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Limited Income

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Would you honestly turn away a customer that was on a limited income, IF you knew that they would be hard up for money or would be a poor customer in the future.

    I mean, lets say that you take on a customer, that has a limited income. You give her a pretty descent price for mowing and you she wants you to mow the lawn every week, and do other stuff for her. But in the back of your head you kind of get that feeling that this customer will turn into a bi-weekly mowing customer, that does not won't spring/fall clean ups done, and the chances of you getting any additional work off from them is slim. She will call up constantly telling you that the lawn does not need to be mowed, when in fact it does.

    Would you still take on this customer? And what happens when she tells you that she can't afford the lawn to be mowed every week, would you drop her and feel guilty?
  2. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    I took on one like that before. Ended up landing 3 regular weekly customers because of it. You just never know when a gamble is going to pay off.
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    The 1st time she would be late would be when I would tell her .... other wise it's all good ... I don't care if they are on state assistants .... I'f I get paid ... on time

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    First I would not "pre judge" only actual performance would dictate dropping.

    But in truth, I have found that they are the ones that will care about getting you payed right or will drop themselves first.
    It's is the ones with no money cares that do not understand money management and feel no need to pay on time or feel that a little extra service is OK. They are also the ones that have no concerns of "dropping" a week as they do not think about you needing each dollar to meet expenses.
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    You can tell if a customer is going to be cheap. Usually a cheap-o will not ask for prices on things they cannot afford. They'll ask for every other week quotes, or quotes for just mowing, no trimming or clean up, or ask for a discount, or try to talk you down. Rarely do they want a price on all the services, usually they are leary and want you to understand they don't want an expensive service.

    You cannot tell if they are going to have $$ problems in the future. If I get a cheap-o feeling, I might give a higher estimate so they don't take the bid. If they have problems paying you address that situation as it comes up. You live and learn to avoid those situations the best you can.

    I agree with what PM says. Sometimes those who live by meager means are better customers, they understand what they need and how to budget for it. Often you'll find that those who live outside their means are those who want to nickle and dime you to cut corners, or will try to call off for a month so they can spend their money on other things. That's the kind of people I don't want anything to do with.
  6. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    I've got one like that, on limited income, and she always pays on time. Been a great customer. But if you think things might turn sour later then don't take them on. Somebody else will.
  7. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    I wouldn't prejudge. I have a few elderly people that are on fixed incomes. They are really good about paying. I have not landed any additional work from them, but I atleast know that I am going to get paid for the work I do.
  8. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 898

    Has s couple on limited income and like the others say they are some of the best customers as far as paying on time and have also landed me other clients in that same neighborhood, if I pick up others in the area because of them I will knock some off their price for getting me more customers or giving
    them a free mowing kindness goes a long way !!!!! and besides those are the only ones that sent me money for christmas !!!!
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    First, I have concluded one cannot be sure about "limited income." My perception of their income level has been blown apart in some cases. Evidences come to the surface months, or years, later that prove my initial perception wrong.

    However, having said that, usually the limited income people are the quickest to pay. They are often the older folks who lived by "what I buy, I pay for" principle. Too many of those in 20s, 30s, and 40s who believe that they can take advantage of anybody, wish to buy, but really don't intend to pay, or drag on their payments.

    For those of us up in years, and soon will be in the "very old" generation, and living on limited income undoubtedly see these folks in a bit different light than those of you of younger ages. I read many threads about LCOs complaining about "those old people are ...." Beware, you too will be old someday yourself and may be begging for help with getting your lawn mowed. We all age about one year for every 12 months of time.
  10. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    I would take her on to see how it goes, I once had a lady like this, because the niehbors saw me there i got a much better acount down the street. I finally dropped her this year and kept the better one. sometimes you gotta take what you can get in a nieghborhood then drop the entry customer later.

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