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  • #16
    I dont agree to a job unless it pays at least $1 an hour, I agreed to do some weed removal for a guy that was my customer weekly for lawn mowing fo $10an hour
    Did you really mean $1 an hour?
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    • #17
      Did you really mean $1 an hour?
      No I dont know why I typed hour it should have read $1 per minute, $1 an hour wouldn't pay for the gas alone. good thing I didn't make that error on a newspaper ad.

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      • #18
        Great question!

        Personally, I am the type of person who wont tolerate anything unless it's completely subtle, and clients can be very subtle when it comes to making us go out of our way for them.

        Here are some mock examples;

        Client a: "You are doing a lovely job, but may I ask for you to mow the lawn again just a little bit shorter? Please, if it's not too much trouble for you? I would really appreciate it. Would you like some water?"

        Response: "Sure, not a problem" - you basically have no choice.

        vs

        Client b: "I'm not too happy about your service. I had left a pile of branches that I figured you would remove for me, but you never did. Please come and take them."

        Responce: "I'm sorry but removing branches is not what we do. If you would like for us to take the branches, I'm going to have to charge you $80."

        -

        As you can see, when a client makes a negative assumption/attack, you are able to retaliate with ease by reestablishing your pride and defending yourself. It'll come naturally.

        Unfortunately, a lot of clients play the 'good character/client a' more often, and you can find yourself getting stuck doing additional work for nothing all season long. Eventually it will take its toll on you. You provide the additional work only because the client was just so sweet about the situation and you would feel guilty if you had said, "No" or requested payment. This nice client is actually the worst client imaginable, because you can't justify firing him/her, and that's what needs to be done unless you figure out a safe way to charge them more!

        There are times where you can even tell these clients you must get paid, but in practice, it's never just that easy. Keep your guard up!!!!
        You could always use the gangster approach.

        "The yard looks lovely would you mind taking that trash pile with you?"

        "Everything comes with a price oh pally of mine, you got the money I got the time. Oh hell looka there, I'm a freakin' rapper. You gotta rapper mowin' ya yard fahgetaboutit."

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        • #19
          The op makes valid points but at the same time is off base a mile.
          His advise is sound if he wants to be in business for 5 years and have a low number of clients doing all the work himself, mowing in a $50'000.00 rig.
          How ever the most critical point in business that he failed to even acknowledge
          Is simple.

          As a business you the owner need to give in to pride of a job and stop working in the company and work on building a company.

          I would rather have 500 cheap clients that pay every invoice to keep the 10 employees busy and my bank account rolling over having so few of those high dollar client that I personally had to go out and kiss their *** personally every week.

          Also I personally think the op is off in saying he would mow the lawn again, shorter with a smile yet would get *** bent over the sticks his othe client complained about. Real dang foolish, let's waste 15,20,say 30 minutes of fuel, wear and tear to make this guy happy for free yet you won't pick up 5,10 minutes of sticks for less then 80 bucks???????

          Take some advice from someone not in his own head.

          If a client complains keep him learn from his remark, take it to heart and learn to be better, with becoming better you Lear everyone is the same so price them all the same way!

          When I started I made $35.00 a acre for cutting
          Then the headaches of can you do this and that.

          The next year I had nothing they could ask us to do that we did not do
          If I get a call from a client, I question the crew not the client.
          If you treat folks as the OP states you will be a happy 1 man band with a helper
          Right up until something happens to you and then you won't know what to do.
          The helper will let you down and you wi have to settle or close up shop.

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          • #20
            The hardest thing in running a successful is getting out of the field and into the office managing
            The second hardest is learning your company will never have the same quality as when you did it all.
            The third hardest is realizing your ego that drives you also destroys you internally.
            The key to being big and having a lot of clients is realizing you need able bodies to do the work the trick is lowering your personal standards so your workers stay happy and with you.

            In 2001 I had 12 key men walk out in 1 week ..... It was a fun following week.

