What's the biggest mistake we make as LCO's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HenryB, May 3, 2006.

  1. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,828

    1) My top three are Not saying NO to customer's crazy side jobs.
    2) Not dropping our 5-10% PITA bottom of the barrel customers annually.
    3) Under pricing our services and not Knowing our costs.

    If we did these things life would get a lot better.
     
  2. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    i agree with those three .can i add 4}under estimating ourselves
     
  3. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    I am terrible at estimating. Very difficult for me.

    Tim
     
  4. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    i always think im overestimating, then realize that the $1800 job i quoted out the customer comes back realizing i was about half of what the next guy quoted... then they ask to have it done 3 days later after waiting a month or two after giving out the quote.. lol.

    Yeah im bad at estimating some things, i always try to overestimate and usually its still probably too cheap, ive found myself with my methods working ok, then just tacking on $100 or $1000 to the bill to to know im in the right price range.
     
  5. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    I have gotten better at this but I used to try too hard to give the customer a good price, then when it was all said and done little things I didn't think of started adding up and I would make a VERY low profit in the end.

    For example I used to only write in a small mark-up to my price for materials. This is a big no-no because what if the price you thought you could get it for changes, or your supplier runs out and you have to go somewhere else? Now I add a sizeable mark-up to the retail price, (the price anybody could get it for anywhere, anytime). The mark-up is for my time shopping, inspecting, picking out, buying the right amount, delivering, breakage, waste etc etc etc. This is just one example of what I've changed in my estimates. I now make sure to make a profit on each and every line item on the estimate.

    Now I am more of the mindset that I would rather be with my family than go out and work for peanuts, so I make sure to quote a price that will make me a decent profit.
     
  6. grasssin

    grasssin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 361

    5) Wasting money on "Sounds good at the time" advertising

    Ei: $300 for a one week radio ad, $400 phone book covers (who uses those?), $300 on leaflets at the movie theater

    Total spent: $1000

    Total Customers Gained: 0

    6) Not realizing that this is an artform

    It is just like a shovel- anyone can use one, it just takes someone with skill and knowledge on how to use it right
     
  7. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    On the estimating side, I've learned the hard way to NEVER leave an estimate unless I'm 100%, slam-dunk, no-brainer SURE that I will make money on that job. My first couple years I'd sometimes leave a quote and be second-guessing myself. Sometimes I might feel it's too high, but gotta take care of myself :)
     
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Becoming too lenient with extending credit to customers (at least for me) it is.
     
  9. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Im in your boat!!
     
  10. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    All of the above Rod having the biggest. How about letting customers dictate your schedule. " I really need to have this pruned as I have company coming."Spend too much time hearing about the Grandkids while you are paying someone to sit in your truck and listen to the radio. Half hour conversation cost me 14 bucks in just labor. Seven as he is sitting there and seven to make up the lost time.
     

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