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Can I stop doing residential and still look them in the eye?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turf Dawg, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,719

    It's pretty bad when it's after 2AM and I cannot sleep because a little monkey is banging symbles inside my head. My trouble is I cannot get all of my work done with the ammount of people I have and I cannot find anyone who wants to work. They say they do, but I guesse they change there mind. The only solution I can find would be to drop ALL of my residential lawns. The only problem is I have had some of these for 13 years and have in a way became friends with most of these and it's eating at me to think of telling them they will have to find someone else. Also with all commercial you might have them one year and not the next, although most of mine have been with me for awhile. It's gets pretty embarising telling people you are not giving bids or taking on anymore lawns at this time when your suppost to own a landscaping and maintenance company. I read a post afew weeks ago about the phone not ringing and not getting enough work, well I would just like to let them know that when you are in this biz there is always headaches. The only thing that really matters is your family and there health and love. And I think the good Lord for mine. Sorry for making this so long, just had to think out-loud.
  2. ATL Lawn

    ATL Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 318

    i have the same problem sometimes....

    i know that felling
  3. flhntr

    flhntr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    the finding someone to work thats a problem everywhere what they mean is they want to get paid but not work for the money as for the to many customers i wish i had that problem and that probably go for most everyone on this site but if you have that many customer and they have been with you for a long time i would try to do anything not to loose them keep trying to find people who do want to work they are out there you just have to weed them out you will have to hire about ten people to find one good one
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Surely there are some resources available to help you attract and keep employees. I'm no expert but there are many company's that devise plans and go to seminars and learn new skills and techniques to make the job more attractive to new hires and help you keep your existing staff. I believe I have read articles over the years in lawn and landscape magazines that pertain to this very subject. I believe there is a way to attract and keep help but it won't be easy. There will always be a high turnover in this industry but I would try to work as hard on my recruiting skills for employee's as some work for finding new customers. A google search will turn up lot's of ideas.


  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    In the past 30 years, I have made every single mistake possible...

    So this is easily answered, Dropping all your residential accounts for commercial is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the face.
  6. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Hire a hispanic... your labor problems will be over.
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    I know of other businesses( demanding physical labor not related to lawncare) who have this same problem. People just don't want to work hard for their money anymore. Many of the young especially don't have it in them. Many of them have mommy and daddy to fall back on and have never been hungry or struggled to pay bills. This is why I am a solo operator now and only do what I can do without killing myself.
    Even the Mexicans are catching on to the American way of life so you better grab them while you can:laugh:
  8. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 939

    Labor will be a problem as long as you're only looking at young white boys. The ones that do work hard try to start their own business and many succeed . Believe me I trained several of my own competitors and they thanked me. We have legal Hispanic's working for our company and they are good men. Men are an essential tool in your business just like a Z or trimmer without them you are screwed. Never shoot all of your residentials , you can lose several commercial accounts all at once by market conditions. Rarely will you lose most of your long term residentials at once. Figure out a way to connect with another labor force.
  9. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    Nicely put, and I agree. One lost big commercial job can kill you. Residential provides a cushion for that blow
  10. TrapperJohn

    TrapperJohn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    If you've had an account for 13 years, you'll probably have them for another 13 years. Good customers are gold, and hard to find.

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