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kc2006
03-01-2006, 02:03 PM
Well, this years batch is out already! I've never seen it this bad but the lowballers are out. A friend that also owns a company said he got a flier from a couple of younger guys stating "Any Lawn $20". Nope this isn't a justmowit style company (high quantity bust em out fast type) because the lawns in my friends neighborhood are 35-40 dollar accounts :hammerhead: Same with my neighborhood which he said he saw them in also, didn't make it to my place yet.

Looks like I'll be checking to see if they're registered with the state, if not, I'll be making some calls.

Ok hate me for trying to keep the industry standards up there :cry: :waving:

PGA
03-01-2006, 02:06 PM
Well, this years batch is out already! I've never seen it this bad but the lowballers are out. A friend that also owns a company said he got a flier from a couple of younger guys stating "Any Lawn $20". Nope this isn't a justmowit style company (high quantity bust em out fast type) because the lawns in my friends neighborhood are 35-40 dollar accounts :hammerhead: Same with my neighborhood which he said he saw them in also, didn't make it to my place yet.

Looks like I'll be checking to see if they're registered with the state, if not, I'll be making some calls.

Ok hate me for trying to keep the industry standards up there :cry: :waving:







Registered for what?

kc2006
03-01-2006, 02:07 PM
btw when I say younger I mean around my age (early 20's), my friend is in his 50's so i used his term...so its not like they're 10 year olds and I'm being a big meany.

kc2006
03-01-2006, 02:08 PM
Registered for what?

Registered company, paying taxes all the stuff actual companies do...:dancing:

PGA
03-01-2006, 02:12 PM
Registered company, paying taxes all the stuff actual companies do...:dancing:




Got some free time huh?

kc2006
03-01-2006, 02:12 PM
Must be the day to pass flyers out around here (even though its still cold and snows on the ground), just got a nice little brochure and another company is parked at the bottom of my street about to pass flyers out too! This is good stuff.

The nice brochure I got was a really cool idea, they have a bag, a flyer with a price, a brochure and a little coupon, really nice little package.

kc2006
03-01-2006, 02:15 PM
Got some free time huh?

Yes I do actually, snows on the ground, nothing to do.

Your the reason I said go ahead and hate me. Because I knew I'd get idiotic responses saying "Your a moron for turning them in, they're just trying to make a living" No they're not, I'm trying to make a living, they're trying to underbid everyone and F this industry over worse then it already is.

daveintoledo
03-01-2006, 02:31 PM
its early here for them to start but i know it will be soon....nice thing about ohio, most lowballers dont know about the sales tax collection.... thats a good one to get them on.....

when i see any of them in my area i will check with the state to make sure there a state registered business, or i will make the same calles as you..:)

olderthandirt
03-01-2006, 02:46 PM
So use it to your advantage, Work out a deal with them where they don't have to advertise and in return you will sub all your last yrs clients to them but at $18 and explain how there saving money on gas and are guaranteed clients. And have a contract drawn up stating the agreement. and a non compete clause for any additional work and new areas that you work in.
If you have $40 lawn take out your cost and there not $40 lawns by subbing them out at $18 you are guarantied more than 100% profit for doing nothing except getting a signature on a paper and sending out invoices.[ Your still in control] Then go out and get a bunch of new customers at your normal price because the lowballers will be busy figuring out routing what equipment they will be using etc. And once you sign a new customer in an area the non compete clause could keep them out of the area [for a while] if its written by a good attorney.

Money + no work = smart business :drinkup:

Tim Wright
03-01-2006, 02:49 PM
So use it to your advantage, Work out a deal with them where they don't have to advertise and in return you will sub all your last yrs clients to them but at $18 and explain how there saving money on gas and are guaranteed clients. And have a contract drawn up stating the agreement. and a non compete clause for any additional work and new areas that you work in.
If you have $40 lawn take out your cost and there not $40 lawns by subbing them out at $18 you are guarantied more than 100% profit for doing nothing except getting a signature on a paper and sending out invoices.[ Your still in control] Then go out and get a bunch of new customers at your normal price because the lowballers will be busy figuring out routing what equipment they will be using etc. And once you sign a new customer in an area the non compete clause could keep them out of the area [for a while] if its written by a good attorney.

Money + no work = smart business :drinkup:


Good thinking but do it before they pass out fliers to your clients.

Tim

kc2006
03-01-2006, 02:50 PM
lol thats good Mac, thats why your the man :D

I'd do that, but fear of them doing a horrible job and all the other hassles scare me from that.

Btw for the record, I'm not afraid they'll take business, I strive to keep as professional as possible, I sometimes think I take it too far.

I went to the store and noticed the guys putting out the really nice brochure bags, they look like bums. Really, the one was all dirty, the other one had a "punk-rock" get up going on. Where as when i put doorhangers out, I'm in uniform (polo shirt with logo and jeans or kahki's). Strange to spend so much on that advertisement and then have a couple of carni look alikes put it out for you.

PGA
03-01-2006, 02:58 PM
Yes I do actually, snows on the ground, nothing to do.

Your the reason I said go ahead and hate me. Because I knew I'd get idiotic responses saying "Your a moron for turning them in, they're just trying to make a living" No they're not, I'm trying to make a living, they're trying to underbid everyone and F this industry over worse then it already is.





I didnt call you any names so I would appreciate you not making things up.

Second of all you have now mentioned 2 other companies out hustling work and handing out flyers. If they can do it with snow on the ground then why cant you?

Ive said it before and Ill say it again 10,000 times.

Worry about yourself and not the other guy.

PGA
03-01-2006, 02:59 PM
its early here for them to start but i know it will be soon....nice thing about ohio, most lowballers dont know about the sales tax collection.... thats a good one to get them on.....

when i see any of them in my area i will check with the state to make sure there a state registered business, or i will make the same calles as you..:)





You guys have to charge sales tax on aerating?

kc2006
03-01-2006, 03:03 PM
Well PGA, I see the industry crumbling and I want to attempt to keep it cleaner, if everyone made some attempt to educate new companies or in the event turn them in I think we (the ones that are in this as a career and not short term extra money) would be alot better off. Sorry for jumping on you but it ticks me off that the industry is going down the tubes and I want to keep a future in it.

