Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Collections & A/R Issues we ALL have....


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #21  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:14 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,289
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

You have been through a very difficult situation that I feel most people never even think about.

As you have your backup plans in place, what say top 5 or top 10 issues do you feel most business owners simply don't plan for?

Which problems do you feel they could quickly avert if only they had a plan in place for themselves?

And why do you feel most business owners don't plan for worst case scenarios?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #22  
Old 11-07-2010, 08:09 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 6
larson lawn care is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
You have been through a very difficult situation that I feel most people never even think about.

As you have your backup plans in place, what say top 5 or top 10 issues do you feel most business owners simply don't plan for?

Which problems do you feel they could quickly avert if only they had a plan in place for themselves?

And why do you feel most business owners don't plan for worst case scenarios?
This is a shot in the dark, but issues small LCO's may not plan for are:

-Drought: It is good to have money stored away for situations where your expected income may be affected.

-Unexpected expenses: Again, you need money saved to compensate for an unexpected vehicle break down, equip repairs etc. For the past few years, I have had customers pre-pay for the season. This helps very much with unexpected expenses and other financial situations.

-Gas prices: I'm sure many have become much better at this but charging the customer accordingly in case gas prices go back up to an insane price. Or simply telling the customer that in the event of gas prices going up, likely you will have to add a fuel surcharge to their bill.

-THEFT: I've had stuff stolen and I'm sure you have too. I've had about $2,500 dollars worth of equipment and tools stolen from me. Now I have an alarm on my truck, locks for everything which stay on at all times when not in use, and an alarm on my garage which houses all of my hard earned equipment.

-Customer loss: You must plan for customer loss, that way you do your best to keep the customers happy. I try my best to think like the customer and cover all angles. Of course you can't please everyone but you can try if you want to. I make sure to explain everything in detail to my customers through letter form. I let them know my plans for the future as an LCO, and I let them know that I am going to keep them satisfied or do what ever I can to do so. I want them to grow with me as a company and with my customer service, I'm sure they feel like they are.

-Upselling: Plan to upsell, especially when expected work is effected due to drought, too much rain etc.

-Plan to answer questions: You have to be knowledgeable in the field you work in. If you don't know the answer to a customers question, you better find it out. I've learned a lot over the past 7 years of lawn maintenance because I would get asked questions by customers, I didn't know the answer so I researched it. Over the past two or so years, I have been able to answer almost every question that I was asked in detail.

-Too much rain: Some customers don't mind if you leave some mud tracks throughout the lawn, but some do and they will be mad if you mow after a heavy rain. Plan to ask your customers and each new one's what their take is on the situation. I've heard of too many people firing their lawn company because of this.

Issues with the customers are something you should see coming especially if you have a plan in place for each situation. I try to explain right off the bat, problem situations that could occur. That way if something does happen, they know that you are aware of it. Otherwise, if you didn't tell them in the first place, they may not even tell you and just fire you. I will mention things like: since my mower is so wide and the terrain is uneven, there may be areas where the mower digs into the ground. Eventually, I will learn every area and be able to prevent it. I will ask them their take on too much rain, should I mow or wait a week? If they need me to wait, I'll tell them I will try to get by sooner if possible. I'll tell them I can't prevent all of the grass from getting into the mulched garden areas, but I will try my best to prevent it and I will do my best to get it out of there. I'm sure I can go on with this but the point is, I take problems that other customers have had in the past (which I fixed for them) and I tell every customer I have and every new customer I get these situations so if/when the problem arises, they don't have to call me and complain and they know I will fix it. They will know you are on top of your game and you are serious about what you do.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-07-2010, 08:20 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 6
larson lawn care is on a distinguished road
Default

I've gotten pretty good at reading people and knowing if they are responsible, organized, and honest. I have on numerous occasions declined work due to fear of not getting paid. Obviously I don't want to have those customers and I am glad I am able to know or have good assumptions, and feel good about not taking on the work. This is in addition to the things companies may not plan for. Plan to have and notice these personalities in customers and potential customers and don't take on the work. I'm not saying don't take on every customer that portrays these characteristics but be well aware that if some one is unorganized and irresponsible, for example, they have stuff piled up in the backyard, their screen door is hanging on by one hinge, a tree is ready to fall down on the side of the house, just walk away.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:27 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,289
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I have on numerous occasions declined work due to fear of not getting paid.
When you are looking at a property and it is a wreck and the renter/home owner doesn't look like they will be able to pay and you are worried about it, how do you best go about getting yourself out of the situation?

Also, do you ever find that yourself asking the potential customer what happened to their previous lawn care provider? Can that at all tell you if they had a problem paying them or not?

Quote:
If you don't know the answer to a customers question, you better find it out.
When you are out in the field and you get stumped by a question, how do you suggest telling the customers you just don't know and you will have to get back to them? Is there a way to do it where it is ok?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:49 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 6
larson lawn care is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
When you are looking at a property and it is a wreck and the renter/home owner doesn't look like they will be able to pay and you are worried about it, how do you best go about getting yourself out of the situation?

Also, do you ever find that yourself asking the potential customer what happened to their previous lawn care provider? Can that at all tell you if they had a problem paying them or not?



