Can you "Fire" Clients

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by danslawncare, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. danslawncare

    danslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    Does anyone in other area's of the country have anything to say on this....especially Chicago.(GO WHITESOX)
  2. gman44

    gman44 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 74

    I had to cut a long time customer out this summer . He was always asking , Can you do me a favor and clean up near the shed ...or ..can you weed a little around the back walk ? Sure , but , do you want to pay extra ? Ahhhh, no I thought you could do it while you were here . Dont get me wrong , I do all kinds of extra things for people and dont charge them . I just dont want to live at a house every week for an hour . So , I filled his spot with someone else and I am not losing money .
  3. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 806

    I would think this depends on the area. For instance, I probably let go about a dozen customers this year. I had no problem doing this, as I knew I had at least double that amount that I could obtain. However, the growth in my area is so great that I'm not even close to going into neighborhoods even within a 3 mile radius that I could build tight routes in.

    For what I do, customers ARE expendable if need be,and my business IS a revolving door one. Just keep more coming IN, than OUT!

    Your business will always do better if YOU'RE in the driver's seat, and not the customer. The problem is getting to this position.
  4. Gumby

    Gumby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    At the end of each season I try to target 2 or 3 of the least profitable (or biggest PITA) accounts for firing and replace them with accounts that are more to my liking. I haven't had any problem replacing them by the beginning of the next season. Have you ever tried contacting local property management companies to see if they have any work to sub out? I have a good working relationship with one and they always are able to come up with jobs when I have a vacancy in the schedule. Makes it very easy to fire customers when you know that they can be quickly replaced.
  5. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    i think everybody has been in this position doing a pain in the arse job is just that when you are earning alot but when i need cash flow i will do it with no fuss if you do a good job stay in the game and look after your money you can slowly faze them out i was worried in my first off season the calls i dreaded in the busy season iwas hoping for in the off season i think its all part of the scene
  6. Gumby

    Gumby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I agree with bobby on this one. If you have jobs that are not profitable you're just putting hours and miles on your equipment (and yourself) for no compensation so dump them at the first opportunity. As far as PITA's go, either price them to include the PITA factor so that when you're having to listen to their B/S you know your making twice as much profit from them or dump them altogether. I started my own business so I could make all the decisions and for the most part I decide not to keep troublesome customers.
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    I think we just have to find a "happy medium" if you will, Take in consideration that "BIG" companies don't fire clients. Whens the last time you heard of True-green firing clients. We need to learn not to take things personally, and do only what we are contracted to. That's the only way you will retain tons and tons of clients.
  8. Gumby

    Gumby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    That's a good point regarding Truegreen, Jpocket. I'm just saying that my goals for my business and Truegreens goals are probably very different. Truegreen is probably concerned with increasing sales and market share. On the other hand, I don't wish to expand past being a one man show at this point and, luckily, always seem to be able to keep a full schedule, so it's been one of my goals to produce a certain amount of turnover each year to promote higher profits and make my job easier.
  9. tstrong

    tstrong LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Never fire anyone, just keep raising the price untill its a joy to go there or they run away screaming.payup

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