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View Full Version : A type of union for the Green industry?


nobagger
04-10-2005, 09:10 PM
Was just posting a reply about free estimates and it got me thinking. Like I said in my reply was I would be glad to join a "union" or some type of association that leveled the playing field for everyone. With very simple and minor regulations like, a lawn between 7k to 12k sq ft. must be charged between say $20.00 to $27.00. etc. And we are just talking lawns, no landscaping, JUST MOWING. I really think something like this would have to make us more professional and weed out the scrubs and lowballers. I know this would be a long shot to say the least, but ya never know. payup

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 09:12 PM
That's called price fixing and it's illegal. The FTC would be all over you.

packerbacker
04-10-2005, 09:13 PM
That and the fact that who says the customers will agree to those prices? Unions suck anyway. I dont need some clown telling me what I need to charge people. Its none of their business.

DLCS
04-10-2005, 09:15 PM
That's called price fixing and it's illegal. The FTC would be all over you.


I'm not saying it would work but body shops, most service garages here all have a set hourly rate that is the same. I know all the body shops here belong to a oraganization to keep hourly rates the same.

DLCS
04-10-2005, 09:20 PM
I read somewhere that Illinois is going to start regulating the lawn and landscaping industry. Basically to make sure companies are licensed, insured, and paying taxes. The state of Illinois is now realizing this industry is getting out of hand and the government isn't getting their fair share of tax money from part-time companies. I'm all for it, i'll gladly pay for some extra licensing or what not.

packerbacker
04-10-2005, 09:21 PM
I read somewhere that Illinois is going to start regulating the lawn and landscaping industry. Basically to make sure companies are licensed, insured, and paying taxes. The state of Illinois is now realizing this industry is getting out of hand and the government isn't getting their fair share of tax money from part-time companies. I'm all for it, i'll gladly pay for some extra licensing or what not.




Damn bears fans :)

Im all for it also. There needs to be some sort of control but the industry is so big I cant see the government wasting time.

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-10-2005, 09:22 PM
I'd go for regulation of the industry as long as they don't over regulate it.

packerbacker
04-10-2005, 09:24 PM
I'd go for regulation of the industry as long as they don't over regulate it.




Thats why the government should do it and NOT a union.

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-10-2005, 09:25 PM
Thats why the government should do it and NOT a union.


My vote is in lol. Unions honestly stifle the economy, productivity and I could go on. I think with mandatory licensing, insurance, taxes and a crack down on the guys that don't have it would weed out the scrubs and ppl who shouldn't be in the industry and probably raise the going rate as well.

nobagger
04-10-2005, 09:27 PM
That's called price fixing and it's illegal. The FTC would be all over you.
Now this is just a question, not a smart a$$ remark. But if you gave a large enough margin then how can the price be fixed?
Body shops and mechanics all across the world use a Mitchell labor guide book and they quote you the hours it will take to repair your car. If thats not price fixing, I don't know what is. And the best/worst part is if they quote you 5hrs and they get it done in 3hrs, guess what? you still pay for 5hrs.

DLCS
04-10-2005, 09:28 PM
From what I hear, not only does the state of Illinois want to regulate the green industry but also construction companies too. Everytime a factory closes here, the first thing people do is get into the green industry or go into carpentry. Illinois government is seeing this as lost tax dollars cause alot of these guys don't pay taxes and some still collect unemployment benefits too. This sort of thing has to stop, level the playing field so we all play by the same rules.

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 09:28 PM
I suppose you could get around it by calling them "price guidelines" but you'd still have a bunch of unlicensed hairballs out there doing it for less.

Maybe the dozens or landscape industry associations already in existence could spend a little more time on how to get the illegal operator out of the industry. Now THAT would level the playing field.

I use to belong to the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals. The monthly meetings consist of a cash bar, a poorly prepared meal and a speaker on some sort. The last speaker was a rep from Wells Fargo on how I could increase my business by selling landscaping services financed through his bank at a whopping 24% interest with an additional fee, paid by me, based on the total landscaping price. So not only would I need to sell my services but theirs as well. Additionally, not only were they NOT going to compensate me for selling their services but they were going to charge me for selling them. I sat there slack-jawed and stunned then rolled my eyes and politely walked out after the meeting. I've never gone to another meeting since. How does crap like this help me as a LCO?

