Lost 2 Clients

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mwalz, May 7, 2014.

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  1. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    ^^ Ah the early times of losing your first few to "odd" behavior. We have lost a few to the "mower size" problem. Granted, if the mower is too big or too heavy for a property and I have the means to put a smaller mower on it I will, but I will charge a little more for it. We are "professionals" we use commercial equipment. Restaurants don't buy house hold stoves, racecar drivers don't drive a Taurus on the track. When you do it day in and out you need something that can handle it. I won't change out my whole equipment set up to make one customer happy.

    Also lost a few to timing, it happens. Try to get everything done at reasonable time but you will always get a few that think if you don't get there by 4pm you forgot. Some people think they are the only house we cut lol.

    Looks like you weeded out a couple headache customers though, the better ones will come, and those are the ones that are worth it.

    Losing the first few suck though. Remember when I had 25 accounts and lost 2 neighbors because I was underbid $1. Still gets me frosty, but glad I lost them in the long run. Sure some other company came along and shaved $1 again.
     
  2. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    The only way to solve it is maybe go up to 30s, and jack up prices for not using a ztr or walk behind
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. mhelpdesk

    mhelpdesk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    @mwalz

    I definitely understand your frustruation. A lot of our landscaping companies use to deal with a lot of that. It basically comes down to miscommunication between you and the customer. Somewhere along the way they didn't think you were confirmed for the appointment with them.

    Think about setting up a system that gives the customers visibility into your schedule and the schedule of the tech that is going to do the job. Also, make sure to fire off emails or texts to let them know that the appointment is confirmed. It's recommended to send one the day before and another the same day.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,179

    Well I love the fact customers can text. Makes life a hell of a lot easier. The older people don't text and that is why i don't call because i can't find the time. I am fortunate all of my other customers are good ones. I've had them for 3 years is mostly why. I can't understand that when is say I will be there on a specific day, that they expect me to be there. It would be bad business for me not to show up on the day I told them I would be there. Is it too weird to ask a customer why they chose to go with someone else? I feel it would not be appropriate. Oh well, time to move on.
     
  5. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    ^^ Always ask why! I think it is a completely fair question. It helps you understand the space you are in. Phrase the question constructively that you are seeking to improve yourself. Never let one go without at least asking them to help you better yourself. Don't try to fight and save it on price or promises, they have already made the decision, but why they left is pretty big info that is essential.

    I have heard the multitude of reasons : price, quality, did not like how the guy looked, got her grandson to do it, etc. Learn from it and move on, but you need to know what you are learning first!
     
  6. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,253

    Of course it's fine to ask! I even ask when bidding a new one.

    "Mr. Cheapskate, thanks for your business over the last few years. To better service my existing customer base, would you be so kind as to letting me know why you wanted to change lawn companies? I really appreciate your feedback and input about me!"

    Most will give you a BS answer (they don't want confrontation), while others will be honest. Take it all with a grain of salt, but if you get the same responses over and over, it would be time to make changes.
     
  7. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,368

    I got a call from a lady that said she needed her lawn done bi-weekly. I said we will get her a quote. She said she really wasn't concerned about the money, but ok. The lawn is little, so I charged her my minimum for bi-weekly which is $30. She told me that was outrageous and that her lawn company in California mows her lawn for 30 PER MONTH. It was all I could do not to burst into laughter.
     
  8. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 385

    I am in my 4th year and I cut a few pita clients loose. Is say about 4 or 5. I've made up for them by replacing them all and adding a few more with better priced lawns. I've learned in my short time to not let it bother me. Learning from my colleagues here on Lawn Site that it's part of the biz. I also use my 2 Toro 30" mowers and never a complaint from anyone. I do have my Toro 22" on hand but it rarely gets used.

    I was also wondering: How can your buddy pay taxes without having a LLC or some type of registration? I had to file my formation and register with the state etc then I started paying my taxes. How can you send your taxes to the government if you're not a legal business? Am I missing something somewhere? Can someone enlighten me?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Many states do not require sales tax on landscaping. So no ST to give to the state. Many states do not require a license.

    Your buddy pays income tax on what he makes landscaping. The IRS and the State's tax dept are not going to care if he has his business registered. They are glad to accept his checks.

    In my state if you are a sole proprietor operating under your own name you do not have to register as a business.
     
  10. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,179

    He doesn't report cash transactions, only checks. Not exactly sure what else he does, and 32vld shone some light on things
     

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