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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
So first
How old are you?
Do you have illness or otherwise limiting conditions to your physical performance?

the reason I’m asking is maybe there’s reasons to say no to certain types of work.

I developed claustrophobia in the military
It’s manageable but I’ll start swearing, shouting and get a super short temper.
So I can do enclosed space IF I need to, but there’s plenty of reasons why I shouldn’t.
Get my drift?

pick and choose the most lucrative jobs, the ones with the least impact on YOU and your burnout will solve itself
Leary to say no, but define why.
I am 48 and I have a a hip deformity (arthritis and cartilage spurs). I am also bipolar, which is under control but flares up a little when I get really stressed out. I grew up watching my dad take pride in pushing his limits while working and getting difficult tasks accomplished. Sometimes I have that same pride when I accomplish tasks that are seemingly beyond what I am capable of. Inheriting his attitude, I am having a hard time drawing the line. It's one of those things where life progresses and you have to re-figure yourself out. Thanks for the input!
 

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Im on year 7, started the month I joined lawn site. Still have a problem saying no to both of new/existing clients who have jobs I don't really want and also fitting jobs in for people when I know the schedule is already tight. It is very hard to not end up behind schedule because 1/3 of our work is time and material jobs for existing clients and we can let them add on whatever they want. We will always end up pissing some people off, even though lately we have clearly been very vague on scheduling, offering something like a 4 week range for start dates. Basically need to have authorization to start when we are ready, not give a start date several months out.
The key to saying no, isn’t really using the word “no” unless really pushy people make you.

you’re a contractor
So you’re existing client list takes priority
Think about it like a doctors office or a hair dresser , everyone has heard before “we aren’t taking new clients at this time”
That’s one way to say if
The other way is raising prices, requiring minimums (don’t just T&m , but do things like a minimum of 1-2 days worth of T&m or you can’t schedule the work

don’t get sucked down by the honey dew list
Lots of landscapers are running off a $5000 minimum to take on projects
Take half down to get on the schedule
Work T&m give them a heads up when the budget is used (just like a lawyer does)
You’re on retainer , when it’s used they need to refresh it

people who don’t agree to the terms , just got told no without being told no
You do not need to be so strict with existing and or repeat customers
 

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I am 48 and I have a a hip deformity (arthritis and cartilage spurs). I am also bipolar, which is under control but flares up a little when I get really stressed out. I grew up watching my dad take pride in pushing his limits while working and getting difficult tasks accomplished. Sometimes I have that same pride when I accomplish tasks that are seemingly beyond what I am capable of. Inheriting his attitude, I am having a hard time drawing the line. It's one of those things where life progresses and you have to re-figure yourself out. Thanks for the input!
I feel the stress thing
I’m not bi polar but I do have ptsd , I can get pretty heated when pushed too much.

the physical limitation isn’t going to get any better, especially at your age
You’re going to need to consider employees at some point.
Drawing the line is about pride, you’re good enough to be in demand
Take pride in that and prioritize high net work for returning customers
Stay away from the honey dew list stuff , the easiest way is by modestly pointing out that at your current pricing structure you just don’t feel like you could give them a price for that particular work that would be fair and equitable for the type of work they want done
Then refer them to try to post the work opportunity under gigs on Craigslist as an alternative
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
The key to saying no, isn’t really using the word “no” unless really pushy people make you.

you’re a contractor
So you’re existing client list takes priority
Think about it like a doctors office or a hair dresser , everyone has heard before “we aren’t taking new clients at this time”
That’s one way to say if
The other way is raising prices, requiring minimums (don’t just T&m , but do things like a minimum of 1-2 days worth of T&m or you can’t schedule the work

don’t get sucked down by the honey dew list
Lots of landscapers are running off a $5000 minimum to take on projects
Take half down to get on the schedule
Work T&m give them a heads up when the budget is used (just like a lawyer does)
You’re on retainer , when it’s used they need to refresh it

people who don’t agree to the terms , just got told no without being told no
You do not need to be so strict with existing and or repeat customers
Great advice. Thank you!
 

