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Encrouchment of Services

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GardenofWeeden, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Need some solid business advice. One of my Designers was on a job she designed and easily throws on some gloves and assists the crews. She is a fantastic designer with an excellent reputation in our area and enjoys working in the field. At this job site, another "Landscaping" company approached her after 45 minutes as they wandered on our customers property. At the time, she wasn't sure if the customer had some additional services being performed or if he was just being a low-baller looking for an opportunity. She felt as if it was more or the latter and decided to take hold of the situation. She asked him if he was a landscaper, "Well, (grinning with shiny gold capped teeth and two employees leaning and smoking against our truck...) Yeah, we do all kind of things." I know her personality and I am surprised she didn't find a better use for the shovel she was using, but she asked what they needed from "our" crew. The SOB continued to walk around the property and distracted the other workers. EVERY one of our employees knew something was just not 'right.' WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE? Remember, this is a Redneck (no offense) area and she could have been your wife, child or girlfriend. She said she lost about 1.5 hours or production time and the crew was uncomfortable. She came back to the office and was obviously irritated and concerned.

    From a business standpoint, this bottom-feeder must do anything for cash as his truck Magnetic Sign says, "Landscape & Driveways" and Incidentally he was installing a garage door opener. Hmm....

    From a personal standpoint, Beth (LD) is like family and I want to follow her to the job site and 'meet' this jack of all trades . But...his infringement and being a bottom-feeder isn't violating anyones 'rights.' The community we are in is a newly designed development of houses ranging $250,000 and up. So the 'market' doesn't suggest much of an opportunity for Sanford and his sons and his landscape and driveway service.
    I am just concerned over the overbearing nature these guys had over Beth and the other workers.
    So as a new day starts, I am concerned and have contacted Beth on the phone...(yes...checking in on her.) She is fine but with some obvious concern in her voice as the Good Ole Boys are still in the area.
    My point is this....Beth is an expirienced professional business lady, I spoke to the homeowner and he stressed his concern for his residential area as well...But it is a new development that sees many of this sort of crap.

    Maybe I am blowing this out of context, but I can wait and see if there are more distractions or should I be proactive and show up and risk offending Beth and her ability in business as she has many many years in.

    What would you guys so? Without opening a can of whoop-ass, as a professional...what would you do???????

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I guess I would just tell them I'm busy, gotta get back to work. Hopefully that would get the message across. I've run into bozos like this, they pull up, make small talk, then kind of hang out. Guess they don't have any other work to do.

    You could let the customer know as well. They could have been casing the joint as well.
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I'd go out and visit the sight to make your presence known.
    Turf Medic likes this.
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    i'd agree with mtdman. i would let beth know you realize she can handle it, but to try to get rid of the nuisance, "The Boss" showing up always carries a bit of psychological impact. even being the boss, as i am, if this happened while i was on a site, i'd even think about going so far as to have a friend in a suit stop by the site for that purpose. just show up with a clipboard, walk the site, and ask them if there is anything you can help them with. i'd bet the answer is no and they'll wander off.

  5. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Tony & Mtdman, I did just that. I went to the jobsite and showed my presence. Then I noticed exactly why the folks who live there should be concerned. I stopped by Mr. Landscape and Driveway's site to let him know I was aware of his 'professionalism' and he nervously wanted to know if I had any work for him. I flatly stated No, Thanks! So I went down a path I normaly don'thave to go down and I looked around his area as if I were a Nazi City Inspector and said nothing. Silence is deadly...
    Beth and the team were surprised but I can't say she was offended. I made it clear that I wasn't up there inspecting her but that bottomfeeder. It was sketchie to say the least. And you guys are probably right...they probably are casing the joint for later.... You know those types of people are probably similar to the type that abducted Elizabeth Smart... You know when you see evil...and they give you that sort of feeling. Thanks for the input...maybe its the father in me to protect others...
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    I agree with the others, and with what you did, but I would have went one step further..I would have got his number, and then told him you have a friend that works for the state license / tax department. It would have been golden to watch him squirm. Hell,then again ... I would have turned him in anyways :p Nothing like someone getting the "father" in you all riled up!!
  7. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    or if you had a friend in the police dept. have him drive by and see if they high tailed it :p
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I would do nothing.
  9. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    I would too ask for his phone number and business/home location.
    Then mention if your workload gets too much you may be able to pass of some to him. Thats it. Good bye.

    If there is a problem you at least have some info on this person/company.

    I would not assume what or who they are. You may be wrong.
  10. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Well, the typical scenerio in the new neighborhood is obvious that a lot of contractors are 'in and out' of there. There is money to be made and I frankly don't care who or how they make it as long as they don't bother my crew, the property and my equipment. But it was clear this guy approached Beth because he saw an opportunity as a women doesn't "fit" in to this arena and he thought there may be something in it for him. Assessing the situation. He may have been harmless but yesterday, I saw the same truck as I was doing some work with the crew and it was missing the previous magnet signs he had on the doors. At this point, I am only being aware of the situation. The truck is licences in Virginia and if that is the only thing I have on him...I will be prepared in the future should I need the plate number.
    I work too hard for some SOB to take unethical shortcuts and reap benefits where they wouldn't stand a chance in a moral environment.

    He's innocent until proven guilty...I'll give him that. But that is only in line of sight....

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