I agree about worrying about oneself, thats why I said earlier I doubt they'll steal business from me, but its just the fact that I don't want them poluting market value of work here.

PGA, in ohio we have to collect tax on all services.

PGA
03-01-2006, 03:10 PM
Well PGA, I see the industry crumbling and I want to attempt to keep it cleaner, if everyone made some attempt to educate new companies or in the event turn them in I think we (the ones that are in this as a career and not short term extra money) would be alot better off. Sorry for jumping on you but it ticks me off that the industry is going down the tubes and I want to keep a future in it.

I agree about worrying about oneself, thats why I said earlier I doubt they'll steal business from me, but its just the fact that I don't want them poluting market value of work here.

PGA, in ohio we have to collect tax on all services.





I understand what you are saying about keeping everything legal and I agree. My point has always been that guys like that eventually fail anyway from not doing things the right way or being uneducated about the biz. Its inevetable.


The problem is there will never be a "norm" or set of rules for all LCOs to follow. Its just to different around the country for that to happen.

FYI in KS the only thing we collect sales tax on is something that is installed or left at the jobsite for example mulch, landcsaping install, chemical apps, etc.

Mowing, cleanups, aerating etc are not considered taxable items.

olderthandirt
03-01-2006, 03:29 PM
I understand what you are saying about keeping everything legal and I agree. My point has always been that guys like that eventually fail anyway from not doing things the right way or being uneducated about the biz. Its inevetable.

But while your waiting on them to fail they just set market prices back 10 yrs

olderthandirt
03-01-2006, 03:33 PM
I'd do that, but fear of them doing a horrible job and all the other hassles scare me from that.

There your subs, if the quality falls fire them but remember your still holding the non compete clause. No work in the area :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup:

PGA
03-01-2006, 03:47 PM
But while your waiting on them to fail they just set market prices back 10 yrs





I havent encountered this.

Infact when I went from a $30.00 to a $35.00 MINIMUM last year I met absolutely no resistance at all from new customers.

There will always be the nieghborhood kid who is going to do the job for $15.00 less then me. I cant spend my time worrying about those guys. Once the customer sees the shotty work they are getting they will call me for good work.

Ive had 13 customers in the last 2 years call me and cancel because someone offered to do it for 5 or 10 bucks less then I was.

11 of them called back within 2 weeks to reinstate service with my company.

The other 2 yards look like crap but they were PITA's anyway so I dont mind.

mulcahy mowing
03-01-2006, 03:57 PM
i had a guy drop a flyer here at my house that had $15 an hour for work i was like $h!t this guys gonna close me down can you belive that $15 an hour!!

GStover
03-01-2006, 03:58 PM
Every year it's the same...the "lowballers" will be out there...it's been that way seen the lawnmower was invented. I had some guys plaster one of my areas with typed post-it notes stuck to doors offering $20 for lawn service when the average lawn in the area is 30 bucks. I even called the number on the post-it...very unprofessional sounding. It's never going to change, and like I said it's always been this way. When one "bites the dust," there will be another to take his/her place.

mulcahy mowing
03-01-2006, 04:08 PM
Every year it's the same...the "lowballers" will be out there...it's been that way seen the lawnmower was invented. I had some guys plaster one of my areas with typed post-it notes stuck to doors offering $20 for lawn service when the average lawn in the area is 30 bucks. I even called the number on the post-it...very unprofessional sounding. It's never going to change, and like I said it's always been this way. When one "bites the dust," there will be another to take his/her place.
could you hear a tv in the back round?

olderthandirt
03-01-2006, 04:12 PM
I havent encountered this.

Infact when I went from a $30.00 to a $35.00 MINIMUM last year I met absolutely no resistance at all from new customers.

There will always be the nieghborhood kid who is going to do the job for $15.00 less then me. I cant spend my time worrying about those guys. Once the customer sees the shotty work they are getting they will call me for good work.

Ive had 13 customers in the last 2 years call me and cancel because someone offered to do it for 5 or 10 bucks less then I was.

11 of them called back within 2 weeks to reinstate service with my company.

The other 2 yards look like crap but they were PITA's anyway so I dont mind.

Your missing the point, that $35 lawn that you just increased last yr is the same price I was getting 20 yrs ago. Take into consideration the fact that inflation has doubled in that time so in essence your pricing is the equevelent of mowing that lawn today for $17.50. How do you grow and set aside money for retirment when the pricing structure is not even keeping up with inflation?

PGA
03-01-2006, 04:17 PM
Your missing the point, that $35 lawn that you just increased last yr is the same price I was getting 20 yrs ago. Take into consideration the fact that inflation has doubled in that time so in essence your pricing is the equevelent of mowing that lawn today for $17.50. How do you grow and set aside money for retirment when the pricing structure is not even keeping up with inflation?





You were getting $35.00 for a 5000 K lawn 20 years ago?

Wow! Whats your minimum now for 5000 K?

GStover
03-01-2006, 04:18 PM
could you hear a tv in the back round?


No...the guys wife answered the phone with a simple "hello," and said he was in the shower. When I asked what I would get for the 20 bucks, she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about.

trent515
03-01-2006, 05:01 PM
Call me a lowballer if you wish BUT....
I am starting this year by focusing on three large subdivisions (total about 1000 single-family homes) all with TINY yards, many of which are unfenced. To try and gain business, I am offering a $25 weekly rate to anyone who signs a contract AND is part of one of these three area. I live literally less than two miles from the FARTHEST property, so I figured it this way:
10 Local Contracts @ $25/cut=$250/week gross (Only a part-time business)
-Little gas, little load and unload time
OR
8 Distance Contracts @ $35/cut=$280/week gross
-Tons of gas, load and unload at every site
I've already been laughed at by one of my local lawnmower dealers, who says I'll be lucky to last a year. However, this is an unsaturated market and I want to gain a nice market share in my first year, grow from there etc.
One final question...How many here started out charging at or more than industry standards? I.E. If the going rate is $35/cut in the year you start, how many charged at or above that?
Also, realize that maybe some people are willfully trying to get new clients via pricing. When they beat your quality AND price, and take all your customers, that's when it's time to start investigating. Nothing wrong with competition, it's what keeps us all here!!

