PDA

View Full Version : The bad part of town!


PineHillLawn
04-14-2012, 08:25 PM
I just got back from a call from my ad on Craigslist for lawn care.

First of all it was in a rougher part of town, second there was no way to get to the front yard with anything but a 22" push mower and you'd have to carry up a set of stairs. The only other option would be to weed eat the enitre front yard, which while not huge, was just not worth my time. Then the back yard was in a place where after you weed eat the front yard you'd have to drive the whole truck and trailer around the block to get to the back yard, which was full of dog crap and had a mattress and other stuff piled up.

I figured it would take 15 minutes to mow and trim, and if I charged $25 plus an extra $10 if the dog crap wasn't cleaned up, it still wasn't a yard I wanted. As politely as I could I told the guy I just couldn't get my equipment in here.

Was this a wrong move? Should I have taken the job being that I'm just starting out and need the business?

jymie
04-14-2012, 08:38 PM
I just got back from a call from my ad on Craigslist for lawn care.

First of all it was in a rougher part of town, second there was no way to get to the front yard with anything but a 22" push mower and you'd have to carry up a set of stairs. The only other option would be to weed eat the enitre front yard, which while not huge, was just not worth my time. Then the back yard was in a place where after you weed eat the front yard you'd have to drive the whole truck and trailer around the block to get to the back yard, which was full of dog crap and had a mattress and other stuff piled up.

I figured it would take 15 minutes to mow and trim, and if I charged $25 plus an extra $10 if the dog crap wasn't cleaned up, it still wasn't a yard I wanted. As politely as I could I told the guy I just couldn't get my equipment in here.

Was this a wrong move? Should I have taken the job being that I'm just starting out and need the business?
smart move, I never take on work in area's like this, I work to hard for my cash to risk being robbed.

SECTLANDSCAPING
04-14-2012, 08:43 PM
you wouldve regretted taking it. You can tell a **** job when you bid. Theres no reason to believe the yard will ever be cleaned up.

I just bid three yards for one guy. One is just like described above. A fenced in backyard with no gate. You have to bring a push mower down two flights of stairs and then up to leave. I didnt have a choice to bid all 3 since there close enough together.

PineHillLawn
04-14-2012, 08:48 PM
you wouldve regretted taking it. You can tell a **** job when you bid. Theres no reason to believe the yard will ever be cleaned up.

I just bid three yards for one guy. One is just like described above. A fenced in backyard with no gate. You have to bring a push mower down two flights of stairs and then up to leave. I didnt have a choice to bid all 3 since there close enough together.

Well is this the kind of yards you get from Craigslist ads? I even put a picture of the nicest yard I do and I got this call. Makes me kind of wonder if Cragslist is the right move.

Hedgemaster
04-14-2012, 09:19 PM
Well is this the kind of yards you get from Craigslist ads? I even put a picture of the nicest yard I do and I got this call. Makes me kind of wonder if Cragslist is the right move.

I dunno... I've had calls for a few of the yards as you described. (and turned them down)
Overall tough, I have a pretty mixed bag of "types" that I've gotten from Craigslist. To say that "wealthy people" don't use Craigslist is just not accurate.

I can't tell you what you should or shouldn't "take", but I will say this as a new guy going into my second season - If you fill your schedule with low-pay jobs, you won't have any time left for higher paying jobs when they present themselves.
I've retained almost all of my clients from my first season. I have a limited amount of spaces left to fill now and I've already turned down several jobs this spring because I either (a) Don't WANT them, or (b) don't want to work a low-paying job that I will regret taking.

I just picked up a biweekly that I'm getting $50/cut for. It's not terribly difficult and I think I can trim the time down to about 35 to 40 minutes after I get more familiar with it. Why fill that slot with a $15-$25 job?

Last season I took almost anything I could get. One thing I learned is that there are plenty (at least in my area) of people out there looking for a good lawn guy. No need to "settle" for the first lawn that comes your way.

JeffK26
04-14-2012, 09:36 PM
Don't base CL on that one property.

All kinds are on CL, not only cheapskates.

You did the right move. I'm starting out this year and I've turned down a few customers simply because the yard was either more dirt than grass, or dog crap.

More customers will come. I'm getting calls regularly.

SECTLANDSCAPING
04-14-2012, 10:41 PM
Well is this the kind of yards you get from Craigslist ads? I even put a picture of the nicest yard I do and I got this call. Makes me kind of wonder if Cragslist is the right move.

