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Keith
01-17-2000, 11:49 PM
How is the competition in your area? I live in central Florida and it seems that I see at least 100 different mowing trucks and trailers everyday. This is without paying much attention, if we did we would probably see twice as many. I was just curious about other areas.<p>

moonarrow
01-18-2000, 12:11 AM
hey kieth I don't worry about competition in one neiborhood last summer I saw 8 trucks an the sme block I started there with one house by the end of the summer I had 5 year round cust. all in a row and just picked up to more if your quality is better than theirs they will change to you. in my opinion there are 2 kinds of lawn people lawn boys(any body can mow and weed whack) and prfessionals(those who use mowing paterns and know how to use a weed eater and edger. and leave a lawn well manicured not just mowed.<p>----------<br>Dale moonarrow@hotmail.com<br>Southern lawn and Landscape

jeffclc
01-18-2000, 01:50 AM
Seems like each spring there are a bunch of guys starting up. By the fall, some have disapeared. <p>There are a lot of guys doing this in my area. Seems that they like spending time in the truck though. I will be working on a lawn when a competitor passes by, entering into the neghborhood. They are leaving in 20-30 minutes after completing their one lawn in the neighborhood(2-3 man crew). I am still working on the origional lawn. I just don't see how they can make any money traveling that much. <p>I also see them all over the place. One Saturday, I had the day off, and did a bunch of errands. I was all over the area, and saw many of the guys who work my area as far as a 45-50 minute drive away. <p>

HOMER
01-18-2000, 02:07 AM
I used to worry about the competition also. You have to remember that when you started you were being looked at as &quot;new competition&quot; by the others that had been in the business for a while. Now I look at myself as my biggest competition. If you do the best job you can, sweat the small stuff, you probably won't ever have to worry about the others. The ones that are in & out in 30 minute or less are probably the ones that are making money............IF they are doing good work. Thinking of yourself as your own worst enemy will keep you concerned about others moving in on you &quot;turf&quot;. Don't let them have any ammo to use against you!

Charles
01-18-2000, 05:41 AM
We are covered up with competition around here too. Even with a good economy and plenty of &quot;real&quot; haha jobs out there. Oh well, I guess they will come and go. I try not to worry about it. Just keep plugging away. Do good work and treat people right and you will always have plenty of work.<br>Charles

mattingly
01-18-2000, 07:19 AM
I am just getting ready to start this year. I am fortunate for the fact that I am still attending school, only starting small, only require meager living to get by, don't have a family to provide for, and have a roommate to help pay my housing payments. With all that said I still worried about competition. Going to local equipment stores I have heard them talk of many big time competitors. I kept wondering how I could compete and break into the field to be profitable(bigtime). Well the fact of the matter is I live in a town of 250,000 some odd. There are many good companies already in the region. But, they can only handle so much client base. This means I have to be as good as them and I'll be getting a piece of the pie. I plan on opening a greenhouse/nursery business in 3-4 yrs. So, the lawn maintenance will only be a small portion of what I plan on doing. This all sets up for my plan to establish myself in the field and not worry about competition. This coming year I will acquire only a few (as many as I can comfortably handle)customers. The area I am going to focus on is a large, high-end residential properties that are 2 minutes from my home(maybe less). The next year I will expand greatly, as I will be finished with classes, and hopefully with top quality and exceptional knowledge, I will be able to acquire several accounts. Another plus is that there are several apartment and townhome communities in my area also. So, there is great room for growth. Basically, what I am trying to say is that I don't want a ton of properties. I want a satisfactory number of customers that will allow me to make a significant profit while providing great service. And the beauty of this is all this can be done within one or two mile of where I live. Find your niche and make the most of it. I kinda came to this plan because I had heard of a guy in Lexington who obtained a foothold in one of the wealthiest areas in town. At that point almost everyone came to him and he had little to no competition because he was the only person in the community doing properties. The area of town was where Rick Pitino used to live when He coached the KY Wildcats. <br>Bottom line listen to the guys above, as I am. Do good work. Get several close together properties. Build on that. Keep close watch on your finances(ie. know where your money is going and why). Your competitor may have double the # of properties as you but, if he isn't as business savy as you are you may be much more profitable in the long run. Ex. my current boss has a large hospital on site property she manages. Well, things are run kinda sloppy and she isn't making near the profit she could if she was a more skilled manager of people and time.

