Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ever get the feeling you are wasting time on estimates? Sometimes I do. You hear the potential client ask over & over about pricing and dread the drive to look at their property. But you never know when you might miss out on a great customer so you have to treat them all like gold. Some people don't mean to waste your time, they just have no idea what you charge and expect a "boy next door" price. I always show up when I say I will because that is the right thing to do and you do not want someone telling their friends about the lawn guy who never bothered to show up & give an estimate.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Doing overgrown lawns

Normally I do not do one time mowing in my lawn service business. Usually it is not worth it to wear out your blades and mower on knee high grass. I did one last week though as it was a simple lawn that was flat with nothing much to weed eat. I got the customer to prepay since it was an empty home and the lawn was overgrown (good recipe to get burned on payment). I may reconsider the one time stuff with the prepay rules in place and making sure it is not too bad (head high brush !) I can charge a high price not caring if they take it or not since it is not my normal business routine. Some people sound sketchy from the start so it is best to avoid work that your instincts say run from. This one worked out for me but I'll post some signs of sketchy client phrases below.
"I want to see how good your work is before I sign up for regular service".
"The last lawn guy just quit showing up" (usually means they just stopped paying)
"Cut it as low as you can"
"I will get you more customers, just give me a low price" (give a discount AFTER you see all that work)
"I need my grass cut today" (I don't sit by the phone all day waiting on a call to come work)


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Season Winding Down

Well the growing season is coming to an end and the dread of slow(er) work is setting in. I hate that feeling as I expect most guys in the lawn service biz do. I don't like being at home and being at home for several days with no work and the weather outside being too cold to really work on my own property. Don't get me wrong, I love being at home especially with my family but being at home when normal people work is no fun. This year's drought has really made the dread worse since the normal burn out from all out working during the summer has not happened. A winter time break is normally welcome at first but not this season. The drought is so bad in some areas around me that all outside watering is banned! Some reservoirs are seriously low. So I should have plenty of time to work on this blog in the next few months. This season is going to be one to forget.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dusty Conditions

Dusty Conditions

With the severe dry weather this year, dust hast been awful for me & others doing lawn care. I am covered up with dirt & grime by time I get home. I, unlike most guys I see out mowing, wear a dust mask and still get dirt all up my nose. I do not see how anyone makes it with no protection from the dust. By the way I see most guys without any ear protection and most important of all no safety glasses. That is plain dumb. I get hit in the face area a lot and without my glasses I would have been injured. Goggles are even better because they keep dust out as well. I got some good ones off ebay once and I need to order some more (just don’t leave them on the dash of your truck in the heat or the liner will melt.) I may try a respirator next season to see if that helps block more dust while not making it too hot to stand it on my face. All this dust we are inhaling is obviously not the healthiest thing imaginable so we need to protect ourselves.



To order weed killer email me (2.5 gal. concentrate for $60) Will deliver within 30 miles of 30558.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Working on Trucks

Man I hate working on vehicles. I hate it because i suck at it. It seems like simple chores like oil changes end up being a great undertaking. My 2007 Dodge was due an oil change, the first one ever, and the oil filter was on so tight it took my destroying it and hammering it with a screw driver and 3 hours of my life to get it done. I don't know why the factory would have the filter on so tight but i would have loved to meet the guy who put mine on. And I may have broken my hand in the process... I will have it checked tomorrow. Moral of the story is for knuckle heads like me should seek mechanics even if it is only to change out wiper blades.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Getting paid

It seems I hear more & more business owners (not just lawn service companies) complaining about slow paying clients. I even read an article the other day about one of the risks of doing commercial lawn maintenance is the slow payers and the possibility that you may not get paid at all. I don't know why the trend is going this way but I'm sure the economy slowing down has something to do with it. But there just seems to be a lack of pride with a small percentage of people who really don't think it matters if they pay you or not. I have been very fortunate to have 99% of my clients pay on time and less than 1% beat me out of any money. There is always a risk when you don't get paid each time out to cut someone's lawn but when you require that you obviously miss out on some business because it is inconvenient to leave a check "under the mat" or prepay and frankly some folks need a little extra time to pay. I just set a limit of how far I will go before cutting off the service. It is hard to do that because if you stop service and then they pay right after you have messed up your route and if you stop service and they finally pay you after 2 weeks you don't want to go back and cut an overgrown lawn for the regular price when it was their fault you could not keep it neat and on schedule.
There is one outfit in Texas that required a credit card on file and at the same time each month would run it through and get paid. That is a great way to do it and the client is more likely to not worry about it & keep you on longer since you have made it easy to pay. There is another company in my area that won't service the lawn if a payment is left for them each visit. That is a safe way to operate but there is a percentage of lost business because of it also. Contracts are good if can swing it. No one uses them in my area much. However I may start using a simple agreement that does not lock them into the service but just acknowledges there is an agreement for service so if there is ever a need to collect a debt from them you have something to work with. Have a great week!