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View Full Version : Lost 2 customers to Cheaper prices.......


jpp
04-07-2005, 07:01 PM
Today when I got home two messages were on the machine. One message was JP called to let you know that I will not be needing your services this year. I am looking for someone to do it cheaper and with a small mower. I Called the guy and asked him what he meant by a small mower and he said a push mower. I said fine good luck to you and good bye. This is a small apartment unit.


Second message was JP I am calling to let you know that I am going to let one of my childhood friends cut my yard. He is working parttime right now and was going to buy a lawnmower to make some extra cash. Oh boy here we go another mower stuck out of the trunk guy. He did say, he was not sure if this would work out and that he might be calling me back. I called to talk to him but he was not home. I think I saw a thread on this awhile back but could not find it. But I guess I am getting hit with the parttimers looking for extra cash.

Sorry I am venting a little.

JP

bobbygedd
04-07-2005, 07:19 PM
todays consumer wants top quality work, at rock bottom prices. alot will pay top dollar for top service, but when they realize THEY CAN get top service for rock bottom prices, you become history. and when this happens you will sit there, feeling like a donkey, for all the times you did those "little extras" at no extra charge. for all the times you changed your schedule to accomodate them on thier graduation party, or barmitva. the only way to survive is to be as cunning, and unloyal as they are. sorry for your misfortune

T Edwards
04-07-2005, 07:23 PM
Customers come, customers go. That's business. Don't take it personal.

proenterprises
04-07-2005, 07:28 PM
Customers come, customers go. That's business. Don't take it personal.


Thats true. You will pick up 2 more in no time. Dont sweat it buddy! :cool:

Lux Lawn
04-07-2005, 07:38 PM
Don't worry about it... I know it does stink but there's nothing you can do when you deal with the public like this.You will have your loyal customers and the one's that will leave over a couple of bucks,it happens all the time.I have lost a few the same way this year.

Mo Green
04-07-2005, 07:40 PM
Don't sweat it. I'm sure you can fill those two empty slots quickly. I had a customer call me and say she wouldn't need me this year because her grandson was going to cut her lawn for her. But she said "I'll call you if I need you". Chances are, junior won't keep it cut on a weekly basis.

Lux Lawn
04-07-2005, 07:43 PM
Don't sweat it. I'm sure you can fill those two empty slots quickly. I had a customer call me and say she wouldn't need me this year because her grandson was going to cut her lawn for her. But she said "I'll call you if I need you". Chances are, junior won't keep it cut on a weekly basis.

Mo
I know what you mean I lost like 5 or 6 this year to people who are going to do it themselves.The way I look at it is it is easy to say when the grass is not growing.

BOTURF
04-07-2005, 08:11 PM
I know this has been beat in the ground here but myself iam sick of losing customers to some one who wants to work for extra money so they will work cheap , its like once there gone they are hard to get back. I personally think the state or county or even the feds ought to start busting some of these guys who dont claim any of this cash and are working without insurance , its just not fair to us guys who are doing things right . In this day and age its getting harder to get the new customers who want to pay top dollar for good service , I guess i cant blame these guys for this crappy economy i blame the idiot who runs our country and his good old oil boys

richmadmax
04-07-2005, 08:22 PM
I know this has been beat in the ground here but myself iam sick of losing customers to some one who wants to work for extra money so they will work cheap , its like once there gone they are hard to get back. I personally think the state or county or even the feds ought to start busting some of these guys who dont claim any of this cash and are working without insurance , its just not fair to us guys who are doing things right . In this day and age its getting harder to get the new customers who want to pay top dollar for good service , I guess i cant blame these guys for this crappy economy i blame the idiot who runs our country and his good old oil boys


You are right i would be sick to lost customers too. But you should be mad at them, because everybody should learn the right way to do it. Do you cook food for less time to save on energy, hell no. so when you cut grass you GEt insurance, lisenced, and all the others thing you need. Now Paying for all that you can not do it for $16.00 RIGHT. must be more. The people hiring them don't they think. What about if this guy breaks my $3000. window he makes $16.00 a cut. That is many lawns to cut. I been saying this many times YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO IT RIGHT OR DON"T DO IT AT ALL.

Envy Lawn Service
04-07-2005, 09:11 PM
Loosing a couple of customers to low price seems like no big deal to some right now. We don't sweat it much. But that sort of thing is only the beginning. The beginning of a big problem that will only get bigger... and bigger... and soon a down spiral begins.