VWBug61083
01-18-2000, 06:04 PM
There's a bunch of lawn cares in my town (probably at least 30). But I'll bet about 15 of them will be gone by next year (and replaced with 15 more new guys). So there's plenty of business, wherever you live. You have to go out and get it. The work is not going to come to you. Just because there are a lot of lawn cares around doesn't mean they're all succesful. Some of them probably only have 10 accounts and just drive around all day so people will think they're busy.

Lazer
01-18-2000, 06:09 PM
VWBug, LOL That's too funny!<p>In todays market the competition is for good employees, not customers. There is so much work, so many new homes & businesses and such good equipment compared to 20 years ago. If you can get & keep good employees, the clients are automatic.

Bobby
01-19-2000, 06:26 PM
I agree with Homer. We all start out about the same. We don't all reach the same level. When you do get to the point where your product is top quality,you'l find that competition is for the new guys and the mow-blow & go guys. Yesteryear L/S

Keith
01-19-2000, 06:43 PM
I guess what I was getting at was not the competition directly, but more like how many others do the same thing in your area. I bet there is well over 500 (maybe a lot more, hard to say) different companies (or mow and go's as Bobby would say) that service within 20 miles of me. I just didn't know if the lawn maintenance industry was that big in other parts of the country.

VWBug61083
01-19-2000, 08:08 PM
In my town of about 15,000 people, there are a lot. Just in the phone book, I counted 47. Adding on the ones that aren't listed, and there's probably at least 70 lawn cares out here.

Bobby
01-20-2000, 02:24 AM
Hey Keith, I live in the Ft Lauderdale area. I've seen 5 rigs at one red light going in all directions. There are well over a thousand contractors here, however there are also 3.5 million people living betwene Palm Beach and Miami. Ten more years , there will be no more land to develope down here, and i will need to hire an interperator. Yesteryesr L/S

mattingly
01-20-2000, 05:14 AM
I guess I have it pretty easy then. In a town of about 250,000(lots of apartments) I only counted about 40 lawn companies in the phone book. Now I know there are a ton and I mean a ton of ones out there not listed but the majority of ones I will be competing with will be the listed variety. As far as what they offer and I do... Well I am new to the game but I bring about everything to the table. Most of these firms do to but where I am trying to beat them is with the pesticide licenses, having some design background for simple designs, and I want to offer a year long all inclusive service that will cover everything from IPM, fert., pruning, cleanup, bed design, etc. I want to make their landscapes worry free and maintained by one contractor and one contractor alone.<p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY

A CUT ABOVE
01-20-2000, 03:23 PM
Hey Keith, I just moved in July to a town of only about 30,000. There were already 20 or 30 other companies here that could not get enough business. The second largest company in town was even selling out. I talked with the owner about buying it. Glad I didn't!! I already have twice as much money per month in accounts as he does. The thing here is that news travels fast and people like to talk. I figured they would here about me one way or the other. It was up to me to let them here something good. I have even had people recommend me to someone else when I was not even handling their lawn maintenance. They later called me themselves and took over theirs. It's all about doing a good job and having some pride in what you do.

pogo
01-25-2000, 10:33 PM
I agree w/ Lazer. The competition is keeping good employees. I have not come across customers wanting to change companies. I have had potential customers call because the lawn service they were using was very unreliable. Thats the biggest complaint I hear from new customers. There is too much work to be done than to worry about the competition.

geogunn
01-26-2000, 01:06 PM
hey mattingly--I've read your posts above and I wonder if you'd share more of your buisness plan with us? I started about four years ago with the same number of jobs that you have (goose egg). I utilized the run and gun method to grow and have been pleased with the results. as I read about your plans I understand that you propose to provide high end service to a limited client base. the limited client base is understandable as a single person can only do so much in a days time. how about giving us some insight into how much you hope to gross/net early in the game? I'm not trying to be too personal I just don't have the understanding you do of this process and the advantage of reviewing your buisness plan!<p>thanks<p>GEO

mowerparts
01-27-2000, 04:34 AM
As far as competition goes, has everyone been looking at the price of gas? I have decided to increase my hourly rate to cover the cost. <p>----------<br>http://mowerparts.hypermart.net<br>

mattingly
01-27-2000, 05:03 PM
Geo,<br> I am going to the Small Business Dev. Ctr. tomorrow to run figures on what I have estimated for this coming year. I will try to give you some info. once I get this done. The whole process of a business plan is very beneficial to the success of a company. Now I know some people will say well I make 100K a year and don't have one. Well great. I am going to have one anyway. I think it is important for any one looking to write a b plan to do their own. It is a great learning experience and you have more insight as to the true backbone of the company. Sorry this is off topic of the orig. post.<p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY