I might be leaving the business scene slowly need advice

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by soloscaperman, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    my advice to you personally after reading your post is get out and take the other job asap.

    the businesses we own are for the sole purpose of generating money for our income to live off of. the moment we feel we need to stay in business or be in business to help this person or that person out is the moment we need to get out in my opinion.

    I own and run a solo business for 2 reasons and 2 reasons only. the first is to make money and the second is because its work I love doing. I'd drop it in a heart beat if the right amount of money and job came along. there is no being hurt because of this client or that client.

    clients are nothing more than people who pay me to do work on there property. no deals or discounts are made for certain ones. everyone pays the same price. if they can't afford it, find someone else. once I go out of business it's there responsibility to find a replacement. It's not my concern who gets upset with what I offer, don't offer or am going to stop offering.

    we need to keep business, business and stop mixing it with pleasure and trying to be friends with our clients. we don't owe our clients anything more than quality, dependable service at the price we give them. we should never be thinking what about this old lady, what will happen to her if I go out of business. that not your problem.

    just my 2 cents.
  2. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    he did take the job. I agree to an extent, I try to keep business just that but sometimes things a get a little mixed, but not to the point where my feelings would hurt if someone i was friends with dropped me or I dropped them for any reason. But I do go out with some of customers, no issues for me.
  3. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    well I'm glad that works for you and I'm glad you saw my point.

    personally I can't and won't do that. for me it's strictly business and every client gets treated the same and no special pricing for any of them no matter how much or how little they pay me.

    the doctors and lawyers who get full service don't get treated any differently than the trash collector who just has me "knock it down" once a week.

    nor do I or would I feel sorry for any of them if I closed up shop. business is business.
  4. iand

    iand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 900

    i would feel sorry for most of my clients if i closed up and stopped mowing,i mean why wouldn't i feel sorry for them I'm forcing them to get someone who simply isn't as good to do their work
  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    you really have that big of a head???

    it's one thing to be proud of your work but another to think you are the absolute best.

    sure I think I do a good job but I realize there are guys out there who do a little bit better job and there are guys out there who do a worse job.

    I'm surprised at how many develop more than a business relationship with there clients.

    90% of my clients I've either never met or only met once for the estimate. most communication happens either by email or messages left on the phone. we aren't buddys. I come, do my work and leave. at the end of the month they receive an invoice and send payment in the mail. end of relationship.

    there is nothing in the business relationship about servicing there property for life. your aren't marring them.

    to each there own I guess.
  6. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,054

    This is not good long term wise. I do agree with you about there are people better and others that are worse. This is mostly labor work which sadly is done by mexicans or meth heads that need a quick buck. I love the guys that say there the best when they weigh in at 300 pounds and sit home and do nothing. For a small to medium size customer base customer relationship is a very important foundation and in the long term you can use it at your advantage but don't use it in the wrong way.If you run a business like Apple then you know the customer doesn't want to hangout and talk or ask questions. The only time a customer like that talks is when the customer has a problem or a question and that's why there is a customer service number.

    One of the reasons why large LCO's go out of business is that they don't build a strong relationship with the customer. For some reason in this kind of business most customer want to know you more or you should get to know them more because we see them once a week for a long period of time.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  7. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    I disagree.

    90% of my clients aren't even home when I service there property weekly so how is that seeing them once a week.

    I have a lot of clients who have been with me for the short 6 years I've been in business so far and as I said 90% I have never even met or only met once when the estimate was done. all other communication has been on the phone, email or messages left on a machine.

    the only time my clients contact me or talk to me is if they want something extra done or to reschedule or cancel a service. otherwise it's just me showing up weekly and invoicing at the end of the month through snail mail or email and receiving a check in the mail.

    I can also disagree because personally I don't care to become friendly with the service workers that do work or would do work on my property. when the plumber comes I want him in and out as quickly as possible with as little conversation as possible. if I were to hire an LCO I would expect them to do there work weekly and get going.

    my parents and me split the cost for maids to come bi weekly to clean the house. we either make it a point to be gone or hang out in an area of the house the maids aren't suppose to be because otherwise the maids that come won't shut up and seem to wanna be your friend instead of just coming, cleaning and leaving.

    if I wanna make friends or become friendly with someone I'll use a website or go to a public place to meet people. as far as I'm concerned my clients are just the people who sign my check for the work I do for them. I don't wanna hear about there personal life and I don't tell them about mine.
  8. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,878

    I had similar thoughts with getting a job for this winter, I have a couple grand banked from a patio + stairs & retaining wall I did as well as some very profitable days with aerating & clean ups and most bills have been prepaid and I'm going to school full time through this coming spring so it's not like I'll be sitting on my a$$ all day and night but there's no way in hell I could work anywhere else. I plan to be relaxing after class and developing sales plans to greatly expand my business (plus plowing the few snow accts that I have).
    I've had days where I've netted $100.00+/hr all day and parts of those days it was $270/hr (solo). I don't want to work for anyone else making $20/hr less taxes (if you can even get that, most part time jobs or w/e are barely $10/hr) doing something I don't necessarily like.
    I plan to continually grow my business with full service maint clients to the point where I can take a few days off during early & late July for a couple trips (4th of July, Millville MX Pro Nat'ls) and won't have to worry about finances as the payments are the same as any other month through the landscape season.
  9. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,054


    The Top manager just under the owner of the very well known Wine Warehouse wants me to join them full time and leave the Temp agency. They want me to try the Fork lifts as well. They say I am a hard worker and there are 2 workers that he is going to drop and put me with the company. I worked 74 Hours my first week and 68 Hours the next!

    He said he understands that I have a business and said 80% of the time you work 4 days a week from 10PM-8AM and during Holidays there are weeks that you work 70+ hours. The benefits are good as well. I told him the reason I like running my own business is that I don't have to worry about being laid off and he looks at me with a smile and said I have been here 18 years and we grow more and more every year!

    I think I am going to take the full time job and sell off my low end accounts that are in the Valley and keep my high end customers that live close to each other. I am going to use the money that I make and use it to pay for my new worker and to save the rest for more equipment.
  10. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    nice, since i don't have anything going on unless it snows in from december to feb.28th i would take a winter job for 18hr if they would let me call out when it snowed, so i could keep my 30 or so plowing accounts i have, but i don't need a job for the winter it would make the time go by faster and i could pay off the little debt i have with that money but it, that's a pretty rare scenario.
    sounds like you like what you are doing, good luck with everything and stay focused.

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