DLCS
04-10-2005, 09:31 PM
Now this is just a question, not a smart a$$ remark. But if you gave a large enough margin then how can the price be fixed?
Body shops and mechanics all across the world use a Mitchell labor guide book and they quote you the hours it will take to repair your car. If thats not price fixing, I don't know what is. And the best/worst part is if they quote you 5hrs and they get it done in 3hrs, guess what? you still pay for 5hrs.

Also, don't forget the gas stations do the same thing. We only have one station in our city that goes 2 cents lower per gallon and all the rest stay exactly the same price per gallon.

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 09:32 PM
Now this is just a question, not a smart a$$ remark. But if you gave a large enough margin then how can the price be fixed?
Body shops and mechanics all across the world use a Mitchell labor guide book and they quote you the hours it will take to repair your car. If thats not price fixing, I don't know what is. And the best/worst part is if they quote you 5hrs and they get it done in 3hrs, guess what? you still pay for 5hrs.

I see what you are saying but the guide is only for the amount of time it will take to perform the repair. This number merely serves as a multiplier for the shop rate.

If you and I get together and you are charging $40 bucks per cut and I only charge $35 per cut but I realize I can make more money per cut so I raise my price to match yours, that's not price fixing. But if an industry as a whole gets together and says this is what we are going to charge and not one penny less, that's price fixing.

rob1325
04-10-2005, 09:38 PM
I also think there should be price fixing. My uncle owns a liquor store and the state tells him at what minimum he can sell products at. If he sells below that price he can get his license taken away. Also, other industries do it also as others stated.

nobagger
04-10-2005, 09:38 PM
I suppose you could get around it by calling them "price guidelines" but you'd still have a bunch of unlicensed hairballs out there doing it for less.

Maybe the dozens or landscape industry associations already in existence could spend a little more time on how to get the illegal operator out of the industry. Now THAT would level the playing field.

I use to belong to the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals. The monthly meetings consist of a cash bar, a poorly prepared meal and a speaker on some sort. The last speaker was a rep from Wells Fargo on how I could increase my business by selling landscaping services financed through his bank at a whopping 24% interest with an additional fee, paid by me, based on the total landscaping price. So not only would I need to sell my services but theirs as well. Additionally, not only were they NOT going to compensate me for selling their services but they were going to charge me for selling them. I sat there slack-jawed and stunned then rolled my eyes and politely walked out after the meeting. I've never gone to another meeting since. How does crap like this help me as a LCO?
DK, I was approached via phone from a co. offering MC. Visa etc. but it would cost me 6% per transaction, what a bunch of B/S. But getting back to the thread, There are far too many threads and posts about prices and I would say that 75% are legit concerns. Something needs to be done.

If the lowballers only knew its going to hurt them shortly too.

packerbacker
04-10-2005, 09:42 PM
I also think there should be price fixing. My uncle owns a liquor store and the state tells him at what minimum he can sell products at. If he sells below that price he can get his license taken away. Also, other industries do it also as others stated.




Its not going to happen in the lawn industry, like i explained before, if there is some sort of price regulating then who is to say the customers will agree to the prices? Hell, they could all tell us to go F ourselves and go out and buy mowers and start doing it themselves.

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 09:49 PM
DK, I was approached via phone from a co. offering MC. Visa etc. but it would cost me 6% per transaction, what a bunch of B/S. But getting back to the thread, There are far too many threads and posts about prices and I would say that 75% are legit concerns. Something needs to be done.

If the lowballers only knew its going to hurt them shortly too.

Nobagger - I understand where you are going with this and I think we agree. The only difference is you threw the term "union" out there and that just freaks people out. I think by "union" you meant something more like an association and these already exist. My only point is that these associations (in the green industry anyhow ) don't really seem to serve any other purpose but an excuse to get liquored up, eat some bad food and have some industry rep show me how to use a chainsaw. Now, if the associations already in existence actually lobbied for regulation, that may serve a purpose but everybody in this business just seems to want government to leave them alone regardless if some regulation may help or not.

Here in Washington, the building industry association is one of the largest and most powerful lobbying groups. If the building industry wants it, they usually get it. I understand that the green industry isn't anywhere as large as the building industry but why can't we have some representation as well?

Hell, it's probably my fault. Maybe I should start my own association - THEN THINGS WOULD CHANGE!!! payup

GrassBustersLawn
04-10-2005, 09:51 PM
DKIESLA said "That's called price fixing and it's illegal. The FTC would be all over you."

WHAT IS IT CALLED FOR GAS STATIONS? Talk about "price fixing"! They ALL go UP and Down in PRICE the SAME AMOUNT at the SAME TIME, almost to the minute!! So if the GOVERNMENT isn't concerned enough to do anything about the MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR GASOLINE COMPANIES, why would they mess with some mom/pop & small business LCO'S???????

