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View Full Version : Cutthroat Mowing


bmurrell
08-22-2005, 11:04 PM
Is it wrong to cut another LLC throat if you know there prices ?

dixiedemon
08-22-2005, 11:09 PM
absolutley not if they cast it out to the world what they get for a job and you think you can do it for a cheaper price and still make money go for it, remember bmurrell it is a dog eat dog world i think i got u the flemingsburg pressure washing job and a few others

JB1
08-22-2005, 11:10 PM
Just remember what goes around, comes around.

bmurrell
08-22-2005, 11:14 PM
When did you find that out . When do they want that done ?

dixiedemon
08-22-2005, 11:18 PM
every one in this business has had someone else step on their toes once in awhile i have only been doing this for 7 years and knock on wood it has not happend yet but i dont tell anyone my prices you are right what goes around comes around bmurrell managment said it could be soon he said hudd will make wint#$@##! make the wash it

bmurrell
08-22-2005, 11:23 PM
next time you are there give them my new # you have been doing this for 7 year and never been stepped on or had your throat cut ?

Nathan 281
08-22-2005, 11:32 PM
Why lower the price

This guy could just be payup

If it costs him $5 to cut a lawn and it costs you $10 and you lower the price he just may come back and lower it again

I am going to get as much as i can and do a good job

QualityLawnCare4u
08-22-2005, 11:39 PM
I personally will NOT do it and I have thought about it many times this past year. I just dont feel good about it and before I become that kind of person will quit the biz. Im not going to lie though, I amost posted a thread awhile back that I was going to do that (out of anger/dispair) but changed my mind. I also feel what goes around comes around. I was going to go after the 2 big dogs here but got a bad feeling when I wrote up my add and decided to wait and glad I did.

daveintoledo
08-23-2005, 12:26 AM
i dont think you would ever understand... :dizzy:

topsites
08-23-2005, 12:46 AM
Why lower the price

This guy could just be payup
If it costs him $5 to cut a lawn and it costs you $10 and you lower the price he just may come back and lower it again
I am going to get as much as i can and do a good job

There are 2 rules in my business I learned over time not to break:
1) NEVER take another lco's work, not in any fashion or for any reason.
2) NEVER play the bidding game (ok except maybe commercial contracts where this is the name of the game).

Were I to find out someone's playing the bidding game with me, I got enough work and income where I can easily do one or two yards for free and I mean FREE... I'm not stupid enough to do that even out of spite, nevertheless I could knock another 5 dollars off the price and then when the other lco outbids me again THEN they can have it, so now the other lco gets to do my 30-dollar yard for 20 dollars, 25 at best IF I don't play the stupid game and even if they get 25, why not just let it go and keep that slot on your schedule open because once that slot is occupied, I found out you will MISS the good paying folks because while the phonecall for the real money comes in is while you're out cutting the low-ball yard and you may not believe me but the resentment from having been there lingers on to this day.

But it isn't always the lco's fault. Yes there are customers who play us out against each other and it has been my experience THOSE customers are almost always real pitas who expect (and want) a LOT for next to nothing. Never assume this kind of customer will appreciate the good rate you gave them, after all they are playing dirty and if they're willing to do that then as far as I'm concerned, I gotta go because there is NO guarantee they will not play me dirty as well and I speak from experience on that last note.

Last but not least, one of my favorite things to do is read other flyers I find from time to time. Every once in a while I find one that is obviously a low-baller deal (such as one that says 'Will beat any estimate by 10%') so I put that flyer in my pocket and then when I get a low-balling customer, I give them a dirt-cheap written estimate and tell them to call THIS guy as I hand them both the estimate AND the flyer. Then there is always the exception where THAT guy will refuse to do the work and they call me BACK (hehehe) and this is where I understand I am under NO obligation to go do the work because you see, the bidding game works both ways - In my business, highest-paying jobs ALWAYS get priority One when it comes down to this so IF I got time AFTER I finish all the higher bidders AND my regular customers are taken care of THEN I'll consider doing that low-ball job which usually means I do NOT get it done and it also means some low-baller lco will end up doing it OR they do it themselves OR it never gets done.

So as you see ANY of us can play dirty too, and this is why I no longer resort to these bidding / low-balling games because what goes around DOES come around. Nowadays they can either afford my rates or they can't and that cuts out all the bs and there is no reason to play dirty no more. Once I stopped playing these silly games I found life got easier and the pay got better as a SLEW of these folk stopped wasting my time and are now evidently playing the game with someone else and that's just dandy as well.

topsites
08-23-2005, 01:04 AM
I personally will NOT do it and I have thought about it many times this past year. I just dont feel good about it and before I become that kind of person will quit the biz. Im not going to lie though, I amost posted a thread awhile back that I was going to do that (out of anger/dispair) but changed my mind. I also feel what goes around comes around. I was going to go after the 2 big dogs here but got a bad feeling when I wrote up my add and decided to wait and glad I did.

I think you did the right thing by following your hunch and I also think you're a fine gentleman for doing what you did and furthermore think you will eventually succeed so long you keep doing what you just did.

It's one thing to be tempted to do it, lord knows I've not only been tempted but I've done worse and fallen for the temptation (this particular temptation is called GREED) and if you read the bible it tells you that greed is a bad thing and you should resist the temptation... Something which I learned, whoever wrote that book knew a few things that come in right handy in this crazy life.

You are correct, what goes around ALWAYS comes around... Took me many years to figure this one out and it cost me a LOT of aggravation (not to mention money and other seemingly unrelated problems) so no matter how you look at it, there is always a price to pay and this price isn't always in the form of money nor is it always a VISIBLE or tangible price, but pay it we do when we do wrong, that is a fact.

Has something to do with this power that's greater than ourselves, not sure if it's a god thing or a devil thing or how exactly it works because it is all a bit of a mystery to me but work it does.

Whether low-balling is inherently wrong that I can not say for sure, but to take another lco's work is not a good thing to do, that much I learned the hard way.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-23-2005, 02:30 AM
I think you did the right thing by following your hunch and I also think you're a fine gentleman for doing what you did and furthermore think you will eventually succeed so long you keep doing what you just did.

It's one thing to be tempted to do it, lord knows I've not only been tempted but I've done worse and fallen for the temptation (this particular temptation is called GREED) and if you read the bible it tells you that greed is a bad thing and you should resist the temptation... Something which I learned, whoever wrote that book knew a few things that come in right handy in this crazy life.

You are correct, what goes around ALWAYS comes around... Took me many years to figure this one out and it cost me a LOT of aggravation (not to mention money and other seemingly unrelated problems) so no matter how you look at it, there is always a price to pay and this price isn't always in the form of money nor is it always a VISIBLE or tangible price, but pay it we do when we do wrong, that is a fact.

Has something to do with this power that's greater than ourselves, not sure if it's a god thing or a devil thing or how exactly it works because it is all a bit of a mystery to me but work it does.

Whether low-balling is inherently wrong that I can not say for sure, but to take another lco's work is not a good thing to do, that much I learned the hard way.

Thanks Topsite, I have had a lot took from me but I still am going to maintain a higher standard than them. We have ones who think nothing about watching you leave a clients then pull up and offer (without knowing your price) to beat it. Have lost several like this, but I will not do it! I feel like at some point in time my attitude will pay off. Maybe not now, maybe not in the lawn biz, but at some point in time.

sheshovel
08-23-2005, 03:16 AM
Now the Idea that one LCO can't take anothers work is absurd,
If the 1st LCO is not doing quality work,is cutting corners and he is not making his customer happy and if he is overcharging them and if his customer is looking to get a decent price with good work too than that work is up for grabs.
There ARE those out there who DO overcharge and DON'T do the quality of work they should for that charge.In my opinion,that guy is looking to have his work taken by someone better than he is at what he does.
Simple as that.

topsites
08-23-2005, 03:35 AM
Now the Idea that one LCO can't take anothers work is absurd,
If the 1st LCO is not doing quality work,is cutting corners and he is not making his customer happy and if he is overcharging them and if his customer is looking to get a decent price with good work too than that work is up for grabs.
There ARE those out there who DO overcharge and DON'T do the quality of work they should for that charge.In my opinion,that guy is looking to have his work taken by someone better than he is at what he does.
Simple as that.

In my case it has to do with the odds and my experience has been that once I try something a few times and MORE often than not it does NOT work for me, then I do not try it anymore, regardless. Conversely if something works for me MOST of the time, then I always do that.
No doubt there are exceptions but since I can't tell upfront which apple is good or bad then I base my decision on what my past experience has been with the particular situation.

The ONLY way I will do it is if the other lco moved away or retired or for some other reason is no longer doing lawncare.

Oldtimer
08-23-2005, 08:10 AM
Just wait until the Amigos go out on their own.

You won't be concerned about taking another LCO's work but you will be really concerned about keeping the customers you have.

Oldtimer

geogunn
08-23-2005, 12:43 PM
Is it wrong to cut another LLC throat if you know there prices ?

no...if you are not concerned about getting your tail whipped.

GEO

Killswitch
08-23-2005, 01:06 PM
I dont get it. Several people here claim to never take any work from the competition when given the opportunity? Im not talking about hacking your price to steal an account but for cripes sakes you make me feel like a scrub for offering a better package and services wooing someone my way.

Thats called competition and doing business man.

Its like Coke saying they wouldnt steal any Pepsi drinkers given the chance.

Its a constant battle to get and retain clients, and granted the prices and so called services are all askew but I dont feel bad at all for earning a client as long as Im not acting a fool pricewise to aquire it from another crew.

Is there some line somewhere of people that have never had a lawn care service but want one that you guys get clients from?

How the hell do you grow a company without selling to consumers that already have a proven track record of consuming what you're selling?

