Turning down Customers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bohiaa, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Dang it guys.........

    I had to turn down a customer today because he lived to far away..

    It was doable, but the windsheld time would have been a bit much...

    Sometimes making the right Business decision is hard to do......

    Just wanted to share
  2. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    Do what ya gotta do to make money. if its alot of driving, you'll be spending more in fuel to get there than its worth, and I see no reason to do that if its only one customer. I try to stick to customers within 50 miles of my facility, which is basically within my county, and nowhere else.
  3. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    How far is too far? Mileage? Could you have worked in the driving time into the price a little? Increased the service a little? Just curious.
  4. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    i just had this problem i have a guy about a half hour away maby a little less that we debated on then picked up because he has more work for us and it is a new neighborhood and hes the first on to live there so were hoping to get hios neighbors but do you think that this is too far
  5. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Fuel is not so much the deal breaker IMO, Its simply the amount of drive time + the amount of service time. Sounds nuts to say it but some times you can nearly never make enough money on a weekly account when you consider time lost.

    I don't know about anyone else but time is probably my biggest enemy.

  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Yea, The issue is that the job site is about 45 minutes away, Its a home thats for sale and the customer wants a as needed and until it sells...

    I don't have any customers out that way and NOW is not a good time to try to pick up any....

    I have never got many new customers this time of the year....

    So I gave it away to a guy on this Bord, In that area...

    And Hay He will help me someday too...

    So I guess it all works out
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

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    Hi bohiaa,

    That is a great idea. I bet you will see a return from this investment.

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  8. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I am dumping a dozen accounts next season for drive time reasons. When you start out take what ever you can get when you get larger cut the long distance accounts from your list. I worked in 10 towns at first I have it down to 7 next season It will be 4 towns. Drive time is a killer and a huge profit loser as it stands now. My list looks like this

    Milford 123 accounts
    Orange 24 accounts Cutting some far ones
    Stratford 11 accounts Cutting 1 pita and a far one
    Woodbridge 4 accounts
    Trumble 4 accounts Dumping
    Shelton 2 accounts Dumping
    Monroe 1 account Dumping

    I will next year do an ad blitz in Stratford and Orange and of course try to thicken Milford up even more. I run 2 two man crews 3 days a week my crew on day 2 has brought in as much as $850 on a single cutting day not bad for me and a 11 dollar an hour guy. The reason is a real tight list 2-5 mins drive time is ok 20 mins is bad 30-45 mins between accounts is laughable. You just cannot do it and make any money.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I have the same problem with time, always have. Driving is one thing, so is loading/unloading AND switching equipment.

    I have the attitude now in my 4th year I WANT to get paid for driving, I WANT to get paid for maintenance... And shouldn't I? Doesn't have to be 60/hour for driving, really $15-$20/hour will be more than enough but I have to get paid SOMETHING (or at least FEEL like I'm getting paid, considering I get salary anyhow but that's beside the point).

    I think you are making good decisions at this point, I always felt they were hard too but the more you make hard decisions, the easier it gets with time (not with ALL Decisions but for the most part). Making the choice NOT to accept work is one of my most powerful tools today as it keeps me from getting skru'd time and again, please remember this tool as it will later help you again, and again...
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I can really FEEL it after 30 minutes I am with you 100%, even 5-10 minutes between yards is ok, I like doing 3-4 maybe 5 yards like ducks in a row THEN head to another part so I can get a 20-30 minute break while driving then do 3-4 maybe 5 more that are UP to 5 or 10 mins. apart.
    I think your strategy with the towns or whatever it is you had looks good, even in a big city like a state capital I service an entire county and so instead of towns I deal with neighborhoods (and for me ONE neighborhood is a clump of like a 10-square mile spread) as I cluster my customers much like you do, I find this infinitely better than trying to do ALL in one area (I tried that, it proved too difficult). It may sound easier to have a heavily populated county but we have competition and sometimes a few Lco's already HAVE an entire neighborhood and it's 50 or 75 miles from one end of the county to the other, so other than we have houses all in between, it's still basically the same thing all over again.

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