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View Full Version : Well well well Forum sponsor becomes low baller


ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 01:14 PM
I just found out something VERY interesting. CLIP the guy that makes the lawn care software and a sponsor of this forum has started a lawn care company and is leaving flyers all over the place for a $20 cut and they claim they are cheaper than the competition.

"CLIP Lawn Care was formed to provide customers with low priced, reliable lawn service. We provide good service at a price much lower than our competitors. Because we mainly do one service, we are experts at doing the job efficiently and we don't have to charge you for extra time like our competition. We also use the most advanced software available for scheduling and billing.

Operations Manager: Jon Coleman"



http://www.cliplawncare.com/About.html



I just found it interesting thats all.

dkeisala
06-29-2006, 01:36 PM
If this is true, it doesn't say much for the overall and long term success of CLIP, does it? I use it and think it works just fine but I don't see how using "the most advanced software available" enables you to cut at cut rate prices.

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 01:46 PM
If this is true, it doesn't say much for the overall and long term success of CLIP, does it? I use it and think it works just fine but I don't see how using "the most advanced software available" enables you to cut at cut rate prices.


Thats what I was thinking. I can scan the door hanger I pulled off a customer today so everybody can see it if anybody wants to see it.

toac
06-29-2006, 02:07 PM
In CLIP's defense, it does say 'Limit one time per customer.' If he retains the customer then it would be worth it.

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 02:13 PM
In CLIP's defense, it does say 'Limit one time per customer.' If he retains the customer then it would be worth it.



Very true but he is claiming to offer lower prices than anybody else. It seems as if he is trying to do quantity VS quality which IMO is a bad way of doing business and the people that hire him will be the people we are glad that didnt hire us. You know the PITA type of customer. Im not cutting on him at all I just found the "we are cheaper" bit a rather odd way of getting customers for the very reasons I stated above.

toac
06-29-2006, 02:16 PM
Very well put.

MarcSmith
06-29-2006, 02:38 PM
I just found the "we are cheaper" bit a rather odd way of getting customers

Walmart does it, McDonalds does it, taco Bell, Hundai, Kia, Dollar general, Jiffy Lube....Its a sound business practice that has been around a long long time....I find it kinds of odd that a software business is getting into grass cutting. Are people just getting better at scheduling their own routes rather than relying on the software?

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 02:49 PM
Walmart does it, McDonalds does it, taco Bell, Hundai, Kia, Dollar general, Jiffy Lube....Its a sound business practice that has been around a long long time....I find it kinds of odd that a software business is getting into grass cutting. Are people just getting better at scheduling their own routes rather than relying on the software?



I understand that tottaly but have some respect for other LCO's. I would NEVER put a flyer on a lawn that I can clearly see is being done by another company. That is disrespectful and bad business practices. This flier was on our customers door. Maybe I am to straight in the way I do things.

Surf'n'Turf
06-29-2006, 03:13 PM
C'mon..........$20.00 for up to 20,000 sq. ft. ;) what the hell are people thinking (or aren't they?) this is a great way to show your love for the industry by cheapening the trade and bringing it further down the crapper.

Are you sure these are the same guys who are running the software company...or did they simply borrow (read: steal) the clip logo....you would think an established software co. would have better things to do than this and would certainly put up a better web site than what I just saw....

kc2006
06-29-2006, 03:24 PM
blah, I've found anymore (especially in the past few days) to let the cheap guys have the PITA cheap customers. I have one customer that I budged on the price just because I wanted to be able to get into the neighborhood and she's a big pita but she's buying upsales like crazy so it works out I guess.

All commercial for me next year, I don't want the 25-30 dollar accounts that I have to waste time on and listen to people cry about every little thing.

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 03:39 PM
C'mon..........$20.00 for up to 20,000 sq. ft. ;) what the hell are people thinking (or aren't they?) this is a great way to show your love for the industry by cheapening the trade and bringing it further down the crapper.

Are you sure these are the same guys who are running the software company...or did they simply borrow (read: steal) the clip logo....you would think an established software co. would have better things to do than this and would certainly put up a better web site than what I just saw....


Yup same people for sure. If its not then its very odd that both CLIP businesses are in Ijamsville MD which is a very small area.

Surf'n'Turf
06-29-2006, 04:03 PM
It definately seems a little more than just coincidence based on location as stated above. what gives? Why would they chooses to run the risk of completely alienating potential buyers of their software if those potential buyers happened to read this about their lawn mowing marketing 'strategies.'
Very stupid...at least change the name.

