Turning Down Work - How Do You Do it?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by OakNut, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,372

    SOLO operation have there plus and minuses as well as having helpers and running crews.

    Im 48 and also have other interests and choose the keep my lawn business a simple one man operation.

    Im also under the opinion that good equiptment is more valueable than a 10$ per hour employee.

    Obiviuousley being solo has a limit to what one can make, and it sounds like the OP has reached that limit, which is REAL GOOD
  2. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    I need better clients if I'm gonna make that limit. 40 bucks for a 50 min lawn can't compare to 4 $25 lawns in that same 50 min
  3. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I agree, there is nothing wrong with solo, both have pros and cons. I would suggest pre screening people on the phone, looking at there property on google maps, and telling them you aren't taking on new customers at the moment. We have said that our schedule is full for the season, we aren't taking on new properties at the moment, just what ever sounds good at the moment.
  4. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    start a second brand. current brand for the good stuff, new brand for the crappy mow and go stuff. there's hardly a corporation out there that does not compete with itself. fisher / western for example. I prefer fisher. they also do blizzard I think.

    I worked in a factory making glue. expensive stuff in a small bottle. also made a competetors glue. cheap stuff in a big bottle
    same exact stuff out of the same vat
  5. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    some customers are just bad for business tho. over water half the week then no water the rest. makes extra work then lowers your quality for the rest of your customers
  6. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I have raised my prices. I quote what I want to be paid - not what I think they may be willing to pay. In the last week I gained two that are ridiculous prices for such small lawns and did not get two others due to a high quote.
    (Although one of them liked me on a personal level to the point where she said she has many other plans and would love to have me back over to discuss)

    If it's a job I don't want, money isn't going to make it more palatable.

    The second part is good stuff though. :) Thanks!

    I ran a CL ad early spring for about a week. That's it.

    They are either finding me online, by Googling, or via Angie's List. (Super service award winner)

    Same here on the turn-downs. It feels good not to need to take what you can get.

    The only farts allowed in my truck are MINE... ALL mine. :D

    I toy with the idea of hiring, but I won't do it under the table, and I don't know that I want the headaches and red tape of having an actual employee.
    And I don't know that I could deal with any of the boolshit that comes with young guys these days. I doubt I could find anyone who would work to my standards.
  7. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I'm just a few years younger than you and for that reason I am working "smarter", not harder for my money. This is my 4th season by the way and my first is just a "technicality" since I spent most of it working as a subcontractor for some real estate "flippers" doing all sorts of work besides lawn care.

    If I really wanted, I could probably hammer down and crank out a few more each day, but two things stop me - (a) I have standards and will not compromise on the quality of the work I do and (b) I just don't flippin' WANT to. Screw it. I'm not in a race with anyone and so long as I'm making enough money, I'm not going to run myself ragged just to make a few more dollars.

    I hear that. I'm finding I can make more by working a bunch of postage stamp properties in the city vs the jobs in the suburbs. And you don't even have to settle for $25 for them. In the right area, people pay well for those tiny lawns and you can get a bunch of them done EASILY and quickly.
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,372

    OakNut Im with ya all the way
  9. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    noone here will argue that finding a good employee is hard to do. but if you do not want the paperwork hire through a temp service. their employee, they do the paperwork and pay the taxes.

    or 1099 him and let him do his own paperwork, then write off his wages (this the proper way, contractor vs employee can be a lil weird)
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,372

    Ya but what about the farts?

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