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lawnlandscape
11-12-2010, 08:07 PM
Yes, yes, I know what your thinking. So I will start to say that I'm not new in this business and I'm not looking for handouts :)

I was just curious what some of your minimum prices per application are? The reason I am asking is because I just found out what some of my competition is charging for some of their lawns and was blown away!

My minimum price per application is currently at $34.99 for a 1-3k lawn. At 8k I'm at $44.99. 15k - $62.49 25k - $87.49.

Up until recently I was thinking about increasing my minimum charge, until I saw some prices from other company's. A potential customer showed me a proposal from Spring Green for a 5k lawn size for $33.00 per ap. My current rate for that sized yard is $37.99, which I thought previously was to low. Then, the very next day, another potential customer showed me a proposal from one of my largest local competitor's for $32 per ap for a 7k lawn size! My rate for 7k is currently $42.49!

I am curious what some of your minimum ap rates are, and how you think my overall rates are for a Midwest lawn care company? Are these company's crazy low, or am I just losing my mind! Here I thought I was not making enough. I have no idea how these guys are making anything! :dizzy:

ant
11-12-2010, 08:30 PM
$42.00 min

jasontimm
11-12-2010, 09:17 PM
$40 min, but other will tell you, alot depends on your overhead and buying power, for example, i was price checking 3-way today, i recieved prices from 18 all the way up to 30 dollars / gal. for yhe exact same product, so...if you are buying at a high price then you better be charging more.

fireman gus
11-12-2010, 09:32 PM
Our minimum is $30.00. Sometimes I feel bad about that price but considering my overhead that price must be firm.

starry night
11-12-2010, 10:00 PM
Our minimum is $30.00. Sometimes I feel bad about that price but considering my overhead that price must be firm.

You feel bad that it's too high or too low??

RigglePLC
11-12-2010, 10:29 PM
Your prices are not out of line. Other companies are price cutting. If your quality and service is higher than them, you should have no problems.
I heard a rumor that a big company last year was charging 6 dollars per thousand plus a "stop charge" of $22.

Ric
11-13-2010, 12:43 AM
Yo

Not trying to be a smart ass, How do you guys make it on such low prices???? My costs are higher than what some of you charge.

ant
11-13-2010, 05:30 AM
Yo

Not trying to be a smart ass, How do you guys make it on such low prices???? My costs are higher than what some of you charge.

i have some small lawns <3000m

TLS
11-13-2010, 07:18 AM
I don't have many small properties, mainly 30K-300K+. But when I look at a property....not only do I "size" it, but I also look at the terrain, type of grass, condition of turf, etc. This is something I carried over from 3 decades of mowing.

So, I really don't have a set minimum. However, if I did, it would all be dependent on the ease of job.

Ric
11-13-2010, 09:02 AM
I don't have many small properties, mainly 30K-300K+. But when I look at a property....not only do I "size" it, but I also look at the terrain, type of grass, condition of turf, etc. This is something I carried over from 3 decades of mowing.

So, I really don't have a set minimum. However, if I did, it would all be dependent on the ease of job.

TLS

I forget your hard pan compared to my sand doesn't need half as much attention. Therefore your cost per thousand isn't half of mine.

I recently had a conversation with an other CPO about bidding a 30 acre complex. There is 750 K of turf to be treated and TG/CL was on the bid list. BTW this is cut into multiply small areas where only pulling hose would work. From past experience we know TG/CL would low ball this job at $ 7.00 per K. Therefore the conversation was about the economics of trying to put together a treatment plan that he could sell for $ 6.95 a thousand.

TLS
11-13-2010, 09:12 AM
I guess, what I'm trying to explain is: I never have a set $x.xx per 1K figure. Rather, I employ a look and see approach. New customers are Googled/County searched for lot size/layout prior to drive-by. Then a visit to evaluate the "lay of the land".

To your competition low-balling applications....you have to educate your customer. Explain that your using premium materials, and it is YOU on their lawn however many times per season, not Jow Blow.

rcreech
11-13-2010, 09:20 AM
I guess, what I'm trying to explain is: I never have a set $x.xx per 1K figure. Rather, I employ a look and see approach. New customers are Googled/County searched for lot size/layout prior to drive-by. Then a visit to evaluate the "lay of the land".

To your competition low-balling applications....you have to educate your customer. Explain that your using premium materials, and it is YOU on their lawn however many times per season, not Jow Blow.

I totally agree!

We have very few "small lawns"...but it is always a case by case basis on every lawn, even larger ones.

One has to look at the layout and ease to give a good price.

I have a few lawns under 5K and we actually are starting to like them more then in the past.

They are a pain in the but, but also very profitable. I would say the lowest we would go is $36, but that would have to fall into our route.

I really do like the 20K lawns the best! You are in and out quick and can make much more in a day!


On small lawns lets just say you are $5 higher per app. If you are doing 4 apps that is only $20 a year. You should be able to sell yourself for $20.

Tell them for $1.66 per month they can improve their lawn and deal with a great lawncare company that cares about them.
Those are my favorites! Selling is too much fun sometimes.

jasontimm
11-13-2010, 09:23 AM
Yo

Not trying to be a smart ass, How do you guys make it on such low prices???? My costs are higher than what some of you charge.

If it costs you 30 to 40 dollars to do a 5k lawn you have problems.

Ric
11-13-2010, 09:40 AM
If it costs you 30 to 40 dollars to do a 5k lawn you have problems.

Sorry to tell you but yes a 5 K St Augustine lawn can cost $ 30 or more in product and OVERHEAD. I guess that is as amazing to you as your cheap prices are to me.

rcreech
11-13-2010, 11:53 AM
Sorry to tell you but yes a 5 K St Augustine lawn can cost $ 30 or more in product and OVERHEAD. I guess that is as amazing to you as your cheap prices are to me.

That is amazing! My product cost alone is well under $1/k average over 4 apps.
As far as overhead costs...the way I look at it is the more business I have it drops my avg overhead cost.

And a 3-5K lawn only takes about 5-10 minutes total so very little time involved and we should already be on or around that area.

$36 would be for a 2-3K lawn.

Don't have many of them though. Just isn't what we are set up to do!

Will P.C.
11-13-2010, 12:08 PM
My fert company does my yard for 38 dollars. When it is all said and done, they probably do 10k. They do a little of my neighbors yard as well to help keep the weeds out. She lives in England and does not take care of her house in the US.

I only use them for Pre'Em, but gladly will pay them to do it. Very reputable company as well who is known for using quality products.

I have a hard time seeing how they make any money. Last time they came out, 2 guys were in the truck and one guy sprayed while the other one just sat there. Maybe training?

At this price, I happily let them do my yard. If they offered an organic fert program, I would pay them to take care of that as well.

rcreech
11-13-2010, 12:19 PM
My fert company does my yard for 38 dollars. When it is all said and done, they probably do 10k. They do a little of my neighbors yard as well to help keep the weeds out. She lives in England and does not take care of her house in the US.

I only use them for Pre'Em, but gladly will pay them to do it. Very reputable company as well who is known for using quality products.

I have a hard time seeing how they make any money. Last time they came out, 2 guys were in the truck and one guy sprayed while the other one just sat there. Maybe training?

At this price, I happily let them do my yard. If they offered an organic fert program, I would pay them to take care of that as well.

Now that is just down right crazy to do a 10K lawn for $38...especially pre as that is my most expensive round (cost/k).

They are not making much!

Ric
11-13-2010, 12:43 PM
Coastal Florida's land was so expensive in the day that my largest residential property is only 15K of actual turf. I get $ 225.00 8 times a year. But remember I have a 12 month growing season.

Most all of my customers are on the Gold Packge of 8 lawn & 6 ornamental treatments a year. I throw in Structual Pest Control simplely because if I do a good job outside I am also doing a barrier treatment of the house. I only treat inside if there is a problem which hasn't been a issue in the last 10 years. Structural Pest Control is about sanitation and these are upscale customers.

Will P.C.
11-13-2010, 03:05 PM
Now that is just down right crazy to do a 10K lawn for $38...especially pre as that is my most expensive round (cost/k).

They are not making much!

This is why I happily let them do it. I assume when everything is all said and done, they make about 5 dollars. If they had an organic program, they could do that too.

Most DIY grass guys use Scotts. Just something I noticed from my experience. It would cost more money for the cost of Scotts, than to use these people for a fert app.

rcreech
11-13-2010, 04:15 PM
This is why I happily let them do it. I assume when everything is all said and done, they make about 5 dollars. If they had an organic program, they could do that too.

Most DIY grass guys use Scotts. Just something I noticed from my experience. It would cost more money for the cost of Scotts, than to use these people for a fert app.

As long as they are not cutting you on rates...that is a no brainer!

TLS
11-13-2010, 04:31 PM
Spreading it thin is a big money maker for the bigger company.

I do 4-5 apps/season while the big companies always push 7-8. Skimping on rates is less apparent when they're there every couple weeks!!!
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tlg
11-13-2010, 04:41 PM
Minimum charges are kind of a funny thing in our business. Any other service business that shows up at your door will most certainly have a flat rate charge just to show up before anything is done to your home or property. For instance the appliance repair man. When the wives dryer went out it was 75 bucks just to show up. Not bad for him. On the lawn fertilizing end of things we as owners hope to have profitability by production. Tight routes mean higher dollars per hour. The more a tech can do the more your profit margin will increase. Ten 5k lawns on one street should always be more profitable than say one 50k lawn. If they all have a minimum stop charge worked into the cost of treating that lawn you would reap the stop charge on the next nine lawns on the same street. Of course if you have 10 50k lawns on the same street the same rules would apply but you must understand the time, labor and material issues are more on those big lawns. That being said you can make money on big lawns just not as much as a small lawn. If you could eliminate the time factor on big lawns or somehow do them faster you would do better..... it's just not going to happen.

Every companies inputs are different. My cost are unique to my operation. The question is do you really want to base your pricing on what some other company is doing? The answer is no. Know your cost and price accordingly. Good service is the only way your going to win customers.

rcreech
11-13-2010, 04:59 PM
Spreading it thin is a big money maker for the bigger company.

I do 4-5 apps/season while the big companies always push 7-8. Skimping on rates is less apparent when they're there every couple weeks!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

But isn't it fun whey your 4 app lawn looks better then the neighbors 8 app lawn?
:laugh:

I have picked up several lawns in that situation and I can typically save the homeowner some serious $$$$ by cutting out some unneeded apps!

Everybody wins!

rcreech
11-13-2010, 05:01 PM
Minimum charges are kind of a funny thing in our business. Any other service business that shows up at your door will most certainly have a flat rate charge just to show up before anything is done to your home or property. For instance the appliance repair man. When the wives dryer went out it was 75 bucks just to show up. Not bad for him. On the lawn fertilizing end of things we as owners hope to have profitability by production. Tight routes mean higher dollars per hour. The more a tech can do the more your profit margin will increase. Ten 5k lawns on one street should always be more profitable than say one 50k lawn. If they all have a minimum stop charge worked into the cost of treating that lawn you would reap the stop charge on the next nine lawns on the same street. Of course if you have 10 50k lawns on the same street the same rules would apply but you must understand the time, labor and material issues are more on those big lawns. That being said you can make money on big lawns just not as much as a small lawn. If you could eliminate the time factor on big lawns or somehow do them faster you would do better..... it's just not going to happen.

Every companies inputs are different. My cost are unique to my operation. The question is do you really want to base your pricing on what some other company is doing? The answer is no. Know your cost and price accordingly. Good service is the only way your going to win customers.

POWERFUL!

Great post!

lawnlandscape
11-14-2010, 10:01 AM
The question is do you really want to base your pricing on what some other company is doing? The answer is no. Know your cost and price accordingly. Good service is the only way your going to win customers.

Umm... As much as I hate to say it.. My answer is yes. Everyone on this website always talks about great service. In the past, I have also talked a lot about it. Going above and beyond for the customer ect. I just got done reading a book that was based on a lot of studies. In the book their was one graph I will never forget. On the left side it was % chance the customer would stay with your company next year. On the bottom it was Level of service given. It went all way from "expectations not met at all" - "expectations met" - "Company went WAY over and above expectations"

Obviously if the customers expectations were not met at all you were losing about 100% of your customers in the future. If the customers expectations were met you would retain 63% of your customers for future years. But what was interesting was how much the line leveled out between that point and "company went WAY over and above expectations". That % was at 67%.

This whole book was focused on "Stop trying to delight your customers" Doing this is costing your extra time and money and having almost no effect.

Anyway, I guess my point is that as long as the customers expectations are being met, this industry comes down to price. That does not mean you have to be the lowest, but you defiantly have to know what your competition is charging at at least be in the ball park. If I'm 10-$15 higher then some of my competition per ap on a small yard, there is not way I'm picking up that yard no matter what kinda speech I give.

I have a family member that owns a garden center. He makes evergreen baskets are wholesales them to a major grocery store chain in our area. Last year he was wholesaling them for $18 each. The owner of the stores came to him and said another company will sell these same things to us for $10 each. My uncle looked at the other company's basket. The quality was clearly a lot better on his, but was force to reduce his price to $12.50 per basket in order to hang onto them as a customer.

My point is, that even if your quality is a lot better, you still have to be in the ball park area for customers to consider you. So, YES, to some extent you have to be basing your prices based on what other company's are charging. I wish it was the way you are describing... but its not. :cool:

rcreech
11-14-2010, 10:26 AM
Umm... As much as I hate to say it.. My answer is yes. Everyone on this website always talks about great service. In the past, I have also talked a lot about it. Going above and beyond for the customer ect. I just got done reading a book that was based on a lot of studies. In the book their was one graph I will never forget. On the left side it was % chance the customer would stay with your company next year. On the bottom it was Level of service given. It went all way from "expectations not met at all" - "expectations met" - "Company went WAY over and above expectations"

Obviously if the customers expectations were not met at all you were losing about 100% of your customers in the future. If the customers expectations were met you would retain 63% of your customers for future years. But what was interesting was how much the line leveled out between that point and "company went WAY over and above expectations". That % was at 67%.