TriCountyLawn
06-29-2006, 04:43 PM
Hmmm thats tragic I just bought Gopher and now im not 2nd gueesing myself so bad ....lol

ed2hess
06-29-2006, 06:16 PM
It definately seems a little more than just coincidence based on location as stated above. what gives? Why would they chooses to run the risk of completely alienating potential buyers of their software if those potential buyers happened to read this about their lawn mowing marketing 'strategies.'
Very stupid...at least change the name.
Maybe they are using the lawn business to test the software product, we found a lot of holes when you get large numbers of customers.

Imow4u2
06-29-2006, 07:30 PM
Hmmm thats tragic I just bought Gopher and now im not 2nd gueesing myself so bad ....lol


No doubt, I can't see Gopher trying to flush the industry. Hell, I hope he gets all his equipment all Wal-mart. There's no sense in buying good equipment if you're bound to go broke anyway!!

ALarsh
06-29-2006, 07:51 PM
I have a feeling this isn't the software company and somebody took the CLIP name and logo.

Tharrell
06-29-2006, 08:22 PM
Well, let's see. a lot of different responses here. My opinion, Too bad they're not down here. Someone needs to take all the pitas every year and it might as well be a professional! I'd still like to see a scan of the flyer though. I believe you as far as I can, you know, as well as we know each other and all!
Anyway, there's this dealer in a town close by that also has a landscape business. Kinda the same thing isn't it? Close?

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 08:42 PM
I have a feeling this isn't the software company and somebody took the CLIP name and logo.


No it is for sure. Both companys are located in Ijamsville maryland.

Splicer
06-29-2006, 08:56 PM
I understand that tottaly but have some respect for other LCO's. I would NEVER put a flyer on a lawn that I can clearly see is being done by another company. That is disrespectful and bad business practices. This flier was on our customers door. Maybe I am to straight in the way I do things.
Bad business practices is NOT advertising to EVERY man, woman and child on the possible...Take the business from someone else...this is about $$$ not about making friends...Just ask Bill Gates:weightlifter: :usflag:

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 09:05 PM
Bad business practices is NOT advertising to EVERY man, woman and child on the possible...Take the business from someone else...this is about $$$ not about making friends...Just ask Bill Gates:weightlifter: :usflag:



Its rare that we advertise anyway. Most of our work comes from word of mouth which is the BEST form of advertisment :cool2:

Lizard Lawn Care
06-29-2006, 09:35 PM
y'all need to stop worring about what everyone else is doing and take care of you business........
In a previos thread a question was asked "is it unprofessional to ask what a previous LCO charged?" the main response was : charge what you feel you need to charge!

Well the same thing fits in this case/.... buy the software or dont! Low ball or dont! advertise or dont! quit complaining people!!

Dont worry - be happy:)

Mike Fronczak
06-29-2006, 09:42 PM
If you read the add it states they will leave an estimate/agreement for you to return with your $ 20.00/ck. Basiclly he's getting $ 20.00 to do a better (more through) estimate than you can do by just looking at the lawn, seems smart to me. Get paid $ 20.00 to do the estimate....or free estimate?

MarcSmith
06-29-2006, 10:12 PM
I understand that tottaly but have some respect for other LCO's. I would NEVER put a flyer on a lawn that I can clearly see is being done by another company. That is disrespectful and bad business practices. This flier was on our customers door. Maybe I am to straight in the way I do things.


I never did flyers, but I would venture to say that over 75% of the commercial work I got was as a result of a well laid out proposal, Intro letter, and a cold call on the Building Manager....A flyer is not much different, just a way to put your foot in the door. I will say if there were Pizza flyers, lawn care flyers or other "junk" stuff on the door handle it usually ended up in my trash can on the truck as it would get blown off as we were cleaning up.

You gotta do good work and be secure in your price and have some faith in your customers...

Heck I drive a chevy and I am bombarded by ads for ford and chrystler....Dammit don't they know any better....Bad business?? Disrespectful?? I guess they shouldn't put an ad in the newspaper either....

HOOLIE
06-29-2006, 10:20 PM
I used CLIP for my first couple seasons, I called them back in 2003 which was very rainy in the DC area, and the lady started talking about how their customers were griping about their schedule being all over the place, so I asked if they mowed also???? She said they did, which I found a bit odd for a software company...so they've been cutting grass at least since '03.

I use Gopher now...not because of that...

