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View Full Version : My solution for Lowballers


dhardin53
04-03-2007, 01:17 PM
I know this would NEVER really work out but I feel we need to get our head together before the LC industry goes completely to the low baller, and illegals.
The equipment manufacture will never really feel the impact as much as use professional lawn care guys will.

So we need a "Lawn Care Association" Get certified, set higher work ethics, fair price strictures, investment/retirement programs, group health insurance possibility's. And a legal US status to join. OK yes you will have to pay dues to be a member.

The big problem: and IF it could be done at all you would need a huge advertising budget to inform/convince the public they need to hire there lawn care from a "Lawn Care Associate". Plus you would need a majority if not Evey LCO that meet the guidelines to join. (Imposable I know)

I'm not for Unionizing at all, so don't mistake this for a union. Just a Professional organization with a goal to get a more realistic prices for all involved.

There are more reason why this wont work as there is reason that we need something. Every LCO is a independent and want to stay that way. So be it, I do to. But the outlook for LOC operators don't look all that rosy to me. I know it may not have effected some geographical areas as hard yet. But if we don't do something to slow this ongoing tied we will someday wounder why we did not try to make some changes before it gets out of hand.

open for your input...

Dan H

spazfam
04-03-2007, 01:24 PM
Not a bad idea in general I think the price structure would have to be a guide or it may boarder being illegal. Maybe an average of a given territory etc.

Gruneich Lawn Care, Inc.
04-03-2007, 01:47 PM
I have always thought about how good something like that might possibly do

ccash
04-03-2007, 01:49 PM
if you are doing a good job you should not have to worry about the "LOW BALLERS".

KrayzKajun
04-03-2007, 01:49 PM
I like the idea!!! Kinda like lookin out for each other

ccash
04-03-2007, 01:53 PM
sound like you would like a socialist goverment.. just do your job and dont be such a busy body.

IN2MOWN
04-03-2007, 01:58 PM
In THEORY its a good idea but in reality it will never work.


You cant force people to join and you cant force customers to hire a certain company.

Ccash is right though. Do a good job and mind your own company and you wont have any problems. Lowballers come and go every year. Its the same in all service industries. Ive lost a few to lowballers over the years and a few weeks later the customer is calling me back because they aren't doing a good job.

toroking
04-03-2007, 02:06 PM
so what is considered low??

J&R Landscaping
04-03-2007, 02:10 PM
so what is considered low??

As far as cutting grass is concerned, low would be charging $16 for a $25 lawn just to get the job.

I think its a good idea. Kinda like how the ASE certification program works in the auto industry or the OPE certification in the mower industry.

toroking
04-03-2007, 02:16 PM
i am charin 15 in my street

troblandscape
04-03-2007, 02:24 PM
I agree completely I was thinking the same thing the other day. The truth is the guy who is cutting the lawn for 16$ is most likely only going to be in the buss. for 1 year. I have been hearing alot lately that my prices are high or not getting a response for estimates, and thats fine I have plenty of work to keep me busy for a long time. I lost a 15 yard mulch job the other day to a company that didn't even edge the beds, it was a reputable co. too (so I thought). Its getting pretty weird out there, but my customers really appreciate our quality and reliability and those are the poeple I want to work for. So I try to think of my good customers of the reason I am in buss. not the penny pincher's that waste my time.

troblandscape
04-03-2007, 02:25 PM
i am charin 15 in my street

"Lovely" go get em tiger

toroking
04-03-2007, 02:26 PM
well they all live within walking distance.

NELawnCare
04-03-2007, 03:09 PM
sound like you would like a socialist goverment.. just do your job and dont be such a busy body.

A little touchy aren't you. You must be a lowballer? :)

jsf343
04-03-2007, 04:40 PM
A little touchy aren't you. You must be a lowballer? :)

hahahahahah,:laugh: that was what I was wondering. Why would anyone who is legit be against something that is good for the industry as a whole?!
maybe he is not legit? maybe not even legal?

IN2MOWN
04-03-2007, 04:52 PM
hahahahahah,:laugh: that was what I was wondering. Why would anyone who is legit be against something that is good for the industry as a whole?!
maybe he is not legit? maybe not even legal?



Im not for it either and Im completely legit. I dont need some organization telling me how to price my accounts or forcing me to be certified for running a lawn mower.

