1. Ask the Expert: Fertilization Strategies for Success: Dec. 12, 2017
    Learn how to do more with less when it comes to your fertilization services. Join the live Ask the Expert event hosted by Koch Turf & Ornamental: Dec. 12, 12-2 p.m. ET in the Fertilizer Application forum .

Don't work for friends!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by rcreech, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    Did a small seeding job (10 K) for a friend on his farm and told him what it was going to cost UP FRONT.

    Picture this:

    This was the side of a hill on about a 30% slope and was eroded pretty bad, so I had to go in and harley rake it and it took 1.5 hours.

    I then seeded it in two directions with Team Mates and put on starter fert.

    Then blew on the straw for him.

    Yes it only took me a total of about 2.5 hours but only because I have the right equipment.

    I charged in $425 for the hole project from start to finish. This is CHEAP!

    Anyways, my friend was pissed at me and think I overcharges him! I told him that if this was a residential job and he wasn't my friend that it would have probably cost him about $800 and he just laughed and said he is in the wrong business.

    I said....well if you have the equipement like myself you wouldn't think so. With my tractor, harley rake and blower I had $36,000 there is just equipment alone.

    I guess they just don't understand COSTS!

    Have any of you ever had this happen?
  2. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    lawn commandment :
    #1 do not work for relatives.
    # 2:do not work for friends
  3. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    If you gave him the price up front and he was ok with it and now he's complaining he's not a very good friend. Guess this will be a lesson learned. Oh yea, never give a deal to anybody. Treat your pricing like it was a law you would not break. Why would you feel compelled to give this friend a break? Almost half off your regular price! I will assume you still made money on this deal, but look what it got you. A friend ( aka customer ) who doesn't value you or your work and thinks you took him for a ride. I would tell him to keep his money and show up with round up in a few weeks and take back your seed.
  4. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    Yes and it sucks, sorry to hear it happened to you.

    I agree that's typically what it boils down to. I think people have the basic idea that all money that they pay you goes directly into your pocket. Unless they own their own business or directly oversee the finances of their company, most people don't have any idea how expensive it is to operate a business.
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    That and they think that something that costs that much should take more than 2.5 hours. I treated a lawn, about 12K, it took me about 10 min max. Got done and the lady came out and seemed surprised. She didn't say anything but she had this look like she thought I missed something somewhere.

    GREEN-UP LawnSite Member
    from sw ohio
    Messages: 97

    Lets see, I am in the hole 2,000 + from 2 "so called friends" Get this, one tells me he has not been paid by a big prop mgr company since march. So why do you still cut there grass? He does not pay until he is paid. So, I add a 18% late fee after 35 days and another 18% every 15 after that. I turned both into collections, cant get blood from a stone. I let the bill add up n write it off. Sucks, I took on those accounts and know I lose thousands for not doing after rd. 1 LONG STORY SHORT, BUSINESS IS BUZ, FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS. THEY DONT MIX!!
  7. kbrashears

    kbrashears LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    Exactly. I get that all the time.

    They don't see you:

    Ordering product
    Loading product
    Driving to their house
    Paying your bills
    Working on invoices
    Cleaning and repairing your equipment

    The best customer I have says: Sure, I could do what you do, but it would cost me about the same. I figure you are free labor.

    He's right.
  8. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I think people are biased against anyone in lawn care / landscaping. They look at it as being mindless grunt work. If they can get somebody from skid row to do landscape labor for $8 per hour a professional shouldn't make more than $15 or $20 per hour including overhead.
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    "The guys that did my house were in and out in no time and they did a great job $500 I mean it was pretty quick they had to make good money on it."

    This is from another post in a different thread. It says it all.
  10. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,716

    Neighbors suck too! My next door neighbor owes me $205. I did 1st app this year . They went without paying me for 2 months then one day handed me cash out the car window,had the $5bill on the outside with 2 $1's in the center (instead of 2 $100's). Said hubby would do it this year and drove off before I looked. I put the $7 and a very nice note(It was very polite) back on their door. Haven't talked to them since.Get all but the bird when I drive by. Thing is, I told them 2 yrs ago when I started that I preferred not to do neighbors because I have to live here(potential for problems)...now look what's happened. Pisses me off to no end...wife says they're trash and I let it bother me too much. They didn't just burn a bridge, they took out the "Golden Gate". Now I wouldn't piss on their lawn if it was on fire!

Share This Page