PDA

View Full Version : lawn school


lawn-guy
03-10-2009, 10:44 PM
as many of u may have read ive been in this line of work for some years and love it , i recently enrolled in gophers online lawn school and took the course and of course i passed lol but i found it very informative and a great expierence i highly recommend any one getting started in this industry or still a little new to this check it out it should teach you alot this class is free to members of this site and we all know any form of education is priceless and this could help you keeping your company profitable and succesful.

this could also be a good tool to use to help train employees and rising supervisors,as many of us know often are supervisors are faced with giving estimates and dealing with customers on the spot

check it out its well worth your time,

Steve
03-10-2009, 11:12 PM
this could also be a good tool to use to help train employees and rising supervisors,as many of us know often are supervisors are faced with giving estimates and dealing with customers on the spot

I am glad you liked it!

Now this is very interesting. What kinds of concepts would ideally be taught to help employees or supervisors?

lawn-guy
03-11-2009, 01:08 AM
customer service skills
how to handle upset/rude customers
what to do in certain circumstances
how to estimate a job on the spot
how to handle accidents/on job injuries
how to handle over seeing other employees
what to do in emergency circumstances

the list goes on and on come on people lets get some input here

Steve
03-11-2009, 03:48 AM
Ok let's break this into smaller parts and understand it all better. Please anyone reading that wants to jump in, do so.

customer service skills

What do you find to be important customer service skills that employees need to know? What stands out in your mind?

lawn-guy
03-11-2009, 09:53 AM
well ....
dealing with unhappy/disgruntel customers(yard is scalped-last visit clippings were left on walk way)
what to do if something at customers is damaged(broken window-cut cable/phone line)
if customer needs pricing on other jobs(pruning-gutter cleaning)
what to do if customer wants to cancell services(cancell mid contract)
what to do if customer has questions about billing (over charged-doesnt understand statement)


here are a few with some examples in ( )

Steve
03-11-2009, 10:55 AM
This is good, let's keep working on it.

what to do in certain circumstances

What types of circumstances are you thinking of?

outerelements
03-11-2009, 01:07 PM
I agree. I am currently pursuing my MBA, however, almost every night, I find myself drifting off of my school work and getting on here and taking the gopher haul class online. It is really interesting and I am definitely learning alot!

Cant thank you enough Steve!!

Outer Elements Lawn & Landscape

Steve
03-11-2009, 01:16 PM
You are very welcome.

Join in here and get some ideas in the post on what I should be including in future sections, if you can.

lawn-guy
03-11-2009, 07:07 PM
injurys property damage missing equipment un fixable equipment
sick employee bad weather

Steve
03-11-2009, 11:42 PM
Great ideas!

What suggestions would you have for your employees if they found themselves dealing with these situations?


injurys
property damage
missing equipment
un fixable equipment
sick employee
bad weather

lawn-guy
03-12-2009, 01:47 AM
Great ideas!

What suggestions would you have for your employees if they found themselves dealing with these situations?


injurys
administer first aid-call ems if needed-call office-fill out report

property damage
try to fix-inform office-fill out incident report

missing equipment
call office -call authorities-fill out a report

un fixable equipment
after trying to fix call office get further details /finish job with equipment you have

sick employee
call office-make a report-arrange for employee to get to shop or home

bad weather
work as long as its safe-no matter what finish job if possible-safely load equipment and call office



here are a few

Steve
03-12-2009, 05:30 PM
no matter what finish job if possible
Can you tell us more of what you mean by this? Because I think a new employee could read simply no matter what finish the job.

Also:


What do you suggest the new employee do when dealing with unhappy/disgruntel customers(yard is scalped-last visit clippings were left on walk way)?

What should they do if something at customers is damaged (like a cable/phone line)?