We are fighting a war here that we CAN'T win. Our numbers are way too few (you just wouldn't believe). Even fewer of us are willing to fight and those of us that do are acting as an army of one. Like I said, we CAN'T win this way.

In the end, all of us will face the following options:

-You can't beat them, so you may as well join them, or die trying.
-Find a way to stay busy without having to compete.
-Find something else to do.


I have a lot more to say, and I've been meaning to start a thread for a while. I will do so eventually, when I'm mentally prepared to put words to it all........

dvmcmrhp52
04-07-2005, 09:42 PM
I guess i cant blame these guys for this crappy economy i blame the idiot who runs our country and his good old oil boys




So now the government and Mr. Bush are to blame for too many Lawnboys?

How rediculous can it get.

Please show me this crappy economy you speak of, In facts, not inuendo and opinion.

Envy Lawn Service
04-07-2005, 10:02 PM
So now the government and Mr. Bush are to blame for too many Lawnboys?

How rediculous can it get.

Please show me this crappy economy you speak of, In facts, not inuendo and opinion.

I know your comments are directed at BOTURF. But I can't let your comments go.... Plenty of us are not blaming "Bush" for this. Some of us are sharp enough to realize 'when' the seeds for our flailing economy were planted. But the government as a whole DOES play some role and deserve some blame for the influx of all the illegal activity in the green industry, as well as others.

What has happened is here is.... there is no longer a level playing field for ANY american business to compete.

Now, I understand that things up in PA are all peachy right now. But the above statement affects everyone in the end. So although you may be oblivious to all this right now, and not care.... this WILL come to visit your state, your town and your wallet sooner or later.

If you need to be shown what is coming, I can oblige....
The question is.... will you listen? Will you care?.... until it's affecting your wallet.....

Turf Dancer
04-07-2005, 10:10 PM
I just had a notice from the insurance company that my insurance is going up big time due to the fact that my current carrier will no longer cover me due tp the fact that they are no longer covering certain aspects of my business. I told all my customers that my rates were going up to cover rising business costs, all but a couple took it a well as could be expected. A couple told me to go to hell! There are still guys mowing for $10 a lawn part time here! I can't compete with that! The market is going sour for legitimate business's in lawn care in a lot of areas. Not all areas but a lot of them, I bought a Lazer ZHP last year and only a couple of my residential customers will let me use it on their properties, the rest of them I can only get a 21 on anyway. People here don't want the big equipment on thier properties.

K.Carothers
04-07-2005, 11:02 PM
I know this has been beat in the ground here but myself iam sick of losing customers to some one who wants to work for extra money so they will work cheap , its like once there gone they are hard to get back. I personally think the state or county or even the feds ought to start busting some of these guys who dont claim any of this cash and are working without insurance , its just not fair to us guys who are doing things right . In this day and age its getting harder to get the new customers who want to pay top dollar for good service , I guess i cant blame these guys for this crappy economy i blame the idiot who runs our country and his good old oil boys


I agree its harder to compete with a part timer that doesn't pay taxes,insurance etc.. but disagree with the other comments you made.
Customers that want to pay top dollar are not shopping around for a cheap LCO ;)

As far as your comments of the current administration, are you informed one bit?

dvmcmrhp52
04-07-2005, 11:24 PM
I agree its harder to compete with a part timer that doesn't pay taxes,insurance etc.. but disagree with the other comments you made.
Customers that want to pay top dollar are not shopping around for a cheap LCO ;)

As far as your comments of the current administration, are you informed one bit?



Thank you.

spoolinaround
04-07-2005, 11:30 PM
after this season I think I am going to go Snow only and go back to doing dismantling and scrap work in the summer

dvmcmrhp52
04-07-2005, 11:37 PM
I know your comments are directed at BOTURF. But I can't let your comments go.... Plenty of us are not blaming "Bush" for this. Some of us are sharp enough to realize 'when' the seeds for our flailing economy were planted. But the government as a whole DOES play some role and deserve some blame for the influx of all the illegal activity in the green industry, as well as others.

What has happened is here is.... there is no longer a level playing field for ANY american business to compete.

Now, I understand that things up in PA are all peachy right now. But the above statement affects everyone in the end. So although you may be oblivious to all this right now, and not care.... this WILL come to visit your state, your town and your wallet sooner or later.

If you need to be shown what is coming, I can oblige....
The question is.... will you listen? Will you care?.... until it's affecting your wallet.....



