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View Full Version : I thought the economy was bad


coxslawncare
04-23-2010, 09:53 PM
Picked up 4 new yards today takes me up to 17 new accounts for the year. I was busier last year than I had ever been also. I have completely cut out advertising because the calls keep coming either way. Hope everyone else is having the same success. I have actually been the same price or higher on every one of the yards I got that the customer told me what they were paying but they were fed up with people how didn't show up on time, poor quality ect.

LwnmwrMan22
04-23-2010, 10:47 PM
I and my buddies are both experiencing the same thing. The phones won't stop ringing off the hook.

SeedPro
04-23-2010, 10:49 PM
I and my buddies are both experiencing the same thing. The phones won't stop ringing off the hook.

My buddies and I.

Scagmower48
04-23-2010, 10:53 PM
I started my business 2 years ago. Even then the economy was slow. With just a newspaper ad for 8 weeks a year and word of mouth I am up to 42 lawns, with a few fert accounts and alot of extra work I do for my customers and one timers. I have never had a prolem getting work. This year I expanded again and already have a few extra jobs lined up. I provide good quality work at a decent price, but I provide excellent customer service. I answer my phone and return messages immediatly . I am on time and prompt, and when I say it will get done by a certain date, I always get it done sooner. I believe those factors lead me to a successful business. The economy might have slowed things down, but a good business will still be able to survive if they are good.

clean_cut
04-23-2010, 10:58 PM
My buddies and I.

I believe your sentence is a fragment. :laugh:

topsites
04-23-2010, 11:00 PM
Yup, for the first time in a bit I just started to actually turn down some work,
and in ways I hate to do it but we all know the kind...
That kind.

Tell you one thing thou, we're a long ways from being out of the woods...
And at least for myself, I think I'm going to really try and work things different this
time around, rather than go on a wild upswing to be followed by a deep depression
I believe there must exist a way to sail through on some kind of a level.

Why, I'd rather not make the BIG bucks in favor of having more work during the hard times that inevitably follow.

Because...
And I know nobody wants to hear this, but after the economy recovers?
Some years down the road yet, but one day after it gets going real good, it will crash again.

Again it may not be the news anyone wanted to hear, but that little bit of wisdom helps me a lot.

coxslawncare
04-23-2010, 11:11 PM
I've been doing this for 6 years now and for whatever reason it is easier to sell a job now than it was when I started. Good business practices will carry you a long way. To all the new guys be dependable and do good work and you should make it in this business, unless your in my area then keep driving them all to me...lol

sdk1959
04-23-2010, 11:36 PM
I started my business 2 years ago. Even then the economy was slow. With just a newspaper ad for 8 weeks a year and word of mouth I am up to 42 lawns, with a few fert accounts and alot of extra work I do for my customers and one timers. I have never had a prolem getting work. This year I expanded again and already have a few extra jobs lined up. I provide good quality work at a decent price, but I provide excellent customer service. I answer my phone and return messages immediately . I am on time and prompt, and when I say it will get done by a certain date, I always get it done sooner. I believe those factors lead me to a successful business. The economy might have slowed things down, but a good business will still be able to survive if they are good.

Looking at your equipment list how does a 20 year old with the expense of going to college and just 2 years in the lawn care business afford all that new equipment starting with the $8000.00 Kubota ZG227?

QualityLawnCare4u
04-23-2010, 11:44 PM
I wished I had these problems here! I have lost 4 accounts that total 839 a month in the past week and the phone ain't ringing!

Mahoney3223
04-23-2010, 11:51 PM
same here. i started out really really slow due to all the lowballing morons cutting throats on the comm'l bids but the residential segment has been huge. we got a few large comm'l contracts to make up for the lost ones and we're ahead of where we were last year.

CLARK LAWN
04-24-2010, 09:58 AM
same here, people are telling me horror stories about the lowball hacks they had last year. one i picked up i was 75% higher than what he payed last year. the guy last year drove his Z through the guys fence 2 times and broke his patio table. another one i got this year the guy lastyear hit the car with the bagger on his Z and put a nice dent and scratch in it and had no insurance nor did he make enough to pay for the damage out of his own pocket. another one was doing this on the side, well after we changed the clocks in the fall it was dark by the time he got home so he never mowed the yard for the last month of the season. well the grass was like 8-10 inches and full of snow mold.

rjh4758
04-24-2010, 04:04 PM
Calls have been fair here as well. What is really funny is that I have only lost one residential bid this year. My prices are fair but most definitly not low balling either. Either I must be bidding in their price range or really selling myself. I think the selling part is a big part of getting residentials.