What should they do if customer needs pricing on other jobs(pruning-gutter cleaning)?

what to do if customer wants to cancel services(cancel mid contract)?

what to do if customer has questions about billing (over charged-doesnt understand statement

lawn-guy
03-12-2009, 08:41 PM
Can you tell us more of what you mean by this? Because I think a new employee could read simply no matter what finish the job.
Basicly it means if you have to work in the rain for 10-20 inutes so be it
Also:


What do you suggest the new employee do when dealing with unhappy/disgruntel customers(yard is scalped-last visit clippings were left on walk way)?
well explain to customer that you were not there last week but you will take care of and you wil inform managment of the problem, and then ask them if there is something you could do to make it up to them
What should they do if something at customers is damaged (like a cable/phone line)?
1st try to fix it then inform office of situation and fill out a report that way managment can make arrangments to have it repaired then leave a note for customer
What should they do if customer needs pricing on other jobs(pruning-gutter cleaning)?
if they have not been granted permission and or trained to bid on these services they shall call office and see what they would like for you to do

what to do if customer wants to cancel services(cancel mid contract)?
explain to them they need to call the office and handle that matter with them then employee should call office to give them a heads up,and find out what they should do
what to do if customer has questions about billing (over charged-doesnt understand statement
try to explain it to them ONLY if youre are knowledgable of the system that is used or let customer know that if they call the office tat it will promptly be taken care of for them


here are a few
also if everone wants to come up with a few questions to post and then we can ask several diffrent owners/foreman there opinion to kind of get the correct general answer we could do that

swstout
03-12-2009, 10:07 PM
You are very welcome.

Join in here and get some ideas in the post on what I should be including in future sections, if you can.

1. Dealing with local bureaucracy. Regulations, procedures, rules changing monthly.

2. What to look for when seeking an accountant.

3. Optimizing income tax savings

Steve

Steve
03-15-2009, 04:34 AM
Steve,

1. Dealing with local bureaucracy. Regulations, procedures, rules changing monthly.

2. What to look for when seeking an accountant.

3. Optimizing income tax savings

Do you have a few things you could say about each of these topics? Maybe an everyday life example you could share? That would be very helpful.

swstout
03-15-2009, 09:58 AM
Steve,



Do you have a few things you could say about each of these topics? Maybe an everyday life example you could share? That would be very helpful.

1. Dealing with bureaucracy - A new ordinance that says "No operating of equipment that creates noise pollution (like a lawn mower) before 10am Monday - Saturday or 1:30pm Sunday in the City limits"! :eek:

2. Finding a good accountant - Looking for tips and questions to ask perspective accountants. What to look for and what to look to avoid. ;)

3. Saving money on taxes - What expenses to track for optimum deductions and credits. :confused:

Steve

Steve
03-15-2009, 05:19 PM
Steve,

Do you have any advice to share on these topics?


how to estimate a job on the spot

how to handle over seeing other employees


What would you want your staff to know about these topics?

swstout
03-16-2009, 12:10 AM
Steve,

Do you have any advice to share on these topics?


how to estimate a job on the spot

how to handle over seeing other employees


What would you want your staff to know about these topics?

I am still new at estimating lawn care, but I have had experience selling other products and services. I will only give estimates ďon the jobĒ or at least after, I have seen the job. No phone quotes. I have a measuring wheel and use it. I am in the process of developing a lawn survey to cover all phases of lawn and property care and upkeep. Foremost, I donít want to miss any opportunities, but, also I want a starting point for upsells.

Whenever possible, I try to get the customer to walk the lot with me. I concentrate on what the call was originally about, say mowing, but let him know about other services without pushing. I read somewhere, I think in the lawn school about a person who suggested doing the job free one time to make an accurate estimate for an annual contract. I might use this technique with particularly negotiating customers.