Mark my words, It will NEVER happen. People who run small businesses have to rely on themselves to have a good company, be legit, retirement, and benefits. We dont need some big wig in an ivory tower looking down on us telling us what to do and how to do it.

mowmasteruk
04-03-2007, 05:05 PM
Like the poor, the lowballers will always be with us, and that's just as true on my side of the Atlantic as in the USA. Individual lowballers don't last, but when one drops out there's always another to take their place. It's something we have to live with, due to the fact that mowing is an easy business for anyone to start up with minimal capital. All you can do is to try to be more professional, more reliable and do a better job - give value for money. It's easy to say it, but many people really will pay extra if they feel they are getting good service for the money they spend. Older people in particular do not mind what they pay for someone they can trust to show up and do a good job. It's your only defence against the lowballer. Most important of all, don't drop your prices below what you know makes you a profit just to match the lowballer's prices.

Grits
04-03-2007, 05:06 PM
Im not for it either and Im completely legit. I dont need some organization telling me how to price my accounts or forcing me to be certified for running a lawn mower.

Mark my words, It will NEVER happen. People who run small businesses have to rely on themselves to have a good company, be legit, retirement, and benefits. We dont need some big wig in an ivory tower looking down on us telling us what to do and how to do it.

I think this may be the first thing that you have said that I agree with!

IN2MOWN
04-03-2007, 05:08 PM
I think this may be the first thing that you have said that I agree with!



You obviously havent read the rest of my posts then...:laugh:

toroking
04-03-2007, 05:11 PM
maybe the lawballers are just getting that market.

Grits
04-03-2007, 05:14 PM
You obviously havent read the rest of my posts then...:laugh:

LOL! Yeah, I will start searching them right now......Oh Great One!:)

Grits
04-03-2007, 05:16 PM
maybe the lawballers are just getting that market.

No sh!t, that's kind of what everyone was talking about. $15 a cut is stupid. I also do a neighbor's lawn that I can walk to. I charge them $40 a week. Don't be a lowballin' scrub! Take some pride in your work and charge accordingly!

Darrin A.
04-03-2007, 05:35 PM
maybe the lawballers are just getting that market.

There not just getting that market, their CREATING that market. If I charge $40 for a lawn and you charge $20 for the same lawn, you will get the job if you do the same quality work (or the customer is cheap). Even if you can make money on that, I don't think you can, why would you leave $20/cut=$80/month on the table :hammerhead: . Charge what the area will handle, not just enough to make a couple of bucks. What's better, $5 proffit or $25 proffit. If you think $5 is better, send me the rest!!!!!

toroking
04-03-2007, 05:41 PM
No sh!t, that's kind of what everyone was talking about. $15 a cut is stupid. I also do a neighbor's lawn that I can walk to. I charge them $40 a week. Don't be a lowballin' scrub! Take some pride in your work and charge accordingly!

so you wanna resort to name calling wow . the people that live close to me that i do for 15 are that share of the market that would not normally get lawn service.

Flex-Deck
04-03-2007, 05:46 PM
As far as cutting grass is concerned, low would be charging $16 for a $25 lawn just to get the job.

I think its a good idea. Kinda like how the ASE certification program works in the auto industry or the OPE certification in the mower industry.

Who decided in the first place that it was a $25 yard?
Maybe it is a $16 yard that was being ripped off by a $25 charge?

Just making a point - Is Wal Mart wrong?
How many of you out there jew your dealer down on New Mower Purchases?
How many of you shop for the cheapest insurance?
How many of you shop for the cheapest truck and trailer?

HMM. Just wondering.

toroking
04-03-2007, 05:52 PM
well according to all of you "PROS" poor ole granny that cant afford your pricesand just wants to keep it cut shouldnt be able to hire a guy that will do it for cheap. wow you sure got it figured out.

IN2MOWN
04-03-2007, 05:57 PM
well according to all of you "PROS" poor ole granny that cant afford your pricesand just wants to keep it cut shouldnt be able to hire a guy that will do it for cheap. wow you sure got it figured out.


Thats what there are grandkids for.

toroking
04-03-2007, 06:02 PM
Lower your price to be competitive thats the point we wouldn't have a free market if it wasn't right. you have to understand people that want a professional cut will go with a professional . Go to people and say hey i never cut lawns professionally and this is my first year and quote them at your prices see what you get in return... These kids are going to get laughed at. It doesn't hurt your work it just makes more competition and a better market. I real don't have to say much look at walmart and see where they are at right now. Look at anyone in the market that stays competitive sell in quantity and make make bigger money in quantity. I am not trying to be the one ruining families or trying to be a rude person on here I am just saying I have started before and you can't charge 35 a cut when your new.

