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.

Gopherhaul 10


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-05-2007, 08:50 PM
tiedeman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I really liked the new gopherhaul. That is cool that you put my situations in there. I appreciate it!
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


  #2  
Old 06-05-2007, 09:52 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,398
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I am glad you liked it! I think your business insights are fantastic and many viewers will benefit from your knowledge and experience.
__________________
- 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
  #3  
Old 06-06-2007, 01:48 PM
StartALawnCareBusiness's Avatar
StartALawnCareBusiness StartALawnCareBusiness is offline
Keith
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 731
Rep Power: 0
StartALawnCareBusiness is on a distinguished road
Default

I like the vid too. *I always enjoy your positive presentations.

Can I put my contrarian hat on for a moment?

I am a huge believer in getting the "RIGHT" kind of customers. *I totally agree that you don't want price shoppers and you pretty much want to stay away from a 1 time job unless you can really price it to make it worth your while.

However, I think you are being too restrictive with the contracts and with the non bi-weekly rules.

Here in the South, the grass is dried up so far this summer. *No one is having weekly grass service. *Many summers are similar to this one and a company that limits itself to only taking on weekly customers will have a shortage of clients.

Contracts are good. *They are especially valuable to guard against customers who want you to do major renovation work on their lawn and then drop you in mid summer. *There are also other specific situations where a contract is needed for both you and the customer. * However, once again, I've found that the majority of residential customers really don't want to sign a contract. *Instead, they just want no-hassle dependable lawn care as needed and they're willing to pay for the service when it takes place.

If it ever came down to having a dispute with a residential customer, would you really want to spend the resources to uphold the contract instead of just simply dropping that customer and finding another?

Sell quality and price your work accordingly. *Never underprice your work but also be flexible to the needs of the customer.

Don't take this as an argument...just as a counterpoint.

Your vids rock. *

Keith
__________________
Start a profitable lawn care business.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-06-2007, 03:01 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,398
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Keith,

Good points.

Have you had much of a problem with customers dropping your service mid-season? How do you deal with low bidders and customers who are offered lower prices from non-legit companies? Does this pose much of a problem?

Do you have other suggestions on how to pre-qualify a potential customer when they call you?
__________________
- 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
  #5  
Old 06-06-2007, 08:19 PM
StartALawnCareBusiness's Avatar
StartALawnCareBusiness StartALawnCareBusiness is offline
Keith
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 731
Rep Power: 0
StartALawnCareBusiness is on a distinguished road
Default

There will be circumstances where people will have to drop out midseason. *One year, a well paid (and well paying) customer called me in July to drop because he had lost his job. *Even if I had an ironclad contract with that customer, the time spent pursuing enforcement of the contract would have been better spent picking up a new customer instead of dealing with someone who couldn't pay anyway.

I think a good relationship with a customer is a better hedge against lowballers than a contract. *Be familiar with your customers and make sure they know how important their business is to you. *Do a great job and most people won't drop you for someone offering to do their lawn for $5 less / week. *If a customer is going to drop you for a $5 or $10 *undercut, you probably don't need them as a customer anyway.

There are definitely situations where a contract is a good idea. *Clients that hire you for application services or bed maintenance require you to purchase your supplies in advance for the expected work. *Large yards that take hours of your time and would leave a big hole in your schedule if they dropped also warrant a contract. *Also, large work that requires additional equipment or extra employees is a prime candidate for having a written contract.

Prescreening customers. *In my business package, I speak heavily about prescreening customers. *Prescreening should actually begin as you work on your business plan...very early days of your business. *Know who your customer is going to be. *Do you want to do large yards because those are the primary yards in your area of service? *Then you have to buy large equipment to handle the large mowing areas. *After that, you prescreen customers with your advertisements. *"Professional Lawn Services - Large Yards are our Specialty" *This, effectively, screens out small yards before they even call. *That's just one example. *There are many other examples of prescreening even before the customer calls.

I do have a couple of questions that I recommend asking once you get a call:

1) "Are you getting quite a few estimates?" * This gives you an idea if the customer is only going for price and calling everyone in town that does lawns or if your ad was specifically appealing. *Answer: *"No, I called you because your ad said that you have new equipment and I want someone dependable." *That's a great answer. *Go give that estimate immediately.

2) "Who was doing your yard in the past and why are they not doing it any longer." *In my experience, this is the most important question you can ask. *I remember one potential customer said "Oh, I've had a bunch of people but none of them were any good." *That was an immediate red flag. *You can gain great information with this question and you can often tell if this is a sincerely good client by their answer.

My initial critique of your questions was simply because I think we all have to be flexible to the needs of the customers. *If a customer does not want to sign a contract but they will be a great customer otherwise, why not bend your rules instead of just hanging up on them.

OH, BTW, I loved the computer generated "customer's" voice in the vid...cracked me up.

Keith
__________________
Start a profitable lawn care business.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-07-2007, 02:01 PM
tiedeman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (StartALawnCareBusiness @ June 06 2007,2:48)]I like the vid too. *I always enjoy your positive presentations.

Can I put my contrarian hat on for a moment?