Yeah this guy found me on CL. I did 3-4 jobs for him before but I bid twice as many that I didnt get. I dont think I got this one either. I told him the only way I'm doing those yards if I can schedule them all the same day. Out of the 3 only 1 was a nice flat yard. The other had a steep hill down the whole backyard.

WorkForMySelf
04-15-2012, 12:54 AM
I get alot of this from CL.. i have a stihl kombi for weedeating and edgin... that stays locked in the tool box, the blower stays locked in truck cab. i use a push mower so i painfully put it in the back of the truck.. i keep everything locked if i am not using it. it sucks but i make money on them. I have a nice yards from cl too... i also have one in a trailer park lololol you should see the mexicans laugh, i bet they all work day labor for other lawn services and would do it for $10 but she called my CL ad lolol :)

picframer
04-15-2012, 05:44 AM
I would say right thing, we all have area(s) in our cities that is less desirable to work in, I generally state we are currently booked solid.

JLM
04-15-2012, 11:46 AM
I have a few in the bad part of town...It's hard to work with a Glock on your hip! LOL! What would you gain by taking the job? I dont see you picking up many lawns in that area I know first hand, I feel stuck with 2 lawns that I cant shake mowing for 2 of the nicest 75 and 82 year old ladies for next to nuthin, I have pulled no other customers from that area. You did good bud.

mark123
04-15-2012, 04:20 PM
I dunno... I've had calls for a few of the yards as you described. (and turned them down)
Overall tough, I have a pretty mixed bag of "types" that I've gotten from Craigslist. To say that "wealthy people" don't use Craigslist is just not accurate.

I can't tell you what you should or shouldn't "take", but I will say this as a new guy going into my second season - If you fill your schedule with low-pay jobs, you won't have any time left for higher paying jobs when they present themselves.
I've retained almost all of my clients from my first season. I have a limited amount of spaces left to fill now and I've already turned down several jobs this spring because I either (a) Don't WANT them, or (b) don't want to work a low-paying job that I will regret taking.

I just picked up a biweekly that I'm getting $50/cut for. It's not terribly difficult and I think I can trim the time down to about 35 to 40 minutes after I get more familiar with it. Why fill that slot with a $15-$25 job?

Last season I took almost anything I could get. One thing I learned is that there are plenty (at least in my area) of people out there looking for a good lawn guy. No need to "settle" for the first lawn that comes your way.
That's a great point. We aren't really selling lawn service, we are selling slots in our schedule. The point is to fill it with the best possible jobs.

Al Kessinger
04-15-2012, 04:51 PM
That's a great point. We aren't really selling lawn service, we are selling slots in our schedule. The point is to fill it with the best possible jobs.


On average how many slots a week can one team of two handle. I know that this will vary based on equipment, lot size, travel etc bust just an average idea.

mark123
04-15-2012, 08:42 PM
On average how many slots a week can one team of two handle. I know that this will vary based on equipment, lot size, travel etc bust just an average idea.
I don't know how to answer for anyone other than myself so I really couldn't give you an actual average. I've got 50 slots in my schedule now. 8 are purposely left open for miscellaneous work, estimates, equipment issues and breathing room for rain delays. 8 other slots are shared by 16 customers being bi-weekly. I'd estimate a crew of two would be able to handle near 75 slots but just the sound of that gives me a paperwork headache. ;)

Johnny_boy02
04-15-2012, 09:50 PM
I have a few in the bad part of town...It's hard to work with a Glock on your hip! LOL!

I made it half a day with a Kimber CDPII before I gave in an and switched to a Ruger LCP in a pocket holster. I don't even notice it.

wihoyt
04-25-2012, 07:55 PM
Try working in Rockford IL which is the 9th most dangerous city in the US. I have a few accounts in the better parts but I dont even go look at places in the bad areas. Its just not worth getting robbed shot or stabbed over. Also do you actually think they would pay you? Go try and collect your monthly $100 from a place like that. You did make a mistake though! you wasted your time and gas and safety to even look at it.

ChrisandCathy
05-07-2012, 08:51 PM
We work everywhere... the real problem here is property theft from everybody's cars, not that much of anything else. But the main thing I don't want us to do anymore is properties that are just too far away. We're stuck with some of those now because my brother had to take whatever he could get last year and the customers stayed on. I'm trying to convince him that we NEED to drop some people. :mad: