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Dropping pennypinchin business owner

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Schlepie, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Schlepie

    Schlepie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    One of my first accounts was a large sandwich food chain (1 local store only). Called and said last lco company hasnt shown up in 4 months. Can I give a bid to get it under control. He also wanted the (package deal) if I could do his house as well. Gave him a break and got the job. Bottom line, he has a high maintenance heavily landscaped areas. I remulched and weeded all beds. He had no landscape edging nor was there any mesh under the mulch.He didnt want to buy edging or mesh. He wines about having to pay more for me to pull weeds cause they never go away and the grass just keeps growin into it. Through the year I have pulled weeds like an hour each visit. Edging from hell....Now the weeds in the lawn are outa control and ant beds are a foot high in some spots. When I charged him for the first visit for weed pullin, he asked if that was for the entire month right? Now business for him has slowed down and he needs to cut corners. so dont pull weeds. The other day he told me corporate was coming and if I could make it look extra nice, and wondered if i got my spraying license yet. No, and I decided not to get it $150+ a year for just your acct. wasnt worth it and after Dec. 1st I am dropping all my commercial accts and staying with residential..... "Who can I get and who do you recommend"? Gave him 2 lcos, both charged 3x what I charged on the original bid. Thanks and C YA

    sorry to be so long winded, but had to vent

  2. GrassChopper

    GrassChopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    I have one question:

    IF you mulch, doesn't that supreess the weeds? I mulch at 3-4" and have few weeds. I don't like the mesh or plastic because it degrades and creates a mess.

    I also hate the plastic they use under the rock beds. Same problem. Looks good for a few years, then a major mess.

    How do you address this, besides the use of Roundup? Do you use the mesh or plastic?
  3. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    Weeds in beds can be a pain in the butt. I first kill all weeds with round up pro, then follow up with a pre-M that will prevent the weed seeds from germinating. you get good control for about 2-4 months. Bare soil in a bed is your enemy.
  4. Schlepie

    Schlepie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    the issuea of the roundup is great, but i need a license. plus he doesnt want to pay enough for the service anyhow. I use the mesh for the most part.
  5. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Using landscape fabric under mulch is contradicting. The mulch is there to suffocate the weeds. Mulch will deteriorate the landscape fabric as well.

    We only use landscape fabric under rock landscapes.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Why are their bid higher???? are you cheating yourself and passing the saving on to the cheap customer????????????

    What about other acc???? Wouldn't it be nice to make a little more money and offer more services?????????

    Do you really need customer like this???? May be it is time to look at your price structure and professional image. Remember cheap work gets cheap refferals.

    You make your own luck good or bad. How?? Education, Hard work and common sense.
  7. If he doesn't want to pay YOUR price then let him go find some other El`cheapo LCO to do the work and not make any money on it. That is why the others quit showing up, or that was the exuse he gave to get you to do this job. I caught the "El`cheapo" customer language from what you said. That is the number one thing a cheap customer will say. "My guy hasn't shown up for weeks" hint #1 for a cheap customer. You guys should always ask them why they havn't shown up. Then when you give your prices they say " Well that's a lot of money" hint#2. There is always a reason we quit showing up. If the customer says we don't show up, the other lawn guy 9 out of 10 times quit because of El`cheapo customer. You will in time be able to read what customers say, and pick up on the lang. to weed out the CRAP ones.

    I had a chain store try that one on me, it was TG/CL that he said wasn't showing up. I knew that they subbed out the mowing and scaping to other LCO's and didn't even waiste my time bidding on it. The one thing I know is TG/CL always shows up, if not more than you want them toooooooooooo.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I wont apply the weed barriers as they are a waste of time and nothing more than an added expense to a landscape IMHO.

    If we are able to keep clients with a 3" base of mulch this will be enough to replenoish each season to keep the $$$ flowing, and the landscape looking healthy.

    Clients also need to realize that when they have extensive sized beds put in that the cost of maintenance goes up for high visinility properties. I try to design and layout beds so that the specimens used are lowest maintenance possible, but there is no way to eliminate the weed factor.

    I also dont like to over saturate the beds with weed killers either. I find that by going thru each bed weekly and getting the most visible weeds that it keeps the beds looking neat and the clients are kept happy. These are all just a part of the bidding process in my book.

  9. Green Care

    Green Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Drop that cheapskate let someone else deal with that mess!!!!!!!

  10. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    I wonder why??:confused:

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