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Enough Already!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rodfather, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    In 11 straight years of doing this full time, I have never lost so many customers or gained as many in the same year. So far the score is 36 gained to 17 lost (and yes, it changes DAILY). Now here comes the reak kick in the shorts...

    Out of the 17 I have lost, 14 have either dragged the old Murray/Crapsman out of the garage to start mowing again themselves or went out and purchased a new lawn tractor. WTF. Now remember, some of these people have been with me 5 to 10 years. I don't get it! Never a complaint about workmanship, reliability, what-have-you.

    Don't get me wrong, I am still ahead of the game. How, I really don't know at this point anymore and don't know what people are thinking too. :dizzy: Anyone else having a crazy turnover in accounts this year???
  2. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    How many of the people that cancelled on you have possibly lost their jobs recently, or had to take pay cuts? Having somebody cut your lawn and care for it is a luxury item for most people. If somebody can get their old mower working and knock their grass down themselves and save the money they pay you on a weekly basis in order to be able to still afford food and other necessary for life items, then they will do it.

    I'm not saying you don't do good work.. but when times start getting lean, the fat starts getting watched.

    And if they bought a new mower to cut with, the way the world finances everything these days, their monthly payments are probably half of what they had to pay you to keep their grass cut for a month.

    If you want a steady job in this economy, apply to be an IRS auditor.
  3. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    It seems with times the way they are now (gas prices etc), the lawn service is a luxury and 1 of the first items to go with a new budget!
  4. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    I guess I've been lucky, haven't lost or gained one yet.(no time to take any on yet)
  5. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Funny, this year I would have expected some turnover..........none has taken place, other than one, which we can joyously say good riddance to, it was the lawn from hell...............
    I think the 9/11 thing has been carrying over a bit, ya know, people spending more time around the house, doing landscaping, etc............then there's the perception that the economy is tanking, which I'm not sure where that comes from..................

    I dunno,I think the new customers at this time who are signing up will tend to be better clients than the average years growth of new customers.

    Home depot must have hired some really good salespeople in the lawn and garden section in the Jersey area.........."Get your John Deere tractor here folks.....Why pay the lawnboy?"
    As long as your ahead of the game, keep on smiling........ :D
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Rod, we lost 14 accounts with the same fuel company to their " in house fix it guys" 2 weeks ago. Four years of no complaints, etc..either..Also lost 2 residentials to same type situations as you...but they have their kids cutting the lawns..go figure. On a good note, we have already replaced the 14 fuel company accounts with 2 large churches and a 22 unit townhome and 16 unit patio home combined account..It's all good..until next week or so probably...LOL :D
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I too have lost and gained more this year in the last 5 years, but I advertise also.
  8. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    Losing 17 customers must suck. All I have to say is.......WOW!...... you have picked up 36 new customers ! That has to say something. Some guys don't even have 36 customers. Like I said, losing the 17 really stinks, but look at what you have gained. I think you must be doing something right. :waving:
  9. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    I lost a couple of accounts to do-it-yourself people. Both of them said they just wanted to get some exercise and said they were happy with my work.

    But I think in a lot of these cases the customer is losing buying power to inflation. Many of my customers are older people on fixed incomes and they're just trying to make it to the next SS check.

    I have one retired couple that is spending more than half of their SS check on prescription medication. Sad situation.
  10. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    dennisf has it right the dollar is not worth a crap inflation is terrible and pple are just running out of dicreationary income.

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