View Full Version : Stabbed by a so called friend!
03-02-2001, 08:29 PM
Well it finally happened.
Last summer I helped a guy out.........a lot! I gave him some yards that I was having trouble getting to, I gave him bush hogging work, I paid him to help me several times and guess what..............he stole a yard from me today!
Steal might be a little strong, but he took one at any rate.
It's been my philosophy to help those starting out, I never got any help, so I figured it would be a good gesture. One of my oldest customers called just now to tell me March would be my final month, he was going to change. I asked why and he said he saw a guy mowing across the street and like his work, but he never had a complaint with mine and even said so tonight. I asked him if he was going to get a cheaper rate, he said, why sure.. I then asked him who it was that was going to do it and he told me his name..........Wow, help a guy out and this is what you get in return. Needless to say I'm a little pissed about it because it was a yearly account, not a real good one, but just the same it was yearly. I'm not losing much, the yard was not in good shape so I really can't say I will miss it, the point is that I would have thought once the guy found out I was doing the yard he would have declined to take it under the circumstances, out of pure respect for all I did for him last summer. I showed him how to set people up on yearly agreements, gave him schedules, gave him copies of contracts to use and generally told him everything I knew.................to HELP THE SOB EAT!!!!!!!!!
I kindly declined to complete March and told the old geezer to let the new guy go ahead and start, I hope he never calls me back, the new guy has a personality that won't gel with the old geezer. I'm waiting for my so called buddy to call me, I don't think I need to call him.
I'm through helping people out, this one did me in. I'll give on here but not anyone in business around me. Tough shick I say, figure it out yourself, now I know what they mean when they say you train your competition.
03-02-2001, 09:02 PM
Homer=you created your own competition,why didnt you just give him your route sheet with prices while you were at it?You were way to nice to him,gave him what might have took you years to learn without help.Remember-what comes around goes around-you will get something better than now-every time I had that happen-I got better account in no time,and ended up glad that it was taken.
Remember the saying, nice guys finish last?
03-02-2001, 09:11 PM
Hang in there Hommer
I still believe there is a balance in life.
Next week you mit pass him along the side of the road in deep need of help when you suddenly notice your foots unable to work the brake pedal. It may even be that you land a large account next week and needed the room in your schedule.
Then you have the last laugh.
[Edited by ron barnes on 03-03-2001 at 02:19 AM]
03-02-2001, 09:13 PM
Something about seniors more than anyone else. They seem to forget the simple thing they learned along time ago. You get what you pay for. People who work cheap and cheat their friends will sooner or later screw everyone else. A elderly customer of mine hired one of those fly by nite painters(low baller). He got money up front from the old gizmo and then didnt come back for a month and then did a couple of hours of work and then wanted more money. None was given this time and he hasnt been back to finish the job. Probably the same type of guy you talking about Homer. But there are sucker customers all over the place and they never learn. Seniors are the most gulible thinking they can get something for nothing and wanting to believe because they are penny pinching(not talking about the truly indigent). But fools come in all ages.
03-02-2001, 09:26 PM
I would not divulge your pricing, yet helpful hints and horticultural practices would be alright.
People need to learn some cooth.
03-02-2001, 09:37 PM
Homer, maybe he doesn't know that this is one of your customers. Just a thought. If he did know this was one of yours, I would be rather upset as well just because of how nice you were to him.
03-02-2001, 09:48 PM
Sorry that happened, Homer. That dude was wrong to pull that s#*! You're an upfront guy and pure rookies like me FULLY appreciate everything men like you have to say. Thank you. I don't blame you for how you feel. I'd feel the same way,shoot, I'd feel worse.....Let's take the ole Dodge one ton and do a yard job! Sorry, it was just a thought.
03-02-2001, 10:05 PM
He DID know I was doing it, that.s the problem. I would not do that to a guy that has helped me, it.s not in me to screw people like that. Maybe thats why I failed that millionare quiz..............I ain.t got what it takes, not ruthless enough............heck, look how I dress........would a guy dressed like that screw people over?
