What have you learned this year?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by General Grounds, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :hammerhead: Well im in my 12th year of business and i think or at least i had a pretty good handle on things, but for some matter my customers have really found a way to totally drain me of any enthusium i had.

    this year though i had an idea truely learned:

    - there is absolutley no loyalty from a customer, esp. seems more so than ever the ones that have been around the longest

    - there is absoluetly no patients from anyone, new or old

    - no matter how up front you are with people they repeatedly call and want to know the story, as if you were on the beach instead of installing there pavers.

    - i have come across a few instances of showing up for a job with another company, the homeowners response is well who ever got here first got the job. this has happened to me on 3 occasions this year and twice my very best friend in the bus. who we share phone call to see if mrs. soso called showed up at the same time and once we heard the story, we both bolted.

    - customers who think that we dont need the money, im owed the most ive ever had in years.

  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    People do things for their reasons, not your's...that is what I have learned.

  3. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,472

    You have to have a emergency fund, a winter fund, and a new one called a drought fund.
  4. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    O man.. The list could go on forever.
    -Cleanup after edging takes alot longer then you think...
    -Walkbehinds are far stronger then trees....
    -Water Shutoffs can really ruin brand new blades...
    -Mowers use WAY less gas at 80% throttle!!
    -Blowing a little grass out of the mulch for perfect strips is never worth it..
    -Keep all your reciepts..
    -Prices differ, alot, for everything from mulch to mowers. So always call around before you buy.
    -And the biggest thing I have learned is that even if most of your lawns have irrigation as soon as the city decides its time for a watering ban your F***ED!
    yeah... Ive been mowing a lawn or 2 for 5 years? maybe 6? But honestly, Id say last year was the first time I was actauly in the biz... (Im 16)
  5. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    ah, lets see here...

    >> never mow for your boss or employees of a different company/field,
    because they are both slow to pay (if they ever pay at all, and my boss
    likes to take taxes out of my charges, and the jobs were underpriced)

    >> have at least 3-4 patterns changed weekly (or whatever frequency of the

    >> keep VERY active communications with your customers...
    I left to Louisiana for 2 weeks to see my grandmother b4 she died and
    arrived to some incredibly pissed customers (boy that was fun)
    ---on the same note, I decided to experiment with cutting talk time to speed up mowing for the day (even though it wasn't nessessary) and it seemed I lost a valuable connection to customers, so I slowed back down and very happy customers again. They like to talk. Part of my job is to listen, and it definately pays off!

    >> I adopted topsite's idea of bulk stocking blades and sharpen them when the newly sharpened pile gets low...but don't be an idiot, use some kind of cushioning when trying to get em off...and use 6 point contacts (sockets)...tighting the blades with a 12 pt and slipping can slice a baffle deep into your thumb:cry:

    >> Stop pricing around and act professional and polite with your dealer (although i'm sure it applies to a bajillion other different aspects too). I noticed that after I stopped asking for his prices on every thing, he treats me with more respect as a LCO instead of a kid and delivers A+ rated service to my equipment:cool2:

    >> avoid trailer parks/renters

    >> keep your tools handy

    >> Fluid Film is king of all mowing parts that need TLC

    there will probably be more for me to add on to this, but I've racked up enough wrinkles in my brain and bruises on my body for tough lessons for now.
  6. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    Charge accordingly. This is my 6th year and I still seem to find a way to underbid jobs. I've already made arrangements with myself to step up to the plate and charge what it is actually worth. I'm an unintentional low-baller, if there ever was such a thing.

    At the end of this year, I will definitely be sending out letters to certain customers who are basically charging me to mow! Not their fault, but from a business standpoint, it must be done in order for my business to grow.
  7. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    I'm so the opposite of that. I'm here to work GO INSIDE DAMN IT!! (that's what I think to myself anyway)
  8. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    Ive learned that everyone wants something for nothing from the customer to the dealers to the insurance man. And by the way, since this is my first year, alot of them got it too!
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    there are NO friends in Business
  10. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    I aggree!!!

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