one of the biggest problems......

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    in the lawn service business, is the lack of consistancy from business owner to business owner. now, as i observe other businesses , i notice they all do it the same. FAST FOOD RESTURAUNT: pull up, place your order thru the intercom, pay at next window, pick up order at next window. REAL RESTURAUNT: walk in, you are greeted by hostess, state the size of your party, then you're seated. the waitress comes, winks at me, takes drink order. brings 4 beers, then takes appetizer order, then meal order. cleans table, hands you the bill. DOCTORS OFFICE: make appointment, drive there, hand them ins card, make co payment. sit till you are called. go in, nurse asks wtf your problem is, checks blood pressure, doctor comes and sees you. CAR WASH: pull up, state your order, pay, go thru, jose fernandez wipes car after you go thru. AUTO MECHANIC: drive over, tell problem, he does diagnostic, gives estimate, does job, you pay, then he gives you your car. BARBER SHOP: u walk in you wait your turn, sit in chair, shampoo, cut, blow, pay bill. LAWN SERVICE: contract needed, no contract needed, how do you SPELL contract? need a deposit, don't need a deposit, need pre payment, don't need pre payment, don't even need payment. pay at time of service, i'll send a bill, pay me when you feel like it. i CAN apply pesticides, I CAN'T apply pesticides, I DON'T KNOW HOW to apply pesticides, I'LL DO IT BUT AM NOT LICENSED. i do have insurence, i don't have insurence, i don't need insurence, i'm only 11 i can't GET insurence! i'll cut it at 2", i'll cut it at 4" , i'll cut it at 6". i'll bag the clippings, i won't bag the clippings. i'll come once a week, i'll come twice a week, i'll come twice a month, call me when you need me. i don't bury pets, i do bury dead pets, i'm a fake cop, i'll do anything you ask. i will move your kids toys, i won't move your kids toys, i will run over your kids toys. i do collect sales tax, i don't collect sales tax, what exactly is sales tax? i use a 21", i use a 36", i use a helicopter turned upside down. i cut during droughts, i don't cut during droughts. i trim shrubs, i don't trim shrubs. i edge with a real edger, i edge with a weedwacker, i don't edge at all. edging is extra, edging is free. i do mulch, i don't do mulch, what hell is mulch. i supply materials, you supply materials. i charge by the hour, i charge by the job, i don't even charge. i clean leaves for the price of a grasscut, i clean leaves for the price of a leaf cleanup, i don't clean leaves. i take the debris for free, i charge for taking it, i leave it at your curb, i put it in plastic bags. AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON. where is the consistancy? will there ever be consistancy? THIS IS A BIG, BIG, MUCHO GRANDE PROBLEM!!!!!!
     
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I have to agree with you bobby. It is all about the systems. Most of the successful people that I know in this business have systems for every aspect of their business. Gives me something to strive for. I try to set my policies and stick with them. Read Michael Gerber "The E-Myth". I didn't understand everything in the book, but I got a lot out of it.
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yup. people who are service business oriented, become accustomed to a certain "routine" when dealing with these busunesses. in our business, the "routine" is, THAT THERE IS NO ROUTINE!
     
  4. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    I for one enjoy the free range aspect of it. I am not enveloped by a preset box of standards.

    If I want I can just cut grass. Or I can fert and do landscape with it.

    I can bill prepaid. I can bill at the end of the month. I can bill quarterly.

    I can do it HOW I WANT.

    You see the glass half empty. I think it is half full.
     
  5. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    great thread ,i wish i had an answer ,well OK i do the trouble is this industry is run[maybe to strong a word] by kids[no disrespect intended to the under-25s]and some very un-proffesional and un-qualified adults/so called business men and women
     
  6. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Your comparing apples to oranges here. Any established business has a consistent way of doing things especially the food industry. They find what works and duplicate it. Many and many years go into the development of their system just like the seasoned LCO's. The green industry has high owner turnover and high new start ups thus creating a lot of newbies going through trial and error until they find their consistency or go out of business and a newbie starts up.
     
  7. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    That is the beautiful thing about being self employed, you build the company that YOU want. If I wanted to be told what to do, I would have stayed at my old job.
     
  8. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    The ones who do things the right way for their area will prosper and those who don't, will fall to the wayside. Why would you want everybody to do what has been successful to you? Makes it too easy. There's also a little problem with your analogy. These other service industries you've named have a pretty stable base. We have people in and out of the biz all the time. These fly by night operators are doing the real harm by teaching the customer that there are no rules. Maybe the answer is gov't involvement in the operations of your biz. I doubt it though.
    People are going to expect what is the norm for your area. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Now, get over there, finish the cleanup (hopefully w/o snow) and get a bill out to this lady. I'll bet she appreciates your finishing that she'll pay you, or, depending how you treat her, have you arrested for trespassing.
     
  9. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    Sorry guys. I should have read the rest of the letters before I posted. On the other hand, I guess our views have just been reeforced.
     
  10. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    One thing that I think is key is keeping a steady customer list. I understand if you are really trying to grow, you will be working for a lot of people for the first time. You will have to go through the weeding out, etc. I'm at a point where I might take on only 3 or 4 new customers per season. I really don't do many one-time clean-ups or pruning for people. My established customers know how we work and that is it. Yardandgardenhandyman made a good point, the fly-by-nighters really have taught people that there are no rules.
     

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