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

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.

Insatiable Customer


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-25-2009, 06:57 PM
TouchtonsCLC TouchtonsCLC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 6
TouchtonsCLC is on a distinguished road
Default Insatiable Customer

I have just started a lawn care business and am excited to say I have 6 clients within 2 weeks (only 44+ to go!). Well, one of those customers is giving me a hard time.

Seemingly everything I do is wrong and overpriced (and I'm WELL under the $60/minute rate). I believe they are trying to dupe me into more work for free by complaining about how much I charge (which we both agreed upon prior to work commencing). Today marks the 2nd time in the same week that they've called to try and have me come back and do more work for no charge. So I'm now going to take down banana trees for free because my hedge trim job was not to their standard.

They lost their last lawn care guy (he wouldn't return their calls). Now I know why. Nothing is ever good enough for them, and they are constantly complaining about being overcharged.

What have you done with customers like this? I really think I should do this last job and forget it, because I can see that they'll be more trouble than it is worth. At the same time, I want positive word-of-mouth - I don't want them to run to their friends and say that my company is incompitent and expensive.
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 03-25-2009, 07:17 PM
Little's's Avatar
Little's Little's is offline
Brandon
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Shasta Lake CA.
Posts: 814
Rep Power: 8
Little's is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
There are a few people like this out there, and are bound to pick one up every now and then, but if it were me, I would drop them and replace them with someone who appreciates your hard work and lower prices.
__________________
Northern California
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:24 PM
swstout's Avatar
swstout swstout is offline
Steve
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canastota, NY
Age: 65
Posts: 1,082
Rep Power: 7
swstout is on a distinguished road
Default Word of mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchtonsCLC View Post
I have just started a lawn care business and am excited to say I have 6 clients within 2 weeks (only 44+ to go!). Well, one of those customers is giving me a hard time.

Seemingly everything I do is wrong and overpriced (and I'm WELL under the $60/minute rate). I believe they are trying to dupe me into more work for free by complaining about how much I charge (which we both agreed upon prior to work commencing). Today marks the 2nd time in the same week that they've called to try and have me come back and do more work for no charge. So I'm now going to take down banana trees for free because my hedge trim job was not to their standard.

They lost their last lawn care guy (he wouldn't return their calls). Now I know why. Nothing is ever good enough for them, and they are constantly complaining about being overcharged.


What have you done with customers like this? I really think I should do this last job and forget it, because I can see that they'll be more trouble than it is worth. At the same time, I want positive word-of-mouth - I don't want them to run to their friends and say that my company is incompitent and expensive.
Don't worry about bad word of mouth from him. He is a "user" and everyone he knows knows it. He is the type that is always trying to get someone to do something for him and never return the favor. He is the one that is always borrowing something that doesn't seem to find its way home. His neighbors are probably wondering why you lasted so long?

Trying to satisfy him (who can't be satisfied) only takes time away from other customers. Drop him. He is not worth the aggravation.

Steve
__________________


Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:31 PM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 7
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Well if you can honestly say the job was done right & the price was prearranged, IF they continue then drop em & move on.

Did you mean $1/minute being $60/hr? Cause Either way.... $60/man hour does seem a bit high & $60/minute is absolutely insane.

Most Tradesmen (plumbers, carpenters, electricians) are in in around $30-$40/per man hour. Most people still see landscapers as relatively unskilled labor. You need to be the cream of the crop to be hitting even $40/hr & land many jobs.

Just my take on it.
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #5  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:47 PM
TouchtonsCLC TouchtonsCLC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 6
TouchtonsCLC is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
Well if you can honestly say the job was done right & the price was prearranged, IF they continue then drop em & move on.

Did you mean $1/minute being $60/hr? Cause Either way.... $60/man hour does seem a bit high & $60/minute is absolutely insane.

