Sometimes you just have to turn down landscape jobs.

Most of the time you are fighting tooth and nail to get new landscape customers to call you by using various methods of marketing. But what do you do when a call comes in from a potential client that lives a little outside your immediate service area? It creates a dilemma that you must weigh the pros and cons of before making a decision. What elements should factor into your decision? That is what this discussion was about on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I had a call from a woman who lives in a private community that is outside my service area. For lawn mowing and garden maintenance it’s too far to travel. The president of the association is really after me but I don’t want the work.
From what the prospect said on the phone yesterday, it’s a group of homes in a private community that was built last year, that being the case there should be a ton of work.

This is a sweet contract and she called me again today. She sounds like a really nice lady and the area sounds like a nice place. It sounds like a private retirement community which doesn’t surprise me as this area is very rich, it’s just too far and we honestly do not need the work that far out.

I suspect the contract is worth quite a few thousand dollars based on our conversations and she can’t find a company she is comfortable with and heard of ours through a friend in an area that we do work in.

Turning down landscape jobs

Turning down landscape jobs

The community is an hours drive plus. We have turned away almost fifty grand in work this year outside our service area for mainly excavation work but this job is landscaping, lawn and garden care.

Hauling landscape equipment can be expensive!

I have been running the numbers in my head trying to figure out what to do. I am thinking it’s simply too expensive to haul the gear, maintenance, paying staff while traveling etc. I understand we could add that to the quote but this is also highway driving, my insurance is tied to mileage and doing jobs this far away drives up all costs.

I think I would rather give the job to someone in the area to look after it, I might even finance someone to get started as I just don’t have the time this year. It may be something I should consider next year. Setting up operations outside my immediate area in other key areas. Probably two of those areas to start and see how it goes. This is a key area as it’s rich retirement people, a lot of new construction and the people have the money to pay for quality work.

I don’t know the answer yet though. I could simply refer the job, but generally I avoid referring prospects because if there is a problem they make it your problem. I thought about setting up a franchise and a turn key operation and that is still on the burner and I may do that.

We run into this situation a lot, where a client lives here but has a summer home 2 hours+ away and they assume you will do work there too. I know I have upset a few potential customers in the past when I said that I couldn’t take a job. Then you have clients who think they can buy your travel time but I honestly do not want to sit in a truck 4+ hours a day driving.

I know on the excavation and landscaping side it’s desperate hard finding a good company, I know this not only from personal experience but constant feedback from clients.

For now, I think the safe choice is just to turn down the landscape job but this lady above is getting under my skin as she is calling me twice a day and doesn’t understand the word no. That is an issue in itself when dealing with these upper end clients and can be tough to manage.”

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