Do you feel appreciated as a lawn care business owner?

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. They want to know they are doing a good job and being productive with their life. But as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, getting that feeling of being appreciated can have a lot to do with how you operate your business. Let’s check this topic out further.

One lawn care business owner wrote “we all have had and 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 somewhere. 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. Some people love and some hate you. You make money and you lose money. You take chances and are always constantly learning and 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. It makes me feel alive! Life isn’t as set up and lame when you’re an owner. You make choices. You have goals and 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, than working stocking shelves.

You know how you’d rather help a stranger and be appreciated, but when your family needs assistance you simply roll your eyes? That is because you’re 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 mowing a lawn and 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 and successful. You get in touch with a side of you, that you never even knew you had!”

A second lawn care business owner said “as of last night we have completed 187 jobs since the middle of April relating to lawn/yard care and 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 client’s 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. I have taken dozens of courses so I consider myself well armed. I have owned/run/sold a number of businesses. 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 are our top selling services.

There are a lot of other services we offer 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, as it saves me frustration.

I have only had a real issue with one client this year. Their back yard needed a proper grade. I told them to order 1 1/2 loads of fill, they ordered 2 1/2 loads, which was 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, and he said the job was as perfect as he had seen. It 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. It can be as simple as an email or it can 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 complaint 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. Operating your business like this 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 ahead 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. So do I feel appreciated, I’d say yes but that is because of the way I run everything.”

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