Turning Down Work - How Do You Do it?

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

  1. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104


    LO-fing L That made my night.
  2. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    I prefer more money. my friends are falling for get rich quick schemes. i'm building a foundation
  3. CollegeMowers

    CollegeMowers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    We tell them we are 8 weeks out from starting. This way your politely turning down their business and keeping an image that your services are high in demand. If they want to wait eight weeks then I find a way to accommodate them but 99% say no. Then I refer them to my buddies.
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    It obviously varies by location - even within one city, but I just can't wrap my head around how many calls a person must turn down if, for example, they are only running zero turn mowers. There are probably one in five hundred homes around here that you could even use a ZTR on PART of the property. All those other people are calling LCOs for estimates...
    How do those guys deal with weeding them out?
  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    This same question has been on my mind again as the calls are coming in fast now that spring is here.

    I looked at one yesterday. You had to carry a 21" mower up about 25 steps to do the front lawn (15'x 30') then up 6 steps in a retaining wall to mow the back yard that consists of a steep hillside up away from the house about 35' deep.

    This sort of situation is not at all uncommon in this area (I turned down her next door neighbor last season for the same reason - ALL the houses on the "up" side of the street are built this way) and that's what gets me to wondering how those of you who won't/can't mow these small lots deal with the volume of calls for lawns you can't take on. It has to be frustrating.

    I suppose there are guys who live/work in areas where all lawns are flat and wide-open, and you wipe your butts with hundred dollar bills, but not everyone works in such a utopia - we get call after call for work we can not perform for one reason or another.
  6. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    just charge a lot more for them lawns. im sure its worth paying a guy to walk up hill if ur gettin twice your normal rate

    i wish i had the issue of turning away work
  7. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    Funny you mention this. I'm running into a big issue with "Dallas Grass" that's growing 6" in one week. People seem to think it's "grass" because it looks like grass. I started having to explain to all the customers in the area that are constantly calling me with their "Dallas Grass" lawns, "Mam or Sir, I can service your lawn, but you have to understand what you have is not grass, but rather a fast growing weed. I can only service your lawn under two conditions, one being that it's on a weekly schedule, and two you have it sprayed." I found it makes my life easier, either I gain a lawn that gets under normal growing conditions and is a weekly, or it gets passed up.
  8. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    1. Well hopefully people give you an address of the property so you can pre qualify. This always works do you can think of a reason before you call them back. It could be a million dollar home!!

    2. Raise your prices so you can start switching out properties you have but don't want.

    3. You can always call them tell them you are full for this year. The problem with this is you really want to know where they are located and what it looks like before you say no completely.

    It's a great problem to have!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    Ran into some similar ones this year. Can't tell you how frustrating this was. Three customers called from one brand new neighborhood. The smart builders decided to put these white picket fences along rows of tree's in each lawn. I can't get my mower through the picket fence to the back yard, and I can't get it between the beds and the fence in the front yard. Had to turn down three because of the same reason. Sucks.
  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    It seems nobody fully understands what I'm trying to get across here.

    This really has nothing to do with me. It just makes me wonder because all I ever hear on this forum are condescending comments towards anyone who would even dream of using a 21" mower - period.

    I mean, if you really have that mindset, and you only mow where you can utilize a zero turn mower, how many calls are you turning down every day just based on incompatibility of the equipment vs the lawn? It has to be maddening.

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