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Alpha01
03-30-2007, 12:04 AM
Is it just me, or am I having a hard time with aquiring new customers this year? I am being low balled every where i turn. What should I do and how low should I go so that my two crews will stay busy this year?

All_Clear
03-30-2007, 12:10 AM
Is it just me, or am I having a hard time with aquiring new customers this year? I am being low balled every where i turn. What should I do and how low should I go so that my two crews will stay busy this year?


Good luck... I've been out bid recently for half or less then i'll work for... Guess it all depends on what feeds your family. My biz is not my only income so i don't have to work for free nor will I!


Nathan
All Clear

Sammy
03-30-2007, 04:42 AM
Big Three layoffs, cut backs and early retirements are putting more mowing outfits on the streets !

B Stove
03-30-2007, 06:36 AM
Big Three layoffs, cut backs and early retirements are putting more mowing outfits on the streets !

True, but these people have to understand they are killing us with these BS prices!

clcare
03-30-2007, 07:55 AM
same on this side of the pond, lowballers everywhere, do to big 3 lay-offs and buy-outs, eg. over 500,000 sq foot property ...my bid just under $500.00... there bid $42.10... lmao i think i will get it when this company goes belly!

1cooltreeguy
03-30-2007, 08:24 AM
Factor in the invasion from the south and it is happening to all of us.

terrapro
03-30-2007, 08:27 AM
i have about $6000 worth of bids out there for cleanups and mulch, i have a feeling ill only get a couple to signup. in april i think it will pick up....but i did say that about the snow all winter long and it never did

Dhouse
03-30-2007, 08:50 AM
When you have lawn companies adveritising $15.00 per lawn and $50.00 for cleanups, how can you win?

1MajorTom
03-30-2007, 09:16 AM
I always read on here, "these people aren't your competition."
but the facts are, when you are placing a nice ad, and 8 of the other 30 ads say something like, "All lawns cut for $20"... or "you name the price, no reasonable offer refused."... it IS hard to get the calls then.
So yes, they ARE competition. DUMB competition, but competition nonetheless.

troy03
03-30-2007, 09:20 AM
Sorry to hear that happening to you. Im on the west side of the state and haven't had anything like that. There is always those people looking for the cheapest price. The majority of the quotes that we sent out, we were mid to high bid and still signing the majorty of the contracts. Just goes to show that some people still care about quality service.

Dhouse
03-30-2007, 09:34 AM
This topic is getting old, were still beating a dead horse.
No offense to horse lovers.

naturescape
03-30-2007, 10:15 AM
You need to explain to new potentials that you are worth the extra money. I explain I've been in business since 1986 and I know what I'm doing. That's obvious in the brochure I hand out. Once in a while now, with things changing here in MI due to many more illegals, I'll explain that I DO speak English, and that it would be a requirement for anyone I hire to do so as well. I'll tell you what -- if my "competition" is going to be illegals that can't speak English, or even legals that can't -- well, I'm not afraid to let potential customers know that that's a drawback, and ultimately unfair to all involved. I've seen so many customers upset by not being able to speak with whoever's cutting their lawn.

jrc lawncare
03-30-2007, 10:27 AM
I always read on here, "these people aren't your competition."
but the facts are, when you are placing a nice ad, and 8 of the other 30 ads say something like, "All lawns cut for $20"... or "you name the price, no reasonable offer refused."... it IS hard to get the calls then.
So yes, they ARE competition. DUMB competition, but competition nonetheless. Bottom line, it depends on your target clientele. Certain clientele are not gonna hire those kind of people, they are the ones you want. Clientele that we provide service for want someone that can do more than cut. If weed control, mulch, fungus identification & control,& turf maintenance issues come up, these people want it to be handled. Most don't care what it costs. Competition is what it is, but being certified in other areas basically will give you the edge. We network with other contractors, & pass work back & forth. It's a win-win situation. My 02.

lowballer17
03-30-2007, 10:32 AM
Give the new cutters 2 weeks to drop off. They wont keep up cutting 30 lawns a day for long.... Cuttin is physically demanding... Plus add in $3 gallon gas this year...
Lowballing is ok, so long as your back and legs dont give out..

MOOSE
03-30-2007, 07:22 PM
I've seen so many customers upset by not being able to speak with whoever's cutting their lawn.


I hear that alot from some of my clients and even new ones this year. I've had to compete with some companys coming from other areas to just get work. I've also bid lower then I wanted to get new clients but do it where I have jobs already. I don't take on jobs if I don't have any close by. Not worth it to drop gate.

naturescape
03-30-2007, 07:42 PM
Well, speaking of which, I was underbid on a job a couple days ago. On my follow up call today, she said she got a more competive price (18 instead of 21). I know, 21 seems cheap, but this is a small lawn, about 3000 sq ft.

I asked her if they are insured and she said she didn't know. I recommended she find out. Well, a couple hours later she called and told me I had the job, they weren't insured and thanked me for bringing that to her attention.

Sometimes it pays to be aggressive in your salesmanship. I am going to create a cover letter for all my bids which explains my pricing -- 21 years in business, solo operation or 2 man operation with personal service, I speak ENGLISH, and I'm insured and licensed.

