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Are you in denial about who you work for?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JCW-G, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. JCW-G

    JCW-G LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    As much as it pains some people to hear and admit this,WE DO WORK FOR THE CUSTOMER. I, like almost everyone else hate to think that I work for someone else. I got into this business so I wouldn't have to be at the same place everyday and do the same thing over and over. I feel I have met my goal by doing "Lawn Work". I don't go to the same place everyday and I sure as hell don't the same stuff over and over. Just like everyone else, the one thing I still have is someone watching me making sure I do the work (JUST LIKE A BOSS WOULD). Sure the customer "ASKS" us to do stuff but,most of us take pride in the quality service and the job we do and provide.Therefor we do what the customer "ASKS". Granted we have a standard that the customer needs to meet such as:paying on time,not allowing their lawn to be littered with dog crap and toys,being personable to us when we are there, (I'm not saying the customer needs to greet us with fresh out of the oven cookies but,at least say hello)etc. Just like we would like to be treated if we "worked" anywhere else.The same goes for us also,we need to at least say hello to the customer as well as do a quality job.Again, just as though we worked anywhere else.
    Maybe the reason that some insist they "DON'T WORK FOR ANYBODY ELSE" is all in their mind.It allows them to sleep at night and wake in the morning thinking they don't NEED to get out of bed if they don't want to. That's fine but,how long will that last? How many days can you "BLOW OFF" because you can and "DON'T WORK FOR THE CUSTOMER"? How many customers can you piss-off until they find someone else? Not too many I would think. You need to conduct your self in a manner that is pleasing to the customer (your boss).
    Read this definition and think to your self if you "WORK" for the customer or not. Webster defines,
    WORK: The action or labor required to accomplish something; employment; a job; a project or assignment; something requiring physical or mental effort. To engage in mental or physical exertion; to labor; to have a job.

    SERVICE: Help giving to others; the military; To repair; to furnish a service to do something for someone.

    For those that still insist "I DON'T WORK FOR THE CUSTOMER",it's time to wake-up. OOOPSSS ! I forgot you don't need to wake-up,you don't have a BOSS.
  2. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    Nice post. I agree with you on alot of what you said. But be prepared, a few will not agree, and they will most certainly let you know.
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    MMmmm .... OK with that mode of thinking ....guess that is true fore any business .... from Microsoft ....7-11 .... Wally World ....Car Dealers ..... Burger World ....etc

    You could say this is even true fore Sports teams ....ie the owners pay big bucks to draw the crowds to please the owner whom needs to get ADVO from sponsers .... Whom ......work for ME ;-> .... if I drink Pepsi, Coke, Gatorade, eat dorrito's or Outback etc

    BUT the only ....tiny winnie little thing is .... as a Business owner .... I don't need your business as a single job will not effect me .... sure I survive on my customer base as a whole BUT I provide a service which they elect to pay fore ....a service they asked me to perform .... they can go else where ....or I can decide not to service em

    I DO NOT work fore my customers .... I provide a service which they came to me FIRST ....called ME ... ASKED me to do the work .... I look it over n give a price ....if they don't like it I move on n so do they ...if they call me later ...n I decide to do the job it was a decision I make with total FREEDOM of will

    This is how I see it ...if you ask me ....working in a service industry DOES support a certain amount of customer ownership ...BUT they DO NOT TELL ME HOW OR WHEN TO DO THE JOB .... I dictate those terms ....it's MY Price at MY time frame .....sure if they want it done sooner or expand on what is my normal service I can accomidate this ....BUT at a Price generally greater than normal

    Granted .... most Solo's have less say in this regard .....but even the Solo can tell a PITA to %$# off
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    good post Fantasy
  5. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    i know i work for my wife and if i piss off a customer and they quit having me do their work i will have to come home to her!
  6. JCW-G

    JCW-G LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I see both sides but, that doesn't mean I agree with both sides. YES! this business is an "at will" sevice we provide but,so isn't every-other occupation. I have had jobs where I was there at my own will, I could of walked out the door anytime I wanted to.I could have done that only so much until I was percieved as a quiter and once word gets around (especially in this business) you will find that you have no customers and can't get any to replace the ones you had. We can advise the customer of what should be done but,when it comes down to it,it's their lawn.If they want it mowed at 3 inches fine,1.5 inch fine also,if they want it mowed at a certain angle,if they want it,they will get it.It may not be the wisest idea they have but.like I said it's their lawn. As long as I doesn't add time to the job fine with me.
  7. Ability

    Ability LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I see the point you are trying to make.

    However, there are some differences between owning your own business that services a customer and working for a particular person or boss.

    I work for my business. My business has to have a customer base to suceed. Therefore the service that my business provides must satisfy enough customers to survive.

    Most LCO owners have had a job before that they had to work for a single boss. If that boss was a PITA that was too bad. 8+ hours a day you had to deal with the PITA whether you liked it or not. Bills had to be paid.

    However, working for my own LCO most of my customers (by and large) are fine. Heck, most are not even there when I work and they pay on time.

    And, if I get that one or two that are PITA's then I can usually drop them. Even if I don't drop them I don't have to pay too much attention to them or even deal with them more than a small % of the time.

    So, in conclusion, I would say we work for a CUSTOMER BASE and not the customer. When the "customer base" becomes too much to deal with, or the ability to cut loose the PITA's, then it will be time to move on.
  8. JCW-G

    JCW-G LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I don't think that just because the customer contacts you, doesn't mean you don't work for them. The factory may call you,you go in for the interview (look the job over), tell them what you need to get paid (wheather at lawn mowing or the factory). The only difference is you don't have a set time to be there. If you don't perform to the customer or boss standards your done.
  9. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    NO I won't do something to the turf I don't agree with .... cutting it too short .... pruning at the wrong time of year or giving hurricane cut's to palms

    Others may ....but I won't

    Also I get some of my best jobs from referrels ....cause they have had the others n like our service n sell us to their friends

    I DON"T QUIT jobs ... I just raise the price ....I have stopped service for a PITA but that is so far n few in between because in my bidding process I select my clients .... if the yard is a dump .... I pass .... if they Rent I pass .... if they tell me "the last guy bagged or used a 21" .... I pass ....if on the 1st month they are late ....I let em know the next one is a late fee n after that I suspend services unless the pay up front ....if the balk .... I pass ... they say per cuts .... I pass .... they say skip I say sure but the monthly price is the same

    SURE when first starting I did what ever they needed or wanted but as I have grown into a BUSINESS I am the OWNER .... I RUN my business it does NOT run me

    You may look at it as "work for them" ... I look at it as I provide a service and they pay me .... when I go out to eat ... I see a menu ... I order ... I eat .... I pay ...BUT that server doesn't work fore me nor does the chef ... they provide a service which I consume .... I like it .... I come back
  10. richard coffman

    richard coffman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341


    with my customer basis, i treat them all fairly. if they want extra services, fine, it will cost this much and i'll get it done for ya. heck, if they treat me with respect and pay on time, then i will give respect in return. now, if i get nothing but them wanting to take advantage of my company, i get even at the end of the year when it's time to renew. I'll up the price for those customers and state that costs have gone up. if they want me from that point, I'll want to be paid extra to put up with there gruff.bisiness is business, no need to get angry. :p


    Richard/Owner :D

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