PGA
03-01-2006, 05:08 PM
Call me a lowballer if you wish BUT....
I am starting this year by focusing on three large subdivisions (total about 1000 single-family homes) all with TINY yards, many of which are unfenced. To try and gain business, I am offering a $25 weekly rate to anyone who signs a contract AND is part of one of these three area. I live literally less than two miles from the FARTHEST property, so I figured it this way:
10 Local Contracts @ $25/cut=$250/week gross (Only a part-time business)
-Little gas, little load and unload time
OR
8 Distance Contracts @ $35/cut=$280/week gross
-Tons of gas, load and unload at every site
I've already been laughed at by one of my local lawnmower dealers, who says I'll be lucky to last a year. However, this is an unsaturated market and I want to gain a nice market share in my first year, grow from there etc.
One final question...How many here started out charging at or more than industry standards? I.E. If the going rate is $35/cut in the year you start, how many charged at or above that?
Also, realize that maybe some people are willfully trying to get new clients via pricing. When they beat your quality AND price, and take all your customers, that's when it's time to start investigating. Nothing wrong with competition, it's what keeps us all here!!






When I started 6 years ago my min for a postage stamp lawn was $25.00.

Thats what the going rate around here was. Since then I have kept my prices level with the all the "big name" companies.

I think your neighborhood plan is a good idea but I think you would be surprised to know that you could actually get more per yard.

My point is dont sell yourself short and dont be afraid to charge the going rate. You'll be surprised when you get it.

GStover
03-01-2006, 05:16 PM
Call me a lowballer if you wish BUT....



My idea of a "lowballer" is someone that charges well below the going market rate. I have no problems with competition, and those trying to make a living...it's the American way...

The problem arises, however, when someone comes in at pricing well below what clients in a particular area would ordinarily pay. Other than that, I have no qualms with competition, or others trying to make an "honest" living.

Jpocket
03-01-2006, 05:44 PM
The small guys are already out advertising??? Imin Pa and im not planning on starting till like Next week or the week after.

PGA
03-01-2006, 05:44 PM
My idea of a "lowballer" is someone that charges well below the going market rate. I have no problems with competition, and those trying to make a living...it's the American way...

The problem arises, however, when someone comes in at pricing well below what clients in a particular area would ordinarily pay. Other than that, I have no qualms with competition, or others trying to make an "honest" living.





What do you consider "well below"?


And do you take into account their situation? On big jobs I can charge a little lower then big companies because I dont have payroll or tons of equipment going to the job.

Does that make me a lowballer?

GStover
03-01-2006, 06:05 PM
What do you consider "well below"?


And do you take into account their situation? On big jobs I can charge a little lower then big companies because I dont have payroll or tons of equipment going to the job.

Does that make me a lowballer?


What I would consider "well below" was what I stated earlier...$30 lawns that someone is charging 20 bucks to do. I'm not sure what you mean by do I "take into account their situation."

I'm not unlike you in one respect, however. I have a community that I do around 22 lawns...they would definitely meet the "postage stamp" lawn criteria. I can knock them all out in one good day...and that's exactly what I do. I charge well below what I would for an "ordinary" lawn, because that's what the market will bear for this small community. Like you said, most have no fences and very little in the way of trees/beds. If...if I could charge more I would, but as I said, it's what the market rate is for this particular community. I didn't arbitrarily pick the price...I knew what others were charging and did the same, but with what I consider better quality, and a personality to go with it. I say if you're not to far below what the market will bear....then go by it by all means...just don't undercut yourself doing it...:)

newz7151
03-01-2006, 06:15 PM
You know, I have no problem with the original poster checking these guys out with his state.

Let's look at it like this.. if the flyers are on his door, he is being targeted as a customer. As a financially minded consumer, he has every right to call the state and see if the people that he may be considering hiring are legit to do business in his state/area. Now, if it just so happens that they are not, and the state shuts em down.. well.. that's not really his fault for being a consumer that likes to make sure the people he is thinking of dealing with are on the up and up.

I mean, if you got a flyer on your door for a $40 root canal and the address for the dentist is a chair in his garage.. wouldn't you want to call the state and make sure he is a liscenced DDS ?

PROCUT1
03-01-2006, 06:22 PM
How long are you people gonna keep crying about this.....You all thing you're the best thing that ever happened to the lawn business...

FACE THE REALITY - You are competing in an UNSKILLED JOB. You can cut a lawn, I can cut a lawn, ANYBODY CAN CUT A LAWN.

I have the "lowballers" in my area too, just like everywhere else, and you know what?....They don't do a bad job..

Sure some do a lousy job... More-so its the big companies that customers don't like the work. They would rather have the local guy mow their lawn, clean their gutters, and take out the trash....They like that better than a $100,000 rig pulling up with 20 guys on ZTRS mowin and goin.

MOST CUSTOMER DON'T CARE ABOUT:

1 INSURANCE - Yes, you need it, i wouldn't work without it, but its not a big selling point for MOWING.... Big $ project....yes Mowing....not really

2. $100,000 MOWING RIG - Buy one if YOU like it and it makes YOU feel like a "real company".... The customer doesn't give a darn what year your truck is or what you paid for it....And the especially don't feel its worth a PREMIUM PRICE TO COVER YOUR PAYMENTS. Ill bet most of your customers don't even know the color of your truck.

3. UNIFORMS - A nice touch, we do it, but most people either aren't home or don't bother looking out the window to care.

4. TAXES- Everybody pays them out the rear, you sure cant use the "legit paying taxes routine" as a selling point. They'd much rather save the tax.

Remember you are doing a job that they are capable of doing themselves. You charge $30 to do the lawn in 15 minutes, they can do the math and they'll think you're getting rich. Why not help out the guy down the street and throw him some beer money? Then they are both happy. Customer gets his lawn mowed cheap and guy makes some extra cash.

For a SKILLED PROFESSION, the customers absolutely DO look for the things I listed. NOT FOR MOWING...

Sure there are exceptions, maybe some commercial properties, but most of you are in part-time residential mowing and the people don't care about that stuff.

To the customer you will always be the "LAWN BOY" I don't care how many trucks or crews you have.

PROCUT1
03-01-2006, 06:31 PM
How about getting a skill that the entire world is not BORN WITH and market that.

Auto mechainic - skill, training, tools, = $ per hr
Plumber - skill, training, tools, = $ per hr
Electrician
Carpenter
Computer "guy"
Mason
Landscape Designer
Niche Landscapers

Everyone complains why they cant make the same money mowing lawns that skilled tradesmen make.....

They have a SKILL.........You have a MOWER

Guess what? They have a mower too and can use it....Or they hire someone to do that MEANIAL TASK that they dont want to spend their free time doing.

And they of course want it done cheap because its "certainly not worth what their job is worth, they have a skill"

Jpocket
03-01-2006, 06:54 PM
How long are you people gonna keep crying about this.....You all thing you're the best thing that ever happened to the lawn business...

FACE THE REALITY - You are competing in an UNSKILLED JOB. You can cut a lawn, I can cut a lawn, ANYBODY CAN CUT A LAWN.

I have the "lowballers" in my area too, just like everywhere else, and you know what?....They don't do a bad job..

Sure some do a lousy job... More-so its the big companies that customers don't like the work. They would rather have the local guy mow their lawn, clean their gutters, and take out the trash....They like that better than a $100,000 rig pulling up with 20 guys on ZTRS mowin and goin.

MOST CUSTOMER DON'T CARE ABOUT:

1 INSURANCE - Yes, you need it, i wouldn't work without it, but its not a big selling point for MOWING.... Big $ project....yes Mowing....not really

2. $100,000 MOWING RIG - Buy one if YOU like it and it makes YOU feel like a "real company".... The customer doesn't give a darn what year your truck is or what you paid for it....And the especially don't feel its worth a PREMIUM PRICE TO COVER YOUR PAYMENTS. Ill bet most of your customers don't even know the color of your truck.

3. UNIFORMS - A nice touch, we do it, but most people either aren't home or don't bother looking out the window to care.

4. TAXES- Everybody pays them out the rear, you sure cant use the "legit paying taxes routine" as a selling point. They'd much rather save the tax.

Remember you are doing a job that they are capable of doing themselves. You charge $30 to do the lawn in 15 minutes, they can do the math and they'll think you're getting rich. Why not help out the guy down the street and throw him some beer money? Then they are both happy. Customer gets his lawn mowed cheap and guy makes some extra cash.

For a SKILLED PROFESSION, the customers absolutely DO look for the things I listed. NOT FOR MOWING...

Sure there are exceptions, maybe some commercial properties, but most of you are in part-time residential mowing and the people don't care about that stuff.

To the customer you will always be the "LAWN BOY" I don't care how many trucks or crews you have.

I agree...it's the nature of the business..No if's ands or butts about it.

riches139
03-01-2006, 07:02 PM
Ohio does not require the collection of sales tax if you're not registered and do not make over 5000.00.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=94565

down size
03-01-2006, 07:31 PM
Two years ago some guy put out fliers $ 18.00 any yard so I called him & told him to come cut my yard (which was 3 acres) when he showed up he was drivng a Corsica and pulling a 10 foot trailer. He had a belt drive walk behind (48 inch) he asked me why I would want him to cut my grass when I had my own lawn care company, I told him it wasn't worth my time to cut it if I could get him to cut it for $18.00. He decided he couldn't cut my yard for that price, so I asked him why he stated what he did on his flier he said it gets people to call and then he raises the price when he gets there. I don't really think he was all that stupid.

Sir mowsalot
03-01-2006, 08:01 PM
PROCUT1,
Very well said. ^5.

befnme
03-01-2006, 08:13 PM
so i guess to cut a lawn with strait beautiful stripes takes no skill and anyone can run out and do it .

no skill to correctly identify weeds and pests in the lawn and eradicate or supress them .any one with a mower knows what is the best course of action to take.

no skill to trim shrubs .anyone with a mower can hold a strait line and knows what time of year is best to trim in.

no skill to manage 100 + properties and rarely get a bad news call .anyone with a mower can do this.


what ever ............:angry: i mean i havent dedicated 10 + years of my life
to the green industry and take every class i can to help educate myself to have somebody tell me that i have excelled in a skill less trade .nope.. i dont think so. i concider my self in a higher class than the mowjoe that dosent have any real experience ,licensing , or valid insurance.

ripple
03-01-2006, 08:20 PM
lol thats good Mac, thats why your the man :D

I'd do that, but fear of them doing a horrible job and all the other hassles scare me from that.

Btw for the record, I'm not afraid they'll take business, I strive to keep as professional as possible, I sometimes think I take it too far.

I went to the store and noticed the guys putting out the really nice brochure bags, they look like bums. Really, the one was all dirty, the other one had a "punk-rock" get up going on. Where as when i put doorhangers out, I'm in uniform (polo shirt with logo and jeans or kahki's). Strange to spend so much on that advertisement and then have a couple of carni look alikes put it out for you.

You are really insulting everybody in this thread..."young ones" "punk rock" "carni look alikes"?

GStover
03-01-2006, 08:48 PM
so i guess to cut a lawn with strait beautiful stripes takes no skill and anyone can run out and do it .

no skill to correctly identify weeds and pests in the lawn and eradicate or supress them .any one with a mower knows what is the best course of action to take.

no skill to trim shrubs .anyone with a mower can hold a strait line and knows what time of year is best to trim in.

no skill to manage 100 + properties and rarely get a bad news call .anyone with a mower can do this.


what ever ............:angry: i mean i havent dedicated 10 + years of my life
to the green industry and take every class i can to help educate myself to have somebody tell me that i have excelled in a skill less trade .nope.. i dont think so. i concider my self in a higher class than the mowjoe that dosent have any real experience ,licensing , or valid insurance.