Envy,
With all due respect I don't agree with anything you've said here.

barnard
04-07-2005, 11:43 PM
yap yap ,whine whine. Do you ever have a mechanic buddy "fix it on the side instead of taking it into the shop and paying $70 per hour flat rate ? Do you ever hire a friend to roof ,paint or dry wall cheaper than a contrator would charge you? I imagine so so DON'T WHINE. If you can' make it in this business do something else already. And get some cheese to go with your whine.

Patrick.B
04-07-2005, 11:57 PM
Guess we all have bad days in our business and customer dropping Lawn service for cheaper rate ,,,well..i had one of my customer call me last month and told me she found someone else cause they were cheaper ,,i said okay fine Good Luck !! well .,,she call me back few days ago and said that lawm man never show up ..would you come and cut my grass ? i'd said sorry,.you not on my list this year..This woman got plenty money to afford me and she been my customer for the past three years and i never went up on the price,,,i know some Lawn guy went there and told her he would do her Lawn for 30 buck . ...now he never show up and she calling me back..jeez !! she got alot of nerve huh ,,,,i really didnt want to tell her she wasnt on my list but some how i was little mad what she told me about she found a cheaper guy ,,,anyway ,,,,its done and over with !! Good Luck on this season,,,

Envy Lawn Service
04-08-2005, 02:52 AM
Envy,
With all due respect I don't agree with anything you've said here.

And you most certainly have the right to disagree.

However..... You knew that was coming right? :jester:

It's nothing personal towards you, I hope you understand, but as I have mentioned in other threads it's the thought process of guys in your situation that just burns me up. Both on a business level and on a political level.

From my point of view, this whole thing is like a 'divide and conquer' tactic. You see, it's evident that you live and work within a healthy local ecomomy devoid of the issues faced elsewhere. Therefore, you have a different outlook. So our words fall on deaf ears because your position is to just disagree or just not care because you are not affected. So you just disagree and move on without taking a deeper look because it's not your problem.

Meanwhile, the economy and industries are falling apart at the seams. So while you are not affected now, what many of us are experiencing now will spread and hit-home everywhere eventually.

The environment of a level playing field in this country is not there these days and the American Dream is just that now, a dream. This creates a domino effect on everything, which I'll elaborate on separately.

So yes, I do believe it IS the role of government to govern and maintain a level playing field for all Americans. They have failed to do so and likewise they deserve some blame. But it will not stop until a lot more people start to dig in and take a better look at what's going on outside their view economically and politically.

PMLAWN
04-08-2005, 04:36 AM
Losing customers to lowballers stinks, But it is a way of life these days. And while the Government has a lot to do with the way things go in this country the consumer drives the economy a lot more.
Remember this as you stand in a Walmart checkout line because you want lower prices. Or while you shop at Lowes.
Everyone wants to get payed more but pay less. The problem is that as an uneducated people (as to economics) most do not realize that this will not work.....Happy mowing.

Envy Lawn Service
04-08-2005, 05:15 AM
OK, consider this one sector of my business if you will...

Imagine a small rural North Carolina town with a small population, small per capita income and a manufacturing driven economy. The majority of the area workers have historically held high skill - low wage factory jobs. Many of these jobs are created from companies that have migrated from other areas in search of low wage workers.The majority make single figure hourly wages and few cross that threshold before retirement.

So your average family, average single parent, average worker, average retiree, essentially cannot afford to pay for lawn care. They have to charge an MTD on their Lowes credit card and do it themselves, and they really don't mind the hard work either. But they create a need for manangement positions, support area businesses, and the manufacturers they work for support many service, supply, and material businesses, ect. So there some commercial sites and some of the population who can pay for lawncare. A portion of those seek high end full service.

So things click along fine, all though there are a lot of hard working low wage earners out there working on the side to make the extra buck they need to make ends meet. You know they have mouths to feed and have a hard time, so you don't begrudge them a dime they make, although you know there's nothing legal about them.

Then corporate america swoops down and buys up several of the MFG's to become the worlds largest producer of a certain good. Then free trade opens up and once again, they start a slow migration in search of even lower wages. They establish operations in Mexico, China, Veitnam, ect, and start the physical portion of the migration. This envokes a 4 day work week at their factories, which puts all their employees in search of a way to make up a lost day of wages per week. The ones doing lawncare on the side seek more work and more enter the industry to make ends meet.

Then the import 'dumping' begins from this large corporation. Their own American factories can't compete and neither can there smaller competition. So they drop to 4 day work weeks due to decreased sales. More people look to make a buck.

Then the big corporation starts exporting American jobs and importing low wage workers in tandem cycle. More people go out of work and the smaller businesses get squeezed more until the point they realize they can't beat them, so they may as well join them or go belly up.

Now you have a viscous cycle going on. EVERYTHING is going out except the immigrant workers coming in. Management cuts start, which cuts my business, factories close, which cuts my business, supporting industry closes, cutting my business, business slows and profit/wages are cut, which cuts my business. Everyone is fearful deep down and looking for ways to cut costs....

All the while, more people who have never made more than single digits per hour are entering lawn care with that MTD they charged on their Lowes credit card. They are out of work, but they have that mower they used to mow around the house, and if they don't start making some money soon, they aren't going to have a house to mow around.

Now every d@mn one of them are after my customers. The same people who could afford my services are also the same people that they know are the only ones left who have the money to pay. They are also tickled s#itless to get $10 bucks an hour gross pay, which will all go under the table, because they never made more than say $8 less taxes ect on the factory job that they lost. I CAN'T compete with that and they can't really make a long term living at those rates. But they have been an employee all their life and don't know any better.

Sure, many never make it, but the supply is endless and many are smart enough to cheat their way to survival. Every year, I can't drive to a job in this rural area without seeing a mower in transport, cut it without seeing a mower in transport pass by if I can see the highway, and drive to the next job without seeing another. Many times I see more than that.

Of those and including myself, I can count on one hand how many of us are legal... and still have fingers left. This is not a guess, but rather something I know for a fact. How do I know? Well when I was in the financial services industry, I had to have a way to pre-screen businesses prior to getting involved with them in any way, and I still maintain those resources today. I used the same thing to pre-screen someone I wanted to sub-contract some work to and was shocked at what I found out. That along with some other things young and old provoked me to do a full screening. FACT.

The bottom line is.... this is real world "cause & effect" economics, not some bull you heard on CNN. The bad news is it is escalating and spreading throughout our economy.... and eventually it will affect us all, so we should all care. This is how Jim loosing his job at the mill, due to import competiton, ect, eventually hurts all of us in the long run.

The playing field is NOT level, therefore equal opportunity is not available to us all.

PMLAWN
04-08-2005, 05:27 AM
Envy--Add to that the fact that the guy who could pay for lawn service "was" the middle manager of the industry that went under or moved to Mexico and now your customer is no longer there either.

Envy Lawn Service
04-08-2005, 06:02 AM
That's right PMLAWN, and I've run into every possible cenario you can immagine related to this and lost good customers due to that. The loss is a continous cycle and replacing the loss is harder to accomplish each time, due to other market pressures.

Heck, just this week I lost two managers who worked for the same company. Cuts were made and went down as follows.... one regular employee was cut, his manager was moved down to his job and pay, then a higher rank management job was flat cut out and he was moved down to the other manager's job and pay. Neither can afford me anymore and in fact one of them called to talk and ask my advice. Seems his new Shindawia trimmer he bought was stolen before he ever got to use it the first time. I told him to file a report and have all the pawnshops notified.

I said, look friend, you know things are bad when K-Mart, burger joints, gas stations, grocery stores and new car dealers go belly up in the area.

crzymow
04-08-2005, 08:18 AM
well if there isnt a market for your service, then you need to either move, or find some other line of work. The problem with this country is that most people are looking for hand outs. I dont mind helping out someone, but once you do it once, they expect it all the time. And just so you know, my part of Pennsylvania is no gold mind, we have had lots of large mfg jobs leave here in the past 10 years. So you have to find your niche or find another job. THere is always goin to be someone out there doing what u do for less money, even if they regulate things and go after the ones that do it under the table, someone has to be the cheapest.

rodfather
04-08-2005, 08:25 AM
Been at this 11 full time years now and it seems every week we lose some and every week get some new ones.

marko
04-08-2005, 09:37 AM
If he calls back, make sure and quote him the premium price. I bet he will do it again the next time a low price is put in front of him.

daveintoledo
04-08-2005, 10:17 AM
another announced closure today, in dec of 2006, another automotive manufacturing parts plant... Kelsey Hayes..... 5000 more area jobs lost, thats the 3rd one this month...... :(

spoolinaround
04-08-2005, 12:24 PM
didnt hear about that Dave, it will probably be on the noon news, atleast chrysler is building that new stamping plant on stickney

daveintoledo
04-08-2005, 12:28 PM
she works there, the transmission plant on alexis is closing too......so i have heard

pagefault
04-08-2005, 01:50 PM
Why not keep track of the customers that you lose to lowballers and drive by their places periodically. Maybe the new guy will do a bad job. Maybe he won't show up. Maybe he will go out of business or move on to other things. Whatever. If you notice that some of the properties are looking unkempt, send them a little note that says "Hey Bob, I was just thinking of you and I thought I'd drop you a line to see how things are going. If you need any work, give us a call." Better yet, you might call him and ask how it is going.

