Need some advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by igm, Mar 15, 2001.

  1. igm

    igm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Here's the story. This could take a while.
    I'm a one many show right now. I do 12 month agreements with my clients, manage the whole landscape. Grass, trees, shrubs, all chemicals, etc. 1 small commercial, otherwise small to mid size, high end residential. I'm happy with these type properties.
    Recently, a friend of mine referred me to some people who he had worked for cutting grass or whatever needed to be done, for $10/hour. For legitimate personal reasons, he couldn't continue. Since then there have been a few people doing odd stuff, but the place has gone down hill. Property is huge residential. 11 acres, 5.25 acres fescue turf to be completely maintained, in the owner's words "golf course quality". Lots of trees, shrubs, trimming, edging, chemicals, odds and ends (picking up limbs, tons of leaves, etc.) It has many gray areas that they would want taken care of also (at an additional hourly rate). For no add-on's its probably 25k - 30k per year. But I'll have to bring on a crew and buy some more stuff. It's been 1.5 weeks since I measured it and started putting together a fairly comprehensive proposal, which I'm almost done with. I talk to the wife today and she takes a definite "tone" with me. Saying stuff like, wondering if I wanted the job, asking why it has taken longer than I thought to finish the proposal, she expected to have it by the time she arrived back in town, etc. I explain nice and professional like, my reasons. Frankly, it pissed me off.

    My question: should I pursue it or not. Her attitude thus far, before I even get a proposal out, is a red flag to me, that I may regret landing the account later on. She had that polite yet snotty, I'm better than you and expect to be treated so attitude. I don't take well to that. I am a professional and expect to be treated as such, but I do realize I'm a bit tardy on getting back to her. I explained to her it was in the name of thoroughness which would benefit both of us. Call me over-sensitive, but I sleep well at night. All my other accounts are extremely happy with my service and trust me to do what I think is best. I'm afraid with the money they'll be spending that they will be impossible to please, and It may cost me before I can cancel the contract.
    My attitude is I feel like I'll be successful with or without them, and I don't need the heartburn, yet I feel like I may be "running away" from opportunity because It's taking me out of my comfort zone.

    What do you think guys? Help me out here. Sorry about the length.

  2. You are way out of your league.

    If this guy had a "guy" working for $10/hr at say 10 hours a week=$100 how in the world do you expect them to pay you

    Forget about this one asap and concentrate on getting jobs in the hoods you already service.

    I have a name for those women. They are usually married to doctors. They are called ---- queens.
  3. igm

    igm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19


    Thanks for the reply. They've got the money, no doubt, but their perceived value of what we do I'm afraid is not up to par, especially when you stick 'em with a bill for $30 - $45/hour. I can't even drive over there and take a whiz for $10/hour. I know I'm competent to do the job, but feel more comfortable, as you said, staying with my normal 'hoods. "Queens"...I like that.


    [Edited by igm on 03-15-2001 at 02:58 PM]
  4. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Please don't get me started on doctor's wives! I agree with lawrence on this one, walk away.
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    for a guy like me going 3/4 time this year i would even have to walk away to something like that. sorry but i'm used to $20 dollars a hour after exspnses. more jobs will come for you. your right it wouldn;t be worth the heartburn and stress that would come from someone like that. walk and keep to what you know what to do, your hoods as they say.
  6. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Messages: 181

    I hear everything you say man. I too am Hans Solo and think you should say see ya later... want to seriously grow and add a crew. If you do that you'll have to get more work to keep the crew busy full time, etc, etc, etc, a million headaches. You no sleepy so good then. If you do that one yourself and it takes you all day, but they do pay you 25,000 a year it would be worth it. Send them the proposal/contract, get the spring clean-up $ up front if they bite, go buy some sweet new toys, and go from there. I personally like less worries too though. The less stress the better. Never really get sick do ya? Smaller properties are goldmines. I'm thinking of getting rid of anything over 1/4 acre. Too much leaves and all that in the fall, tree limbs falling, blah blah blah. There are advantages to both options, just protect your own interests and peace of mind in which ever you choose. Good luck either way.
  7. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I have never had a situation like this, but my first thought is too many eggs in one basket. A conflict of any kind with this new person could create a major setback in your life.

  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,766

    I had a "Queen" give me the run around one time until she finally paid up. I too am thinking about giving up my large properties. Spent half hour yesterday picking up limbs and rocks for the tightwads in a spring cleanup yard cut(already done the leaves). Your money makers are the smaller 1/2 acre or less yards.

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    The thing about it is, you'll probably get the place looking good and at the end of the year you'll probabably need to up the price because you didn't make what you thought you would, then get low balled from some newby that don't have a clue. And thats the problem in my area if you don't work for free you just about don't work.
  10. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Stick to properties that you know you can handle. If you bite off more than you can chew, than all of your other good customers will suffer. Some jobs you just have to say ,no to.

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