:clapping:

PGA
03-01-2006, 08:55 PM
so i guess to cut a lawn with strait beautiful stripes takes no skill and anyone can run out and do it .

no skill to correctly identify weeds and pests in the lawn and eradicate or supress them .any one with a mower knows what is the best course of action to take.

no skill to trim shrubs .anyone with a mower can hold a strait line and knows what time of year is best to trim in.

no skill to manage 100 + properties and rarely get a bad news call .anyone with a mower can do this.


what ever ............:angry: i mean i havent dedicated 10 + years of my life
to the green industry and take every class i can to help educate myself to have somebody tell me that i have excelled in a skill less trade .nope.. i dont think so. i concider my self in a higher class than the mowjoe that dosent have any real experience ,licensing , or valid insurance.





Your absolutely right! You need that education to advance just like you need any sort of educating or training to advance at any job..


BUT


What he meant was any idiot can take a mower and push it. Most people who get into this line of work started out at entry level posistion that a person with an IQ of 80 could do.

olderthandirt
03-01-2006, 09:00 PM
Ohio does not require the collection of sales tax if you're not registered and do not make over 5000.00.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=94565

If your not making 5k a yrs your not even a business. Thats 2 days revenue :dizzy:

PGA
03-01-2006, 09:19 PM
You were getting $35.00 for a 5000 K lawn 20 years ago?

Wow! Whats your minimum now for 5000 K?







Just incase you missed this Olderthendirt....

kc2006
03-01-2006, 09:37 PM
You are really insulting everybody in this thread..."young ones" "punk rock" "carni look alikes"?

How am I insulting everyone in this thread? I'm laughing at the unprofessional companies in my area. Did I point fingers at any companies on here that I have no clue how they operate? Nope, sorry, try again.

kc2006
03-01-2006, 09:48 PM
Procut, I agree with you that we're working in an unskilled field. BUT...whats the harm in trying to better the industry? I don't see why I'm getting flamed here for trying to at least keep the industry where its at and not allow it (well, not that I'm actually doing any good, but attempting) to get any worse then it is?

For all those that are saying or going to say I should mind my own business and i must not be a very good business owner if I'm worried about these guys. Its not that I'm worried about them. As Mac has pointed out, the market value is already so low its not funny. To deal with this, I do my best to be as effiecent as possible, this keeps my profits up. But the fact that these guys are portraying a real company (using a company name that might be already registered in another area of Ohio...isn't that illegal?) and killing...Yes KILLING the market value in my very close to home turf by almost 1/2 of what it should be...I'm going to take offense.

Sorry if that makes me a dyck, or if I'm the big bad guy for tellin on others. I started out totally legit too, I sat out of the game for one year researching and making sure I knew as much as I could before I started.

If these guys were going around and bidding the jobs a few bucks cheaper, I really wouldn't care, I can live with that, they're just selling themselves short. I strive to get customers that want quality and profession, and I'm always complimented on the fact that my business is carried out so professionally, but when the guys are doing like this, and openly bidding 20 bucks for any of these accounts that easily go for 35-40...I think I have the right to get alittle chapped.

down size
03-01-2006, 10:23 PM
I agree kc2006 let a bunch of us go to ford motor company or gm and tell them we'll work for half union scale see how mad they get! tell all these wannabes (GET A JOB) Burger Kings hiring

PROCUT1
03-01-2006, 10:24 PM
so i guess to cut a lawn with strait beautiful stripes takes no skill and anyone can run out and do it . pretty much

no skill to correctly identify weeds and pests in the lawn and eradicate or supress them .any one with a mower knows what is the best course of action to take. This ones not true...This one you absolutely need skill and more importantly...education.. This is turf management and not everyone can effectively manage turf. Here is a perfect example where a customer would hire a professional to "manage" their lawn. I myself cant tell a weed from a Christmas tree. Thus why I dont offer weed control. I leave that for the Licensed Professionals.

no skill to trim shrubs .anyone with a mower can hold a strait line and knows what time of year is best to trim in. Trimming shrubs is relatively easy if you have decent coordination. Most guys can do it.. Now as far as knowing WHEN to trim WHAT TYPES, that requires education. Another good selling point to set yourself apart on those full service accounts that care.

no skill to manage 100 + properties and rarely get a bad news call .anyone with a mower can do this. This would be business management. You are either a lawnboy that has a business or a businessman that sells mowing service. There is a HUGE difference. Youre right, anyone can mow grass, MOST PEOPLE CANNOT RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS NO MATTER WHAT THE SERVICE OR PRODUCT. Another great example of where you have skill and education.


what ever ............:angry: i mean i havent dedicated 10 + years of my life
to the green industry and take every class i can to help educate myself to have somebody tell me that i have excelled in a skill less trade .nope.. i dont think so. i concider my self in a higher class than the mowjoe that dosent have any real experience ,licensing , or valid insurance.


I totally agree with you. You have education and skill. You will have the edge when you're after full service accounts that require management, commercial properties that want the LCO to handle and make all decisions. You will also have the edge for the homeowner who truely cares about their grounds and want them to look beautiful.

THEN THERE IS THE OTHER 90% OF CUSTOMERS.

They just want their grass cut. They dont wanna do it.
They dont give a rats tail if theres weeds in the grass, mulch in the beds, or half the time a tree on its side.

We all talk about the "high end accounts".. My question is "Where are they?"

