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DFW Area Landscaper
03-10-2006, 12:48 PM
Just got a call from another established lawn mowing company in my area. It appears that he has recieved two door hangers at his house with people still trying to capture market share at $20 per cut.

I have personally spoken with most of the established lawn mowing companies in the area and pretty much everyone is going back to $25 & up.

All it takes is one guy trying to capture market share at $20/cut and every body else panics. We will try to contact these guys and talk some sense into them.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Jpocket
03-10-2006, 12:56 PM
Your not gonna stop those guys, they is always going to be someone with that idea.

BSDeality
03-10-2006, 01:09 PM
thats the epidemic, around here it is a 3 year old price thing. you get the prices where they need to be and some guy with no idea of his overhead costs are comes in and underbids for the prices 3 years ago. Theres not much you can do about it but find the good customers.

Fantasy Lawns
03-10-2006, 01:11 PM
I suppose they should call the guys charging $15 per cut

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 01:15 PM
Just got a call from another established lawn mowing company in my area. It appears that he has recieved two door hangers at his house with people still trying to capture market share at $20 per cut.

I have personally spoken with most of the established lawn mowing companies in the area and pretty much everyone is going back to $25 & up.

All it takes is one guy trying to capture market share at $20/cut and every body else panics. We will try to contact these guys and talk some sense into them.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper



You should see if they are paying taxes. If not take it from there.

hole in one lco
03-10-2006, 01:43 PM
they can only cut so much so i dont worry. They pic up 30 accounts i pic up
10 takes them 5 days to cut 30 takes me half day to cut 10 hes getting 20 a cut im getting 35 so be it . But i still got all week and a half day left

ZaK18
03-10-2006, 01:51 PM
Every year in my area, there are flyers advertising prices as low as $18 a cut...Its funny, I never see any or these lowballing scrubs actually working...and have never lost any accounts on price...although I hate the fact that it decreases the percieved value of the work...I do however get a few calls a year, asking if Ill match the lower price....NOPE

Zack

mrusk
03-10-2006, 02:03 PM
Be careful what you do. Price fixing is illegal!!!

Crystal
03-10-2006, 02:03 PM
these are the guys you talk to later and they all say we used to do 30 lawns but i decided to switch carrers

lawnwizards
03-10-2006, 02:06 PM
Be careful what you do. Price fixing is illegal!!!
what are you talking about?

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 02:17 PM
Be careful what you do. Price fixing is illegal!!!


Lawyers do it

Big Red
03-10-2006, 02:35 PM
Can you say gas stations?

Lawn Masters
03-10-2006, 02:44 PM
Just wait till it starts gettin real hot, you'll start seein more of em disappearin then. some will get their stuff together, and keep at it, possibly get insured licensed, and go legit, but not all will.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-10-2006, 03:42 PM
One of the local mower dealers here hosts an annual barbecue in late February each year. Almost everyone shows up for a free lunch and the place is packed every year. I overheard a couple of guys talking about the Justices and 2,000 lawns. I guess everyone is trying to be the next justmowit this year.

If only everyone realized that justmowit is not advertising discounted prices this year!!!!

If they're willing to pay $20, they'll pay $25. But why would they pay $25 if they've got an offer for $20?

I think I am just stressed over nothing. I am late getting my door hangers out this year and the phone hasn't started ringing yet. Once it starts ringing, I'll be in a much better mood. A couple guys advertising $20 cuts isn't going to be the end of the world, although I do believe it's bad for the industry.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 03:52 PM
One of the local mower dealers here hosts an annual barbecue in late February each year. Almost everyone shows up for a free lunch and the place is packed every year. I overheard a couple of guys talking about the Justices and 2,000 lawns. I guess everyone is trying to be the next justmowit this year.

If only everyone realized that justmowit is not advertising discounted prices this year!!!!

If they're willing to pay $20, they'll pay $25. But why would they pay $25 if they've got an offer for $20?

I think I am just stressed over nothing. I am late getting my door hangers out this year and the phone hasn't started ringing yet. Once it starts ringing, I'll be in a much better mood. A couple guys advertising $20 cuts isn't going to be the end of the world, although I do believe it's bad for the industry.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper


We need to clean this up. We are the only ones that will. We need to start this year so we can feed are family's. This problem will only get worse if we take the (i dont care attitude) Fight for what is yours:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

DFW Area Landscaper
03-10-2006, 04:11 PM
Just lost a customer from my first year in business. She was with us for 3 years. Had a lot of rapport with this lady and her husband. It's not like they wouldn't recognize me, as is the case with most of my clients.

