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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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  #11  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:34 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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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?

Phone bill = Negative Dollars I am paying for

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

I have, more than enough. I've even sent notices.

If they ask why, you can be polite, and explain that you can't continue to chase payment.

That doesn't accomplish anything on my part.

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.

Rain.


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?

Let's say every time someone calls you, and you don't answer. The first thing they assume is that you are dead. Without noticing that it has rained, or any other event - that's what all they assume. It's "Stupid B.S". Yup, I get mad at that, common sense and me get along.

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!

Customers must realize that it will or has rained. I can either skip them completely, or do the work before or after the day I set. Regardless, they have been told of this.

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?

I do, and? I have other paying properties to do throughout my day(s).

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

I'm not in this business to make friends, to stop having dinner, or avoid my family just to spend time on the phone with clients who have nothing better to do than chit chat.

Depending on how large your business is, the bigger, the more problematic this situation becomes. If I were to now implement chit chat into my business, which for sure could always help with the retention, I would have to hire someone specifically for that. Unfortunately, that is not an option.


My clients receive a very competitive rate as is, and our clients receive a full service every time we visit. We don't have time to spare on nonsense.

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


Explanation:


In my area, we have more competition than you could imagine. It's no longer about quality, it's all about price. Our market is inexpensive, and profit is only made depending how fast you can accomplish your work per lawn.

The business is profiting, but we are working very hard every day to keep it that way without cutting corners.

If a client wants to interrupt my time of rest, or delay my workload, dropping them does not affect my morale - it helps it. If you want all of my clients who like to call me at odd hours, you can have them! It's funny, because I've offered to have other companies take them with warning, they said, "NO!".


In short: If you don't pay, we don't know you.

^ That's how I do business.
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2011, 06:42 PM
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I'd say if you call the people back you should tell them the only way you'll resume service is if they pay what they owe plus the rest of the season up front.

damn lxarth why are you so mad?
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:08 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by element009 View Post
damn lxarth why are you so smug?
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:51 PM
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Hey Hey Cheese
I know from experience Cheese and I have gone head to head about the way he ah ah well runs his company.
I my opinion and market he wouldn't be in business but what he dose seems to work for him where he is located.
If I didn't return a call within an hour it would be one less customer for me to mow. I know because it has happened. But for him well he seems to attract a sadistic kind of customer.
So what works for you may not work for Cheese and what Cheese dose may not work for me, but we all mow grass and wee all try our darnedest to make a living at it.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2011, 08:18 PM
lxarth lxarth is offline
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I'm not mad or smug at all.

You brought up a phone bill? Are you saying that you are using up your minutes calling customers and talking to customers? I do understand not wanting to talk to customer all the time, and that you have work to do. I have avoided answering my phone on days I'm just not feeling the PR vibe.

And with just wanting to be done with customers who won't pay, I get that too. I have customers I have just dropped, or accounts I had to write off before I can't get them to pay.

Now, I don't even rank in one of the rainiest states, but it rains here a lot. And when it does, I go to work. If I don't I just get backed up or have to skip lawns. Also, how can someone mow a lawn 2 days ahead of schedule because some forecaster said there might be rain. Wouldn't it have been better to reschedule once the rain actually hit?

As far as customer wondering what happened to you...maybe it's because they didn't think you would just not show up. I've had customers call when I didn't show up, and I explained that it was a holiday, so I was out of town (the most recent was Labor Day, and I went camping), they felt foolish, and the matter was dropped.

Do you already have it established with your customers that there is the potential for your days to be rained out? If so, maybe you need to remind some of your customers. Or begin telling telling them that you will show up, barring extreme weather (heavy rain, snow, etc).
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  #16  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:30 PM
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If I show up at my client's house when it's raining, they usually get pissed. A little bit beyond a drizzle and it becomes a problem. I mean if you have 1 house left for the day, obviously you do what you can to get it done. But other than that, it's no good for the machines either.
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2015, 12:38 PM
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Has anyone else found themselves so frustrated with a customer(s) that they began to avoid them?
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2015, 02:39 PM
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what ever happened to scott? I miss his posts about his night of partying or his lack of a girlfriend! he has some cool videos too!
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  #19  
Old 04-02-2015, 05:55 PM
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There are too many people out there that will pay for reliable service. Hell, you ain't even gotta be all that good. Just show up. I'm done with telling people "Oh yeah I'll get ya next time around" then they never call me back. NO! PAY ME NOW OR I CUT YOU!

I give my customers far too good service to be bent over without being kissed first. I had to hound one awhile back because she kept making excuses. It ain't rocket science. I give you three payment options: cash, check or charge. No 90 days same as cash, no ez term financing. Ya either pay up front or ya pay NOW! Ain't like I'm charging outrageous prices. If ya too lazy to cut ya own grass then hire a bum and give him a mower.