Glenn Lawn Care
04-24-2010, 04:08 PM
things are turning around slowly. i wish i could pick up more work. i just got a few new ones this year but i'm itching for more!

T.E.
04-24-2010, 05:31 PM
Calls have been fair here as well. What is really funny is that I have only lost one residential bid this year. My prices are fair but most definitly not low balling either. Either I must be bidding in their price range or really selling myself. I think the selling part is a big part of getting residentials.

Well we were late in getting our door hangers out this year so the calls haven't been what we would like. I hope they start calling fairly soon, as I always like to pick up a few new accounts each year.

Tony

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
04-24-2010, 08:59 PM
same here i am getting calls all the time for mowing and anything else

coxslawncare
04-24-2010, 10:08 PM
glad to hear most of you guys are doing well. I learned a long time ago to sell myself not the service. The customer knows what they want to have done most times, they are just trying to find someone to take care of it.

yardguy28
04-24-2010, 10:41 PM
Picked up 4 new yards today takes me up to 17 new accounts for the year. I was busier last year than I had ever been also. I have completely cut out advertising because the calls keep coming either way. Hope everyone else is having the same success. I have actually been the same price or higher on every one of the yards I got that the customer told me what they were paying but they were fed up with people how didn't show up on time, poor quality ect.

i have been picking up as well. i think the economy is turning around but i try not to think about it to much so i don't jinx it............lol

Looking at your equipment list how does a 20 year old with the expense of going to college and just 2 years in the lawn care business afford all that new equipment starting with the $8000.00 Kubota ZG227?

you sure are a nosey one asking a question like that. does it matter how he got the equipment???

lawn&orderinc
04-24-2010, 11:05 PM
down here in Florida there is so many company's ready to cut your throat on pricing it's insane!

sdk1959
04-25-2010, 12:28 AM
you sure are a nosy one asking a question like that. does it matter how he got the equipment???[/QUOTE]

Well it's not like he started in 2002 at 11 years old like the Zaks Lawn Care poster and had eight years to save for and accumulate newer commercial equipment. Good lawn care accounts don't just land in your lap, cutting season in Connecticut starts about mid April, couldn't do it full time to service all his accounts till semester ends in late May so he would have to hire, run and retain a crew which really takes a chunk out of profits.

Not being nosy just want to know how he accumulated all that new commercial equipment, plus the trailer, truck and the handhelds in the short 2 years in the business while incurring the time and expense of going to college full time that's all.

yardguy28
04-25-2010, 08:52 PM
you sure are a nosy one asking a question like that. does it matter how he got the equipment???

Well it's not like he started in 2002 at 11 years old like the Zaks Lawn Care poster and had eight years to save for and accumulate newer commercial equipment. Good lawn care accounts don't just land in your lap, cutting season in Connecticut starts about mid April, couldn't do it full time to service all his accounts till semester ends in late May so he would have to hire, run and retain a crew which really takes a chunk out of profits.

Not being nosy just want to know how he accumulated all that new commercial equipment, plus the trailer, truck and the handhelds in the short 2 years in the business while incurring the time and expense of going to college full time that's all.

well i'll tell you how i did it. i used all my money saved from my previous job. damn near emptied my bank account to get started.

i started the first season purchasing a truck, trailer, walkbehind and used the handhelds i had for my own lawn (which was a br400 blower and a ryobi trimmer). second year i added another walkbehind another trailer and got some commercial handheld trimmers. last year (3rd season) i traded a walkbehind for a grandstand, traded a trailer for a different trailer and added a trac vac to my equipment line. this season so far i've added a commercial 21 incher.

everything is paid for and i owe nothing on anything.

for me as long as i can afford the necessities in life and pay my bills i'm happy. so i'm not looking to have bukku amounts of money in the bank and i don't.

STIHL GUY
04-25-2010, 09:00 PM
its nice to hear your doing well this season. keep it up

g21
04-25-2010, 09:16 PM
I agree. We have increased our volume more this year than in the last five years. Believe it or not, the worse it gets the better we do. The lower people bid, the more business we get. It's really unfortunate that most lawn maintenance contractors just don't get that it's not about price. They will argue til they're blue-in-the-face but they just won't take the steps to fix what's wrong with they're company. But we'll keep on trying to reach out to them.