I am a huge believer in getting the "RIGHT" kind of customers. *I totally agree that you don't want price shoppers and you pretty much want to stay away from a 1 time job unless you can really price it to make it worth your while.

However, I think you are being too restrictive with the contracts and with the non bi-weekly rules.

Here in the South, the grass is dried up so far this summer. *No one is having weekly grass service. *Many summers are similar to this one and a company that limits itself to only taking on weekly customers will have a shortage of clients.

Contracts are good. *They are especially valuable to guard against customers who want you to do major renovation work on their lawn and then drop you in mid summer. *There are also other specific situations where a contract is needed for both you and the customer. * However, once again, I've found that the majority of residential customers really don't want to sign a contract. *Instead, they just want no-hassle dependable lawn care as needed and they're willing to pay for the service when it takes place.

If it ever came down to having a dispute with a residential customer, would you really want to spend the resources to uphold the contract instead of just simply dropping that customer and finding another?

Sell quality and price your work accordingly. *Never underprice your work but also be flexible to the needs of the customer.

Don't take this as an argument...just as a counterpoint.

Your vids rock. *

Keith
I have been in business now going on 11 years, and have been in the green industry going on 15 years and have lots of experience trying out different things with the business. * I tried out the whole no contract thing and bi-weekly customers before and it was nothing but a hassle. *Sure, if I show up at a customers property and its dry as heck, I am not going to mow it.

Once you find the right type of customers that you want, with YOUR requirements, then you will start to love your work and love your customers more. *Too many times in the past I was burnt on taking on everybody. *You need to figure out what works best. *Nothing is worse then having to send a customer to a collections agency, or trying to get paid on a past due account.

By having a contract in place it not only spells out payment policies, but what your specific services are as well. *Nothing would be worse than a customer withholding money from you because you didn't perform the services like you said you would. *Instead, you can pull out the contract and show them what the details of each service is. *It also covers yourself from possible lawsuits from property damage or personal injuiry.

The weekly mowing customers are customers that you WANT to have. *Nothing is worse then showing up to a bi-weekly customers property that has a foot of growth. *If not only makes your customers property look bad, but you as well. *Someone driving by might not know that they are on a bi-weekly schedule, but when they see you maintaining it they will think to themselves "What a horrible lawn service company, they can't even keep up with the lawn. *Forget about hiring them"

Like said though, after some years of experience and feeling out the customers and your business, you will know exactly what type of customers that you want and you need based on your specifications.



Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-07-2007, 06:02 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,398
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]My initial critique of your questions was simply because I think we all have to be flexible to the needs of the customers. If a customer does not want to sign a contract but they will be a great customer otherwise, why not bend your rules instead of just hanging up on them.

OH, BTW, I loved the computer generated "customer's" voice in the vid...cracked me up.
What works for some businesses won't work for others. There are many factors to consider and I am glad you did bring them up for our forum members to read.

Yea the computer voice was funny too I thought.
__________________
- 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