My area is in huge growth, all people up from NYC, used to paying a fortune, Toll Brothers and every other Huge developer building houses faster than ever and you cant touch one for less than $500,000.00

Sounds like an area you guys would love right? All these "high end homes"

Go into any one of these "high end" neighborhoods and look at the mailboxes the first warm day. Theres all the guys flyers that posted on lawnsite in the thread titled " HOW CAN I GET HIGH END HOMES/COMMERICAL ACCTS"

Guess what? These customers just want their lawn cut.

kc2006
03-01-2006, 10:44 PM
Procut, we had the huge flair of lowballers and parttimers (no disrespect to part timers, but I'm talking about the bad part timers that aren't legit and do bad work) about 4 years ago. This was when I was working for another company. There was the good ol 15-20 LCO's in the area, then the next year BOOM they were everywhere. Economy was really bad then, still bad but it seems to have gotten alot better. The company I worked for was a 25 year old company, it had no problem, didn't lose a customer to someone being cheaper.
Now flash forward to today. I discovered last year that the area is so tired of the bad companies that they are willing to pay the price to have a good reliable professional service. Strange I know. I always used my "you get what you pay for" sales pitch and it worked, every account that I walked the property with the owner, I got, and every account I got last year was higher then the past company.

Now then, like any business, you aren't going to have everyone running to buy your product or service, I mean thats just a given, theres always competition or people that don't need or can't afford it. I look at it as (in reference to your point about the other 90%) I'm marketing just to my prospective buyers, and from that 10% that care, I'm only going to land a fraction of a percent...but theres enough work to make it worth it.

I forget who it was that showed me studies about the baby boomers, proof is in the pudding that people want alot more done for them now-a-days and are willing to pay good money to have it done right and not be bothered with it. So I use that to keep my out look positive.

PROCUT1
03-01-2006, 10:51 PM
Good points KC

I agree totally and that 10% is still a huge number of homes.

A good salesman can overcome all obsticles.

olderthandirt
03-01-2006, 11:26 PM
Just incase you missed this Olderthendirt....

Did'nt miss it at all
I don't do any 5k size lots anymore, I do very little residential mowing at all because I refuse to make less per property than I did yrs ago because the markets been beat down by people that will work for beer money. I prefer to pick the few commercial propertys that are wiling to give me free reign to do what I feel is needed with out checking with them before its done.

I forget who it was that showed me studies about the baby boomers, proof is in the pudding that people want alot more done for them now-a-days and are willing to pay good money to have it done right and not be bothered with it.

That only last as long as the lowballer don't cut market value by 1/2

Brianslawn
03-02-2006, 02:11 AM
i had a guy drop a flyer here at my house that had $15 an hour for work i was like $h!t this guys gonna close me down can you belive that $15 an hour!!



dont worry. itll take him 5 hrs to mow a yard.

sikagrass
03-02-2006, 02:46 AM
When I get a new customer the most common complaint isnt price, its that the guy quit showing up and let their grass get too high. You dont usually hear about the bad job he did,just they never knew when he would be there.Most all of them just want their grass cut when needed at a reasonable price. The lowballers who try to cut prices to get work were doing that long before I started and they will be here long after all of us are gone.Myself I dont worry about them.

jeffex
03-02-2006, 05:14 AM
So use it to your advantage, Work out a deal with them where they don't have to advertise and in return you will sub all your last yrs clients to them but at $18 and explain how there saving money on gas and are guaranteed clients. And have a contract drawn up stating the agreement. and a non compete clause for any additional work and new areas that you work in.
If you have $40 lawn take out your cost and there not $40 lawns by subbing them out at $18 you are guarantied more than 100% profit for doing nothing except getting a signature on a paper and sending out invoices.[ Your still in control] Then go out and get a bunch of new customers at your normal price because the lowballers will be busy figuring out routing what equipment they will be using etc. And once you sign a new customer in an area the non compete clause could keep them out of the area [for a while] if its written by a good attorney.

Money + no work = smart business :drinkup:
"BRILLIANT" now someone get me a guinness!

yrdandgardenhandyman
03-02-2006, 05:25 AM
So use it to your advantage, Work out a deal with them where they don't have to advertise and in return you will sub all your last yrs clients to them but at $18 and explain how there saving money on gas and are guaranteed clients.
If you have $40 lawn take out your cost and there not $40 lawns by subbing them out at $18 you are guarantied more than 100% profit for doing nothing except getting a signature on a paper and sending out invoices.[ Your still in control]


And you get to deal with all of the complaints when they do a crummy job, damage something or don't show up. Been there, done that. You have absolutely no control over them because most of them are too stupid to even understand a contract. And if you try to sue them for non compliance, they disappear and so does your reputation.
Yeah, sounds good. It isn't.

MOW ED
03-02-2006, 06:22 AM
Ok I'll chime in on this a little also. I absolutely agree on the "unskilled" part when it comes to mowing. Hey most of us had to mow for the experience whe we were 10 years old. I have said it over and over, anyone can mow lawn but not just anyone can succeed in the Lawn Business.
It is up to you to make yourself valueable. True that people really don't care about insurance or your rig or your uniform or taxes. All things we do but not really a deal maker in most cases.
I am convinced that if I was to ONLY mow lawn I would not be in business. In fact my numbers show it. My success comes from expanding out and covering many things the homeowner or small commercial can't do or really isn't set up to do. In short its the "ADD-ONS" that make my business. Spring cleans, dethatchings, aerations, renovation, applications are the bulk of my business. I mow lawn too but that basically keeps my busy in between the real busy times.
Do I loathe lowballers? Sometimes I do but because they are never gonna make it. I can't control what someone charges just as no one is going to control what I charge. Customers choose to eat at the fast food place or they eat steak. I do the same thing. Some people shop at Wal-Mart and some at Saks 5th Avenue.
I would say that the MOWING industry has a bad reputation overall because it is an industry that we are unable to regulate. Heck, even the applications end of it has its share of goofballs and it is somewhat regulated. I just go with the flow and work to my market. It has taken a number of years for me to smooth the edges but I know what works for me and I don't really care about the ones who I know will come and go. Good Luck.

jeffex
03-02-2006, 06:55 AM
Olderthandirts response, to me, is just a method for gaining control over new start ups trying to move in to his territory. Get a grip on them before they steal too many of your customers . Many of them would sign anything including a non-compete just to get pay. They are probably not very business savvy and would be scared of breaking the agreement. If they decide not to sub out to him or he cancels them for poor service he has still protected his territory. Chances are they will move on. At the very least he can develop a contact with this new start up and get them to raise their prices . I have contact with at least 4 guys mowing in my area and talk to them regularly about pricing and customers . I believe its called "collusion" just like gas stations all agreeing to charge about the same price.

