What happens to your 1-man lawn care business when you are sick?
Especially starting out, many small lawn care businesses operate as sole proprietorships with no employees. While the freedom to call your own shots is a great benefit in running a 1-man operation, without proper planning there are pitfalls that can cause you to lose time and money when you are sick and cannot complete your scheduled lawn care work.
Although being sick is never fun there are certain steps to take while you are well to assure your business doesn’t suffer as much as your body does when illness strikes.
1) Explain the Situation to your Customers: Lawn Care Customers normally understand when situations arise that delay their lawn care work. Afterall, weather hampers your ability to do their work on a timely basis often during the year. An illness is just as unforeseeable as a sudden and lengthy rain shower. Upon first onset of an illness, take a few minutes to call your customers. Explain that you are not well and you feel the quality of your work will suffer. Give them an explanation of your expected recovery time and let them know how (and when) you plan to catch up on your schedule.
2) Stay up-to-date (or ahead) of your schedule: If you are vigilant in completing your lawn care jobs ahead of time you will be able to buffer a few unforeseen glitches in your schedule. Customers normally don’t mind if you bump them up a day to avert delays due to inclement weather. Likewise, they normally don’t mind when you bump them up a day if you feel you are getting sick or if you have a Doctor’s appointment that might run long.
3) Let a family member or friend help you. One of the best ways to recover from unexpected delays is to have someone dependable to help you out from time to time. If you have good rapport with your family, you probably know of a family member willing to pitch in. Though they may willingly help you without requesting payment, it is a very good idea to offer them payment for their time and travel expenses. Family and friends often do not mind helping you occasionally without pay. However, they will quickly tire of helping you if you don’t compensate them.
4) Hire an as-needed worker. While a helpful friend or family member can be relied up in an emergency, a dedicated part-time or as-needed worker will have more of a vested interest in keeping your customers on the roster. An employee knows your schedule and your work habits. You customers will be familiar with your employee and will not call you on the phone complaining of some strange person mowing their grass.
As unfortunate as it may be, sickness has dismantled many lawn care businesses. Without proactive plans of action schedules are thrown off, customers lose patience and find other lawn care companies, and income is lost. A few simple steps can save your business and make your recovery much quicker.
Do you want to learn how to avoid pitfalls that can damage your lawn care business? We have been associated with the industry for over 18 years. We have taken our experience and developed the Lawn Care Business training course that shows you how to start and expand a successful lawn care business.
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