*shrugs*

Ramairfreak98ss
08-23-2005, 01:37 PM
topsites said it best. for all here, I am a small company, myself and my brother helps on occasion. I once cut a lawn that took about 25 minutes with a 21" propelled mower, before i got my larger equiptment. I cut this lawn many times. The neighbor happend to come out, his lawn was the same size and ask how much i would charge to cut it. Knowing i get $35 for the lawn i was cutting i just told him $30 to get his work. The BIG lawn care company across the street pulls up AFTER i was there, since i can only go so fast with my 21" mower at the time lol, they had a 24' enclosed trailer, forget their name, two 60" Zero turns, two 48" walk behinds, a Ford f350 4 door truck with looked like a boss and 4-5 mexicans or of that descent. They did the lawn across the road in 10 -15 minutes, had tons of guys all over, the owner must have seen me talking to the guy next door. so before i was done my lawn, he went across the street to talk to the guy who has already told me to cut his lawn next, the big lawn company says for $20 theyll cut his lawn. lol. I go back to the guy when hes all done and hes like yeah theyre just going to cut it for $20 now. Im thinking yeah, theyll stop after a couple weeks because its too cheap. I wouldnt cut a 1/4 acre or 3/8th acre for $20 no matter if someone GAVE me all my equiptment, especially PAYING 5 men to work with you. What a Sh1thole company that was, i think it was like B&B and havnt seen them around lately but i cut mostly after my day job.

I wouldnt bother doing the lawn for $15 to get it though, its wasting my time and im there to do a professional business transaction. I deal with high end customers for computer consulting and IT related transactions so i treat my lawn customers as highly as i treat customers spending thousands for networks and computers and consulting.



killswitch, i partially agree, im agreeing that you can get business that way. but some companys see you cutting lawns and purposely "attack" your customers for a better price knowing they HAVE a lawn service.

daveintoledo
08-23-2005, 02:01 PM
i never said i wouldnt take a job, i said i wouldnt cut the throat of my compeditor.... open bidding is a fair process. but i wouldnt knock on a door, knowing the price of the other guy to under bid him by 5 dollars....

if someone calls me for a quote its fair game if they are unhappy with there current service

DBL
08-23-2005, 03:10 PM
I agree with daveintoledo. Business is business and everyone works with their own prices so if they can live off of undercutting someone else then it might work or they wont last long.

sheshovel
08-23-2005, 03:32 PM
What I am talking about is topsites rule of
"Not taking another LCO's work ,not in any fashion ,for any reason".
That's just plain screwing yourself with that kind of self- imposed rule.Oldtimer is the one who said it best really.Be very concerned about how you take care of your jobs,because even if YOU won't take others work,Smart business owners will.This is America what do you think everybody is doing in this country every day they work?
They are working to keep happy and keep the clients they have so they are not drawn to other companys and they are working to draw clients away from other companys by doing a better job for a better price than their competition.That's business.

And what Killswitch said too where's this line you guys think your gonna get these new fresh customers that have never had a service?

None of us are talking about undercutting or just going low just to get the work and not make a profit.

WarEagleCRL
08-24-2005, 01:47 AM
i agree with killswitch and sheshovel. i have been called to come and give several bids where the lawn looks like crap. they tell me where the last company screwed up and sometimes tell me the price they were paying. Most of the time i go higher because it was obviosly underbid (equalling a crappy job) but sometimes i'll say yeah i can do it for that. I got my best comm. prop. that way. The property manager called me, told me the current company sucks, this is why, this is what weve been paying. I took it for the same price, i dont cut any corners, and with 3 or 4 guys (incl. me) make over $50/hr on this property per person. i'd do that again any day.

topsites
08-24-2005, 02:01 AM
Ok, it is one thing IF the other LCO is no longer working there, yes I don't mind taking over such a yard SOMETIMES and sorry I got carried away thinking about taking over someone else's CURRENT account. Still I watch it, IF the complaints are neverending, that in and of itself could be sign of trouble. Not ALL Lco's are that bad, MOST are pretty good or at least they try hard so when someone starts bad-mouthing their last lco, it may be time to think about it some more.

I do take over such jobs where an lco messed up. One such case the yard was dieing but the customer wasn't really complaining other than one time they happened to mention they thought the last company messed it up when they applied a chemical treatment. This is one account I still have today, but I've taken over several where there was something to do about the last lco and most of them I serviced a few times and then it was over. Guess it's just another way of saying nobody is perfect so if the last lco couldn't hack it then there are no guarantees I can, either.

In another case a lady was going On and on about past lco's and went on to tell me the LAST one came in AFTER she called him because she HAD to have her grass cut and he took his ZTR and tore the f*k out of her yard leaving ruts everywhere which took 2-3 YEARS to heal... Now this one I didn't take, any Lco with a ztr came in and did something like that there is a good chance he did it out of spite because he done got pissed off one too many times at this customer thus it COULD be the customer is a real pita.
And on this one, I was right. I watched as she hired lco after lco and was glad every time it wasn't me.
As a sidenote, I thought that lco was kinda dumb for doing that with the ztr... After all, he could've just stayed home and saved fuel and labor while he PROMISES to come out immediately and does nothing and ignores ALL her future phonecalls, instead of taking out his anger on her yard.

So ok, it's not always wrong but you do gotta watch it.