Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Gopherhaul 10


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-05-2007, 08:50 PM
tiedeman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I really liked the new gopherhaul. That is cool that you put my situations in there. I appreciate it!
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 06-05-2007, 09:52 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,764
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I am glad you liked it! I think your business insights are fantastic and many viewers will benefit from your knowledge and experience.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-06-2007, 01:48 PM
StartALawnCareBusiness's Avatar
StartALawnCareBusiness StartALawnCareBusiness is offline
Keith
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 731
Rep Power: 0
StartALawnCareBusiness is on a distinguished road
Default

I like the vid too. *I always enjoy your positive presentations.

Can I put my contrarian hat on for a moment?

I am a huge believer in getting the "RIGHT" kind of customers. *I totally agree that you don't want price shoppers and you pretty much want to stay away from a 1 time job unless you can really price it to make it worth your while.

However, I think you are being too restrictive with the contracts and with the non bi-weekly rules.

Here in the South, the grass is dried up so far this summer. *No one is having weekly grass service. *Many summers are similar to this one and a company that limits itself to only taking on weekly customers will have a shortage of clients.

Contracts are good. *They are especially valuable to guard against customers who want you to do major renovation work on their lawn and then drop you in mid summer. *There are also other specific situations where a contract is needed for both you and the customer. * However, once again, I've found that the majority of residential customers really don't want to sign a contract. *Instead, they just want no-hassle dependable lawn care as needed and they're willing to pay for the service when it takes place.

If it ever came down to having a dispute with a residential customer, would you really want to spend the resources to uphold the contract instead of just simply dropping that customer and finding another?

Sell quality and price your work accordingly. *Never underprice your work but also be flexible to the needs of the customer.

Don't take this as an argument...just as a counterpoint.

Your vids rock. *

Keith
__________________
Start a profitable lawn care business.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-06-2007, 03:01 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,764
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Keith,

Good points.

Have you had much of a problem with customers dropping your service mid-season? How do you deal with low bidders and customers who are offered lower prices from non-legit companies? Does this pose much of a problem?

Do you have other suggestions on how to pre-qualify a potential customer when they call you?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-06-2007, 08:19 PM
StartALawnCareBusiness's Avatar
StartALawnCareBusiness StartALawnCareBusiness is offline
Keith
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 731
Rep Power: 0
StartALawnCareBusiness is on a distinguished road
Default

There will be circumstances where people will have to drop out midseason. *One year, a well paid (and well paying) customer called me in July to drop because he had lost his job. *Even if I had an ironclad contract with that customer, the time spent pursuing enforcement of the contract would have been better spent picking up a new customer instead of dealing with someone who couldn't pay anyway.

I think a good relationship with a customer is a better hedge against lowballers than a contract. *Be familiar with your customers and make sure they know how important their business is to you. *Do a great job and most people won't drop you for someone offering to do their lawn for $5 less / week. *If a customer is going to drop you for a $5 or $10 *undercut, you probably don't need them as a customer anyway.

There are definitely situations where a contract is a good idea. *Clients that hire you for application services or bed maintenance require you to purchase your supplies in advance for the expected work. *Large yards that take hours of your time and would leave a big hole in your schedule if they dropped also warrant a contract. *Also, large work that requires additional equipment or extra employees is a prime candidate for having a written contract.

Prescreening customers. *In my business package, I speak heavily about prescreening customers. *Prescreening should actually begin as you work on your business plan...very early days of your business. *Know who your customer is going to be. *Do you want to do large yards because those are the primary yards in your area of service? *Then you have to buy large equipment to handle the large mowing areas. *After that, you prescreen customers with your advertisements. *"Professional Lawn Services - Large Yards are our Specialty" *This, effectively, screens out small yards before they even call. *That's just one example. *There are many other examples of prescreening even before the customer calls.

I do have a couple of questions that I recommend asking once you get a call:

1) "Are you getting quite a few estimates?" * This gives you an idea if the customer is only going for price and calling everyone in town that does lawns or if your ad was specifically appealing. *Answer: *"No, I called you because your ad said that you have new equipment and I want someone dependable." *That's a great answer. *Go give that estimate immediately.

2) "Who was doing your yard in the past and why are they not doing it any longer." *In my experience, this is the most important question you can ask. *I remember one potential customer said "Oh, I've had a bunch of people but none of them were any good." *That was an immediate red flag. *You can gain great information with this question and you can often tell if this is a sincerely good client by their answer.

My initial critique of your questions was simply because I think we all have to be flexible to the needs of the customers. *If a customer does not want to sign a contract but they will be a great customer otherwise, why not bend your rules instead of just hanging up on them.

OH, BTW, I loved the computer generated "customer's" voice in the vid...cracked me up.

Keith
__________________
Start a profitable lawn care business.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-07-2007, 02:01 PM
tiedeman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (StartALawnCareBusiness @ June 06 2007,2:48)]I like the vid too. *I always enjoy your positive presentations.

