Why We Might Decline Your Project

by Ben Bowen

We Ross NW Watergardens Might Decline Your Project

And Why That Isn't A Bad Thing

EB White quote

Rejection hurts. I totally get that. And when someone says "It's not you, it's me" it doesn't feel any better.

Knowing this makes it difficult for me to do what I sometimes have to do: decline a potential client's landscaping project. By the time I realize I need to decline a project the client has already spent time and energy to research Portland landscapers, contact us, and then meet for an initial consultation. It's not a huge investment, but I appreciate the effort it's taken.

Why then, would we ever turn down a possible project? I can think of many reasons, and usually more than one is involved.

Here are 5 of the most likely ones:

When we fill our schedule with the right kinds of landscaping projects everyone wins. Our clients are happy, we are happy, and our employees are happy too. And who doesn’t want to be happy?
  1. Ross NW Watergardens is a bad fit for your project. Imagine you contact us and mention wanting a patio, retaining wall, and lawn. After we meet I now know that you want a concrete patio, stacking block wall, and synthetic lawn. None of those are things we do very often. It would be silly for me to think that we are the landscaper to take that project on.
  2. Your project is too far away. This is more subjective than it sounds. We work all over Portland, including the suburbs. Sometimes we even go further. In the past we have traveled to the coast and Hood River for projects. Beaverton might be too far to travel for a small drip irrigation system, but Aloha could be just fine for a large koi pond.
  3.  Budget. If your budget doesn't allow for us to deliver our usual level of quality then we probably won't be able to work with you. This is most often a factor when your landscape project is driven by short term priorities. For example, perhaps you are looking for a dash of curb appeal so you can sell your home. Does it make sense for you to invest in high quality materials and craftsmanship? Probably not.
  4. Complexity. This is subjective as well. During our slower times of year (right now), we have more time to deal with a project that requires a lot of time to get off the ground. During the summer we have much less. So, if you need a retaining wall and that wall will have to be designed, engineered, permitted, and inspected please call in the winter.
  5. Too simple. Some projects are 95% unskilled labor. That's a problem for us, since only about 5% of our team is "unskilled". It doesn't make sense (for us or for you) to have our stone masons removing sod and shoveling barkdust. That kind of work can be some of the project, but not the whole thing.
Does your project fit into our portfolio of landscape projects?

Does your project fit into our portfolio of landscape projects?

Why does Ross NW Watergardens occasionally turn down a project? Because no one landscaper is the perfect fit for everyone or every kind of project. When we fill our schedule with the right kinds of landscaping projects everyone wins. Our clients are happy, we are happy, and our employees are happy too. And who doesn't want to be happy?

What if we decline your project? Well, I have done it twice this week. Both times I was able to refer the person to a company that is most likely a much better fit. Our goal for every person that calls us, is to deliver the best possible service- hopefully through partnering with us. But if we know that another landscape contractor will be better we will let you know.

So don't feel bad. It's us, not you. Looking for a landscape designer (besides us)? Here are 5 designers we recommend.