The Grass isn't always greener on the other side

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
I have told this story before on this site, but here is the short version again with an update....

Had a large industrial account for years and years. They wanted to take other estimates the middle of last year due to covid (blah blah..it's an excuse for everything) I never understood how a production facility dealing in the billions of dollars would think saving a few hundred bucks on lawn care services over the year would even be noticed. It's all about the buddy system though and you have that to deal with that. This place as seen so many staff and plant manager changes since I have been servicing there, that I can't even count them or keep up with them.

So I ended up being the lowest bid anyway, but someone in the office had a friend in the business sort of thing, and even though he bid way higher than me, he got the job. Again, I thought the idea was to save money??? I wasn't even told by this lady that I no longer had the job, but rather drove by one day, and it was freshly cut. I called my contact there and he basically told me the situation and that it was out of his hands. I called the supervisor of the lady that did this and told her in a polite way what had happened. I knew that everyone was probably too busy to care, but at least it planted a seed as to what is going on in the back of their mind. I still don't know how it all went down, as this lady was not even in any kind of decision making position.

So I get a call yesterday from my contact there, telling me that the new landscaper is doing terrible work, the lady in the office that was the issue to begin with has left the company, and the grounds look like crap. He said he called the owner of the company providing service now and the dude gets an attitude saying no one has ever complained about his work, and getting rude with the guy over the phone. So, they agreed to part ways suddenly after that conversation. The guy wouldn't even come look at the problems being pointed out. Sounds very professional doesn't it? How these idiots stay in business is beyond me.

I guess my point is, I have seen it all and people think they can get better service somewhere else, when they are already getting good service. If you just do your best and be consistent things usually come around full circle. I really laugh when I walk away from a job, as I had to do in this situation. I told my employee at the time, don't worry, I have a good feeling this lawn care outfit will drop the ball and I will get a call back. It only took 8 months, but then most of that time was the winter so there was not much to be done or complain about.

There are way too many crappy companies out there. Hope you are not one of them. Be the one that gets called back and whose services are desired. Some customers have to learn their lesson the hard way, but just laugh and let the cards fall where they may. See, the employees in this company thought I was too expensive with my bid, as they had not taken any bids in years, and my price kept going up due to a new facility being built and more difficult work added etc. Then they realize I wasn't too expensive to begin with, and that my work was good. So, guess what...my new estimate will be much more expensive than what I was doing it for. At least 10-15% more. Maybe even 20%. See, I don't need them now, so it's nice when the ball ends up in my court. Have a good weekend....
 
OP
L

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
I still may not get it or want it, but I will submit a bid and see what happens. It does feel good when people call you back though. I do want it back but what once was an easy account turned into a pain in the rear after the new facility was built. It more than doubled in price, and is bumpy, sandy, has a terrible hill that has to be string trimmed, cars everywhere, people everywhere. The one thing that has me on the fence is I took over a lot of accounts for a friend, and if I take this account back, I will need to add another employee. I don't have the best of luck with that. Now my employee text me today and he has tested positive for Covid after his mother came down sick from it. I'm already going to be screwed next week doing all the accounts solo. If I get this account back, it will most likely have to be done next week. Not sure how I can do the work of 3 when I can hardly do the work of one with my health. Don't know why I even try sometimes, but that's another subject. 19 years in this and if it has been nothing else, it has been a roller coaster ride with than ups and down. I think it has more downs that ups. lol
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
If you know what the other company was charging, that was higher than you, then bud it 20% higher than that. You said he was significantly higher than your previous estimate. You don't need the work? Name your price. At the end of the day the facility manager or property manager isn't spending their own money. They just want a good job and a call back and an issue fixed in a timely manner. Meaning you make their job easier.
Good news for you!
 

Bitches_Brew

Banned
Location
earth
I still may not get it or want it, but I will submit a bid and see what happens. It does feel good when people call you back though. I do want it back but what once was an easy account turned into a pain in the rear after the new facility was built. It more than doubled in price, and is bumpy, sandy, has a terrible hill that has to be string trimmed, cars everywhere, people everywhere. The one thing that has me on the fence is I took over a lot of accounts for a friend, and if I take this account back, I will need to add another employee. I don't have the best of luck with that. Now my employee text me today and he has tested positive for Covid after his mother came down sick from it. I'm already going to be screwed next week doing all the accounts solo. If I get this account back, it will most likely have to be done next week. Not sure how I can do the work of 3 when I can hardly do the work of one with my health. Don't know why I even try sometimes, but that's another subject. 19 years in this and if it has been nothing else, it has been a roller coaster ride with than ups and down. I think it has more downs that ups. lol

Having too much business is never a bad thing. Be grateful it's not too little.Thumbs Up
 
OP
L

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
If you know what the other company was charging, that was higher than you, then bud it 20% higher than that. You said he was significantly higher than your previous estimate. You don't need the work? Name your price. At the end of the day the facility manager or property manager isn't spending their own money. They just want a good job and a call back and an issue fixed in a timely manner. Meaning you make their job easier.
Good news for you!
Yes I was told the price and it was higher. I may just match it. If I get it for the same he was doing it for I will be doing great. They know I will do good work and he doesn't have to even think about the outside when I am doing it. Even with what I was charging before I ended up being about $48-57 per man hour in the summer depending on how much rain we got etc, which sounds low, but I did the math in the winter and I was making aprox $125 per man hour in the winter. I was happy with the balance.

Having too much business is never a bad thing. Be grateful it's not too little.Thumbs Up
No it isn't a bad thing, but when you don't have the help it can be a bad thing. It's a good position to find yourself, but decisions have to be made. I can't work like I did 15 years ago. But at least it gives you options and puts you in a good position.
 

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