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, 07:14 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,002
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, 09:09 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 7
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, 09:20 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 7
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, 06:27 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,002
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 11-09-2010, 12:49 AM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 7
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, 06:30 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,002
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 11-10-2010, 12:26 AM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 7
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 11-11-2010, 12:56 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,002
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 07:46 PM
Collections at the end of the Season. Totally Green General Business Discussions 44 03-13-2009 09:36 PM
Turning the deadbeats over to collections musician/lawnman General Business Discussions 17 02-22-2009 04:23 PM
backup issues Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 1 05-08-2006 09:26 AM
What issues are you facing? Steve General Business Discussions 11 01-25-2006 08:56 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Kawasaki Control Assembly
rsanchez1203
Yesterday 04:21 PM
Today 12:21 AM
by rsanchez1203
9 111
All NEW BRASS Black Rain...
BlackRain75
Yesterday 10:07 PM
Yesterday 10:07 PM
by BlackRain75
0 21
Opinions on truck wrap
Truro
02-28-2015 04:21 PM
Yesterday 09:52 PM
by Truro
12 265
Doug With Blades Of...
BladesofSteel
Yesterday 08:40 PM
Yesterday 08:40 PM
by BladesofSteel
0 23
Jesse with Curb Appeal...
CurbAppeal1
Yesterday 01:44 PM
Yesterday 06:48 PM
by CurbAppeal1
12 125
New guy from Columbia, SC
holymoly
Yesterday 05:27 PM
Yesterday 06:10 PM
by Steve
1 32
Diesel conversion?
Just for Cuts
03-02-2015 10:59 AM
Yesterday 06:08 PM
by Just for Cuts
4 103
stubbon people
Bradcook21
02-16-2015 04:25 PM
Yesterday 05:56 PM
by Steve
45 1,435
What's include in a bid?
ppl
03-02-2015 01:19 PM
Yesterday 05:53 PM
by Steve
9 193
New Website
brian'slawncare
03-01-2015 06:35 PM
Yesterday 05:48 PM
by Steve
8 155
How do YOU charge your...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
03-02-2015 09:28 PM
Yesterday 05:44 PM
by Steve
1 62
New Lawn Care Business
S&Z Lawncare
03-02-2015 04:13 PM
Yesterday 05:39 PM
by Steve
3 108
My Newborn son
avetslawncare
02-27-2015 01:07 PM
Yesterday 05:23 PM
by joshlawncare
7 159
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
Yesterday 02:50 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
14 2,036
rock salt
Bradcook21
02-24-2015 11:17 AM
Yesterday 01:26 PM
by jrs.landscaping
30 637
tips on creating a...
BLAZIER-1991
01-08-2015 07:22 PM
Yesterday 10:38 AM
by brian'slawncare
9 804
pros and cons on...
Wolf4dk
03-02-2015 12:26 AM
03-02-2015 10:14 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 137
price for snow clearing?
Bradcook21
02-25-2015 09:11 PM
03-02-2015 08:32 PM
by Bradcook21
7 279
Ugliest lawn contest
Steve
02-23-2015 04:17 PM
03-02-2015 04:57 PM
by Steve
5 372
Hi from the beautiful...
nwgirl
02-07-2015 06:01 AM
03-02-2015 04:45 PM
by Steve
5 658
Online Estimator
acrajchel
03-01-2015 05:58 PM
03-02-2015 03:50 PM
by Steve
3 117
How to obtain more...
winkie61
02-17-2015 08:31 AM
03-02-2015 11:05 AM
by nwgirl
4 598
I'm Back With The Best...
aduttonater
02-21-2015 01:41 AM
03-02-2015 10:44 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
16 680
How to sell annual...
GroPro
02-17-2015 12:31 PM
03-01-2015 01:46 PM
by Chilehead
8 630
Facebook
element009
03-23-2011 09:36 AM
02-27-2015 11:37 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
52 11,867
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 01:31 PM
02-26-2015 03:43 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 1,794
viking cyclon.
uppercut
01-29-2015 09:12 PM
02-26-2015 02:54 PM
by Steve
5 546
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 01:06 AM
02-26-2015 02:41 PM
by Steve
1 148
Another website update
Chilehead
02-26-2015 11:24 AM
02-26-2015 12:46 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 140
New Lawn Care Service...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:49 AM
02-26-2015 02:24 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
1 165
Finally!
SGL1
02-22-2015 09:46 PM
02-25-2015 10:15 PM
by SGL1
13 500
leaf removal.. mulching...
facework84
08-05-2011 03:26 PM
02-25-2015 08:07 PM
by Steve
5 2,833
How many customers?
SC93
02-25-2015 12:40 AM
02-25-2015 04:59 PM
by SC93
5 274
Irrigation...
charlieallen
02-24-2015 01:16 PM
02-25-2015 02:58 PM
by Steve
6 265
use a small business...
BLAZIER-1991
12-25-2014 12:21 AM
02-25-2015 12:46 AM
by SC93
33 2,888
honest opinion please
uppercut
02-17-2015 02:30 AM
02-24-2015 07:12 PM
by homey
10 717
2nd year advice anyone
Bradcook21
02-18-2015 07:00 PM
02-24-2015 05:15 PM
by Bradcook21
14 688
need help
lawnexpers115
02-23-2015 05:36 PM
02-24-2015 02:49 PM
by Steve
3 308
Hello People
nativikee
02-23-2015 07:17 PM
02-24-2015 02:43 PM
by Steve
4 308
New member
qua ke zik 001
02-23-2015 11:24 AM
02-23-2015 03:40 PM
by Steve
1 260
New Video
Sprinkler Buddy
02-22-2015 09:18 PM
02-23-2015 03:19 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 284
need help with SCAG...
apmAkron
02-23-2015 09:14 AM
02-23-2015 01:57 PM
by apmAkron
3 287
which degrees would be...
BLAZIER-1991
02-20-2015 04:46 PM
02-23-2015 01:47 PM
by Steve
9 455
Trouble logging in
avetslawncare
02-21-2015 02:06 PM
02-23-2015 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 685
John Deere Quik Track...
acrajchel
02-20-2015 03:12 PM
02-23-2015 01:40 PM
by Steve
1 323
Trimming and...
joshlawncare
02-15-2015 02:04 PM
02-22-2015 09:48 PM
by SGL1
5 660
where can i post this
zippy-phil
02-17-2015 07:58 PM
02-20-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
7 537
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
02-19-2015 04:43 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
29 2,712
Thumbs up or down?
lawnman1959
02-18-2015 11:40 AM
02-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Chilehead
3 454
Am I growing too fast?
Mattcrump
08-04-2011 11:54 PM
02-19-2015 12:34 PM
by Steve
11 5,255
» Popular Tags
4wd apartment complex bark blades blowout bob villa collections commercial demonstration edging employee problems equipment rental facebook ferris first truck flyers free advertising gopherhaul grass growing a lawn care business hardscapes hills hiring husqvarna hydraulic introduction landscape landscape services landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website marketing more customers business mr dave new business ordinance past due patio install per hour charge podcast profit on employee push versus ride running a business scag v-ride scripts search engine optimization sell the vision seo shreaded small engine repair sq ft square foot sulky tractor auger trailer tree trimmer rack truck new used landscape walk behind web design website winterization won't return wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:59 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:59 AM.

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