Our service was fine, it wasn't a quality issue. It's just that she found a company that would also trim the shrubs for free. We were charging $28 per cut weekly on a corner lot.

They're all going to fire you sooner or later. We just don't know when they're gonna pull the trigger.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 04:14 PM
Just lost a customer from my first year in business. She was with us for 3 years. Had a lot of rapport with this lady and her husband. It's not like they wouldn't recognize me, as is the case with most of my clients.

Our service was fine, it wasn't a quality issue. It's just that she found a company that would also trim the shrubs for free. We were charging $28 per cut weekly on a corner lot.

They're all going to fire you sooner or later. We just don't know when they're gonna pull the trigger.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper



Do they have a tax number????? are they registered with the town as a business???????


Think about this.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-10-2006, 04:43 PM
The guys charging $20 per cut aren't necessarily lowballing scrubs. Remember, the Justices built a heckuva nice business taking market share with $19.95 cuts.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Brianslawn
03-10-2006, 04:44 PM
Be careful what you do. Price fixing is illegal!!!


so is pricing services below costs and opperating without a license and not paying taxes.

Brianslawn
03-10-2006, 04:47 PM
Lawyers do it


so does the government by fixing the price on employee wages. we need to fix our prices so we can afford to pay the governments fixed labor price.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-10-2006, 04:59 PM
Guys,

Even if some of the larger LCO's agree on certain minimums or standards, with the barrier to entry that we have, which is NOTHING, there is no way in hell we would ever be prosecuted for price fixing. The state comptroller can't even enforce something as simple as the sales tax within our industry. The notion of the attorney general getting involved with lawn mowing companies for price fixing is straight from la-la land.

Besides, our government is clearly telling us that if we can fix prices it won't be prosecuted. Today, we see considation after consolidation. Consumers have fewer and fewer choices. Remember when their were like 8 cell phone companies and they would actually compete to a certain extent for your business? Now there are 3 or 4 in the entire country and the customer service with all of them is worse than pathetic.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 05:41 PM
Hey, I'm a lowballer too. Cut, Edge and Trim for one low price of $17.00, most lawns.

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 05:58 PM
Hey, I'm a lowballer too. Cut, Edge and Trim for one low price of $17.00, most lawns.



Do you think you will ever be any better then you are now charging that:confused:

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:02 PM
Oh yeah. I like my accounts all close together. Driving from one lawn to the next makes no sense to me. I drop the price so low to group accounts together. The less I drive, the more I can cut.

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 06:10 PM
Oh yeah. I like my accounts all close together. Driving from one lawn to the next makes no sense to me. I drop the price so low to group accounts together. The less I drive, the more I can cut.




So you live below the poverty level and mowing brought you up a notch?

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:13 PM
Economy of scale:
How many lawns cut per hour?
2, 3, 4??

Try 10 per hour.
How is that possible?
40X90 lot with a huge house on it. Very little grass to cut. Wealthy home owners, checks never bounced in 5 years.

Yeah, I cut small lawns, but my wallet is stuffed.

captken
03-10-2006, 06:16 PM
So you live below the poverty level and mowing brought you up a notch?


:drinkup: ..........

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 06:22 PM
Hey, I'm a lowballer too. Cut, Edge and Trim for one low price of $17.00, most lawns.

do you, sir, have a mortgage, vehicle payments, a family to feed, insurance to pay? or are you a part timer with a full time "other" job?

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:26 PM
I work afternoons/ take 1/2 day vacations for 3 days a week during the cutting season.
From sun up till 3pm I cut. Just paid my liablity insurance for the year. Business is an LLC with the state. Family of five.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 06:28 PM
answer the first part of my question please....

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:30 PM
Sorry,
Mortgage yes, vehicle payments yes, insurance yes. Employees no. Partner yes.
Cut, Edge and Trim for one low price of $17.00

Greed=killer of business

captken
03-10-2006, 06:32 PM
answer the first part of my question please....

:drinkup: ..........

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:36 PM
Poverty level?
Ah no. I started cutting lawns as a way to lose some weight and stay in shape. Then I realized how much fun it is. Now I am using vacation time from my afternoon job to cut more lawns so I can retire south of the border.

Brianslawn
03-10-2006, 06:36 PM
dfw has the idea. consolidation is the key. the state dont give a sh!t about lawn boys monopolizing a local market. oil, phone, financial, and other national firms are having great success at it on a national level. once you start consolidating, you can quit working for free.

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:38 PM
I wish I still lived at home but that's not the case. The wife does yell about the trailer in the garage smelling.

