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rules of business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rrhonda, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. rrhonda

    rrhonda LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Ok , here's the problem. I need some basic rules for business. My husband spends to much time on estimating, he talks and talks and talks, about everything. Then there are the days that it is supposed to rain and we get nothing done , and it never does rain. There's another lost day. He's driving me crazy. I know .... I should get rid of him and hire someone else. But that's not possible. I just want to know the basic rules of owning a business. I need to motivate him somehow. thanks, rhonda
  2. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Posts: 1,063

    As far as motivating your husband...I'm going to stay out of that one...but I'm sure someone will provide a couple ideas. :blush:

    As far as the length of time on estimating, well IMO it's good to just talk with prospects and customers to build some rapport. But talking too long could drive them away also, they may be afraid he'll talk their ear off each time he mows therefore go with someone else.

    As for the rain days...my rule of thumb is if it's going to rain that day I still head out and work, you never know if it'll actually rain or not. Then if it does rain I'll usually continue until it rains steady or fairly hard. I don't want to get too far behind on my schedule.

    Don't take this wrong, but is he generally slow in whatever he does? I have a brother in law that does great work in his field, but it takes him almost twice as long as his competitors because he is just flat out slow. He's slow in everything, even when he walks or talks...drives me nuts, but he's a good guy. I don't think there's anything anyone could do to speed him up... :sleeping: Good luck!

  3. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    It sounds like you and he might have different goals for the business. I would love to have someone like him for customer service. Unfortunately, you need to grow the business (as do I) before you could have one person dedicated to sales, estimating and customer service. Long-term, though, having a guy who wants to BS with the customers all day can be very beneficial to retaining those customers.

    I would outline some goals for the business, with some plans for reaching those goals and some milestones to measure against. I would then outline everyone's roles and responsibilities for reaching those goals. I don't know the details of your business or how busy you are, but if he doesn't like to mow when it is "supposed" to rain and if he likes to do estimates and chit-chat, maybe a compromise would be that when the weather turns gray, that's his time to meet with current and potential customers. He wasn't going to mow anyway, so he can talk all he wants.

    This is an important role for the company, because customers that sign up because they like and trust your husband are going to be much harder to steal than customers that sign up because you have the best price or even the best work. I'm not saying that you can screw people on the price or do shoddy work, but if the price is fair and the work is good, people can be very loyal to people they know and trust.

    People hire laborers to push mowers all the time. Finding someone who can represent the company the way your husband wants to is much more difficult. He almost certainly needs to be mowing too, but don't minimize the importance of customer service either.

    I think it is important to make sure that a certain amount of his time is spent doing things he enjoys, which are also good for the company. Otherwise, he will likely get burned out and it will be difficult to keep the frustration out of your personal life.

    Just my thoughts.
  4. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Hey Pagefault, why are you working man? Get-r-done!

    You can't be online when the sun is shining. :cool:

    Oh and rRonda, surely you can think of something that would motivate him to move a little faster. Maybe increase the perks of being married to the boss if you know what I mean. :blob4:

    Just kidding I agree, with PF, everybodies good at something.
  5. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I filed my articles of incorporation yesterday and I was opening business accounts, getting insurance and picking up uniforms today. I plan to start mowing this weekend and I am more or less on schedule. I would have liked to have started sooner, but it took me a while to finally get fed up with my corporate life.
  6. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    And my father-in-law dumped his motorcycle this weekend and is at our house nursing some broken ribs, so I'm helping out with that.
  7. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Well good deal, I'm real interested in how things go for you. I was reading one of the other posts :rolleyes: but decided not to join in. I like your attitude and the way you look at things.

    anyways, I'm a river rat from way back. As a matter of fact we'll be down there on the 4th. A buddy of mine loans us his cabin up by the damn. It's right upstream from where the water-fall used to be. Pretty cool him to say the least.

    oh man! that sucks about your pop, glad he's alright.

    We had a guy hit a tree Sunday morning on our street. And careflight came and landed in our front yard. Quite a sight.
  8. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    Enjoy your visit. Maybe one of these times we can get together for a beer and compare notes.
  9. rrhonda

    rrhonda LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Almost all of are customers are very old and all alone. They're very lonely. Sometimes I have a hard time getting to work because all they want to do is talk. Put these two elements together ( my chatty husband and old people ) and it's a disaster. He's not a slow moving person. Maybe it's because I don't listen to him talk. I always have my ipod going when I'm working. I can't take the senseless rambling.He does like to mow, though. I just usally hope and pray that no one is home and we can get something done.
  10. rickman

    rickman LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 29

    long as your getting business go with the flow :p
    but I hear ya...I was working the other day ,crawling around these mulch beds under trees getting my arms cut all up pulling out leaves etc....prolly looked like a ground hog looking to build a den :D anyway I stop after beating myself to death and happened to look over where the "wife" is in the same damn spot talking to the land owner :realmad:
    I finally got up walked over and kinda ended the conversation real nice..dont get me wrong talking to tha owner kissing some behind a little is good at times.But when theres work to be done..
    like said above---> GIT-R-DONE show your husband whos boss :D
    tell him too much talking will = no booty that night :blob3:


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