PGA
03-02-2006, 07:39 AM
Did'nt miss it at all
I don't do any 5k size lots anymore, I do very little residential mowing at all because I refuse to make less per property than I did yrs ago because the markets been beat down by people that will work for beer money. I prefer to pick the few commercial propertys that are wiling to give me free reign to do what I feel is needed with out checking with them before its done.





Well I dont know what to say then.

Im a smaller company and my prices are right in line with all the other big ones in town.

I think $35 for a lawn that takes me 15 minutes to cut is a great price. I have 6 lawns right in a row, no fences, all around 5000 sq feet and I get over $200 a week to do them.

One hour of labor.

olderthandirt
03-02-2006, 11:02 AM
Olderthandirts response, to me, is just a method for gaining control over new start ups trying to move in to his territory. Get a grip on them before they steal too many of your customers . Many of them would sign anything including a non-compete just to get pay. They are probably not very business savvy and would be scared of breaking the agreement. If they decide not to sub out to him or he cancels them for poor service he has still protected his territory. Chances are they will move on. At the very least he can develop a contact with this new start up and get them to raise their prices . I have contact with at least 4 guys mowing in my area and talk to them regularly about pricing and customers . I believe its called "collusion" just like gas stations all agreeing to charge about the same price.

Exactly!!!!!
Someone who comes in and is willing to cut market rate by 50% has not been to any attorney or an accountant. Its someone that thinks theres easy money to be made cutting grass. Chances are if you get a summer out of them you would be doing good. So by making them subs which is nothing more than an employee you have control over the quality of work and when they leave the threat of using a non compete clause will force them to just move along or quit mowing. And yet you have not allowed them to drag market value down and have retained your customers PLUS while they were mowing it free up your time to sign new customers thus growing your business by using there labor.

Remsen1
03-02-2006, 03:26 PM
Call me a lowballer if you wish BUT....
I am starting this year by focusing on three large subdivisions (total about 1000 single-family homes) all with TINY yards, many of which are unfenced. To try and gain business, I am offering a $25 weekly rate to anyone who signs a contract AND is part of one of these three area. I live literally less than two miles from the FARTHEST property, so I figured it this way:
10 Local Contracts @ $25/cut=$250/week gross (Only a part-time business)
-Little gas, little load and unload time
OR
8 Distance Contracts @ $35/cut=$280/week gross
-Tons of gas, load and unload at every site
I've already been laughed at by one of my local lawnmower dealers, who says I'll be lucky to last a year. However, this is an unsaturated market and I want to gain a nice market share in my first year, grow from there etc.
One final question...How many here started out charging at or more than industry standards? I.E. If the going rate is $35/cut in the year you start, how many charged at or above that?
Also, realize that maybe some people are willfully trying to get new clients via pricing. When they beat your quality AND price, and take all your customers, that's when it's time to start investigating. Nothing wrong with competition, it's what keeps us all here!!

What size is tiny? Your dealer probably knows better than you. Why not test the market with a higher price instead of a low one. It's easier to come down if nobody bites than to raise it if you get a full load. You said it's unsaturated but your competing on price. if there is no competition why set a low price? Your filling a niche all right namely the cheap mowing niche. How much is the average house worth in the area and I'll tell you if you're a lowballer?

Remsen1
03-02-2006, 03:29 PM
You know, I have no problem with the original poster checking these guys out with his state.

Let's look at it like this.. if the flyers are on his door, he is being targeted as a customer. As a financially minded consumer, he has every right to call the state and see if the people that he may be considering hiring are legit to do business in his state/area. Now, if it just so happens that they are not, and the state shuts em down.. well.. that's not really his fault for being a consumer that likes to make sure the people he is thinking of dealing with are on the up and up.

I mean, if you got a flyer on your door for a $40 root canal and the address for the dentist is a chair in his garage.. wouldn't you want to call the state and make sure he is a liscenced DDS ?

I agree with you, but don't start writing analogies for living because you're really bad at it. Stick to cutting grass.

yrdandgardenhandyman
03-02-2006, 04:03 PM
Exactly!!!!!
Someone who comes in and is willing to cut market rate by 50% has not been to any attorney or an accountant. Its someone that thinks theres easy money to be made cutting grass. Chances are if you get a summer out of them you would be doing good. So by making them subs which is nothing more than an employee you have control over the quality of work and when they leave the threat of using a non compete clause will force them to just move along or quit mowing. And yet you have not allowed them to drag market value down and have retained your customers PLUS while they were mowing it free up your time to sign new customers thus growing your business by using there labor.



Unless you spend all of your time in court trying to enforce a non compete and at the same time trying to repair all of the bad will created by the "sub contractor" who did a crummy job and was unreliable. Been there, done that. All you can do is ignore them and take care of the customers who care more about quality than saving a few bucks on another so called LCO.

trent515
03-02-2006, 05:02 PM
Remsen1;
Average value of homes in this area of town is less than $100k, most $85-90K, lawns all about 3K-4K square feet, minus house, so average 2000-2500 sf lawn mowing.
I know that my dealer knows more about this than I do, but it didn't leave a great impression with me. You think I am going to buy a mower from a guy like that? Heck no. Plus, this was just a young salesman, and the only way he could try and sell me on a mower was to bash every other one out there.
It's wonderful how quickly everyone can jump to conclusions. Laugh if you want, we'll see how it goes.