This whole book was focused on "Stop trying to delight your customers" Doing this is costing your extra time and money and having almost no effect.

Anyway, I guess my point is that as long as the customers expectations are being met, this industry comes down to price. That does not mean you have to be the lowest, but you defiantly have to know what your competition is charging at at least be in the ball park. If I'm 10-$15 higher then some of my competition per ap on a small yard, there is not way I'm picking up that yard no matter what kinda speech I give.

I have a family member that owns a garden center. He makes evergreen baskets are wholesales them to a major grocery store chain in our area. Last year he was wholesaling them for $18 each. The owner of the stores came to him and said another company will sell these same things to us for $10 each. My uncle looked at the other company's basket. The quality was clearly a lot better on his, but was force to reduce his price to $12.50 per basket in order to hang onto them as a customer.

My point is, that even if your quality is a lot better, you still have to be in the ball park area for customers to consider you. So, YES, to some extent you have to be basing your prices based on what other company's are charging. I wish it was the way you are describing... but its not. :cool:

This is where I am different!

I WILL NOT drop my price and don't care what the other companies charge. Once I have given a person a price it is what it is.

When they say "will you match their price" that is when I say "only if they match my product quality and service". And I mean it!!!!!

I tell them that my prices are where they are at for a reason and that we use the best products and don't skimp on rates etc. And that we backpack all edges and if they have a problem will talk directly to me blah blah blah. You CAN separate yourself and sell VALUE! Yes VALUE!


If the customer called you for a price then that obviously means that they are NOT HAPPY with their current company for some or many reasons.

Why should we give them a better lawn and better service for the same price? :dizzy:

I know that I could pick up a lot more business if I did drop my price a little but I have too much pride and technically that is not the kind of customer I am looking for!

I don't want a customer that is nickel and dime'n me! I want the customer that loves their lawn and is willing to "spend the xtra" to make it look good. They are also the customer that will add services later because THEY CARE!

Low end clients will price check and high end clients don't talk price...just quality.

That is who I am looking for. :)

lawnlandscape
11-14-2010, 10:47 AM
This is where I am different!

I WILL NOT drop my price and don't care what the other companies charge. Once I have given a person a price it is what it is.

When they say "will you match their price" that is when I say "only if they match my product quality and service". And I mean it!!!!!

I tell them that my prices are where they are at for a reason and that we use the best products and don't skimp on rates etc. And that we backpack all edges and if they have a problem will talk directly to me blah blah blah. You CAN separate yourself and sell VALUE! Yes VALUE!


If the customer called you for a price then that obviously means that they are NOT HAPPY with their current company for some or many reasons.

Why should we give them a better lawn and better service for the same price? :dizzy:

I know that I could pick up a lot more business if I did drop my price a little but I have too much pride and technically that is not the kind of customer I am looking for!

I don't want a customer that is nickel and dime'n me! I want the customer that loves their lawn and is willing to "spend the xtra" to make it look good. They are also the customer that will add services later because THEY CARE!

Low end clients will price check and high end clients don't talk price...just quality.

That is who I am looking for. :)

When I give a price thats my price also, but I want to make sure the prices I give are in the ball park of my compitition. My company has only a 5% churn rate on our fert & squirt customers. I think its because we try to make sure we are priced right, and we do a quality job.

I do sell value, but what I'm, saying is that if value is not competativly priced you have already lost most of your customer potetial.

I don't understand why you think that if a customer calls you for a price that means they are not happy with their current lawn care provider? Currently I have AT&T for my TV service. Once every couple of years I look at the prices the dish companys are offering and my local cable company. If one of them is priced better, I will switch, even though im happy with AT&T.

I also disagree with you that low end clients price shop more then high end clients. I find that high end clients are smarter with a $ then low end clients, and most high end clients will price shop every other year just to make sure they are still getting a good deal. (even if you have not raised your price on them)

High end Clients will always talk price, everyone will. I think your living in a fairy tale.

Ric
11-14-2010, 11:00 AM
That is amazing! My product cost alone is well under $1/k average over 4 apps.
As far as overhead costs...the way I look at it is the more business I have it drops my avg overhead cost.

And a 3-5K lawn only takes about 5-10 minutes total so very little time involved and we should already be on or around that area.

$36 would be for a 2-3K lawn.

Don't have many of them though. Just isn't what we are set up to do!

RC

What might really blow your mind is the profit margin in Fire Ant Control here in Fla. It is legalized Stealing. My chemical cost per thousand to control Fire Ants is under $ 0.25 a thousand. I charge the going rate of $ 5.00 a thousand. That is a 95% margin and a lot higher price than Northern guys are getting for Fert & Squirt. It seems Northern guys get more for cutting grass but less for Lawn care than Florida people.

I blame this on the Licensing Laws in each area. Everyone can get a license in the North and so they do and get out of Mowing. Here only the people will to pay their dues can get licensed so everyone else cuts grass.

TLS
11-14-2010, 11:13 AM
To those arguing the price issue and ability to retain clients.

You need face time and communication with your customer.

You and I would switch cable providers because they are a cold faceless entity. If AT&T was a small neighborhood owner operator who you see at church every week and eat lunch at the local diner with, that would be a much more difficult decision.

If you want to run your LCO like AT&T, then be super concerned with being the cheapest. If you want to be successful in your local town, then offer the best service and let that determine your pricing.
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dwc
11-14-2010, 02:53 PM
If price was the only thing that mattered to everyone, we would not have malls or other nice retailers.....we would all just shop at the dollar store. We wouldn't have BMW, Lexus, Mercedes......we would all drive used kias! We wouldnt have 1/2 million dollar homes....we would all live in a cheap apartment. Now I agree, there are a lot of people who price is the only thing that matters. There are a reason the dollar stores and cheap car companies stay in business and we have run down apartment buildings. However, there are a lot of people who realize the value of a quality service with a quality product. I'm not saying you can charge $1,000 when your competition is charging $50, but if you are providing quality, your prices will HAVE to be more. I guess it's a good thing there are both types of companies to meet the different needs of different people, plus the cheap companies make the quality companies stand out that much more. Theres the old saying "you get what you pay for" and it proves itself true every single day.