03-02-2001, 10:29 PM
The first thing that comes to mind is, "What comes around, goes around". Things like this have a history of evening things out eventually. Either you will pick up a more lucrative account to replace this one or he will suffer problems because he sh*t on you. Maybe both scenario's. Do not lose sleep over it. Keep on motivatin and doing your thing. You tried to help out a person and it bit you in the arse. Such is life. El Cheapo customers are more problems in the long haul than there worth. He may have unknowingly done you a favor. In 3 months you won't even remember or care.
03-02-2001, 10:45 PM
HOMER--you are too nice a guy to be jaded by this. hang in there and make sure the guy really meant to break it off in a friend before you give up being a southern gentleman and helping those that look like they need it.
03-02-2001, 10:48 PM
I had a similar situation last year. A guy in my area just out of high school had his half-crazy grandmother call me. She was looking for info on how her grandson should go about starting his own lawn biz. She was very nice, however not very bright. I took a bit of pity and told her step by step what he would need to do while she took notes.
One thing I did not count on: his grandfather bankrolling the whole thing. This kid started out last year with ALL NEW equipment as follows: One new ford dually 350 series(white) a new walker mower(ghs collection system) a 16 ft tandam axle trailer with the jungle jims racks. Stihl backpacks and shindaiwa 2-cycle equipment.
Now the bastard is visiting some of my customers trying to take them. Talk about a thankless little turd! I have helped my last SOB, I can tell you that! The real kicker is that this boy still lives at home! No bills, no responsibilities, while grandpa foots the bills. Is the old man a dumbass, or what?
03-02-2001, 11:08 PM
Go gas the lawn =) j/k. I could never bring myself to do such a thing =(.
03-02-2001, 11:15 PM
Since you have brought it up I just thought I would throw my .02 in here. This whole debate about uniforms has gone just a tad too far to yer head Buddy Row.
In the words of the infamous ChurchLady:
Well now, isnt that special. And whats the root of this evil?? Can you say S-A-T-A-N!
03-02-2001, 11:19 PM
Now I'm confrused!
Get me scrate would ya
I'm not down with that, need better 411
03-02-2001, 11:20 PM
Sorry to hear about that Homer, You got the shaft. I had a guy approach me today I used to work with and he asked if I could talk to him this weekend about him starting a p/t lawn service. I've done told him "yeah sure" but I am having second thoughts about helping him out.
03-02-2001, 11:30 PM
Second thought are safe thoughts. I have been working with another guy so far this year, gave him work that I didn't want, let him lay some sod for me. I wonder now if it's really a good thing to be doing.
Don't get me wrong, I love you guys (Ilove you man), but ya'll are no threat cause as far as I know you aint coming down here to bother me! Midsouth, who taught you, how did you get started? I know how I did....without any help. You guys learning from Lawnsite really ought to appreciate what your getting, I know you do, but without it you would be faced with a hard row to hoe. Other guys would look at you and snub their noses, I tried to be helpful but like Midsouth, I may re-asses my kind hearted attitude.
To be honest Homer there is still need at times for the direct approach.You dont have to whippem just let him know for SURE that it aint going to fly and he can expect the same thing every time.He sounds pretty sorry.That kind dont
have much inside.I hate to see you become less than what you are because this man knows no better.Dont mean to get in ya buisiness
03-02-2001, 11:45 PM
I read where you said that he knew you had the contract. Even back when I was dating in high school this rule applied. It was an unspoken rule between friends. If I wanted to ask a girl out that one of my friends had just dated, I would still ask him if it was OK. That's just plain RESPECT. He didn't ask you so I see that he has no respect for you. Some people are takers. You are a giver. Stay a giver. Forget about him totaly. Go get a big contract. When you see his sorry ass bagging you food at the market - don't tip him!
[Edited by khouse on 03-03-2001 at 04:58 AM]
03-02-2001, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by HOMER
He DID know I was doing it, that.s the problem.
Kenny, Homer did mention that unfortunately in this particular case the plaintiff was well aware whom was cutting the grass across the street. HIS FRIEND.
Thats the main reason why Homer is so disgusted by this whole situation.
03-02-2001, 11:52 PM
I always tell other lawn guys about this site...Haven't seen any of them post here yet, but I figure that is about as good of help as they need.
When I bought my Walker it was another lmo that told me where to find the great deal. From then on I refused to bid against them. Sounds to me like slow joe may have some serious lessons to learn.
One thing I know. Life works in circles you will interact with him again. Maybe next time a little misleading/misdirected info could help to settle the score.
He probably hasn't had to think for himself. You did it for him. Encourage him to buy 4 new Walkers and two trucks to pull them with. Tell him he'll be amazed at the results!
That way you get to pick up the Walkers after the note comes due and his business is flushed.
03-03-2001, 12:20 AM
homer, from the sounds of it, you had a unspoken alliance with this guy and he broke it. i would steal as many lawns off him to teach him a lesson. you are bigger than him, so squash him.
03-03-2001, 12:31 AM
Is not the way to handle this. That is the mentality that has started this thread to begin with. Homer is in a position to outdue his advesary -yes this is true.
However if Homer wants to get his clients he should be patient. By keeping an eye on this gentlemans clients, and then as this LCO begins to fall by the wayside because he cannot afford to continue doing business at his current prices; then Homer can begin to solicite them before they pick up the phone to go elsewhere anyhow.
Its kind of like the joke about the old bull and the young bull at the top of the hill. If Homer is willing to be patient, he will in the end wind up with the lions share.
Just my .03
03-03-2001, 12:55 AM
Homer, the Homer in the photo in your signature line looks a little more pissed today than usual!
Sorry to hear about that, write it off and move on, no gas, no Round-Up bombs, or retalitation. Let them live with it, life's too short and more business will come.
03-03-2001, 12:55 AM
Every dog has his day! RUFF RUFF.
I'm not a very vindictive(sp?) person so I probably won't retaliate. I was doing some figuring though and turns out I gave him:
2 $40.00 yds
1 $35.00 yd
1 $50.00 yd
All were seasonal but on a good year he could get 24-26 cuts out of each one.
I referred calls to him that I couldn't get to, can.t remember how many...........several
1/2 the money on a Church 3 times ($90.00 each time)
Turned him on to a practically brand new set of Stihl hedge trimmers, a guy was selling and I was too embarrasses to tell him what I wanted to give him. I called him to let him know that some thihgs were available and to go check them out, my guy goes in and buys the thing for $48.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could have cried! All he did was clean the tank and carb and presto, he had a perfect set of trimmers........a $400.00 set. Had I not told him he still wouldn't have them, he would want to borrow mine.............uh uh, not gonna happen.
Lets see, I gave him a bush hogging job, I think he made over $100.00
He helped us a couple of times with the schools and I gave him $150.00 each day he helped. May not sound like much but he didn't have a dang thing to do, that was $150.00 he wouldn't have had otherwise! And even then all he wanted to do was mow! Didn't want to help trim or edge....but he did!!!!!!!!!
I think I was more than generous, I didn.t sell these accounts, I gave them away. I didn't get anything from the referrals or the bush-hog work either. Like I said, I did him right, I won't dwell on this long, just had to get it off my chest. I have started doing this for another guy but may put a stop to it now, matter of fact he.s supposed to be doing some bush hog work for me, but we.re splittin it this time! He still hasn.t done it so I.m left to explain why it hasn.t been done. Should have been done over a week ago. Anybody got a bush hog, come on down.
03-03-2001, 12:56 AM
Homer....you know the saying!!! What goes around..ALWAYS comes around. If you can be patient (put the baseball bat back in the closet), wait for your opportunity (it will come - this guy takes shortcuts) and you will get a chance for pay back.
PS. Thanks for not throwing in the towel on providing info and suggestions that are extremely helpful to us newbies. We are all lucky to have Lawnsite and guys like yourself to guide us through the learning experience. I hope you can take some satisfaction from that.
PSS. Do you by chance have this guys email address or phone # or something like that. Just kidding...6 inches of snow on the ground and I am kinda bored.
[Edited by Pooners on 03-03-2001 at 06:02 AM]
03-03-2001, 01:01 AM
No e-mail but you better believe I got his number!
