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Mother nature taking its toll on my business again.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    I've been doing great with garden bed cleanups, power raking, and aerating this week. Last night as I was going to bed it started getting really windy(50 mph)and it hailed and snowing a couple of inches. I knew this wiped out todays work load and just to reassure me of that my customers called me at7:00 to tell not to bother. I could be out of work for as much as another 2 or 3 days:cry:. I'm new at doing this full time so I just get worried when I can't work because I've spent a bunch of money on new equipment and need it to be making me money. I am thankful that the newspaper services ad I placed has been getting me so much business. I just get shortfused with these bargain shoppers that say "let me call out a few more guys and if your the cheapest I might call you back". By that point I just want to say don't bother.
    They have a $400K home, $200K RV in the driveway, $50K boat in the driveway, and when I give them an estimate of $250 for both power raking and aerating they say "that sure is a lot of money I'm going to have to think about that for awhile".
  2. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    Why do you think they have a $400K home, $200K RV in the driveway, $50K boat in the driveway? 'Cause they don't stand around on street corners giving away their money. YOU got to make them think they are getting the BEST value for their dollar. The same way the real estate salesman did, the same way the RV salesman did, the same way the boat dealer did. If you can find that magic touch, you've got it made.:weightlifter:

    Spend your 'down days' checking out paper work, getting hardware ready and seeing potential new customers. Productivity doesn't always mean working on the lawns
  3. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    I actually think it is more so that they prioritize that stuff much higher. Some people I can sell to easy and I take their work but if I need to stand there for an entire hour just explaining to someone that they should use my services I can just easily go find 2 or 3 more customers in the same amount time that aren't PITAs. These are the people that think that you dedicate your entire day to their house for $100 and they want to ask 101 questions about something that is simple and doesn't need so much thaught put into it. These people are obviously not as serious about getting services done as they are just wasting the time of others.
  4. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    . . . and that^ is the first step. Qualify the potential customer. Are they serious about buying or are they just wasting your time. Some people will just pick your brain for their own ideas, and not use you, just use your experience, and do it with others or themselves. One of the tricks you will have to develop is how much time do you spend selling versus how much the project is worth. that is a $100 project should be sold in 'x' minutes but how long do you spend on a $4000 project? 10%? 20%? of your time eg $4000 @ 10% $400 with hourly @ $30 >13 hours preparing quote, measuring, talking . . .
  5. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    That's when you say Yes it does cost but it is also a load of work and a ton if debris to haul away. I'll actually be going over your property anywhere from 3 -5 different times. I guess I could throw you the Walmart price and give you the kind of quality that could say Made in China, but that's really not what I do in my business.

    Might need to make it sound a little bit nicer. Bottom line don't let them think (or see) that you are deperate for work. Come across as personable and loaded to the gills with work.

    Kind of like the Dog Whisperer even if it is all bluff.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    It is hard, but all I do is watch the business / economy news for a bit and that sets me straight, I got to where all I say anymore is "yes sir / yes ma'am / ok / sure / and thank you"

    It is a good thing your ad's ringing the phone, now I can not tell you what to do but I got a real empty feeling in the pit of my stomach when thousands of dollars worth hardly gets me 1-2 calls a day.

    And that would be because for a long time I had a short temper with it.
    Once things improve I can't guarantee I won't fall back to my old ways, thou I would hope I see things different this time, but things are bad out there...

    Homes foreclosed left and right, the dollar falls every day against the Euro, gas prices continue to rise and everything else with it, joblessness has been going on and guys way bigger than I shutting down almost every day. Help is coming but it's too little too late, plus I feel like a jerk expecting everyone else to always bail me out when I know dang well why I am in my shoes.

    There are few jobs available, the ones everyone can do pay nothing, and the ones that pay something have strict requirements at the door... More than a few hours of playing around with a few venues knocked the wind out of me, there's just not much play or fight left in me now.

    I won't say recession because nobody else has said it, but not much beyond that lies a nasty thing called a depression... I've never been there but this isn't my first recession and the only thing I know is for myself I'm just glad I have what work I got and it should be some time coming before you hear me talk trash again (hopefully if ever).

    It took a long time but it did catch up to me, they tried to tell me but I didn't listen.

    I hear your complaints and I hope you may have the foresight to avoid the royal bs of a dreadful situation,
    either way I'm far from down and out so we'll both survive and best of luck man.
  7. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    Sometimes you have to do a little more then just give a price. Sell the job, do whatever it takes. I have a buddy in tree care sales, he has to sell work for one crew everyday for 1800.00. He gets 180.00 of that plus health care and 401k. Not much huh? He says sometimes you must lie, cheat, and steal. You don't have to go that far but get out there and push the job a little, you'll get it.
  8. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    This is going to be a tough year for every one. I have seen several new trucks this winter plowing. There are new names in a lot of the ads that have started appearing in the papers. More and more people are out of work. A hammer and a mower and they are in business. They need to surive like the rest of us, only problem is we all know they will be charging less than us.
  9. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    I hear ya, same thing is happening around here as well. I see new guys out all over town that I have never seen before. It just seems to me that when times get rough for people they think this is an easy way to make money or supplement their unemployment check with the end result being customer who wants something for nothing because they know they can get someone to do it cheaper. I'm thinking about just getting out of mowing altogether since I make more money landscaping anyway and all those startup companies don't know how to do anything other than mow or plant a bush or two if that.
  10. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    There's ^ my estimate of 10 to 20 % for selling

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