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View Full Version : It's good to have friends!


CHEESE2009
05-07-2012, 06:49 PM
My clients are so-far pretty fantastic this season, until;

A lady just called (been with us for 3 years). She has always been a pain in the arse (Super Jewy).

First thing she says is, "This other company does this and that for the customers they have".

I had to explain to her that the clients of the other company are PAYING for that work to be done. Stupid c#nt.... Not in the mood for headaches YET!

Anyway, she chose us, BUT I just called a competitor (ally). I said, "I have a client on x street, her lawn is very simple but I just can't put up with her this season, maybe you will have better luck!". I explained my price, what up-sells she wants, etc.

I told my friend to go advertise to her so that she switches to them and I can get rid of her before she writes me any cheques...

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The reason for this is, the majority of my 'first ever' clients have pretty much become a burden. Some of these clients still don't pay great, and they like to aggravate me.

I've made a LOT of changes so that this year would be great and stress free (as much as possible), and I'm not going to let one bad apple even attempt to get under my skin.

Steve
05-07-2012, 09:31 PM
The reason for this is, the majority of my 'first ever' clients have pretty much become a burden.

Scott, isn't that interesting how as you grow, you shed some old customers and pick up new ones that are more fitting?

CS-LawnService
05-08-2012, 04:06 AM
Scott, isn't that interesting how as you grow, you shed some old customers and pick up new ones that are more fitting?

More fitting or less hating ?

Scott has the strangest customers

willshome
05-08-2012, 06:06 AM
I have a few customers that think that $30 means I will spend all day vacuuming up every little piece of grass. Don't get me wrong my lawns look very nice

Ladybug Landscape
05-29-2012, 01:26 PM
I have a few customers that think that $30 means I will spend all day vacuuming up every little piece of grass. Don't get me wrong my lawns look very nice

I have a customer and quoted her husband because she told me to deal with him. 30. a hour to clear a fence line that is 20 ft deep in vines and old wood and just mess. I hauled 11, 6x12 full trailer loads out of their yard. It was a two person crew and we got it done in 22 hours. I believe it should be billed at 44 hours because it was 2 men. The customer of course only wants to pay regular time for our work. I dont like to milk the clock but if I had of known I would have for sure. Plus she doesnt want to pay a haul off or dumping fee. ANY SUGGESTIONS???

Grass Doctor
05-29-2012, 02:10 PM
I have a customer and quoted her husband because she told me to deal with him. 30. a hour to clear a fence line that is 20 ft deep in vines and old wood and just mess. I hauled 11, 6x12 full trailer loads out of their yard. It was a two person crew and we got it done in 22 hours. I believe it should be billed at 44 hours because it was 2 men. The customer of course only wants to pay regular time for our work. I dont like to milk the clock but if I had of known I would have for sure. Plus she doesnt want to pay a haul off or dumping fee. ANY SUGGESTIONS???

if im right 660 bucks she own u, it took u 2 or 3 days to do the job dumping charge 80 for a regular sometimes brush sites charges less 40 bucks for a full trailer 220 bucks for the help. so u make 300. next time lady bug do a small contract and charge 100.00 for dumping or trash hauling so u can have a little extra for ur self allways ask for a 50% upfront before u start any job this will reduce ur risks of getting burn in a job but any how thats the way we learn to bid our work by getting burn:D.

Steve
05-30-2012, 08:15 AM
That is a great question!

How did you set up your agreement? Was it that the customer agreed to $30 an hour?

Did you discuss that being per man hour? Did they know you would have two people working on this job? Or was this something you didn't think would become an issue?

Fireman Gus
06-01-2012, 09:03 PM
When we bid a job we let the person know up front that our rate is for "Man hours". If they ask about that we just state we will have 2 people working so the cost will be $____/hour. If they don't like that we explain that if only one person is working it will take much longer. If they continue to ask questions about price we refuse the work!

Grass Doctor
06-02-2012, 03:18 AM
When we bid a job we let the person know up front that our rate is for "Man hours". If they ask about that we just state we will have 2 people working so the cost will be $____/hour. If they don't like that we explain that if only one person is working it will take much longer. If they continue to ask questions about price we refuse the work!


i have done work for friends helping them out in their landscape projects and they have agree to pay by the hour cause they cant afford a contractor price, here is what i learn FIREMAN ( i like that fireman like lil wayne song :cool:) OK so when u provide labor to the customer u have to be really care full cause, they will feel, that they own u for whatever amount they pay u 10.00, 15.00, 40.00 per hour they are paying for labor so they should know what they are going to do, skill wise they are the boss, so u should not cover any material, gas expense or else. u only a worker for them there is a difference on providing a service and being own. i used to work for a business they provide skill labor for a bigger firm. we rebuild the Rits Carslton hotel in New Orleans after Katrina the bigger firm pay 75.00 per hour to the business i work for, i was in the scaffolding doing mason job the gargoyles, lions etc.
when there was not stone to work with, because they didn't send the stone from grace, Italy somewhere fancy in Europe, you know what the bigger firm put us to do pick up garbage from the others contractor :D we where own. and i was making 12.50 plus over time 6.25 we work 80 to 90 hours per week they gave me food, tree times per day a room in the suites of the fancy hotel but i was own, almost a slave :D just that i was making 1,500 to 1,900 per week steady money for full year.

nice for a single guy.:rolleyes:

Ladybug Landscape
06-05-2012, 06:31 PM
That is a great question!

How did you set up your agreement? Was it that the customer agreed to $30 an hour?

Did you discuss that being per man hour? Did they know you would have two people working on this job? Or was this something you didn't think would become an issue?

I honestly didnt think it wuld have been a problem. It would have taken just myself at least twice if not three times as long. I told her that when we talked about the man hours after the fact. I dont see how this couldnt have been misunderstood but eithor way it was my mistake for not getting it on paper. It wasnt said up front and that is where the lesson is learned.

Lesson learned is to get everything in writing and make sure to write up the quotes or estimates after leaving the job. Get back to them as soon as possible but let customer know the time frame one day, three days or by friday. Get all the cost and expenses written out and make sure to estimate in alittle extra for surprises and put it on paper then go sell it to customer.
I havent been doing this long and learn everyday from some customer or alot of times myself.

Steve
06-06-2012, 11:28 AM
It's fascinating how it all goes isn't it? There are going to be things you think are common sense issues that customers will try and twist and turn to their advantage.

Good for you for making it through this situation and then tweaking your operations to run better next time.

mmcuttrim
07-31-2012, 10:05 AM
I too have learned by the burn. Everyone is correct. You must get these big jobs in writing. I also learned any equipment rental fees must be paid upfront with half of the total labor upfront. Still paying for some equipment rentals because I was "being nice". If they want the work done they will pay on your terms. If not be wary. Run your business don't let it run you!