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.

I didn't stick to my guns ...


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 07-22-2009, 03:54 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default I didn't stick to my guns ...

... and it's come back to bite me.

I've got this one ancient customer. I'm talking about she knew Amenhotep! Anyway, she flat out refuses to pay tax on my services.

Last month when I billed her for 4 cuts she started crying "Oh, that's too much". *boo hoo* That's how much she agreed to pay so I couldn't figure the problem. She tells the that it's illegal to charge tax on mowing. Actually it's illegal to NOT charge tax on mowing. So she pays the bill and tells me she's not paying tax on mowing anymore. So I made a deal with her. I'd charge her the normal price but have it include the tax which brought her bill down around $2 per week. I told her "Your bill will be $37.74 plus $2.26 tax which will bring it up to $40". So today I pull up and she hands me a check for $37 and says "You told me my bill would be $37 and there's no tax". I should have just stuck to my guns! I should have just stuck to my guns!!! GRR!

I was wondering how far towards bail $37 would go. I told her "Fork over the $3, you old bat!" (OK, I didn't say "old bat"). She straight up tried to rob me. I bet she didn't expect me to take that $3 out of her hand.

So I start cutting and it's really high because she had me skip last week because it "didn't really need cut". GRRR!

I tell her "this grass is high". She said "Oh, that's alright". WHAT?!? What could she have possibly meant?? "It's not alright, it beats up my mower and if you skip a week again I'm going to have to raise your price to pay for the cleanup".

I'm all for helping out the elderly, I love the elderly folks. They are usually straight shooters, honest to a fault and I try to be that way myself (honest, not elderly), but this lady is a shyster and she's going to keep trying to rip me off and I'm going to have to fire her as a customer.

Last edited by mark123; 07-22-2009 at 04:03 PM.
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 07-22-2009, 08:54 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
That is a very interesting situation.

What do you think you should ideally do with her? Have you thought about your different options? What did you come up with?
__________________
- 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 07-23-2009, 06:19 AM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
That is a very interesting situation.

What do you think you should ideally do with her? Have you thought about your different options? What did you come up with?
It's very hard to deal financially with people that grew up in the great depression era. They've been called the Greatest Generation due to their survival but they are just so untrusting and sometimes conniving. They also think everything they have is extremely valuable and you've got to watch out for that because they will offer to "give" you something from their basement or attic and when you hand them a bill they'll claim that their payment was already made when they gave you that old laminate counter top or bakelite radio.

Ways to spot a depresion era person:
  • Multiples of the same object - they would rather spend $2 thirty times on a cheap screwdriver than $20 once on a good one. They will not throw out the broken ones.
  • Hoarding - they will have collections of useless items. They will have a "junk drawer" containing everything that will fit inside. You will find things like plastic pop bottle caps which they will keep in case they lose one or one breaks (which has never happened to them). There will be 30-40 of them in the drawer.
  • They will ask for no ice in their soda pop at a restaurant - They are not going to pay for frozen water when water is free at a restaurant. Besides that valuable pop is being displaced and they've figured out how those restaurant guys "get you" by filling up the cup with ice so they don't have to give you as much pop.
  • They think it's still 1930 - they will leave tips of a dime or a quarter and think that's acceptable for a waitress. They WILL NOT tip where it's voluntary.
  • They will have a coupon system - Their coupons will be ordered by expiration and alphabetically. They will also be sure to use them by driving to the store just to save 25 cents.
  • They play the lotteries extensively - you'll see their old tickets in the junk drawer by the pop bottle lids
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-23-2009, 06:27 AM
ritchiem
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Ways to spot a depresion era person:

* Multiples of the same object - they would rather spend $2 thirty times on a cheap screwdriver than $20 once on a good one. They will not throw out the broken ones.
* Hoarding - they will have collections of useless items. They will have a "junk drawer" containing everything that will fit inside. You will find things like plastic pop bottle caps which they will keep in case they lose one or one breaks (which has never happened to them). There will be 30-40 of them in the drawer.
* They will ask for no ice in their soda pop at a restaurant - They are not going to pay for frozen water when water is free at a restaurant. Besides that valuable pop is being displaced and they've figured out how those restaurant guys "get you" by filling up the cup with ice so they don't have to give you as much pop.
* They think it's still 1930 - they will leave tips of a dime or a quarter and think that's acceptable for a waitress. They WILL NOT tip where it's voluntary.
* They will have a coupon system - Their coupons will be ordered by expiration and alphabetically. They will also be sure to use them by driving to the store just to save 25 cents.
* They play the lotteries extensively - you'll see their old tickets in the junk drawer by the pop bottle lids
bawhahahaha very funny and very true...brought back memories of my grandpa. Just do a cash deal with her...older folk love cash deals.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-23-2009, 11:30 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Ways to spot a depresion era person:
Do you think this comes into play when a new customer hires you? Do you look for these signs at all? And if so, what do you do when you see them?
__________________
- 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
  #6  
Old 07-23-2009, 05:30 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Do you think this comes into play when a new customer hires you? Do you look for these signs at all? And if so, what do you do when you see them?
I'm at the point where if they think I'm too expensive then they are free to shop around. Good luck to them in finding someone as reliable as I am. I never miss a day and I do not cut corners.

