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“Hello, this is Tim” is how I usually answer the business line. Short, sweet, to the point. It seems to work. Let’s face it – it ain’t 1976 anymore, and before someone even calls, if they call at all, most likely they have seen a tremendous amount of information about the business, and maybe even myself, my family, my employees, and God knows what else! The internet is a great equalizer and an opportunity for entrepreneurs, and individuals to put themselves out there for the world to see! Do you have something to hide? If you do, good luck.

Fast forward to 2024, and the internet makes communication a little bit “wild west”. And here in the land of the free, the protections of the first amendment for speech, just mean that anyone can say anything, whether it’s the full truth, a slight stretch of reality, or a complete falsity. Ever since I can remember, I always found it much easier to just be honest. Conversation is easy for me that way. I really don’t have to overthink before I speak, because usually my conversations are just talking about grass, landscapes, and pricing. This reminds me of how I used to write in my lab notebook as a chemist. My training in college taught me that the purpose of the lab notebook is to document what happened. What this could look like for a landscaper would be: “50 mL glyphosate was added…”. “The weeds were sprayed with broadleaf herbicide”. “The lawn was mowed at 3.75 inches and the edges were trimmed”. The concept is that if someone were to want to repeat the experiment, or task, that they would have enough information to do so. Obviously, this degree of documentation would be overkill for most landscaping related tasks.

In the service industry today, there is a lot of attention being paid to documenting communications, most likely to protect parties involved should there be any confusion down the road. I once thought this business was simple, just show up, do the job, get paid, and leave. Everyone is happy. But, what if everyone isn’t happy? Is this industry simple? Or even worse, are there people out there that actually seek out contractors to rip off? And yes, contractors aren’t all perfect, sadly. Do I need to have the client sign a contract that I paid a lawyer to write, so that I can present it to a judge at some hypothetical future time where I would need it? Do I trust that people will be fair and reasonable? I digress.

1976 sounds pretty good if you ask me.


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