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Managing The Customers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by grasscutterman, May 16, 2007.

  1. grasscutterman

    grasscutterman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I have been in this business for 4 years, and after purchasing equipment necessary because it has grown I am getting sick of it. I realize there are many lawn cutters, but I am finding customers to be down right rude and worse of all sneaky. I will price for non-bagging and find them telling my worker to bag, I priced one lawn and found out after the man own additional property which would raise his price, and I customers on 14day cuts who think they should not be charged extra when the grass is really high and they want it short. I also have customers who will out right lie to my wife and tell her I said I would "include" this or that to get out of paying. I am sick by how society really acts towards each other.

    Are there cutters out there who put up with this sort of stuff just to get lawns? What is everyone else doing? Should I send out a FYI letter to my customers?

  2. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    Raise your prices and mow less lawns. That's what I would do/have heard to do.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Glad you came here to Vent. I know what you mean....

    I cut some grass for a Church member. I gave them a Rock bottom price

    the other day they informed me that they want it cut every week insted if bi
    weekly..... But they cant afford what I'm charging now... so I would have to come up with a better price.....
    " I'm sure your ahead of me at this point... being in the lawn business..."

    So I simply returned there statement. in a diffrent format....
    I said so you want to double my workload and pay me less money ?
    Belive it or not they said YES....

    Hang in there MAN.... Were All eating ****
  4. GLLawns

    GLLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Raise the prices on the pitas or even drop them. Whatever you do be honest to them and let them know that you will not be taken advantage of. Also get everything in writing so that they can't pull this crap between you and your wife. Just don't let a few azzholes throw you off your game, if you do good work there are people out there that will appreciate it.
  5. Lawnboy85

    Lawnboy85 LawnSite Member
    from South
    Messages: 62

    You stole my thunder. I was thinking about posting a thread with this same topic, but I will gladly add to yours.

    I have several customers who are old ladies, have huge out-in-the-country yards, and really can not afford to pay me to mow but about every 2-3 weeks. These yards range anywhere from $70-$110, but since we have had a very wet spring (which is great) I've told them I will be coming about every 10 days. They were having me come once about every 3 weeks, and we were having to mow over the yard 2-3 times, just to make it look half-way decent.

    A couple of them have told me (as I expected) that they are on limited income and can not afford to have the lawn mowed that often.

    First of all, it's not my fault they have a huge yard, but when I gave them the price, it was so we could show up, do our job, and leave with no troubles. When the grass is 2 feet tall, I run the risk of damaging equipment (hitting unknown stumps, trash, etc.)

    Tell them for the spring season you will come on a predetermined basis (every week, once every 10 days, etc.) and in the summer, you will back off a little bit and show up less often. Otherwise, they need to find someone else. Plain and simple.

    Ahh, I feel better now. Good luck.
  6. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    We have about five troublesome lawns that are waaaaay over fertilized and overwatered so our attitude has become either work with us and cut back on this or find someone else. We lost one the other day that grew 12" in one week! Not worth the time and wear on the machinery.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I've been there, and done that. Now I do it differently, changed my whole way of billing and signing up customers. You have to remember...YOU are the business owner...YOU set the terms and conditions. Not the customer. Nip all that crap in the bud (the every other weekers, the must baggers) and tell them that's not how it works.
  8. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 273

    Put it in writing. PITA, but do it anyway and it will eliminate your pita customers.
  9. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    This is my first season and I have lost soooooo many bids because of people like you are talking about. So I feel your pain. I'm looking for my initial build up of customers and haven't gotten very far because people want to pay me rediculously cheap prices for my work. Every time they act shocked after recieving my estimate I just wanna say to them, "when is the last time you did the prepwork, edging, weeding, and installation for 16 yards of F'n mulch". It's hard work and I charge accordingly. Needless to say instead of short-changing myself by lowballing, I'm just hanging in there with my full time job and saving up money as it comes in for a much more sophisticated marketing campaign later this summer and early next year. Being my first season, I feel your discouragment. GL

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