Funny thing is he doesn.t even have insurance, should have told my old geezer, tight-wad, half blind, EX customer that. Won't matter till a pinecone comes flying through his window.............you know, one of them hard green ones!
Thats one of them sinister sounding laughs. :D
03-03-2001, 01:07 AM
I feel for ya Homer. I have a friendship with another LC and we talked about it already cause one of his customers called me for a bid. I did not and would not even bid it. instead i told him so he could get with them and see what the problem was. But i would be peeeved if that happened to me.
The toes you step on today might be attached to the arse you have to kiss tomorrow
03-03-2001, 03:07 AM
Just wait it out Homer. Its only a matter of time until something will happen and you will get the last laugh.
Quiet plotting from the sidelines is great relief. :cool:
03-03-2001, 06:37 AM
you need to pay this guy a visit and at least
tell him he has done you dirty. he may be
thinking your fair game since he hasn't heard
from you. stop it now and get in his face. It
sounds like this is not your nature but just put
on a good show and make this guy think twice
next time. PROTECT YOUR TURF GO POSTAL
I had a simular sit. about 4 yrs. ago and had to
set the mo-fo straight. Now everyone signs a
03-03-2001, 08:11 AM
No insurance?No wonder he's cheaper than you-Leave a little note on the code enforcers desk,if you want revenge.I would confront him first-,demand an explanation as to why he took your accounts after what you dont for him.tell him you no longer have respect for him and that you will squash him like a bug.LOL
The worst thing he can do to you is make you
not be open and a stand up guy.You can get other accts
There aint but one you.
03-03-2001, 09:33 AM
If Family or Friends don't stick it to ya Who Will? This is why we call them Family & Friends!
In most cases they Stick it to ya a 100 times Quicker than a Complete Stranger would! It's their Moral Obligation! Strangers are scared to Stick it to ya Because they do not know ya Like Family & Friends do! :-)
A Complete Stranger has more Respect for ya than that. Besides LOL, A Complete Stranger has Family & Friends that they can Stick it TOO also! So why would they gamble & Fool with you to Start With?
Homer I'm very sorry this happened to you, but I promise you that no matter what you will get it back 10 fold. The Big Guy upstairs keeps track of all this & he will make it right! Time takes care of all.
I can't tell you how many people I have helped get in the business & when they have learned enough from me, I never see them again. I help them with contracts, write them, show them how to figure a bid, go on the job & etc... At least here on the Internet I get a thank you about 1 out of a Hundred times! :-)
Live right & in the long run you get treated right! I still help them anyway & when I haven't seen them for a year or so & then I accidentially run in to them. Well they know I helped them they just to proud to admit it, but if I see their family with them it makes me feel good knowing I helped them & that's what it's all about!
03-03-2001, 10:52 AM
I rectum your right Grassmaster!
It ain.t no big deal anyway, if it had been a few hundred a month I would have shot him and been done with it, but for the amount and the lawn.............I rectum I'll get over it. Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord, sometimes it gets pretty interesting seeing how HE takes care of things. I figure this will be interesting as well!
03-03-2001, 09:00 PM
What comes around goes around.
The guy i wrote about last year that was stealing lawns from me, His new house that just got completed in El Salavador cracked in half in the earthquakes down there!
Doesn't make me happy, but man he must have screwed alot of people to deserve that.
03-03-2001, 09:27 PM
Hey Homer, I'm sorry to hear what has happened, I would say that that what this so-called friend did will come back at him. You may never know it, but I bet his mower will blow up or his engine in his truck blow up. He is a cold individual to do you like that. Homer, you just keep the faith and move forward. I bet you will replace that customer with 3-5 more and Homer these new customers will pay you more.
How can this idividual look at himself in the mirror is beyound me.
IN the end we all get what we deserve and not always what we want and I believe a man with good intent will always perviel, even when it does not seem like it at the moment.
Keep the Faith....
03-03-2001, 10:24 PM
When I first read this, Iwas PIZZED just like the rest of you! And then I started thinking abot the people that helped me out....
Once upon a time...
