my customers ask to much from me...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by eliahwoodcutter, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. eliahwoodcutter

    eliahwoodcutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    or maybe i do not have enough experience.?????!!!!!!!!!!
    when you guys cut grass do you spray the sidewalks or the flowerbeds with the "ROUNDUP"?
    Do you weedwack the grass between flowers?
    Do you pick up trash, toys from kids, move trambulines?
    Do you pick up big limns after storms?
    And all this for the same price that you estimate it before.
    I thought there are 2 different services: one just like a basic service witch is grass cutting, edging , trimming(but not inside flowerbeds) and blow the sidewalks ,driveway and some time the flowerbeds.
    thee other one is like a full service witch is more like a general maintenance( pick up everything from the lawn, trimming , spray with round up,pulling weeds from flowerbeds.
    Haw you guys do it???!! :
    :realmad: :angry:
  2. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    If they want platinum service they better have a platinum card
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Welcome to my area! I put up with that crap for the first few years then got hardhearted real fast. Now when I give an estimate I ask the client what they expect me to do then I price accordingly. I have some that want mow only, no weed eating, some only want the front to look good, and so on. I then price accordingly. I also make dang sure they know that limbs are EXTRA after getting burned on that first hurricane last season. Picking up excessive amount of toy (don't mind one or two) and water hoses are extra. Had lady call me Monday and wanted to know why I drove up to her yard and left? I asked her, Mrs Vw, what have I asked you to do several times? Her, "pick up the junk" Right I said and your yard was totally covered with them plus 100 yards of hose and 14 lawn chairs (I counted em). I will come back for extra charge or charge you for a double cut next time. She chose neither, good riddance, had enough of this one, not counting the 4 dogs and dozen cats she had sh--ing in the yard. If you let the client they will run all over you, anything they ask for extra charge extra for it. They will know right off the bat you are a no-nonesense LCO. I learned all this good stuff from LS in past 2 years and it made me a better hard nosed LCO. I may still not make it but dang it my last year will be a bang!! :D
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    now thats funny
  5. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    People will keep asking for more unless you tell them it is an additional charge. All you should be doing is mowing,trimming and blowing unless you get paid more. Flower bed weeding/trimming is extra. If a storm then a few limbs picked up is okay. I mow a few yards with a trampoline and don't move them. I mow as far as i can under them and trim around them.

    A few toys I will move. I just move the trash and don't pick it up. I am not their trash service.
  6. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    In my experience all customers have different needs, and our contracts with them reflect that.

    As "Qualitylawn4u" mentioned above 1-2 toys is no problem, but dealing with a yard full of animal schitt and toys is not acceptable. That's where we draw the line, we'll do it once and politely ask the homeowner to remedy the situation or tell them that they will be receiving an extra fee on their bill.

    Removal of debris (trees, dirt, garbage) caused by forces of nature or the homeowner will be charged accordingly. You're in this business to make money not do work for free, you work to hard to not get paid well!

    As for the round-up in the sidewalks... we try to present every lawn as a show piece and you can either trim the grass in the cracks or spray it with round-up. Round-up helps b/c you can kill the grass or weeds off for several weeks and this saves you trimming time. Take er easy!
  7. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    I've also heard of guys running over the toys to get the point across.. could give that a shot too!
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    This is just me, I try and determine what the customer is like and I let them know how I do things and either they like it (most do) or they don't (some don't). This is their choice, my service is MY service and it is always possible another Lco does things different so if MY service is NOT ok then please call around some more.

    Some folks over different levels of service maybe like what you're thinking. Me, I'm a ONE service for all company - EVERYBODY gets the same thing because I can never remember everything otherwise, but that's just me.

    Here is what I do:
    Weedtrimming: YES, included.
    Roundup - YES, included.
    Flowerbeds - YES, included (I use the Round-up with a sprayer it's quick and dirty but CAREFUL around plants)
    Trash, toys, etc - ONE or TWO (ok ok 3 maybe 4) but not when it's a whole SLEW of JUNK everywhere, forget it!
    Big limbs after storms - A few for free, a lot for a little extra $. If it's a customer been with me for 3-4 years, maybe I clean their whole yard one time for free like in the spring or right now with the Early-bird leaves that are already falling, that is all included for YEAR-round grass customers who been with me at LEAST this whole year.

    Weedwhack BETWEEN flowers? Well now, if I can get in there without knocking down the plants then yes (and I'm pretty good) but if it's so bad there is no way I can do it reasonably, we need to talk.

    dass how i do it :)
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I *LIKE* your attitude !
    Right on, if you cut grass like that you MAY not make it but at least have some FUN LOL! By the way, about a year or so ago I thought the same thing: I might not make it (yup, my NEW attitude cost me customers) but NOW things are better than EVER and I have NONE (well, almost none) of the mentioned problems. It's not perfect, but it's a LOT better.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Here is what happens:

    New LCO's ALWAYS get the WORST customers (sorry bro) because those of us who been around done DROPPED them and left for better waters. But, you NEED those customers and you know it, too, they are your bread and water right now and you can't just drop all your base, it's not worth it. Besides, even in my 4th year I have a few customers who been with me since day 1 so no doubt you already have some good ones as well.

    So what you do is you work your thing best you can until someone REALLY PISSES you OFF and once you get VERY VERY PISSED OFF, you will then drop that ONE customer and good riddance!
    As you go along over the next year (or three), you will gradually fill and re-fill your customer base, dropping off a bad apple here and there and over time weeding out the pitas until in the end you're left with some of the BEST customers you can get!
    So then, the NEW Lco (there is always someone even NEWER than you) gets those customers you dropped and the process begins all over but you're already a way down the road and can't really see this until you're about in your 3rd or 4th year and I shouldn't laugh but it is all kinda funny in the end when you're driving down the road one day and by CHANCE happen to pass by an ex-pita yard and you see someone NEW there and you will ALSO see the look on their face and it really is a Kodak moment.

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