The Clothes Make The Man...and The Landscaper

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sean Adams, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    this isn't about me personally. my argument is much, much more general than that.

    it's for a guy who might be thinking about starting his own business and comes to this site to see how to go about doing things. there's all these threads full of posts from guys saying, you have to wear polo's and khakis for estimates, you have to use this brand because its the best, you have to do work this way or that way. so many guys put there opinions down like there facts or like this is the only way to do it. guys like me need to speak up so these newbies will see, well you can do it this way or you can do it that way, they both work.

    to improve something is to make it better because the current way is not working as well. that would not be the case with me and how i dress/look when doing estimates. i'm perfectly happy with how many estimates i land. i don't expect to land 100% of my estimates. anyone who does that is doing something wrong. i land what i need and want with work. so why fix something that isn't broke?
  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Anyone who can't make informed descisions about their business..... should not run a business. When starting a business first impressions and image are EVERYTHING.

    Telling new business owners it's OK to roll up wearing trashed clothing is absurd. Guys that have a reputation with a LONG list of references can pull the "I just climbed out of the garbage can" look but new guys need to sell an image..... what kind of image is up to them :drinkup:
  3. dllawson

    dllawson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    This thread really illustrates one of the cool things about this business.

    When I first started out, I had a great time working on an island, wearing cut-off shorts, a t-shirt, and driving an old land cruiser. Then the biggest question was, do I cut the yards today and go fishing tomorrow, or......yeah, I'll go fishing today and cut the yards tomorrow.

    Now that I am older I have a little different perspective. I have also grown to really enjoy talking with other business owners and community leaders each week at Rotary. I have to dress a little nicer to be taken seriously, but fortunately landscape formal is a plaid shirt and khakis.

    We are in such a relationship based business there is room for however each of us wants to do it. Some days when I am running late for a meeting and have 5 other things to get done, I sure do miss that old land cruiser.
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    from day one in business all i've ever showed up in to do estimates is either my jeans and a t shirt or my gray cargo's and company shirt which 9 times out of 10 has a dirt, grease or grass stain on it.

    your point is not missed, in fact it's very well taken. and yes what image they want to sell is up to them. but they need to be aware of what images have worked.

    i'm saying the not so spotless image has worked just fine for me. so it might work fine for others.
  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    you know GMLC i've been thinking, maybe your right. maybe the work dirty image isn't working for me and maybe i should be more open to taking 2 min. to throw on a clean shirt.

    i mean i only advertise and take on new business through referrals from current clients. and by the time july rolls around i'm turning away business.

    maybe i am doing something wrong. maybe i should try to show up in a polo and khakis.
  6. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    I have multible crews and I work as well. We all have uniforms (uniform service). I totally agree with GMLC. We have both upscale (full service) and not so upscale accounts (mowing only). I would never ever never ever show to a upscale (full service estimate) with out being cleaned up best I can. However, I will go do a quick estimate for a mowing only customer as I am.

    I also agree with yardguy, do what ever suits you. I too work mostly off referrals and as for me I will always put my best foot forward with the upscale full service customer. Because I believe that your image represents the quality of your work. When I meet them I want them to see someone who looks and acts professional. That's not an absolute fact, but its common perception with the the higher dollar accounts that I service. We routinely get comments stating our teams look and act so professional.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    i'll take the land cruiser route. i never wanna turn into the stuck up, self absorbed, cocky, business professional, look at me and my accomplishments, etc. type of person.

    i'll take cutting a neighbors yard down the street over cutting grass at the white house any day of the week.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    I just treat clients and potential clients how I would want to be treated by an LCO. and to be 100% truthful and honest clothes is the last thing I'd be concerned with.

    if I'm paying someone to service my lawn I'm paying for the quality they do in servicing that lawn, not to look good while they are there for the short amount of time once a week that they are there. they can go naked for all I care. as long there quality is what I want and expect.
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    this whole topic just reminds me of those people out there that are good at job interviews. they talk well, dress really nice, and know all the right words to say but when it comes to actually doing the job they just suck at it. most of the time it's the people that may not dress perfect or know all the right words to say and so forth that actually turn out to be the best workers and do the best job.
  10. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    Hey you never know, give it a shot. You may be turning away work by May. But even if it doesnt work it was just 2 minutes!
    Posted via Mobile Device

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