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AllAmericanlawn
03-11-2009, 11:32 AM
I have seen more underpricing this year than any other year. I did see it coming though. With unemployment at record high levels, Alot of new LCO's out there trying to get a piece of the pie. I dont mind the competition. What does bother me is all the under bidding on lawns. $20 half acre lawn

A MESSAGE TO ALL NEW LAWN COMPANYS!

STOP UNDER PRICING!

You think you are just going to take everyones business and grow quicker this way. In fact you probably will get more calls by under pricing, but you wont keep half those customers. In the mean time you are just bringing the business down for everybody!

If you start under pricing lawns, you think you will just raise prices next year. WRONG! You have just ruined/spoiled this customer. This customer will never want to pay more, and will switch to the next lo-baller mowing company that puts a $ 20 flyer in there mail box. And you will be out of business because you have no capital, no substantial cash flow, and no customers. PRICE THE LAWNS RIGHT TO BEGIN WITH AND WE WILL ALL PROSPER!

LB1234
03-11-2009, 11:41 AM
According to all of your statements, why are you worried? The new business will run themselves right out of business and the homeowners won't learn anything and will find the next lowest bidder.

Consider them doing a favor to the industry...weeding out the phone calls for those customers you do not want.

AllAmericanlawn
03-11-2009, 11:57 AM
I do agree with what you are saying. But it does bring down the business, even the ideal customers to get will only pay so much based on an average that LCO, s are charging. The same thing would apply to someone hiring a plumber. A plumber is getting $ 80 an hour with only a bag of hand tools. This is because there are not a bunch of un-insured, un-licensed guys going around under bidding plumbing jobs.

mowerbrad
03-11-2009, 03:25 PM
It does definately bring down business. Then many guys are amazed as to why customers think $30 will get there 3/4 acre property cut each week. But in this economy many new customers will be price shopping, as long as they can get someone to come out every week to cut their grass they are happy.

turfbuilder
03-11-2009, 05:57 PM
The under bidders will effect our business in this week economy however like the saying goes "you get what you pay for".
The lowballers will weed themselves out. Like I stated in another post you can't afford to cut your pricing. Do not go backwards!!. Instead offer a discount like 1 free mowing or a discount on other services. This worked in 1981, 1991 and 2002.:weightlifter:

Turfbuilder:usflag:

DaughtryLC
03-11-2009, 06:00 PM
It will be SWEET in 2yrs or less when these companys are out of business and the phone rings off the hook!!!!!!!!

turfbuilder
03-11-2009, 06:13 PM
I think these young guys think that lawn care is as easy as loading up dads push mower and weedwacker and mowing somebody's lawn for $20. bucks.
They don't consider the equipment maintenance and hidden costs involved in any business. That's why 80% of them fail. The other 20% realize they have to increase there charges.

Turfbuilder:weightlifter:

stroker51
03-12-2009, 12:59 AM
I'm lucky I've got a really good list of customers that aren't price shoppers, 98% arent slow pays, and i've always had a good grasp on making my pricing competitive. After these next few years get by, I'm really looking forward to the future. In my area there are a handful of guys who have been in this for 30 years and have a lot of market share, and they are either going to be retiring or selling out, and there will be a lot of work for us younger guys that build the business during this down time. It's always frustrating, but good jobs will keep you out of worrying about this. On the flip side, my buddy has a handful of municipality bid contracts, and last year there was literally 5 companies at the bid meeting. This year there was 15. Low bid wins......

turfbuilder
03-12-2009, 01:18 AM
Sounds like you've got a good thing going where your at. Good luck this season!
Turfbuilder:weightlifter:

stroker51
03-12-2009, 01:44 AM
So far so good, always trying to be optimistic, not much of a choice. I'm just glad I didnt go full bore into install work on new construction like I had thought about really serious back in 06. Good luck to you this season as well.

whoopassonthebluegrass
03-12-2009, 02:24 AM
You know what? It doesn't matter WHAT happens, there will always be lowballers. This industry's average business IQ is somewhere around "down-syndrome" level. There will ALWAYS be a LARGE number of flunkees who don't know the first thing about running a business or operating-costs... That's just the way it is.

Set yourself apart from the morons or drown in the flood waters of ignorance...

turfbuilder
03-12-2009, 02:42 AM
Well spoken Whoopassonthebluegrass!!

LB1234
03-12-2009, 10:49 AM
Set yourself apart from the morons or drown in the flood waters of ignorance...


now THAT is a good one!! I'm going to steal that phrase.

stroker51
03-12-2009, 11:32 AM
Hahaha, that just made my entire day. That is probably the best description of the lowballing situation that I have ever heard. Well said whoopass!!:clapping:

grasschopperofchicago
03-12-2009, 11:45 AM
What do you guys suggest for a new walk-behind?...I have a few Scags but wondered what the true thought on the Quick was?