I would venture to say that most people who post on this board and for sure the ones who lurk here have never put any thought into their ACTUAL costs to show up and treat a property. I am talking truck, equipment, fuel, insurance, employee (if applicable), repairs and upkeep, office time and record keeping, office supplies, and we still havent talked about products, water cost, the "free" estimate, customer education time, costs of a "free" return service call if homeowner thinks it didn't work and we would go on and on. While this is getting down to the nitty gritty, I have watched so many startup lawn care boys go under after about a year because they didn't know their costs and did not charge accordingly. By then they are known as a "cheap" service and it's too late to change the game plan and get the prices up where they need to be.
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Ric
11-14-2010, 03:15 PM
If price was the only thing that mattered to everyone, we would not have malls or other nice retailers.....we would all just shop at the dollar store. We wouldn't have BMW, Lexus, Mercedes......we would all drive used kias! We wouldnt have 1/2 million dollar homes....we would all live in a cheap apartment. Now I agree, there are a lot of people who price is the only thing that matters. There are a reason the dollar stores and cheap car companies stay in business and we have run down apartment buildings. However, there are a lot of people who realize the value of a quality service with a quality product. I'm not saying you can charge $1,000 when your competition is charging $50, but if you are providing quality, your prices will HAVE to be more. I guess it's a good thing there are both types of companies to meet the different needs of different people, plus the cheap companies make the quality companies stand out that much more. Theres the old saying "you get what you pay for" and it proves itself true every single day.

I would venture to say that most people who post on this board and for sure the ones who lurk here have never put any thought into their ACTUAL costs to show up and treat a property. I am talking truck, equipment, fuel, insurance, employee (if applicable), repairs and upkeep, office time and record keeping, office supplies, and we still havent talked about products, water cost, the "free" estimate, customer education time, costs of a "free" return service call if homeowner thinks it didn't work and we would go on and on. While this is getting down to the nitty gritty, I have watched so many startup lawn care boys go under after about a year because they didn't know their costs and did not charge accordingly. By then they are known as a "cheap" service and it's too late to change the game plan and get the prices up where they need to be.
Posted via Mobile Device

DWC

Yes the BMW mind set is alive and well in my Water front upscale properties. ""If it cost more it has got to be better."" Restaurants, Bars and Country Clubs etc enjoy the BMW mind set because it keeps the trash out. I would like to think I take advantage of the BMW club.

rcreech
11-14-2010, 03:23 PM
When I give a price thats my price also, but I want to make sure the prices I give are in the ball park of my compitition. My company has only a 5% churn rate on our fert & squirt customers. I think its because we try to make sure we are priced right, and we do a quality job.

I do sell value, but what I'm, saying is that if value is not competativly priced you have already lost most of your customer potetial.

I don't understand why you think that if a customer calls you for a price that means they are not happy with their current lawn care provider? Currently I have AT&T for my TV service. Once every couple of years I look at the prices the dish companys are offering and my local cable company. If one of them is priced better, I will switch, even though im happy with AT&T.

I also disagree with you that low end clients price shop more then high end clients. I find that high end clients are smarter with a $ then low end clients, and most high end clients will price shop every other year just to make sure they are still getting a good deal. (even if you have not raised your price on them)

High end Clients will always talk price, everyone will. I think your living in a fairy tale.

L and L,

We do very little marketing and 80+% of my business is grown by referrals. When people call they know what they are going to get and my closing rate is phenominal.

Just as TLS stated...it is all about communication, being honest and showing the local community you are the professional.

I would say that most of my new customers are coming from TG or another company. I ALWAYS ask them why they are switching and they tell me why. That is a key question to ask so you know why and also to understand what the customers expectations are. Most that call are not happy for one reason or another and are not afraid to say why.

The reason I don't worry about my competitor's pricing is...they don't have consistency. TG will do a 10K lawn for $60 and then turn around and do the guys neighbor's 10K lawn for $39.

I didn't mean that high end clients never ask for the price...I am saying that price isn't the highlight of the conversation.

You can tell who price shoppers are! If a person focuses more on COST then QUALITY and RESULTS we are not a good match!

High end clients are willing to pay more because they know that "you get what you pay for"

I am glad that I make my everyday life seem like a fairy tale to you.

If you want to go into a trailer park and match TG's prices to get work have at it...that isn't my gig!
:)

rcreech
11-14-2010, 03:30 PM
If price was the only thing that mattered to everyone, we would not have malls or other nice retailers.....we would all just shop at the dollar store. We wouldn't have BMW, Lexus, Mercedes......we would all drive used kias! We wouldnt have 1/2 million dollar homes....we would all live in a cheap apartment. Now I agree, there are a lot of people who price is the only thing that matters. There are a reason the dollar stores and cheap car companies stay in business and we have run down apartment buildings. However, there are a lot of people who realize the value of a quality service with a quality product. I'm not saying you can charge $1,000 when your competition is charging $50, but if you are providing quality, your prices will HAVE to be more. I guess it's a good thing there are both types of companies to meet the different needs of different people, plus the cheap companies make the quality companies stand out that much more. Theres the old saying "you get what you pay for" and it proves itself true every single day.

I would venture to say that most people who post on this board and for sure the ones who lurk here have never put any thought into their ACTUAL costs to show up and treat a property. I am talking truck, equipment, fuel, insurance, employee (if applicable), repairs and upkeep, office time and record keeping, office supplies, and we still havent talked about products, water cost, the "free" estimate, customer education time, costs of a "free" return service call if homeowner thinks it didn't work and we would go on and on. While this is getting down to the nitty gritty, I have watched so many startup lawn care boys go under after about a year because they didn't know their costs and did not charge accordingly. By then they are known as a "cheap" service and it's too late to change the game plan and get the prices up where they need to be.
Posted via Mobile Device


GREAT POST!

My thoughts exactly!

Wish I would have seen this before my last post and I wouldn't have wasted my time!


If you sell on price you will get beat by price down the road by your competitor.

If you sell on value...price doesn't matter!

Thank God I learned early in my business life to SELL Value and NOT SELL on price!

azjojo99
11-14-2010, 05:17 PM
Umm... As much as I hate to say it.. My answer is yes. Everyone on this website always talks about great service. In the past, I have also talked a lot about it. Going above and beyond for the customer ect. I just got done reading a book that was based on a lot of studies. In the book their was one graph I will never forget. On the left side it was % chance the customer would stay with your company next year. On the bottom it was Level of service given. It went all way from "expectations not met at all" - "expectations met" - "Company went WAY over and above expectations"

Obviously if the customers expectations were not met at all you were losing about 100% of your customers in the future. If the customers expectations were met you would retain 63% of your customers for future years. But what was interesting was how much the line leveled out between that point and "company went WAY over and above expectations". That % was at 67%.

This whole book was focused on "Stop trying to delight your customers" Doing this is costing your extra time and money and having almost no effect.

Anyway, I guess my point is that as long as the customers expectations are being met, this industry comes down to price. That does not mean you have to be the lowest, but you defiantly have to know what your competition is charging at at least be in the ball park. If I'm 10-$15 higher then some of my competition per ap on a small yard, there is not way I'm picking up that yard no matter what kinda speech I give.

I have a family member that owns a garden center. He makes evergreen baskets are wholesales them to a major grocery store chain in our area. Last year he was wholesaling them for $18 each. The owner of the stores came to him and said another company will sell these same things to us for $10 each. My uncle looked at the other company's basket. The quality was clearly a lot better on his, but was force to reduce his price to $12.50 per basket in order to hang onto them as a customer.

