So about 4 years ago when I was still working the phones a lady called our office for an estimate. I tried to quote the work over the phone but she wouldn’t hear of it.
She wanted to meet in person. She wanted to know she could trust us.
I consented, but I didn’t want to go see her in person… we were far too busy and I already knew the rate. I didn’t need to see her lawn.
When I arrived she was nice enough but I could tell something wasn’t right.
After a bit of meaningless chit chat I felt like she relaxed a bit.
Apparently she did. She asked me to come in the house and wanted to show me to the back yard.
As soon as I exited the back door I saw it.
A Live Oak with a 10 inch caliper. Problem was it didn’t have a canopy. It was virtually just a trunk.
The company before us sent a crew out to top her Crape Myrtles. Apparently the workers were unfamiliar with the difference between a Crape Myrtle and a Live Oak (there is a big difference).
I thought to myself… must be one of those cheap, low ball, lousy lawn care companies that give us all a bad name.
The company that destroyed her tree was reputable. Not a big national but a local company with a fine reputation.
It gets worse.
Years earlier she planted this tree with her husband… shortly before he passed away from cancer. The tree was something they planted together in his memory.
She teared up as she explained the situation.
I didn’t know what to say. We got the business… but her trust has been hard to win. She was burned. Bad.
In October, we had a crew leader at a property we’ve maintained every Saturday for years. He was by himself taking care of a few properties with Winter Rye.
It’s right off a major highway. It’s a nice property but surrounded by an industrial park with some ruff areas.
Elder, the crew leader, was one of my very first hires. He’s been one of the very best guys I’ve ever hired. I’d let him watch my kids. I absolutely trust him.
He had just packed up the truck, loaded the trailer and was blowing off an area within sight of the truck but quit a distance from it.
I got a call from a tenet in a nearby building.
He called to tell me he witnessed my worker (Elder) running after his truck. He was calling me because our truck had just been stolen and Elder’s phone was in it.
We made several mistakes. 1) Elder left the keys in the truck… under the seat and 2) Somehow when we bought the new 61” Scag Turf Tiger we failed to add it to our insurance policy.
The truck was found in Del Rio, TX 40 days later. The trailer, Scag, Toro’s, Steele Line Trimmers, Stick Edger, RedMax backpack blowers… all gone. Never to be seen again.
This just happened 6 months ago. The Scag wasn’t insured. Shame on me. I would have preferred to have donated the 10k I lost to charity then to some group of losers too lazy to work for their own equipment.
For whatever reason, I was relieved to learn that Elders keys… the ones he left in the truck were not used to start it. They ripped out the steering column… or something like that… I’ve never stolen a truck so what do I know.
I’ve learned a lesson or two. Actually way too many to count.
I like this business. I like to share the dumb stuff I’ve done and the great things we are doing. I enjoy teaching.
So there you have it. That’s why I’ve created this site. That’s why 100% of the content is FREE and will remain FREE.
I’ve been asked by the guys in our company… “why would you want to share this with others, some of our competitors in our local market might use some of our techniques to compete against us”.
True. Maybe a few. Honestly I’m not worried. Not because I’m cocky or over confident.
We’ve got some great competitors. I’ve personally had lunch with some of them.
I’m not concerned because there is more than enough business to be had. More than that, I’ve learned that no matter how many people I share ideas and secrets with very few will implement. Very few will take the ideas, put them into action in their business and reap success.
I don’t get it. This stuff works. I’ve created a huge success. A success that is growing daily with very little of my involvement. There is a ton of money to be made in the lawn care business. There is a life of freedom available to lawn care business owners.
Why do so many ignore the opportunity in front of them?
I hope that’s not you.
The more we as an industry share best practices with each other the better our companies will become. The better the industry will become.
And when that happens I won’t have to apologize to a prospect that lost her husband to cancer and lost the one thing they did together in his memory to a company that failed to teach their employees the difference between a Live Oak and a Crape Myrtle.
I’m working to create a highly profitable company that gives my family and our team of employees a better life.
I hope you’ll do the same.
Who is Jonathan Pototschnik — is he worth listening too?