DLCS
06-29-2006, 10:29 PM
Why do you people find it odd that a company who writes software for scheduling lawn and landscape companies is actually a lco themselves. Who could write a better program than someone that knows are industry. I bet alot of lawnsite sponsors either are landscapers/lco or have been at one time. Could a lco be a "computer nerd" too, sure they can, I used to be part owner of a ISP.

topsites
06-29-2006, 10:29 PM
I understand that tottaly but have some respect for other LCO's. I would NEVER put a flyer on a lawn that I can clearly see is being done by another company. That is disrespectful and bad business practices. This flier was on our customers door. Maybe I am to straight in the way I do things.

No, I also have zero tolerance for anybody who fliers my customer's house, more so if they come up when I'm physically working there.
I can tolerate it if they flier it while I'm gone (and they didn't wait until I left either lol).

But in so far as knowing what kind of mower did the yard, unless you got criss-cross checkerboard designs in it, I am sorry but I would've put a flier there in my first year for the main reason I didn't learn until my 4th year how to differentiate mower tracks (meaning I can tell you today exactly what kind of machine cut it, but back then I couldn't).

I am thinking you should keep that flier and then when you get a customer who is just so cheap that you know you can not do the work, you can then hand them the CLIP flier if it aggravates you that bad, this one fixed a lot of frustration back in the days for me, nowadays I don't give a rat what anyone else does, just so long they leave me alone.

topsites
06-29-2006, 10:35 PM
Hmmm thats tragic I just bought Gopher and now im not 2nd gueesing myself so bad ....lol

That's too funny :laugh:

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 10:38 PM
No, I also have zero tolerance for anybody who fliers my customer's house, more so if they come up when I'm physically working there.
I can tolerate it if they flier it while I'm gone (and they didn't wait until I left either lol).

But in so far as knowing what kind of mower did the yard, unless you got criss-cross checkerboard designs in it, I am sorry but I would've put a flier there in my first year for the main reason I didn't learn until my 4th year how to differentiate mower tracks (meaning I can tell you today exactly what kind of machine cut it, but back then I couldn't).

I am thinking you should keep that flier and then when you get a customer who is just so cheap that you know you can not do the work, you can then hand them the CLIP flier.


Thats actually a good idea! I hope nobody here thinks I am bashing him because im not really. Just found it rather odd a sponser here also cuts in our area. The flier is actually different than his website. It states that they guarantee that they will be cheaper than somebodys current LCO. To me thats low balling but if he can make it work then more power to him! :drinkup:

TLS
06-29-2006, 10:51 PM
Must be a pretty big operation.

The STATE field allows:
D.C.
Maryland
Pennsylvania
Virginia
W. Virginia

Howie's Lawn Care
06-29-2006, 10:58 PM
This seems like a great idea to me. Think about it. Since it's only $20 for the first cut, you have that one chance to show them how great of a job you do. Even you offer a higher price after that, you probably have a much better chance of getting the lawn since they saw your superior work. At least that's what they would see in my case. I am now considering trying this next year, the year of the scorpion fox...right?

-Nick Howard

Gatewayuser
06-29-2006, 11:05 PM
Bad business practices is NOT advertising to EVERY man, woman and child on the possible...Take the business from someone else...this is about $$$ not about making friends...Just ask Bill Gates:weightlifter: :usflag:

I will be watching you more closely now after that statement! I don't ever take jobs from the landscapers I know, but if I don't know them then too bad.:waving:

mslawn
06-29-2006, 11:17 PM
I understand that tottaly but have some respect for other LCO's. I would NEVER put a flyer on a lawn that I can clearly see is being done by another company. That is disrespectful and bad business practices. This flier was on our customers door. Maybe I am to straight in the way I do things.

What? Bad business practices? On what planet? It is advertising. GOOOOOOO CLIPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DLCS
06-29-2006, 11:19 PM
Must be a pretty big operation.

The STATE field allows:
D.C.
Maryland
Pennsylvania
Virginia
W. Virginia


Where did you find that Tommy? This is all I found about his service area.

CLIP Lawn Care offers affordable residential mowing services for the upper Montgomery County area.

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 11:20 PM
What? Bad business practices?


We dont solicit another companys customers if it very clearly evident they already have an LCO. If another companys customer comes to use thats a different story. Its just like when you talk to a potential new customer we never bad mouth the company they had before.

TLS
06-29-2006, 11:26 PM
http://www.cliplawncare.com/submit.html

ProStreetCamaro
06-29-2006, 11:28 PM
http://www.cliplawncare.com/submit.html


I can tell you they are not very big. I have never seen one of there trucks and we have been working in this area for 20 years. Surely if they were a decent size LCO I would have seen or at least heard of them.

