Uncomfortable situation - estimate request from friends customers.. ?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by PhillyShells, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. PhillyShells

    PhillyShells LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Does anyone else have this situation occur ?
    I have been contacted for estimates in my home town. One was 4 homes on the same street. Cant do it...a friend's company handles it right now. And also three other residents on my own street. Nice right ? Wrong - they are all customers handled by another friend. I feel like it's backstabbing so I would never even bother.

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    I'd do it in a heartbeat.. friendship & business don't mix. I work to make money, not buddies.
  3. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    That is a tough situation. If your a good friend what I would do is 1st ask these clients what about their current lawn service they are unhappy with and take that information to your friends and talk to them. You never know they might (for what ever reason) be happy to get rid of those clients.

  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    I would have to weigh the odds... Is it a really good friend? One that would help you out in a bind? If so, then I'd definately talk to them first. A lot of life is WHO you know, and not WHAT you know, especially in business.
    If these customers are changing companies regularly, then is it worth it to step on a friends' toes for one seasons' worth of mowing?? Chances are, you may screw up a friendship, then the customer will just hire the next LCO to come along, and you'll be out a friend and a customer?!?!
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    There is someone in one of the towns when I get a phone call I ask who they are using currently...if its my contractor buddy I simply say that I can't. People may disagree but for this ONE I just can't seem to do it. Granted it doesn't happen often but I just couldn't do it.

    And no, he wouldn't do it to me either.
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Business is business...unless there's a non-compete agreement in place.
  7. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    If they called you for an estimate go ahead and give it, not doing so may come back to bite you in the a$$ when they talk with someone else and tell them that you never gave an estimate. Let your friend know that they called for an estimate and that you are going to give them one but wanted to let him know so that there are no bad feelings. This is business and your friend shouldn't get mad at you, its nothing personal and they called you. Its competition not back stabbing! If you went over to one of his customers without any solicitation from them and tried to get them to go with your business thats back stabbing and your friend would be mad and should be.
  8. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 991

    If he is a good friend call him and ask him what he charges and see if the customers are a pita if they are then just bid the job 20 or 30 bucks more then him
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    This has been discussed many times on here, and it always dwindles down to the same advice....Contact the friend and let him know. This happens to us once in a while, and as soon as I find out who is doing it, I 1. ask why they are switching, and in certain (most) cases, inform them that I am not able to service their property due to ethical reasons. I have one friend, who does chem., who mentored me. I brought this up to him that this is almost inevitably going to happen, and informed him this is what I plan to do. One major reason, is because I know that if they have his service, they are in great shape. He is the only service in this town that grows grass like we do. Anyway, he says this is BS. he said if this happens, to TAKE it. His take, is that if they are shopping around, they are going to pay someone else to do it anyway, so it might as well be me. My reply to him was,...Yeah,...this year it will be an account or two, then as we grow, next year it will be three or four, and so on. I feel it is just a conflict of interest. I associate and network with several services. There is just too much work out there. I would rather help a fellow lco out by giving them a heads up rather than get a mowing job that they were doing - without their knowledge. Now, if it is fine by them, then it is a different story, but it is always better to let them know if it is someone you know.
  10. boxsky

    boxsky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    Ditto, give the estimate and tell your fellow LCO / friend.

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