I went to a local, family owned/operated, nursery to buy a couple bales of pine straw. This place is full service LCO as well. They are well established and respected and I needed some straw.
I was REAL GREEN and too intimidated to do much more than look at the floor. I just didnt want to git run outta dere. I thought I was their comp! LOLOLOL!!!
Two minutes later, I was perfectly at ease. They turned out to be good, genuine people. I never even thought of asking for their help. I was just glad to be able to shop there. But they have been more than taking care of me from that day on!
I know in my heart that I cant thank them enough! I would/could never pull a stunt even close to what was done to you HOMER!
I feel I have learned something from your story. I have always felt like asking them if there was ever anything I could do for them......But I too easily excused it off with overwhelming feelings of inadequacy!! The same ones that almost kept me from talking that first day.
Monday, I'm going there with humble thanks!
I just want you to know that something good has already come from your experience.
Thanks for sharing!
[Edited by Island Lawn on 03-04-2001 at 03:27 AM]
03-03-2001, 11:53 PM
well, u certainly did get shafted, nothing worse than someone u know, and have helped, doing u wrong.its a dog eat dog world, and we are all wearing milkbone shorts. sorry to hear about that. anyway, i find this sight EXTREMELY HELPFUL, and since i heard about it, ive been here every day, thev only trhing i cant seem to understand is: we all know this is a very competative business, and u guys talk about scabs and fly by nighters, well part of the reason they r fly by nighters is cus they dont know what the heck they r doing! anyone can start a lawn biz, but making it succesfull before u go hungry is a different story. so, why then does everyone here teach their competition what it has taken them years to learn, and the hard way? just a thought. BOB
03-04-2001, 06:40 AM
Well I have struggled with an answer for your why question. I guess my answer would have to be that I thought it might be a good idea since the other guys in town werent offering any help to the newbies that maybe I would break tradition and help this one out. I thought by doing this I would develop an allie, not an enemy. I was hoping that in the event I needed some help one day I could say hey ........buddy.......I sure could use a hand. I wasnt looking for a puppet on a string that I could jerk around, just somebody that would be there in case maybe the BIG ONE came along and I needed a comrade. I was willing to share the wealth so to speak, but after a while we realized that his objectives and ours were totally different. He was a little more content with where he was at than we were, I didn.t and don.t want to JUST GET BY, I don.t want to struggle every month because I would rather have my free time, I understand that it takes hard work to get something in return. I was also trying to help them get to the point where they could afford health insurance that they didn.t have, liability insurance that he still doesn.t have. I think my wife is a little more cautious than I am because she has stated recently that it may not be the best thing to HELP everybody that comes along, she worries that one day...............somebody will turn on the hand that fed them............again, she was right!
Once we realized that this guy had a lazy bone we cut the ties gradually. There has been no ill feelings towards them and we never discussed our differences to the point of ridiculing them............not with then present anyway. We just felt that we better go our seperate ways if thats how they wanted to run their business. I called him once to tell him about the hedge trimmers and have called him since just to BS, other than that we really havent seen much of each other over the winter.
I havent been as open with the guy that I have been working with so far this year, and now I surely wont be. I asked him one day how much he thought he wanted to make in this business and he said if he could make $25,000.00 a year he would be happy! He really thought that was all he could do, I just kept my mouth shut. :D
Time to zip up and watch how much I offer others. I like to live by the Golden Rule...............I may apply it in other things and leave the business advice out from now on.
03-04-2001, 10:17 AM
We need to remember, everyone is not like that. Some of us newbies have respect for the established pros in our areas.
I agree with Kirbyslawn, this explains the expression on Homers face! :)
I'm not one to give advice, but I would happen to bump into him somewhere, and jokingly say "are you planning on getting any more of my customers?" , and watch his reaction. It is possible that you helped him to the point where he thinks you're strong enough to lose a few little fish. But that being the case, he should have talked to you about it first.
