What a Freaking Idiot!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Because and I'll tell you why!!!

    I'm the other guy!!!

    See here, the problem is...
    They flagged me down as I was working nearby and since I have 10 years experience those puny little moguls y'all call
    steep hills don't bother me none and I probably could have knocked it out in 10 minutes which is why I told her $20
    but the customer is probably one of those folks who maybe don't stand on very solid ground and either couldn't leave
    well enough alone so she tried to get one over on me or for some other reason something the customer did or said didn't
    sit real good with me so I just basically told her that I would recommend they call somebody else.
    As in, take a hint!
    They got it.

    Now, they COULD call me back.
    But they won't.

    They'll actually pay you MORE rather than face me again.
    The funny of it all is, that you think it's more work than the trouble it's worth too.

    Moral of the story:
    The other guy didn't want it either.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  2. Roachy

    Roachy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 125

    I saw 2 non english speaking upcoming lawn care entrepreneurs riding around my town today. They were pulling a cart and their mower with some 20yr old 4 wheeler. lol I guess theyre having trouble saving up for a truck with their mowing income.

    The way I look at it is if you always charge a good fair price and work hard and dont cut corners, then you dont have to worry about dealing with customers. I find that people would rather pay a couple dollars more for a good neat job, than a little less for a sloppy one.
  3. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    Problem here is that with most new guys there all pumped up if they get a few customers. The goal is to make money not just getting "people." It's a natural reaction I guess because thinking oh I GOT CUSTOMER'S instantly means your making money. I would rather have less customers that pay high versus a lot of crappy paying bulk of customers.

    Guy prolly went home bragging, OMG honey I got more customers! Yeah but at what price? ;-)
  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    Jeez, there are a lot of "holier than thou" types on this board who like to do a lot of reading between the lines and filling in blanks that aren't there to begin with. I don't go around bad-mouthing this guy, or any other person or company out there mowing for that matter. I've owned a business, of one type or the other, most years since I was 25 and I just turned 60. I wrote the original post more as a statement of human behavior, because I felt that those on here with actual business acumen would appreciate the irony of someone who stiffed someone who mowed his lawn, later going into the lawn business himself, and charging such ridiculously low prices that there is no way he can reap a reasonable profit.

    As for asking him for the money, I'm waiting for the perfect opportunity to present itself, which, I'm sure, will eventually happen.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You're not innocent either.

    One other thing...
    That part about your being 60, that is probably true.
    Statistically speaking, it most likely is.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  6. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    I don't get you TS. He just told us (this board) he turn 60. How can you even bring it up and say that it's "probably" true?
  7. twotone

    twotone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    I think someone is missing the scenario here. You're on the job and somebody uninvited approaches to inform you that he is entering the lawn care business. He tells you how he is going to do it: the type of accounts he is seeking, what type of machinery will be purchased, where it will be purchased, and that financing will be involved. Later the same person approaches your wife (while she's working) and describes how he's been following the going after the "BIG STUFF" part of the plan by horning in on your account.
    Is it just me or did this guy attend some really backward business school ?
  8. TheMadOne

    TheMadOne LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    The moral of this story I get is the fella your talking about has watched you come in and do a job. You've made it look a lot easier than it really is because you have a lot more experience and good old fashion OJT common sense & business sense to be successful at it. Looking at this the guy thinks wow, that's got to be easy money, no real experience or training necessary just "mow the grass", do a bunch of yards & come out with some money!!!! From there he becomes all about getting all the yards he can to make "more money" at a lower price. He doesn't really think about the obvious & hidden costs of doing business so for a little while he actually thinks he is doing great until one day he is still broke, living hand to mouth in his "new business", working his fanny off, and can't seem to ever get up on it.

    Or......... He wises up quick & either starts charging more or gives it up. With the huge rises & instability of the fuel market as well as it's effect on all other prices of necessary things those who are not charging to make some level of profit are going to shrivel up soon. A hand to mouth business philosophy has never worked very well to begin with, but with the price of things as unstable as they are becoming now that philosophy will begin to put an end to a lot of poor planners. Not all there will always be more, but shear financial pressure of trying to keep a business running is going to end a bunch of them. Operating costs are rising, it's going to take even better planning to remain solvent and prosperous especially this year.

    I am not a "big time" guy by any means, I just started this PT business 3 years ago...... not my first business dealing with equipment & operating costs, just first of this type. I've managed to have one successful full time business in the 80's which I sold off to one of my customers at a fair gain. Another PT business I ended up phasing out when I was offered a good PT position in the same industry at a pretty good PT wage. I have a five year plan on my PT lawn business now, so a couple of years from now if it keeps up like it has I should have a nice little business to retire into. If not.... plan didn't come to fruition as it should & time to move on. In this business as any other you have to have a plan some what flexible, but a definite plan. Most of these guys like you have described here don't have a clue what a business plan is or wind up history in a short time. There is a small benefit (silver lining if you will) to this, the HTM (hand to mouth) guys leave behind people who now want their lawns maintained and have a need for some one to call on. Usually they start off looking for another low price, but some out of that crop can be up sold to a more reliable service with a couple of upgrades in service sold into the new higher price.

    So far this year the higher operating costs while causing some sting have driven several small time HTM guys out. So far this year every new customer I have gained has netted me 3 - 4 flag downs or walk up people wanting estimates because their other guy has not shown up or out right told them he is no longer doing it. That is equaling out to at least one new customer in the few places I am currently working. Now if it will just start to dry up a little bit things would be great so far this year. Well got to get going, got a some lawns to catch up on today hopefully without slipping and busting my fanny! A lot of my jobs are still just too soft for anything but my smaller WB.

  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Read between the lines.

    That's all fine and dandy but it doesn't mean that I think it a wise investment of my time to go running
    around making fun of the other guy, which if you read the first post that is what it is, not saying you are
    wrong because that's in there as well but the gist of this thread is to make a mockery of the new guy.

    Now granted, I do come on here and poke fun at things (such as lawn mower racing) so I'm no angel either
    but I don't think I actually point the finger at people while I laugh, I just think it's funny and maybe it's the same thing
    but that also makes us look bad.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  10. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,321

    That's for sure, people just waiting to turn your words around or fill on the blanks on their own, when honestly, most of them have had a thread or two like this before.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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