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View Full Version : Business' jumping on the lawn care wagon


DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 06:46 PM
well a new fad i see in my area are pre-established business' starting lawn care and landscaping compaines. at one time it was just carpenters, or handy-man guys, now its doctors, financial places, horse trainers, and public accountants. most of these owners aren't even doing the work! mostly kids, and other family members. i guess they all have money to burn.....when i started i didn't even have a mower, i got a few customers, and then a lawn tractor, and i was off. these people for the most part are starting out with multiple work trucks, tons of brand new equipment, retail locations, and multiple employees. and if you think about it they have a good customer base already established through the "other means". i know they may not be making enough money to cover the cost of equipment at first, but they have "other means" to back it up. i have no doubts in my customer loyality, but i have already found out one customer won't give me a chance to bid her landscaping work because her "friend" started a landscaping business. the middle of last year her house was like a jungle, and her "friend" was going to spray and pull weeds every week, but she won't fire them, because they're friends....

i'm proud of what i created the long hard way, but its a hard pill to swallow when you realize the short cut they took.

anyone else see this happening??

OnMyOwn
02-06-2006, 06:49 PM
I'm with you, but have to wonder if they experienced the same growing pains in their other company that is the financial backer of the lawn mowing? Regardless, it does create competition in the marketplace. Some say that is good, I say, it's good as long as they do not steal my accounts. ha.ha...

meets1
02-06-2006, 06:54 PM
I can relate. I have a few that are this way. This one guy - works as a prof in a college - pays is really well. Has his kids and himself out mowing until dark everyweek after super. A few toro's, trailer behind the SUV and they mow quite a few yards in a week. The other guy is a maintance man at the the same college - and since he does the grounds there he can do else where. I have lost accounts to him b/c he is a friend to the business owner. Next guy drives truck from 3 am until 2 pm Then he is off to the races with a craftsmen rider and troy built wb.

Ya deal with it the best ya can. We have one large scale landscaper in town. They refuse to mow but this winter they have been slow and now they equipment all the trucks with plows. So the circle keeps rotating.

DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 07:04 PM
i would hope they feel growing pains like us......


i've seen plenty of guys who "drive trucks and use craftsmans" , and sure they're competition, but then theres the day when he buys 3 trucks, with trailers, and mowers. that day sucks. haha


just another thing to deal with i guess, it didn't affect me a whole lot until today i saw the one company had all their trucks stickered up, and they added lawn mowing.....which was new.

but do you guys think they will charge accordingly for their services to make up costs, or will they be low ballers because their other business' support them?

lawnmaniac883
02-06-2006, 07:10 PM
I think almost everyone on here can agree, they definately take the easy way out. Thats why it is time to go open up a service center/dealer ship for mowers, etc. When is the last time you saw a doctor do maintenance on equipment??

meets1
02-06-2006, 07:15 PM
One guy I know about 2 hours away says the same thing. He is probably mid range size compnay but he took on EXMARk, SNAPPER, Brown Bed edgers & other equipment, perma green and handheld equipm. Now he not only sells to compition, he services there equipment, uses his equipment as demo units, sells them. And yet he has a crew out everyday mowing, spraying, and landscaping.

cantoo
02-06-2006, 07:17 PM
I'm a salesman during the day. My wife runs the equipment and I service it nights and weekends. The business does carry itself now but of course in the beginning my day job carried it. I would think that there are quite a few guys here who started out the same way. Not many people jump into it full time right off the bat and make it for long. My wife likes the work and the freedom of working when she wants and as much as she wants. Going to school and doing lawns after school would also fall into this. Face it lawn cutting is an easy job to start up. There are many other jobs that are also easy low cost start ups. Drywall hanging, house cleaning, painting, handy man services, irrigation, and the list is endless. I'm not saying there easy to do just easy to start.

Envy Lawn Service
02-06-2006, 07:18 PM
Well, I saw the same thing here for a while. There were a few bankrolled lawn & landscape companies that emerged. Big trucks, big trailers, nice new equipment galore, employees... I checked them out, and like the majority of the rest here, they were well educated in how to work around the system too. No license, no insurance, no registration, no taxes, no real employees... just fake certificates of insurance, ect.

I called them high rolling lowballers. They high rolled right in and lowballed many of the good jobs with high requirements, ect.

The good new is, they came in a lit it on fire, but they burned out like a match.
They are all gone for now.

DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 07:23 PM
I'm a salesman during the day. My wife runs the equipment and I service it nights and weekends. The business does carry itself now but of course in the beginning my day job carried it. I would think that there are quite a few guys here who started out the same way. Not many people jump into it full time right off the bat and make it for long. My wife likes the work and the freedom of working when she wants and as much as she wants. Going to school and doing lawns after school would also fall into this. Face it lawn cutting is an easy job to start up. There are many other jobs that are also easy low cost start ups. Drywall hanging, house cleaning, painting, handy man services, irrigation, and the list is endless. I'm not saying there easy to do just easy to start.


i agree with ya. i guess my big difference is that i didn't start my business with 3 dual wheels dump trucks, and trailers with mowers. if it weren't for my old job i couldn't have made the transition over. now when i'm slow i sub-contract to my dad, and some local contractors, but i still need to be out there all season long to make things happen.

glad to hear your wife is invloved with your business, my fiance likes to mulch, but she won't go near the z-traks.....yet

DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 07:24 PM
Well, I saw the same thing here for a while. There were a few bankrolled lawn & landscape companies that emerged. Big trucks, big trailers, nice new equipment galore, employees... I checked them out, and like the majority of the rest here, they were well educated in how to work around the system too. No license, no insurance, no registration, no taxes, no real employees... just fake certificates of insurance, ect.

I called them high rolling lowballers. They high rolled right in and lowballed many of the good jobs with high requirements, ect.

The good new is, they came in a lit it on fire, but they burned out like a match.
They are all gone for now.



and i would call that good....haha.....thanks for the input.

Littleriver1
02-06-2006, 07:42 PM
Every type of business is unique. The most unique thing about this business is the low start up cost. A couple of mowers, truck, trailer and a few hand tools and your in. To some one with zero cash it may seem like a lot, but to some one that just seen his friend dorp a half million to open and office for a Doctor, what we do is chump change. I could be wrong but to me the next most unique thing is the grunt work. To tolerate the physical work and the mental stigma of a Lawn Boy, you need to really want it. I mean really really want it. Then there is the equipment replacement and employee turn over. The only thing about this business that isn't unique is the fact that it isn't for everyone. Just like every other business isn't for everyone. So all we can do is out live the competition by being the best competition out there.

cantoo
02-06-2006, 07:54 PM
I work at a company that builds modular houses. Of our 150 employees I would guess that 75% work on the side at different jobs. Most of them do tha same job at night as they do during the day, drywallers drywall, painter paint, plumbers plumb etc. I would bet that fewer than 5% do it legally, paying taxes, reporting income, workers comp etc. Lawn cutting isn't the only business that has a low entry cost, easy cheating, big money if you cheat problem. I'm sure it's the same at many other companies too.

LawnLizzard
02-06-2006, 07:55 PM
I am just starting out. I have a small pick up that is paid off. I own a blower, a weed eater and a good 6.76 hp JD 21" mower. I just purchased a 36 inch hydro exmark.....I hope to do well by keeping the quality high and not getting so busy that I "mow blow and go". It is a part time job, but in three years I would like to do it full time---after retirement. Other than paying equipment off and keeping it small...........I'm open to any adivce. Also, my obective it to make money and not break my back doing it..............Thanks, Dan (Lawn Lizard) Lawrenceville Ga.