03-04-2001, 11:55 AM
its nice to show someone the basics and possibly make a living with a business but you have to know dont bite the hand that feeds you!!!!!!i think you will be fine without ol geezer but i understand that guy was a friend (i like your homer cartoon it feels like me somedays)
03-04-2001, 03:39 PM
i agree with u guys to a piont, i myself feel great about helping someone who needs help, but i am starting to realize its not practical!do u think mcdonalds went to the owner of burger king and told them how to take dog food, turn it into something tasty, and be their main competition? heck no. and they r always running specials trying to steal the others bussiness. i am always happy to share my knowledge with anyone who asks, as long as they r not within my service area. i busted my **s to learn what i know, and i will not teach a guy around the corner from me how to do what i do. if he wants to learn, he will have to struggle, sweat, and go through what i did. then, if he can take my customers, hes the better man. i may sound cold, but business is business. BOB
I've had it happen to me too, from so called friends. I've had customers run to other people for price and then call back within a month or two.
You will be getting that phone call too.
I would take the wait and see attitude and when that assho## comes a callin, you should give him the nice as hell guy attitude and then ask him in a very nice tone, "Did you happen to know that you took a very faithful customer from me?" Then watch his reaction when he is hit with the question.No matter the responce, just say, "oh ok" He will get the hint. Kill him with kindness. When the customer comes a callin you are going through a pricing restructure and have to raise your prices in order to meet your expenses and the price for doing business has gone up.
Hang in there buddy, we all may have had this happen to us once or twice in a lifetime and it really hurts to find your friends aren't really who you think they are when it comes to business.
03-04-2001, 05:52 PM
Don't sweat it Homer, You got a better one on the Horizon just keep your eyes open. I would mention something to the guy who took the contract. And oh yea, don't help anyone in the lawn biz for a while. Er exceopt on this board. LOL. Goes around comes around.It will all work out.
03-04-2001, 07:01 PM
Homer sorry to hear about this insident, I think I am about to end up in the same situation, with a couple of guys here, one has bid against me on the nursing homes I told you about. and I heard the other is bragging that he is going to put me out of business. Like you I have taught both of these two about the industry. The one that bid against me came over the other night, asking for some help, I had to just run him off before I lost my temper, and did something I would regret.
03-04-2001, 07:11 PM
In the town that I live in, all of the lco operate under an unwritten code of ethics...If you have a property, another company is not going to bother it unless the customer seeks bids...I've never went after anybody elses accounts unless I was approached...Well last year, a new guy started out and he wasn't getting any work..His father owns several stores and was bankrolling his operation...This was his second attempt in trying to start a lawn care company...He went around to several of my customers and told them that I did bad work and he could give them a better deal....Well my customers know that my work is above average and none of them left...This guy eventually bought out three other competitors in the area and he's still up to his old tricks..Well I finally got tired of it and I've put a bounty on all of his accounts...Any friend,relative, or employee of mine that gets me one of his accounts is paid a set percentage of what that account will generate...So far, I've picked up 3 large accounts...This guy just finally pushed me too far...His partner has left him and the partner told me that the guy will probably only last another year because he has so much overhead and has lost so many accounts due to shoddy work....So don't worry Homer...This guy will have to pay his dues....
03-04-2001, 09:08 PM
win there hearts and mind or burn there shack down
03-04-2001, 09:17 PM
Thay was cold Cleancut................but I like the shick out of it!
Ya, look at Homers eyes, does he look happy to you?
Would you be happy if you had to wear that dress?
03-04-2001, 09:54 PM
I think that each of us is like an art student. We have driven thru the neighborhoods of our communities, seen a magnificent landscape, worshiped a picture perfect pattern and acted on the desire to have a canvas of our own.
Each of us has a canvas. We call these canvases Our Lawns. Each time we unload a mower we operate it like a brush painting beautiful lines. Some are done with the precision of an architects triangle and others are as abstract as a first graders. Nonetheless, we are all painters.
I have been thinking about bridges I have burned, bridges I have crossed, and those I have avoided. We must not forget that we are and will continue to make mistakes in our lives. We must also not forget that there are many young and old students alike who will admire the paintings that we continue to create.
My thoughts to you all are this:
If we did believed in our hearts that the doors of experience and wisdom we have to share Large or Small, should be closed forever, that this forum would cease to exist.
