say a word, some will later thank you, some won't say squat.
But you are learning a new skill: How to trim.
And if you do it enough times you will learn how to trim FAST.

Or use the 21"
It's not the plants in the way. It's the beds. I can make the passes with my mower 55% of the time witch i can mow a lawn down the street thats 3 times the Size of their lot faster. It's not so much trimming plants back. It's trying not to get the grass clippings into their beds, they have lava rock and its not so easy to get grass out of it. I have always pleased the customer. They just keep adding flower beds to their lawn. Making it more and more frustrating. I just had a bad week with them. Well maybe 2 weeks. It's funny. They have their own mower. Their own weed eater. And the time to do it. They just don't want to do it. So I don't understand if they don't want to do it they will pay or find someone they don't know.
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2013, 09:20 AM
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mikesturf mikesturf is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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I bet the customer thinks you should LOWER your prices because with all their new flower beds, they have LESS lawn to mow.
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