My point is, that even if your quality is a lot better, you still have to be in the ball park area for customers to consider you. So, YES, to some extent you have to be basing your prices based on what other company's are charging. I wish it was the way you are describing... but its not. :cool:

May I ask what is the title of the book? I looking for some winter time reads...

jasontimm
11-14-2010, 09:45 PM
I would venture to say that most people who post on this board and for sure the ones who lurk here have never put any thought into their ACTUAL costs to show up and treat a property. I am talking truck, equipment, fuel, insurance, employee (if applicable), repairs and upkeep, office time and record keeping, office supplies, and we still havent talked about products, water cost, the "free" estimate, customer education time, costs of a "free" return service call if homeowner thinks it didn't work and we would go on and on. While this is getting down to the nitty gritty, I have watched so many startup lawn care boys go under after about a year because they didn't know their costs and did not charge accordingly. By then they are known as a "cheap" service and it's too late to change the game plan and get the prices up where they need to be.
[i]Posted via Mobile Device


I WOULD HAVE TO DISAGREE, MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO POST ON THIS SITE HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR AWHILE, IF THEY DIDNT GIVE THE THOUGHT AND FIGURE IN THE OVERHEAD/OPERATING EXPENSES THEY SURELY WOULDNT BE IN BUSINESS VERY LONG, RUNNING A BUSINESS ISNT ROCKET SCIENCE, BUT IT DOES TAKE SOME THINKING, PLANNING AMBITION. IF I CHARGED MORE PER 1000 THAN MR. CREECH DOES THAT MEAN THAT I DO A BETTER JOB? I DONT THINK SO, WE LIVE IN DIFFERENT AREAS, WE HAVE A DIFFERENT BUSINESS PLAN/MARGENS AND OVERHEAD. RIC'S PRICES ARE VERY HIGH COMPARED TO OTHERS, WHY? BECAUSE HE SERVICES UPSCALE AREAS, I SERVICE SMALL TOWN RURAL MINNESOTA. i'M NOT SURE WHAT MAKES PEOPLE ASSUME OTHERS DONT KNOW HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS, OR FIGURE EXPENSES, MAYBE THEY WANT TO MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK GOOD, OR MAYBE THEY JUST LIKE BLOWING SUNSHINE UP THEIR BUTT. REGARDLESS, THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD BUSINESS PEOPLE ON THIS SITE, AND ITS A SHAME TO JUDGE THEM ON WHAT THEY CHARGE.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 01:13 AM
To those arguing the price issue and ability to retain clients.

You need face time and communication with your customer.

You and I would switch cable providers because they are a cold faceless entity. If AT&T was a small neighborhood owner operator who you see at church every week and eat lunch at the local diner with, that would be a much more difficult decision.

If you want to run your LCO like AT&T, then be super concerned with being the cheapest. If you want to be successful in your local town, then offer the best service and let that determine your pricing.
Posted via Mobile Device

1) Your comments are directed at someone who is already very successful.
2) I never said anything about being the 'cheapest', I said being in the 'ball park'. In-case you have never watched baseball, let me advise you that being in the outfield is pretty far from home plate, while still being in the ball park.
3) 'Local Town?' We service 4 county's.
4) Maybe I could have face to face time with each customer if I had 30....

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 01:25 AM
L and L,

We do very little marketing and 80+% of my business is grown by referrals. When people call they know what they are going to get and my closing rate is phenominal.

Just as TLS stated...it is all about communication, being honest and showing the local community you are the professional.

I would say that most of my new customers are coming from TG or another company. I ALWAYS ask them why they are switching and they tell me why. That is a key question to ask so you know why and also to understand what the customers expectations are. Most that call are not happy for one reason or another and are not afraid to say why.

The reason I don't worry about my competitor's pricing is...they don't have consistency. TG will do a 10K lawn for $60 and then turn around and do the guys neighbor's 10K lawn for $39.

I didn't mean that high end clients never ask for the price...I am saying that price isn't the highlight of the conversation.

You can tell who price shoppers are! If a person focuses more on COST then QUALITY and RESULTS we are not a good match!

High end clients are willing to pay more because they know that "you get what you pay for"

I am glad that I make my everyday life seem like a fairy tale to you.

If you want to go into a trailer park and match TG's prices to get work have at it...that isn't my gig!
:)

TG is very consistant, when you figure out how they bid things. My fert sales rep is an ex True Green Sales man.

rcreech
11-15-2010, 06:57 AM
Yes, yes, I know what your thinking. So I will start to say that I'm not new in this business and I'm not looking for handouts :)

I was just curious what some of your minimum prices per application are? The reason I am asking is because I just found out what some of my competition is charging for some of their lawns and was blown away!

My minimum price per application is currently at $34.99 for a 1-3k lawn. At 8k I'm at $44.99. 15k - $62.49 25k - $87.49.

Up until recently I was thinking about increasing my minimum charge, until I saw some prices from other company's. A potential customer showed me a proposal from Spring Green for a 5k lawn size for $33.00 per ap. My current rate for that sized yard is $37.99, which I thought previously was to low. Then, the very next day, another potential customer showed me a proposal from one of my largest local competitor's for $32 per ap for a 7k lawn size! My rate for 7k is currently $42.49!

I am curious what some of your minimum ap rates are, and how you think my overall rates are for a Midwest lawn care company? Are these company's crazy low, or am I just losing my mind! Here I thought I was not making enough. I have no idea how these guys are making anything! :dizzy:

You started this thread!!!

You are a few bucks higher then your competitor just as I am and all along we have been saying "sell value", but you must not be able to.

That is my point! If you are good at what you do, local, dress good and drive nice trucks that alone should sell you. Don't just sell price.

In the long run you will have a much better set of clients as they will not be "price jumpers" and calling around as you say they do.

Get customer that need you and trust you!

If there is a $10 difference and they don't want to pay it...walk away.

You can make more money not dealing with them. It is better to not do business with someone then lose money on them.

This may sound like a "fairy tale" to you but I have had great success with this approach as you can't service everyone so you may as well cherry pick the good ones, make better profits and keep them in the long run!


Good Luck!
:)

starry night
11-15-2010, 07:53 AM
TG is very consistant, when you figure out how they bid things. My fert sales rep is an ex True Green Sales man.

Yeh, they are consistent in just using any number that works to get the volume.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 10:06 AM
Yeh, they are consistent in just using any number that works to get the volume.

I just have never really understood all the TruGreen bashing on these boards. I would think you have a extremely Successful business.... why not learn from it instead of think its stupid and bash it.

I don't know about you guys but if I was getting bids from roofers and one of them came over and was talking crap about some other roofers in town, there is no way I would want a person like that working on my house.

