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Turning Down Work - How Do You Do it?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by OakNut, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    Have them pay you to install gates. I do it all the time
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  2. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    People turn down 21" mows because you can not be efficient euough to make decent money. 21" takes longer. People don't want to pay higher rates for more time
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  3. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,308

    I don't think it's possible in this situation. Strict community, every single lawn has the white picket fence/gate and a baramuda lawn. Might should check, but something tells me changing gates wouldn't be an option in this community.
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    I understand that even though it's not always true. There are city jobs that pay pretty well and can not be cut with anything BUT a 21" mower - if there weren't, the big outfits in town wouldn't send out several trucks with push mowers in the beds. There's money there - believe me.

    Maybe this area just has a higher concentration of "small" lawns than other areas. Add to that the fact that 99.9% of lawns here have SOME sort of slopes/hills and it's not easy to find a lawn that supports larger equipment in some sections of town.

    I dunno, but it makes me nuts turning them down because I'm trying to only take stuff I can use my 36" mower on, so I can't imagine what it's like to only offer "ZTR service" and turn away 95% of the calls.
  5. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,686

    If those are the majority of calls you're getting, I'm sure you're not the only one turning those jobs down...but if nobody wants them, it sounds like you could charge a premium for the extra hassle to make them worthwhile.
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  6. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    I have one that is a 21" job. but its a small lawn. in fact i put in seeding and fertilizing for free

    what it comes down to is time. if you are in an area where all the laws are small, itl take less time, and you make more money. but if your lawns are bigger, then ur not going to make money spending an hour on a 25 dollar lawn. unless they are willing to pay more than 25, to pay for that hour long lawn.
  7. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    Yes, but that still has nothing to do with the thread topic.

  8. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I just politely decline. I thank them for their call but let them know that I won't be able to service their property, it's my policy that I only use my equipment. I didn't spend $8,000 on a ZTR so I could use some home owners 21in push mower on a half acre lot.
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  9. stuffdeer

    stuffdeer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,538

    I completely understand what you mean. 3 years ago I owned a company that ran ZTRs. Customers were decently happy, but lawns were still only OK because if condiditions weren't perfect, employee would tear up lawns.

    On to this year, I sold that company that same year, and last year restarted because I missed it so much. However this time, I don't want employees and I won't use a ZTR. I am fully booked since people found out I only use a small 48" Walk behind now. I charge more, my profits are higher, and I have less headaches. Heck, I only cut 3 days a week now and take 3 to 4 off! But I am running into the same problem as you. I don't necessarily want to keep over pricing work as a way of turning it down as in the future that could lead to me not wanting to expand, if I ever plan on it because customers won't call because I am "too expensive".

    What has been working for me is, I almost never answer my phone. If a customer is serious they will leave a voicemail. My voicemail prompts you to leave your address name and phone number. I take my wifes car by the house before I even call them back. If it is a lawn I would want to add, I call them back and tell them it will be xx.xx per month. If not I politely call them back and inform them I am not taking new customers, and tell them I appreciate the call.

    I haven't had an issue yet. I believe my lawns here are slightly larger then yours, hence me using the 48" Walkbehind, where most use a 52 or 61 ztr.

    I still have a few lawns that pay good that are over an acre that I have a 61 WB for.
  10. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    Usually just politely decline and tell them we are swamped for work if it comes up. When it comes to trimming a route, I usually call or send a letter than the pricing/every other week model for the house is not working for us. I try to recommend them to a smaller company who is in the area that can handle their lawn, or I offer them what the new structure has to be to keep them on our route.

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