Customers - weed'em out or sub'em out?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hortboy, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    I know there has been discussion keeping or weeding less profitable customers out. It has always been my business mind set to not leave money on the table. Already this year I am booked solid for my mowing crew. Have any of you ever thought of sub-contracting some of your less desirable jobs? The thought crossed my mind when I spoke to fellow mower who's just starting out. I was thinking- instead of dropping the customer, maybe have him cut it and for me. He would get paid by me and I would bill the customer. i fugure I can probably make 15% at least on customers just for doing the paper work. End result being I can do this until I justify another full crew on the books. Obviously there are issue w/ non-compete and trusting your sub? And you may loose some? What are your thoughts on this? And obviously you make sure the customer knows what your doing and tell them you'll still be the "go to" guy for problems or additional services that need to be done.
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Customers may be leary, but it may work. Its better than giving up on them and making nothing.
  3. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    It's risky. It's your company name and reputation on the line. Your customers are used to your quality work and you are giving this work to another firm that may not have the same standards as you do.

    At least with an employee you have a bit more leverage over the way they do the work.
  4. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    Hortboy, alot of companies do this especially larger ones. The first time you sub work out I would know your sub or at least some of his accounts. Watch them the first time or two they mow those properties or go right behind them. If they dont work out get rid of them. they will be sad to lose the work. Have a non compete agreement
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I gotta agree with Rob on this one. How much are you willing to risk by substituting your workmanship for theirs???
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    You thought they were less profitable and/or troublesome before, wait until you enter a third party into the mix.
  7. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    Guys, these properties I am considering do this w/ are not by far the "cream of the crop". These properties are ones that I have picked up through our local towns after they were warned about grass being too high and fines could follow, elderly people who just want it cut, everyother week cuts, student rental apts, mostly weeds-no grass-parkon the lawn, vacant lots, etc. These properties I'll never get a complaint from them about service ( most of them are basic mow's and only trim along house and fences etc. No Edging). I took these jobs on when I first started out, never been stung on a payment (late sometimes). These are jobs that don't represent quality of work I prefer to perform. Does this change your opinions or do you still think I'm crazy.
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I would do it. You should be able to make money doing next to nothing.

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