I mean, have any of you that bash TruGreen really done any research at all about their company? I would bet not. The fact is that TruGreen has a 9% Profit Margin. For those of you that don't understand 'profit margin', this means 9% of what they bill for lawn care is still in their business bank account after ALL EXPENSES, including labor. How people can compare them to Walmart is just insane when Walmart has a 3.47% profit margin. Do you have a 9% profit margin on your lawn accounts? I'll be honest.. I don't.

The fact is that TruGreen is set up perfectly for what they do. Not many of us have trucks specifically dedicated for lawn care as they do.

Are they applying 1 pound of N per k on visits? NO... But if most of you were honest, you are not either.

For the life of me, I just can not understand why most of you would choose to bash the most successful lawn care company in America instead of learn how they got there.

dwc
11-15-2010, 10:20 AM
The bashing comes from seeing day after day how they abuse their customers. Have you ever seen what their retention rate is for customers? Its horrible! They will telemarket their customers to death too and that's just not something most people like.
I am sure most of us could had a 9% or higher profit margin if we chose to not do the right thing and not give the customer what they expect and what they have been told. I can promise if I did as many apps per year on a yard as they do, the yard would look amazing!
Saying we should all bow down to trugreen and model our business after them is like saying red lobster should model their business after long john silvers or captain d's.
Posted via Mobile Device

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 10:46 AM
The bashing comes from seeing day after day how they abuse their customers. Have you ever seen what their retention rate is for customers? Its horrible! They will telemarket their customers to death too and that's just not something most people like.
I am sure most of us could had a 9% or higher profit margin if we chose to not do the right thing and not give the customer what they expect and what they have been told. I can promise if I did as many apps per year on a yard as they do, the yard would look amazing!
Saying we should all bow down to trugreen and model our business after them is like saying red lobster should model their business after long john silvers or captain d's.
Posted via Mobile Device

Do you even read the words on the screen before you respond? Where in my post did I say you should model your business after them? I said you can LEARN THINGS FROM THEM. Comparing lawn care with restaurant chains is just stupid for so many reasons.

BBB processed a total of 34 complaints about Trugreen in the last 36 months. If they really abuse customers as you say, then why would they only have this many complaints. Why also would they be growing in size each year??

Most TruGreen yards that I see look pretty damn good as well.

The fact is that customers want a thick, green, weed free lawn, and they want it as cheap as possible. The fact is also that people vote with their wallets. Sure TruGreen makes their mistakes... we all do, but if they were as bad as you claim, people would not continue voting for them.

tlg
11-15-2010, 10:49 AM
Umm... As much as I hate to say it.. My answer is yes. Everyone on this website always talks about great service. In the past, I have also talked a lot about it. Going above and beyond for the customer ect. I just got done reading a book that was based on a lot of studies. In the book their was one graph I will never forget. On the left side it was % chance the customer would stay with your company next year. On the bottom it was Level of service given. It went all way from "expectations not met at all" - "expectations met" - "Company went WAY over and above expectations"

Obviously if the customers expectations were not met at all you were losing about 100% of your customers in the future. If the customers expectations were met you would retain 63% of your customers for future years. But what was interesting was how much the line leveled out between that point and "company went WAY over and above expectations". That % was at 67%.

This whole book was focused on "Stop trying to delight your customers" Doing this is costing your extra time and money and having almost no effect.

Anyway, I guess my point is that as long as the customers expectations are being met, this industry comes down to price. That does not mean you have to be the lowest, but you defiantly have to know what your competition is charging at at least be in the ball park. If I'm 10-$15 higher then some of my competition per ap on a small yard, there is not way I'm picking up that yard no matter what kinda speech I give.

I have a family member that owns a garden center. He makes evergreen baskets are wholesales them to a major grocery store chain in our area. Last year he was wholesaling them for $18 each. The owner of the stores came to him and said another company will sell these same things to us for $10 each. My uncle looked at the other company's basket. The quality was clearly a lot better on his, but was force to reduce his price to $12.50 per basket in order to hang onto them as a customer.

My point is, that even if your quality is a lot better, you still have to be in the ball park area for customers to consider you. So, YES, to some extent you have to be basing your prices based on what other company's are charging. I wish it was the way you are describing... but its not. :cool:

Quite frankly I would not base how I run my business on some book with a bunch of studies. Taken at face value most of these studies are based on interpretation of biased data. Meaning you could never have a true analysis because the data is either inaccurate, has bad inputs or not enough inputs to show a logical, concise pattern or trend.

I base my operation I real life experience, our own data ( yes we track where our customers come from and why we did not sell a new account ) and pricing within our market. That being said, I can assure you that we get new customers all the time that were paying a lot less from our competitors. Perhaps we only sell to smart people. I really cant say. Based on my experience there are plenty of potential customers that are willing to pay more for a quality service. As long as they get what they are promised with a reasonable expectation of results they will come. I would agree with you that pricing does have to be reasonable as well and you should be in the " ballpark" . That however, requires good management skills and cost control to keep you in the game. There is a point though were you simply must compete at a service level alone if your competition has bigger guns in his arsenal. Your thinking is flawed if you sincerely believe that you would adjust your pricing downward just to get a account. Based on your thinking you will meet your competition at any price even if you lose money! Let's get real here. As I said before if you know your inputs and cost of doing business you can only have one price. YOURS!

The gift basket story is exactly what I'm taking about. It seems to me that your relative would have based his pricing on his cost as well as a reasonable profit margin. If one week he had to sell it for 18 dollars and a few weeks latter he could sell the same basket for $12.50 and make money something was awry with his pricing. Was he over priced to begin with? Did he reduce the quality of his work? Is he now losing money just " to keep a customer "? Please tell me how he can do this and still make money. If his original price was right how can a price based on his competitors inputs be right too?

I will research a study for you that shows customer service is the number one way to win and retain customers if you need it to change your thinking. It's out there I'm sure of it. I will also look for that study that shows how many companies went out of business because they price matched even though they lost money.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 10:49 AM
Ohh, and yes, I know that TruGreen has a 60% retention rate. Spring Green in my area has a 44% retention rate. I also know that TruGreen's customer base is growing, so I don't see your point.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 11:00 AM
Based on your thinking you will meet your competition at any price even if you lose money! Let's get real here. As I said before if you know your inputs and cost of doing business you can only have one price. YOURS!

The gift basket story is exactly what I'm taking about. It seems to me that your relative would have based his pricing on his cost as well as a reasonable profit margin. If one week he had to sell it for 18 dollars and a few weeks latter he could sell the same basket for $12.50 and make money something was awry with his pricing. Was he over priced to begin with? Did he reduce the quality of his work? Is he now losing money just " to keep a customer "?

I took what you said seriously until you said this.