We have not been burned for the last time, and many have yet to be burned. I feel that it is important to find the positive lesson in each of our experiences, and teach those worthy of the lessons so we all can create a masterpiece.
Just my nickle.
03-06-2001, 11:13 PM
Hey Homer, I would be thanking god you didn't tell him about Lawnsite.com!!!!!
03-07-2001, 07:47 AM
Homer: I certainly can understand your feelings - I could write a book on the folks who have knifed me in the back - but I refuse to allow it to make me bitter - instead - use it to your advantage..............Like I always say - "The bitter taste of poor quality long outlasts the sweet taste of a cheap price" - don't compromise your standards - and you'll never have to apologize for your price. Me thinks ye ole geezer will soon find his good deal is not a good deal after all.........and when he calls you back - up your rate and laugh on your way to the bank.
Hang in there !
03-18-2001, 10:51 AM
Homer i have a guy who is stealing 80% of one of my routes thats like 30 lawns. Dont feel too bad everyone has to do something to make it. My advice is stay away from the guy and dont help him and let him know that you are not helpful anymore. This is my advice from experience dealing with slime ball caracters.
03-18-2001, 11:22 AM
I had a large lawn care provider help me out when I got started. Then, the same guy took some yards from me at a lower price. When I confronted him about it, he laughed and told me don't take it personal, its just business. Welcome aboard. From then on, I found out it's dog eat dog and even though I might be the chihuahua, I pack a mean bite.
Ohio Valley Lawn Services
03-18-2001, 01:54 PM
i am very new to this site and luckily am not doing lawn mowing. however i do pose this one ? how did all u guys that have been in this awhile get started. i am sure there was someone there before u right. have u ever lowballed anyone when u first start3ed out. i have invested a lot of time and effort in this bussiness so far. two years of schooling cost 18000. and working for landscape companies that pay me 8 dollars an hour and make 30 off me and always expect more work. well i became sick of it and decided to do side work. maybe my prices are a little lower than people in my area but thats because i have less overhead older equipment and am a one man operation. maybe u charge to much because u spend to much on new equipment and other niceites. don't get me wrong i think u got srcewed and i would never do that to someone but u guys seem to forget to soon that u were once where we are now to and i am sure not every one of u did it alone be it your wife or family members helping u out.as the saying goes no man is an island everybody gets hgelp at one time or another.and just because were new does'nt mean we don't have as much to lose or invested. sorry it happened liked that homer u seem like a real nice guy just trying to bring back a reality check.
03-18-2001, 06:58 PM
first letme say i only read the first couple of posts so maybe this was already cover
there is a couple of owners in my area that i would call friends we give each other customers thst don't fit our routes or whatever. on more than one instance i would get calls that i give far prices and only after I get the job that i find out it was one of my friends accounts my point is if customer is looking they will find somebody to service them BTW most times my price was HIGHER then they were paying
also , we just do maintenance and recommend another company for installations . had one homeowner demand the other company take over whole account
03-18-2001, 09:15 PM
Steve 22, sure we all had to start out somehow, but even when I started, I used common sense...I tried to bid competively to get a job but I didn't try to cutthroat anybody in the process, especially people that had helped me out..I have nothing against people just starting out, just ignorant people just starting out...I hope you're not one of those people...Why not try to get as much as possible...Anyway, us professionals have to pay for such "niceties" like: liability insurance, workmans comp., taxes, and licenses..IF you have these "niceties", you'll understand why we charge the prices that we do...But, I would guess that u don't have any of these since you have such low overhead...Just my $.o2...Have a Wonderful Day...Derrick
03-18-2001, 09:32 PM
While we're on the subject of "niceties" I would just like to say that I drove junk for many years, I pulled my first trailer with a truck that constantly overheated, was under powered and wouldn't crank after it got hot!
If anybody in this business wants to drive around in junk then please feel free to do so.........and good luck. I have payed Uncle Sam dearly since I became self employed, I leased a new truck capable of leaving the city limits if the need arose hopeing to get a little bit of a tax break as well as being confident that it would crank when I needed to go to work.
