There are rare occasions we will take on a “one time mowing” job. Our earlier years when Ring Lawn Care was STARVING for jobs we would honor this. Now that we are in a position of being able to choose the accounts we want, we are strictly a weekly lawn care company. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OpCe8xgLGo&w=400&h=324]
We receive these particular calls all the time, and many of the callers can’t believe in this economy someone would refuse work. There are many factors behind the scenes most customers will never see. The wear & tear our equipment takes on a daily basis. Many customers have no idea what it takes to keep one machine running, let alone a whole fleet of machines. Insurance, gas, time, parts, hourly wages, etc.
Just recently I had a “Snow Plowing” client ask me to give him an estimate for weekly lawn care, I called him back with his estimate and received the thumbs up. We mowed the turf and he called very disappointed. He thought our estimate included the outskirts of the main turf which includes many types of broadleaf and prairie grasses. I told him this would be a whole new estimate as he sighed with more disappointment. Thirty more dollars, he blew a gasket! His mowing guy last year had done all of this for twenty-five dollars less last year (you have to love when customers give the competitions prices away and then tell you the name of the company). I spoke with the owner of this lawn care company and his actual estimate was ten dollars per week more than ours.
So of course being in the position we are in, I asked him why he had let this guy go? No response. My initial estimate was FIVE bucks less than his guy/company (according to him). After he tells me there is no guarantee that he will be able to sign on for the year he asks: Can you mow it just this one time. I said, “we don’t offer one-time mowings”.
At this point I turned to my son, who actually gets paid by the HOUR, and tell him to load the trailer back up! If you’re wondering, we are actually at this clients home and I’m on the phone with him. He exclaimed: so you don’t want the cash!, and my response was: of course, but I also need to know we have a job next week!
Of course we need MEANS to eat, take our significant others to the movies, and feed our kids, but this is not why I started my company nine years ago. The love & passion I have for my industry is as strong today as it was than ( maybe a few more headaches). I’ve learned many things about business, and the main thing is how and when to say “NO”.