A scrub with a broom

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tx Firefighter, May 20, 2003.

  1. Tx Firefighter

    Tx Firefighter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    This is my first post, but I've been lurking here a good while.

    I read on here some people complaining about scrubs and making fun of their Craftsman mowers.

    Here's my story:
    Last year I started mowing on my off days using a CRAFTSMAN push mower, non self propelled. I also used a Weedeater brand trimmer, and a broom to sweep the driveways. All of the other guys in town were laughing at me, as I'd sweep driveways and sidewalks off with my little broom.

    The point is, I made enough money last year, with that humble equipment to launch this year off right. Using the money I made, I built myself a real nice 6x12 trailer over the winter. Then, I bought a Snapper self-propelled walk behind (21 inch), Echo commercial grade trimmer, edger, and blower. Last month I bought a new Scag 36 inch walk behind. I filed DBA papers, opened a business account, and got liability insurance. I paid cash for all of these things. That little Craftsman mower and Weedeater trimmer made it all possible. I owe no one anything, and every penny that the equipment makes is mine to re-invest in bigger equipment and to pay myself. Financially, this year has been incredible, my accountant is astonished.

    I have a lot of customers (for 1 guy at least). I kiss all of my customers tails too. I don't complain about having to move patio furniture, or kids toys. I do light tree trimming for them for free, as long as it takes under about 15 minutes. I don't complain if they ask me to "do them a little favor" like fixing a gate or something. I know that there are plenty of guys out there with Craftsman mowers who would love to have my customers.

    This is business! How do you think Wal-Mart got so big? Well, I remember when Wal-Mart was only in Arkansas, years ago. They would give you a refund no questions asked if you weren't happy. They kissed the customers behinds, and they are wildly succesful because of it. They run clean stores and all the employees smile at all of the customers all the time. I see plenty of parallels here that could apply to any LCO. Do a good job, don't complain, go the extra mile, and treat your customers properly and you won't have to worry about those scrubs trolling the neighborhoods.

    Sorry to vent on my first post, but it seems like some people here think that the customers aren't king and that they're doing their customers a favor by showing up and cutting the grass.

  2. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    Well said. Sometimes I get the feeling that if you don't have all the best equipment and a trailer full of Lazers you are nothing. We all started somewhere.

    Joel B.
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    And did that broom last the full year, Kevin? I wore out two in my first year, LOL.

    Welcome to LawnSite. It's great to see a refreshing post in all the recent drivel. Many here just don't understand the idea of service. If you do, there's no limit on where you can go.
  4. a1 lawncare

    a1 lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    welcome, and if the truth be known i'd bet 90% of us started the same way, when i was 13 i'd go door to door asking little old ladies if they'd like there yards mowed, and of course they'll throw in a few extra's. i don't know why little old ladies have to be like that:rolleyes: oh well, be careful on both career choices.
  5. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Glad to hear that everything has worked out so well for you. Welcome to the site and let us know how this season turns out for you.

  6. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    With your attitude towards customer service, you will go far and be able to name your price as you go. A little extra goes along way.

    I also started with a broom and hand held clippers. Of course, back then, weedeaters and backpack blowers didn't exist. ;)
  7. Lakeview

    Lakeview LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I used to move stuff for this one little old lady all the time. I later found out she was capable of moving it herself. One of the neighbors said after i left she would often move it right back. The neighbor said she would stand and wait for me on my days to mow. If i was a few hours late she would still stand and wait. She was lonely and when i moved stuff she would follow me around and that gave her a chance to talk to me. I made it a point to spend ten or fifteen minutes to talk to her and after that she never asked me to move anything else again unless it was something way to big for her to move.
  8. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I think its great you did what you had to, and saved enough to buy with cash instead of credit. Thats awesome. Now go pat yourself on the back! :D

    But, let me ask this,
    When do you stop giving away that 15 minutes?

    If you do that for 4 customers, that equals 1 hour. Many here average $60 per hour. If you lost 1 hour (to freebies) everyday of the week, that could be $300 a week. Multiply by (and I do not know how long your season is) say 30 weeks and you lose $9000.

    I am in no way trying to put you down, just trying to show what your losing by doing that. Plus remember, you will get busy. When that happens will you really have the time to just give it away?

    Plus if you do start charging your customers for all of it, how many will you lose because of "You use to do that for free" syndrome?

    Please do not take this the wrong way, just something to think about.
  9. Plowzer

    Plowzer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    :cool: You guys are my kind of poeple. Keep'em happy and they'll have no reason to look anywhere else, for anything. God speed
  10. Moguy

    Moguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Very good post. I'm in my first year as well and doing those "little" things as you said in your post is how I'm doing them to. The funnier side, from my point of veiw is that I'm in a wheelchair and many people have that questionable look on their faces when I meet them. But with hard work and taking my time with the help of one other I've not had any complaints on my work. Best of luck

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