Brianslawn
03-10-2006, 06:41 PM
I wish I still lived at home but that's not the case. The wife does yell about the trailer in the garage smelling.


i edited. i started posting while you were posting.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 06:44 PM
Now I am using vacation time from my afternoon job to cut more lawns so I can retire south of the border.

You are not a buisness owner, you are an employee working for less than minimum wage. for you, it is simply a hobby. Its amazing that guys that depend on this buisness to feed their familys have to compete with such people.

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 06:45 PM
Yeah,
It's a hobby with benefits. And yes, I am the owner.

Retirement in Queretaro.

captken
03-10-2006, 06:58 PM
You are not a buisness owner, you are an employee working for less than minimum wage. for you, it is simply a hobby. Its amazing that guys that depend on this buisness to feed their familys have to compete with such people.


Talk about being presumptuous and condescending....And just [exactly] how did you start out? :confused:

captken
03-10-2006, 07:03 PM
So you live below the poverty level and mowing brought you up a notch?

I bet it does for some here who have come up the hard way.:usflag:
Thank God I live in America, where the American dream can still be had....

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 07:06 PM
I bet it does for some here who have come up the hard way.:usflag:
Thank God I live in America, where the American dream can still be had....


Dont stay there:hammerhead: How are you Ken:waving:

captken
03-10-2006, 07:09 PM
Dont stay there:hammerhead: How are you Ken:waving:
Fine thank you, I just found out that I can buy NEW old style Shindaiwa trimmers and I am happy.

How about yourself?

yrdandgardenhandyman
03-10-2006, 07:11 PM
Hey, I'm a lowballer too. Cut, Edge and Trim for one low price of $17.00, most lawns.


Just curious. Do you have insurance and pay taxes? How do you make it work, charging peanuts? Do you get entire neighborhoods, unload, do 25 yards and then load?

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 07:19 PM
Talk about being presumptuous and condescending....And just [exactly] how did you start out? :confused:

I started full time....I have always depended on my buisness to pay bills, feed my family. This is my sole means of income.

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 07:19 PM
Yes, all legit.
Small yards only. Acre lots??? Hell no. Small yards grouped together, very little driving between accounts is my secret. Got me a 4 banger wrangler pulling a 5x10 trailer with a 36"wb gravely and 34" rider gravely along with 21"push mower. I can fit in the tightest spaces on a block with my set up. Gas prices dont bother me a bit.

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 07:22 PM
Fine thank you, I just found out that I can buy NEW old style Shindaiwa trimmers and I am happy.

How about yourself?


GREAT!!! Happy about the talk about the under class cutting. Hopefully we will get together and eliminate it!!!!!:clapping:

John Gamba
03-10-2006, 07:24 PM
Yes, all legit.
Small yards only. Acre lots??? Hell no. Small yards grouped together, very little driving between accounts is my secret. Got me a 4 banger wrangler pulling a 5x10 trailer with a 36"wb gravely and 34" rider gravely along with 21"push mower. I can fit in the tightest spaces on a block with my set up. Gas prices dont bother me a bit.




Dont pay attention to this clown:sleeping:

lowballer17
03-10-2006, 07:26 PM
Clown?
Just dont complain when your wife leaves you cause you lost your accounts to a lowballer.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 07:26 PM
Dont pay attention to this clown:sleeping:

I hope the curly blue wig and the red foam nose fit nicely....

CC Lawncare
03-10-2006, 07:53 PM
I have to throw in my 2 cents here. I normally don't do small lots because I hate walking behind a mower. We have 3 customers per week that we have to use 22" & 33" mowers to do the job. 95% of our business is 61" and 72" machines, with the remaining 9.5% using those larger decks in conjunction with a 54" hydro WB w/ sulky. That's just what we like for business. On the other hand, I have said many times that a guy can also make a good living with the home cheapo 20" decks and parking in the middle of a block and hammering out some business, just like lowballer is doing. He stated that he is doing 10 lawns per hour @ 17 a pop. Not too many guys are making $170 gross per hr with virtually no overhead. I definitely would not change my method of doing business(we are not low-ballers), but I cannot really fault this guy for his mode of operation if her is really doinng $170 per hr.

captken
03-10-2006, 08:20 PM
I started full time....I have always depended on my buisness to pay bills, feed my family. This is my sole means of income.