PROCUT1
06-29-2006, 11:28 PM
Why wouldent you solicit another companies customer?

Does everyone only get customers that have never had a lco before?

Some people take this way too personally.

Customers come and go. You cant cry everytime someone leaves your service for another. The same as the previous guy shoulden cry when he loses one to you.

mslawn
06-29-2006, 11:38 PM
We dont solicit another companys customers if it very clearly evident they already have an LCO. If another companys customer comes to use thats a different story. Its just like when you talk to a potential new customer we never bad mouth the company they had before.

When we advertise to a particular neighborhood, we target EVERY house. I'm sorry if "Jim" does their grass. If they are happy with him they will continue to use him, if not they will call someone else, so with the advertisement maybe they will think of us. The more residential customers clustered together in each neighborhood means higher profits. General rule is to never bad mouth their previous guy but advertise, advertise, advertise!! I eventually have a plan to get out of the field and into the office. Sitting around and waiting for word of mouth ain't gonna get me there too quick.

Splicer
06-30-2006, 12:07 AM
I will be watching you more closely now after that statement! I don't ever take jobs from the landscapers I know, but if I don't know them then too bad.:waving:
As well you should...as well you shoud...but don't forget about the other companies on this street that do this either:laugh:

Gatewayuser
06-30-2006, 12:16 AM
I thought you all meant $20 every time and after looking at the site its just a one time sign up offer and I see nothing wrong with it, smart really.

Gatewayuser
06-30-2006, 12:19 AM
As well you should...as well you shoud...but don't forget about the other companies on this street that do this either:laugh:

Whats that supposed to mean?
There is only one other company that mows on your street.
I don't think I have anything to worry about.

All_Clear
06-30-2006, 12:35 AM
We dont solicit another company's customers if it very clearly evident they already have an LCO.


Ohhh OK so that means everyone that has an LCO is happy and not looking for something better to come along... Give me a break!

When doing fliers do you skip houses that you think has an LCO? Why because it has a nice lawn? or because you have seen a guy working there before?
I sure don't, hell if the lawn looks beautiful that's the more reason for me to get it, it's easy maintaining a nice lawn then bringing back something someone let go for yrs.

Business is business... period!

If someone prices lower then you... Tough! :rolleyes:

All Clear

JJLandscapes
06-30-2006, 12:45 AM
I understand that tottaly but have some respect for other LCO's. I would NEVER put a flyer on a lawn that I can clearly see is being done by another company. That is disrespectful and bad business practices. This flier was on our customers door. Maybe I am to straight in the way I do things.


thast the most absurd thing i ever read.... so you wont take another LCO's business? lololol

MarcSmith
06-30-2006, 06:35 AM
Must be a pretty big operation.

The STATE field allows:
D.C.
Maryland
Pennsylvania
Virginia
W. Virginia

for whats its worth
In Ijamsville MD you are 20 miles from DC 20 miles from the VA and WV border and 30 miles from PA.... So it may sound like they are big and spread out, but I think they are just trying to drum up business and where they can....That being said. Thats a lot miles to cover....lotsa of windshield time....

TLS
06-30-2006, 07:55 AM
for whats its worth
In Ijamsville MD you are 20 miles from DC 20 miles from the VA and WV border and 30 miles from PA.... So it may sound like they are big and spread out, but I think they are just trying to drum up business and where they can....That being said. Thats a lot miles to cover....lotsa of windshield time....

Boy, and I think my huge 8.5mile drive (20 min) to this one lawn is a long one (and it is!).

It still amazes me at the miles some guys travel for a lawn.

Sandgropher
06-30-2006, 08:09 AM
Boy, and I think my huge 8.5mile drive (20 min) to this one lawn is a long one (and it is!).

It still amazes me at the miles some guys travel for a lawn.

Yes my outer radius is 20 min drive also, i get calls out there for quotes but its to far just for that, 40 mins driving (up & back) plus talking can be an hour wasted if dont get quote, i have to be within 10 mins drive in most cases, if its just a lawn, went to do a quote out there this morning , gate was locked coundnt see what she wanted quoted lucky i had other stuff out there today.

If you want a good compact business for the future i think 10 minutes driving from home is the most you should be driving., or if you live in the country you can drive to the town but make sure from there ( 10 mins area)

K.Carothers
06-30-2006, 06:00 PM
thast the most absurd thing i ever read.... so you wont take another LCO's business? lololol


Maybe he has ethics.

Around here, if you did that(knowing another legal LCO had the lawn) you would get the pounding of a life time.

