Feeling down and out

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by anythinglawns, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. anythinglawns

    anythinglawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    With the 2002 season starting up my hopes where very high. I really felt like this was going to be a
    great season. As I mentioned in an earlier post I was called to active duty due to the Sept. 11th
    events. When I called all my customers to tell them I had to go they where all very supportive. My
    crew would take care of things while I was gone and there should be no problems. With flags
    waving they saw me off. "We will be right here when you come back" they said. Five months later
    I return and to my surprise most people forgot where they had left the flags that where waving
    when I left. I was only able to retain about 1/3 of my customer base. I have had to tell my crew
    that I will not need them this season, at least for now. I am also finding it difficult to pick up new accounts. In years past I have placed adds in the news paper and on local radio. Usually within a month I had to cancel the adds due to being overwhelmed with calls. In the last month I have
    picked up two new accounts. One of which I would normally turn down but due to the circumstance, I had to take it. I don't know where I am going with all of this I am just really feeling down right now. The customers I retained are great and I love them for supporting me. I just don't know what to do now. I love the lawn care business and want to keep doing it, I am just really feeling low right now. Although most of you where not activated like I was,have you ever experienced a tough blow and
    found it difficult to recover? I am not blaming anyone, I could just use some advice
    Thank you
  2. Nelson

    Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

  3. 2 man crew

    2 man crew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    That's really sad.
    Your other 2/3 customers are a bunch of turds.
    It sounds like you had a pretty good business going and probably still do. I hope you are able to build back up soon. If you did good work maybe most of your turd customers will come crawling back by the time you are booked again.
  4. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075


    First off...good job helping our Country in its time of need. Your a true Patriot and nobody can ever deny you that.

    Now become a Jason Patriot, take this set-back and put it behind you and stay busy. The Season is far from over. Keep advertising and new customers will trickle back.

    Stay positive, let us know how it developes.
  5. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    How about sending all of your present and (recently) past customers a letter asking them to give you referrals. Explain the situation and why you where gone (serving our country) and ask them to please think of you with friends and neighbors. It may play on the guilt side of those that dropped you, and if nothing else MAYBE it will cause them to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder who is watching out for them. ...and why.

    Thank you for serving.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I agree with Currier, send a letter. This way they will know they were pitful to someone who gave much more than they did. But what goes around comes around.
  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Take your story to the local paper. Ask them to run an article on the sacrifices one takes to defend our country. Then when all your old customers read it. They will have to figure out what they are going to do about their jobs, becasue they can't sleep at night.

    Have you contacted your old customers? What are their reasons for leaving? Explain to them that you ill make it right. Hopefully you can get by without them. Then when they call you and ask if you can come back. You can say no.

    If you really want to stir up a good fight. Email Bill O'riely (The no spin Zone on Fox) and tell him your story, He loves to rip on non patriotic Americans. Maybe he will put it in his Talking Memo segment of his show. By the way, his show is the most watched show on Fox News.

  8. anythinglawns

    anythinglawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    I have contacted all of my former customers. Some of the reasons include "You where gone longer than I expected and I found some one else" "While you where gone XXXXXX lawn care came along and said they would do it for 5 dollars less." "We have a new contract with a national contractor" " My son has started doing my lawn".....

    One thing I want to say is that I am not trying to take away from the victims of the terrorist attacks. It breaks my heart still. I probably should have worded my story different although that is what happened. I guess I am just really surprised at the difficulty I am having in recovering.

    I also want to say that one of my customers went out of his way for me while I was away. He called my wife while I was away to check on her and see how I was doing. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Knoxville News Sentinal'(Which was published)in support of me and our nation. I have already talked to the command at my unit about recognizing him for his efforts.

    Thanks for the supporting words. I don't want to sound like a whiner, sometimes one needs a little support, and good advice.

    I am sure I will recover. I have had bad years before for other reasons.
  9. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Sorry to hear about that man. I can't say I totally understand, not having gone thru the same thing in lawn care. But I have had PLENTY of set backs in other areas of my life.

    I would say that your employees got what they deserved, when you laid them off. Since they didn't keep up the good work. As for customers we all know that most of them are very unloyal, except for the few like the one you mentioned. The only thing that you are missing with them being gone, is their money. I understand that you need $$ to live on, don't get me wrong. But what they did was kinda childish.

    My $.02 worth.
  10. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i would agree with brickman. the customers didnt just quit you
    for no reason.i believe id keep a watch on them and see if they
    didnt mabe start working for another lco,a while back.
    hate to be negative here but something smells a little.
    in any case thanks for what u did an you ll come out of it .good luck.

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