Congrats on your growth...you must be doing some things very well!

sdk1959
04-26-2010, 12:22 AM
well i'll tell you how i did it. i used all my money saved from my previous job. damn near emptied my bank account to get started.

i started the first season purchasing a truck, trailer, walkbehind and used the handhelds i had for my own lawn (which was a br400 blower and a ryobi trimmer). second year i added another walkbehind another trailer and got some commercial handheld trimmers. last year (3rd season) i traded a walkbehind for a grandstand, traded a trailer for a different trailer and added a trac vac to my equipment line. this season so far i've added a commercial 21 incher.

everything is paid for and i owe nothing on anything.

for me as long as i can afford the necessities in life and pay my bills i'm happy. so i'm not looking to have bukku amounts of money in the bank and i don't.

That's the way to do it. Buy what you "need" for business not what you "want" for business. Usually when you buy equipment before you need it when you finally do need it you needed something else.:laugh::hammerhead:
Hindsight is always 20/20, trying to anticipate what equipment you "might" need for future business never is. Better to grow slow.

I also think you appreciate your upgraded equipment more when you pay for it from business profits in full and not on credit.

Good luck in the 2010 season!

motorscot
04-26-2010, 06:14 AM
I wish things were that rosy in my neck of the woods. I have lost 5 customers for reasons that range from "we're cutting it ourselves" to "your men wouldn't wait for me to write the check".

After several ads with a combined circ of 13,000+, 3000 business cards in Nov, and an additional 4000 this springs, I was hoping to double my customers to about 70-80.

So far, 6 more. So really I'm just barely ahead of last season. I hope that as it warms up, that more people call. Even at .5 % return instead of the normal 1% I would be happy.

I do have a new enclosed trailer and it is fully lettered up, so that may help some. What concerns me is the lowballing. Never crossed my mind the last year or two.

I lost a condo/hoa bid by $1400/month. Really? Seriously? I was middle of the pack at $50, with the high being $70k which was what the hoa was paying last season. But $34k? Those guys need to be punched in the throat!

MOW ED
04-26-2010, 10:20 AM
My buddies and I.

Are you a teacher disguised as a lawn care professional????????:laugh:

XeriCare
04-26-2010, 10:32 AM
I wish things were that rosy in my neck of the woods. I have lost 5 customers for reasons that range from "we're cutting it ourselves" to "your men wouldn't wait for me to write the check".

After several ads with a combined circ of 13,000+, 3000 business cards in Nov, and an additional 4000 this springs, I was hoping to double my customers to about 70-80.

So far, 6 more. So really I'm just barely ahead of last season. I hope that as it warms up, that more people call. Even at .5 % return instead of the normal 1% I would be happy.

I do have a new enclosed trailer and it is fully lettered up, so that may help some. What concerns me is the lowballing. Never crossed my mind the last year or two.

I lost a condo/hoa bid by $1400/month. Really? Seriously? I was middle of the pack at $50, with the high being $70k which was what the hoa was paying last season. But $34k? Those guys need to be punched in the throat!

Those Guys do need a good "Throat Punch".... The Phoenix Market is full of Low Baller's promising big and delivering small.

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
04-26-2010, 12:00 PM
you sure are a nosy one asking a question like that. does it matter how he got the equipment???

Well it's not like he started in 2002 at 11 years old like the Zaks Lawn Care poster and had eight years to save for and accumulate newer commercial equipment. Good lawn care accounts don't just land in your lap, cutting season in Connecticut starts about mid April, couldn't do it full time to service all his accounts till semester ends in late May so he would have to hire, run and retain a crew which really takes a chunk out of profits.

Not being nosy just want to know how he accumulated all that new commercial equipment, plus the trailer, truck and the handhelds in the short 2 years in the business while incurring the time and expense of going to college full time that's all.[/QUOTE]

yea i have had alot of time to save and i to am in college taking 16-18 hours a semester along with mowing. i chose to go to U of Toledo because it is like 15 minutes from my house (great money saver!) i have just started to get calls that i dont advertise for and were refered these past two years and am now really seeing alot more profit a season than ever before. this business takes time to build and it is especially difficult when going to school to but hard work pays off