When you are out in the field and you get stumped by a question, how do you suggest telling the customers you just don't know and you will have to get back to them? Is there a way to do it where it is ok?
To get out of a potential bad deal, I will often either tell them that the lawn is in too bad of shape for me to handle (which is usually the case if the person is unorganized) If they do not have a large enough gate for me to get my 61" mower through, I will tell them that my mower won't fit; although I do have a few smaller mowers, time is an issue and if I can't use my most efficient machine, accepting the job could really be a pain especially if you don't end up getting paid. It's not just these particular customers that I won't use a smaller for, if I am in an area where I have a lot of work, I may decline as well. If the job is somewhat out of my route, I will tell them that I it is a bit off route for me and I don't want to end up unreliable for them. I've bid high before to hopefully deter the potentially bad customer. This way, I will make more off of them if they do accept and it could make up for the customer not paying in the future... which in my experience has never failed. Before I didn't think about the customers characteristics but a trend started and after people wouldn't pay each year, I began to see matching characteristics of these people that did not pay their bills.

I don't ask who was taking care of their lawn previously, unless I can tell if a professional mower was on the lawn. Then I will ask usually to make sure I don't make the same mistakes as them. However there are things you have to look out for. Of course they won't tell you they didn't pay them. These people will sometimes talk very bad about them, usually cursing them out to me. I'll pry at the situation and determine if they will be a good customer for me. If someone tells me the last lawn company quit on them... this is a sign as well. I will make sure to ask lots of questions. I wish I could do a credit check (although I hate the credit system) and find out how much they have in their bank account, and even find out all of their expenses and monthly income... wouldn't that be wonderful!

When a customer asks me a question I do not know the answer to 100%, I will tell them everything I do know about the question asked, I will tell them that I am not an expert in the field, my expertise is with mowing mainly, and I will tell them that I can find the answer out for them. Or I will tell them who they can ask or where they can find the information from.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-09-2010, 05:30 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,289
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Then I will ask usually to make sure I don't make the same mistakes as them.
This is very interesting too. How do you go about first off, knowing that there may have been previous mistakes another company made and then second off, finding what they are?

Do you simply say to the customer, what mistakes have other companies made on your property?

We don't talk about this often, but why do you feel it is important to know of the previous mistakes made by other lawn care companies?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:26 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 6
larson lawn care is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
This is very interesting too. How do you go about first off, knowing that there may have been previous mistakes another company made and then second off, finding what they are?

Do you simply say to the customer, what mistakes have other companies made on your property?

We don't talk about this often, but why do you feel it is important to know of the previous mistakes made by other lawn care companies?
If they are calling me to give them an estimate, something must have been wrong. So I will ask... "who was taking care of your lawn before?" and usually they will tell me what they didn't like about them. If not, I will ask... "was there something you didn't like about their services.

I have to know the previous companies mistakes so I don't make the same ones, or any actually.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:56 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,289
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

