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Do you leave your clients stranded when...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Critical Care, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    A few years ago a locally well known landscape maintenance individual of 70 some years young had to be hospitalized because of cancer. There were a number of us from several different companies that volunteered to split up his accounts and take care of them for free while he was hospitilized. This episode made me think of what would happen to my accounts if I was down for a while, or if for some reason or another I had to be gone for a period of time. I work alone and am not that well known, so I can figure that no one would come to my rescue, but have any of you gone through this? I surely wouldn't want to leave my clients without any service.
  2. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    That's a great question and one I have thought about several times. After 7 years in the biz, I'm lucky enough to have one guy that has been with me for a couple of years. Between him and my family, the business could run should I be out of commission. You have got to work your butt off so you can get to a point where you can have one key person that knows the details of your field work, keys to everything, access to a credit card, knows where the suppliers are, etc. and another person, maybe a family member that knows the books and business well enough that calls still get answered and invoices go out.
  3. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    Me and another small company take care of each other's account when emergencys come up. The last time I helped him he paid me though, which was unexpected, but I accepted anyways.
  4. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Me and several other LMO's here in town network together regularly.I usually take my vacation in mid-winter, so I have one or two other companies cover our snowplow route while I am away.I lay my two workers off in Dec., and wouldn't trust them with such an important responsibility anyways.We also refer work to each other due to time constraints/scheduling/specialty work as well.It helps to know some other owners for these reasons.
  5. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Im pritty good freinds with three or four LCOs here in my area. Last spring my dad got ill then passed away. Put my schedule way back for three weeks. two LCO freinds of mine took care of a bunch of my yards for me (charging customers directly). They are the good ones. Several other LCOs around here act like a$$ wipes. Wont stop & talk or even wave. Dosent really matter though, just funny that they are like that.
  6. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Why can't we as an industry be more like the farmers. They help each other out share equipment and field knowledge, they are each others competition but are not cut throat to one another. They all benefit from working together instead of against each other.
  7. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 607

    That's kinda what Lawnsite is all about.

  8. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    cush is right - landscaping and maintenance is a year round business here in the NW and there are a bazillion people running around doing it but everyone has an attitude or they are terrified you might steal their customers which many probably would without a second thought, very cut-throat AND unprofessional. We make a point of giving a little wave to the other LCO's out there and half don't even acknowledge the gesture. It's very frustrating.
  9. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 916

    In my opinion, this is one of the most important reasons not to be a one man show. If you are unable to work, and dont have anyone to take care of your accounts for you, well, might as well kiss it all Goodbye. Customers will find somebody else, house payment will not be made, truck payment will not be made. Any other questions? This is a big reason why I chose to get bigger and hire employees. I might take some slack for this but I dont call a one man operation a business, I call it a job. I know I used to be there.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i'll tell you exactly what will happen, it happened to me. i had to miss 8 weeks of work. i called other services from the newspaper, offering the entire income that the route generated, if they would do the lawns for the 8 weeks, and even said i'd throw in an additional month, to make it worth thier while. this is the reply i got: called 5 locals from the newspaper, explained situation, one returned call, saying if i would give up my clients completetly, he would take them. 4 others didnt even call me back. 2 guys i knew personally, one said no, even though he only cut from 8 am till 2 pm, his spare time was his, and he did not want to help me out. the other said, "well, why should i do something, that will benefit you in the long run?" i said, "well, do it for the money, and to help me out. one day, you may need a hand." he said, "well, the way i see it, we both work in the same areas, if you can't take care of your customers, i'll probably end up with alot of them anyway when they drop you."

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