But that's just here.


kc

dvmcmrhp52
06-30-2006, 06:40 PM
Maybe he has ethics.

Around here, if you did that(knowing another legal LCO had the lawn) you would get the pounding of a life time.

But that's just here.


kc



So how do you aquire new clients?
Do you only take customers that have never had a lawncare provider before?

Liquidfast
06-30-2006, 06:46 PM
IMHO, the best business sense is to target your market audience. If a LCO was driving around and didn't take notes on which house was being serviced, he is doing himself a disservice and losing the most potential business out there.

There is a reason marketing agents create opt-in mailing lists. These lists target a specific group interested in a specific interest.

If I drive by a house that is serviced by another LCO, that house is the house I WILL target when I send out my future marketing mailings.....end of story.

MarcSmith
06-30-2006, 06:57 PM
Maybe he has ethics.

Around here, if you did that(knowing another legal LCO had the lawn) you would get the pounding of a life time.

But that's just here.


kc

I don't get all the violence on LS....if some one takes a job from you, and they do it honestly Ie a cold call, a flyer or an Honest bid. Hey thats business. and if they do it in a sneaky underhand way. Hey thats business to....(you think Bill Gates or Donald trump have been nice their whole life....) But all I seem to hear is lets kick his a$$...And you know what if you want to be a stupid redneck SOB have at, all your are doing is perpetuating the sterotype of a an LCO being an ignorant SOB, and you deserve to have your clients taken away.

Business is not fair, just like life. If you have clients that swap landscapers at the drop of a hat, then either they are really not that great of a client or you are doing something wrong and they aren't telling you about it...Either way...frig em...I learned along tiem ago that to get so worked up over something so trivial to the point you want come to blows isn't worth the trouble....You'll live longer and you'll be happier... You just gotta pick the smart battle and figting over a lawn just aint it...

On that note. drink a beer, calm down, and have a happy 4th...Monday is another day with more grass to cut and plants to put in the ground...and a short week to boot...

ProStreetCamaro
06-30-2006, 07:20 PM
Lets face it everybody has different ideas and work ethics. I didnt say we wouldnt take on a lawn that was being done by another LCO. Sure we will if they approach us and ask us a price. That means they are not happy with them if they are looking else where.

Flex-Deck
06-30-2006, 07:45 PM
Ohhh OK so that means everyone that has an LCO is happy and not looking for something better to come along... Give me a break!

When doing fliers do you skip houses that you think has an LCO? Why because it has a nice lawn? or because you have seen a guy working there before?
I sure don't, hell if the lawn looks beautiful that's the more reason for me to get it, it's easy maintaining a nice lawn then bringing back something someone let go for yrs.

Business is business... period!

If someone prices lower then you... Tough! :rolleyes:

All Clear

Amen - I look for those that mow, but do not trim regularly - "It is like, they won't notice those weeds between that tree and the curb - I will get it next time." Those attitudes drive me crazy, and I drop bids all over the place because of lazy LCO's

It only takes 2 minutes more to do a perfect job and keep it.

Therefore it only takes 2 minutes less to do a sh$$y job, and take a chance of losing it.

I am becoming more and more tempted to lower all prices, because I can still make a good living. The B### I see on this site about how you have to make $1 per min. etc to "keep the prices where they belong" may not be true if your overhead is minimal. My overhead is minimal. BTW-I make $1.50 per minute.

The only people concerned about lowballers are those that have not figured out how to run a business efficiently.

In the LCO business you have to:
1. Buy the equipment that can mow a lot fast and well.
2. Buy the equipment that can save trimming time, that fits the properties you do.
3. Buy the equipment from a very good dealer (Pay full price if necessary) so your break-downs are fixed fast.

ProStreetCamaro
06-30-2006, 07:59 PM
BTW-I make $1.50 per minute.


As do we. $1.50 per minute is how we price our lawns and with the right equipment the prices work out perfectly in most cases.

Flex-Deck
06-30-2006, 08:47 PM
As do we. $1.50 per minute is how we price our lawns and with the right equipment the prices work out perfectly in most cases.