Mowman16
03-30-2007, 09:07 PM
I might be responsible for some low-balling in the area, I have payments to make and I do what it takes to get the job, between Insurance and all the other stuff I can't afford to let my equipment sit. I would rather mow a lawn and make $5.00 profit instead of $10.00 than let my mowers sit, until my equipment is paid for my time is not worth enough to turn away work.

d&rlawncare
03-30-2007, 10:13 PM
I may be new myself but reading on here (lawnsite as a whole) there are 2 types of lowballers. The first is one who just dont know how to bid and underbids a lawn or two until they learn. The second is the ones who know the costs but bid $15 a lawn because they know they can get 10-20% of cheap home owners to switch over.

Just my 2 cents. DOes anyone with 5+ years agree with this newbie?

Metro Lawn
03-31-2007, 08:00 PM
It's funny that most of the people that cry about cheaper prices (low ballers) actually support the process. Be honest: You have 2 mower dealers in town.. you are in the market for a new mower.. Shop A: $7995.00 Shop B: $8495.00 Where do you buy your mower from??????? I am guessing Shop A. You would go with the lower price wouldn't you? Does that mean Shop A is a low baller? Or is it simply Shop A has lower operating costs and does a higher volume and can afford to sell the mower cheaper and still turn a profit? Just my opinion. Think about it the next time you look for the cheapest gas, or shop only when things are "on sale".

naturescape
03-31-2007, 08:22 PM
It's funny that most of the people that cry about cheaper prices (low ballers) actually support the process. Be honest: You have 2 mower dealers in town.. you are in the market for a new mower.. Shop A: $7995.00 Shop B: $8495.00 Where do you buy your mower from??????? I am guessing Shop A. You would go with the lower price wouldn't you? Does that mean Shop A is a low baller? Or is it simply Shop A has lower operating costs and does a higher volume and can afford to sell the mower cheaper and still turn a profit? Just my opinion. Think about it the next time you look for the cheapest gas, or shop only when things are "on sale".

You make a good point. But, speaking for myself -- I paid $7K for my Bunton walkbehind mower, 'cause I wanted the best walk behind at ANY price. And I don't look at posted gas prices and get the lowest gas. I go to a station that is roomy enough to move around vehicle-wise, and that always has a free working air chuck. Even tho gas at that station always retails for the highest price around here.

By the way, in the example you show above, I'll bet shop B is cleaner, with friendlier salespeople and MUCH better, faster service.

When you buy products that are cheaper just because they sell more of them, it doesn't take a genius to see that these big companies will just keep getting bigger and bigger, putting the smaller guy out of work. These megalithic corporations are doing just that right now -- and when all the little guys are out of work, and everything's owned by just a few huge corporations, THEN see what kind of price you'll pay! Whatever they WANT you to pay! Only with the smaller business will you see TRUE competition.

But you go ahead and support low priced dealers -- you'll get the s**t service you'll deserve.

bishoplandscape
04-01-2007, 08:20 PM
WOW This is why i'am glad we don't do lawns, but have been tempted to set up a crew because people keep asking if we do.*trucewhiteflag*

MOOSE
04-02-2007, 09:01 PM
Lots of Landscapers around here starting doing lawns cuz theres so much COMPETITION in this area. Gotta make $$ some how!

Liquidfast
04-02-2007, 09:43 PM
True story.

3 guys (kids) one trimmer, one mower (commercial grade :clapping: ) and one blower. They used a Ford Ranger (older than dirt but clean) and the three cut lawns for $15.

Their commercial mower caught a drain cap and the mower broke down. They didnt know what to do and the mower was in the shop for 7 days with no money to buy another. I called their hand written biz card several days later to sub out to them but they were gone.

Metro Lawn
04-02-2007, 09:43 PM
Just wondering when Bunton became the best mower you can buy at any price?????? I think they make a good machine, but after 22 years and running darn near everything made... I don't think that is the case. Just my opinion for what it's worth.

Redline
04-02-2007, 11:03 PM
Its happening down south also. I bid on 3/4 acre lawn and bid $50 because she wants the lawn bagged and shrubs every 3 weeks. She refused and said she could get it done for $20-$25 every other week. I said good luck C U Later

naturescape
04-03-2007, 04:35 PM
Just wondering when Bunton became the best mower you can buy at any price?????? I think they make a good machine, but after 22 years and running darn near everything made... I don't think that is the case. Just my opinion for what it's worth.

Sometimes I love my Exmark TT too! But my point is, neither mower is cheap!

I did demo the Hustler walkbehind, I see Hustler is in your setup, but I hated the machine. Not that that one's cheap either.

I looked at mowers at Lesco -- they are cheap compared to other commercial mowers, but customer service and support on them would be horrible. And that was the point of what I was posting.

Metro Lawn
04-04-2007, 02:48 AM
Sometimes I love my Exmark TT too! But my point is, neither mower is cheap!

I did demo the Hustler walkbehind, I see Hustler is in your setup, but I hated the machine. Not that that one's cheap either.

I looked at mowers at Lesco -- they are cheap compared to other commercial mowers, but customer service and support on them would be horrible. And that was the point of what I was posting.

I run Exmark Turf Tracers for all of my big walk behinds and Hustler as my riders.