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View Full Version : lowest prices...garenteed


bobbygedd
10-03-2005, 06:08 PM
welp, i've had some time to regroup, think, analize, and do some figuring....the bottom line is, i can't exsist on someone elses time clock, i'm too rebelious. the hot dog stand is geared for a grand opening in march of 2006. the property has been leveled, with the exception of the kids swing set, in preparation for my produce grow + deliver service, set to be in full swing by the time the zuccinni are picked in 2006. and finally, my new and improved strategy for mowing. the add will go in mid february of 2006, i will target all residents within a 30 mile radius of my home, and it will read, " HOLY COW!!!! CHECK OUT OUR LOW LOW PRICES. WE BEAT THE COMPETITION BY 15%!!!!!" . it really isn't much, if they are mowing @ $27, i'll mow @ $23, no biggie, i'll have em lined up 5, 10, 15 in a row. yup, i'll lowball the living crap out of them all. i can play this game too. wanna give free leaf cleanups? wanna bag grass for free? wanna weed the beds 4 free, cus you're a sucker? wanna pay your help cash under the table? noooo problemo. i will have the lowest price of any legitimate lawn service here. this will be the offer: i'll beat any competitors mowing price, BUT, you sign up for full service, which is- scu/fcu/30 mows + ferts. you must give a one month deposit, and you must pay each and every bill on time, no exceptions. if, you are late on any bill, for any reason, your service is temporarilly cancelled that very day, with no notice, and will resume ONLY after you have paid your bill up to date, a $30 late fee, and the cost of each missed grasscut (if any occur) as the result of a delinquet payment. if you fail to bring your account up to date, within 30 days of your missed payment, your deposit will be kept, your service will be cancelled permenantly, and you will pay for the entire season, because when you signed on, you understood you reserved a seasonal spot on my schedule, but in order to keep that spot, you have to pay on time every month. i think it will work. any thoughts?

rodfather
10-03-2005, 06:17 PM
Thoughts? You're not JCP&L bobby...and no one is that irreplaceable, period. Good luck though

bobbygedd
10-03-2005, 06:19 PM
Thoughts? You're not JCP&L bobby...and no one is that irreplaceable, period. Good luck though
it's a trade off. if they want lower prices, they come with strings attached

Nosmo
10-03-2005, 06:22 PM
Have a good supplier for the hot dogs lined up you might be spending more time selling them than mowing.

Nosmo

rodfather
10-03-2005, 06:22 PM
it's a trade off. if they want lower prices, they come with strings attached

Those aren't strings my friend...they're chains.

cborden
10-03-2005, 06:45 PM
I think it's a pretty good idea. Business is business, the customer agreed to the stipulations to get the lower price, and they should be held to it. The customer knew they were reserving service for the whole season, and in my opinion, should be held financially responsible for it. I can't stand it when people try to back out of an agreement. payup

DLS1
10-03-2005, 07:12 PM
and it will read, " HOLY COW!!!! CHECK OUT OUR LOW LOW PRICES. WE BEAT THE COMPETITION BY 15%!!!!!" . it really isn't much, if they are mowing @ $27, i'll mow @ $23, no biggie, i'll have em lined up 5, 10, 15 in a row. yup, i'll lowball the living crap out of them all. i can play this game too.

What gives Bobby. Rodfather can pay a foreman $22.50 per hour and charge customers I think minimum $45 a yard and he lives a few miles from you. Why are you lowballing? Can't you get Rod's rates? Is your mowing empire on the wrong side of the NJ tracks?

Maybe Rod can teach you how to run a real lawn business? :D

bobbygedd
10-03-2005, 07:25 PM
What gives Bobby. Rodfather can pay a foreman $22.50 per hour and charge customers I think minimum $45 a yard and he lives a few miles from you. Why are you lowballing? Can't you get Rod's rates? Is your mowing empire on the wrong side of the NJ tracks?