Personally, I think it is HIGH TIME to get "ASSOCIATIONS" (not unions) together. Members pay a small fee to belong. Set "pricing guidelines" for their AREA. Maybe even "share" clients or set up "exclusive territories" like many businessess do. Should also be able to get members deals on equipment, etc. with "SELECT" dealers.

Does the GOVT wants to waste alot of time monkeying with small operations? I don't think so. Hell, they couldn't even get anything done to MicroSoft when they went after them.

Mike

nobagger
04-10-2005, 09:51 PM
Its not going to happen in the lawn industry, like i explained before, if there is some sort of price regulating then who is to say the customers will agree to the prices? Hell, they could all tell us to go F ourselves and go out and buy mowers and start doing it themselves.
Well at least we would know where we stand. I would much rather try to please the "paying" customers (one's that would somewhat know the price) then haggle with a customer that had her neighbor's kid doing it for the last 2 years at $10.00 a shot. But I think there is an easy resolution, I think everone should have to be licensed in the application of treatments. This way if you go through this much hassle everyone will know your serious about this business and charge accordingly.

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 09:54 PM
DKIESLA said "That's called price fixing and it's illegal. The FTC would be all over you."

WHAT IS IT CALLED FOR GAS STATIONS? Talk about "price fixing"! They ALL go UP and Down in PRICE the SAME AMOUNT at the SAME TIME, almost to the minute!! So if the GOVERNMENT isn't concerned enough to do anything about the MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR GASOLINE COMPANIES, why would they mess with some mom/pop & small business LCO'S???????

Personally, I think it is HIGH TIME to get "ASSOCIATIONS" (not unions) together. Members pay a small fee to belong. Set "pricing guidelines" for their AREA. Maybe even "share" clients or set up "exclusive territories" like many businessess do. Should also be able to get members deals on equipment, etc. with "SELECT" dealers.

Does the GOVT wants to waste alot of time monkeying with small operations? I don't think so. Hell, they couldn't even get anything done to MicroSoft when they went after them.

Mike

Gas stations post their prices for everyone to see. Do you?

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-10-2005, 09:56 PM
DKIESLA said "That's called price fixing and it's illegal. The FTC would be all over you."

WHAT IS IT CALLED FOR GAS STATIONS? Talk about "price fixing"! They ALL go UP and Down in PRICE the SAME AMOUNT at the SAME TIME, almost to the minute!! So if the GOVERNMENT isn't concerned enough to do anything about the MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR GASOLINE COMPANIES, why would they mess with some mom/pop & small business LCO'S???????

Personally, I think it is HIGH TIME to get "ASSOCIATIONS" (not unions) together. Members pay a small fee to belong. Set "pricing guidelines" for their AREA. Maybe even "share" clients or set up "exclusive territories" like many businessess do. Should also be able to get members deals on equipment, etc. with "SELECT" dealers.

Does the GOVT wants to waste alot of time monkeying with small operations? I don't think so. Hell, they couldn't even get anything done to MicroSoft when they went after them.

Mike

We just had an investigation into this and the Government said they found no colusion between gas companies. Mind you the government takes more tax when the price goes up. Like said in the previous post, prices are posted on the sign, one gas station may go up before the other but the second one doesn't have to go up if it doesn't want to.

nobagger
04-10-2005, 09:56 PM
Nobagger - I understand where you are going with this and I think we agree. The only difference is you threw the term "union" out there and that just freaks people out. I think by "union" you meant something more like an association and these already exist. My only point is that these associations (in the green industry anyhow ) don't really seem to serve any other purpose but an excuse to get liquored up, eat some bad food and have some industry rep show me how to use a chainsaw. Now, if the associations already in existence actually lobbied for regulation, that may serve a purpose but everybody in this business just seems to want government to leave them alone regardless if some regulation may help or not.

Here in Washington, the building industry association is one of the largest and most powerful lobbying groups. If the building industry wants it, they usually get it. I understand that the green industry isn't anywhere as large as the building industry but why can't we have some representation as well?

Hell, it's probably my fault. Maybe I should start my own association - THEN THINGS WOULD CHANGE!!! payup
DK yeah I didn't mean a "union union" hell I belong to one and they are usless, but yes an association of some type.

packerbacker
04-10-2005, 09:58 PM
Well at least we would know where we stand. I would much rather try to please the "paying" customers (one's that would somewhat know the price) then haggle with a customer that had her neighbor's kid doing it for the last 2 years at $10.00 a shot. But I think there is an easy resolution, I think everone should have to be licensed in the application of treatments. This way if you go through this much hassle everyone will know your serious about this business and charge accordingly.






As far as I knew everyone already does. Do some states not require it?

nobagger
04-10-2005, 10:02 PM
As far as I knew everyone already does. Do some states not require it?
Yes Packer, but I meant become licensed for treatments to even run a mower of any size on someone elses lawn.

DLCS
04-10-2005, 10:06 PM
We just had an investigation into this and the Government said they found no colusion between gas companies. Mind you the government takes more tax when the price goes up. Like said in the previous post, prices are posted on the sign, one gas station may go up before the other but the second one doesn't have to go up if it doesn't want to.


See thats not how it is here, one goes up they all go up except Wal Mart. Wal Mart is always .02 below every other station and you bet the other stations complain about Wal Mart. Wal Mart isn't keeping up with the local petroleum association blah blah. The other day we had 2 gas stations that were on the same street both run out of gas and deisel fuel(at the same time, yeh right), guess what all the other staions in the area did, you guessed it, raised the prices .10 a gallon.

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 10:15 PM
It's kinda funny - here in WA you have to pass a test and be licensed with the state to cut hair but anyone can run around someone else's property with all kinds of potentially dangerous lawn equipment and no one seems to care.

GrassBustersLawn
04-10-2005, 10:19 PM
dkgiesla said "Gas stations post their prices for everyone to see. Do you?"

What the h@ll does that have to do with anything? Just makes it EASIER for all the gas stations to keep their prices the SAME!

You can't tell me that ALL gas companies have EXACTLY the same overhead/expenses. Some get their gas from foreign sources, ship it THOUSANDS OF MILES across ocean on a boat AND COINCIDENTALLY it is the EXACT SAME PRICE as the companies that use domestic production???

PLEASE. Get real!

Mike

out4now
04-10-2005, 10:25 PM
See thats not how it is here, one goes up they all go up except Wal Mart. Wal Mart is always .02 below every other station and you bet the other stations complain about Wal Mart. Wal Mart isn't keeping up with the local petroleum association blah blah. The other day we had 2 gas stations that were on the same street both run out of gas and deisel fuel(at the same time, yeh right), guess what all the other staions in the area did, you guessed it, raised the prices .10 a gallon.
What you've explained is the simple rules of supply and demand. If they can get it and people are dumb enough to pay it then so be it. We have a gas station charging $2.46 for reg. up the street and down a block the other direction they're charging $2.29. Refineries are part of the problem with gas as is OPEC. A cartel that does meet to set production limits and is thereby controlling the price of fuel. Americans won't buy more fuel efficeint cars and there are more cars on the road everyday, so demand has gone up and supply is not increasing, thus higher prices. Even if you start an association there are too many ways for peole to get in against you.How can you possibly expect to police it? Wouldn't be cost effective to try and regulate it.

crawdad
04-10-2005, 10:26 PM
Thats why the government should do it and NOT a union.

Arrrrrrg! No! What are you saying?? The only thing that could be worse than unions would be more government BS.


I'd go for regulation of the industry as long as they don't over regulate it.

Define "over regulate". Ask 10 people, get 15 answers. NO.
No unions either, because then , we'd have to change the scrub posts to "scabs", and the customers would hire the scabs because they're cheaper (no union dues, etc).
Crawdad

dkeisala
04-10-2005, 10:29 PM
dkgiesla said "Gas stations post their prices for everyone to see. Do you?"

What the h@ll does that have to do with anything? Just makes it EASIER for all the gas stations to keep their prices the SAME!

You can't tell me that ALL gas companies have EXACTLY the same overhead/expenses. Some get their gas from foreign sources, ship it THOUSANDS OF MILES across ocean on a boat AND COINCIDENTALLY it is the EXACT SAME PRICE as the companies that use domestic production???

PLEASE. Get real!

Mike

Just down the street from my house are two gas stations right across the street from the other, a Chevron and an Arco. Right now, Chevron is selling their gas for $2.41 per gallon for regular and Arco is selling their regular for $2.33 per gallon. Arco is ALWAYS 8 to 11 cents cheaper than Chevron. Is that price fixing?

GrassBustersLawn
04-10-2005, 10:47 PM
NO. That ONE SPECIFIC CASE is not price fixing. Sounds like ARCO is a LOWBALLER!