jason_2005lawnman
03-02-2006, 07:53 PM
Registered company, paying taxes all the stuff actual companies do...:dancing:
they will just laugh at you and i wuld to; but hey look out one of these day's they may just put you out of business; I think the real word is(COMPETITION); I to started out as i guess you would call us{lowballers}with a pushmower in the trunk of my car; but now i have a majority of business's in two different towns and winning more bids this year; so beware of the lowballers as you say; they may come back to haunt you!!! I now employ two people and make a fair living with a wife and three kids; I learned not to down anybody; i dont worry about them i take care of my business and my needs; i sure dont have the time to worry about some new guy trying to start out; i got to make sure my customers are happy with what i am doing and when they do get that knock on the door from the new guy i dont have to worry; they already know what kind of job i do; I think that is where we need to be focusing our attention,and not worry about the other guy so much; I know some of you wont like this post but that is ok to; FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

ripple
03-02-2006, 08:21 PM
How am I insulting everyone in this thread? I'm laughing at the unprofessional companies in my area. Did I point fingers at any companies on here that I have no clue how they operate? Nope, sorry, try again.
Gladly....
Not everyone on Lawnsite thinks the same way...Your generalizations of people is rude. Are you saying "punk rockers" "carni types" are not welcome here or are not worthy of the Landscaping industry?
Not everybody starts out as a proffessional with uniforms big trucks and an education. Some just have a change in carreer and are well, just starting out!
Everything (even business) has to start somewhere. Maybe the "carni" just got off tour and was starting a Lawn mowing business and was still learning the ins and outs of Lawn care. And maybe the "punk rocker" is really good at mowing and just really likes punk music.

mow king
03-02-2006, 09:00 PM
As far as the comment about low-ballers not charging sales tax. If they gross less than $5000 a year at least in Ohio they're not required to charge sales tax.

befnme
03-02-2006, 09:07 PM
As far as the comment about low-ballers not charging sales tax. If they gross less than $5000 a year at least in Ohio they're not required to charge sales tax.

if you only gross 5000.00 why bother .....:)

olderthandirt
03-02-2006, 09:53 PM
Unless you spend all of your time in court trying to enforce a non compete and at the same time trying to repair all of the bad will created by the "sub contractor" who did a crummy job and was unreliable. Been there, done that. All you can do is ignore them and take care of the customers who care more about quality than saving a few bucks on another so called LCO.

Wrong analogy, my attorney can take a couple a newbies that sigh a non compete clause in enough documents that they can't afford to fight it to even see if hes right. theres no court time or bad will because they would have been fired before it canme to that point.

olderthandirt
03-02-2006, 09:57 PM
they will just laugh at you and i wuld to; but hey look out one of these day's they may just put you out of business; I think the real word is(COMPETITION); I to started out as i guess you would call us{lowballers}with a pushmower in the trunk of my car; but now i have a majority of business's in two different towns and winning more bids this year; so beware of the lowballers as you say; they may come back to haunt you!!! I now employ two people and make a fair living with a wife and three kids; I learned not to down anybody; i dont worry about them i take care of my business and my needs; i sure dont have the time to worry about some new guy trying to start out; i got to make sure my customers are happy with what i am doing and when they do get that knock on the door from the new guy i dont have to worry; they already know what kind of job i do; I think that is where we need to be focusing our attention,and not worry about the other guy so much; I know some of you wont like this post but that is ok to; FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

I have enough capital to afford to do every property you have at a loss for two yrs. So I cut the price 1/3-1/2 and basically steal all your jobs. You worried now? And is that low balling or smart business?

daveintoledo
03-02-2006, 10:03 PM
As far as the comment about low-ballers not charging sales tax. If they gross less than $5000 a year at least in Ohio they're not required to charge sales tax.


you are correct, but if they arent even maaking that, they are kids, with bikes and mowers, not competition....many make much more then that and dont report any of it, and there is no statute of limitations on tax fraud...... being busted for just a couple of years worth will take them out of circulation.......:)

jason_2005lawnman
03-02-2006, 11:50 PM
I have enough capital to afford to do every property you have at a loss for two yrs. So I cut the price 1/3-1/2 and basically steal all your jobs. You worried now? And is that low balling or smart business?
ive dealt with people like you since i started doing this and instead of losing i keep growing; hmmm; imagine that; i think you are worried; wow;

olderthandirt
03-03-2006, 01:21 AM
ive dealt with people like you since i started doing this and instead of losing i keep growing; hmmm; imagine that; i think you are worried; wow;

Now what makes you think that when you lowballed [SEE QUOTE BELOW] and got your clients that someone can't do the same thing??? Let me guess, it because of the great work you do :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: When TG/CL comes in with a 1 million $$$ a month per local branch advertizing campaign and can do the lawns and fert for less than than you can drive to a property I'm sure with your vast experience you will know how to deal with them. Seen it before from guys that had all the answers and it the same each time YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT
I to started out as i guess you would call us{lowballers}with a pushmower in the trunk of my car; but now i have a majority of business's in two different towns and winning more bids this year; so beware of the lowballers as you say; they may come back to haunt you!!!

Have fun with this thread i'm done with it.

jeffex
03-03-2006, 05:54 AM
I think Olderthandirts methods of handling startups is a tactical solution to the flood of spring time newbies. He is not representing it as a long range business plan. As I understand it he runs his business like a pro and follows all the rules of quality service, but can use these guys to handle some marginal or "B" service accounts he didn't want anyway. He would rather NOT use them at all but hoping they will just go away is a "head in the sand" approach. This is a pro-active method for dealing with competition. If they are for real business savvy people they will break away and maybe take some lessons learned in pricing and go to another area. If thats the case Olderthandirt will have protected his territory. Nobody wants to start a business with some lawyer breathing down their neck. I would be willing to bet the # of people who actually go to court on a non-compete is very low. Additionally, if this sub makes a profit for him then great these lawns were ones he didn't want to deal with anyway. When the guy quits or gets fired he will spread the word to his other startup buddies that that area is off limits!! As far as undercutting the competition out of business I believe it is another short term method to deal with competition. In my area I believe I could capture market share by running a spring time cable tv ad for any lawn $20 [most 1/4 acre or townhouse] and recover that cost the first week. Then as I developed time and rapore with the customers I could recover the cost of the low lawn price in other services. I could do it this season!! but so could someone else do that to me!!! I don't care how much Mrs. Smith like me she will drop me very appoligetically to save $10 bucks a cut. FACT. I may keep some of my customers but the only way to make decent profit on low margin lawns is volume and add ons and thats not what I want to do. Just how I see it!!