That is a very good point. And from the answers they give you, I bet they can really help you figure out if this customer is one that pays or not.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bidding Issues!! arsenal3 Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 3 03-27-2009 06:46 PM
Collections at the end of the Season. Totally Green General Business Discussions 44 03-13-2009 08:36 PM
Turning the deadbeats over to collections musician/lawnman General Business Discussions 17 02-22-2009 03:23 PM
backup issues Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 1 05-08-2006 08:26 AM
What issues are you facing? Steve General Business Discussions 11 01-25-2006 07:56 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
How do I approach...
Bradcook21
08-21-2014 01:48 AM
Yesterday 06:52 PM
by jrs.landscaping
9 187
Grass hopper mower
ExtremeLawncareServices
12-05-2013 08:51 AM
Yesterday 01:26 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
25 3,570
Need help pricing basic...
Bradcook21
Yesterday 01:21 AM
Yesterday 01:05 PM
by Steve
2 75
Yearly contract Pricing
jrob0691
08-21-2014 08:57 AM
Yesterday 01:01 PM
by Steve
6 138
yearly contract help...
jrob0691
08-21-2014 04:09 PM
Yesterday 12:48 PM
by Steve
1 44
Exmark Lazer Z S-Series...
BLC7
Yesterday 10:18 AM
Yesterday 10:18 AM
by BLC7
0 47
Pampas bushes
Bradcook21
Yesterday 01:30 AM
Yesterday 07:17 AM
by grassdoctore
1 45
2014 Gie-expo
ExtremeLawncareServices
08-19-2014 11:22 PM
08-21-2014 08:50 PM
by phlawncare
2 88
Fuel Can Spouts
Shark1611
08-16-2014 09:09 AM
08-21-2014 08:23 PM
by SGL1
11 287
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
08-21-2014 05:03 PM
by stevef1201
6 576
Softball field
kslawn
08-15-2014 09:28 AM
08-21-2014 01:43 PM
by Steve
9 278
Hello
M2Dave
08-21-2014 12:32 AM
08-21-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 49
New Landscaping Business
rekon32
08-16-2014 02:26 PM
08-21-2014 12:33 PM
by SouthallMowing
8 331
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
08-20-2014 04:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
100 6,042
Downed Tree Chop Bid
WesleySnips
08-16-2014 03:47 PM
08-20-2014 01:44 PM
by SGL1
10 329
60 inch honda/bunton...
pblawncare
08-17-2014 11:30 AM
08-18-2014 03:19 PM
by Steve
2 113
Replacement Parts -...
nicholas-KC
08-16-2014 08:40 AM
08-18-2014 03:16 PM
by Steve
4 182
Preparing the soil
Billy Goat
08-16-2014 06:18 PM
08-18-2014 03:01 PM
by Steve
1 114
What to pay help
phlawncare
08-04-2014 08:33 PM
08-18-2014 10:33 AM
by jrs.landscaping
29 896
Hello
Jeff1
08-07-2014 11:18 PM
08-15-2014 11:53 PM
by Jeff1
11 410
Lie #2 RESIDENTIAL...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-06-2014 05:02 AM
08-15-2014 01:46 PM
by mattthelawnguy
54 6,395
Need help 30 HP koler...
Shady Grady
08-01-2014 03:31 PM
08-15-2014 08:46 AM
by kslawn
18 587
New Boomless Sprayer!
BlackRain75
01-03-2014 01:01 PM
08-14-2014 02:37 AM
by BlackRain75
12 1,757
Stihl engine isn't...
Marcintosh
08-12-2014 08:30 PM
08-13-2014 03:34 PM
by Steve
3 167
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
08-13-2014 03:29 PM
by Steve
1 214
Hello from Jacksonville,...
JM Lawn Care
08-10-2014 07:15 AM
08-13-2014 07:04 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
9 314
Hello everyone new to...
maddyandrays
08-11-2014 04:51 PM
08-12-2014 08:58 PM
by Shark1611
2 167
Walk behinds
hpruitcei
08-07-2014 06:28 PM
08-12-2014 02:35 PM
by mattthelawnguy
7 427
New name help
stevef1201
08-10-2014 04:27 PM
08-12-2014 12:03 PM
by Steve
6 297
my little green dilemmas
Lawn Techie
08-03-2014 11:47 AM
08-11-2014 01:20 PM
by Steve
7 411
what the best...
CleanCutsLLC
08-02-2014 01:02 AM
08-11-2014 01:16 PM
by Steve
6 423
Texas lawn care company...
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:29 AM
08-11-2014 01:19 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
13 701
Covering all the bases
janslawncare
08-08-2014 10:11 AM
08-08-2014 01:41 PM
by Steve
1 244
New from Florida
ADE
08-06-2014 08:40 PM
08-08-2014 01:32 PM
by Steve
4 324
JOB - Landscape Install...
janslawncare
08-08-2014 10:06 AM
08-08-2014 10:06 AM
by janslawncare
0 211
Battery power tools or...
Steve
08-07-2014 12:24 PM
08-07-2014 05:18 PM
by mattthelawnguy
2 215
My client just told me...
Greg'slawnandlandscape
08-04-2014 08:39 AM
08-06-2014 11:14 PM
by grassdoctore
12 549
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
08-06-2014 02:03 PM
by Steve
13 1,171
Mowing the hills
prmenter@gmail.com
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
08-06-2014 01:40 PM
by Steve
20 1,391
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
08-06-2014 10:29 AM
by eastsidelandcare
5 595
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
08-05-2014 07:12 PM
by TheBeast
30 2,008
Late charge
Simon Abousaada
07-30-2014 07:23 PM
08-05-2014 06:46 PM
by TheBeast
12 797
buy out a lawn care...
rvezakis
08-05-2014 01:38 PM
08-05-2014 06:40 PM
by TheBeast
10 518
Please help
unitedlawncare48867
03-26-2014 08:29 PM
08-05-2014 05:27 PM
by TheBeast
27 1,590
Help with Estimate
donslawns
08-02-2014 09:10 AM
08-05-2014 02:24 PM
by Steve
6 459
Stuck again!!!!
Greg'slawnandlandscape
08-01-2014 11:02 PM
08-05-2014 09:05 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
10 464
Mow and leaf cleanup bid
SGL1
07-29-2014 07:28 PM
08-05-2014 07:22 AM
by petscanning
25 977
Building credit
Matther777
07-27-2014 05:20 PM
08-04-2014 06:53 PM
by kslawn
17 763
Lowballers scrubs &...
Darksteel
01-13-2014 07:35 AM
08-04-2014 01:09 PM
by Steve
48 5,824
long time no see
Tuscan Gardens
08-02-2014 03:21 PM
08-04-2014 12:04 PM
by Steve
1 289
» Popular Tags
4wd advertisement article marketing auger bid butterfly gardens charge courtesy call credit card customers decorating estimate exmark ferris first truck georgia gopherhaul grass gravely hardscapes hills holiday holiday decorating holiday lighting how much to charge introduction john deere quik trac kansas city landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business book lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website leaf lighting marketing monthly mow mulch mulch price new buisness patio install payment podcast property management company pto reo scag schedule scripts seo snow snow plowing starting a business start up lawn care business stihl theft toro toro grand stand trailer trimmer rack walker winter winter services zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:14 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:14 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy