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View Full Version : Who Would You Hire?


MMLawn
08-17-2005, 09:02 PM
It seems that most members on here deal in mostly residential. If one of these members wants to expand their client base lets look at our business from the clients prospective for a minute to see it from their side.

Lets say John and Jane Doe both upperly mobile 30ish executives have just purchased a new home in a trendy subdivison and decided to hire out their lawn mowing. As John and Jane who would you hire, A, B, or C and why, (so that you won't say I don't cut lawns for less than $XX, just assume that the price of A is the going rate for LCO's in this area and then the others are revelant to that price).


A) Professional, Licensed, Bonded and Insured Uniformed LCO, using marked company trucks and professional grade commercial equipment whose quote was $39.50 a week

B) Some guy who just showed up in the neighborhood driving his personal vehicle with limited and old homeowner equipment, no mention of insurance or licensing, no uniform or anything close to it, but quoted you $32.00 a week

C) The friendly and nice, but also uninsured and unlicensed neighbor kid who quoted you $27.00 a week

splatz100
08-17-2005, 09:08 PM
Why does it matter for us, mostly people in the COMMERCIAL LAWN MOWING are going to hope they choose A. Maybe find a homeowner type forum for lawn care(ex: how to do fertilizer, mower maintenance, etc..), I know I've seen one. Of course some are going to choose B and C. You will also soon find rich people hire the cheap and middle class hire the true LCO's.

DLCS
08-17-2005, 09:11 PM
A....biggest reason is he insured. I wouldn't want to pay for any damamges caused by his negligence. I know it doesn't happen often but damages like broken windows or heaven forbid he would hurt someone with a flying rock or something. Other reasons would be reliability, lots of the "moonlighters" here don't cut on a scheduled day, to me thats kind of important. Proffesional grade equipment often shows comitment, meaning I would not have to look for another lawn service next year or when you decide that you want out. Once a substantial investment is made most work hard to make their business grow and become successful.

Precision
08-17-2005, 09:14 PM
Are the couple indebted up to their eyeballs to look like they are upwardly mobile but really work as wal-mart greeters in another town? If so C

If the couple wants a show place for their new money and realizes like their new mercedes, the yard will need some upkeep from a skilled professional. Then A

If they are losers who don't value you their lawn. Then C

If they are just cheap. Then B or C

Brianslawn
08-17-2005, 09:15 PM
D. the homeless guy on the off ramp that uses my old push mower in exchange for a cold beer

bobbygedd
08-17-2005, 09:29 PM
i'd hire b, or c. there ARE alot of people who will hire a, but, not enough to keep a in business. the days of "a" are over. learn to adapt, or learn how to scoop dog crap, on my payroll

Scapegoat
08-17-2005, 09:36 PM
I'd call for more estimates.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-17-2005, 09:46 PM
The smart person would hire A as I would. However, in my area the answer for 90% would be C. Dont care about license or insurance just want "cheap".

dvmcmrhp52
08-17-2005, 09:49 PM
The truth is that most do go for "A"..........we hear a lot of stories about the rest but the majority are thinking individuals.

Rayray
08-17-2005, 09:55 PM
Sometimes I think that customers dont want the large upscale companies, the ones with the shiny new trucks and mowers, polo shirts that are soo clean, it makes u wonder how these guys can do work and not ruin their clothes,,

I feel that a lot of my customers just want their grass cut,,thats it,, for the best price, they dont want to hire the most respected lco for fear that they are too expensive,,or too complicated, or maybe they dont feel that their lawn is worth that much,,

More offen then not customers are just lookin for a nice, simple, small company that can treat them with one on one personal service.

A lot of times, when i am giving estimates, customers ask me if I personally will be cutting their grass, how can I assure them that my crew will treat their lawn as if they owned it?

bobbygedd
08-17-2005, 09:59 PM
btw, it's the salesman that makes the difference. i would bet my last 2 beers, that i can pull up in a rickshaw, wearing cut off shorts and a tank top, smoking a 9 inch cuban cigar, and sell more work than you, in your mercedes pick up, pulling an enclosed trailer with flickering lights. i can charm the pants off a nunn. that, my boy, is what sells

dvmcmrhp52
08-17-2005, 10:05 PM
More offen then not customers are just lookin for a nice, simple, small company that can treat them with one on one personal service.