EagleGrounds
03-12-2009, 12:05 PM
If im not mistakin, isnt this what america is all about(being able to charge what you want and do what you want?)? If thats all they want to charge, oh well, quit whining and lower your prices if your scared!

Its called competion, all business face it, get over it, it isnt going away anytime soon.

Cutter1
03-12-2009, 03:20 PM
The famous 3 year rotation..come in bid low out in 3 years!

topsites
03-12-2009, 03:53 PM
According to all of your statements, why are you worried? The new business will run themselves right out of business and the homeowners won't learn anything and will find the next lowest bidder.

Consider them doing a favor to the industry...weeding out the phone calls for those customers you do not want.

Oh dang look, a man with some sense, it's becoming a rarity I tell you :p

The famous 3 year rotation..come in bid low out in 3 years!

That's not a bad way to look at it either.

....................................................

In the meantime, the lowballers will increase interest in our type of work, because that's at an all-time low too,
and it's sad they have to do that but someone has to get down and dirty or it would never happen.
So I would almost say "respect the lowballer" but that might be a bit much right now.

Peace

EL Lawn care
03-12-2009, 07:55 PM
I agree about the whole under bidding deal. It is not good for the rest of us but it did seem to work well for WAL MART

whoopassonthebluegrass
03-12-2009, 08:17 PM
I agree about the whole under bidding deal. It is not good for the rest of us but it did seem to work well for WAL MART

Ummm... that's apples to oranges. First, take a look around at the average person you see in Walmart... not exactly catering to the cream of the crop, are they?

Second, Walmart is a RETAILER, not a service provider. Changes the dynamics entirely.

Third: Walmart sucks a$$ and anyone who hasn't come to the realization that their stuff is so cheap that it costs you more in the long run - needs to pull his head out of his butt.

EL Lawn care
03-12-2009, 08:24 PM
okay okay...I know they do suck donkey, just wanted to see what sort of reaction I would get. It is two completely different businesses. The service we provide is a hell of a lot better than anything walmart could ever do. Relax, the comment was all for fun....

ED'S LAWNCARE
03-12-2009, 08:40 PM
I do agree with what you are saying. But it does bring down the business, even the ideal customers to get will only pay so much based on an average that LCO, s are charging. The same thing would apply to someone hiring a plumber. A plumber is getting $ 80 an hour with only a bag of hand tools. This is because there are not a bunch of un-insured, un-licensed guys going around under bidding plumbing jobs.

Here we go again someone comparing mowing with a plumber. The reason a plumber gets paid more is because Joe Shmo down the street can't do it. Know your costs and bid accordingly. I bid fairly cheap not no 20 half acre but fairly cheap.

This is one of the easiest businesses to start up. Low investment, and limited knowledge. This industry will never keep going up in market price (as well as it shouldn't) because with all the new entries that will stable the market price.

grasschopperofchicago
03-13-2009, 01:15 AM
Wow!---I must be on the bottom of the totem pole with my Walmart Shopping!--I think Walmart has the idea completely right and yes they are a Retailer not a Service company, but I am a bit confused, they are a business and I am a business. I think they provide service too, not sure, but I tend to see a Service counter there. I also think that they buy in volume for the purpose of keeping their prices lower!--I am pretty sure I am accurate on those points!--so here is what I did this year! I found a guy that is a friend who is willing to work days this year for $8.00@hour!--now I thought about this and came up with a great idea!--it has to do with all the complaining going on here on the site!
I am taking this guy, and putting him in new accounts that I didn't have last year, my same crew will be doing my 123 accounts plus our new ones for commerical we aquired....now my new guy is going to be working 3 neighborhoods at $20 a crack!!---yep that is right!--LOWBALL?...nah...smart business!--I pay out $8.00@hour to get $40.00 in...I have the equipment already, putting him in an older dixie chopper and an Exmark WB...we have 9 trucks for plowing, that I am already paying insurance on, so that isn't a cost, I am putting him in 3 neighborhoods that are 1/4 acre plots!--20-30minutes in and out with cut/blow/trim and go!, half don't even require him to load up, some are three neighbors in a row with one across the street---I have established 42 new accounts and have phone calls and emails to return tomorrow on other inquiries!--I have the equipment and the insurance and this changes nothing except gas to get there and gas for those particular lawns and then of course wear on mower...so I ask, am I lowballing or being smart!---I am not competing or really don't believe I am leaving a dime on the table, of the 42 I solicited and received a majority with 1 year contracts!---NOT ONE had a lawn care service!--they either cut it themselves or a neighbor kid did, or family members!---so I converted these families into LC customers!--
I wonder who would find this to be lowballing or smart, and welcome the comments, I will tell you that I have 24 total years of being in business and run a total of 20 trucks with snow removal and lawn care (and one other company), I operate with 6 Dixie Choppers (just bought two new ones), 8 Various WB's and various equipment, 4 trailers I have accumulated throughout the years, and Gross just under $300k on lawncare alone, is this good or bad business setting up a $20.00 route. I run with me and two employees, for lawncare, more for snow removal, lawncare I am onsite for each cut with the regular accounts we have maintained...I aniticipate this route building into 70-85 accounts on a weekly basis. I already assume the costs involved for the equipment, I depreciate it as it sits in my building and the truck sits in my lot, and already have buidling costs, liability insurance without adding the $20 accounts, but now I am generating an additional $40k in Gross and anticipate doubling that.

