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Two for Two - Woo-Hoo! First Scheduled Mowing Clients

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  • I got a real nice bonus today.

    "Thanks, but your service is no longer needed..."

    When I asked why, I got this...

    "Because I can see dirt when you edge the sidewalk"


    WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Long time problems with her, and CHEAP. No loss for me. I consider it a bonus because I don't have to deal with her anymore. The only reason I didn't dump her before was because I needed the $$.
    that was ur late trick or treat candy bag

    Comment


    • that was ur late trick or treat candy bag
      HAHAHAHAHAHHA we both got pretty cool trick or treat gifts this year!! Good thing I don't mow around christmas....hopefully you don't either! By the way things have been going, "Santa" would set our trailers on fire!

      Comment


      • This is funny going back and reading these posts.
        I really should keep this thread updated more regularly.


        I've lost a few accounts this season.
        Most were because the kids are old enough to mow the lawn now, or they moved.
        One was because I don't offer chemical application. No big deal - I understand the desire to have someone who does it all.

        Another was for what I assume is similar reasons. I was mowing a lawn at a fairly nice home with an in-ground pool and quite a bit of beds that needed maintained. They had been neglected, and I honestly didn't have the time, or desire to tackle the project on my own, so they hired a landscaper to do some extensive work on the property. (this was last season)
        I contacted them this spring and learned that they were going to use that landscaper now. "He gave us a price to maintain the property that had mowing included."

        While it sucked to lose a good client (always paid on time and for a month or two at a time), I can understand that they may want to simply write one check and be done with it. I also suspect that it had something to do with hiring a minority owned business. Whatever the reason, it's their money and they can spend it where they choose.

        I did inquire if there was anything I had done, or did not offer, or if it was a matter of price that caused them to go with someone else.
        "Oh, no! YOU were great!" she said. They just had the offer from the landscaper and it was how they wanted to do it.

        One of the drawbacks of being solo is the limits on time and physical ability to tackle some projects. You win some, you lose some. Fortunately, I've won some more recently. I'll pop back in to post about those later.

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        • One of the drawbacks of being solo is the limits on time and physical ability to tackle some projects. You win some, you lose some.
          Do you think this will at all effect the way you handle growth in the future? Or effect your business plan?
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          • Do you think this will at all effect the way you handle growth in the future? Or effect your business plan?
            I think at the end of this season I will be faced with a decision to either hire help (which I don't see happening due to costs/regulations), or rethink my strategy.

            I had planned on "growing" - getting a ZTR and mowing larger properties, but I don't know that this is feasible without a helper. It's hard enough working "medium-sized" properties alone. I keep seeing the benefit of mowing a bunch of tiny, city lawns instead. $25/$30 for a 10-15 minute job is a lot better than $35/$40 for a 30/45/50/60 minute job. On paper AND on my aching feet.

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            • I love going back and reading all the old posts in this thread. Almost make me want to cry the years are going by so fast!

              Dude. over 35,000 views on this thread Hedge! Congrats to that!

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              • I stepped in poop today.

                I'm ready to drop the client because of it.


                The phone keeps ringing. No reason to hang on to clients who can not accommodate a simple request like cleaning up before I arrive.

                I just picked up another customer that pays $5 more for a job that's slightly smaller than poop yard guy.
                I think I just made my decision.

                Comment


                • I stepped in poop today.

                  I'm ready to drop the client because of it.


                  The phone keeps ringing. No reason to hang on to clients who can not accommodate a simple request like cleaning up before I arrive.

                  I just picked up another customer that pays $5 more for a job that's slightly smaller than poop yard guy.
                  I think I just made my decision.

                  I hadn't dropped poop guy yet. Today I went there and, you guessed it, more poop. I mowed around one, went over another that I didn't see, and caught the edge of one with the string trimmer.

                  He's done. I'm going to get my check tomorrow and I'm giving him the two week notice. It's a biweekly that simply grows too much to cut every other week. He agreed to weekly cuts for about 4 weeks, then wanted to go back to biweekly. I tried it. I'll go back in two weeks if he hasn't found someone and then I'm done. The poop was the last straw. It's a simple request and I expect it to be cleaned up prior to my arrival. No exceptions.

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                  • I had a former client come crawling back to me today.

                    I'm sure I mentioned it somewhere in this thread - guy whose lawn I was cutting and I found the lawn already cut for several weeks in a row when I went there. Turned out his OLD lawn guy "came back" without notice and started mowing again and he didn't have the heart to tell him no. WTF?
                    I didn't like the lawn anyway, so not a big loss.