But seriously, you pulled one exception out the bag. But the RULE is that they are all the same price or within a penny. I've many times seen the people at stations across the street from each other changing the sign at the SAME TIME.

Sounds like you want to ARGUE about this. But I think MOST WILL AGREE that it is like I have experienced it here!

Mike

Fareway Lawncare
04-10-2005, 10:48 PM
You Kids and Your Unions....Its a Free For All in the Green Industry...Only the Strong Survive...Unions are For Girls.

SunSwept
04-10-2005, 10:54 PM
Hmmm ....

This thread is going in some of the strangest places so I thought that I might jump in.

Unions -- are for employees and I am not an employee and hope to never be one again. So much for unions.

Government Regulations -- they already meddle too much according to some of you and me too. Business Licenses, liability insurance requirements, taxes, applicator licenses. And someone out there wants MORE government meddling? No thank you.

Price Fixing ... hmm, seems to me that we got off the path ... the term is Anti-trust. When companies get together and plan their prices then it is part of the anti-trust laws but then, maybe "price fixing" does come in at that point somewhere. Airlines follow each others prices but they don't plan it in advance. One changes prices and watches what the other airlines do.

Body shops and Mechanics DO use a standards books and it tells them how much TIME something should take. The individual shops set their own hourly rates. We already have something like that. Seems as though I have found (in several places on the net) estimates of the number of hours it should take to do so much land with a deck that is x-inches wide and running at y-miles per hour. YOU set your own hourly rate.

For those of you paying attention to my posts, you know that I don't understand the whiners. I just can not imagine the board of directors of, say, Microsoft, whining about some of the smaller companies eating into their revenues. ("Oh, we should get laws passed that require them to sell THEIR software at high prices".) Not gonna happen.

If you are a true business man then you know about costs, revenues, sales, budgets, projections and COMPETITION from all angles and you factor that in. When you know that someone is operating at lower prices, stop whining and see what you can do to cut costs.

A little hint. If you are operating on a 10% margin then you will have to increase sales by $1000 in order to see an increase in profit of $100. If you cut costs by $100 the you see and increase in profits of $100. If you can't figure out what that means then maybe you should become an employee again and join the union.

packerbacker
04-10-2005, 11:05 PM
Arrrrrrg! No! What are you saying?? The only thing that could be worse than unions would be more government BS.










Yeah but thats better then some mafia run union collecting dues for work they never do and telling us all how to run our companies.

rob1325
04-11-2005, 08:56 PM
Its not going to happen in the lawn industry, like i explained before, if there is some sort of price regulating then who is to say the customers will agree to the prices? Hell, they could all tell us to go F ourselves and go out and buy mowers and start doing it themselves.


I agree it will not happen. Just saying it would be nice.

crawdad
04-11-2005, 09:14 PM
Yeah but thats better then some mafia run union collecting dues for work they never do and telling us all how to run our companies.
That sounds a lot like what the government does.
Crawdad

EC-Rider
04-11-2005, 09:37 PM
Was just posting a reply about free estimates and it got me thinking. Like I said in my reply was I would be glad to join a "union" or some type of association that leveled the playing field for everyone. With very simple and minor regulations like, a lawn between 7k to 12k sq ft. must be charged between say $20.00 to $27.00. etc. And we are just talking lawns, no landscaping, JUST MOWING. I really think something like this would have to make us more professional and weed out the scrubs and lowballers. I know this would be a long shot to say the least, but ya never know. payup

Funny but I thought about the same thing on that thread. LOL! :dizzy:

Ok let me explain…we need legislation that REQUIRES all persons cutting grass for a fee to be licensed, bonded and to carry insurance…or be subject to a fine imprisonment or both! Ouch! LOL! :cry:

Sorry but this IS a needed incentive. LOL! payup

This will keep the scrubs out, the local counties and the IRS will get their dues, and improve our standard of living, and the consumer will get the same protection of a knowledgeable professional he gets from a plumber or electrician. :angel:

Moreover, it’s going to take some partnering of a well established and politically connected institution who will have a vested interest…hmm!

That sounds like the insurance industry would fit that bill! ;)

Ok folks lets put this site (LS) to work, start by writing to you congrassman, and make a difference.

PS
Oops, sorry about the spelling error…congrassman…but you’ve got to admit, it might fit the bill! LOL!


