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View Full Version : State of the Industry - Snow, Recession, yadda yadda yadda


DVS Hardscaper
04-04-2010, 10:56 AM
Whatda ya think biz will be like this year?

US car sales are up. Way before the recession hit I've always said "when the car biz is good - the patio biz is good, when the car biz is bad - the patio biz is bad". And it's true. People do NOT need new cars - they can fix the one's they got. People DO NOT need pavers and block. We're the first to feel the pinch and we're the first to feel an improving economy long before some man in a suit stands on a podium on Wall Street and declares a recession or declares that the recession is over.

Last year in our main service area we had contractors pricing work for next to nothing. I more or less had to jump on the bandwagon to keep bills paid and food on the table.

Ok, so the economy is slowly improving. But not so fast. Here in MD we've had record amounts of snowfall. Many contractors who were on the brink of bankruptcy easily cleared $100k in snow revenue. Thats fantastic for their wallets. BUT....this scares me. The reason it scares me is now that they got this pile of money - they're now empowered to do install work for even LESS than any other time.

Our workoad is stacking up. I'm pricing jobs everyday. But it's still early in the season, I haven't heard back from many prospective clients in regards to what the other quotes came in at.

Luxury industry admidst a recession. Contractors with 50 plus grand in net profits from snow work - I'm not so sure I have a comfy peachy feeling about things.



I'm sure Big "A" at the "premier site" will see this award winning thread and will mimick it......





Also, I'm looking for old pallet forks in poor shape with the universal hook up for a skid steer. I don't care about the forks, they're going on the scrap metal pile. If anyone has some old folks they wanna get rid of or sell - shoot me a PM.





,

mrusk
04-04-2010, 12:44 PM
DVS I do not see the US economy really improve much this year. However it looks like Rusk will have a good season. I think I already send out a larger dollar amount in proposals this year than I did all last year. And must are from referals or repeats.

If a company does good work, treats clients right, has low debt and money in the bank, I think there is opportunity to grow in this economy.

zedosix
04-04-2010, 01:43 PM
I think even in the hardest of times, guys who are good at what they do will be busy.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
04-04-2010, 01:48 PM
If anyone has some old folks they wanna get rid of or sell - shoot me a PM.
[/COLOR]


Nobody should be selling thier folks, even if the economy is bad.:)

Jokes aside the estimates are coming in (slow at first) but people are getting MULTIPLE esitmates this time around. This is based solely on what I'm seeing and hearing in my area.

DVS Hardscaper
04-04-2010, 07:50 PM
Nobody should be selling thier folks, even if the economy is bad.:)



That's a pretty funny typo!

Good eye!

P.L.
04-04-2010, 09:41 PM
I think larger companies with a lot of over head and employees will have a hard time. I work my a$$ last year to get jobs and stay busy, but I was able to have one of my highest grossing years yet. This year we have had an early start to spring and I am getting busy very fast. Most of the jobs I have looked at I have gotten and it does not seem like they are getting multiple quotes. Last year every job I looked at had 3 or 4 quotes, and most of them went to the cheapest guy (not me). Most of the calls I have gotten this year are from repeat coustomers who already know the quality of my work and that my prices are reasonable. If you do good work and are willing to work hard the work will come.

Bru75
04-05-2010, 12:41 AM
Same here, a lot of larger companies seem to be having a hard time of it.
I've got a lot of work lined up, probably 90% previous customers. The companies that take care of thier clients will still have work.
One of my best customers actually called me last fall because he was worried that I might need work. I'm just getting to that job now.

PaperCutter
04-05-2010, 12:50 PM
I would've figured the snow money would make guys more likely to pass on low-margin jobs. Maybe it's just where I live- the guys around here only show up at appointments if they're running low on beer $$.

This year is starting out stronger than last year, way more activity, but pre-screening has gone from important to a critical need. Leads are up but the quality of leads has fallen off a bit. Some folks seem to think the world is craigslist. Yes Mr. Homeowner, I charge for designs. You called a landscape design firm- it's all over my cards and my website. As a landscape designER, I either have to get paid for my work or live in my mom's basement and eat lots of ramen noodles. Good day.