Also, I would have an ear to the ground for horror stories. Years ago, I did computer service work. I was always trying to sell system backups and data storage as an add-on, but few people were interested. That is, until one of my customers had a hard drive failure that required $2500 worth of work in a clean room to recover 70% of their data. After that, I would give people a copy of that invoice (with the original customer info covered with whiteout) and suddenly 50% of the people I asked wanted their stuff backed up.

As soon as you hear of some kid getting hurt on the job and suing the homeowner or whatever, make sure that everyone else knows about it too. Let them see that there is more at risk with fly-by-night guys than just bad service.

earthtrends
04-08-2005, 05:54 PM
Hey Envy what part of nc are you from?

PMLAWN
04-08-2005, 06:01 PM
Been at this 11 full time years now and it seems every week we lose some and every week get some new ones.

Mostly the same here. Most of the lost ones are to moving. Just this week lost two lawncare accounts to move and one full service. Got 4 new and 6 landscape jobs. Advertise!

dvmcmrhp52
04-08-2005, 07:32 PM
And you most certainly have the right to disagree.

However..... You knew that was coming right? :jester:

It's nothing personal towards you, I hope you understand, but as I have mentioned in other threads it's the thought process of guys in your situation that just burns me up. Both on a business level and on a political level.

From my point of view, this whole thing is like a 'divide and conquer' tactic. You see, it's evident that you live and work within a healthy local ecomomy devoid of the issues faced elsewhere. Therefore, you have a different outlook. So our words fall on deaf ears because your position is to just disagree or just not care because you are not affected. So you just disagree and move on without taking a deeper look because it's not your problem.

Meanwhile, the economy and industries are falling apart at the seams. So while you are not affected now, what many of us are experiencing now will spread and hit-home everywhere eventually.

The environment of a level playing field in this country is not there these days and the American Dream is just that now, a dream. This creates a domino effect on everything, which I'll elaborate on separately.

So yes, I do believe it IS the role of government to govern and maintain a level playing field for all Americans. They have failed to do so and likewise they deserve some blame. But it will not stop until a lot more people start to dig in and take a better look at what's going on outside their view economically and politically.




Geeez, where to start...............
I know it isn't personal and I take nothing on here personally..........

My politics are because of my beliefs, I'm a conservative and the other party just isn't ever going to do it for me. I want government on the sidelines, not in the field. Period.
As far as the thought process of people like me............
Our local economy has lost most of its manufacturing base, the wharehouses have filled that void with $10/ hr jobs.
The average commute to work has increased,The knitting mills are gone,AT&T gone, Mack Trucks gone, Bethlehem Steel gone,Agere all but a shell,Mines shutting down,Foundries going elsewhere.............Yet we survive.......
How? The American spirit that's how.
Not affected by it? Sure we are, but we WON'T let it rule us, we will win because just like my ancestors who came to this country we will work hard, treat people like people, and change when it is necessary for survival.
I watch the economy rather closely as well as oil prices, refinery capacities,stockpiles,GDP, etc., etc.
Could the economy be better? Sure, it can ALWAYS be better, but rather than frown about it I will figure a way to smile about it.
The economy in this country is going through some major changes, it has been for years and will continue to do so for another decade. Manufacturing is no longer our strong suit because of cheaper labor elsewhere, while manufacturing was the base of our economy it no longer is. What will we do as a country? Fall down to our knees and cry? No, we won't.
You are not experiencing anything different on a large scale than millions of people all over the country, change is a difficult thing, you can either embrace it or fall to the wayside.

The economy and industries are falling apart at the seams? Where is the data to prove this? Talking heads that get paid to promote the sky is falling scenario have an agenda, It's called a power grab.

At 42 years old I've been through more on a financial and personal level than probably the majority of folks on this site could ever relate to in real terms, yet I continue forward..................Maybe because I KNOW I will come out the other side O.K. And that only occurs because failure is not an option.

