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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Hello from the land of the "Big Red"


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 07-23-2011, 01:23 AM
mowpro mowpro is offline
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Default Hello from the land of the "Big Red"

Hello,
Just started up a small mowing business for my stepsons a few months ago. Things are going pretty well, they have five regular weekly accounts and average $32 per cut.

We have two 22" Husqvarna mowers and trimmers along with a blower and edger that all sit in a 5' x 8' trailer.

The boys are just learning the ropes but i hope to have them up to fifty accounts by this time next year.

I guess you could say my motivation for this is to have the kids learn the value of work and money as the earnings will be put towards college and cars.

I look forward to the advice and help from all of you.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2011, 09:37 AM
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I like this! They will learn the value of a dollar no doubt! Good Luck!
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:02 PM
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Welcome to our forum!

What kind of marketing have you been doing so far and what is your plan to be reach out to enough people to increase your customer base to the 50 account number?
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:17 PM
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Well as far as picking up more accounts, we are not even really trying at this point. we have an ad in the service directory of our local paper right now and thats all.

Right now I am training them on customer service and how to do a good job. Once they get all that figured out and do it better than anyone else we will start some heavy duty marketing.

The marketing is not rocket science, T.O.M. and word of of mouth is the key. Every market is different but it really comes down to visability.

Thanks
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Right now I am training them on customer service and how to do a good job. Once they get all that figured out and do it better than anyone else we will start some heavy duty marketing.
This is a great point and not discussed enough.

What kinds of points do you feel lawn care operators really should key in on when interacting with the public?
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:45 AM
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I think just showing up can set yourself apart, i think most people are conditioned to be disappointed nowadays.

I am hopefully gonna teach these kids how to delight the customer.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowpro View Post
I think just showing up can set yourself apart, i think most people are conditioned to be disappointed nowadays.

I am hopefully gonna teach these kids how to delight the customer.
Other then just showing up is there any other way you are delighting the customer?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:04 PM
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Does not take a lot, but here are few things we have done that others have not:

Show up every week on the same day about the same time.
Call if you are not going to be there for some reason.
Trim weeds out of sidewalk cracks
Trim and cut alleyways
Pickup and remove downed branches after storms.
Spray wasp and hornet nests
Pet the dogs
Play with and engage the customers kids

Pretty simple stuff that helps you become friends with the customer, and once that happens your not gonna get kicked to the curb by some low baller.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowpro View Post
Does not take a lot, but here are few things we have done that others have not:

Show up every week on the same day about the same time.
Call if you are not going to be there for some reason.
Trim weeds out of sidewalk cracks
Trim and cut alleyways
Pickup and remove downed branches after storms.
Spray wasp and hornet nests
Pet the dogs
Play with and engage the customers kids

Pretty simple stuff that helps you become friends with the customer, and once that happens your not gonna get kicked to the curb by some low baller.


That is fantastic advice and I will back you on that 100%,



Unfortunately, "Call if you are not going to be there for some reason." is one step I cannot do.

I find it very aggravating to call a client to tell them bad news, it just sounds stupid to make yourself vulnerable. Many clients will usually try to swindle me if I give them a call, example:

Scott: Your grass is too dry, yellow, and if I cut it you will have nothing left.
Customer: Yes, but I think it can use a mow.

The customer tends to think he/she knows what their lawn needs, and this becomes a debate between YOU and the CLIENT = confrontation.

1. I can destroy/mow the lawn and the customer can feel "right" for a day, then feel embarrassed when they wake up to a yard filled with dirt. Why did I bother calling them?

2. I can just avoid talking to them all together, they can take a hint by having a look at their yard for once, or they can listen to my voice-mail greeting which says, "Water your grass or there will be no grass left to cut" - pretty straightforward, still not perfected!

Instead of calling all of my clients, when they are insecure, they can listen to my voice-mail greeting, because that's the only answer I can give without getting into a debate with them. I do not like confrontation, because it's a loss when you have to do something STUPID just to keep your clients happy.

You will be forced to mow that already suffering lawn only to keep the customer temporarily happy and to not lose the client. If you are right by wanting to give the lawn a break - the clients pride will be hurt and they will take it out on you.


The problem is, a lot of customers have too much pride. They want things done for the sake of arguing and being right - unfortunately they are never right, but you gotta do what they want in order to keep them. Sometimes you'd find it easier to just fire these kinds of clients, but I can't even do that!

********************



In the past two weeks I haven't mowed a lawn, all of the grass is close to dead. Every single one of my clients has yet to call me, because it's obvious what's going on (heatwave + water restrictions)!

I do have ONE (1) client who can't get a clue. She's a little old lady who will call me 24/7 for my status, and I hate nothing more than a constant caller.

She will say things like (within an hour):

It's me again, just wondering where you are!

It's me again, just wondering if you are coming today?

It's me again, I watered my grass are you going to come?

It's me again, my grass could use a cut?



The problem is, she wont accept my answer. "Your grass does not need a cut - it will die if I pass the mower today".

It sounds like she's innocent and would just like an answer to a simple yes/no question, but she will put me in a position I don't like to be in by telling me what SHE thinks is right and that I should cut the lawn regardless.

She keeps a cool temper with me, which is why I cannot fire her. I understand that she might be frustrated, but in order for me to answer every single one of her calls and putting up with her ignorance, I'd need to be drunk each and every time. It's depressing.

She makes me feel like a bad guy, I never answer my phone (TRUE) but I think my reason is valid. If I avoid her, I don't end up wasting my time. The problem is then seeing her in person and dealing with the awkwardness. I'm running out of excuses, because the truth may be too brutal for her.

I keep record of how fast I am per lawn. The majority of my lawns take less than 8 minutes with a two man crew.... Her lawn being the smallest, takes 30 minutes or more. She wants to watch, talk, pause me every second to pick up a leaf... etc... She's the reason I have gone insane and pretty much don't like what I do anymore.





Somebody help meeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 07-28-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Unfortunately, "Call if you are not going to be there for some reason." is one step I cannot do.
What do you do then if you can't show up or don't think you should mow that day?
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