Super Job!!! It does not take much common sense to make $1.50 per minute and at the same time bid $25 per acre. That is what we do, however we have a minimum of $45 up to the first acre.

mak2
06-30-2006, 08:56 PM
I have been in this business for a year in August. I have learned an incredible amount of info from this fourm. I work a full time night job and really do not work my axx off in my side business. I have invested about 15k and have my insurance and fert license. I LOVE THE LAWNCARE biz, and plan to spend my retiremnt as long as I am able to work in it. I have said all that to say this. I make about $25 per hour NET by accident. I charge about $1 - 2 per min depending on location (drive time). A few people on this forum whine about gas prices, unfair pricing, etc etc constantly. This is a fun and profitable buisness. I have a hard time bidding a job and I like this $20 for a one time shot, then I would not trap myself in a lawn I did not make money becasue I was worried about picking up biz and did not realize how long it would take or how hard it was to mow around something. CLIP sounds real smart to me.

prizeprop
06-30-2006, 10:13 PM
As do we. $1.50 per minute is how we price our lawns and with the right equipment the prices work out perfectly in most cases.That's nice money if you make that $1.50 a minute at least 2,400 minutes a week!portal to portal.

topsites
06-30-2006, 10:18 PM
Boy, and I think my huge 8.5mile drive (20 min) to this one lawn is a long one (and it is!).

It still amazes me at the miles some guys travel for a lawn.

50-100 miles / day is standard for me, I like doing small clusters of 2-3 maybe 4-5 yards in a row, then I move to another part of the county (gives me time to relax lol). This also lets me cover a couple of areas of the county every day, so every 3-4 days I always cover the whole county so to speak, this is a great advantage when something comes up all of a sudden, I'm usually soon to be in their area :)

KINGjosh
06-30-2006, 11:20 PM
LOL, All you nay sayers see what the customer is supposed to see on the website. I think this guy is using the old bait and switch method of marketing.

Check it out: He gets the customer to call and schedule a $20 cut, Then cuts it for that price or maybe a little higher, whatever. If they like the service,then he sends them a contract with the real prices, they sign it and send it back garanteed client for a least a year. The coupon only says one time offer for $20. He might be able to land contracts on 1 out of 8 people he services. He also states that hes cheaper than the "Other Guy"* ! Everybody in the whole world is cheaper than the "Other Guy"* The Other Guy doesn't exsist in reality, only in your imagination! BINGO:laugh: Its pretty clever Marketing strategy if you ask me

LwnmwrMan22
07-02-2006, 08:38 AM
So how do you aquire new clients?
Do you only take customers that have never had a lawncare provider before?

I put a bid on anyone that calls me.

Also, any new construction I bid on, especially commercial accounts with more than one location in my service area.

I don't actively seek out accounts that are already being serviced my other LCO's.

Although, I suppose back 10ish years ago I probably would have approached anyone and everyone when I was trying to run multiple crews.

Now, there's 4-5 companies in my area that are running, along with the newbies that pop up every year and last for 1-2-3 years. The ones like I, who've been in business for 10-12+ years, we don't actively persue each other's accounts, mostly because we've probably already done them in the past at one time or another.

Another reason that we don't do it, is because you have a tendency to start a bidding war. Even if you're $1-2 / cut less, and get the account, then there's the tendency for the previous guy to come in at another $1-2 / cut less the following year, and pretty soon someone's cutting for no profit.

The less people that bid on a lawn, the better money you'll make on that lawn, because you have a less chance of a low bid. Even when I get called on a lawn, if I know who's doing it already, and it's one of the guys that I know, I bid it 50% higher than I normally would.

After all, if the customer is looking to get rid of someone else that's been in the business for 10+ years, it's probably the customer that's going to have issues, not the LCO, and I don't want that customer.

I can understand if they're calling and someone has only been in the business 2 years, and doesn't fulfill the contract, but like Flex-Deck said, you can pull up to a yard and see if it's being maintained the same way that you would be doing it. If the prospective customer still has complaints, or is just looking for a cheaper price, I'm moving on, or they're going to get an inflated quote.

Team-Green L&L
07-02-2006, 12:06 PM
Monopolizing a market is not negative sales practices to the customer it benefits...only to the businessman it destroys!

K.Carothers
07-02-2006, 12:28 PM
Monopolizing a market is not negative sales practices to the customer it benefits...only to the businessman it destroys!


Not true at all.

Once a business monopolize a market by low balling, they can now dictate the price of goods and services...Very bad for consumers.


kc

mak2
07-02-2006, 01:32 PM
Actually a monopoly damages the customers in the long run, thus the anti monopoly laws. After one company puts the rest out of buisness, then it can charge anything it wants, the competition is all gone.

Likestomow
07-02-2006, 04:19 PM
Not true at all.

Once a business monopolize a market by low balling, they can now dictate the price of goods and services...Very bad for consumers.


kc

There is a difference between big companies and a monopoly. A monopoly has the entire corner covered, whereas big companies share the market. But this only happens in a market where entry is costly and difficult, like refining oil.

