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I was wondering what you think about commercial and residential accounts. I have about 20 residential accounts right now, and wanted to know if it is worth picking up any commercial accounts. Do they pay on time? Any problems with commercial accounts?
Commercials are nice because for the most part you don't have to worry about the owner coming out and telling you that his dog ate his shoe last night and his grandson just got potty trained. You know what I mean.
Usually they are pretty good payers, because they know what it's like to have a/r.
I started out with all residential. Now I have about 75% commercial. They usually pay faster, give you other work to do, and don't interupt you while your there. I wished I had persued commercial accounts when I first got started.
Seems like ALL of our commercial accounts have serious litter problems; some of which critically impair the lawncutting process .. to the point of losing valuable time and money if not properly compensated ..
If you DO take on commercial accounts, make sure you talk about the litter with them upfront ... Before you even give a quote, go and look around like you normally would, MAKING NOTE OF HOW MUCH LITTER THERE IS. Bring this up when you're talking about (or writing about) the estimate. Let them know that it takes more time and, therefore, costs more money to do the job. AND, make sure that you tell them "after you pick it up once, IT WILL BE BACK, it doesn't just stop there" .. this will help 'drive home' the more expensive price ..
all are good points....read in a lsc mag.... that small companies should start takeing commerciail accounts that "only complement" thier exsiting bizz. whatever your set up to do now efficenlty,since your main cheeze is resis's ..a hotel that done some lanscaping.ie flower beds , straw , mulch.etc etc would be a great calling card in atracting higher end resisdetails......you don't have to put all your eggs in a basket.commercual accounts for the most part are more cut throat than resis's.
Commerical accounts can be a pain because of litter, but I always know they will pay. I have been burned by 3 times by residentials. This makes me a little gun shy toward taking on more res. accounts. Sometimes I guess I'm a little too trusting.
We try to keep a 50/50 mix. Some of our condominiums, schools and professional businesses has been with us for years some new some old. Secret on commercial accounts is to get them to sighn a 1 year contract do a great job and contract time comes around lock them into a 2 to 3 year contract it has worked very well for us.
I agree with landscaper 3 on the multiple year contracts, but you will, at least I do, to mix commercial and residential. I started out like most with residential, now mostly commercial, commercial requires larger equipment to make money, my residentials don't want to see a 60" ZTR on their 5,000 sq ft lawn. thats where it gets tricky.