I have the satisfaction of being the guy that will be the bane of the next because he'll always hear "The last guy did it this way ..." or "My last guy didn't leave a mess like that ..." or "The last guy never forgot to cut my grass ..." LOL!!

I truly believe that customers are looking for reliability first.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-23-2009, 05:48 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

One sure lesson I learned was that I'll never lower the price to satisfy a tax complaint again. I'm just going to carry a printout of the state code with me: http://boughterslawncare.com/article...x-on-lawn-care
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-23-2009, 07:43 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

I read your article and it mentioned more than one person asked you to do this.

How did you deal with the other or others when they brought this up?
__________________
- 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
  #9  
Old 07-23-2009, 08:00 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I read your article and it mentioned more than one person asked you to do this.

How did you deal with the other or others when they brought this up?
Four people asked me why I charge tax on mowing as they believe there is no tax on services in PA. This customer is the only one that's given me problems on the subject.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-23-2009, 08:17 PM
FloridaBoy's Avatar
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is offline
FloridaBoy
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Age: 41
Posts: 154
Rep Power: 7
FloridaBoy is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
I'm at the point where if they think I'm too expensive then they are free to shop around. Good luck to them in finding someone as reliable as I am. I never miss a day and I do not cut corners.

I have the satisfaction of being the guy that will be the bane of the next because he'll always hear "The last guy did it this way ..." or "My last guy didn't leave a mess like that ..." or "The last guy never forgot to cut my grass ..." LOL!!

I truly believe that customers are looking for reliability first.
Thats the way i feel mark, i don't have time, or energy to wheel and deal with you over the cost, this is not a car lot. Unfortunatly some do decide to go with another company, or weekend worrier, i then tell them good luck, (with a good attitude, don't ever walk away mad, because if you are that good, they will call back), and proceed to tell them when they do call back the price will be increased because they will be considered a new customer again.

When it is a new customer, you give your estimate, and they go, WOW, i didn't pay that much before - well maybe you should have or you would not be hiring me.

Oh i don't know if i need that extensive of care for my yard - Well, thats what my company strives for, the feeling we have when we drive away( Damn that looks good) is the same feeling we want you to feel when you come home from hard day at work.

Ok thanks thats a little high, maybe i will get my neighbor to do my yard, he does a 1 or 2 in the neighborhood -Just leave a card with them and run, because they are not looking for a Company, they want a yard boy, or do boy for there property.

Just a few of my opinions,
__________________
Welcome Advise, Incourage comments, and never stop Cutting. Geoff<img src="http://www.gopherforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1595&d=1253928284">
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
Guns Guns Guns lawn-guy General Talk 9 03-18-2009 09:03 PM
New Stick It Doorhangers CloseCuts Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 3 02-06-2009 07:15 AM
Spud Guns! StartALawnCareBusiness Starting a lawn care business. 20 01-05-2008 11:50 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
Today 09:22 AM
Today 09:46 AM
by Steve
2 26
Unemployment rates drop,...
Steve
Yesterday 12:40 PM
Today 09:42 AM
by Steve
2 54
Before & After tree...
COREtreeservice
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
by COREtreeservice
0 64
Dogs
Mr. Mow
06-29-2015 02:37 PM
07-01-2015 11:28 AM
by Steve
6 1,833
Ready to learn and get...
Koley Lawn & Landscape
06-28-2015 05:16 AM
07-01-2015 11:26 AM
by Steve
8 1,831
Three Stripe Land Care...
hammr04
06-30-2015 07:19 PM
07-01-2015 11:24 AM
by Steve
1 63
Just about mid year, how...
GreenWorx
06-24-2015 07:05 PM
06-30-2015 07:41 PM
by hammr04
5 1,880
Country Life Lawn Care
darleneh
06-29-2015 11:24 AM
06-30-2015 01:25 PM
by Steve
3 1,723
Rubber mulch...
avetslawncare
06-24-2015 09:28 PM
06-29-2015 09:23 PM
by Chilehead
6 1,845
I dont know what to do...
Bradcook21
06-21-2015 08:49 AM
06-29-2015 02:30 PM
by Mr. Mow
11 2,099
Marketing ideas
xandrew245x
04-29-2014 06:35 AM
06-25-2015 07:11 PM
by GreenWorx
34 5,696
Never ending sod jobs
avetslawncare
06-05-2015 09:46 PM
06-25-2015 11:42 AM
by Steve
11 2,324
Weed and Feed Service...
mike94740
06-23-2015 05:50 PM
06-24-2015 09:56 PM
by avetslawncare
2 1,778
Trimming hedges / trees,...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
06-23-2015 07:08 PM
06-24-2015 09:59 AM
by Steve
1 1,776
Hi Everyone from Arkansas
KellyMarie
06-04-2015 04:16 PM
06-23-2015 01:34 PM
by KellyMarie
4 2,048
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
06-23-2015 06:36 AM
by GreenWorx
7 2,278
problems with a customer...
LawnCareMan280
06-16-2015 10:26 PM
06-22-2015 11:11 AM
by Steve
6 2,059
Please review this FREE...
markty
06-21-2015 07:42 AM
06-22-2015 11:00 AM
by Steve
1 1,801
A good commercial bid...
burtle
06-20-2015 09:09 PM
06-22-2015 10:56 AM
by Steve
1 1,860
What would you do with...
holymoly
06-20-2015 06:48 PM
06-22-2015 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 1,812
New Member just joined...
vgoleco@hotmail.com
06-19-2015 03:49 PM
06-22-2015 10:42 AM
by Steve
2 1,832
Credit Cards - What's in...
Shark1611
06-16-2015 03:04 PM
06-21-2015 07:24 PM
by Chilehead
4 1,921
Blade usage
Wolf4dk
06-16-2015 12:18 AM
06-21-2015 05:35 PM
by kslawn
4 1,937
Hello, I am new to the...
adamslawnservices
06-17-2015 08:06 PM
06-19-2015 10:28 AM
by Steve
3 1,863
Is it too late to do...
markty
06-16-2015 05:28 PM
06-19-2015 10:22 AM
by Steve
4 1,942
First commercial bid
SGL1
06-12-2015 08:57 PM
06-18-2015 05:04 PM
by SGL1
9 2,310
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
06-18-2015 11:02 AM
by Steve
7 2,008
I have been rude and...
biglee
06-15-2015 10:11 PM
06-18-2015 10:46 AM
by Steve
10 2,094
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
06-17-2015 08:38 AM
by burtle
9 3,182
Customer keeps adding...
Mr. Mow
06-13-2015 06:22 AM
06-16-2015 10:23 AM
by Steve
11 2,245
Pass discounts onto...
burnell76
06-03-2015 06:33 PM
06-16-2015 10:02 AM
by burnell76
3 2,028
burned grass only where...
nhauto
06-15-2015 05:28 PM
06-16-2015 09:45 AM
by Steve
2 1,901
Half year mark review.
Steve
06-02-2015 11:24 AM
06-15-2015 01:04 PM
by Steve
18 2,617
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
06-15-2015 01:01 PM
by Steve
86 9,674
New Member
Bruce Fehr
06-05-2015 07:13 PM
06-15-2015 12:53 PM
by Steve
6 2,036
New to the business,...
CarefreeMowing
06-12-2015 02:36 PM
06-15-2015 12:50 PM
by Steve
1 1,915
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 11:45 AM
06-13-2015 08:48 AM
by holymoly
45 12,006
New to the forum, new to...
CarefreeMowing
06-11-2015 12:35 PM
06-12-2015 10:44 AM
by Steve
2 1,834
problems with a customer
LawnCareMan280
05-19-2015 06:28 PM
06-11-2015 10:50 PM
by stallman419
8 2,380
Website Review
Outdoordesignsknox
06-08-2015 08:44 PM
06-11-2015 09:48 PM
by Just for Cuts
13 2,263
another newish job for me
holymoly
06-07-2015 08:34 AM
06-11-2015 10:05 AM
by Steve
8 2,076
Anyone need help? I have...
biglee
05-06-2015 12:22 PM
06-10-2015 01:45 PM
by holymoly
15 2,971
Hello from the GREAT...
gbfarmsllc
06-09-2015 11:10 AM
06-10-2015 01:29 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 1,903
Hey guys and gals, I'm...
Joeyhall
06-03-2015 03:54 PM
06-08-2015 02:15 PM
by chris2500hd
8 2,145
Mowing Bermuda...
Mr. Mow
06-02-2015 12:45 PM
06-08-2015 12:45 PM
by Steve
12 2,302
Hey Guys
PrattLandscaping
06-07-2015 06:37 PM
06-08-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
2 1,917
Share your stolen...
SGL1
05-27-2015 09:05 PM
06-08-2015 11:54 AM
by Steve
25 2,852
Hello there My name is...
zwalk1839
06-04-2015 11:10 PM
06-08-2015 11:52 AM
by Steve
4 2,030
Laid off oil field...
Mr. Mow
05-30-2015 09:03 AM
06-08-2015 06:20 AM
by Mr. Mow
4 2,136
How do you find one time...
Greg'slawnandlandscape
06-02-2015 09:57 PM
06-05-2015 09:49 PM
by avetslawncare
4 2,062
» Popular Tags
aerocore apartment bid apartment complex apartment lawn care estimate applying bark billy goat brushcutter blowout bush collections contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts design ditches door hangers employee problems equipment rental facebook flyers foreman free advertising free lawn care google growing a lawn care business hills hiring how to husqvarna increase customers jobs landscape services landscaping landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn mowing marketing more customers business mr dave mulch new business per hour charge plowing pricing profit on employee push versus ride scag secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell shreaded small engine repair snow plowing sq ft square foot steep lawns swzt trailer trailer mate pro tree tree pics trimmer rack web design website website design winterization wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:07 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:07 AM.

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