It’s all good! Enjoy! Peace! :angel:

Regards,

EC-Rider :waving::

dvmcmrhp52
04-11-2005, 09:41 PM
I'm not saying it would work but body shops, most service garages here all have a set hourly rate that is the same. I know all the body shops here belong to a oraganization to keep hourly rates the same.




It's not an organization that keeps their rates the same, It's the insurance companies.
The insurance industry regulates their prices and if the shops don't go along they go out of business.
Price fixing as well.......should be illegal.

lawnman_scott
04-11-2005, 09:44 PM
Thats why the government should do it and NOT a union.
What other industries are asking for more government regulation?

dvmcmrhp52
04-11-2005, 09:44 PM
I'd go for regulation of the industry as long as they don't over regulate it.


And when is the last time the Government knew when to STOP regulating?

crawdad
04-11-2005, 09:48 PM
Funny but I thought about the same thing on that thread. LOL! :dizzy:

Ok let me explain…we need legislation that REQUIRES all persons cutting grass for a fee to be licensed, bonded and to carry insurance…or be subject to a fine imprisonment or both! Ouch! LOL! :cry:

Sorry but this IS a needed incentive. LOL! payup

This will keep the scrubs out, the local counties and the IRS will get their dues, and improve our standard of living, and the consumer will get the same protection of a knowledgeable professional he gets from a plumber or electrician. :angel:

Moreover, it’s going to take some partnering of a well established and politically connected institution who will have a vested interest…hmm!

That sounds like the insurance industry would fit that bill! ;)

Ok folks lets put this site (LS) to work, start by writing to you congrassman, and make a difference.

PS
Oops, sorry about the spelling error…congrassman…but you’ve got to admit, it might fit the bill! LOL!


It’s all good! Enjoy! Peace! :angel:

Regards,

EC-Rider :waving::

If there's anyone in the whole wide world that I trust less than the gov and the mafia, it'd have to be the insurance companies. The mafia is looking better all the time. Out of the three, they would be the most trustworthy.
Crawdad

nobagger
04-12-2005, 09:24 PM
Hmmm ....

This thread is going in some of the strangest places so I thought that I might jump in.

Unions -- are for employees and I am not an employee and hope to never be one again. So much for unions.

Government Regulations -- they already meddle too much according to some of you and me too. Business Licenses, liability insurance requirements, taxes, applicator licenses. And someone out there wants MORE government meddling? No thank you.

Price Fixing ... hmm, seems to me that we got off the path ... the term is Anti-trust. When companies get together and plan their prices then it is part of the anti-trust laws but then, maybe "price fixing" does come in at that point somewhere. Airlines follow each others prices but they don't plan it in advance. One changes prices and watches what the other airlines do.

Body shops and Mechanics DO use a standards books and it tells them how much TIME something should take. The individual shops set their own hourly rates. We already have something like that. Seems as though I have found (in several places on the net) estimates of the number of hours it should take to do so much land with a deck that is x-inches wide and running at y-miles per hour. YOU set your own hourly rate.

For those of you paying attention to my posts, you know that I don't understand the whiners. I just can not imagine the board of directors of, say, Microsoft, whining about some of the smaller companies eating into their revenues. ("Oh, we should get laws passed that require them to sell THEIR software at high prices".) Not gonna happen.

If you are a true business man then you know about costs, revenues, sales, budgets, projections and COMPETITION from all angles and you factor that in. When you know that someone is operating at lower prices, stop whining and see what you can do to cut costs.

A little hint. If you are operating on a 10% margin then you will have to increase sales by $1000 in order to see an increase in profit of $100. If you cut costs by $100 the you see and increase in profits of $100. If you can't figure out what that means then maybe you should become an employee again and join the union.
SunSwept, If you would have read all of the posts you would have seen that I didn't mean a "union" persay, but an association of some type. Further more a whole 46 posts and you come off as some type of authority figure. ;)
Everone is entitled to their own opinions but to start throwing out names like "whiner" etc. I think is uncalled for! I think there should be some type of license or something that you would need to aquire before you mow any lawns period! Plumers, Electritions need a license, why not us? All I'm saying is if we needed that it would weed out, I think a lot of "fly-by-night" so called LCC's. I'm sure you or anybody would be ticked off if you loose a few bids to lowballers with no insurance, doesn't pay taxes etc. I would be too.
I picked up a lawn this year that the homeowner said the guy stopped showing up in July. Well great for me this year but he was only charging $16.00 for a lawn that is at least 3/4 of an acre! It just ticks me off that I have to bid against people like this every day! I just think evey legit company would benefit from something like this.