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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

Avoiding Clients


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 09-08-2011, 10:58 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Default Avoiding Clients

When I client doesn't pay, I don't continue service. Instead of calling them I tend to just get my paying clients done.

After a long time of ignoring these non paying clients calls, I feel it's too awkward for me to call them back or answer their calls.


As I've said before, I got rid of the crazy lady.

Recently I got rid of a guy who has promised to make his payments every month, I cut him off after the third promise and avoided him. He's been calling me every day now. Got 7 voice messages saying, "Scott, the money isn't a problem" when it's obvious that it is... P.I.T.A!

Another client has only paid for May, I cut him off in the middle of August. I never called to remind him, because I don't like to do that. He has started to call recently for the past few days. He's a nice guy, but for me to tell him he owes me his wallet and getting myself into an awkward position is holding me back.

I'm not entirely sure if I should feel bad, or give in to these clients - or maybe I should continue to ignore them.



ALSO, this one client I do on Fridays was done on an earlier date last week. He had called me this week (left a message) saying he's wondering where I am... This annoys the heck out of me.

I came on a different date because of the rain, just because I didn't show up on Friday does not mean I'm in the hospital or out of business. Seriously, people need to start thinking before they call. I guess he assumed that I didn't come, because I didn't show up on a Friday, instead I showed up a day or two before... Typical...


"Just want to know where you are, if you are ok. Call me back when you get this"

Seriously? I have to call you back? I have to take time out of my day and call you back to tell you, "I cut your grass the day before, see you soon"... Wow.

I've got no privacy running this business, I get the most ridiculous calls and it never ends. I got rid of a client, now I wanna get rid of them all... LOL!!!
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2011, 01:02 AM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
BINGO

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_phobia
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2011, 08:29 PM
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Cheese
Ya got to think of the phone as your friend not your enemy.
if a bill is due on the 31st I give it till the 7th and if I ave not heard from the customer I give them a call you know hi how are ya etc etc, just a friendly reminder of the money owing. then I wait 7 more days and give them the old Hey just wanted to check to see how things are going and remind you of the money you owe me for work done.
then I wait 7 more days and call and tell them they are cut off and at the end of next a 2% per day late payment charge applied.
then if nothing I threaten small claims court.
I been very lucky and have never had to go past the third call.
I like the phone I can deal with people on the phone its face to face that bugs me. especially if its a pretty women I become putty in their hands.
Or you could start calling them back at 11 pm just to talk or right in the middle of supper just to let them know your OK. I think they will soon stop calling you.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:59 AM
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At the beginning of the year I started steering people towards email - especially now that I have a smartphone . It makes things easier for people who contact me from work & the added "paper trail" is nice to have. Used email about 10% of the time last year. With the exception of new calls, it is probably closer to 70% now. Much better than playing phone tag.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:48 AM
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What's your thoughts on why they are calling you if they know they owe you money?

Do you think they want to pay you or simply try and get you to cut their lawn for free as long as they can drag it out?
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:14 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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I understand where your coming from. I had a biweekly mowing account that wanted various other jobs done. I agreed to do them when I came by to mow, to do it all in one trip. He was about 2 months late when I stopped servicing the property. I heard everything from I didnt get the invoice, phone call, or emails. He finally paid maybe 10 weeks late acting like he just got the bill. He stalled on paying for mowing and was wondering why I didnt start the material jobs? I just told him I was no longer interested in providing services and kept getting phone calls about he needed his driveway done, house pressure washed, hedges trimmed. I told him once it would be fine if he paid up front but he wasnt interested. He wanted it all done on credit which he didnt have with me no more.

I had another guy who was a biweekly customer too. He wanted his yard tilled,weeded, seeded, fertilized. I set up a schedule and every time I would cut I would bill him for one of the services. Then after maybe two visits he wanted to know why I was charging this amount for this and why it was needed. He requested every single service not asking me once what would be best for his lawn. Then wanted to nickle and dime the cost. I just said screw it and stop coming by. I got calls from him, his wife, neighbor all trying to figure out why I wouldnt keep cutting his property.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:57 PM
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Some customers are just not worth it.

Do you ever find yourself out with friends at a local restaurant. These friends you are with are just average regular normal people. But once they order food, they feel like the $10 they are spending is not just for the food, it also buys them a ticket to be able to be obnoxious and pushy to another person. Where they know that such behavior normally might get them beat up, as a customer, they are hell bent to vent their unhappiness with life to the waiter or waitress and and complain about every last detail.

Then you feel like an *** for being with them in public.

It seems the same holds true for lawn care or any other service. You just can't win everyone over.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:40 PM
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Speaking of treating staff at restaurants like crap...


The only time I lash out, is when I'm forced to walk around down town,

I HATE DOWN TOWN!!!!!!!

It's dirty, I feel like I catch an STD just using the underground train...


Anyway, I have this big peeve against places that don't accept credit card, and don't mention it before I place an order. I usually just storm out, because it's ridiculous to think I'm going to use their shady ATM that will charge me an additional fee of $3.00 just so I am forced to take out a $20 bill to pay for a $15 meal!

Anyway, so when I put down town + a place that doesn't accept credit = Scott at his angriest.


I walked around down town for a decent meal with no luck... Nothing but sandwiches, and I HATE paying for a sandwich (I MAKE THEM AT HOME!)

Anyway, so I finally found a decent place after 2 hours of walking in an overpopulated area full of homeless people making me feel like crap. Unfortunately, I walked in and the following;

Scott: Accept credit?
Guy: No, but we have an atm.
Scott: Bye.
Girlfriend: I'll use the atm!
Scott: NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We settled for Burger King...

In Burger King;

Scott: Accept credit?
Lady: Yes.
Scott: For **** sakes, finally someone who does!!!!!!!!

I think I scared her, but I was able to eat...






^- This was when I was hungover from the mansion party I mentioned in my other post. I just wanted to eat something before I wasted a day travelling trying to get back home. And I didn't have a cigarette all day (smokers will understand).




Other than that, I abuse money without care. If I know I might get crappy food and service, it's no ones fault but mine for choosing to stay so I keep my mouth shut.

Yesterday I went to a salad/soup buffet, best $20 I had ever spent...
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:19 AM
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Well it seems there is a good lesson to be learned in all that. It shows you how important it is to take multiple types of payment.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:44 PM
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So I'm going to go back to the OP's original complaints.

I can understand removing someone from the schedule and just dropping them, being tired of excuses for not paying, but to just not say anything?

If you just call them and remind them that they have a bill do, you might get paid.

Sure, it makes sense to just stop playing games with someone who promises to pay a number of times. But if you want to settle things, you can call him back, even if it goes to voice-mail, and just say you can no longer service their property. If they ask why, you can be polite, and explain that you can't continue to chase payment.

Also, if you service a property 1-2 days ahead of time, IMO, that's unprofessional. I've picked up many clients because the last company just came whenever, and there was no real set day. If you said you will be there on Friday, and you show up on Wednesday, without talking to them first, that's on you. And then you got mad because he called to not only ask about the arrangement you made with him, but to make sure you were ok?

Now, it's one thing to change the day if, say, a holiday comes around. You have Labor Day on Monday, ok, so you service it on Tuesday, no problem. You are going on Vacation on Friday, so you visit on Thursday, again, no big deal. But tell your customers!

You complain about taking the time out of your day to call a customer back?! You do realize that they had to take the time to call you in the first place, right?

And then you complain about privacy? You are running a damn business! Of coarse your customers are going to want to talk to you!
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