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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.

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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.
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  #1  
Old 10-30-2012, 12:47 AM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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You ever deal with someone who wants something from you, that you can't give - only for them to act as if they are owed something from you?

For example, I have a client who I was unable to mow for most the the season. The lawn died out too soon, and without water there was no saving it.

Anyway, I understand that it sucks to pay in full for something and suddenly not actually needing it. However, a contract is a contract

The client feels that I owe him/her something when I legally don't.

-

The worst part of it is, the client is riding my arse constantly about doing a freebie for him/her. "WHEN ARE YOU COMING?" etc...

I agreed to do a small job, to retain the client for next year, but I thought I'd just share a story because I've been lacking with sharing things that p*ss me off lately. LOL.

-

I hate how clients just assume that they are entitled to everything. The first thing I learned years ago starting my company, is that clients don't see 'generosity' from us at all, no matter how much we do for them.


Have a nice night forum. I am dehydrated and too lazy to go to the kitchen.. life is so hard... lol
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:07 AM
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What kinds of things does the client want you to do for free?

Also are there things you can do throughout the season, even if it is stopping by to pick up some fallen twigs or branches in the winter in order to make them feel they are getting full year lawn care maintenance? Or is there another way you would rather see this all go?
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:03 PM
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How about blowing their roof and driveway off maybe once a month? Think that may help?
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:28 AM
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The way I see it, the client gets what he/she pays for only, or else the client becomes a 'problem'.

To do something different just because his/her grass hadn't grown, sure I like that idea - it's the moral thing to do.

I had given this client free leaf removal at the end of the season because, yes, I couldn't rip her off like that even if I could have legally.

-

Unfortunately in practice, it just interferes with everything else that's supposed to be getting done. Now that this client has free leaf removal, I have to somehow manage my leaf removal route to include her, and will probably bump her above clients who had actually paid. With winter coming soon, this could end up bad for me.

Problem free paying clients can miss out on the service they paid for, or, this client can receive nothing again.

-

I also feel that I need to make it clear to clients that services aren't interchangeable throughout the season, and we are not selling a time slot in general, we are selling a time slot for a particular service only.

If your grass doesn't grow, you don't automatically get some other service to replace it - it doesn't/shouldn't work like that.

Why?

I'm not entirely sure, but it annoys me - maybe I get a little discouraged having to go out of my way for one client, to offer another service when I could have had a shorter work week.

Things like this just seem to be a big deal in practice, when you're actually out doing the work - you feel cheated.

I would rather do what I'm supposed to do at the time I'm offering it! .. anything else is interference...

-

EXAMPLE:

Let's say you charged a client to use your totally awesome roller-coaster, but because it was raining so much, you shut down for awhile.

The client now expects you to open your amusement park during the winter, so that they feel that they've gotten their monies worth from 4 months ago!

It's bad timing, you have other things to prepare for, like making sure the ski lifts are functioning properly, because now you have a luxurious ski resort to manage.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 10-31-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:03 AM
WorkForMySelf WorkForMySelf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
The way I see it, the client gets what he/she pays for only, or else the client becomes a 'problem'.

To do something different just because his/her grass hadn't grown, sure I like that idea - it's the moral thing to do.

I had given this client free leaf removal at the end of the season because, yes, I couldn't rip her off like that even if I could have legally.

-

Unfortunately in practice, it just interferes with everything else that's supposed to be getting done. Now that this client has free leaf removal, I have to somehow manage my leaf removal route to include her, and will probably bump her above clients who had actually paid. With winter coming soon, this could end up bad for me.

Problem free paying clients can miss out on the service they paid for, or, this client can receive nothing again.

-

I also feel that I need to make it clear to clients that services aren't interchangeable throughout the season, and we are not selling a time slot in general, we are selling a time slot for a particular service only.

If your grass doesn't grow, you don't automatically get some other service to replace it - it doesn't/shouldn't work like that.

Why?

I'm not entirely sure, but it annoys me - maybe I get a little discouraged having to go out of my way for one client, to offer another service when I could have had a shorter work week.

Things like this just seem to be a big deal in practice, when you're actually out doing the work - you feel cheated.

I would rather do what I'm supposed to do at the time I'm offering it! .. anything else is interference...

-

EXAMPLE:

Let's say you charged a client to use your totally awesome roller-coaster, but because it was raining so much, you shut down for awhile.

The client now expects you to open your amusement park during the winter, so that they feel that they've gotten their monies worth from 4 months ago!

It's bad timing, you have other things to prepare for, like making sure the ski lifts are functioning properly, because now you have a luxurious ski resort to manage.

Just tell them how you feel and they will definitely back off... (did i mention to wave a gun while talking?)
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:05 AM
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Scott,

Would it be easier for you and your clients if your contract simply covered property maintenance for the year and not just mowing? That way there was no battle over what service was included or what one wasnt.

You could stop over even if the grass growth slowed and you could see what else needed to be done to make the property look good. Branches on the ground, some leaves that need raking etc.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:20 PM
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I don't think he's looking for a way to justify changing the scope of work because of a situation like this where a contract was signed for lawn mowing and the lawn died. There is nothing to stop him from offering some other service in exchange but he doesn't want to feel obligated to do so and doesn't like that the customer feels they are owed something. So a contract for "property maintenance" is going to have the opposite effect of what he wants to accomplish. "Maintenance" is so broad a term that a customer could expect you to do just about anything.

Think of it like this: many guys enter into winter snow removal contracts for a certain dollar amount each month or a lump sum. If it doesn't snow or the amount of snow is less than what the customer thinks they paid for the contractor isn't going to do something else for the customer. Likewise if it snows every other day the contractor can't ask the customer for more money. A contract is a contract.
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