openbook
03-13-2009, 01:26 PM
Grasschopper

Work must be super tough to find in chicago if you've got some guy willing to run a route for you for 8 bucks an hour. More power to you if you can make it work.

grasschopperofchicago
03-13-2009, 01:39 PM
Grasschopper

Work must be super tough to find in chicago if you've got some guy willing to run a route for you for 8 bucks an hour. More power to you if you can make it work.

They guy is simply looking to add to his current night job and I can be more flexible, he asked for that wage, not one I would have offered, I would have paid $10-12 if he was on my regular crew...

LB1234
03-13-2009, 01:39 PM
I think Walmart has the idea completely right and yes they are a Retailer not a Service company, but I am a bit confused, they are a business and I am a business. I think they provide service too, not sure, but I tend to see a Service counter there.


Please tell me you know the difference between and service business and a retail business. Do you know which one you are in? Perhaps next you should inform all of us that since you provide materials to your customers (i.e. mulch) you are in retail sales.

Please, quit while your ahead...errr...rather so you don't get to much further behind.

grasschopperofchicago
03-13-2009, 01:43 PM
In 24 years I am pretty sure I know which I am in, and also stated they had the right idea, however we are both businesses and the bottom line is profit!--regardless of how you get it!--Walmart get's it by buying in the largest quantity possible, I just added a route that will cover all my payroll and a few other things just as the route sits now, by cutting costs and creating more customers!--my way seems to have worked for 24 years, and Walmarts a bit longer!--thinking I have somewhat of a "clue"

LB1234
03-13-2009, 01:46 PM
What do you guys suggest for a new walk-behind?...I have a few Scags but wondered what the true thought on the Quick was?


what does your 24yrs of experience tell you?

grasschopperofchicago
03-13-2009, 01:52 PM
what does your 24yrs of experience tell you?

It tells me to do exactly what I joined the site for, to research equipment to get a feel for it prior to making the investment, good business sense!--It tells me that since I am 12 hours away from the BOP and can't see one in person that maybe I can get the info via threads!--I know what scags and Exmarks do, and looking to add a new if not 2 new ones!--just as my research on ALL items I buy!--no need to reply...you obvioiusly have limited knowledge and it shows with each stroke of the keyboard!

ruffs
03-13-2009, 02:38 PM
As far as the under cutting just keep your eyes on there equipment. You will be able to pick it up for nothing next year when they find out thier not making any $ and want ot unload it.

pawatch
03-13-2009, 03:43 PM
When you bid on a job. You are basing it on services provided and your operating expense.

So if someone bids on the same job. And under cuts you 30%
And he has lower overhead and operating expenses than you do. And he still makes the same amount of profit. Why is he a Low Baller :confused:

Now I can see where you full timers get upset with part timers because this is your lively hood.
And a lot of Part timers it's just their fun money.

But that's just part of life.

Toy2
03-13-2009, 04:11 PM
When you bid on a job. You are basing it on services provided and your operating expense.

So if someone bids on the same job. And under cuts you 30%
And he has lower overhead and operating expenses than you do. And he still makes the same amount of profit. Why is he a Low Baller :confused:

Now I can see where you full timers get upset with part timers because this is your lively hood.
And a lot of Part timers it's just their fun money.

But that's just part of life.


And for all the Illegal Mexi's it becomes business, business = cash, cash = Rancho in Mexico......

Carolina Cuts
03-13-2009, 08:36 PM
Rancho in Mexico......


Ranchos in Mexico are being set on fire, burned down and shot up at the moment...
big problems in Mexico... 7000 dead thus far...

the carvalho company
03-14-2009, 03:28 AM
people get what they pay for. 98% of my work is hourly thankfully. ive seen custys take the half pricers. but 2-3 weaks later your back there making more than you wre before fixin the crap they screwed up or couldnt handle

the carvalho company
03-14-2009, 03:30 AM
:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

the carvalho company
03-14-2009, 03:33 AM
people get what they pay for. 98% of my work is hourly thankfully. ive seen custys take the half pricers. but 2-3 weaks later your back there making more than you wre before fixin the crap they screwed up or couldnt handle

"knowing is half the battle" G.I. JOE