I hear you and can feel your pain.
however, the strong will survive.

cantoo
03-10-2006, 08:57 PM
NEPSJay, what difference does it make that the guy does it part time? He doesn't have all his eggs in one basket is what I would call it. I have no idea if he is making money at $17 per cut but if he has enough small lawns at each stop then I guess it is possible. I agree that his overhead would be very low because of the small equipment he uses and it would likely last a very long time. I also only do it part time because I want to. I like to cut grass but not everyday all day. I prefer to build and maintain the equipment rather than drive it. My wife does most of the cutting I just help out once in awhile she works about 3 1/2 days per week. That's about all she wants to do she doesn't need to work everyday. We're also licenced and insured for chemicals but don't really do what I would call alot of spraying. I had customers asking me about weeds so I started spraying. When we were required to get licenced I took the cousre and got it. I didn't like the sprayers you could buy ( too expensive and not any good) so I built my own front mount sprayers. We could make lots of money running it everyday but I like a variety so it sits most of the time. I would think there are likely more part time guys here than there are full time guys. There's nothing wrong with full timers either but I for one don't ever plan to be just cutting grass full time. I might consider a home maintenance type business first, everything from cutting to home repairs.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 09:11 PM
If someone only does this part time, they have no idea of whats its like to operate a real buisness. There is a big difference in someone how does this full time to feed there family and someone whos hobby is mowing part time for less than minimun wage. Anyone can punch a time clock everyday and answer to a boss, but when you raise a family solely on income from your buisness, whether it be mowing or selling pencils, the stakes are alot greater. Mortgage companies and finance companies dont care about lowballers or mowjoes.

cantoo
03-10-2006, 09:26 PM
I can't agree with you on the no idea on how to run a real business if your part time. It doesn't matter if you are running 5 hours a day or 10 hours a day if you are doing it legal the ideas are the same. I'm also not sure he is doing this for minimum wage, I know we are not. My wife likes to cut grass but of course not for free.
There are lots of guys on here who run multiple businesses so I guess each one of them would be part time businesses. They don't need to make all their income from any one business.
The stakes are the same for me as a part time cutter, I have equipment to pay for the same as a full time guy. I have other income that I could use for the business if I had to however if it can't carry itself then your just wasting time cutting I would think. Around here you would have to do alot of driving to run a full time cutting only business. I live in the sticks the closest town only has 1000 people. There are no full time cutting companies within 50 or 60miles of here. There are however many many part time guys.
I'm not trying to argue with you it's just that you have raised some valid points and I wouldn't mind hearing more. Common sense can be few and far between on here sometimes.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-10-2006, 09:34 PM
Nepsjay,

I think I feel your pain, but this industry will ALWAYS have part timers. Always has. Always will.

It would be a very different industry if part timers did not exist. But that is not the reality and we knew that when we entered the industry.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

captken
03-10-2006, 09:35 PM
If someone only does this part time, they have no idea of whats its like to operate a real buisness. There is a big difference in someone how does this full time to feed there family and someone whos hobby is mowing part time for less than minimun wage. Anyone can punch a time clock everyday and answer to a boss, but when you raise a family solely on income from your buisness, whether it be mowing or selling pencils, the stakes are alot greater. Mortgage companies and finance companies dont care about lowballers or mowjoes.

There has always been and will always be part timers.
Those guys do not pose a threat to my livelihood. Maybe I am a bit further along than you are in that they do not pose a threat to my livelihood. [operation]
Do us all a favor and please use the spell check feature before you post your nonsense. It will make you [appear] far more creditable than you probably are....
kenny

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 09:47 PM
yes the ideas are the same but the stakes are different. Full time guys rely on there biz for the whole ball of wax. Part timers have the stability and security of a steady paycheck. If all your clients lawns burnt down tomorrow, will your car payments still be made? will your mortgage be made? if your equipment trailer disappears will you be able to overcome without standing in the free cheese line? I made the decision to quit my day job several years ago, to pursue my dream of being a LCO. I've neverlooked back. i had my share of ups and downs, seems like more downs than ups, but as my learning curve progressed then so did the growth of my biz. If someone wants to sell themself to a employer for a paycheck thats their decision, but I aint livin like that....

cantoo
03-10-2006, 10:01 PM
NEPSJay, I don't punch a clock. I set my own hours and work as much as I want.
If your clients lawns burnt tomorrow what would you do? I bet you would start hussling and do something else pretty quick. As a small business owners you know that you have to do whatever it takes to keep food on the table and bills paid. I would bet you might even take a full time job and keep doing lawns on the side if you had to.
I have around 18 trailers and 8 mowers so I wouldn't even miss a beat if something disappeared. I build and sell trailers as another part time job. I also buy and sell equipment so I have lots of back up equipment if needed. Like I said I like fixing stuff more than running it.
This year I plan to spend more time riding my bike and less on working saturdays on equipment. We have a lifestyle that requires a certain amount of money so we do what we have to do to keep it. I also don't like to depend on any one thing to pay my bills. I like the thought that I could quit any one of them and still keep my lifestyle if I wanted to. A few years ago I did give my notice and made plans to go full time cutting but at the last second I decided I didn't want to take the big jump. I like what I do every day so why give it up if I don't want to?

