Why is it that many of the views and attitudes on this site are just full of poor customer service. Everywhere, you read about how people will not do one-time cuts, refuse to cut any accounts bi-weekly (twice a month), refuse to do bed clean-ups, fall clean-ups, spring clean-ups, etc., etc.? The predominate attitude that I have seen is that I am going to stick it to them before they stick it to me. Now, I know many of you guys have been doing this for YEARS but it seems to me that many have become extremely jaded. I personally believe that we are in the SERVICE industry and the better service you provide and the more services that you provide, equals a more lucrative business and more repeat business. Do I ever get a customer that is just too much of a PITA? Sure I do but that is certainly rare and certainly not the norm. I haven't been doing this very long. As a matter of fact, this is my second year in business. I started out with a 21" residential mower, weed-eater, and blower in the bed of my truck. That was last year, solo with 15 accounts. Fast forward to second year. Two 21" commercial mowers, 36" walk-behind, two weed-eaters, two blowers, edger, and a whole lot of other tools of the trade. Two full-time guys servicing 100 accounts weekly while I make sure everyone is happy. I've got to tell you guys that I attribute my success to doing things against the grain of what a predominant amount preach on this site. When we get a call from a customer and they ask how much we would charge to water their plants on the back porch while they are on vacation, I'll tell them that they are one of our best customers and we will take care of it without charge. You enjoy your vacation and we will take care of it. (It only takes 15 minutes) My labor cost on that 15 minutes is $5. We spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on advertising to get customers only to lose them over $5. We had a customer call requesting that we give an estimate to mow a friends house. This friend was a single female that had recently had surgery and was unable to care for her lawn for two weeks. They wanted an estimate for us to go out and do a one time mow and my current customer was going to pay for it to help them out. I went out and looked at it. Mow, weed-eat, and blow would take 15 minutes. I called my customer back and told them, "you are one of my best customers. I like to help people too. We will service your friends home and will not charge either of you." My customer was speechless and has since given us three more full-time accounts, and, we did a substantial mulch job and stone edging for them at a good profit. Now I know this is long but for those of you that are having a hard time making a profit and getting customers, you just may need to think about what makes a customer feel appreciated. Because I will tell you, you make them feel appreciated, and it will come back 100 fold to you. People are educated and have their gaurd up in today's world. They may like the way you make their lawn look but any of us can do that. What sells people your service year after year is relationships. My two cents.