You get a gold star.
This IS what they're looking for so this is what they need to believe will happen. It's called customer service.It works.

Scotts' Yard Care
08-17-2005, 11:13 PM
the kid who quoted 27.00 would be laughed off the place unless it was an acre lawn. The other two guys would have the door slammed in their face.
Charge those kind of prices and the homeowner simply does it himself or has a high school kid run the homeowner's mower for a few bucks. A few years ago one of the huge landscapers in our area quoted 17.50 as a starting price for any lawn including postage stamp size. He's now in a bidding war mainly for large commercial properties and the competing services are holding his profits to a minimum. You guys who have too much to do should be very thankful and I wish we had that problem.

MMLawn
08-17-2005, 11:20 PM
the kid who quoted 27.00 would be laughed off the place unless it was an acre lawn. The other two guys would have the door slammed in their face.
Charge those kind of prices and the homeowner simply does it himself or has a high school kid run the homeowner's mower for a few bucks. A few years ago one of the huge landscapers in our area quoted 17.50 as a starting price for any lawn including postage stamp size. He's now in a bidding war mainly for large commercial properties and the competing services are holding his profits to a minimum. You guys who have too much to do should be very thankful and I wish we had that problem.

BUT, as I stated in this exercise the "quoted" price I gave is only a made up example and as I said for the sake of this exercise, it is the going rate for John and Jane's area.

MMLawn
08-17-2005, 11:22 PM
btw, it's the salesman that makes the difference. i would bet my last 2 beers, that i can pull up in a rickshaw, wearing cut off shorts and a tank top, smoking a 9 inch cuban cigar, and sell more work than you, in your mercedes pick up, pulling an enclosed trailer with flickering lights. i can charm the pants off a nunn. that, my boy, is what sells


Ah, but correct me if I am wrong Robert, but Nuns wear dresses not pants.....

Brianslawn
08-17-2005, 11:27 PM
the kid who quoted 27.00 would be laughed off the place unless it was an acre lawn. The other two guys would have the door slammed in their face.
Charge those kind of prices and the homeowner simply does it himself or has a high school kid run the homeowner's mower for a few bucks. A few years ago one of the huge landscapers in our area quoted 17.50 as a starting price for any lawn including postage stamp size. He's now in a bidding war mainly for large commercial properties and the competing services are holding his profits to a minimum. You guys who have too much to do should be very thankful and I wish we had that problem.

move here and help us. we uped our min. to $35. most are $40 or more. we raise prices every year and still have to turn down hundreds of yards a year. we just cant find anymore help. the guys that can handle the work all try to start their own biz. some make it, some dont. most people around here are stupid and lazy.

Scotts' Yard Care
08-17-2005, 11:30 PM
it is simply the cheapest price that gets the lawn around here. We figure what we can do a lawn for and make a reasonable profit and if the potential customer won't pay it we let someone else have the lawn. We simply won't work if it costs us money because the guys doing it cheaper probably have a working spouse or other source of income to supplement their lawn business.
No way can they buy their equipment, pay other expenses and turn a profit. At some point they'll eliminate themselves from the business through shear
lack of income because why do it if it costs them money?

Killswitch
08-17-2005, 11:32 PM
Dont hire that neighbor kid. I saw him flirting with Mrs Doe!

lol

Scotts' Yard Care
08-17-2005, 11:34 PM
I think I'll stay here but I appreciate the invite. :D I just need to figure out how to advertise and we're are picking up a few lawns along but we sure don't turn any away.

MMLawn
08-17-2005, 11:34 PM
it is simply the cheapest price that gets the lawn around here. We figure what we can do a lawn for and make a reasonable profit and if the potential customer won't pay it we let someone else have the lawn. We simply won't work if it costs us money because the guys doing it cheaper probably have a working spouse or other source of income to supplement their lawn business.
No way can they buy their equipment, pay other expenses and turn a profit. At some point they'll eliminate themselves from the business through shear
lack of income because why do it if it costs them money?

ah...your post contains a very strong point that is hidden in the exercise.