Most Tradesmen (plumbers, carpenters, electricians) are in in around $30-$40/per man hour. Most people still see landscapers as relatively unskilled labor. You need to be the cream of the crop to be hitting even $40/hr & land many jobs.

Just my take on it.
Not $60/min. My bad. It's really per job depending on how long it will take to do whatever it is I need to do. My lawns are $35 - $45. The hedge job was 1.5 hours and $50. The first service to their lawn was $45, included pulling weeds in rear of property, mow, edge, trim fence lines & exterior property, blow-off property, and herbicide application. I don't think $45 for all of that was too much. AND I am giving them the $25 per visit rate on regular lawn maintenance (mow, edge, trim, blow-off).

So back to the hourly rate - I've heard many people say they won't even unload their equipment for less than $35 a visit, because the overhead to haul it, etc., isn't worth it. Is that reasonable?

Last edited by TouchtonsCLC; 03-25-2009 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Add something
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:03 PM
clarklandscaping
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I have 2 customers like this and they drive me insane. One just told me last week, when they received thier bill, that I had not serviced thier property all month! I had to kindly remind them that I was there as i had to pick up Februarys payment 2 weeks late.

I plan on finishing the month out for them and givin' em the boot.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:12 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,519
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

When you first get a business started, you just don't understand the language of the business. You may know how to do a specific job, but understanding the language means understanding the business as a whole.

It means understanding how to feel out customers before you bid on a project. As you go, if you are lucky enough to survive your initial trial by fire, you will start to notice warning signs. When these signs arise, you will do whatever it takes to get rid of them or avoid them.

There are customers/people who would love nothing better than to tear you apart. Use you as much as they can and then try and destroy your business because they are miserable with their lives. They will trap you. Take and take and take and take.

It's one thing to need to get the business started and take on whoever you can. But as soon as you can, we all have to stop being desperate and focus on the customers we are going to get the most bang for our time spent.

10% of your customers will take up 90% of your time. Try and cull that 10% as often as possible so you can make room for more profitable customers.

We only have so much time, energy and resources to spend each day. Spend it with profitable and happy customers.

Thats my view at least.
__________________
- 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
  #8  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:37 PM
TouchtonsCLC TouchtonsCLC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 6
TouchtonsCLC is on a distinguished road
Default

My instinct from the beginning told me that the lady was a little nutty. But I'm willing to give the people the benefit of the doubt and keep them as a customer. I suppose I'll go and try to make them happy. But if that doesn't work I'll tell them to pack sand.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:45 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,519
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

It's all a learning experience and no matter what, you will grow from it. I look forwards to your updates on the matter.
__________________
- 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
  #10  
Old 03-25-2009, 09:53 PM
majoe7 majoe7 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 184
Rep Power: 6
majoe7 is on a distinguished road
Default Insatiable Customer