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I am 48 and I have a a hip deformity (arthritis and cartilage spurs). I am also bipolar, which is under control but flares up a little when I get really stressed out. I grew up watching my dad take pride in pushing his limits while working and getting difficult tasks accomplished. Sometimes I have that same pride when I accomplish tasks that are seemingly beyond what I am capable of. Inheriting his attitude, I am having a hard time drawing the line. It's one of those things where life progresses and you have to re-figure yourself out. Thanks for the input!
Grit is the number one predictor of business success - discomfort is growth in wolfs clothing. What is your willingness to suffer through the inevitable road bumps that come with employees?
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Grit is the number one predictor of business success - discomfort is growth in wolfs clothing. What is your willingness to suffer through the inevitable road bumps that come with employees?
0 willingness for employees. I am not looking to grow. I am looking for a way to maintain while somehow not working myself to death.
 

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0 willingness for employees. I am not looking to grow. I am looking for a way to maintain while somehow not working myself to death.
Don’t blame you, but keep in mind it is a hard occupation to do alone, particularly as you age. You looked into treating lawns exclusively? You can get a ride on spreader/sprayer and make good money as a solo operator and really only have to pick up 50lb fertilizer bags.
 

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0 willingness for employees. I am not looking to grow. I am looking for a way to maintain while somehow not working myself to death.
You say you have a hard time saying no to customers - make them say no to you by increasing prices.

Posted this another thread recently - Good, fast, cheap - you can only provide two of the three at anytime. Good & fast, won’t be cheap - good & cheap, wont be fast - fast & cheap, won’t be good. Which company do you want to be?
 

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Build systems for your business. Start acting like an operation that is more than just you. Raise prices to decrease work load. Buy equipment to decrease the physical aspect of your work. Hire someone to work with you.

That's the blueprint
This is really brilliant advice. I also found myself getting bogged down by 12-22 yard mulch jobs and the tree and shrub trimming. While it was good money while I was doing it I had nothing left in the tank afterward. I dropped the hardest jobs, even if they were profitable and focused on projects that were profitable but left me able to walk the next day. It breaks my heart to see the poor work and high prices that big LS companies do but I can’t do those jobs anymore and am quite happy leaving the hard ones behind. Turns out I am light years ahead without the backbreaking projects I left behind
Brother I feel your pain but focus on perfection in what you can do and still survive the projects
 

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Hi. First time poster. I have run a 1 man lawn care service for 7 years now. Lawn care is the main service, but I try to help out customers with any jobs in the yard or around the house. I rarely say no to a job because I enjoy helping people and I have to pay the bills. I have built the business up to where I am making decent money, but the amount of work has gotten to be physically too much. I work long hours and I exert myself beyond my limits. I need some outside viewpoints on what adjustments I can make. I really like my work, but I can't go on pushing myself like this. How do I handle this problem while still making enough money to stay afloat?
I feel for you, man. I think there's a lot of great advice here and just want to echo/add my two cents:
-Raise prices. But to do this you first need to analyze your existing prices. There's a pretty solid blog post I found that walks you through how to do this using some simple calculations. I did this with my yards and realized that I had some that were way underbid, some that I nailed, and others that I was making an awesome rate from. It is super helpful. Here it is: Do I Need To Raise Prices for My Lawn Care Clients
-Aim to condense your route to cut down on drive time so you can take on clients that are closer to your existing clients.
-Get some sort of CRM in place to automate all your back office stuff. Pen and paper (or even spreadsheets) sucks and can get stressful to manually record everything. There are a number of awesome different apps that can help you with that. Go download a few and go with whatever works best for you.
-Keep asking questions here. People are willing to help as I'm sure you've seen. Forget about anyone who would try to be discouraging here.... let them deal with their own crap.

Keep it up, man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
I feel for you, man. I think there's a lot of great advice here and just want to echo/add my two cents:
-Raise prices. But to do this you first need to analyze your existing prices. There's a pretty solid blog post I found that walks you through how to do this using some simple calculations. I did this with my yards and realized that I had some that were way underbid, some that I nailed, and others that I was making an awesome rate from. It is super helpful. Here it is: Do I Need To Raise Prices for My Lawn Care Clients
-Aim to condense your route to cut down on drive time so you can take on clients that are closer to your existing clients.
-Get some sort of CRM in place to automate all your back office stuff. Pen and paper (or even spreadsheets) sucks and can get stressful to manually record everything. There are a number of awesome different apps that can help you with that. Go download a few and go with whatever works best for you.
-Keep asking questions here. People are willing to help as I'm sure you've seen. Forget about anyone who would try to be discouraging here.... let them deal with their own crap.

Keep it up, man!
Much appreciated!
 
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