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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by johnnybravo8802, Jan 4, 2013.
That was my initial reaction too.
Name me one person who doesn't have a problem with the pitfalls of this profession. Nobody wants to work their tail off for 2 yrs only to lose a big money contract to someone who's a little cheaper-that's the way a lot of commercial goes. It's based on crunching numbers and saving a dollar. However, when you lose that money, it's tough to replace it sometimes. I've listened to some on here who have a customer base who's very loyal as long as you're doing what they want. They also don't expect you to work for free. That's the direction I'm going towards.
I have been pushing for what you want since I opened 5 years ago. I'm up to 18 total customers BUT, all but 3 or so are full service. I do EVERYthing on their property. I even will stop by to change a light bulb!
Right now I'm getting ready to head over to a customers home to start plumbing in utilities for a half bath we're building in the basement. It's framed in and ready for utilities. I have friends in about every profession so I can do about anything for income. They come in and use their contractors license and we split the profit. I do any type of work at, around or in a home for money. I have 2 commercial properties I maintain. Both are great payers. I actually get paid monthly from both of them and it's a month in advance. If they had said they would not pay in advance, I would have told them to keep looking.
For anyone thinking 18 customers is small, I manage to support a family, and live good all while only working 3-4 days a week on average. When it's busy, I'll work day after day if that's what it takes. Last year I worked 48 days straight without a break then turned around and did another 20 or so.
Like others said, sounds like you need a vacation.
There are no perfect clients
I have had some very good clients - Some move, lose jobs so on and so forth. Yes, it is going to hurt when you lose a client or worse yet when they take the service then do not pay, case in point shopping center, good client but one of their anchor tenants went bad and by the time they collected rent the owner started missing mortgage payments...
Or, I have another client that was completely ripped off by the asset management company. The asset management company got to be slow pay then no pay then wiped out the owners bank accounts and skipped the country. I have met the once faceless owner and he swears he will get everyone paid but as far as i know all the vendors are due a couple of months.
There is safety in numbers and you have to keep the sales pipe flowing.
I have a mix of client bases.
Like I said, welcome to the world.
Well, just to shed a little light on the topic, I've been "in the world", that is, the world of lawn maintenance since 78' and I've seen it all when it comes to customers and different contracts. I don't "need a vacation", I'm simply trying to go a different and more money making route than I've gone in the past. That was sort of the point of this thread-people who cater to high end residential and the services they offer to warrant higher paying jobs.
to me i steer away from commercial. i never wanna do a job where i can get underbid from year to year or dropped in a second because someone offered a cheaper price. that's why residential is my main focus. they are loyal no matter what if you do a good job. heck even if you do a bad job they are loyal in some cases. i see it all the time. they keep so and so because they've been doing it for 10 years already even though they do a terrible job.
as far as high end residential it varies. alot more competition comes into play because all the large companies go for them. they come in charging $35 a cut on a $45 yard. the best in my experience is middle class. less fuss and basically no competition.
I appreciate it!!! That's the kind of responses I'm looking for.
I was not trying to be an A-Hole at all but I myself find that I am introspective this time of year. You will find similar problems as your described in all classes of clients.
I do not know your or your circumstances. I find that setting some level of standards will set you apart from others. Frankly commercial work on many Class A properties are hard to get because they do not want a failure. Curb Appeal is is important to them but so it price.
I know many top managers in commercial property management yet at the same I am not rolling in invites to bid. Go figure.
You and you alone have to figure out your strenghts, your standards and how you want to deal with the PITA clients.
personally I don't cater to any one type of client.
everyone pays the same rates and everyone receives the same quality service. I don't care if your a garbage collector or work at mcdonalds and just want your grass cut weekly or your a doctor or lawyer who wants me to do full service.
I use a WB on high end residentials instead of a Z. Takes the 'lazy' look perception away from the customer.
I also communicate often with them to give them exactly what they want. I bend over backward for my high end irrigated resi mows.