Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeffclc, Apr 4, 2000.

  1. jeffclc

    jeffclc Guest
    Messages: 0

    ARGH, Sometimes I really hate dealing with people. I picked up a new mowing customer last September, as they moved in next door to a current customer. At the time, she had asked about snow removal services. I told her that we plow at a 2&quot; trigger depth. She balked, saying that they had four wheel drive, and could navigate that amount of snow. She then said that we could talk later about the snow removal, and left it at that. <p>I mowed the rest of the season, but never heard again about snoe removal. I figured that they had made other arrangements, or had decided to do it themselves. No big deal. <p>I had sent three seperate mailings out to my customers over the winter, advertising various services. The last mailing went out MArch 10, and that was a letter stating that the grass cutting services would automatically restart when needed. I have worded my sesason start letters this way for a number of years with no problems.<p>I showed up yesterday afternoon to mow the lawn. I cut it, no problem. I got a message this morning from the lady stating that they had made other arrangements for their mowing because I had not showed up to plow this past winter. They had thought that I had gone out of business. (DUH, what were all those mailings I sent out???) <p>So, I guess that I am just venting. It really bugs me how absent minded people can be. <p>
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    C'mon, now, you just mow the lawn and clear the snow, its not like you do anything important, like pick up dog $#!t or pick fly turds out of the pepper shaker.<p>Bill<p>(ok, you in the back, lighten up, its supposed to be an attempt at humor here. The discussion seems to reappear with much regularity, dont we get any repect?)
  3. The only way your going to get any respect in this industry to to get out of the residential market completly.<p>Once you move up the food chain and start<br>doing large commercial work you will be dealing with facilty managers who actually<br>know the score. Plus you want have as many<br>&quot;scrubs&quot; as competitors.<p>IMHO residential work is something to do as a last resort.<p>That's just my opinion and I could be wrong.
  4. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    Stone, your probably right but I still like to have a mix.<p>The problem with some commercial is they change property managers so often.<p>I had 3 multi-site accounts change managers/decision makers this winter. The new people come in and want to set the world on fire. They want to improve their properties appearance and slash the cost of doing so. I wound up keeping one, losing one and the third split the sites between 4 different contractors.<p>Go figure.
  5. Lazer I was refering to large industrial settings and school district athletic field work.<p>I won't even look at an apartment complex or<br>a townhouse home owners assocation for the<br>very reason you have outlined above.<p>My need and wants are much differnet that yours for I am mostly a solo act at this<br>time (I use &quot;casual&quot; labor when needed as needed). You (lazer) have a big overhead machine to feed so it's good to have saftey in numbers.<p>
  6. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    I know it! And the machine is hungry right now! :)
  7. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Stone, I don't know where you are working out of but like Cantoo I'm in an area where schools and municipal work is the lowest paying work around. They pick the low bid every time,they dictate when you mow (like once every two weeks) and don't really care what it looks like when you're done.<br>Residential work is the only way to go for me. The price per hour is great and the client treats you like a person instead of a machine. I won't work for developers or comercial clients who only want a cheap price. I pick and choose only the high end work and tell people when they phone that I'm the most expensive company in town, get's rid of the price shoppers right away.
  8. Kermit wrote:<p>&gt;Stone, I don't know where you are working out of but like Cantoo I'm in an area where schools and municipal work is the lowest paying work around. They pick the low bid every time,they dictate when you mow (like once every two weeks) and don't really care what it looks like when you're done.<p>I work out of NE Penna. Where high school football is king. The next district to the<br>one I manage is Berwick. They have been state<br>champion many many times.<p>I did not even &quot;bid&quot; on this job. I just<br>provided the adminisrators with my proposal<br>with a list of services I will be providing.<br>They signed my proposal on my terms.<p>Any lawn scrub can cut grass but very few<br>contractors have the quaility equipment<br>and technique to provide proper maint. of<br>athletic fields.<p>I am already negotiating with another school<br>district for next season that's 15 miles away the one I &quot;manage&quot;<br>now. It helps that one of my old motorcycle<br>drag racing buddies is the head of the school<br>board.<p>I am not interested in maintaining the whole<br>site. I just want the fields. You can beat<br>working on level sites with proper drainage.<p>Sometimes it's not what you know but who<br>you know.
  9. Gus

    Gus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I have to agree commercial accounts are good<br>until the next guy comes in a buck cheaper and your history! Residential customers are generally more loyal and I make more per hoour doing them. In my part of he world there<br>are more hacks in the commercial end that bok way too mny jobs and fly through them and they look bad.
  10. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Lawrence Stone,are you serious? They don't even put the jobs up for bids? Here that is ILLEGAL, they are very aware that some people use their influence to help their friends. Like I said I don't bid on these jobs because the school board work is the domain of lawn scrubs here. About the best thing you can say about them is they're fast and have liability insurance. Generally they hire family so they don't have to pay workman's compensation. Also our school boards put very little emphasis on sports figuring the money is better spent on academics. In any case none of the serious companies will even waste their time bidding on such work. They even complained to the lanscaping association asking why members refused to bid. They didn't like the response but who cares. We are in business to make money, who wants low profit jobs. With all the work out there we only bid highend residential, people who appreciate good work and are willing to pay top dollar to be pandered to. I guess you are in a very different market.

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