Lost my biggest acount today..then went downhill from there

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I have a commercial account that was my very first yard 10 years ago, consist of 3 properties. It is about 40% of my total income. They have stuck with me threw it all. This past year I started having problems with them being slow payers. Instead of being paid in a week was taking 3 months but I kept them because I always got it at some point. They got a new manager about two weeks ago and he requested a meeting with me today. He told me the last manager had left them deep in debt and they could no longer pay me but he was going to catch up every penny that he owed me, was well pleased with my work. Said he was going to try to start having some employs doing it:laugh: I asked him did he have any idea how much he was going to have to spend on equipment and he had no idea. I offered to break down the cost of each yard for him and how much equipment he will have to buy and drop it back off which was ok. I am hoping this might change his mind. When I finished it tonight it was about 55% of what they are paying me:laugh: so I'll see. I did not get upset one bit, I have had so much bad luck that I am used to it:cry: I then left and went to my next account that is a 7 year one. The lady was actually sitting on the porch crying when I pulled up because she could not pay her bills and her van blew an engine so another one bit the dust. I then left that one and about a mile away my left trailor tire blew out, shredded and tore the fender well and lights off the trailor. Of course I had no spare, knew I was pushing my luck and it would bite me one day. I limped home a 5mph on the rim. Now about this time I am getting in a real foul mood so I said the h*ll with it, was calling it a day and will fix the tire tommorow. What gets me though is I have always belived that if you do good work, are dependable and nice to folks the work will come to you. I wish I had a nickle for every person who has told me "Danny, you have the shi**iest luck of any person I know". You know, it is really really starting to get old too.
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Do you have a tandem or single axle trailer?

    Besides that, ide have to agree, that is some rotten luck but, it should all be good in the end favoring or at least being equal and fair.....JMO though about that. I'm sure this could be debated in one of the off topic forums. I believe you'll get that account back once he sees how much equipment costs....make sure you figure in maintenance and show how expensive the individual parts of the mowers are as well as the potential danger associated with them as well!!
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I have the prices all broke down and hope it proves my point. However, dealing with a 23 year old straight out of college he will probably have to learn the hard way. My trailor is a double axle so I still had one good tire left but it was rough.
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Yeah, Just when things get tough, lightening strikes and you will have twice the work you lost. It happens to me all the time. I get tired of late payers or loose an account to poor economy and I get a call within a week for twice the rate.
    However I hate to group all my eggs in one basket.
  5. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Now that you say that, i can sure see that happening!!....good luck!!! keep us updated on this!
  6. swingset

    swingset LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    Hang in there, I've had days like that!

    I came to work one time to find two thieving employees had ripped off all our computers (with databases, customer lists, payroll, etc) on them. Then, in the middle of dealing with that, I lost the largest account we had (not our fault, but still) and my wife burst an appendix that evening.

    Sure makes you wonder who you pissed off upstairs, but if you keep plugging it works itself out.
  7. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    Hey man pick your head up the bottom line is you do good work. Bad things happen to good people. Try not to lose your confidence. Try to learn from this, some how some way. Keep your head up and fight back!
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I'm sure with Waycross and Deenwood nearby you shouldn't have too much trouble replacing the account. Time to dust off the stack of flyers and get busy I guess. I do know though that it can be difficult to get decent accounts when everybody and his brother is willing to cut grass for 50% of the actual value of the work is.
  9. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 431

    Keep your chin up and keep going. Trust me, you are not the only one that has unending crap happen to them. I'll spare you my hard luck tales.You have to think positive or else all the negative will suck you in . The negatives will take a hold of you and then it gets harder and harder to get out of that mind set. You should be thinking of a plan to move to if you actually lose the account and how many new accounts you will need to satisfy the income loss. Don't think anymore negative thoughts or how bad your luck is because that is all you will have if you think that way.

    Keeping it moving
  10. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    Hey big guy you cant change yesterday but you can change tomorrow.
    Food for thought never let one account have that much revenue for your business. I only will go up to 20%. I kinda like a mutual fund concept not having all you money in one place and then watching the stock fall apart along with your life savings. Also many times you will compromise your pricing to try and keep such large accounts. When dealing with large accounts always deal with multi year contracts so you know in advance if they are going to drop you. This also gives you a chance to find other work in advance. If you make them sign a 2 year deal you know they are locked in at two years. After a year and a half go to them and try to negotiate another two years and if they are hesitant then you know to start preparing for the worst and hope for the best. I hope that helps and I know this one thing for sure the creme always risis to the top.
    God bless my friend.

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