My brain hurts now.......time for a break............ :drinkup:

willretire@40
04-08-2005, 07:42 PM
I think that with the gas prices going up some lawn boys are going to give it up. I just lost a $35 every 2 week job to another lco. The customer called me and said that the guy doing his irragation and some other landscaping work was going to start cutting his 12,000 sq ft lawn for $20 a week. First of all with that system grass is going to be grow so fast especially since he has chem lawn for his fert program. I just told him that if it does not work out then to give us a call back. What kind of landscaper is going to come out and waste his time for $20 a week. I have a feeling he will be calling back in less then a month plus i cut 1 lawn across the street (my dad and i charge him $35 every 2 weeks but dad is pickest customer ever) and his next door neighbor. but i have 5,000 flyers going out this week so i should be able to replace that in an hour.

dvmcmrhp52
04-08-2005, 07:48 PM
OK, consider this one sector of my business if you will...

Imagine a small rural North Carolina town with a small population, small per capita income and a manufacturing driven economy. The majority of the area workers have historically held high skill - low wage factory jobs. Many of these jobs are created from companies that have migrated from other areas in search of low wage workers.The majority make single figure hourly wages and few cross that threshold before retirement.

So your average family, average single parent, average worker, average retiree, essentially cannot afford to pay for lawn care. They have to charge an MTD on their Lowes credit card and do it themselves, and they really don't mind the hard work either. But they create a need for manangement positions, support area businesses, and the manufacturers they work for support many service, supply, and material businesses, ect. So there some commercial sites and some of the population who can pay for lawncare. A portion of those seek high end full service.

So things click along fine, all though there are a lot of hard working low wage earners out there working on the side to make the extra buck they need to make ends meet. You know they have mouths to feed and have a hard time, so you don't begrudge them a dime they make, although you know there's nothing legal about them.

Then corporate america swoops down and buys up several of the MFG's to become the worlds largest producer of a certain good. Then free trade opens up and once again, they start a slow migration in search of even lower wages. They establish operations in Mexico, China, Veitnam, ect, and start the physical portion of the migration. This envokes a 4 day work week at their factories, which puts all their employees in search of a way to make up a lost day of wages per week. The ones doing lawncare on the side seek more work and more enter the industry to make ends meet.

Then the import 'dumping' begins from this large corporation. Their own American factories can't compete and neither can there smaller competition. So they drop to 4 day work weeks due to decreased sales. More people look to make a buck.

Then the big corporation starts exporting American jobs and importing low wage workers in tandem cycle. More people go out of work and the smaller businesses get squeezed more until the point they realize they can't beat them, so they may as well join them or go belly up.

Now you have a viscous cycle going on. EVERYTHING is going out except the immigrant workers coming in. Management cuts start, which cuts my business, factories close, which cuts my business, supporting industry closes, cutting my business, business slows and profit/wages are cut, which cuts my business. Everyone is fearful deep down and looking for ways to cut costs....

All the while, more people who have never made more than single digits per hour are entering lawn care with that MTD they charged on their Lowes credit card. They are out of work, but they have that mower they used to mow around the house, and if they don't start making some money soon, they aren't going to have a house to mow around.

Now every d@mn one of them are after my customers. The same people who could afford my services are also the same people that they know are the only ones left who have the money to pay. They are also tickled s#itless to get $10 bucks an hour gross pay, which will all go under the table, because they never made more than say $8 less taxes ect on the factory job that they lost. I CAN'T compete with that and they can't really make a long term living at those rates. But they have been an employee all their life and don't know any better.

Sure, many never make it, but the supply is endless and many are smart enough to cheat their way to survival. Every year, I can't drive to a job in this rural area without seeing a mower in transport, cut it without seeing a mower in transport pass by if I can see the highway, and drive to the next job without seeing another. Many times I see more than that.

Of those and including myself, I can count on one hand how many of us are legal... and still have fingers left. This is not a guess, but rather something I know for a fact. How do I know? Well when I was in the financial services industry, I had to have a way to pre-screen businesses prior to getting involved with them in any way, and I still maintain those resources today. I used the same thing to pre-screen someone I wanted to sub-contract some work to and was shocked at what I found out. That along with some other things young and old provoked me to do a full screening. FACT.

The bottom line is.... this is real world "cause & effect" economics, not some bull you heard on CNN. The bad news is it is escalating and spreading throughout our economy.... and eventually it will affect us all, so we should all care. This is how Jim loosing his job at the mill, due to import competiton, ect, eventually hurts all of us in the long run.

