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  #21  
Old 09-04-2011, 11:55 AM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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I also had a bi-polar picky lady that I no longer service and life has been so much better.

This post made me happy. I'm not the only one with these kinds of clients, WOOO!!!


Now if we can avoid these kinds of clients from the start, that would be great!

I dropped a client this year with memory problems. Every time I went to cut the grass I had to listen to his life story... it got to the point I was getting so impatient so I just finished all of his sentences.

I know the life story of his entire family, because he has told me about 30 times. Sure I feel bad for not accepting him this year, but I'm not going through hell again.


I wish I was smart enough to do that with the lady I accepted this year, should have used my brain and not my heart. lol... Glad she's gone though, it's just that I can't drive on certain streets now... gotta keep avoiding her.... 2 years of misery!
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  #22  
Old 09-04-2011, 11:57 AM
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Bottom line is shes gone now so life is seriously so much better. I don't know why we put up with these people when they are such small customers $$.
That is really a great question.

Is it because we feel if we lose them then we are going backwards? Or maybe that others will leave too so we have to stem the flow as soon as possible or is it something else?
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  #23  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:21 PM
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That is really a great question.

Is it because we feel if we lose them then we are going backwards? Or maybe that others will leave too so we have to stem the flow as soon as possible or is it something else?

From watching the show "Kitchen Nightmares" with Gordon Ramsay, a show about helping failing restaurants succeed;

Basically, I watch this show to see if I am able to relate to similar issues.

One thing I notice, is a lot of restaurants are too scared to change because they fear of losing their current clients, even if they are about to go out of business.

It's the "risk" of not knowing if you can replace them. We'd rather keep the clients that make us miserable instead of dropping them and being one client short. The question is, do we really need clients like this if our business is failing because of it?

Like you said Steve, it feels as if we are going backwards. Dropping a client in our minds is hard to see as a positive thing, but from experience it has to be done.



Another restaurant offered a "bring a friend and their meal is free" deal. The place was packed every day, for the restaurant owner, he had a hard time realizing that just because he had everyone in town eating at his place, he was still going out of business because of the deal he offered.

"If I don't offer the deal, no one will come"

, I can see how upsetting that can be, but if your not making a profit out of those customers, it's time to change!
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:55 PM
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Those are all excellent points. I watch that show a lot too.

One lesson that stands out to me from that show and from the Gopher Forum is that a business does go through different stages as it grows.

In the first stage where you are trying to just see if your business idea will work at all, you look to get as many customers as you can, regardless of any other issues.

At this stage you tend not to care if you are making a profit or if you are getting beaten to death by the continuous requests and complaints your customers make. It is in this stage that most businesses fail. I think it is because they are not watching the bottom line and they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, as they try to make everyone happy. At the end of the day, week, month, they are exhausted and the work is never done.

Then for those that survive the first stage, the business owner tends to get tired of certain b.s. and looks to make money at what he is doing. He starts to prune the customers who are low payers and also those that are the complainers. The business owner starts to realize there is only a finite amount of time he can work during the day and he starts to look to maximize his profits each and every day. He does this by finding higher end customers who complain the least.

As your business starts to grow profitable in this stage, you look to take on employees and expand out your business. Stage three begins to take place as you add employees and then look to expand again, taking on more customers. You then train your staff to make the customer happy, regardless of their requests.

Customers know they can screw with you if you are an owner. They will ask you to do bizarre things at no additional cost, but the funny thing is, with employees, they know the employee may say they can't perform that extra freebie, so they won't even bother asking. Having employees as intermediaries tends to filter out a lot of the customer b.s.

Stage 4 then occurs when you find what your optimal company size is and you repeat what you did in step 2. You focus on your ideal customers who will pay you the most and bother you the least. You also try to maximize your profits with the resources you have available at hand.

How does this sound? How does this compare/contrast with your operation and what would you add to this?
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  #25  
Old 09-07-2011, 04:05 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Customers know they can screw with you if you are an owner. They will ask you to do bizarre things at no additional cost, but the funny thing is, with employees, they know the employee may say they can't perform that extra freebie, so they won't even bother asking. Having employees as intermediaries tends to filter out a lot of the customer b.s.


I think that's everything in a nutshell, what spoke to me the most was what I had quoted from you. As an employee, I wouldn't be able to make deals with the clients. Unfortunately I am the owner, and I'm out doing the work.


One idea I just thought of was, why not make a "fake" owner... A ghost who never shows his face, haha!


This way I can say, "My boss would fire me"... but I am still the one who prices the jobs etc... would be tricky but I'm going to look into it!!! Almost sounds fun to create a fake person, LOL
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  #26  
Old 09-07-2011, 04:24 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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I da new ohnah of da briz lon suhviss.
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