I'll be damned if I'll make excuses for driving something nice! I work hard for the stuff and yes I know if I invested the money I would be richer when I was old so don't even go there.
I guess what I should do is hide every dime I get, go on welfare, collect my food stamps, keep driving junk, get free meals for my kids, get the free insurance for my kids through the state and in general act, look, and think like a bum ass scrub.
You want to live that way fine, I have a little more pride and if I have to apologize for wanting to live a better life and having a few more frickin' niceties than somebody else your gonna be waiting a helluva long time for it!
Keep drivin' your junk, if your jealous that somebody might have worked their ass off for what they have then grow up and do something about it................like raise your own prices!
Peace out...............or whatever it is them cool people say!
03-18-2001, 10:51 PM
homer, i'm saying what i did before crush this guy, i haven't tried it yet or did it but i will be damed if any guy tries to cut my throat, i'll take properties off another guy if he even tries to bid on account of mine. my customers tell me because they think its funny that he could do the job i do. and i don't lowball all my account are about $30 a cutting and takes me about 25 mins. a company last year last 4 lawns to me because of this and when i told the customer the price they wanted to pay me more because they knew they would get something better than him. squash him homer teach him a leason.
Fine Lines Lawn
03-18-2001, 11:07 PM
Sorry that happed to you Homer.
09-08-2001, 01:53 AM
I have helped others out and have always been worried about it happening to me. So far so good.
09-18-2001, 11:29 AM
I have a friend, or I guess I should say I did have a friend that was considering getting into the biz. He already had a hand full of residentials lined up, and I was planning on expanding my business into the commercial and industrial jobs. I lucked out and got a rather large apartment complex by chance and a few other small complex's totaling about $700 a week. Well anyways, I asked him if he would like to sub-contract and do some extra work, because I knew that the jobs I lined up for this year, would be hard to keep caught up without some help. Everything was going great, the complex's was looking good, and the money was nice. At the end of July, my wife had our first child, and I asked him to help out some more, and take care of a few of my yards until I was able to come back. I came back and started mowing like usual, then all of a sudden, I recieved an email from the manager saying that since my "friend" was mowing it anyways, they decided to let him finish the year out. Hmmmmmmmmmm Now, the bad thing is ( if that's not bad enough), I let him use MY shop to sharpen blades, change oil, and do all preventive maintenance on all of his equipment.
Whenever I got back to the shop and it dawned on me to check if his stuff was there, I noticed the poor sob, already took everything, so, what should I do, I know, Next year is going to be war, I will find everything that he does, and take over his business, you see, I taught him everything he knows about the biz, not everything I know, I did learn one lesson, this business is cut throat, whether in pricing, or friendship, there is no local lco that are what I call true friends because I realized everyone is in it for themselves, and they think that screwing up connections and screwing the people that helped them will get them where they want to be, and in the short term , yes, but this is one business you don't want too many enemies, and I will teach him that valuable lesson myself personally. Am I thinking too harsh, no, not at all. I can't wait till he starts getting loans for new equipment and I snatch as much as I can from him. So don't feel bad Homer, it happens to the best of us
09-18-2001, 03:58 PM
[turfguy33] I can't wait till he starts getting loans for new equipment and I snatch as much as I can from him.
:cool: GO GET EM TURFGUY, TEACH HIM A LESSON!!!!!!!!!!:cool:
HOMER GO GET HIM TOO!!!!!!!!!!!
09-19-2001, 03:42 PM
That's what I say GO GET 'EM! I'm looking at starting up my own business next year after I get out of college, and there is one other guy in town that I absolutely despise. I used to work for him, so I know his ins and outs. But, I know I will never stoop to the level of stealing his accounts. I wan't raised that way, and I probably won't change. Just go about your business, do an honest job, and it will pay off in the end.
B&H Mowing Service
09-19-2001, 05:38 PM
I go all out helping guys get started in this business (usually not to close to me). I wish I had a dollar for every idiot I have trained that turned around and tried to steal business from me. I think it just happens to everyone.
I think we are all better to act like it doesn't bother us. Besides every customer I have ever lost to a low baller was not worth the 50 cents I lost them over.
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