At this time, I only run one truck, with one and sometimes two helpers. I am on the job with them. I let the helpers they donít just work for me, they represent me. That I expect integrity 24/7 and that if they someday want to start a business, they will expect the same. Manners, language, appearance and behavior are vital to their continued employment. I stress safety, theirs, the customers, and the public. Their pay is dependent on their attitude. I prefer older employees with experience in dealing with people and taking care of their own lawns. I donít have the opportunity here because the fire department is volunteer, but when I was doing siding and replacement windows, if would seek out paid firemen. They are on 24 off 48 and know how to deal with emergencies and people. When I expand, I will use the same principles.

What do I want my staff to know about these topics? Above is a start but training should be ongoing. The Lawn school would be a good start.

Steve

lawn-guy
03-16-2009, 01:11 AM
Steve,

Do you have any advice to share on these topics?


how to estimate a job on the spot
well alot needs to be taken into consideration when estimating-SIZE,if they have any expierence in this line of work they should be able to guess at ow much time it will take to cut then they need to take into consideration OBSTACLES such as shrubs sidewalks dog houses fences exct. all this will have to be trimmed around then the EQUIPMENT that you can use if i can use a Z or wlk behind its gonna be cheaper than if i have to push mow alot.CONDITION of property also comes into play if its in decent shape its gonna be cheaper than if the grass is a foot tall and full of debri,one last thing is LOCATION i hate to say it but it does matter if you are in a high end neighborhood verses the ghetto

how to handle over seeing other employees
First things first there has to be a understanding of who is in charge and your employees have to respect you and your authoritie,you all need to get along .Friends can be the best or worse people to work with if there is a understandind of who is in charge and it is respected it can be great working with friends on the other hand working together can destroy a friendship in no time,one will feel as they cant tell a friend what to do or that one doesnt have to take the direction because there friends.WORK IS WORK PERSONAL IS PERSONAL. a supervisor needs to be confident and respected. i have done a few things before for my crews that i was supervising at the time to motivate them such as lunch at a local rest after a big job is finished or after a nice productive week or even letting them off early on a friday if everything is finished early,this not only benefits the company but it gives the crew momentum to get the work done right and fast and as we all know time is money. if you have a employee who doesnt wanna listen and refuses to follow your directions send him home for the day or make him come in on a friday,have him wash and change oil n blades on all equipment they need to understand that no matter what you are responsible for them and the properties that you are caring for and that in todays economy if they dont wanna do your way there is 100 people that will


What would you want your staff to know about these topics?

-here are a few -

Steve
03-16-2009, 05:35 AM
Great thoughts!

the list goes on and on come on people lets get some input here

What other topics should be included for employee training?

Lukacs Property Maintenance
04-08-2009, 02:26 PM
I think code of conduct is another thing to train employees.
Also sexual discrimination should be discussed if you have different sexes on the team.

Mike

Steve
04-08-2009, 08:51 PM
What kind of code would you want your employees to adhere to?

jeffcs
05-20-2009, 08:45 AM
i am totally drawing a blank here, where can i find one of those timers to put on the mower so i know the usage. i am searching all over, but perhaps i am not calling it the right thing. i tried equipment timer and a few others, but no luck

thanks

Steve
05-20-2009, 09:24 AM
Something like this? Hour meter. (http://www.rcpw.com/Briggs_Hour_Meter.htm)

jeffcs
05-20-2009, 06:58 PM
Something like this? Hour meter. (http://www.rcpw.com/Briggs_Hour_Meter.htm)
yes, thank you very much. was brain farting this morning, just could not think of it.

cruzgardening
10-30-2010, 04:07 AM
wow didn't know about the lawn school now im doing it and loving the information thank you very much for the great information im sure everyone can benefit from it :)

hawthornelawncare
09-18-2011, 03:40 AM
Something like this? Hour meter. (http://www.rcpw.com/Briggs_Hour_Meter.htm)

hey steve are we gonna see a second part of the lawn school?

Steve
09-19-2011, 11:16 PM
What would you like to see in it?