1) I have never talked about meeting my competitions price, I have talked about being in the ball park
2) I am in business to make money, if I were losing money on any of the services I offer, I would not be in business for very long. If I am willing to reduce my rates, I would do so knowing I could still make money. Kinda silly I even have to say that.
3) What is a 'reasonable profit margin' to me, is a different number for you, and for my uncle. Someone clearly thought a reasonable profit margin was less.
4) My uncles business does 15 million + in sales each year, I'm pretty sure he would not be doing something that he is 'losing money at' I brought that up to simply show that competition sometimes forces a price reduction.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 11:06 AM
One thing that I find a bit ironic is that I never even brought up TruGreen in any of my posts. I have never had a problem being in the ball park of TruGreen's rates. Its other Lawn Fertilization/Weed Control company's who's rates are really low.

rcreech
11-15-2010, 11:31 AM
I love this stuff!

It is just too fun and easy! :)

Tru Green must be different on your edge of the world...as they totally suck here.

You stated that TG has a profit margin of 9% and a 60% retention rate.

WOW...and you think that is good? You go ahead and be like them! Good Luck to you!

Guess you now see that there are several living in this "fairy tale" with me! :)


I have learned a lot from TG and here are just a few things listed:

1) Don't do ghost applications or you will lose accts
2) Don't try and sell 8 applications
3) Don't call your customers every week and try to sell them something
4) Don't put applications on when there is 6" of snow on the ground
5) Hire people that love what they do and care
6) Use good products
7) Give the customer what they are paying for

I could go on and on but this is just a few quick ones.

Long story short...as long as I have TG I won't need to hire a salesman as they are doing a great job for me already! :laugh:

I never bash my competition to the customer although I will ALWAYS point out why we are better.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 12:25 PM
I love this stuff!

It is just too fun and easy! :)

Tru Green must be different on your edge of the world...as they totally suck here.

You stated that TG has a profit margin of 9% and a 60% retention rate.

WOW...and you think that is good? You go ahead and be like them! Good Luck to you!

Guess you now see that there are several living in this "fairy tale" with me! :)


I have learned a lot from TG and here are just a few things listed:

1) Don't do ghost applications or you will lose accts
2) Don't try and sell 8 applications
3) Don't call your customers every week and try to sell them something
4) Don't put applications on when there is 6" of snow on the ground
5) Hire people that love what they do and care
6) Use good products
7) Give the customer what they are paying for

I could go on and on but this is just a few quick ones.

Long story short...as long as I have TG I won't need to hire a salesman as they are doing a great job for me already! :laugh:

I never bash my competition to the customer although I will ALWAYS point out why we are better.

Yes, I think a 9% profit margin is extremely good for the industry they are in. Especially considering that 65% of my application prices are direct chemical or fertilizer costs. That leaves just 26% of the amount billed for applications to cover ALL MY OTHER EXPENSES (including wages) in order to get that 9% profit margin. Every other week I go out to lunch with 3 direct competitors. We are all between 2-6% profit margins on our lawn fertilization/weed control programs. I have no idea where you are, (if you even know) and don't really care to know. But if you knew much about this industry, you would not be mocking 9% profit margins on lawn fertilization/weed control. Quite frankly, I was amazed to see that figure.

You also mock TG's 60% retention rate for some reason, even though they continue to grow each year. I would agree with you that the retention rate is bad if they were shrinking, but for every 5 customers they lose they are gaining 6. Its just not surprising to me that a large national company has a 60% retention rate. If they had a 44% retention rate like Spring Green, that would be something to note.

Here are the points you listed to be 'bad' about TG:

I have learned a lot from TG and here are just a few things listed:

1) Don't do ghost applications or you will lose accts
They don't do ghost applications, I can guarantee that. If they did, they would have employees quiting because most people in my opinion are honest people and would not work for a company like that. Also employees would bring them to court for it if it were true.
2) Don't try and sell 8 applications
Why not? Our standard program includes 6 applications, but many additional options. The most common is a grub preventive & an early herbicide for dandelions. If a customer adds these 2 applications they are receiving 8 applications. About 45 of our customers receive 8 applications a year.
3) Don't call your customers every week and try to sell them something
I have heard of people getting annoyed with TG's calls, but I think your stretching it with every week. But, I would agree with you on this one.
4) Don't put applications on when there is 6" of snow on the ground
They don't. I have how idea where you got this from, but its clearly BS. This is exactly the kind of knocking of TruGreen that makes YOU lose YOUR credibility.
5) Hire people that love what they do and care
Your joking right? Do you have employees, I assume not with a comment like this. Obviously this is the ideal employee, and ones we are all looking for. However, most people get a job for the check and do just enough to get that check and go home. There is no way 100% of your employees (especially for a company as big as TG) can have all their employees love what they do. I have to say though, if anyone is hiring a lawn care employee they can take some real lessons from the hiring process of TruGreen. They go through a lot of work making sure their employees are trained and certified.
6) Use good products
They use great products, and are able to buy them much much cheaper then you and I because of volume. If they use the same product as you, but paid half as much for it, is your product better?
7) Give the customer what they are paying for
As said before, the customer wants a thick, green, and weed free lawn, which is exactly what TruGreen provides.

abrightday
11-15-2010, 02:52 PM
I worked for Chemlawn when it was Chemlawn, family owned and operated out of Ohio, since it has been sold a number of times, now owned by service master, the "specialists" now are only given the minimum training, which here is2 days, put on a truck, told to bring in $1000.00 a day in revenue,,:hammerhead: then they get a small commission on anything over that,, so how good of a job can they do??? Defend them,,whatever:dizzy:,,be or take examples from them?? no thanks,,,By the way as a company Trugreen has been losing money for over 4 years,,and it is only because service master is a trillion dollar company that they are still around,,,If you like them so much go work them:drinkup:,,good luck! Actually you probably do,,,

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 03:01 PM
I worked for Chemlawn when it was Chemlawn, family owned and operated out of Ohio, since it has been sold a number of times, now owned by service master, the "specialists" now are only given the minimum training, which here is2 days, put on a truck, told to bring in $1000.00 a day in revenue,,:hammerhead: then they get a small commission on anything over that,, so how good of a job can they do??? Defend them,,whatever:dizzy:,,be or take examples from them?? no thanks,,,By the way as a company Trugreen has been losing money for over 4 years,,and it is only because service master is a trillion dollar company that they are still around,,,If you like them so much go work them:drinkup:,,good luck! Actually you probably do,,,

Pretty much the only thing you have said that I know is a fact is that they are owned by service master.

Let me be clear.. I don't 'like' TruGreen, they are a DIRECT competitor with me. It just makes me sick when people trash anyone or any company for made up reasons or half truths.

Will P.C.
11-15-2010, 04:06 PM
I am getting a kick out of this convo. Face time with customers, excellent quality products, top notch customer service, etc.

I hire someone to do my yard. All I want is for the yard to look great, applications put out when they are supposed to be put out, and someone coming out if I have a problem and call.

I do not want to sit out and chat with my lawn service man. I just want him to do what he is supposed to do.

Majority of people probably do not even realize that quality fluctuates between different brands of products. They just want to see a green and almost weed free yard. They don't want to be annoyed with 'face time' with whomever they hired.

Fert and squirt programs are a luxury and do not need to be done. I live in an upscale neighborhood, and the majority of people try and stretch out the cutting and 0 fert and squirt.

