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Saying your professional and being professional.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by DeereHauler, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Posts: 1,267

    and that isnt professional. The past few weeks I have been having my foreman working in the shop, going over the equipment top to bottom. Well he was sharpening the hedge trimmer blades and wasnt wearing any saftey glasses. Well right at that time, I was meeting with a perspective client and we were walking to my meeting room. You have to walk through the shop to get to it. And i stopped and came down on my foreman for not wearing saftey glasses. The client was so impressed. She said, I commend you so much for that, I see people doing stupid stuff all the time like that, but you actually make it a point to not let it happen. I did end up with the job.

    Like I said before, my equipment gets washed down at the end of every week (mainly just spraying it down to get the dust and mud off on the mowers), but the truck actually gets washed. Every night when we pull back into the shop, the equipment is unloaded by the air hose, and blown off (works better than the blowers). Trailers get cleaned out, and all the trucks cleaned out and wiped out too.

    All of our guards are on, breaks working properly. You have to remember too, that warranty work, and insurance claims can become voided if you modify equipment like that.
  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    I'm on board with all of this.

    Let's call a spade a spade- there are 20 complete hacks in this industry for every professionally run outfit. The thing that makes my head spin is that most guys don't seem to get the simple fact that language, appearance, safety, and professionalism SELLS jobs.

    Uniforms, clean job sites, efficient equipment/material use, nice clean invoices and estimates, decent trucks and presentable employees- these are just a few examples of things that people want!! They are just as important on the job as the trees, shrubs and grass you are working on.... it's a package deal. You will get more high-end clients and people who are willing to pay your price if you have a handle on running a smooth operation.
  3. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    I also agree with everything you said.

    As for working late, I always work late, till the sun goes down, weekends also, even Sundays. I don't work in the rain. I work the most I can during the summer, because I have no business in the winter. Some of my customers ask me: "You didn't had to come on a Sunday to do X service" But they always understand that I'm running my business 6/12 months.

    As for the company image, you are absolutely right, but it takes a lot of money for company logos on trucks/trailers, t-shirts, hats etc.
  4. DeereHauler

    DeereHauler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 604

    The last 4 posts are all excellent, and they really go with what i'm trying to say here.

    The comment by perfect earth, yes it does sell jobs.

    Will, I'm glad you mentioned how a good attitude rubs off, i had some issues last year with a foreman who was miserable. His bad attitude ruined it for himself and another employee, its a bad domino effect.

    And i can really see the working extra hours, my phrase usually is "if the sun is shining, we're working". But my wife and i had a daughter last year, and my business is really well established, so i had a big change in the way i look at working late nights and Sundays. I also have work in the winter time, so i don't feel the crunch during our growing season. If i was new, and trying to really get my foot in the door, i think i would work all those extra hours. And i have also been asked not to work on a property past a certain time, some customers enjoy the privacy.
  5. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 896

    Agree 100% - Differentiators are what make any business kinda of successful vs. - killing it. At some point uniforms , clean trucks etc.. become the norm and you need to find your next differentiator.
    Someone much smarter than me introduced the what, how and why concept. We all know what we do - most of us know how we do it - but how many of us can say why we do it? Hint - it cant be because of profit. Why we do things is why customers buy from us - not because we mow, landscape, irrigate better then the next guy but rather that we get the customers pain and can present a solution to make the pain go away. Its up to all of us to recognize customers pain and to solve that problem.

    Just my two cents!
  6. DeereHauler

    DeereHauler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 604

    Great point.
  7. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 915

    half of selling a job, if not more, is image in my opinion. Look sloppy and people assume that you do sloppy low cost work. Look sharp and professioonal (logo polo, clean pants etc) when doing estimates and people will remember.
  8. DeereHauler

    DeereHauler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 604

    A very good friend of mine has been in the remodeling business for 30 years now. He is extremely professional, and has led me to a few of my best customers, since he has such an incredible client base. He knows when to joke, and curse, and when to flip that switch and talk like a pro, and impress customers. He told me a story the other day about a friend who wanted a new roof, so he called a roofer. This "roofer" showed up to give an estimate with a shirt that read 'I may not be Mr. Right, but I'll F@#$ you until he gets here.' (less the symbols of course)

    I about died when he told me that! The person getting the roof estimate said they couldn't wait for this guy to leave!

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