Ecoscape01
04-03-2007, 06:06 PM
I had an estimte turned down (well the woman didn't call back) and I'm sure eventually a "lowballer" will get it. I feel like guys go too far with the whole "lowballer" thing. Not to insult anyone but if you're having problems with lowballers, then maybe there might be something wrong with a certain or several aspects of your business. Now migrant labor is different topic for another thread. Just from what I've studied about business in college and what I have learned about this business so far I have learned a lot of things. #1 being that it takes a lot more than just knowing how to do a particular thing like spreading mulch or mowing a lawn to run a business. Com'mon there are kids mowing lawns for money but there is a big difference between being an LCO and mowing lawns for money. From advertising and marketing to giving estimates and handling revenues, these kinds of things are where you should easily set yourself apart from the "lowballers", not to mention your quality. Anybody can print up a flyer and go door to door but knowing what to put on it and then how to handle when people call IF THEY CALL. I'm not upset about losing that account because they were cheap and obviously looking for a "lowballer" and they would've been my first account. I'm glad she didn't call. This weekend I will be doing half the work for twice the money because these customers are willing to pay. What if the PITA's hired me, gave me a deposit for materials but didn't pay me for the job? It's too early in the game for me to be takin a hit like that. Those are the kinds of people that guys complain about losing to "lowballers" cuz quality customers don't go for the lowballers do they? (someone with more experience feel free to jump in here) Do you really want that kind of customer? I'm new and could use the business but even I don't. I was thinkin about calling and lowering my price and I got so discouraged that I posted a thread about. I thought the only way I was gonna enter this highly competitive market was to have lower prices than my competition. That's the lazy and effortless way out. Instead I decided that I have to find more creative ways of advertising and do some good old fashioned homework to learn what those better ways are and what I need to improve. I also realized that I needed to be a little more patient. A long rant I know but the lowballer thing just gets old.

IN2MOWN
04-03-2007, 06:13 PM
Lower your price to be competitive thats the point we wouldn't have a free market if it wasn't right. you have to understand people that want a professional cut will go with a professional . Go to people and say hey i never cut lawns professionally and this is my first year and quote them at your prices see what you get in return... These kids are going to get laughed at. It doesn't hurt your work it just makes more competition and a better market. I real don't have to say much look at walmart and see where they are at right now. Look at anyone in the market that stays competitive sell in quantity and make make bigger money in quantity. I am not trying to be the one ruining families or trying to be a rude person on here I am just saying I have started before and you can't charge 35 a cut when your new.




There is a HUGE difference between being the new kid on the block and charging a few dollars less to get an account then being an established company and charging $10.00 to $15.00 less per cut.

I wont lower my prices. My work is good and its worth what I charge. I also know how much I need to make to stay in business. Lowering prices is not an option.

toroking
04-03-2007, 06:14 PM
so wtf are you people crying about!!!!

ccash
04-03-2007, 06:19 PM
so wtf are you people crying about!!!!

that you dont know anything or have any respect for the industry that we are devoted to. to me its not a career its a lifestyle.

tgmowerman
04-03-2007, 06:59 PM
It's a great idea, this would need to be on a state by state basis, due to the
varience in laws. You would need to charge dues, form an association, elect
officers, and hire an association manager to handle day to day operations and
lobby at the state level.

IN2MOWN
04-03-2007, 07:48 PM
It's a great idea, this would need to be on a state by state basis, due to the
varience in laws. You would need to charge dues, form an association, elect
officers, and hire an association manager to handle day to day operations and
lobby at the state level.


Great idea. Just what I want to do. Spend more money. Brilliant.

fiveoboy01
04-03-2007, 08:18 PM
For the original idea, I agree that it wouldn't work. Too many LCO's wouldn't want to have anything to do with it, even many who do excellent work.

As for lowballers, blah, who cares. I won't service a property for cheap, and the people who are looking for cheap prices don't care what their property looks like when it's done anyways. I simply do not want those types of customers anyhow.

BMFL79
04-03-2007, 10:23 PM
Great idea. Just what I want to do. Spend more money. Brilliant.

Exactly. Don't spend money from the bottom line trying to charge more at the top.

You're going to make what the market will pay. You're going to spend what the market charges. Our job is to manage what's in the middle.

Flex-Deck
04-04-2007, 12:49 AM
There is a HUGE difference between being the new kid on the block and charging a few dollars less to get an account then being an established company and charging $10.00 to $15.00 less per cut.

I wont lower my prices. My work is good and its worth what I charge. I also know how much I need to make to stay in business. Lowering prices is not an option.

