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View Full Version : I love the lawn game


MDLawn
04-23-2010, 11:37 AM
Just got a message back that for a near 1/2 acre lawn that my quote was too high and the competitive quotes were $15-$23!?!?! People have no clue how to make money and would rather scrape by just to have accounts and then do a crap job, at least that is just my opinion. Or they are hurting so bad they need anything to keep going and that sucks too.

Either I am out of my mind asking what I want (I dont think so) or this industry is collapsing just like the economy. I refuse to lower my prices and I dont care if a crew of guys can do it faster than me. That crew costs money to run. Ah lawns, the total volume game - the more you can get at your cheap price the more you think you can make :hammerhead:. I will stick to part time and only take those at my price. Sorry to say this but it's just frustrating. I love the landscaping aspect of the business but the lawns for now make me the most. I am working on changing this.

Thanks for reading my rant :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

Cummins343
04-23-2010, 11:39 AM
Time are tough right now man. People are willing to go to the extremes just to make a buck or two. As far as this industry going down the drain, I would say there's a trend leaning towards that. This job doesn't require any real education requirements, none. Anyone can go out and start a lawn mower and trimmer.

MDLawn
04-23-2010, 12:06 PM
Believe me I know a brainless dropout can mow lawns and lay mulch (and the industry is consumed with them) and I am fine with that. I just laugh at all this. Times are tough, I know, but I just will not accept people that don't want my price. I'd rather find another part time line of work (and I do this just to make money not support anything) than lower myself or my prices just to work. Why bother beating my body up for nothing. This is a convenience industry and if someone doesn't want to pay for that convenience of coming home every week to have a nicely manicured lawn and landscape then fine. Choose the cheap guy and maybe he'll do as good of work as me and if he does you got a steal of a deal. If all someone cares about is getting the grass knocked down then please choose the other guy. Around here people are not hurting as bad with their new BMW's and Mercedes in their driveways. I've got enough lawns for this year and any more will be at a price I want. I really enjoy doing this work and making properties look nice but not at the expense of just doing it. Gotta make money. If the trend continues then maybe I'll not being doing this anymore. But my customers are repeat customers and love the work I do. I even get compliments from people just walking by. I pride myself on that. Quality = a higher price. Want it cheap.....you run the risk of bad work. Again I am looking at the customer that wants it nice, not just someone who may be lazy and doesn't want to do the work. I mean a good homeowner rider may cost $1500-2000. A cheap lawn guy at $15 only costs $405. What's the point in buying a lawn tractor or hell even a good push mower when someone else can beat their equipment up. Thats why sooo many non-high end clients have lawn service. Again my opinion only. I want to run a business not just cut grass to make money.

Hawg City Lawns
04-23-2010, 01:58 PM
theres a guy handing out flyers in my neighborhood $20 any yard and he doesnt do a bad job either most yards are 1/2 to 3/4 acre i cant drop the gate for less than $35 on the 1/2 acre lots but its part of the business theres plenty of yards out there just have to look for them

MDLawn
04-23-2010, 03:34 PM
theres a guy handing out flyers in my neighborhood $20 any yard and he doesnt do a bad job either most yards are 1/2 to 3/4 acre i cant drop the gate for less than $35 on the 1/2 acre lots but its part of the business theres plenty of yards out there just have to look for them


Exactly! Even some of the 1/4-1/3 acre lots with all the fences need to be around $30-35. Trimming takes too much time! Thats why I pick and choose and get the ones that I want that pay what I need. I definitely made early mistakes but most of them have not continued with the price increases and their spots get filled every year anyways. I also understand that the low price guys fill a niche and those customers wouldn't even consider me because of price anyways.

brodo374
04-23-2010, 03:45 PM
Seems like every yard has a plastic baggy in the drive offering a price much less than yours...and/or a gimmick such as [third cut free, beat ANY other price by 25%, etc]. Kind makes me sick

lawnworker
04-23-2010, 04:36 PM
This is the worst it has ever been. The trillion dollar bailouts have gutted what was left of America. The elite are having one last bash at our future expense, and us lawn schmucks are a dime a dozen in this new world order economy

clif
04-23-2010, 05:12 PM
A cheap lawn guy at $15 only costs $405. What's the point in buying a lawn tractor or hell even a good push mower when someone else can beat their equipment up. Thats why sooo many non-high end clients have lawn service. Again my opinion only. I want to run a business not just cut grass to make money.[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't stress out too much over the idiot low ballers, they are ignorant as to what overhead means, and obviously don't make any money. I think they just want accounts, no matter what price, and "think" they are doing good. Then, after cutting the yards a couple times, they realize they underbid big time and then the only option for them is to do a quick & crappy job, mow and go - no edging, trimming, cleanup or weed control whatsoever. I gained an account recently because a lowballer kept doing a crappy job. The customer finally accepted the fact that in this business you get what you pay for. I went cut her yard the next day after Mr. lowballer just cut it, and she still paid me my full rate. She was so impressed with the yard after seeing the difference someone that cares about a quality job can do, she stopped me while working to tell me so. I think I'll have that customer for a long time.