                    Well today he called and wanted to let me know the job was mine again if I wanted it.

                    "Thanks for calling, but right now I'm only taking on lawns I can cut with my big mower" I said.
                    (his was push mow only and he wanted it bagged - I mulch)

                    blah blah blah... "I should have kept you on before - you do a LOT better job than the other guy!" he said.



                    Everybody wants the Hedgemaster, but Hedgemaster no longer wants everybody.

                    Comment


                    • I'm sure I mentioned it somewhere in this thread - guy whose lawn I was cutting and I found the lawn already cut for several weeks in a row when I went there. Turned out his OLD lawn guy "came back" without notice and started mowing again and he didn't have the heart to tell him no. WTF?
                      OH WOW! What a situation that is.
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                      • OH WOW! What a situation that is.

                        Tell me about it. Even the homeowner had no idea who was mowing the lawn initially.

                        Former lawn guy quit because he had a heart attack. I start mowing then out of the blue this guy just starts mowing this lawn again - without ever contacting the homeowner.

                        Comment


                        • Tell me about it. Even the homeowner had no idea who was mowing the lawn initially.

                          Former lawn guy quit because he had a heart attack. I start mowing then out of the blue this guy just starts mowing this lawn again - without ever contacting the homeowner.
                          yeah thats a little weird maybe they got his meds a little to strong

                          Comment


                          • A few weeks back I picked up another client who is the father of a client I've been cutting for a few years now. Seems "his guy" just stopped showing up.

                            The second week I was there he had company - some family from out of town was there.
                            As I was finishing up I shut down the mower and said hello to a guy who had come out to sit on the porch. "You do nice work, my friend", he said.
                            "Well, thank you", I replied "I'm pretty particular about keeping my lines straight." (as I gesture to the section of lawn I had just finished)
                            "No sh!t - it looks like a damned football field!", he replied! (LOL)

                            "Maaaannn... you do it right - the guys that cut our lawn don't do half of what you did."
                            He said that there's a crew of three that cut his lawn. Apparently they don't trim along anything the way I did and the stripes are nowhere near as neat as mine.

                            "What do we have to do to convince you to pack your gear and move to D.C.?" he joked.
                            "I told my wife I'm firing our guys when we get back."




                            "Well, I certainly appreciate the compliments", I replied.

                            Sometimes I wonder if anyone even notices the fine details. The things that take extra time, but make a job - any job - look that much better.
                            Apparently it was noticed.

                            Comment


                            • I just lost a client I picked up last month.

                              Apparently my work is "superb", but they want someone who can handle all the other aspects of what they want done in order to simplify payments and keep track of what they are paying out.

                              I can see that. I'd rather pay one person/company than have to use several.
                              I'm not that guy yet though, so there's nothing I can do about it. Not enough time in a day to "do it all" unfortunately.

                              The upsides to this are:
                              (a) They were not unhappy with any of the work I did
                              (b) I underbid it and it is a horrible job to mow - multiple slopes that need trimmed because they are too steep for a mower, and an insane amount of string trimming around objects. The people were nice, but the lawn will not be missed.



                              On the upside, I just took on a job that pays twice as much for the same amount of time spent mowing.

                              Comment


                              • Wow, I haven't been keeping this updated, but I had to add the following...


                                Do NOT quote what you think they will pay - quote WHAT YOU WANT TO BE PAID.

                                In the last week, or so, I've gotten several calls for lawn mowing quotes.
                                Some I turned down after seeing them, two declined based on price, and a few others are now new clients who didn't bat an eye at what I thought were quotes that were closer to the high end.

                                I am pretty much saturated with work, but I still go and look. If I can pick up some better paying jobs, I will drop a few that aren't such good money makers.


                                I HAVE noted that I'm getting more calls from people who found me on Angie's List.

                                I just got off the phone with two people that I gave quotes to.
                                One, a smallish lot that based on the location, I could see someone doing it for $25-$30. I quoted $38, as it's a temporary job. I wouldn't have even taken it, but it's only a half mile from and existing client.
                                I thought I'd surely be turned down at that price, but no - I got it. And she may have some other work for me doing mulch, shrubs, etc.

                                The other was fine with $40/cut. It's probably a $30-$35 cut. The drawback (sort of) is that it's biweekly, which I'm trying to avoid. I took it though because it's right down the street from an existing client that I cut biweekly and I really have no reason to be in that neighborhood on the "other week". It should work out well.

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