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            • #21
              The third hardest is realizing your ego that drives you also destroys you internally.
              Can you explain more about this concept and why you feel this is the case?
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              • #22
                As people we are raised thinking simple minded such as leaders and followers
                Or
                Rich or poor
                Good and bad
                Then we grow up and become more of us
                And our parents call it rebellious , stubborn or great( again it depends on who is looking as to what they see..

                Then we start a company and our ego drives us a few years and it sounds like this
                I want the best company ever
                I want the most pay the nicest yards
                I can do it better then so and so.
                This is ego
                In all those life stories did anyone explain the ego kills a business
                And all we ever heard on this is " there is no I in team"
                Most parents don't understand business so it's up to you the owner to face this.

                I know guys who think they are this great lco and all they are is a job for them because their ego is in the way of that greatness

                He gets a helper, not a employee? (Helper indicates you have to watch him)
                Then this lco hits a wall at the 1-2 truck
                When his ego hits again
                I don't make half as much money with that crew as I did when I done the work myself.
                I have to fix everything that do,
                I won't let my quality drop, because he can't do it like me!
                I won't do more work for less then my mormal because I want the money
                It goes on and on why today a lco is 9 out of 10 times a 3-5 man show.
                And it's because of their bosses ego check.

                So the boss raises hell one day because his ego is in need of a check and it happens, he jumps azz and the next day a man don't show up or worse 2 don't and one is a driver, ego check taken and the boss fights back and asks for more hours from the guys this week on those other jobs.
                The phone starts ringing and it's customers not ego
                And they complain because the regular crew does this and that, and now it's stressing you and your working Saturdays ......
                Years end you lose half what you worked for because your ego stayed in over drive.


                Now take out mr. Ego and let the customer dictate some of the quality issues,
                Let them call if they need to and don't worry about your standards
                Let the work place environment mello
                And remember if you had listened to your business sense not your ego
                When those guys did leave you would have hired a few men placed them in the field to leave the stress behind, yes the clients would still call but tuen you could explain you can't do it all and give you a few weeks and that crew would be good as new.

                A lot of time OUR PRIDE kills our company.

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                • #23
                  A old man once told me.....
                  Ok seriously, a business man told me once
                  He had rather have 100 men doing all the work and making him $1.00 a hour each as to have 1 man making him $1.00
                  He also said at the same time
                  To have 100 men under him ment he would always have a job managing them if it was one man, that one man wouldn't need managing and would likely quit and do it all himself
                  And with 100 men making him a dollar each was better for a business man then for the business man to try and make the $100.00 a hour himself, as that would be much harder work.



                  Then he told me this, and to this day I agree he is right
                  To make it in any business the trick is to do the work, it don't matter about the numbers as much as the work. Do what you say, when you say, how you said you will do it and remember if the guys you manage has free time it's money on the table .when you fill their time add a new man and fill his and repeat.

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                  • #24
                    I weird twist for thought

                    We work hard for our money, why?
                    Why not have others do the work for you
                    I know bums( literal street beggers)
                    Who actually get up get dressed and leave their
                    $100'000.00 homes to go to the city and sit and beg.

                    This man sits, plays a guitar and dresses bum and
                    Yet drives 40 miles home every day told me when I asked as a young man

                    I think of it as being a clown, I have no need for a real job,people judge me sure, but yet I have everything others have and I have never worked a day in my life, no time to be there no rush in life.

                    Then he said look at them all in a rush for the dollar....



                    So I ask why are we raised to let our ego guide us in decisions ? :example: The jones got that corvette, honey we should get that hummer so we have room for the kids at the ball games.

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                    • #25
                      So I ask why are we raised to let our ego guide us in decisions ?
                      That is a very good point. It seems though it is human nature. There is a herding mentality to it all.

                      People find how they are doing in the world when they compare their position with others.

                      If they can afford the same car, shoes, sun glasses, clothes, homes, school, etc as their friends, they feel better about themselves as they feel their position in their herd is momentarily secure.
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