Keep your rates where you make a profit, don't ever lower them, or your standards... you say more about yourself and your business by the quality of work you do than anything else, if you accept a cheapo job to just mow and go, remember, potential customers see that job too. I tell people up front I'm not the cheapest there is, but I'd compare my cuts to anyone's. Just my thoughts on this topic.

Charles
04-23-2010, 06:20 PM
Many people don't know how to run a business. That is just the way it is. They usually find out when the bills come in February and they have no money to pay them. Or the Big Z breaks down and they have no money to fix it. Soon they will be weeded out.

Cummins343
04-23-2010, 06:41 PM
Many people don't know how to run a business. That is just the way it is. They usually find out when the bills come in February and they have no money to pay them. Or the Big Z breaks down and they have no money to fix it. Soon they will be weeded out.Most, if not all of them, don't pay taxes either way for their company so they should be having a lot of $$$.

Charles
04-23-2010, 07:07 PM
Most, if not all of them, don't pay taxes either way for their company so they should be having a lot of $$$.

Sooner or later that will come in handy for bail money:laugh:

GreenGuysLC
04-23-2010, 07:11 PM
You run your business the way you know how. You cant worry about the lowballers. The senior discounts, the free cuts, all the other gimmicks cost them money. I do offer a few perks to some of my customers, but it is customers that have proven their loyalty to me. I may start their sprinkler system up at no charge ... but the return is knowing I will be cutting well into the drought. As far as price... I cant even stop for under $50. My base price is $50 ... PERIOD. Do this ... sit sown and calculate how many hours you expect your mower to be good for .. then calculate the amount of fuel to be used in those hours .. as well as the belts, oil, filters, tires, etc... that will be used in the estimated hour usage ..... add the cost of all those items and divide by the estimated hours ... and you will see quickly how much it cost to run your mower per hour. Five years ago I did this for my walkers . . estimating my hours on 1500, because thats my estimated "trouble free" time frame. It came out to $30 per hour to run the mower Of course you add a few more bucks for the small engines, consider insurance, and truck ...I all adds up. My rate is based on $80 per hour. A small half acre yard is going to run me about 35-40 minutes . . so I am in line at $50 .. If is is a 2 hour job but I only run my mower for an hour ... then I may charge 80 for first hr, then 40 for second hr.. $120 dollars. Each job is different but always evaluate the job and cover the cost. Lowballers dont know how! Bid a new church this week ... was the low bidder by $10 dollars. It was a $240 per cut property... will take approx 3.5 hrs max. Only about 2 hrs of mowing. Reason the bids were close and competetive .. the church required Insurance, as well as proof of being in business for two years!

jrush
04-23-2010, 08:48 PM
Last year everyone with a damn pickup truck had a mower in the back...To the point my mother even noticed! This year they are going out with a mower stuffed in the back of a little utility trailer hooked up to Explorer's, Blazers, etc...anything with a tow hitch!

FuturePilot4u
04-23-2010, 09:58 PM
i got 2 kids come by one of my costumers while Alzheimer and did a 40 dollar yard for 10 bucks, easier for me, i hope they do it more often so i can keep charging and not doing it

topsites
04-23-2010, 10:09 PM
Statistically speaking...

50% of all new businesses are not around after 2 years.
90% of all new businesses are not around after 5-8 years.
99% of all new businesses are not around after 20 years.

Roughly, as I recall, the figures may not be down to the exact percent but they are close.
It is unfortunate those of us who stick around year after year get to deal with the fallout, but such is life.

clean_cut
04-23-2010, 10:23 PM
I'm sure business will pick up, maybe try to upsell your other services to your current customers... "I noticed your bushes were a little long in front, do you want me to give you a quote" or "For an extra $5 a week I can edge around your flower garden"

clean_cut
04-23-2010, 10:25 PM
i got 2 kids come by one of my costumers while Alzheimer and did a 40 dollar yard for 10 bucks, easier for me, i hope they do it more often so i can keep charging and not doing it

Hahahaha, subing work out to kids now eh? sounds like a real good idea to me. :laugh:

meets1
04-23-2010, 10:33 PM
There area many new ones and some old ones here again playing the game. Bid a acre complex - missed the bids big time and asked the guy where I was. He told me the guy won has mowed there the last eight years and every year he is afraid of lossing the account so therefore he lowers his bid every year - the guy just laughed that he was that stupid but great for his company.

On second thought though i landed a hospital - only one invited to the bid. They new our work, asked for a few references, had a few face to face meetings with CEo, board, maintanence guys - and now were on board for mowing, fert/spray, bushes, etc. Nice account and glad I got it!

MDLawn
04-24-2010, 07:05 AM
Its all in finding the right customer Resi or Comm. Those who are only price hunters usually will not fit my business. Those failure statistics are true but for me being part time may be different. But the fallout as said above is tough to deal with. But that's business in the lawn game.
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