Maybe Rod can teach you how to run a real lawn business? :D
thank you very much, but rod does not mow anything like what i mow, and i don't mow anything like he mows. i can make it to his house in less than 35 minutes, but the size of the lawns are like night and day. my properties are average 2, 3, 4-6k. the largest i've ever mowed, was 11,200 sq ft, the smallest he's ever mowed, was probably twice that size. seriously though, i know the wording "low prices" will attract rif raf, but it will also attract alot of attention in general. the leverage on working for "iffy" people, will be the tough contract. has anyone ever tried advertizing like this/ using the word "cheap", or "bargain" or "low prices"? the fact is fact, the day of the "do an impeccible job, and charge top $$$ " are gone, i believe this wholeheartedly. it's time to adapt, or find another line of work. adapting doesn't mean i need to save all my nickles, and don't spend any money, and eat rice and beans, just incase.to me, adapting means, finding another way, to arrive at the same destination. i believe the future is simply a lower level product (but one that's acceptible) at a cheaper price. i see companies here that were always "top of the line" , they gave an excellent product, at a top price. well guess what....they are hurting. so my question, has anyone advertized using key words like "cheap", "low prices"??? and what was the outcome?

RonB
10-03-2005, 08:34 PM
why wouldn't it work - sounds alot like justmowing.

DLS1
10-03-2005, 08:52 PM
why wouldn't it work - sounds alot like justmowing.


I don't think Bobby has the type of volume of small yards like Dallas area. Justmowit needed lots of volume mowing to make it work since he is making very little per yard. you also need several crews and cheap Mexican labor. All the pieces have to be their for a justmowit situation to work.

rodfather
10-03-2005, 09:04 PM
What gives Bobby. Rodfather can pay a foreman $22.50 per hour and charge customers I think minimum $45 a yard and he lives a few miles from you. Why are you lowballing? Can't you get Rod's rates? Is your mowing empire on the wrong side of the NJ tracks?

Maybe Rod can teach you how to run a real lawn business? :D

I will open-heartly admit...our markets are extreme opposites in their truest form. But, for dollar for dollar percentage wise, bobby's market will beat me again and again and again for the $$$ brought in per square foot...period. It never fails.

Now, with that said, there are alternatives to the market I serve that bobby would never fathom and would probably fall over if he ever set foot on one of my props. 1-10 acres of mowing, fert, aerating, and reseeding. Maybe as much as 100 yards of mulch on just one prop (I've done a quite few). Snow plowing of drivewways 1/4 to 1 mile long. You find your niche and go from there. You cannot be everything to everyone, so do what you can reasonably do well and work from there.

Yes, I pay my people well only cause my customers demand a ton from me and my people. You do the 25 dollar lawns and pay someone 8 or 9 dollars an hour or you do the 100+ dollar lawns and pay them 2 or 3 times that much...it is all relative in the big scheme of things IMO.

DLS1
10-03-2005, 10:38 PM
Now, with that said, there are alternatives to the market I serve that bobby would never fathom and would probably fall over if he ever set foot on one of my props. 1-10 acres of mowing, fert, aerating, and reseeding.

What kind of mower(s) and cutting width(s) are you using on those several acres properties?

musselman
10-04-2005, 12:51 AM
good luck, but why would anyone be stupid enough to sign a contract like that. I would rather pay the extra $60 a year than be tied to something like that. Most of the customers that are just looking for the lowest price know they can find it cheaper than your 15% cut if they look. It might work for you but ill stick with a solid base of cutomers that are willing to pay my price because the know Ill deliver quality work.

cookedonphonics
10-04-2005, 03:06 AM
it's a trade off. if they want lower prices, they come with strings attached

Reading this post is just bizzare... I was just talking to an old timer client today about the cost of oil to heat our homes this winter and he says to me, "I planned ahead and got locked in at my lower rate 6 months ago for this upcoming winter...blah blah blah" and I thought about this the rest of the afternoon and how I might be able to apply this marketing strategy to my biz, etc... Then I come on here and see Bobby's post...that's just weird. The concept is pretty much the same...

I'm still a little unsure, but I may try something like this for next spring just to see what kind of response I get. Hey... who knows... It's not going to hurt to run the ads right?

We've had terribly dry weather here too and I've struggled to make ends meet this season, but situations like this do force you to really think of ways to refine your business to make things better for yourself.

It's easy to take the money you make for granted during those times when you're so busy you can barely find time to get to the bank to make your deposits. :dizzy:

jeffex
10-04-2005, 05:43 AM
I think your basic idea is sound if you can handle the volume. Those chains you speak of will be the deal breaker. You need an option. Monthly pre-pays are my latest craze. The customer cuts me a check for the next month of cuts and I am in charge of when it needs cutting and I usually don't cash the check until after the second cut. I'm dependable and trustworthy so there is no fear. Even new customers who came to me on referral will pre pay!. the other plan I use is pay at the door. They tape a check to the storm door and I get it that day or the next. Once you take over a "hood" your economies of scale will kick in and save windshield time and trailer ramp time. Productivity for me peaks when My son and I cut multiple lawns together cause it seems like you cut one big lawn . Knock on neighbors doors and offer them a sweet deal for cutting because your already there. Once your established you can profit from the add ons that people don't equate to their cost of lawn service. In their minds it is the mowing cost they remember and use as comparison. If your $5 cheaper per cut at 25 cuts then get YOUR money back on everything else. Target their total expenditure for the YEAR with you. Just like home depot and wal-mart do with their loss leaders to lure you into the store

rodfather
10-04-2005, 05:53 AM
What kind of mower(s) and cutting width(s) are you using on those several acres properties?

A bunch of Ferris WB's (52 and 61 inch), more Ferris Z's (61 and 72 inch) and a couple of Toro 325D Groundsmasters (72 inch) 4 wheel drive out front mowers. We also have 2, 21 inch self-propelled Ariens that collectively get used I would guess 10 minutes each per week.

bobbygedd
10-04-2005, 07:48 AM
well, here's the thing. i have told you about my pork roll story? haven't i? ok, quickly, my friend eddie and i were going fishing, the sign in front of the deli said, "special pork roll and cheese 99cents." ok, this got our attention. we stopped, i ordered one, he ordered one. she said, "you want the special, or the regular one?" i took the special, he took the regular one. his was loaded w/porkroll and cheese, mine looked a pair of rics dirty underwear laying next to his bed (small, thin, brown, and stiff). i quickly objected, "wtf is this?" the chinese lady said, "this, is what u get for 99 cents, what you think, you don't like it, you go home." i shut up, and ate my sandwich. so my point is the word "special" attracted our attention. and the fact that once we were there, i had the option of the better one at a higher price, or the cheap one, for 99 cents. we stopped there after that everytime we went fishing. maybe the conditions of the late payments need to be tweaked, but they still must be strict. and the "special" price, will be level "b" service. it's a win win, i think. can anyone help me with a strict, but acceptible wording on the late fee/cancelation policy?

Richard Martin
10-04-2005, 07:51 AM
I have a model that you can try too Bobby. The key to this model is you have to be very careful as to which lawns you apply it to.

If you know that lawns in a certain neighborhood are only 4,000 sq ft and less then offer mowing for 10 bucks. That's right, I said 10 bucks. But it comes with stipulations. The flyer might look like this:

- Lawn Mowing - Any Yard - Weekly Only -
- $10* - $10* -
*Price is for mowing only. Extra charges will apply for extra services such as grass trimming and sidewalk cleaning. Certain restrictions apply.

You would, of course, want to adjust your base price up or down depending on the sizes of the lawns in the neighborhood but it does work. A guy I know did this and he picked up about 40 lawns in one season. They were junky lawns but it was money. You may also want to pick up a 60" ZTR so you can rip through these postage stamps in 5 minutes.

bobbygedd
10-04-2005, 07:54 AM
well damn richard, i can pick up 40 lawns in a couple months easily. i want 200, all neighbors, that's what i want

Richard Martin
10-04-2005, 07:59 AM
well damn richard, i can pick up 40 lawns in a couple months easily. i want 200, all neighbors, that's what i want

Yeah, but our lawns aren't as small as your's. His base price was $25 or so. In a densely packed area you can get 200 this way if you want them. Hell, the sky's the limit.

Mark McC
10-04-2005, 08:14 AM
I don't think Bobby has the type of volume of small yards like Dallas area. Justmowit needed lots of volume mowing to make it work since he is making very little per yard. you also need several crews and cheap Mexican labor. All the pieces have to be their for a justmowit situation to work.
I'm no expert in this particular business model, but it's a truism of business that the thinner your margins, the tighter your cost controls and business practices must be. No rocket science there.

It's tempting to go for the premium or economy offering when developing a business plan because there is more clarity in what you're trying to sell and to whom you're selling. That middle area is a bit fuzzier, but it's the largest portion of the pie. And there's your trade-off: clarity versus niche size.

I have to admit to some confusion as to Bobby's predicament, given that he talks quite a bit about anyone who is not making making $100 an hour should just hang it up. But then, who knows? Maybe this is the good BobbyG talking and maybe it's the bad BobbyG. Anyone care to speculate which BobbyG we're getting with this thread?

DLS1
10-04-2005, 08:28 AM
I have to admit to some confusion as to Bobby's predicament, given that he talks quite a bit about anyone who is not making making $100 an hour should just hang it up. But then, who knows? Maybe this is the good BobbyG talking and maybe it's the bad BobbyG. Anyone care to speculate which BobbyG we're getting with this thread?

I think you may have clarified in my mind was is going on with Bobby and his bad customer relationship. All along I thought he was just trolling with his wild I have bad customer stories. Actually I think he has a split personality. One day one of his personalities goes for low low prices and another day his high price $100 an hour takes over and he goes for high high price per hour.

He is having trouble with his customers due to this his personalities. One week he is charging them $22 a cut and another week his is charging them $100. Very confusing to them. :D

bobbygedd
10-04-2005, 08:37 AM
I'm no expert in this particular business model, but it's a truism of business that the thinner your margins, the tighter your cost controls and business practices must be. No rocket science there.

It's tempting to go for the premium or economy offering when developing a business plan because there is more clarity in what you're trying to sell and to whom you're selling. That middle area is a bit fuzzier, but it's the largest portion of the pie. And there's your trade-off: clarity versus niche size.

I have to admit to some confusion as to Bobby's predicament, given that he talks quite a bit about anyone who is not making making $100 an hour should just hang it up. But then, who knows? Maybe this is the good BobbyG talking and maybe it's the bad BobbyG. Anyone care to speculate which BobbyG we're getting with this thread?
i don't have any "predicament", i just think a bit higher than most. here is an example of the common lawnboys mindset= one of the guys i am consulting (i'm up to two, by the way), has failed in business several times, different businesses. i said to him the other day, "hey joe, what is good money? can you see yourself making 200k? " he damn near choked on his coffee, thought this was hilarious, and said, "i'd be happy with $50. and in many years, maybe $70." the man is dumber than a hoe handle, but so, is the common lawnboy. i'm not thinking of ways to make 50, or 70, or 100k, been there done that. i'm reaching a bit higher. so this is why, my mind is always working, always changing. either that, or a bad crop of censimelian

daveintoledo
10-04-2005, 09:34 AM
a pretty good idea.... hope all works for you....

cookedonphonics
10-04-2005, 09:38 AM
the man is dumber than a hoe handle

LMAO... that's good! :laugh:

karen1122
10-04-2005, 12:53 PM
I'm no expert in this particular business model, but it's a truism of business that the thinner your margins, the tighter your cost controls and business practices must be. No rocket science there.

It's tempting to go for the premium or economy offering when developing a business plan because there is more clarity in what you're trying to sell and to whom you're selling. That middle area is a bit fuzzier, but it's the largest portion of the pie. And there's your trade-off: clarity versus niche size.

I have to admit to some confusion as to Bobby's predicament, given that he talks quite a bit about anyone who is not making making $100 an hour should just hang it up. But then, who knows? Maybe this is the good BobbyG talking and maybe it's the bad BobbyG. Anyone care to speculate which BobbyG we're getting with this thread?


Mark McC,

You hit it right on the head. Bobby will be going for the mixed model. He can measure his progress using a Customer Satisfaction Index for the low end and Total Time Expended per Foot for the high end of the market. That is for the hot dog stand of course.

DLS1
10-04-2005, 01:58 PM
the man is dumber than a hoe handle, but so, is the common lawnboy.

Now I see your problem it is more than your split personality. If you want to network successfully you need to surround yourself with people who are mostly smarter than you.

Better start having breakfast or lunch with Rodfather. :D

olderthandirt
10-04-2005, 02:14 PM
I have a model that you can try too Bobby. The key to this model is you have to be very careful as to which lawns you apply it to.

If you know that lawns in a certain neighborhood are only 4,000 sq ft and less then offer mowing for 10 bucks. That's right, I said 10 bucks. But it comes with stipulations. The flyer might look like this:

- Lawn Mowing - Any Yard - Weekly Only -
- $10* - $10* -
*Price is for mowing only. Extra charges will apply for extra services such as grass trimming and sidewalk cleaning. Certain restrictions apply.

You would, of course, want to adjust your base price up or down depending on the sizes of the lawns in the neighborhood but it does work. A guy I know did this and he picked up about 40 lawns in one season. They were junky lawns but it was money. You may also want to pick up a 60" ZTR so you can rip through these postage stamps in 5 minutes.

The whole trick to this Idea is the ability to upsell the additional services and to do that you have to be very good at BSing potential customers to the fact that they need the additional services.
I think you found a way to get yourself rich Bob :D