All I can say, is drop them. PERIOD. Don't worry about the bad press from them. There are so many more client's out there. If a customer gives me a hard time and I did the job right and felt good about it, then strike 1. Next complaint, strike 2. The last issue , I tell them, they're Fired, not letting them fire me. I stand by my work 100%, and have customer tell me that all the time. BTW, Charge $60.00 per hour, and nothing less. If your work is that good, then walk the walk. Also, here in Florida, NO-ONE will work for under $60.00 and hour. IE: Auto-75, Air - cond. 75, Elect. 75, Computer work the lowest 60 an hour.
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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bad customer quickcleanlawn General Business Discussions 2 07-31-2008 10:06 PM
new customer Wendicp Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 0 08-29-2007 04:40 PM
The $20 a cut customer Steve Show Off - Picture Post - Photo Gallery 5 09-05-2006 08:18 PM
2 PO # same customer Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 1 03-28-2005 05:32 PM
Customer F.A.Q.'s Steve Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 0 02-23-2004 10:34 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
Today 04:14 PM
Today 04:14 PM
by madmedic8575
0 44
new to the forum
madmedic8575
Today 02:52 PM
Today 02:52 PM
by madmedic8575
0 44
hey everyone
robert8509
10-22-2014 08:16 PM
Today 02:28 PM
by biglee
6 206
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 09:19 PM
Today 02:23 PM
by biglee
8 257
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
Yesterday 01:23 PM
Today 01:11 PM
by Steve
4 182
My Newest Toy (B.P....
Dan Tanner
Yesterday 05:50 PM
Today 01:02 PM
by Steve
1 122
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
Today 01:00 PM
by Steve
11 888
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
Yesterday 08:07 AM
Yesterday 11:08 PM
by Chilehead
2 141
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:41 PM
Yesterday 11:06 PM
by Chilehead
9 342
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
10-20-2014 06:33 AM
Yesterday 05:55 PM
by biglee
13 456
Hi from SoCal
Jmoney
Yesterday 11:29 AM
Yesterday 12:51 PM
by Steve
1 112
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
Yesterday 12:33 PM
by Steve
5 565
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
Yesterday 06:12 AM
by ringahding1
4 391
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
10-21-2014 06:20 AM
Yesterday 05:13 AM
by ringahding1
5 286
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
10-22-2014 01:27 PM
by Steve
6 460
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
10-22-2014 01:23 PM
by Steve
3 436
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:59 PM
10-22-2014 01:19 PM
by Steve
1 207
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
10-22-2014 08:51 AM
by ringahding1
12 1,575
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
10-22-2014 07:47 AM
by ringahding1
4 1,399
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
10-21-2014 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 705
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
10-21-2014 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 563
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
10-21-2014 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 11,477
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
10-21-2014 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 310
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
10-20-2014 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 1,877
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
10-20-2014 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,373
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
10-20-2014 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 276
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
10-20-2014 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 348
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
10-20-2014 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 800
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
10-20-2014 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,262
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
10-20-2014 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 541
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
10-20-2014 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 380
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 719
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 1,025
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,391
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 743
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-15-2014 06:43 PM
by NHray
1,190 340,346
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 464
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,566
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,575
Apartment Complex and...
lxarth
06-22-2011 01:10 PM
10-14-2014 06:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
42 9,666
I LOVE hedge trimming
stevef1201
10-13-2014 09:05 AM
10-14-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
5 600
Help with seeder...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-09-2014 07:39 AM
10-13-2014 08:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 761
The Market watch
WesleySnips
10-12-2014 08:47 PM
10-13-2014 05:40 PM
by SGL1
3 603
Help pricing a large...
Bradcook21
10-07-2014 06:49 AM
10-13-2014 02:00 PM
by Steve
7 948
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 04:24 PM
10-13-2014 06:46 AM
by Billy Goat
19 1,603
Acerage Rake
acrajchel
04-23-2014 07:23 PM
10-12-2014 10:53 PM
by SGL1
2 917
John Deere z235 Deck
WesleySnips
09-29-2014 06:02 PM
10-12-2014 06:20 PM
by kslawn
25 1,733
Credit card contract
SGL1
10-06-2014 05:31 PM
10-12-2014 03:40 PM
by SGL1
18 1,140
Truck craft dump bed...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-04-2014 08:41 PM
10-10-2014 11:35 AM
by Steve
7 1,045
First Time River Rock...
berryjam
10-09-2014 06:09 PM
10-10-2014 11:08 AM
by Steve
2 684
» Popular Tags
4wd apartment complex article marketing bark bid blades bob villa care charge collections collections subcontractor decorating ditches edging employee problems equipment rental estimate exmark ferris four wheel drive fundraiser gopherhaul gravely growing a lawn care business hardscapes how much to charge husqvarna installation introduction kawasaki landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website marketing mr dave mulch new mower past due podcast promotion pto redmax reo running a business scag search engine optimization seo shell small engine repair snow sprayer starting a business steep lawns steve stihl theft of services top dresser toro toro grand stand trailer trimmer rack turfgrass consulting walker wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 PM.

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