Can I put my contrarian hat on for a moment?

I am a huge believer in getting the "RIGHT" kind of customers. *I totally agree that you don't want price shoppers and you pretty much want to stay away from a 1 time job unless you can really price it to make it worth your while.

However, I think you are being too restrictive with the contracts and with the non bi-weekly rules.

Here in the South, the grass is dried up so far this summer. *No one is having weekly grass service. *Many summers are similar to this one and a company that limits itself to only taking on weekly customers will have a shortage of clients.

Contracts are good. *They are especially valuable to guard against customers who want you to do major renovation work on their lawn and then drop you in mid summer. *There are also other specific situations where a contract is needed for both you and the customer. * However, once again, I've found that the majority of residential customers really don't want to sign a contract. *Instead, they just want no-hassle dependable lawn care as needed and they're willing to pay for the service when it takes place.

If it ever came down to having a dispute with a residential customer, would you really want to spend the resources to uphold the contract instead of just simply dropping that customer and finding another?

Sell quality and price your work accordingly. *Never underprice your work but also be flexible to the needs of the customer.

Don't take this as an argument...just as a counterpoint.

Your vids rock. *

Keith
I have been in business now going on 11 years, and have been in the green industry going on 15 years and have lots of experience trying out different things with the business. * I tried out the whole no contract thing and bi-weekly customers before and it was nothing but a hassle. *Sure, if I show up at a customers property and its dry as heck, I am not going to mow it.

Once you find the right type of customers that you want, with YOUR requirements, then you will start to love your work and love your customers more. *Too many times in the past I was burnt on taking on everybody. *You need to figure out what works best. *Nothing is worse then having to send a customer to a collections agency, or trying to get paid on a past due account.

By having a contract in place it not only spells out payment policies, but what your specific services are as well. *Nothing would be worse than a customer withholding money from you because you didn't perform the services like you said you would. *Instead, you can pull out the contract and show them what the details of each service is. *It also covers yourself from possible lawsuits from property damage or personal injuiry.

The weekly mowing customers are customers that you WANT to have. *Nothing is worse then showing up to a bi-weekly customers property that has a foot of growth. *If not only makes your customers property look bad, but you as well. *Someone driving by might not know that they are on a bi-weekly schedule, but when they see you maintaining it they will think to themselves "What a horrible lawn service company, they can't even keep up with the lawn. *Forget about hiring them"

Like said though, after some years of experience and feeling out the customers and your business, you will know exactly what type of customers that you want and you need based on your specifications.



Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-07-2007, 06:02 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,764
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]My initial critique of your questions was simply because I think we all have to be flexible to the needs of the customers. If a customer does not want to sign a contract but they will be a great customer otherwise, why not bend your rules instead of just hanging up on them.

OH, BTW, I loved the computer generated "customer's" voice in the vid...cracked me up.
What works for some businesses won't work for others. There are many factors to consider and I am glad you did bring them up for our forum members to read.

