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i took on too much work

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeff_0, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. jeff_0

    jeff_0 LawnSite Senior Member
    from md
    Posts: 401

    i have a full time job and came into this season with i think 7 customers. well now i have 35 will most customers yards on average about 1 1/2 acres. i have one guy that works with me most of the time unless he has something to do. well the customes are wanting more work done other then there grass cut. some i try to fix it in the schedule some how to do mulching, weed control, fertilizing, triming hedges. the season will be over or slowing down shortly. has anyone else had problems growing too quickly.
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Growth is one of the most difficult problems with most businesses
    to deal with.It is difficult to say no,But it is a requirement if you intend to stay in business for the long haul.Take it slow and steady until you are in a position to deal with faster growth.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yes, and taking on too many customers is counterproductive and in the end, leaves u lookin stupid. tell u why. u start with 7 weekly accts. u know u can handle 18. u end up with 35, and there is no way u can do them all on a weekly basis. so u start missing weeks, the next time u go there, it needs to be double or tripple cut, for the same price, u cannot charge the customer double because YOU couldnt make it, cus u were overbooked. now you are spending an hour there instead of 20 min, for the same 25 or 30 bucks. and u r losing out big time on the "extras' . and, in the end, u lose the client, and u can never have them back, or thier neighbors or friends. if i still had most of the clients i had lost over my 8 yrs, because i tried to grow too fast, id be sittin pretty right now
  4. jrc lawncare

    jrc lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 420

    That is good advice.We currently have around 25 accounts with a full time job, and recognize the fact that I cannot take on a lot more without running into those kinds of issues.:D
  5. jeff_0

    jeff_0 LawnSite Senior Member
    from md
    Posts: 401

    i stopped answering my phone abut a month and a half ago. I though at first i could do it all. i can but not with all the extra services. most lawns i cut are 7-10 days. and a few want it 10-14 days. the 10-14 days are lawns that grow slow, so it doesn't take any longer. on average the lawns i cut are $60 a cut. they range from $40 - $350. i don't mind spending a extra couple of minutes but just the fact of the full time job, is killing me. next year i'm only doing lawns. no full time job. i was thinking about taking some management classes also in the off season. i though it might help.
  6. What you charge is nothing to do with taking on to much work.

    You need to find a happy medium of where to draw the line and say no, or pass the work on to others. A suggestion of finding an LCo to refer work extra work to now and then or one to sub work to, this can solve most of that.

    This is part of what professionalism is. Managing your work load is all part of it.
  7. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    I am still taking on work. I know it will be a bit hairy comes fall cleanup, but we will manage.

    Just today we signed 2 more full maintenance residentials. Others are not able do what customers expect. That is the 4th this month. All 4 were at higher prices.

    Landscape work we are still taking requests. Tomorrow going to design 3 that we already have a commitment to do the work. And I have commercial installation where 2 schools were expanded. And second shrub trimmings.

    And I am doing a 3 way planting for our Chamber of Commerce where we are donating labor, some plants and rest at cost. That 3 way is my company, a friend that has a design and installation firm and his brother that operates the family nursery.

    The 3 of us work very well together. This past spring the brother with the design/isntallation firm had a very high priced installation that needed flowers installed. They had seen my work with flowers and wanted like that. He never could so he had me do it. last year there were 2 installs that I needed his help with.

    The entire family thinks of me as an uncle........it's pretty cool. Known them a very long time
  8. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I had to downsize this year and didn't downsize enough. I've got a lot of work right now, and with no slow down because of growth, I'm working like crazy. Can't really ----- about it, better than a drought. But next year I am definitely downsizing more and selecting the most profitable customers. I'm also changing the way I work. Scheduling less regular weekly work and trying to add more extras and leaf cleanup. I am all about working smarter, not harder, and having a bunch of customers isn't always the smartest thing to do.

  9. jaredslawncare

    jaredslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Hey I ll tell ya what, send those customers to Indiana and ill do what they need done
  10. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    Is buying a larger machine an option? A 72" rider really will work wonders on a big lawn :blob3: :blob4: :blob1:

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