Customers prefer nice solo guys

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Eho, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Hey I was just thinking about this subject....I think customers prefer to use solo guys more than big companies. With solo guys they get the chance to know the ONE person who will be on their property and they feel like they can know them. Larger companies tend to have three man crews with many non-english speaking workers. Who would you rather hire?....a guy that you feel like you know and talk to or a big company who has guys who you can't even talk to. What makes me bring this up? Yesterday, I was in a neighborhood mowing where two other lawn care companies( big companies, big trucks, many hispanic workers) were down the street. A guy in his car stopped to approach me about mowing his lawn and I landed him as a weekly customer for the year. He actually lived on the street where the two others LCOs were yet he approached me while I was in the middle of mowing a yard on the street over from his. He got out of his car and talked to me when he could have easily gone to the other LCOs. This guy ws probably thinking: can they even talk to me?...also, he knew they were just workers and probably wouldnt handle this walk up business...their boss would need to do that. just something I noticed yesterday.
    EHO
     
  2. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I get that alot, but in reality in my town, there are only a couple of companies that have multiple trucks and crews. I do get a few every year that say they are fed up with having all those guys who can't communicate with them on their property all the time. I had one last year who hired me knowing I was a one man operation and then calleed me a few weeks into the season telling me that my mexicans had missed a spot. I politely told him that I was the only guy who worked for my company, and we both laughed for 5 minutes. He said he was so used to having Mexicans on his lawn that he forgot he hired a solo op. So, I think you may be right about some people wanting smaller operations for their lawn care needs. There are a few neighborhoods here that seem to prefer having the big trucks and cab overs come in so they look like they are dropping more money than they really are on lawn care.
     
  3. Ant_Knee

    Ant_Knee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    There are those who have preferences for one and those for the other. I have also heard on the flip side from some customers that they got tired of having a solo guy who would show up to mow sometimes and on other occasions would not show up for a couple of weeks and not communicate that with their client. I'm not saying that is typical of solos, it can happen to some larger companies that don't have a good handle on tracking the service they do provide. It seems to always come to the type of experience the customer had in the past that molds their future judgement.
     
  4. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    I find this thread very interesting because I have been giving a lot of thought about my company image over the past few years.

    I have a small company but I represent myself as a larger company than what I am. I have done this in many ways such as advertisement choices, uniforms, and the way I have titled myself (manager/supervisor instead of owner) just to name a few.

    My thought behind this is many fold:
    1. Builds Customer Confidence.
    - It shows that my company is knoweldgable and can accomplish the job.
    - I don't have many people questioning my background, expertise etc... When I recommend something or tell them about their lawn they accept it without wondering if I really know what I am talking about.

    2. Less Haggling
    - I find that people don't haggle prices with me. Since my company is viewed more like an "established" "reputable" business they don't whine or question prices. It would be similar to walking into Dilliards or Sears and saying something like....I know you have that item priced at $29.99 but would you take $20 for it? It doesn't happen with me.
    - This also means that you weed out bargain hunters. And bargain hunters, I have found, often means PITA

    3. One Stop Shop
    - My list of services offered is large, but they are LANDSCAPE/LAWN ORIENTED. People seem to know that if they want their lawn cut AND a flower bed installed they call me.
    - Yet, by not having non lawn/landscape services offered such as driveway cleaning or errand running I have found that my business is taken more seriously.

    DOWNSIDES

    This is still something that I am exploring. No, I don't get the phone ringing off the hook, or land 30 new accounts in one week. Maybe I am missing out on money. I don't know for sure.

    I have considered passing out home made flyers with "Joe's Lawn Service" type on there and a beeper number just to see how the other side operates and what kind of customers that would bring in. Hmmmnn???
     
  5. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    Excellent post Tn Lawn Man. I can relate and agree with #1, #2, #3. Although the phone does not ring off the hook, when it does ring it is usually from a referal aqnd I like that a lot.

    I have had a couple of people comment to the fact that I was white english speaking. This I believe will be a huge factor in my success.
     
  6. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Im Black and English speaking, I do well.
     
  7. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    Jpocket, please don't get me wrong and do not take offense. I should have worded that a little diferently than what I did. I was basing what I said on the area where I live which has a lot of Hispanics that do not speak any english. I hope you did not take offense to what I typed above as that was not my intention. The Jackson Hole valley is mostly white with a large labor force of hispanics.
     
  8. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    In relation to the above I must back him up in that people mean (I hope, although some people suck) english speaking and that's because obviously if customer and contractor don't speak the same language it's a pain to communicate either way. But anyway...good post and all is true, I get that a lot from folks and yeaterday I heard this one "I'm glad you work alone because the last guy was too loud! He hd five machines going at once and I couldn't stand the racket." This one should be interesting, but I've learned to deal with the kooks as long as they pay!
     
  9. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    Good thread. Glad to see some good quality discussion here.

    I think if I were going to hire a lawn service for my lawn, I would prefer the solo guy for a few reasons.

    1-Only one person to deal with, and you know that you are always talking to the owner.
    2- You know who is coming to cut your grass each week.
    3- Very easy to set up a good business relationship. Trust is much easier to establish one on one.
    4- you are not feeding the machine. In other words, most solo operators have a smaller overhead. Where as, most larger companies have larger overheads.
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    why do lawnboys think soooo SMALL? a solo man will always be limted in his income, and potential income. yes, it's real peachy and nice that the customer loves a solo op, but the solo op is a slave to his work, and can never amount to anything real
     

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