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DVS Hardscaper
11-24-2006, 06:52 PM
Curiousity has killed the cat!

In another award winning thread, someone stated: "I am an authorized contractor for the biggest local distributor. I also didn't spend $200 to buy a certificate from you know who."


Not sure what that means. Do you mean ICPI certification?

I'm not 100% sold on that either.

Its like the cell phone industry, they have done a good job of convincing the average consumer that WE NEED cell phones. How on earth did folks function without them back in the 50's!

I can list another example of something we dont need, but I'd guess 23 - 26% of the folks here have one, and then a big debate will break loose! So we don't need to go that route.


Gettin back on subject, our market here has changed drastically over the last 24 months.

Competition is trippled.

Consumers are shopping shopping shopping.

So this leaves me with many choices.

1) lower my prices and compete with these lawn jockeys turned wanna be block heads

2) take steps and market to a level of people that appreciate detail, appreciate craftsmanship, and that have expendable income.

I like number 2. But after seeking counsel from people in my area affiliated with the *sales* side of the market, I have concluded that in order for number 2 to work for us, I need to become affiliated AND active with select trade associations on a national level. Its the networking with others that will hopefully payoff. Its showing prospective clients that we do in fact take our industry seriously.

Everything in life is contigent on attitude.

If you wanna loose weight, you'll never do it and MAINTAIN it by despising running or doing activities that give you a good cardio work out.

If you want a romance to last, the desire to make it last has to be there.

Same with business. To be in certain places of growth and profitability, you need to be willing to make changes and WANT to do whatever it takes, and you need to think outside of the box.


Even though I admit I have some reasons why I don't buy into ICPI 100%, I'm planning on spending a fair amount of money in 2007 for trade organization memberships. And what to achieve by doing so is I hope to accomplish some serious networking with other contractors affiliated with the landscape industry, yet that do not offer hardscape construction.

JJLandscapes
11-24-2006, 08:18 PM
what exactly is ICPI?

and i agree and said it a million times in this industry either u gotta lower your prices and do as many houses as possible mow and go mixed with "lowballing"

or raise your prices a lot and do the big houses that demand serious detail and work and want every service done every year

If you cant do either i think you will go out of business in the industry but im only in my 3rd year so i cant say much but thats my educated guess and outlook

YardPro
11-25-2006, 05:34 PM
dvs

I agree that having an ICPI cert. does not make you a good installer. We got ours so we could be authorized contractors with our local paver supplier ( it is required).
We are not authorized through our manufacturer. They will guarantee thier product. They also help us with marketing materials. We are referred through thier website.

Also having an ICPI has added credibility to our work, and allowed us to participate in NC state's pervious paver research project. We are now DWQ qualified to install pervious pavers ( simply from having the ICPI).

It can certinally open a lot of doors..
and it's basically a $200.00 credibility certificate.

AztlanLC
11-26-2006, 11:35 AM
Also the many things you learn when you take the course will save you hundred's of dollars in repairs.
If you are an experince contractor and think you know it all, you'll be surprise how much more there is to learn, not just the class but talking with other contractors.

paponte
11-26-2006, 11:58 AM
I think they could have taught ALOT more during the course. I as well as my guys thought the material was very basic, and thought more of it as a marketing "push" more from the sponsor. Though we did get some technical advise from the manufacturers themselves, the $200. we spent on the course paid off in the dinner and open bar that followed the class. :laugh:

As far as lowering my prices to get work... get a life! Why lower your standards? Every estimate I go on I stress the fact that I don't sell my price, I sell quality, credability, reputation, and reliability. If you wanna shop price, call some mow and blow company that has a heart on for landing a big job. Nuff said.

YardPro
11-26-2006, 03:06 PM
basically the icpi is all about the base and base prep...

TheKingNJ
11-29-2006, 11:51 AM
Where can i find an ICPI course?

Allure
11-29-2006, 12:15 PM
http://www.icpi.org/

Matt k
11-29-2006, 05:46 PM
www.ephenry.com,

There will be numerous ICPI courses at the MAHTS show in A.C. this winter.