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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

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Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2012, 12:20 PM
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Does that feeling change over time or does the way you handle these situations change over time as you have been running your business longer?
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2012, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Does that feeling change over time or does the way you handle these situations change over time as you have been running your business longer?
It never changes. There will always be an odd job that you would love to refuse doing, but the risk of losing the client is all we can think about.

We have to keep a steady relationship with a client, we can't get out of unfortunate situations like this if we really can't justify it.

Let's say you spent an hour maintaining a lawn, and you have everything loaded up and strapped down. Imagine if the very nice client comes out as you are about to leave and says, "Sorry to bother you, can you take just 2 seconds to trim the weeds in my garden, I'm having a get together with my family this weekend".

While we're standing there, all we can think is "GOD DAMMIT!" - we really just want to move on, but no, we must do the job.

The reason we hate sparing even a second of our time, is because we do scheduled work, and we need that feeling of progress throughout the day and HATE interruptions.

How many of you regret taking a lunch break? All of us. All we think about is, "I hope I'm able to finish all my lawns for the day, I just wasted 30 minutes and now I put myself behind"

or even, "I would have been finished by now if I didn't have to trim out that garden".
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:58 AM
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How do you think this might change as you have more employees and you are not onsite when this goes on?
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2012, 01:36 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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How do you think this might change as you have more employees and you are not onsite when this goes on?
I believe it will help my guys out a lot when it comes to avoiding crap jobs as they can say, "My boss says no, because we have too much to do" and I would never have to be confronted and that'll be the end of it.

Though, I don't believe being interrupted to just chat will ever be solved.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:04 PM
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Default I agree, but you have to know what jobs to take.

I dont agree to a job unless it pays at least $1 an hour, I agreed to do some weed removal for a guy that was my customer weekly for lawn mowing fo $10an hour and I asked him if their was any plants that may look like weeds but were plants he didn't want me to pull he said no and I ended up pulling some expensive rare exotic plant and I lost that customer 3-4 years ago and I had a hard time getting him to pay for his last month of lawn mowing if I spent the time mowing lawns instead I would have been $1,000 ahead not to mention the amount of money I lost when I lost the customer at that point because I only had 3-4 customers at that time.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:38 PM
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I dont agree to a job unless it pays at least $1 an hour, I agreed to do some weed removal for a guy that was my customer weekly for lawn mowing fo $10an hour
Did you really mean $1 an hour?
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:01 PM
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Did you really mean $1 an hour?
No I dont know why I typed hour it should have read $1 per minute, $1 an hour wouldn't pay for the gas alone. good thing I didn't make that error on a newspaper ad.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
Great question!

Personally, I am the type of person who wont tolerate anything unless it's completely subtle, and clients can be very subtle when it comes to making us go out of our way for them.

Here are some mock examples;

Client a: "You are doing a lovely job, but may I ask for you to mow the lawn again just a little bit shorter? Please, if it's not too much trouble for you? I would really appreciate it. Would you like some water?"

Response: "Sure, not a problem" - you basically have no choice.

vs

Client b: "I'm not too happy about your service. I had left a pile of branches that I figured you would remove for me, but you never did. Please come and take them."

Responce: "I'm sorry but removing branches is not what we do. If you would like for us to take the branches, I'm going to have to charge you $80."

-

As you can see, when a client makes a negative assumption/attack, you are able to retaliate with ease by reestablishing your pride and defending yourself. It'll come naturally.

Unfortunately, a lot of clients play the 'good character/client a' more often, and you can find yourself getting stuck doing additional work for nothing all season long. Eventually it will take its toll on you. You provide the additional work only because the client was just so sweet about the situation and you would feel guilty if you had said, "No" or requested payment. This nice client is actually the worst client imaginable, because you can't justify firing him/her, and that's what needs to be done unless you figure out a safe way to charge them more!

There are times where you can even tell these clients you must get paid, but in practice, it's never just that easy. Keep your guard up!!!!
You could always use the gangster approach.

"The yard looks lovely would you mind taking that trash pile with you?"

"Everything comes with a price oh pally of mine, you got the money I got the time. Oh hell looka there, I'm a freakin' rapper. You gotta rapper mowin' ya yard fahgetaboutit."

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  #19  
Old 05-15-2014, 08:58 PM
ExtremeLawncareServices ExtremeLawncareServices is offline
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The op makes valid points but at the same time is off base a mile.
His advise is sound if he wants to be in business for 5 years and have a low number of clients doing all the work himself, mowing in a $50'000.00 rig.
How ever the most critical point in business that he failed to even acknowledge
Is simple.

As a business you the owner need to give in to pride of a job and stop working in the company and work on building a company.

I would rather have 500 cheap clients that pay every invoice to keep the 10 employees busy and my bank account rolling over having so few of those high dollar client that I personally had to go out and kiss their *** personally every week.

Also I personally think the op is off in saying he would mow the lawn again, shorter with a smile yet would get *** bent over the sticks his othe client complained about. Real dang foolish, let's waste 15,20,say 30 minutes of fuel, wear and tear to make this guy happy for free yet you won't pick up 5,10 minutes of sticks for less then 80 bucks???????

Take some advice from someone not in his own head.

If a client complains keep him learn from his remark, take it to heart and learn to be better, with becoming better you Lear everyone is the same so price them all the same way!

When I started I made $35.00 a acre for cutting
Then the headaches of can you do this and that.

The next year I had nothing they could ask us to do that we did not do
If I get a call from a client, I question the crew not the client.
If you treat folks as the OP states you will be a happy 1 man band with a helper
Right up until something happens to you and then you won't know what to do.
The helper will let you down and you wi have to settle or close up shop.
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2014, 09:07 PM
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The hardest thing in running a successful is getting out of the field and into the office managing
The second hardest is learning your company will never have the same quality as when you did it all.
The third hardest is realizing your ego that drives you also destroys you internally.
The key to being big and having a lot of clients is realizing you need able bodies to do the work the trick is lowering your personal standards so your workers stay happy and with you.

In 2001 I had 12 key men walk out in 1 week ..... It was a fun following week.
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