Your biggest mistake was to have 1/3 of your business wrapped around one account. That is way too much as you are now finding out and you’re employee unfortunately is also.
Learn from this and hopefully you can pick up more, but smaller accounts to make up for some or all of the lost income.
Your story is the main reason I don’t service any large commercial accounts and I just do applications.
Your position makes me feel a little better. At this point, I am not in the commercial mowing game. I have been thinking about it but reading this thread initially started to make me question doing that.I've got one like this, total washboard, mostly dirt, weeds, with a bit of grass mixed in. While it's not 1/3 of my business income, it's a good chunk nevertheless. These accounts come and go and I'm learning that you have to be the one to pick and choose rather than rely on them. Put 20 bids out next year on similar properties and maybe you'll land one. That's the best you can do moving forward. I also agree that you made a good run with this location @ 15 years of service, well done.
While I agree it's not a good thing to wrap up most of your income in one customer, I do not agree with the fact that a LCO should not service large commercial areas, those are the money makers, at least in my area.
Your position makes me feel a little better. At this point, I am not in the commercial mowing game. I have been thinking about it but reading this thread initially started to make me question doing that.
I agree with Mathews.
Also a 15 yr run is pretty good, a guy's got to be thankful for that.
We work for a French owned company and they were way behind on paying. We didn't touch it until June 12. In the mean time, must have been an employee cut it. Their A/P is so screwed up they could be double paying or paying for nothing, but that's not how I do business, I have to sleep at night.
Another long term customer is having some Covid issues as well...and the CEO wants to save the world. Lots of turnover of upper management and we had to start dealing with a new purchasing agent and someone from the accounting department, neither of whom have a clue regarding snow, ice and landscape management. We started spring cleanups in March and within an hour, one of them was on the phone asking what we were doing and if it was an extra charge. Had a meeting with them and the accounting chick basically said she didn't give a crap about the landscape and thought we were all crooks. We have a 3 year contract with them, but I can see the writing on the wall.
The "Senior Purchasing Agent" of 3 months tenure was canned during the Covid thing. She had zero prior experience in purchasing. Or life it seemed. Can't wait for this winter.
You dropped them once, now it appears they may have dropped you. Face it, this is business. It is about money, and not friendship. There are some moral obligations of one human to another, but between businesses the obligations are defined by contracts.I even dropped them once as I sold out and thought I would be smart and find another job.
Well I got out business full time once. I didn't just not show up. I sold most of my business. I did hear from my contact. He had told me I had the job, but then some underhanded crap has been going on with the new guy and someone in the office it seems. So there you have it. My contact even had no idea until the guy just showed up to cut yesterday. He could be lying, but I have known him forever.Sorry about that. I can appreciate your pain when such a large chunk of your business is tied up in a single account. However . . .
You dropped them once, now it appears they may have dropped you. Face it, this is business. It is about money, and not friendship. There are some moral obligations of one human to another, but between businesses the obligations are defined by contracts.
Just my opinion I think your right to stay professional.decided to go with a cheaper bid or something. I only expect to be treated the same as others expect to be treated. I don't think it's too much to ask. I want to e-mail the lady and tell her what I think, but I am going to be the bigger person I suppose. Not sure why it matters any more. Everyone plays games these days.