Question for solo landscape managers.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CSRA Landscaping, Nov 9, 2001.

  1. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    What do you guys do to set yourselves apart from the other guys? When you get a property that the homeowner kind of lets go and they want you to make it look good just doing maintenance, what do you do? How do you insure that you see things that they would want done that you wouldn't normally notice? Do you have a checklist? Do you have one for each season of the year? Do you have a different schedule for each week? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated, as my attention seems to miss some things from time to time.

    Again, this is for solo ops only, please. Or people that started solo and can still remember that far back. ;)
     
  2. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    I just do regular maintenance unless extra work is requested. Basically when I start a new property I will insist on meeting with the homeowner or business owner at the property and do a quick walk around. I will then type up suggestions and look for any problems and possible hazards and point them out to the person. This lets me and the customer know where we are starting from and allows me to meet with the customer and show off my clean cut appearance! <---- Most important thing in sales!
    Then I do the work as specified and if they would like more done they know they have to contact me.
     
  3. Schlepie

    Schlepie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    I always try to get the most important things first, and these will vary from cust to cust. If a yard has a front and back to do, I'll concentrate on the front first, since this is what most people see. I look for potential for clear sidewalk paths, trim the hedges, weeds control, mowing is always last so I can have a fresh clean look for a good 1st impression, and I always use a stick edger for a new clients first edging, it just lays good ground work for later trimming. Go over with customer what you offer for the year, let them know hrly rates, fertilizer aps, etc. anything for the add-on sale. Once the customer has your trust and likes your work, the rest comes easy, and you sure get alot of word of mouth advertising. The more you can reasonably accomidate your customer, the more will come to you. At least it works that way for me.
    Good luck
    Schlep
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Quaility Work pays off if you are in it for the long run.

    I like both of the replys above but would like to add.

    I start looking for what to do on a yard when I first enter the nieghborhood. What do the other yards look like?? Most important are the yards I don't do. Do they look better than my customers?? Do they look as good etc. Now from a block away I see the yard, what stands out?? Trees Ok Lawn green enough? The closer I get the more I see. If the yard doesn't look good from the street it will not look good up close.... This is how I judge every yard new or old customer. I work from far out to up tight. Yes I stay up-tight I am short old, ugley and have no personialty so the quaility of my work is what I have to sell. No you can't built Rome in a day so I do a much as I can in the time that I can spend there; Every time I start from the far to near til I get it.

    What are you selling? grass cutting, landscaping, pest control, fert, etc?????? NO WE ARE SELLING CURB APPEAL. LOL
     
  5. BOTURF

    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    QUALITY, QUALITY AND MORE QUALITY basically your names on the line which could lead to more work if you do a QUALITY job
     
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    What do you guys do to set yourselves apart from the other guys?
    ... Shower -LOL!!!
    ... I think that this comes down to presentation. Make sure that your appearance sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.
    ... Have a nice looking flyer that you can pass out in addition to/in place of the standard biz card.
    ... Keep your trucks and equipment looking professional.
    ... Be upfront with clients and dont promise things that your not set-up to handle.
    ... Dont try to make yourself out to be the contractor your not. If you dont know tell them honestly, but find the answers for them in a hours not days/weeks - time is valuable.

    When you get a property that the homeowner kind of lets go and they want you to make it look good just doing maintenance, what do you do?
    ... Edging usually makes a drastic difference.
    ... Clean the growth from between the concrete expansion joints and where the curb meets the road.
    ... Blow off when you are finished throughly and dont leave debris at the curbs or in the street.

    How do you insure that you see things that they would want done that you wouldn't normally notice?
    This is when you make notes of pertinent information when you discuss their property and its needs with them prior to rendering services.

    Do you have a checklist? Do you have one for each season of the year?
    I like to refer to them as procedures.
    ... Keeping the beds weeded bi-weekly during the spring when everything is growing rampantly.
    ... Little things like blowing off decks and patios are especially important during the summer months when many people entertain in their back lawn areas.
    ... Keep leaves from being stockpiled in front of their mailboxes in the fall so not stop mail from entering the home.

    Do you have a different schedule for each week?
    The mowing schedules are pretty much a constant/steady variable. I like to make sure that they know what days to expect us so that we dont have to contend with any more bs than we already have to in order to keep the property looking the way we want it to.

    Hope this helps.
    Kris
     
  7. Pepper2

    Pepper2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

  8. BOBCAT36

    BOBCAT36 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    I GO IN AND ASK THE HOMEOWNER WHAT ARE YOUT NEED. HOW HIGH AND HOW LOW DO YOU WANT CUT. WHAT DO WANT TO KEEP AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GO...ADD MY OWN SUGGESTION...AND DO A QUALITY JOB...THE NIEGHBORS ARE WATCHING
     
  9. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Thanks for the replies, guys. I read Homer's previous post and my father-in-law and I actually came up with something very very similar to that. I'm going to locate about 2-3 yards locally that I can transform. These replies, coupled with the plan that I have forming now, and a visit with a fantastic 'old hand' at lawncare this past Sun., will help me to make a big difference in past performace. It really is all about quality.
     

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