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What are you doing different?


General Business Discussions

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  #1  
Old 06-01-2010, 01:22 PM
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Default What are you doing different?

So it's only been a month in the new lawn maintenance season & I've come up with ideas to try out next year, 2011.

Honestly, the way things change around is fascinating.


Absolutely no free work


No fear in being aggressive with customers or potential customers
It's better to be defensive then getting suckered into lowering a price, or anything at all.


Saying no to work

My customers often expect me to do work I have no interest in, saying no & referring someone else to do the job has been working well for me.

I haven't done one hedge job since May, I have given away 8 jobs to someone who focuses on hedges alone. I will eventually have him work for me. I could have had a lot of money from these jobs, though I saved myself a lot of stress. I have plenty of lawns to focus on - & one underestimated job can do a lot of damage & cause a chain reaction of complaints from other customers who are expecting work done.

I don't risk my time anymore. My clients can hate me for saying no to work, or they can hate me for getting the job started late & unorganized. I'd rather the first one.


REALLY saying no to work

You'll often do a big job for someone, & that someone will think he/she owns you. They will expect you to work around the clock for them & satisfy all their requests.

I have done a big job for some guy, & I still can't get rid of him. It's gotten so bad, I have to look after his mail as he goes on vacation.

The problem is, he demands & doesn't ask. "When you show up, put down some more soil & bill me, goodbye" it's not bad if he's paying, but sometimes it's just not something I'm interested in doing. It adds more time to my day when I just want it to end.


Creating a waiting list

Taking & accepting all jobs can cause a lot of people to hate you. If they understand that they are on a waiting list, they might ease up.

For every additional service, "I'm putting you on the waiting list. You will be contacted the day before we do X service. If you do not answer to confirm, you will be placed at the very end of the waiting list"

Customers also often ask when you will be able to show up, half the time you have no damn idea.

Customer: Can you dethatch my lawn?

Scott: Yes, but I'm backed up right now & I'll have to get back to you on that.

Customer: When do you THINK you will be able to do it?

Scott: No damn idea, I'll get back to you on that!

Which brings up,
Never schedule work unless you are 100% sure it can be done by then

I have scheduled work in advance, only to want to avoid it because I've been offered more money elsewhere. I have gotten stuck doing lousy paying work, when I could have avoided it & made bigger bucks.


Anyway, I'm rambling.

Long live lawn maintenance!
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Saying no to work
My customers often expect me to do work I have no interest in, saying no & referring someone else to do the job has been working well for me.
What have you found to base your determination on, whether you will do a job or pass it on to someone else.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:51 PM
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I basically have to deal with too much as it is, taking on work (hedge trimming) is profitable, but it just doesn't give me what I want. I enjoy maintaining lawns & being completely organized - if I'm stuck doing a hedge I don't leave myself time to review my business & do final touch ups.

In other words, I have the time - I just don't like risking my lawns.

I start my day off loading up the trailer & picking up my helper.. I then watch him screw up my lawns & get yelled at by my customers. I then have to put up with his negative attitude. I have to answer calls every hour & schedule appointments for an estimate... I have to chit chat with almost every client, which isn't necessarily a problem - until my worker thinks he can just stop & join the conversation. When lawns are done, I drop my worker off. I then fill up on gas & eventually unload my trailer. I then go to the store & purchase material for evening/future jobs which are constantly there. I then have to drop the materials off & go out to re-bill my irritating customers who never pay on time, but only after I call them all & figure out when they will be home so I only have to go out one time to collect (never happens).

Continued...

When I'm done billing or receiving late payments, I prepare my equipment for the next day & clean out the truck. When I'm done that, I pick up whichever worker is available to weed my gardens. I drop them off & I either help them, or I go get my own work done. I then have to pick up a meal for my worker, if he/she is done, I have to drag their debris back to the truck & load my equipment in it - & drop my worker off.

So hedges aren't impossible to hop on, I just have so much to focus on that any time wasted will make my head explode.

Let's not forget that I have to deal with workers who think I am not generous, & everything I do for them is expected. Free daily meal, paid cell phone, random items to keep them happy, bonuses for getting work done early.... & life goes on.... it's my job to also keep my workers HAPPY, which is nearly impossible.


This wasn't a rant really, it's basically everything in a nutshell. lol...
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post

Let's not forget that I have to deal with workers who think I am not generous, & everything I do for them is expected. Free daily meal, paid cell phone, random items to keep them happy, bonuses for getting work done early.... & life goes on.... it's my job to also keep my workers HAPPY, which is nearly impossible.

They can't make themselves a lunch ?
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:21 AM
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Scott,

Do you ever feel like everything is run at such a high speed and that there is another way you'd like to run things? Or do you feel you do your best work when everything is super fast?

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