Yea the computer voice was funny too I thought.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Pushy customers
christopherhicks82
Yesterday 08:22 PM
Yesterday 09:19 PM
by christopherhicks82
2 55
Looking for advice on a...
Tekeda1
04-13-2014 09:53 AM
Yesterday 07:55 PM
by Just for Cuts
23 546
Pond...
xandrew245x
Yesterday 03:29 PM
Yesterday 06:45 PM
by xandrew245x
2 56
2.5 acre mowing
xandrew245x
04-18-2014 06:55 AM
Yesterday 05:23 PM
by Just for Cuts
13 286
About D@## Time!
TamMik
04-02-2014 08:10 AM
Yesterday 05:14 PM
by BelleCityLawn1
19 841
Back for this year
xandrew245x
02-21-2014 04:30 PM
Yesterday 03:36 PM
by xandrew245x
19 989
The $20 Mow Job
Dan Tanner
04-21-2014 07:24 PM
Yesterday 03:17 PM
by Dan Tanner
4 150
In a bit situation need...
googus
Yesterday 08:01 AM
Yesterday 01:50 PM
by stevef1201
5 104
What Was Your Setup When...
superrman77
02-11-2014 10:53 AM
Yesterday 12:29 AM
by Tony317
22 1,687
Sulky and Turf Tracer
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:44 PM
Yesterday 12:07 AM
by Tony317
9 429
danny 2
danny2
04-19-2014 10:19 PM
04-21-2014 12:25 PM
by Steve
3 132
this mower is driving me...
boog
04-17-2014 12:07 PM
04-21-2014 12:10 PM
by kslawn
13 319
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
04-21-2014 12:02 PM
by kslawn
20 562
I Got Taken...,
Dan Tanner
04-19-2014 06:26 AM
04-21-2014 11:49 AM
by Steve
4 216
new to this forum!
mower13126
04-18-2014 07:37 PM
04-21-2014 11:39 AM
by Steve
4 143
REO calling
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 05:03 PM
04-21-2014 11:33 AM
by Steve
12 333
Any greenhouse operators...
GoGreenerKS
04-15-2014 11:21 AM
04-21-2014 11:27 AM
by Steve
5 185
quickbooks users
CDLAWNCARE
04-20-2014 09:03 AM
04-20-2014 09:58 PM
by MBLC
3 142
employee pay
4 seasons maintenance
04-10-2011 09:34 PM
04-20-2014 04:40 PM
by Dan Tanner
20 6,865
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
04-20-2014 11:13 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 1,190
Lawn Renovation
stevef1201
04-11-2014 12:00 PM
04-20-2014 11:11 AM
by kslawn
10 346
Customers droping like...
goodtimez
04-18-2014 09:53 AM
04-19-2014 08:09 AM
by CDLAWNCARE
7 219
Best Bulk Mulch delivery...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:52 AM
04-18-2014 05:34 PM
by Steve
2 98
Steve Virgadamo,...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:49 AM
04-18-2014 05:08 PM
by Steve
2 81
Instagram
Gerardo_Landscape
04-16-2014 11:28 AM
04-18-2014 04:51 PM
by Steve
3 164
Help with weed liability!
Prolawnofchatt
04-15-2014 09:10 AM
04-18-2014 04:47 PM
by Steve
5 234
Nationwide lawn care...
Billy Goat
04-15-2014 05:21 PM
04-18-2014 04:39 PM
by Steve
9 252
Truck Signage
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 11:00 PM
04-18-2014 04:04 PM
by stevef1201
10 271
leaf removal
tlf59263
04-15-2014 10:00 PM
04-18-2014 03:59 PM
by stevef1201
6 227
Pay per click advertising
roostertail
02-12-2014 07:26 PM
04-17-2014 07:11 PM
by yardrate
10 632
Accepting credit cards,...
Darksteel
03-17-2014 08:01 PM
04-16-2014 01:02 PM
by jymie
15 788
Trimec
acrajchel
04-15-2014 08:24 PM
04-16-2014 11:10 AM
by Steve
3 141
Gopher Forum Discount!
BlackRain75
04-12-2014 10:44 PM
04-16-2014 10:50 AM
by Steve
9 337
hello
NFrailey
04-15-2014 01:39 PM
04-16-2014 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 125
Pricing a Mulch Job
dmcalpi
04-07-2014 02:16 PM
04-16-2014 09:40 AM
by jymie
21 764
google earth
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 03:24 PM
04-16-2014 09:36 AM
by jymie
8 283
There has to be an...
CDLAWNCARE
04-14-2014 12:59 PM
04-15-2014 04:06 PM
by Dan Tanner
6 229
First Day Back!
BelleCityLawn1
04-09-2014 09:13 PM
04-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
11 364
Mow America
stevegredler
04-13-2014 01:02 PM
04-14-2014 09:53 PM
by kslawn
5 269
Power Broom
acrajchel
04-14-2014 07:46 AM
04-14-2014 12:47 PM
by CDLAWNCARE
2 147
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
04-14-2014 11:34 AM
by Steve
1,176 286,444
Equipment reviews
Greg'slawnandlandscape
04-09-2014 07:17 AM
04-14-2014 11:27 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
13 521
Aerating Prices?
Dan Tanner
04-08-2014 03:16 PM
04-14-2014 10:31 AM
by Steve
13 519
Estimating help
acrajchel
04-11-2014 06:06 PM
04-14-2014 10:20 AM
by Steve
3 229
Need help bidding church...
GreenRidge Lawn&Landscape
04-07-2014 08:01 PM
04-14-2014 09:49 AM
by Steve
12 491
Hello all
Griff20114
04-12-2014 05:08 PM
04-14-2014 09:46 AM
by Steve
1 145
Step by Step Spring Lawn...
WarriorLawnscaping
04-10-2014 07:01 AM
04-14-2014 09:43 AM
by Steve
5 307
Jeff Cowden
jcowden
04-11-2014 07:27 PM
04-14-2014 09:39 AM
by Steve
1 139
Exmark Commercial 30...
Dan Tanner
04-11-2014 05:35 AM
04-14-2014 09:37 AM
by Steve
4 248
Small guy time to get a...
googus
04-08-2014 08:16 AM
04-13-2014 07:18 PM
by A. Kulak Landscaping
9 395
» Popular Tags
4wd advertisement aerator bid birdscaping buy charge christmas light service client collections subcontractor customers decorating ecosymbiosis exmark fall ferris financing first truck flower bed cultivation price for sale franchise georgia gopherhaul grass clarksville gravely gravely 34" zero turn holiday holiday decorating how much to charge how to bid introduction invoice late lawn care lawn care business show lawn service leaf cleanup lesco lighting marketing mechanic mowing mowing clarksville mulch mulch estimate new and restored landscapes new buisness new business office management podcast promotion reo savannah scag seo sole proprietorship sprayer starting a business start up lawn care business stihl subcontractor taxes theft of services tips top dresser toro tree care walker winter zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy