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.

What to do?


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 08-07-2009, 04:58 PM
tomcat172002
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default What to do?

I have a customer who is 87 years old. She went into surgery for a hip repalcement. She is now in a nursing home and her daugher-in-law is taking care of her bills.

What I do is I have a spreadsheet with my customers names on it. Next to it is a grid that I have with slots to put the dates when I cut. I keep it on a clipboard in my car. After I finish with a lawn I write the date I cut the lawn. Then at the end of the month I use it for billing. For me its pretty effective. I have never had a problem until now.

I got a call on my answering maching. This daugher-in-law called and said "I am only paying you for 3 cuts this month. I was there for 2 weeks straight and the one cut you did not do". Please call me so we can discuss this.

Ok I called once from work and got her voice mail. Then I called from home with my clip board. I read her off the dates I told her I cut and I wanted her to call me back. What can I do at this point? I can show her my log?!? I have another customer about 2 streets away from this lady both get cut at the same time. I honestly cut her lawn I did not try to lie and get away with something but this lady is making me out to be a liar WHICH I AM NOT.

So do I stick to my guns and say I want payment in full or your done. Or do I say thats ok if you don't like the cut then its free? What should I do? I don't want to lose the customer but I don't want to be a push over either.
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 08-07-2009, 05:05 PM
temeculagrassgators temeculagrassgators is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 80
Rep Power: 6
temeculagrassgators is on a distinguished road
Default tomcat;

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I would let it go. It is only one mow. Although yes i think she should pay for it but if you want to keep her as a customer then let it go. If she pulls this again then go a different route.
~Trevor
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-07-2009, 05:10 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

No, stick to your guns. Do not give in. Some people test you to see how much they can take advantage of you.

DO NOT give in. I don't care if you cut the lawn for $5.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-07-2009, 05:44 PM
tomcat172002
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I see both of your points.

First if I tell her its ok then I look like I was lying to begin with which I was not.

If I tell her sorry if you don't pay me then I lose a customer and future revenue.

I double checked my billing and the log an they are both correct, I didn't make a mistake. Is there anything I can say or do to get both? I have no other way to prove, to her that I cut the lawn except my log. I don't write down the exact time I was there but that has never been an issue for me.

If I say I am going to keep cutting but from now on I am going to except pay and I will leave a card with the exact time I was there? I want to get paid now per cut not bill her per month? How would I prevent this from happening again?

The only thing I can think of is that I rasied my deck height from 3 1/2 to 3 3/4. Maybe the week I did it she couldn't tell I cut but I did. Right not in Cleveland its really hot and dry so this time of year I am cutting at the high range.

One other thing my price on this lawn is $25. Its pretty low its going to be really hard for them to try to match that price. The neighbor is paying about $35 to get there grass cut so this lady might be screwing herself here.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-07-2009, 05:57 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 74
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 11
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

I would tell her that I did cut it.

I'd say, "I actually did cut your lawn, so you can either pay me for my work &
we can continue doing business together, or you can find another company"


If she doesn't want to pay, that's fine, fire her as a client.

She'll have trouble (maybe not) trying to find another company who will offer the same price.

Don't let her get away with saying, "Well how about I get my lawn done bi-weekly"

she'll just become a hassle, you know she's just trying to pay less & less & with her attitude she will probably not pay you anyway.

Call her & say, "Hi Mrs. XXXX, this is XXXX from XXXXX, I'm calling in regards to your lawn being mowed on XXXX. I have checked the records I have & it clearly states the date on which your lawn was mowed. I did not miss a mowing like you had said I did. So I'm leaving you with two options.

1) You can pay me for the previous mowing, & we can continue doing business together.

2) You can keep your money & look for another service.

please get back to me before XXXX, thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-07-2009, 06:49 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Ok I called once from work and got her voice mail. Then I called from home with my clip board. I read her off the dates I told her I cut and I wanted her to call me back. What can I do at this point? I can show her my log?!? I have another customer about 2 streets away from this lady both get cut at the same time. I honestly cut her lawn I did not try to lie and get away with something but this lady is making me out to be a liar WHICH I AM NOT.

So do I stick to my guns and say I want payment in full or your done. Or do I say thats ok if you don't like the cut then its free? What should I do? I don't want to lose the customer but I don't want to be a push over either.
I think this goes to show you the power of having good customer relationships. This isnt your fault. The daughter in law comes over to take care of things, you don't know her and she is suspect of you and probably everyone else. Who knows whats going on in her mind at the moment. She might not be in a 'happy place'.

But if it's going to be like this with her from now on, you gotta ask yourself, do you need this? Is she gonna pull this again?

I would base my decision on that. If I could let it go one time and live with it, I would keep servicing them. If I couldn't then I would disagree with her and find another client to fill her spot.

Are you leaning one way or the other?
__________________
- 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
  #7  
Old 08-07-2009, 07:06 PM
tomcat172002
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Well right now I have yet to talk to her so I am glad eveybody is writing me back. I guess I would like to hear what she has to say about this. I know for a fact I cut the lawn 4 times. No questions asked. Maybe this lady came over on Monday then Thursday and thought that I wasn't there? But I actually was there on Tuesday. If she is sincere then she is thinking the opposite of what I am thinking that I am trying to get away with something. By the tone of her voice on the machine it seems she is pretty mad. I am also mad about the situation but I cannot let that cloud my decision here. I don't want to lose a customer, Steve what would you do? Is there anyway to have her pay me and keep her? Thats a win win but I don't know if its possible. Becasue she is the daughter-in-law she doesn't know me like all my other customers do. I don't have a relationship with her and thats the problem. All my customers know me and I talk with them when I see them. They like me and I think that its important for building a business. In this case I am really caught between a rock and a hard place. I cannot just let it go but I don't want to lose future revenue over a misconception either. I guess I am going to have to see how she talks to me over the phone.

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-07-2009, 07:54 PM
tomcat172002
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ok,

I just spoke to this woman. I told her that I was there on the 20th, which I was. I said I am being totally honest that I cut the lawn that day. She said that she was there and didn't see me. I told her because this is my side job I have to do it after my full time job in the afternoons. I looked at my log it was the 3rd out of 4 lawns I did that day. Since her mother-in-law is in rehab and no one lives there what harm would it do if I cut in the late afternoons? She said fine she believed me. She said that her son also noticed that it didn't look like it was cut. I said, "well I don't know what to do here?" I have nothing to gain by lying to you. I only have a few customers and I would never just bill someone for nothing. I told her from now on I would write down the times I was there just so she knew I was there. She then thanked me for calling her back. I guess she is going to pay me in full but I didn't bring it up. What is important is the fact that she knows I was there and did what I said I did. I also didn't lose a customer which is important as well. Going forward I am going to write down the times for her. I don't want this problem to happen again. I didn't want to play hardball with this woman just yet. She seems sincere and she knows that I seemed to be telling the truth as well. Thanks everyone for writing me back.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-07-2009, 08:10 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

A little while back we were talking about how you can get custom printed post it notes. I put up a free template design that can be downloaded here.

Maybe it would be easy to implement something like this where you write a date and time you were at the location and stick it inside the front screen door or something like that?

__________________
- 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 08-07-2009, 09:16 PM
tomcat172002
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Steve,

Thanks that looks great I am going to start leaving those at her home. Alot of older people tend to forget when you were there. This is a great tool to help me show when I was there date and time. I am going to get a bunch printed up.

Thanks again

Tom
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

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
Today 09:48 AM
by KJ90
2 358
Covering a landscape...
Dan Tanner
Today 09:01 AM
Today 09:01 AM
by Dan Tanner
0 23
Weed and Feed
robkattankate
03-19-2015 09:00 PM
Today 08:42 AM
by Dan Tanner
5 345
Ferris FW35 questions
Chilehead
03-10-2015 08:31 PM
Yesterday 03:14 PM
by Dan Tanner
5 391
bidding a cemetery....
NPM_LLC
Yesterday 10:56 AM
Yesterday 12:43 PM
by jrs.landscaping
3 75
First big mower decision?
SGL1
Yesterday 08:58 AM
Yesterday 08:58 AM
by SGL1
0 61
Employee job training...
brookline
12-15-2014 07:15 PM
Yesterday 08:43 AM
by biglee
28 2,407
Mower vs lot size advice
jcurr33
03-25-2015 09:29 PM
Yesterday 08:37 AM
by Dan Tanner
5 191
Billing methods
jcurr33
03-26-2015 01:33 PM
Yesterday 08:29 AM
by biglee
5 164
Finally got a warehouse
avetslawncare
03-12-2015 07:52 PM
Yesterday 08:25 AM
by SGL1
11 535
Trepidation about...
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 07:46 PM
Yesterday 05:35 AM
by Dan Tanner
2 161
How do you get...
ESREVER
03-25-2015 01:30 PM
Yesterday 12:18 AM
by lxarth
7 199
Bid for large home...
lxarth
03-22-2015 11:06 AM
03-27-2015 11:56 PM
by lxarth
8 304
I lost a long term...
Sprinkler Buddy
09-04-2011 02:24 PM
03-27-2015 11:42 PM
by lxarth
15 3,444
hoa bid need help
bigdaveha12
03-24-2015 08:29 PM
03-27-2015 11:17 PM
by lxarth
6 230
introducing myself
chris2500hd
03-24-2015 11:16 AM
03-27-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
8 230
Commercial Jobs
CurbAppeal1
03-25-2015 04:22 PM
03-27-2015 12:29 PM
by biglee
5 195
Flag or no flag
Matther777
03-24-2015 02:41 PM
03-27-2015 12:25 PM
by biglee
10 342
Office Administration...
Girlfriend
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
by Girlfriend
0 115
Is this tree beyond help?
SGL1
03-22-2015 05:35 PM
03-25-2015 08:55 PM
by SGL1
14 532
Opinions on truck wrap
Trupro
02-28-2015 03:21 PM
03-25-2015 07:54 PM
by Trupro
33 1,578
The New Wave!!!! Read...
Jamesw86
03-22-2015 08:33 PM
03-25-2015 02:50 PM
by Steve
10 319
grass in the gas tank
robkattankate
03-23-2015 04:37 PM
03-25-2015 02:36 PM
by Steve
5 194
Helping others
hansenslawncare
09-15-2011 08:50 PM
03-25-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
11 2,664
DOT Number
acrajchel
03-20-2015 05:56 PM
03-25-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
7 334
Michelin x tweel.
apmAkron
03-23-2015 04:22 PM
03-24-2015 12:40 PM
by Steve
3 145
spike aerator???
Bradcook21
03-21-2015 01:55 PM
03-24-2015 10:32 AM
by acrajchel
4 224
Hello from Maryland
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 12:44 PM
03-23-2015 07:33 PM
by michellemarvin
2 136
hello from south GA.
CCandALawnCare
03-23-2015 03:46 AM
03-23-2015 07:06 PM
by CCandALawnCare
2 134
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
03-23-2015 06:14 PM
by jethro
1,218 380,157
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 11:30 AM
03-23-2015 12:28 PM
by Steve
9 844
35,000 Eddm
greenscaper123
03-18-2015 12:51 PM
03-23-2015 11:48 AM
by BLC7
18 484
Should i take on this...
christw
03-17-2013 01:23 PM
03-22-2015 09:02 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
36 7,576
mower stalls when...
boog
03-19-2015 08:20 AM
03-21-2015 08:13 PM
by Wolf4dk
7 276
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
03-20-2015 10:00 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 3,654
Hello Emily Reyes from...
Webster14829
03-20-2015 11:23 AM
03-20-2015 03:36 PM
by Steve
2 186
Finally going to give it...
jcurr33
03-12-2015 08:09 PM
03-20-2015 03:31 PM
by Steve
10 562
Weed id?
SGL1
03-17-2015 08:20 PM
03-20-2015 02:37 PM
by Steve
6 290
Mobile small engine...
luckylogger
03-15-2015 02:05 PM
03-20-2015 06:17 AM
by jrs.landscaping
15 492
Brad Cook 21
SC93
03-16-2015 10:40 PM
03-19-2015 09:04 PM
by Bradcook21
4 365
honest opinion please
uppercut
02-17-2015 01:30 AM
03-18-2015 02:55 PM
by Steve
15 1,332
Repair or replace the...
lxarth
12-17-2014 04:07 PM
03-18-2015 02:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
21 2,034
new to the site
bigdaveha12
03-17-2015 09:13 PM
03-18-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
1 213
Small dovetail truck...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-04-2015 06:47 PM
03-17-2015 10:14 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
17 871
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
03-17-2015 08:15 PM
by SGL1
3 290
mulch questions
Bradcook21
03-08-2015 08:37 AM
03-17-2015 07:00 PM
by Bradcook21
23 1,007
Scag hydro w/b frame...
Just for Cuts
03-11-2015 03:32 PM
03-17-2015 06:37 PM
by lxarth
11 515
Buy new or used?
lxarth
12-26-2014 09:50 PM
03-17-2015 06:11 PM
by lxarth
14 1,719
New to 2015
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 08:29 AM
03-17-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
4 300
Pulling trailer was...
SGL1
03-07-2015 07:14 PM
03-17-2015 08:11 AM
by SGL1
30 1,154
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter bush contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts design ditches door hangers employee problems equipment rental estimate facebook ferris foreman google gravely growing a lawn care business how to husqvarna introduction jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business seo lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing managing a lawn care business marketing marketing secrets mulch new mower per hour service pricing pto secrets to landscaping seo shell shreaded snow plowing sq ft square foot starting a lawn care business steep lawns theft toro toro grand stand tractor auger trailer trailer mate pro tree up sell employee web design website website design winterization wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:53 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:53 AM.

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