The playing field is NOT level, therefore equal opportunity is not available to us all.



As I stated earlier, Our economy is no longer a manufacturing economy. That trend will continue.
If your situation is such that your small town can no longer support another lawncare business such as yours, then there are a few alternatives................Become more competitive, go out of business and find one of those $10/ hr. jobs, OR, change with the economy and offer services that are affordable and in demand.
Billy Joe Bob and his cousin will ALWAYS be around,no matter how much complaining occurs. Why? Because lawncare really isn't rocket science. Yes, there is a difference between a professional looking lawn and a weed infested field, but if the clientel no longer exists it just doesn't matter.

I realize that certain areas are going through some of the changes that we have already experienced..........Our manufacturing jobs have been going south for years...........
And now those jobs are moving on just like they did here.........The rust belt isn't called that for no reason, and the northeastern part of the country has already been there and done that.

I'm not busting your stones and I do understand your thought process, however, It really isn't anything new to us................

jpp
04-08-2005, 08:10 PM
Been at this 11 full time years now and it seems every week we lose some and every week get some new ones.

Is that the truth. Lost two yesterday got two today. Not quite a even exchange but that is fine. I got my ad to the newspaper today. Change it up a little this year to spice things up a little.

Seems like I am not the only one losing some and picking up some. I was upset yesterday because one of the customers has been with me for 7 years and was with the guy who owned before me for at least 5 years. Oh well win some lose some.

Have a great year everyone and watch out for the dog @#$# :laugh: .

Envy Lawn Service
04-09-2005, 03:27 PM
dvmcmrhp52,

Boy... now where do I start in order to catch up here? Guess I'll start with the first post...

OK, first I glad you don't take this personally, and neither do I. I'm just glad to be able to discuss it so that some can understand. Now, as far as politics, you must understand that somehow we are on the same side? I'm not a party line voter, but I'm a conservative as well. In fact, I voted for Bush both times and reguard Ronald Reagan as one of our greatest. I also do not feel the need to have government too involved, but I do expect them to govern and protect an atmosphere of equality, where the American Dream is still possible.

Now as far as local economy v/s local economy, you have to understand that your area is still behind the curve in this process rather you realize it or not. Your area compared to this one was economically stronger and more deversified to begin with, while this one was weaker and more focused. But the main point I'm getting at is that we have already suffered a major blow, had companies leave and have their factories converted to warehouses, ect.

The problem is that the shift continues in several areas. In other words, the jobs promised to fill the void are leaving too. Wood working, steel working, textiles, plastics, vinyls, fiberglass, farming, retail, packaging, fiberoptics and other high tech jobs GONE. What few are left continue the shift and nothing new is coming in.

At first we thought we were going to be OK too. But the reality has set in that those low labor, high tech, high paying jobs we were promised back in the 90's that would fill the void of the dirty, hard labor, low paying jobs JUST NEVER MATERIALIZED!

What has happened is, many of these companies just don't site the true nature of their layoffs, so few qualify for aid to re-train. But it seems now that this didn't matter much anyways, because those that did get to re-train still don't have jobs to go to in those fields. Why? Because they are outsourcing and moving those jobs out now too or those industries are not able to compete with the influx of imports either and are closing down.

So like I said, we fooled ourselves into believing we would be OK too and survive by way of the American sprit creating new jobs. But the fact is that the void is just too large. Walmart and fast food can only employ so many. The employment gap just is not being closed as this accelerates.

The local officials have already came to terms with this and are digging hard to find ways to attract tourism to the area. They know no new jobs are coming and hope tourism will keep the area afloat if they can only figure out how to draw it in. Personally I don't know what there is here to draw them. What are they going to come to see??? The ghost towns of manufacturing's past??? Watch tumbleweeds roll by vacant falling down buildings?

Personally I hope they pull it off because eye candy landscapes will once again be in demand....


Anyways, you like to use the excuse that manufacturing is just no longer our strong suit, because of cheaper labor elsewhere. Well... have you ever stopped for just a second to ask yourself WHY we were not affected by this long-long ago???

Now, you can look at all those contributing factors to our economy all you want. Good for you. But if you want a real humbling opinion of the true state and future of our economy, then you need look no further than our STAGGERING TRADE DEFICITS with other countries. Then think of it in terms of the USA as a retail organization. How long do you think a business can survive when it buys more than it produces and sells? Eventually the stockroom gets full and the checkbook gets empty. Something has got to be done!

