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Shrubbery job to big to handle

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I have a real picky client that I got about 3 months ago that has the biggest shrub job that I have encountered thus far. There is a row of azalieas about 100 feet long , 15 wide and 12 high that is completely evergrown with vines and other unwanted trees. In the front are a large amount of 15 foot tall and 40 feet in diameter azalias that I dont even know where to start on plus all the head high bushes around the house. I estimate by myself that it would take me at least 40 hours or more to do them. I am not physically able to tackle a job like this so I talked with our three biggest LCO today about subbing it out and not one would touch it because they were all so far behind. I know what your thinking "opportunity" but not here. The same person who will pay you 35 bucks for a hour yard will not pay 35 for a 6 hour shrub job, go figure. I hate to lose the customer over this being she pays her yard bill quickly. This is just more than I can tackle. I have not even given her a quote yet, will probably make her grab her chest and gasp like so many times Ive seen before. What do you do when you encounter this and cant even get help or sub it out? The first LCO I talked to said he would hire 2 full time guys right now if he could find 2 that knew how to do hedges correct.
  2. thecolorgreen

    thecolorgreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    15ft tall and 40ft diameter azeleas? Are these in Jose Canceco's yard?
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    yea i've never seen them that big. anyhow, when you give a price, wether it be a flat price or an hourly rate, this is something YOU MUST CHARGE . it has nothing to do with greed, liking or disliking the client, it is THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS. if u lose a client over it, so what? do you know what it cost you to operate each hour? you must make a wise decision taking these numbers into account. just yesterday, i got stuck in traffic. i was delayed 45 minutes, and would have been longer had i chosen to stick it out. i know that it costs me about 23 bucks an hour to operate crew #1 grasscutting. i knew that sitting in that traffic, caused me a loss of about $23. if i waited it out, i would have cut the 3 lawns i was on my way to. but, i would have done it at a loss. when i calculated this, i quickly made a u turn, and went elsewhere. you need to know your numbers, and decide wether or not you can do the job. these people arent your friends
  4. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    I've been telling clients (old and new) that I can't take on any "Oh, by the way, while you're here" work until ALL my current maintenance clients are taken care of. Also, NO new installations until caught up with current client maintenance (even for long-time clients)

    We're a solid 3 weeks behind because of the incessant rain in the Northeast. I'm having nightmares about needing to wear a rainsuit 24/7.

    If the job is too big, tell the client the truth - that you haven't the time for such an add-on at this time. BUT that you will try and locate someone who could do it for them. Is there a school nearby with a hort program? Can you put someone on temporarily (independent contractor) to do the easy (no supervision required) part (getting the weeds and vines out) and then come back and do the pruning later? Or, have a licensed arborist come out and give her a quote. She'll love your price after that. I'm not dissing arborists, just using them as an example to give the client some real-world perspective of what it would cost to have a specialist do it.

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