PineHillLawn
05-17-2012, 02:28 PM
I just completed the class myself(and passed with honors by the way, lol) It does have several key things I had never thought about and gave me a ton of insight on how to deal with customers who are non paying and how to become a better lawn care operator. Thanks Steve for all the work you've put into helping the rest of us!

krd lawn and landscape
06-03-2012, 02:33 AM
I passed with a 99% but it wouldnt give me the certificate ??

Steve
06-04-2012, 02:30 PM
You have to make sure you answered all the questions. With a 99%, you might have missed one.

dtacmed
11-15-2012, 06:28 AM
I think code of conduct is another thing to train employees.
Also sexual discrimination should be discussed if you have different sexes on the team.

Mike

Great program !! I also agree once you begin adding employees sexual or harrassment of any type becomes an issue to discuss. Being a manager now with 120+ employees we see this quite alot. Obviously in lawn care you should not see it as much but still could become an problem and it does not have to just be male / female situations. I think the code of conduct is somewhat discussed in one of the lectures. The part here that needs to be stressed is customer service is everyone on the team responsibility.

cutnuplawnservice
03-04-2013, 11:01 PM
I started the online classes yesterday. Looking forward to gaining all the info / knowledge I can. I truly believe to compete in this business you have to gain trust and that comes from knowing what the heck you are talking about...:)

Outfield Lawn Care
06-04-2013, 09:06 PM
I was in customer service for 6 years and worked for a bank, health care industry, and outdoor company. I think the biggest attribute I got from those industries customer service training was to listen to the customer. Repeat back what they told you and explain how you are going to fix it...This my friends will make you golden.

tcangaroo
12-15-2013, 03:58 AM
i've been trying to sign up for the lawn school but when i log in it won't let me enroll? i'm confused. Can anyone help

Steve
12-16-2013, 03:10 PM
I saw your other post on this. Send me a PM with your username and password and I will see if I can log on and figure out where the problem is.

tcangaroo
12-17-2013, 01:06 AM
I saw your other post on this. Send me a PM with your username and password and I will see if I can log on and figure out where the problem is.

Thanks but i figured it out.

Steve
12-17-2013, 01:44 PM
Can you tell us what happened so if others are having a similar problem, they can read this and figure it out too?

J.A.S.LawnService
12-22-2013, 07:21 AM
I just finished the lawn school. I gained a lot of knowledge that I plan on using as enter my 3rd season. My hope is to go from 37 customers to 50. I plan on marketing in the areas where I have customers already. My goal is to also offer fertilizing this season and to add a larger mower. Probably a 52" or 60". Maybe an Exmark stand-on.

Thank you everyone for your imformative posts.

Paco
J.A.S. Lawn Service

Steve
12-23-2013, 02:04 PM
I know you can do it! Keep us posted on your growth as it happens.

CLB454
01-05-2014, 08:51 PM
Just finished the lawn care school. Good stuff in here that I feel will help me getting my business rolling this season.

CLB454
01-09-2014, 12:28 PM
So I just went to print out the little certificate for the Lawn School here and there is no name on it. Did I not do something right when signing up?

Steve
01-09-2014, 02:48 PM
The only thing I can think of is maybe you didn't put your name in? Maybe you just put a company name in?

cwilliac
01-09-2014, 03:52 PM
It has been a long time since I did this course, but the same thing happened to me. I just used and editing program (Gimp) to edit and put my name on it.

SGL1
05-06-2014, 12:22 AM
I too registered but never received an email. C'mon Steve, I'd like to git my lern on. I haven't drank in awhile so my brain is like a fresh sponge. :D

Steve
05-06-2014, 12:47 PM
Did you check your spam folder? Were you able to log in at all or no?

SGL1
05-06-2014, 07:48 PM
Can't login, says wrong user name or password and no spam. Nothing.

SGL1
05-06-2014, 08:53 PM
Anyway, finally got it to work I used another email and voila, there it was. Don't know why the first didn't work I tested it and it seems to be ok but might be getting hung up at server.
Yep, I do apologize it got hung up by spam filter at server.