My brain hurts now TOO.......time for a break............ :drinkup:

I'll catch the second post later because you made some real good points in it.

Equipguy
04-09-2005, 04:19 PM
We're in a service industry. Customers come and customers go. Thats just the way it is. Deal with it or move on you have that choice in the good ole USA. :rolleyes:

Likestomow
04-09-2005, 06:52 PM
I didn't read all the posts, but it seems like another Lowballer post.

Why not do what the big boys of retail do? They just under cut the Lowballers until they go out of business.

Put the Lowballers out of business by doing the lost accounts for $5 less than the Lowballer charges. Tell these people you are having a special price right now.

Follow him around all day, each day and do that to all his accounts. Soon he'll be out of business and you can raise your prices back up.

jpp
04-09-2005, 08:57 PM
We're in a service industry. Customers come and customers go. Thats just the way it is. Deal with it or move on you have that choice in the good ole USA. :rolleyes:

First of all If this was meant for me, I did deal with and pick up two new customers. Look at my post above. Second of all I am not going anywhere it is the lowballer that needs to go, that is my choice and I am standing by it.

jpp
04-09-2005, 08:59 PM
I didn't read all the posts, but it seems like another Lowballer post.

Why not do what the big boys of retail do? They just under cut the Lowballers until they go out of business.

Put the Lowballers out of business by doing the lost accounts for $5 less than the Lowballer charges. Tell these people you are having a special price right now.

Follow him around all day, each day and do that to all his accounts. Soon he'll be out of business and you can raise your prices back up.

Because if you do what you suggest then you are no better than the lowballers. It has to stop somewhere. I will not lower myself to their standards.

Envy Lawn Service
04-10-2005, 04:38 AM
As I stated earlier, Our economy is no longer a manufacturing economy. That trend will continue.
If your situation is such that your small town can no longer support another lawncare business such as yours, then there are a few alternatives................Become more competitive, go out of business and find one of those $10/ hr. jobs, OR, change with the economy and offer services that are affordable and in demand.
Billy Joe Bob and his cousin will ALWAYS be around,no matter how much complaining occurs. Why? Because lawncare really isn't rocket science. Yes, there is a difference between a professional looking lawn and a weed infested field, but if the clientel no longer exists it just doesn't matter.

Very good and true points here. To a large extent, this IS the case. At the end on 2003, I made a decision to pull out of an area for these reasons, and I've never looked back. Again I find myself thinking of pulling out of another area. I just don't know.

It's sorta like this.... at a certain point it's more productive to just move on. But, at times I'm really too die-hard and I don't move on as soon as I should. Likewise, at the same time, I begin to get this feeling that sooner or later I'll be pulled out of everywhere.

What it seems ends up happening is that I continue to loose accounts to the other side and once they go with a Hack, they never come back. I also loose customers in an area for every oddball economic reason you can think of and it's harder every time to replace them. It's sorta like the outdoor pride is dying off with the economy.... if that makes sense.

It's sad and depressing. I even find it a bit embarassing when we have family in from out of town, ect... Lots of stuff looks so trashy and run down ect, and they comment on it. All I can say is "yeah, I know, it's a shame."

As far as the business alternatives to just pulling out of areas.... Becoming more competitive is really not a feasible option. There is just no way for me to compete with these guys I'm faced with. Most of them are totally illegal, run crap equipment, do crap work and aren't making any sort of living themselves. I even put out some "feeler" bids at lower than normal rates just to see if I could entice a few to pay a little more for excellence. I even went on down on a few small ones and tried to guess equal to what the scrubs would bid. Closest I got was within $3 a week and still didn't get the job v/s an incumbent scrub.

As far as offering services that are affordable and in demand.... Well, same deal. I took on some lower service level accounts where I cut, make minimal applications to avoid infestations that cause me to contaminate other accounts, and basically do no landscaping because there is none on site. Somebody comes along and offers to be on call to just mow it for $20 whenever they want it done. Odd mulch jobs? Heck most of these places won't even pay for mulch anymore, unless they wait until the scrubs are starving to death in the winter and begging to do it. I saw a lot of that this year.

The clientel IS shrinking quickly. It is becoming time to adapt, adjust and overcome. I'm just not sure how. But I do know it involves trying to stay busy without being forced to compete with the scrubs, unless I want to end up broke and unhappily working my butt off.

crzymow
04-10-2005, 08:40 AM
well if that is how it is and how u feel, maybe you should look into other business ventures