WOW:
1. I see a lot of "established companies" bidding what the market will bear.
2. "My work is good and its worth what I charge." - If you are honest, there are probably more cases of a lower bidder doing a good job than not.
3. "I won't lower my price" - I do not ask you to lower your price per hr. Just lower it per acre, and then buy efficient equipment - then go compete, and laugh all the way to the bank.

nobagger
04-04-2007, 06:48 AM
if you are doing a good job you should not have to worry about the "LOW BALLERS".

I disagree! We lost a nice account that they always praised us every week to another company. This company looks like Sanford and Son rolling down the road and Ive talked to the guy, nice guy to talk to but just has the look and attitude of LOWBALLER.

IN2MOWN
04-04-2007, 06:52 AM
WOW:
1. I see a lot of "established companies" bidding what the market will bear.
2. "My work is good and its worth what I charge." - If you are honest, there are probably more cases of a lower bidder doing a good job than not.
3. "I won't lower my price" - I do not ask you to lower your price per hr. Just lower it per acre, and then buy efficient equipment - then go compete, and laugh all the way to the bank.


Bidding what the market will bear is not lowballing. If thats all you can get so be it. Established or not.

Most companies who are doing residential arent bidding by the acre. Its totally different. And if I was why not keep my prices the same and still buy more efficient equipment? WOW. What a brainstorm. Id be making MORE money.

dhardin53
04-04-2007, 07:53 AM
Thanks guys for all you insight. Remember I said it would be highly unlikely for this to ever come about.

I think we forget this is a national problem of economics. The poor are staying poor and middle class is vanishing and the upper class is getting very wealthy.
So just where will we as LCO fit in this in the next 20 years is the point I'm trying to bring to light.

No the sky is not falling, NO I'm not trying to socialize use or the government. I have nothing against the kid next door mowing yards. What id hope we can come to see is the wolf in sheep clothing her. The few LCOer that gain the majority of there business buy underselling every account they get. I truly feel we all have to give and take when it comes to pricing at times. For one here to say I will not unload my trailer for less that $30 has that right and is most likely in a geographic area that he can stick to his guns, So more power to him. But reality is that more and more of use concerned professionals are have to compete with on a daily bases with the low baller feeding from my client list.

Some one mentioned if I or we are overly concerned about the low ballers taking over we must be doing something wrong with our business practice.
I'm not quoting here. But is a easy assumption and in some small cases very possible. But when you have worked years to build your client list up by offering good service and quality work with the latest equipment. Your considered on top of your profession you find yourself becoming a target for the guy at the bottom of the tank to pray upon. This is all human nature and id have learned long time ago you cant change human nature.

Again back to the big picture,with the large increase of people willing to work for such a low wage only makes the true professional look as if we are over charging. I'm sorry but we are bringing much of this upon our selfs. You can read on over half the posts her dealing with pricing, how do I price this job, price per acer, price per hour. you name it its seam to be a hot topic. The better post should be about things we can do to better serve our clients and make whatever price you charge easy and better for all concerned. The major mower manufacture of our mower are not long lived if all they have to advertise is how much cheaper there mower is. They advertise how much easier it is to use and fast or cleaner or bells and whistles.

I have to com pair the LCO to the polite of the American farmer of today. They have had to get bigger to compete and to show a profit. Bigger tractors more land they till is the normal farmer of today. So be it with the LCO to afford the big fast mowers of today you need a lot of accounts. I guess my point is i am standing up for the independent guy here, the one man show. Id like to poll the percentage of LCO that are one maned independent operators and how many are or work for a LC operation of 2 or more employees. I have nothing agents the large operators (2 or more work crews) at all and feel this is the future of LCO as a hole. Because low ballers are only a percentage of any business. But if your a large 2 or more crews operation, loosing 20% of your work to lowballes is not a big deal. compared to the independent guy mowing 40 yards a week and looses 8 yards to low-balers.

Thanks again for your insight, keeping on topic and no flaming comments on a topic that is rich with conflict. And remember we are all in this together.

Dan H

ccash
04-04-2007, 12:14 PM
I disagree! We lost a nice account that they always praised us every week to another company. This company looks like Sanford and Son rolling down the road and Ive talked to the guy, nice guy to talk to but just has the look and attitude of LOWBALLER.

you know, after giving it some more thought and actually hearing from scrubs like a guy on hear purposely lowballing I can diffenatly see you point and I actually turn away work before I low ball. I have indeed lost to some lowballers before and I am not gonna say who they were (tgcl) but i always get most of them back in a year at the most.