HOOLIE
08-17-2005, 11:53 PM
Could be A, B or C...for many people, a lawn service is a convenience, and somewhat of an impulse buy. If they just happen to have your flyer in hand on the day they feel impulsive, you get the account.

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-18-2005, 12:01 AM
Lets say John and Jane Doe both upperly mobile 30ish executives have just purchased a new home in a trendy subdivison and decided to hire out their lawn mowing. As John and Jane who would you hire, A, B, or C and why, (so that you won't say I don't cut lawns for less than $XX, just assume that the price of A is the going rate for LCO's in this area and then the others are revelant to that price).


This is kind of a loaded question. I think we are all a bit biased on this. And not in a united way.

moremowing4me
08-18-2005, 01:46 AM
D. the homeless guy on the off ramp that uses my old push mower in exchange for a cold beer

You use him too?!!! There really is a guy like this in one of the neighborhoods that I do some yards in. He uses a push mower and a weed eater that he borrows from one of the home owners down the street and just walks to each of the houses. I think that he lives in the next alley over from the neighborhood

Brianslawn
08-18-2005, 01:53 AM
they'd probably choose bobby gedd, cause his quality is better than every one else and his prices are lower than everyone else. plus he'd probably either have a local monopoly or everyone else would be working under him in his union or his pooper scooper operation... eliminating the competition and the possibility of the doe's calling someone else. while bobby is there mowing it fareway will be sitting across the street in his truck drinking a cold beer, yelling at bobby to blow the walk off differently so he isnt always blowing grass on their BBQ chicken!

Brianslawn
08-18-2005, 01:54 AM
You use him too?!!! There really is a guy like this in one of the neighborhoods that I do some yards in. He uses a push mower and a weed eater that he borrows from one of the home owners down the street and just walks to each of the houses. I think that he lives in the next alley over from the neighborhood

hahahahaha! :p

MOW ED
08-18-2005, 08:02 AM
Your question is a good one and your choices of A, B, or C are valid but not complete. While these three choices are options I would also have to include at least one more.
How about the professional LCO that has commercial equipment, insurance, pays taxes, has been in business in the neighborhood for 10+years, is a licensed pesticide applicator, has many references, and is making a profit. His rate is equal to or slightly higher than choice A. He does not have a wife that works outside the house other than to help him on the lawns but he does have another job however it does not "supplement" his lawn care business. What he does have that choice A does not is stability, security and which I believe is the biggest selling point, personal service. Choice A may look official and all that but most of them are using this job to get to somewhere else. Some are college kids some are 4Pm drunks, some are just not the kind of guy you want on your property. They have little to no buy in to the success of the company unless they are the owner and his crew which would be another choice not mentioned.

So while your question is a good one you have to understand that those aren't the only 3 choices in any area. It is evident that some people have a problem competing in a tight market and have problems with any competition. I get along well with my fellow operators, full time as well as "moonlighters". I do not get along with the beer money operators but they have found their niche.

The funny thing is that there is a customer for all of us and that same upwardly mobile couple can be found multiple times on every city block. Each one will pick a different choice to cut their lawn. There will also be many other people on those blocks who need their lawn cut, some may like me, some may like the kid next door, some want something else.

Each customer has their own set of requirements, each of us fits those requirements in different ways. I cannot mow every lawn in my town and do not want to. I mow for those who appreciate what I can offer at my price. The others are free to chose whoever else they feel good with.

willretire@40
08-18-2005, 08:47 AM
I dont understand why people just cant answer a simple question and stop reading in to it so much. You have to think like a homeowner in order to answer this question not like and LCO. I would pick B if i was a homeowner.
1) Always have been taught to get three bids and pick the one in the middle.
2) would not pick the kid b.c he proably will not be dependable but comes when he wants.
3) Homeowner doesnt think about a company having insurance b.c they think that nothing can go wrong b.c it is just cutting grass.
That is the way a homeowner would look at it IMO.

liquidforcedude7
08-18-2005, 08:58 AM
I can tell you that in my neighborhood people dont like option c (know from expierence) everybody in my either uses A or a mix or A and B(worn commercial equipment and an older unmarked truck).

