Route's full. Need to expand.

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by zechstoker, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,673

    His route is FULL. He doesnt have any more time to take on more. So why watse time giving estimates on jobs you know you can't do. Get overwhelmed and you start cutting corners and losing accounts from decline in service. See how fast the calls stop when you get the rap of being the most expensive guy in town.
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,070

    - upgrade equipment to 36 inch walkbehind hydro...30 percent more work ---work on the weekend and start earlier-
    -group yards together by proximity on same day...stop talking on phone and answer messages when driving-
    -tell people you will bill them at end of month so you don't have to spend 5-10 minutes talking to each customer after every yard-
     
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Much of that he covered but the monthly billing. Good idea but not sure how much time this really saves.
     
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    Raise your prices.

    Proof's in the pudding.
     
  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    yet somehow for the last 6 years I average 4 phone calls a day from possibly new business.

    yep I sure have the rap of being the most expensive because I shoot higher prices if I don't want or can't do the work.
     
  6. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    We tell every customer during the estimate and service agreement signing that we send them their bill in the mail on the 1st of every month. I do end up talking to some customers while I'm servicing their yard, but it's only when they approach me for whatever reason. Also, when they call, they speak directly to my supervisor because I can't talk on the phone while running equipment. Works out fine that way.
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  7. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    None taken. It's all good :)
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  8. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    In some cases, we have raised prices, but not really to slow anything down. This was done more as a corrective measure after a customer has been on service for a full year. When we first started doing estimates, we under-estimated a few jobs, and their average times per service have been higher than what they were quoted for. We weren't doing anything extra that they hadn't originally signed up for. The work just took longer than we anticipated, so we made some price adjustments for them to balance things out. When this was done, letters were sent to these customers explaining the situation, and included all the recorded times for each service over the course of the year. Coincidentally, not a single customer dropped service after this was done. Honestly, I was hoping for at least one to drop, but that didn't happen. Now they're all paying the appropriate price.

    As for raising prices to discourage customers from starting any sort of service, it doesn't look good for our reputation. Especially if the customer was referred by someone who's done business with us, and has been given a good idea of what our prices are like. Also, efforts to turn away business isn't something I enjoy exercising. I suppose it'd be one thing if we wanted to stay at the same level/size we're at now, but we're looking to grow and acquire the means to help take on more business.
     
  9. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    To address another comment- part of a comment that is:

    There's two customers on our Friday route that demand the presence of my supervisor/brother, but for different reasons.

    The first one use to be a customer of my brother's back when he had his own business. She had gone through numerous LCOs, and none of them were able to get the work done up to her standards. When she heard we were doing lawn maintenance again, she immediately signed up, but under the strict condition that she have the same guy doing the work that she was so pleased with before. To this lady, nobody else will do. She found someone she likes, and won't have it any other way.

    The 2nd one wasn't a former customer, but like the other, he found "his" guy when my brother started doing the weed control for him. Nobody else he tried hiring was able to control the weeds in his lawn and flowerbeds like my brother's been able to. There's also been numerous other problems with his lawn and plants (ie: fungal diseases) that nobody else, myself included, have been able to correct. For this, it makes him obligated to be present on that job site to make sure this customer's lawn and garden is taken care of best as possible.
     
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Well then it seems you covered most all the suggestions already. The idea of adding a guy is the best way to have a higher production and he can learn your system / quality / expectations.
     

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