customer only wants me to mow

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jbob, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. jbob

    jbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    i am a new to the buisness and have spent many hours learning from this site. almost every question i have come up with i have found answer(s) for by using the search. here is 1 i have not. i have a neighbor who wants me 2 just cut the grass. not trimming ect. yard is mostly weedsand will leave windrows of dead grass and loo like hell after i mow, but that is all they want me to do. if i do this yard and people thin this is the type of work i do i may lose customers who want a quality job done. should i do the lawn.
    thanx for the help and any sugestion on what to search for this topic would be appreciated.
  2. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    Personally, I turn down that kind of work. I don't want a passing motorist or neighbor to think I can't do a quality job. I wouldn't recommend taking that kind of work. Let a scrub have it. Good luck.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Think of it this way.
    Are you always going to want to mow this lawn?
    Right now being new to the business, it might sound a little bit attractive lining up some work.
    But down the road, when you start picking up good accounts, this one will be a thorn in your side.
    And this thorn will be your neighbor.

    No I don't think you should do this account. That way you won't be causing any hurt feelings when you would want to quit doing his lawn.
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Don't you think you just answered your own question?

    No brainer here buddy. Either dump it or talk them into doing it right. There is only one way to do work. That is by doing it right or not at all.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    Walk, better yet, run away from this one. Your image is on the line.

    PS Use the spell check feature!!!
  6. jbob

    jbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    thanks for the replies. those where my feelings. i do not want to get a reputation for crappy work.
  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Give him your regular price and tell him no charge for trimming since he's your neighbor.

    I have a customer that tells me not to worry about trimming, But I do it anyway.
  8. cblackwe

    cblackwe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    I started last season (my first) with a customer like this. A co-worker that has since retired and only wanted mowing every 2 weeks on a fairly high maintenance lawn. I took some extra time all season and did things like spreading a little leftover weed-n-feed fertilizer and edging it everytime, even though it wasn't requested or paid for. He's a full service (aerating, cutting weekly, fertilizing, dethatching, overseeding) for this season and he has retired so he actually has all the time in the world to do it himself and he's got the equipment too! He told me that it looked better than he could have done so he wanted it done all the time.

    If your neighbor would allow you do show him how well you could do it for a month and pay you, maybe you could make a lasting impression and improve his property so that it would reflect positively on your business practices.

    P.S. If he'll let you do this, take some before and after photos.
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Well, I tend to agree with most of the other posts. This person is definitely a less desirable customer. At this point in my business, I would never take on a client like that. But in the beginning I would have. And did. It depends on your situation.

    Initially, I didn't have any company lettering, uniforms, hell, I didn't even have a truck. I just had a formula camaro and $200 worth of **** equipment. I was just trying to make ends meet. I took whatever clients I could get at first. Who's image was I going to tarnish? Nobody could tell which company I was. I was just some dude mowing a yard. By the looks of my setup nobody would have used me anyway. It was only because of my low prices that I got my foot in the door to begin with. And thank God I took whatever kind of customers I could because it lead to a rapid take-off for my business.

    Within a year I had a good 40 weekly mowing clients or so and I was busy as I could be by myself, with all of the side work that brought in. Only THEN did I start getting choosy. I didn't really NEED customers as much any more. So now I could start demanding a higher caliber of client. First, I started weeding out the crappy looking lawns and those who just wanted mowing only or those who had lawns full of weeds. Next I began to weed out those who were a bit out of my way. Then I began to weed out those who wouldn't go with year-round service (we can do that around here.) Next, I began to weed out those who were late payers. Then I began to weed out those who wouldn't go for a comprehensive service that included fertilizing, weed control, insect and disease control, etc. Next, I started weeding out those who wouldn't go with AutoPay. And now we are at the phase where we're weeding out those who don't go with Full Service (e.g. pruning, weed control in flowerbeds, trimming perennials, raking beds, etc.).

    So as we've grown we've become more picky about who we work for. But my point is - I was only ever as picky as I could afford to be. I wanted to grow quickly. And we couldn't grow fast and be TOO picky at the same time.

    It all depends on how bad you need the $ and how fast you want to grow. In the beginning, I'd rather have 20 clients with crappy yards PLUS 20 good clients than just 20 clients total. That was another $2000 per month for me. And I'd rather have the $2K than my pride. As I grew, we were able to get it to where I had both. Hopefully, this makes a little sense. I don't know your situation. Maybe you don't need clients or $ that bad. But I know back when I started I sure did. And I offer this opinion as a differing view because I think it's important to note that there are some circumstances where it IS wise to take on clients like this - albeit for a short period of time.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I tend to not do biz with neighbors. Once there is a problem, the problems then continue to grow. Just tell him for the sake of keeping friends you don't work for neighbors or friends.

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