PROCUT1
08-18-2005, 09:03 AM
btw, it's the salesman that makes the difference. i would bet my last 2 beers, that i can pull up in a rickshaw, wearing cut off shorts and a tank top, smoking a 9 inch cuban cigar, and sell more work than you, in your mercedes pick up, pulling an enclosed trailer with flickering lights. i can charm the pants off a nunn. that, my boy, is what sells




DING DING DING

Remsen1
08-18-2005, 09:30 AM
Upwardly mobile and could afford better service? "A" all the way, but that's just me. I want the best lawn on the block, if I have the money I'll pay double to get it.

Let's make the question more realistic though. Joe and Jane Doe are upwardly mobile but up to their eyeballs in debt playing "keep up with the jones's", spending $100 week to pump gas into their used, upside down, ford expedition to commute to work. They choose "c", moan about the price, opt for bi-weekly or less, then complain about how crappy the yard looks.

Tn Lawn Man
08-18-2005, 11:17 AM
People now want the service of option "A"

but the price of option "C"

arborist-28
08-18-2005, 11:36 AM
tn lawn man your exactly right ..and there are a few companys giving them that exactly ...c

DAZ982500
08-18-2005, 11:46 AM
I had a customer who I just lost,only had him for 2 months.I was talking to his sister in law and mentioned this to her.She was forthright to me and stated,"Oh George said your prices were to high",(30.00 dollars=20minutes at sight) I did'nt try to justify the cost.I asked her who picked the lawn up she said,one of the tenants was willing to do it with a push mower.She went on to say,"George is very well off...but he thinks people are always trying to take adantage of him".This sounds like a personal problem.Bottom line,he was willing to get rid of me to save maybe 15 bucks.People, in general in this area seem to be looking for cheap prices they don"t ask or care if you have insurance and that want you to perform work on there schedule .Not conducive for me great for b and c who dont have the above.DZ

jtrice11
08-18-2005, 12:59 PM
Hypothetical scnearios and questions are a waste of time. In fact I'm ashamed of myself for responding, but its raining here today and I have nothing to do.

Hypotheticals are like the old saying "if grandma had balls, she'd be grandpa!"

grassworks
08-18-2005, 01:37 PM
They Pick "b" ......... at first but end up with either "c" then eventually "a" or will go straight to "a"(the smart ones) when certain variables ultimately arrive.

Since lawncare is a luxory to a 30's mobile new homeowner ,most choose the middle choice beleiving they will save some money on this "optional "service and are being frugel.Your average new homeowner doesnt know or care much about your equipment....except that a rider used to be better than a push when they had to do it.

rough cut
08-18-2005, 05:21 PM
Most home owners would say "Shut up and mow it, here is your money, now leave!" Which ever LCO could get the job completed without bugging the owner would have the contract. Be one day late on a scheduled cut and they would be on your a$$ that night. The reason they are hiring out the lawn service in the first place is that they don't want to be bothered. Get in, get out and if they don't see you thats even better. THEY DON'T CARE!

MMLawn
08-18-2005, 08:08 PM
Would anybody consider A,B or C's stability and ability in making their pick?

Howard Roark
08-18-2005, 08:22 PM
D. the homeless guy on the off ramp that uses my old push mower in exchange for a cold beer


Hey don't knock this dude.....he passes out my postcards for me. :cool:

lawnworker
08-18-2005, 08:23 PM
i'd hire b, or c. there ARE alot of people who will hire a, but, not enough to keep a in business. the days of "a" are over. learn to adapt, or learn how to scoop dog crap, on my payroll

Bobby, Ha ha ,you bring a smile to my face

olderthandirt
08-18-2005, 09:08 PM
With the way you described the couple as upper middle class 30ish My answer would be A---Why ? those are the type that appearance means everything. The appearance of there home and the appearance of the LCO as it lead to the appearance that as a couple they have what it takes to be successful in life and want the world to know it

Jpocket
08-18-2005, 09:09 PM
Right On The Nose ! You Hit Itttttttttttttttt!