What jobs to turn down...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by grass2cash, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. grass2cash

    grass2cash LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    I recently started my service, so I'm still hangin' out in the shallow end of the pond. My question is, what job or projects would some of you veterans turn down based on potential for injury, damage to your equipment, etc? I was recently asked to service a property that has the ability to be very profitable, however, the lot has very poor soil (Georgia clay) and lots of uneven areas. To prevent damage to my equipment I'm thinking about turning it down. What are your thoughts or past experiences with obstacles like this?






    Stand for something or fall for anything.
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I don't know what to tell you because there exists a balance between what you can turn down and what you must accept in order to earn your keep, not trying to be funny but I'm pretty sure we all have a few of those :cry:

    As for challenging terrain, nothing excites me more so bring it on, but I did learn over the years that dust eats bearings and engines... Today I will not accept a lawn that isn't at least 80% of some kind of grass, don't so much care if it's weeds so long it's decently covered with g.r.a.s.s., I can and will refuse something that I foresee becoming the Sahara dust bin during Jul-August.
    But I still have a few, there's no avoiding it completely, and it pays the bills. Fact is, the large portion of lawns requiring service are not going to be class A turf, so one accepts average turf all the time, and perhaps a few below average until one has the customer base to justify leaving such work for somebody else who might need it.
    On the note of challenging terrain, I get hurt about once or twice / year, so I keep a bottle of pain killers and a first aid kit in the truck. Just have to be careful, pain is a normal part of the operation, not trying to scare you but it can happen on flat yards, too.

    As for bearings and engines, they still last more than a good season but it does wear them out in fewer years, in some cases it is a good thing that it forces me to replace certain components, I usually take my oldest machine when I have to deal with some bs heh.
    If it's very challenging, your most used (but sharp) set of mower blades can come in handy, case you bend one or whatever.
    Don't be afraid to charge a little extra, I can almost always get at least another $5 and that helps, too.
     
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    We are up against accounts like that everyday. In this area there is very few accounts that don't challenge you in some way. They go from hills to sand to roots to ponds.
     
  4. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    I have found it to be particularly profitable to focus all of my energy and resources on servicing a particular type of property. For me, I focused on 1/3 acre or less residential property. All of my equipment, my billing, my crew, my advertising, everything was geared toward that end. When I had the chance to do larger properties, I turned them down. When I could have done commercial properties, I turned them down (unless they were the right size a and price that they fit in my business).

    So, what I would advise you to do would be to set parameters for your business and reject those accounts that don't fit your business model. Once you decide what kind of property you are servicing, it will become clear whether you should service that property or not.
     
  5. grass2cash

    grass2cash LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Thanks for the very helpful feedback!
     
  6. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    I'd be more likely to turn down a job with a lot of tree branches hanging low if the customer wont let me trim them up a little. Nothing bothers me more than getting poked in the head or the eye, glasses and hat knocked off, shirt caught on a pin oak or pine branch!! I've actually still got a scar on my neck from an apple branch that dragged across it while I was backing up (I just couldn't duck any lower)
    So far I havent turned anyone down b/c I'm still trying to build my clientele, but I'd have to consider it.
     
  7. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I very rarely turn down work based on difficulty. I do however turn down some work because I simply do not like the person I am dealing with. I don't want to do business with someone who I can't stand or for someone who rubs me the wrong way. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when I do. I will turn down work that has a high probability of injuring me in some way though. It's not worth making the money if you injure yourself and can't enjoy it.
     
  8. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I'm focusing on smaller properties because of my smaller equipment but it's nice to see even an established LCO still sticking with the smaller ones.
     
  9. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    jobs where you see Pedro and myself cutting in the neighborhood.:laugh:
     
  10. creatived

    creatived LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    dog crap. IF PEDRO IS IN TH AREA LOWBALLING I BALL HIM UP AND ROLL HIM DOWN THE STREET AND THEN LET EVERYONE KNOW OF HOW ONE OF PEDRO'S CREW SUED A HOMEOWNER BECAUSE THEY HAD NO PAPERWORK. IF THERE IS WORK TO BE SOLD AND IF THE PEOPLE SEEM LIKE THEY WANT TO IMPROVE I WILL ALWAYS GIVE WORK A CHANCE.
     

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