No Respect for the profession

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LHS Lawns, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. LHS Lawns

    LHS Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    I run my part-time lawn and landscape business in a very professional manner.
    Fully insured, licensed for pest app on turf and ornamental, nutrient management certified for fert app. US DOT certified for the truck and trailer.

    Truck has company logo and all license numbers.

    I conduct myself in a professional manner in both verbal and written communication.

    I keep my customers long term.

    I feel I represent the industry very well. We should all try to be the best we can be.

    Please don't think I'm trying to make myself out to be better than someone else as a person. I'm very humble and I thank the Lord for all he has done for me. Couldn't have done it without him.

    As I said I'm part-time. In my full time job I work for the State Dept. of Agriculture as Soil Conservation Planner. We help farmers protect soil and water resources on their farmland which in turn helps the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the US.

    I don't tell my customers that I'm part-time, I don't think it matters either way but I still don't.
    When they do find out what my full time job is its like I've been elevated to a higher level which makes me believe the business itself doesn't get much respect.

    It happened this year with a second year client. She practically bowed down to me.

    Had another client who just found out and said I feel better with you taking care of my lawn because you know what you are doing. I've had him for about six years and I never heard that before. Same work same results.

    I've always kept a high standard I set for myself and my work but now I'm better at what I do?

    And even a new client I just picked up a few weeks ago who has seen me in the area for years asked me point blank what my full time job is. I felt like he was saying you couldn't possibly be doing just this for a living.

    I'm not complaining, I'm fine with it. My situation sounds like it will have a positive outcome.

    It just seems to me the lawn/landscape business doesn't get the respect it deserves.
  2. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    Because any idiot with a mower that is thrown in the back of a car can call themselves a ground maintenance person.

    Been in this trade for a very long time. The good professional people are the ones that last in this trade and make a comfortable living.

    But until local municipalities hold the person who hires the fly by nighters responsible(notice I didn't say the worker) this trade will always have low ballers and idiots who make a bad name for the pro's in this business.

    Then their's the boy next door image that will never go away. Part of Americana.

    Messages: 1,343

    Uncortunately, i agree with you on this point. In my opinion we are viewed as a step below other occupations.
    Good luck to all finishing up the season.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    I get this from everyone. I went to a funeral of a distant relative, and my mother wanted me to lie about what i did for a living because one side of the family would not be impressed. Ofcourse i didn't lie, and it pissed my mom off. O well. I get smirks at stores and everywhere. My ex neighbor asked (in a confused high pitched voice) "what do you do for winter?" In the middle of telling him, he was shaking his head like i was lying to him. When i found my first house, he asked "how in the world can you afford a house? Did you get some sort of settlement?" I told him it was 3.5% down and i qualified for it. A looong time ago, my roommate who was in the business saved up cash for a new truck. He knew what he wanted, and went to the lot. He was in work clothes., and had the cash rolled up in a rubber band. They totally ignored him, which is weird for these particular salesman. Anyway, out of disgust, he went up to them and flashed the cash, and they went berserk. They were after him like puppies. My roommate ended up going to another lot.
  5. groundcontrol_71646

    groundcontrol_71646 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I am in the startup phase of my lawn care business. My full time job is a firefighter/emt at Crossett Fire Dept. I started by buying brand new echo equipment and a very nice enclosed trailer that I'm getting logo wrapped this week. I was fortunate to already own a commercial mower. I have been in the process of getting all necessary permits and insurance.

    In saying all this, my friends, co-workers, and people around town tell me that I am crazy for putting out that kind of money for all these things. They say just get what you can to get by and just do it for cash. To me it gives me a sense of pride to have nice equipment. If I were hiring a lawn service, I would want a profesional company rather than a wore out truck and trailer and wore out equipment sitting in front of my house. I'm glad others take pride in their business.
  6. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    Well, i may have an unpopular opinion about appearances. I don't care about it. I've been rear ended 3 times, and my truck doesn't look great, but it's functional. I have an exmark that looks like it should be in a junk pile. My long time customers have told me that they wouldn't know what to do if i didn't tend to their yard, and i get good referrals. I don't need shiny equipment, just equipment that gets the job done. BUT, i respect your view of being professional.
  7. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    People have no idea the knowledge it takes to fulfill all the credentials you listed, they think anyone can cut grass, spray, and spread fertilizer, don't be too hard on people, they are just extremely ignorant to the profession.

    When people find out (they really still have no idea of what your job description is) you are what they now believe to be a State Soil Specialist, you just moved from in their eyes as being a high school graduate, to that of a doctor. Much more respect goes with a doctors degree than with a high school diploma, it is only a thought process, but the average customer will never move away from associating capability with what they relate to as a more appealing title.
  8. BeachysLawn

    BeachysLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 271

    I'm not so worried how people view me as I am what my bank account looks like to me. An acquaintance runs a somewhat large cleaning business and she just laughs because her doctor, etc. customers treat her like a house maid and she makes more than most of them do.
  9. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534


    so very true. I concern myself with people who can afford my service. Lowballers don't scare me because I set myself apart. If a customer is concerned that much about price then I want them to find a lowballer.
  10. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    A new neighbor was walking down the street and caught me out in my yard (new house), and said "oh, where are y'all from?" I said, "it's just me". She saw my equipment, and asked "do you do that full time?" I said "yes". The poor woman looked confused, and didn't know what to say.

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