Done with the breaking my back and then hope to get paid later.


Not lyin' either, I carry a blade. Had to stick this one gal once. She said, "Ow, it's bleeding. I'm gonna need a Band-Aid." Went to the truck and got her a Band-Aid. She was so impressed she tipped me $5.

Last edited by SGL1; 04-02-2015 at 06:08 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2015, 08:46 PM
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Cheese is so right on so many points.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
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?

Phone bill = Negative Dollars I am paying for
Sometimes, it is just easier to cut your losses and not deal with the headache
If you just call them and remind them that they have a bill do, you might get paid.

I have, more than enough. I've even sent notices. If they didn't want to pay the first time, they are still not going to want to pay.

If they ask why, you can be polite, and explain that you can't continue to chase payment.

That doesn't accomplish anything on my part.

Right again, people will do anything to save a few bucks...you can be polite or be a dick...if they don't want to pay then they aren't going to.

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.

Rain.

If it rains on the day you're supposed to come and you come..they will bitch that it doesn't look good... or you left marks...if you come a day early they think you are desperate for work..if you come a day late then you wake up to emails asking what happened....is everything ok...are you still servicing my property..blaw blaw....you can't win either way...sometimes people tend to forget you have over 100 other clients and **** happens!


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?

Let's say every time someone calls you, and you don't answer. The first thing they assume is that you are dead. Without noticing that it has rained, or any other event - that's what all they assume. It's "Stupid B.S". Yup, I get mad at that, common sense and me get along.


I wish they would just chill out... the grass is going to be OK! by receiving 100 phone calls, it is just slowing up your schedule even more.

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!

Customers must realize that it will or has rained. I can either skip them completely, or do the work before or after the day I set. Regardless, they have been told of this.

yup... i tell them I will keep them on a weekly or bi weekly schedule but holidays or rain gives me the right to come 1-2 days early or late...they always say, "o yea, I understand"....until that moment happens.

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?

I do, and? I have other paying properties to do throughout my day(s).

They have ONE phone call to make... if I have 30 properties to do that day then that is 30 phone calls I have to make... not to mention they are going to keep you on the phone for 10 minutes....how the hell would you get anything done. The service to to cut the grass...not to be best friends and keep in constant check....if that were the case it would be like having 100+ girlfriends.

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

I'm not in this business to make friends, to stop having dinner, or avoid my family just to spend time on the phone with clients who have nothing better to do than chit chat.

yes yes yes....I dont mind the late text messages or phone calls but dont get offended if I don't reply right away...it doesn't mean I am dead...maybe I am eating my first meal of the day, showering, not even home yet, doing paperwork, tweaking my schedule for the next day or doing family stuff. Tonight..my phone blew up after 730....texts, phone calls, facebook messages...all of a sudden I am accused of cheating (not joking...she left with the kid). I have attached the messages.... it doesn't piss me off or anything just making a point that this business can really affect personal life.

Depending on how large your business is, the bigger, the more problematic this situation becomes. If I were to now implement chit chat into my business, which for sure could always help with the retention, I would have to hire someone specifically for that. Unfortunately, that is not an option.


My clients receive a very competitive rate as is, and our clients receive a full service every time we visit. We don't have time to spare on nonsense.

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


Explanation:


In my area, we have more competition than you could imagine. It's no longer about quality, it's all about price. Our market is inexpensive, and profit is only made depending how fast you can accomplish your work per lawn.

The business is profiting, but we are working very hard every day to keep it that way without cutting corners.

If a client wants to interrupt my time of rest, or delay my workload, dropping them does not affect my morale - it helps it. If you want all of my clients who like to call me at odd hours, you can have them! It's funny, because I've offered to have other companies take them with warning, they said, "NO!".


In short: If you don't pay, we don't know you.

^ That's how I do business.


I could not agree with Cheese more... if we were a 24/7 service that wanted to chit chat and hear about how your son went to Princeton or how your doctor was your 6th grade student (just two stories I heard today) then we would have to charge twice the amount of money...why? bc time is damn money. Lawyers charge $300+ an hour...yes they have an education...they charge for every damn phone call though....people don't question their rates though....people always question our rates....they don't think about:

time you take to do invoices
time you take to ask them where the payment is 1,2 and 3 times
fuel to get to their house and you use on equipment
new blades!
cost of equipment... some customers have even said, that's a nice mower... must have set you back a grand or two... I laugh
wear and tear of equipment
the fact that you actually pay your employees, crazy!
Insurance
Licenses
etc etc etc.

The only difference is that their are so many guys who cut grass but the truth is they all come and go...if you keep your foot down, do great work and run your business the right way then you will stick around and continue t build your clients. The customers who let you go will always crawl back to you (has happened so many times this year.
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