captken
03-10-2006, 10:05 PM
as my learning curve progressed then so did the growth of my biz.

never loose sight of you goal.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 10:10 PM
Lots of people like working for someone or like the lack of responsibility of being self employed. I just dont have that kind of personality. I like my job and lifestyle and if you like your career and lifestyle....than thats all that matters. And yes, I would have to do some fancy hustling if I lost all my customers and all my equipment..... as would every other lco. Sorry bout my spelling.... not used to typing on a laptop.

captken
03-10-2006, 10:34 PM
Kids loving life. Circa Memphis Tennessee, 2003.
Why I do not fear Part Timers
They are not in the same league, they simply cannnot compete.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 10:39 PM
Cute kids! Nice mower they have too. It was nice they decieded to patronize the local guy and stop by your lemonade stand for some refreshments.:p j/k

befnme
03-10-2006, 10:48 PM
Be careful what you do. Price fixing is illegal!!!

if you are reffering to " bid rigging " that only applies to general contractors in construction.

captken
03-10-2006, 10:54 PM
Cute kids! Nice mower they have too. It was nice they decieded to patronize the local guy and stop by your lemonade stand for some refreshments.:p j/k

Keen perceptions. Their daddy could buy and sell your sorry ass.

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 11:01 PM
Keen perceptions. Their daddy could buy and sell your sorry ass.

It was a joke captain kangaroo.... lighten up. and no i dont think he could

LawnMowerMan3875
03-10-2006, 11:10 PM
Lots of people like working for someone or like the lack of responsibility of being self employed. I just dont have that kind of personality. I like my job and lifestyle and if you like your career and lifestyle....than thats all that matters. And yes, I would have to do some fancy hustling if I lost all my customers and all my equipment..... as would every other lco. Sorry bout my spelling.... not used to typing on a laptop.


If everyone in the world had the responsibility to own and operate their own business....We wouldn't need employee's...Without employee's, we could never get the job done or we could only handle so many clients....YOUR CLIENTS ARE YOUR BOSSES.... They hire and fire you....I know we are trained to: The Client is always right....BS....As a business owner, you ought and should know what is right for you and your business....But like you, NEPSJay, I got tired of filling everyone else's pockets and decided to fill my own....Owner, Operator and Proud of It...

NEPSJay
03-10-2006, 11:28 PM
YOUR CLIENTS ARE YOUR BOSSES.... They hire and fire you.....

nonsence....I provide a service to them as does the cable company, power company, electric company, etc etc etc. Its my terms or no terms. I control my buisness, not my customers. How can someone fire me? They might cancel my service, but certainly cannot fire me. I sign my paycheck not them. I have more work than I can handle now and still have a consistant growth rate.

evergreenedmond
03-10-2006, 11:36 PM
tell them you"ll send a Eddie Sutton driving through their neighborhood, that"ll scare them

yrdandgardenhandyman
03-11-2006, 04:13 AM
Yes, all legit.
Small yards only. Acre lots??? Hell no. Small yards grouped together, very little driving between accounts is my secret. Got me a 4 banger wrangler pulling a 5x10 trailer with a 36"wb gravely and 34" rider gravely along with 21"push mower. I can fit in the tightest spaces on a block with my set up. Gas prices dont bother me a bit.


That's why your pricing wouldn't work around here. Most lots are 1/4 acre or bigger. It does help to have the lawns close together but I don't give discounts because of that. Most of my customers have gone the lowballer route and have learned to appreciate the value of quality and reliability. The only time I have lost to a lowballer was on the initial bid. And occasionally I lose an original bid to someone who simply bids $5.00 cheaper. Those I don't mind. I don't even mind missing bids to lowballers because those clients are not the ones I want. Don't sweat the lowballer as he is filling a need I don't want to fill.

kosty
03-11-2006, 04:30 AM
well i just got started to in the bussiness and i dont want to lowball. But all i hear from ppl is that my price is to high.

John Gamba
03-11-2006, 06:58 AM
Clown?
Just dont complain when your wife leaves you cause you lost your accounts to a lowballer.



Clown boy

I sold them in 2002:clapping: Thats how i can afford your wife to clean our toilets

John Gamba
03-11-2006, 08:11 AM
I hear you and can feel your pain.
however, the strong will survive.


Ken


Have you looked at Hustlers new deck. It looks nice