The lawn care market is neither. The lawn care market is the easiest and cheapest market to enter, which is the reason for today's great supply. I do not know every market in this great country, but I'd guess there are very few places where a lawn care company is big enough and has enough market share to dictate prices like oil companies.

Price naturally falls where supply meets demand. Demand is great and Supply is also great, so price will always be guided by these two factors. This is the way it has always been and always be in a free market. Those that don't understand this will suffer, and those who do have a great opportunity to prosper.

A free market is best for consumers and also gives you and me the opportunity to provide service.

Team-Green L&L
07-02-2006, 04:38 PM
My post was a mere quote that we teach in our training. It is next to impossible to monopolize the service industry. The most you can hope to do is nationalize your company and franchising. To compete against the low-ballers is simple...USP! Unique Service Providing. Don't compete at all. Seperate yourself from your competition by offering something more convenient, better, or different. Industries are not in existence until someone creates them. Those are the people who make the money. The imitation of the second guy is only flattery to the guy who had the vision.

LwnmwrMan22
07-02-2006, 05:12 PM
My post was a mere quote that we teach in our training. It is next to impossible to monopolize the service industry. The most you can hope to do is nationalize your company and franchising. To compete against the low-ballers is simple...USP! Unique Service Providing. Don't compete at all. Seperate yourself from your competition by offering something more convenient, better, or different. Industries are not in existence until someone creates them. Those are the people who make the money. The imitation of the second guy is only flattery to the guy who had the vision.

This is my philosophy. I don't offer the best service in the area, but what I DO offer is a fair service for a fair price. I'm not the most expensive, but I'm also not the crappiest service around either.

Team-Green L&L
07-02-2006, 05:28 PM
This is my philosophy. I don't offer the best service in the area, but what I DO offer is a fair service for a fair price. I'm not the most expensive, but I'm also not the crappiest service around either.

This is not a bad philosophy, but it is overly vague. Sit down and think about all your competitors. What are they doing to convince someone to hire them. Now figure out what they are not doing that you do. Write all this down. The next step is to be creative. Think way "outside the box" and into "another box". What I mean is this: Utilize what makes a different service provider unique ie, Terminex, Overhead Door, Orkin, ect. Now implement a new service, payment plan, ect. that attracts YOUR public, not THE public. There are only 6 basic personality types. If you market a different type than your "competitor", there are no competitors.

mak2
07-02-2006, 05:44 PM
Hey did we ever hear from CLIP. Maybe this thread is some sort of scam to sell softwre?

Team-Green L&L
07-02-2006, 06:01 PM
Hey did we ever hear from CLIP. Maybe this thread is some sort of scam to sell softwre?

This is a very good point.

LwnmwrMan22
07-02-2006, 06:21 PM
This is not a bad philosophy, but it is overly vague. Sit down and think about all your competitors. What are they doing to convince someone to hire them. Now figure out what they are not doing that you do. Write all this down. The next step is to be creative. Think way "outside the box" and into "another box". What I mean is this: Utilize what makes a different service provider unique ie, Terminex, Overhead Door, Orkin, ect. Now implement a new service, payment plan, ect. that attracts YOUR public, not THE public. There are only 6 basic personality types. If you market a different type than your "competitor", there are no competitors.

MY public is small to medium sized commercial properties, where I can mow, spray, fertilize, and do their plowing.

This means banks, small strip malls (2-6 tenants), fast food places, gas stations, the like.

I do these for an average of $350-400 / month, year round, with plowing 1/2 of them.

I also do one school district, but it's not a real money maker unless it's dry out.

We get paid on all accounts on contract, so I get paid whether the customer turns the irrigation on or not, whether it rains or not, whether it snows or not.

All mowings are based on 22 mowings / year, 18 snow events of 1" or more / year.

The businesses like it, because they can set their budget for the entire year, I like it because I know all of my bills are covered for the entire year.

ProStreetCamaro
07-02-2006, 06:46 PM
Hey did we ever hear from CLIP. Maybe this thread is some sort of scam to sell softwre?


:hammerhead: I am in no way affiliated with CLIP.

mak2
07-02-2006, 07:30 PM
Just a thought, you know, being in the same town and all. Is that me you are beating with that hammer?

hoyboy
08-04-2006, 05:12 PM
I just found this thread and can answer the rumors going on. No, I'm not part of Clip, but I've used their software for many years.

