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General Talk

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  #1  
Old 05-21-2009, 12:33 AM
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Default Are you appreciated?

We all have had & will most likely continue to have frustrations in the lawn care business. Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you decided you weren't interested in doing this sort of work?

Imagine if you decided not to start a lawn care business, what would you be doing now? Where would you be?

I know that I would be stocking shelves. I wouldn't be too happy with my life if I were to give up on owning a business.

Owning a business gives you every experience life has to offer. You meet people, people love & hate you, you make & lose money, you take chances & are always constantly learning & keeping up to date with the world around you. I have never felt so much self satisfaction, even when things don't go as planned I still enjoy the journey, I feel alive! Life isn't as set up & lame when your an owner, you make choices, you have goals & endless possibilities. You write the story, you don't read it.

What do you guys think? A broken blower, a flat tire on the trailer, a cheap customer... it SERIOUSLY sucks but dealing with those problems in my opinion, I would rather have them happen, then to work stocking shelves.

You know how you'd rather help a stranger & be appreciated, but when your family needs assistance you simply roll your eyes? That is because your expected to do it, which keeps you from having an interest.

Why Lawn Care Rules: As owners, we are all expected to mow lawns (that's a given), sometimes customers don't thank you for your work, or show any appreciation. Do you need it from them? Hell no! When you finish a lawn & you look at it, you feel amazing! I can't think of another job where I can find such appreciation, without someone saying anything!

What does your business offer you that you are thankful for? Even if you only have one customer, I'm sure you feel more powerful & successful, you get in touch with a side of you, that you never even knew you had!

let's hear it!
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2009, 12:54 AM
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When I decided I was too lazy to continue school, I messed myself up. I worked several jobs & decided to head back & make something of myself.

So I looked at brochures, to see what a few schools offered. I couldn't find anything that I would like to do.

I remembered when I was younger I wanted to be a chef. I got a job as a cook, making food at a breakfast place. You know what I learned? I hate cooking for people, I only enjoy making things for myself & friends!

Anyway, I finally found a couple of things that I would be interested in doing which the schools have offered. I could take an electrician course, or a plumbing course.

I didn't have the requirements to get into the former, so I stuck with plumbing. To make a long story short, I failed miserably.

After millions of jobs, I really enjoyed renovations. It was fun & I felt creative. The only problem was being indoors all the time!

I got a phone call from my neighbor who owns a company, lawn maintenance & snow removal. The guy asked if I wanted to work, I said yes. I was expected to work the next morning.

I previously mowed lawns at another company, so I was experienced. I helped the company out big time. I worked my way up fast, & suddenly I kept finding more on my plate, with no raise in pay.

The time finally came when I asked for a raise, I got the lousy raise but I was now at a point of realization. I knew that it wasn't worth it for the guy to pay me what I really wanted. The only way I could get what I want, was to start my own business. Every lawn I mow, I will be paid for, the money wont be split several times, it all goes to me! I understood my boss's situation, It's like if I got my worker to do a weeding job for $75.00 for 4 hours. I'd pay him/her $40.00, I wouldn't profit if I gave them the entire $75.00.... They'd have to start their own business!


... I forgot my point, I wrote too much again damn!
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2009, 05:49 AM
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As of last night we have done 187 jobs since the middle of April relating to lawn/yard care, my observations are based on that.

In my own experience clients do not expect our company to mow their lawn, their expectation is for us to make their lawn/property look good, sometimes look great, fix issues such as water drainage, trim bushes back, build flower gardens and be a resource of information. With that in mind we educated ourselves and bought commercial equipment to do the job and we ensure all staff know how and what we do and why.

Our clients expect high quality work and they get it, at a price. I have not had anyone say we are too expensive, we close 96% of the jobs we quote.

For us lawn mowing represents less that 5% of gross revenue and I am fine with that, if we do not mow a clients lawn, we educate them on mulching and mulching blades and the benefits of doing this right, clients really appreciate this, we also give them a lot of lawn tips.

As for frustrations, I have been dealing with the public for over 30 years, taken dozens of courses so I consider myself well armed, I have owned/run/sold a number of business, basically take them from nothing build them and when I start getting bored I sell and find something else.

We as Lawn/yard care professionals need to understand the clients need(s) and find a product to fill that need, when you do in my experience hang on as the business will have you working around the clock, that is our current experience.

In order of revenue here is our clients needs

Mini Excavation from drainage issues to changing grades and everything in between

Spraying all Organic

Tree clearing and wood chipping

Yard Clean up

Mulching and flower beds

Lawn mowing

There are a lot of other services we off we but those would be the top six and in that order.

As for clients frustrations, one learns to read clients from the first visit, if I have an uneasy feeling, I find a way to not do the job, saves me frustration.

I have only had an issue with one client, there back yard needed a proper grade, I told them to order 1 1/2 loads of fill, they ordered 2 1/2 loads, far too much, we graded it and it looked amazing, they said it was great, sent two emails how happy they were, paid the bill then called to say it had to be changed. We changed it while they were there and billed them for it, once you say everything is great, it will cost you to have us back, anyhow they decided on a stone wall, we built one around 30 feet long, it turned out perfect and they agreed, then a few days later they were not happy yet they were not sure why, they were concerned if it was built properly, I suggested they have the building inspector out which they did, I was there, he said the job was as perfect as he had seen, took them two weeks to pay, that was the red flag. They have since called four times wanting additional work, I simply reply we do not have room to take orders but appreciate the call. There were times my blood pressure was through the roof dealing with them but I always take the high road.

We have a very strict follow up process handled by the office for every thing we do for a customer, could be an email or it could be a call, this brings us a pile of business and it shows we care, far to many companies out there are in this to make a quick buck and leave, I hear this every day, we are not, our company is all about relationships with our clients and having built companies from nothing to multi million dollar operations, it works and works very well.

Yard Care is my retirement business, it was a dream since I was 12, now I am living and loving it, not every day is peaches but most are and I am years ahaed of where I thought we would be at this point, a term I used at my last company I owned is we are firing on all cylinders.

Andy
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