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Kohler command carb...
ExtremeLawncareServices
09-21-2014 03:09 PM
Today 12:16 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 253
30 Inch Push Mowers Pros...
Billy Goat
06-27-2013 08:07 PM
Today 11:17 AM
by Steve
26 6,452
Trying something new,...
ExtremeLawncareServices
09-21-2014 09:07 PM
Today 11:13 AM
by Steve
4 232
Hello from CNY
arazucontracting
Yesterday 06:07 PM
Today 11:08 AM
by Steve
1 94
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Yesterday 08:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
122 8,567
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
Yesterday 08:02 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
11 603
Not sure, but anyone do...
SnowRemoval2k14
Yesterday 12:10 AM
Yesterday 04:49 PM
by Steve
1 188
Tribulations of working...
stevef1201
09-13-2014 08:37 AM
Yesterday 04:45 PM
by Steve
9 655
Mulching beds
Bradcook21
09-21-2014 07:43 AM
Yesterday 04:43 PM
by Steve
3 266
Replacing a Shindi T-27
Dan Tanner
09-13-2014 12:59 PM
Yesterday 04:36 PM
by Steve
3 654
Scag turf tiger hydrolic...
ExtremeLawncareServices
09-04-2014 10:55 PM
Yesterday 04:35 PM
by Steve
12 1,016
2014 Gie-expo
ExtremeLawncareServices
08-19-2014 11:22 PM
09-21-2014 09:23 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
3 989
Mowing 7 acres
avetslawncare
08-31-2014 04:24 PM
09-19-2014 03:29 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,198
snowplowing
jshak40
09-01-2014 07:20 AM
09-19-2014 11:49 AM
by Steve
23 1,593
Looking for feed back on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
09-17-2014 08:38 AM
09-19-2014 08:17 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
9 598
Lowballers scrubs &...
Darksteel
01-13-2014 07:35 AM
09-18-2014 06:32 PM
by Northwoods Outdoors
58 7,006
Hello from upstate NY!
A&MLawn&Snow
09-18-2014 11:19 AM
09-18-2014 04:10 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 444
Price to apply fertilizer
SS.Lawncare
09-15-2014 11:10 AM
09-18-2014 01:16 PM
by Steve
9 706
Trailer tires
J.A.S.LawnService
09-01-2014 10:17 AM
09-17-2014 09:57 PM
by curts lawn care
4 1,098
new to the forum
SGlawncare
09-16-2014 11:20 PM
09-17-2014 08:29 PM
by curts lawn care
3 519
Help With Snow Blowing...
Robertf31
09-13-2014 10:55 PM
09-17-2014 12:34 PM
by Steve
11 859
Non-Stop Summer?
SouthallMowing
09-14-2014 10:51 PM
09-17-2014 10:48 AM
by stevef1201
6 643
Poll - net income
Dan5082
11-15-2010 08:08 PM
09-16-2014 04:44 PM
by jrs.landscaping
12 3,380
Getting lowballed!
PineHillLawn
06-27-2012 07:23 AM
09-16-2014 01:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
24 5,100
Compare this summer to...
Steve
09-03-2014 12:52 PM
09-16-2014 11:20 AM
by Hanks Lawn Care Services
15 1,293
thinking about throwing...
veteranslawncaresystems
09-09-2014 10:31 PM
09-15-2014 03:41 PM
by Steve
12 972
Hello
Robertf31
09-12-2014 10:34 PM
09-15-2014 03:17 PM
by Steve
2 555
Newbie......Again
Jibber
09-13-2014 12:17 PM
09-15-2014 02:54 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 657
need help with starter...
GoGreenerKS
09-12-2014 04:23 PM
09-15-2014 02:25 PM
by Steve
3 571
Brake job!
kslawn
08-30-2014 07:49 AM
09-15-2014 02:16 PM
by Steve
12 1,300
Hello
jawnebgoode
08-28-2014 08:37 PM
09-15-2014 02:15 PM
by Steve
3 1,060
Employee uniforms
Gerardo_Landscape
01-21-2014 11:11 PM
09-15-2014 02:12 PM
by Steve
5 1,179
Greetings from the north
Northwoods Outdoors
09-13-2014 08:55 AM
09-15-2014 02:07 PM
by Steve
1 543
darleneh
darleneh
09-15-2014 12:33 PM
09-15-2014 02:07 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
1 561
My 1st bid
WesleySnips
06-11-2014 03:13 PM
09-15-2014 02:05 PM
by Steve
29 1,978
New Aerator
Chaz
09-09-2014 11:43 PM
09-15-2014 01:50 PM
by Steve
9 800
Yearly contract Pricing
jrob0691
08-21-2014 08:57 AM
09-15-2014 01:23 PM
by stevef1201
8 1,466
getting ready to start
calebmoss
05-23-2011 09:35 PM
09-11-2014 12:21 PM
by Steve
34 11,461
Stihl pull cord replace
SGL1
09-03-2014 09:22 PM
09-10-2014 12:25 PM
by Steve
9 972
Softball field
kslawn
08-15-2014 09:28 AM
09-10-2014 12:16 PM
by Steve
18 1,739
Lawn Route Templates
Landscaper1165
08-30-2014 01:52 PM
09-09-2014 08:05 PM
by Landscaper1165
4 1,227
New truck and trailer...
Johnny Rocket
05-14-2012 03:41 PM
09-09-2014 07:23 PM
by Matther777
18 6,791
What gets you bad press?
Steve
09-09-2014 11:48 AM
09-09-2014 07:21 PM
by Matther777
2 668
Signs on your snow plow?
Steve
01-15-2007 01:07 AM
09-09-2014 11:42 AM
by Steve
19 6,418
Exmark Lazer Z S-Series...
BLC7
08-22-2014 10:18 AM
09-08-2014 08:08 PM
by avetslawncare
12 1,510
New to the business
flamingyouth87
09-05-2014 11:52 AM
09-08-2014 11:55 AM
by Steve
3 890
Hello from Ohio
kurtwin
08-28-2014 05:06 PM
09-08-2014 11:51 AM
by Steve
7 1,194
Facebook
element009
03-23-2011 08:36 AM
09-07-2014 07:35 AM
by avetslawncare
24 7,963
Help pricing cut down 7...
Bradcook21
08-26-2014 11:17 PM
09-06-2014 02:09 PM
by Bradcook21
8 1,282
billing matters
sbuchanan8154
09-05-2014 09:56 AM
09-05-2014 03:00 PM
by Steve
3 862
» Popular Tags
2wd apartment complex article marketing bid blades charge christmas lighting collections collections subcontractor commercial customers decorating ditches employee problems exmark ferris fundraiser georgia gopherhaul grass gravely growing a lawn care business hardscapes holiday lighting how much to charge installation kawasaki landscape services lawn 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 seo lawn care website lawn care website seo leaf lighting brass outdoor lights marketing mow mulch new buisness past due podcast promotion pto redmax running a business savannah scag schedule seo small engine repair snow sprayer starting a business steep lawns stihl sulky theft of services top dresser toro trimmer rack truck new used landscape turfgrass consulting walk behind walker won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:08 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:08 PM.

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