Clip is in the lawn maintenance business. This is public information...they don't hide it. In fact, they announced it at their Clip conference several years back.

The reason? Clip wants to service it's software customers in the best manner possible. They want to meet our needs and be proactive in providing a software product that helps us succeed. How better to do that than to actually "be in business" and learn first hand all the problems and difficulties we face on a daily basis? To me, it's an excellent idea.

As far as lowballing goes, I hear they are actually quite successful and turning a nice profit. They are emphasizing "density" in their approach. The whole focus of Clip Software is time tracking, and Clip is essentially using that knowledge to price jobs...cut down on travel time and therefore increasing $ per manhour.

There you go...

hoyboy
08-04-2006, 05:24 PM
Another thing...

Some of you are really hung up over the $20 first-time cut issue. But look at it another way...

Most of you are perfectly happy spending 15 minutes of YOUR time going out to respond to an estimate call. You have no idea whether the prospective call is serious or not. You spend the time, give them a quote based on your ESTIMATED labor costs, and go home and wait for the phone to ring.

They, on the other hand, send out a couple laborers (who get paid piecemeal, by the way) who come back with $20 in their hand and a time sheet that shows EXACTLY how long the job takes to complete (because they just did it). They then send out a proposal based on exact labor costs, not estimates. Sounds pretty ingenious to me!

Dan

Fantasy Lawns
08-04-2006, 06:21 PM
I agree ... I have a "check us out special" ....it's an easy sell .... ya get a call they ask fore an estimate ... don't have too go out there ....just need to know if they have a gate, irrigation n last time it was cut

Let me know the general area .... so I can tell what day we do the area ... also lets me know the lot size ....offer the "special" .... get into the lot .... gives a quick idea into the type of customer they are ....just when they pay ya .... coarse ya get there n it's 8" tall that's a different story

These are small lots ..... I get a very accurate time of labor .... base it at my rate ....n it really only gets better .... as we cut the job more we learn to cut time ....

N Time is Money

All this lowballing talk is crazy ..... who ^&%&'n cares ??? really .... let em work themselves out of business .... they fill a void fore the bottom feeder customer types

This has been going on since I first cut grass for $$ ...n that was over 26 years ago .... when I was a the cheapest cut in town .... even after I went back into it 10 years ago as a full time living .... I made mistakes .... I got more efficient equip .... started tracking numbers .... up'd my rate's

I just raised one of my HOA's almost $5k per year (bout 8%) n this does not include the common grounds .....they LUV me ...

If they dropped me ....(which they ain't) ... that would just be business but I had to raise the price to stay competitive ....how ?? the extra income allows me to continue too improve my equip .... give my guys bonus, meet rising cost, etc.

I've said enough

dkeisala
08-04-2006, 09:10 PM
It may work in a particular market but this one-size-fits-all approach doesn't necessarily cut it in all markets. Sure, you can send someone out for a one time cut for $20 but if it takes 2 guys an hour and a half, it would have been cheaper to just drive out and look at the place.

Yes, CLIP factors travel time in but can anybody tell me the formula they use? You travel from a $40 per cut lawn to a $125 per cut lawn, how is the travel time figured? I have an idea of how they figure actual dollars generated per man hour but no where in CLIP does it factor in true labor and/or operating costs per hour to come up with the sum total of what you ACTUALLY generated that day, especially if you have mostly levelized billing customers. The ONLY thing CLIP does is give you a partial snapshot of the day. That's it, nothing else.

Additionally, for what CLIP charges for their software, and subsequent service agreements, you'd think they'd have the thing pretty well hammered down. They don't. The program is sloppy, problematic and difficult the use. I almost feel like a test subject and if I don't pay for yet another service agreement, I have to live with the shortcomings of the version I use. They actually want you to pay them to let them know what flaws are contained in their software. Can you imagine if Microsoft did this? How about Quickbooks?

I just want to scream when I get yet another error message that states something to the effect that "a software update may solve this problem." That stupid error message is nothing more than a handcuff to keep you dishing out dollars for a less flawed version. And just try to generate a report with CLIP, it reminds me of when computers first came out and you'd actually have to write strings of code to get the thing to do what you wanted it to do. Oh sure, they say it'd be easier to generate these reports if I pay them an addititional few hundred bucks for the latest version but I can't see any real differences between 2006 and my 2004 version.

I still use CLIP but it's just a databased program that requires a lot of user input and time. I honestly wish I could say that it has made my life easier but it hasn't. Yes, it gives me more numbers to crunch and a single place to store customer info but other than that, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to others.