If money is tight, fert and squirt is one of the first things to go.

Some of my neighbors cut out their fert man because they did not think it was worth it. It was seen as another bill that is not necessary.

I like having a nice yard and spend a bunch of time in the yard. I also do a fair bit of entertaining and like to keep a nice property for my guests when I have a party outside.

Since I live in an upscale area, I have people come by the house all the time trying to get my to sign up for their program. I avoid my doorbell. Pretty much the first thing that is said, "Your yard is looking great, but what that spot over there?" "I can tell your fert man missed that spot and is probably not using the best quality products" I politely say "Get off my yard" and shut the door.

If something happens down the road with my money, this is one of the first things to go.

Yes price is important, but as long as you are in the 'range' of other companies, it is not a big deal.

rcreech
11-15-2010, 04:25 PM
We had this discussion several months ago!

TG was losing money almost every year and it was either 2008 or 2009 they reported losing 8 million.

LawnandLandscape,

Dude, I don't know what you are smoking...but you are going to get roasted on here acting like TG is a good lawncare company.

Maybe they are in your area but not most!

If they can only retain 60% of their customers...they suck!

ALSO...IF YOUR INPUT COST IS 65% OF YOUR COST.....YOU SUCK!!!!!!!
YOU ARE AT 2-6% PROFIT MARGIN????? YOU SUCK!
You need to go work for TG if you can't buy your inputs any cheaper then that!

You are working for free man!

As far as you questioning me and knowing the industry and my style of customers and employees...I am flattered.

I know I am blessed and spoiled to have great customers and employees...but it makes me realize it even more when you don't believe me! :)

Thanks as I take all of this for granted at times!

I am so blessed!

fl-landscapes
11-15-2010, 04:40 PM
We had this discussion several months ago!

TG was losing money almost every year and it was either 2008 or 2009 they reported losing 8 million.

LawnandLandscape,

Dude, I don't know what you are smoking...but you are going to get roasted on here acting like TG is a good lawncare company.

Maybe they are in your area but not most!

If they can only retain 60% of their customers...they suck!

ALSO...IF YOUR INPUT COST IS 65% OF YOUR COST.....YOU SUCK!!!!!!!
YOU ARE AT 2-6% PROFIT MARGIN????? YOU SUCK!
You need to go work for TG if you can't buy your inputs any cheaper then that!You are working for free man!

As far as you questioning me and knowing the industry and my style of customers and employees...I am flattered.

I know I am blessed and spoiled to have great customers and employees...but it makes me realize it even more when you don't believe me! :)

Thanks as I take all of this for granted at times!

I am so blessed!

Why are you so shy, you ever coming out of your shell?? Thats some funny stuff right there!:laugh::laugh::laugh:

rcreech
11-15-2010, 04:55 PM
I am getting a kick out of this convo. Face time with customers, excellent quality products, top notch customer service, etc.

I hire someone to do my yard. All I want is for the yard to look great, applications put out when they are supposed to be put out, and someone coming out if I have a problem and call.

I do not want to sit out and chat with my lawn service man. I just want him to do what he is supposed to do.

Majority of people probably do not even realize that quality fluctuates between different brands of products. They just want to see a green and almost weed free yard. They don't want to be annoyed with 'face time' with whomever they hired.

Fert and squirt programs are a luxury and do not need to be done. I live in an upscale neighborhood, and the majority of people try and stretch out the cutting and 0 fert and squirt.

If money is tight, fert and squirt is one of the first things to go.

Some of my neighbors cut out their fert man because they did not think it was worth it. It was seen as another bill that is not necessary.

I like having a nice yard and spend a bunch of time in the yard. I also do a fair bit of entertaining and like to keep a nice property for my guests when I have a party outside.

Since I live in an upscale area, I have people come by the house all the time trying to get my to sign up for their program. I avoid my doorbell. Pretty much the first thing that is said, "Your yard is looking great, but what that spot over there?" "I can tell your fert man missed that spot and is probably not using the best quality products" I politely say "Get off my yard" and shut the door.

If something happens down the road with my money, this is one of the first things to go.

Yes price is important, but as long as you are in the 'range' of other companies, it is not a big deal.

I don't really want to talk to a customer's just like you don't want to talk to us...but we are here when they need us. When a customer calls with a problem I can get with them and help them quickly. But I do spend time with them and educate them as needed and send out a bi-monthly newsletter.

But when it comes to trust, product quality and service...there is a BIG difference.

If it doesn't mean anything to you then that is fine. Call someone else if you don't like my price and quality. You wouldn't be the first that doesn't care!

But professional lawn care companies like me are here for the ones that do!

You may not care about quality but most do!

I get worried every season that "economy" is going to affect my business and so far....the only surprise has been excessive growth.

My Lesco supplier told me about 3 years ago that lawn care was recession proof.

I didn't believe him as it sounded to good to be true...but 3 years later through what people call a "recession" we have grown like crazy every year and our retention is great.

Our of 500+ customers I lost about 21 in the spring and about 1/2 of them came back after the first app. We are now at the end of 2010 season getting close to 650 lawns.

Your theory makes sense...but isn't the valid.
You will find out that it is the same for most on here.

TLS
11-15-2010, 05:05 PM
Wow.....

You guys are big dogs! 500+ customers, and I'll assume lawnlandscape is bigger?

I'd be very comfortable with 50-75 nice accounts and I'd give up mowing all but my best.

But, as they say...the bigger you get....the bigger your headaches.

rcreech
11-15-2010, 05:08 PM
Wow.....

You guys are big dogs! 500+ customers, and I'll assume lawnlandscape is bigger?

I'd be very comfortable with 50-75 nice accounts and I'd give up mowing all but my best.

But, as they say...the bigger you get....the bigger your headaches.

650 lawns really isn't too bad! We are looking to grow more now then ever!

If his input costs are 65% of his price...he probably doesn't take care of many lawns as he must not have much volume! :)

You are correct about the headaches though!!!!!! :)

It isn't as much fun as it used to be...when I was solo, but atleast I am not working all day from sun up to sun down.

TLS
11-15-2010, 05:12 PM
Yeah, but he takes care of 4 counties!!???

I'm lucky if I take care of 4 sq/miles!

Where I am, if I go north or south 4 counties, I'm in 2 different Zones!

dwc
11-15-2010, 05:51 PM
Do you even read the words on the screen before you respond? Where in my post did I say you should model your business after them? I said you can LEARN THINGS FROM THEM. Comparing lawn care with restaurant chains is just stupid for so many reasons.

BBB processed a total of 34 complaints about Trugreen in the last 36 months. If they really abuse customers as you say, then why would they only have this many complaints. Why also would they be growing in size each year??

Most TruGreen yards that I see look pretty damn good as well.

The fact is that customers want a thick, green, weed free lawn, and they want it as cheap as possible. The fact is also that people vote with their wallets. Sure TruGreen makes their mistakes... we all do, but if they were as bad as you claim, people would not continue voting for them.
Looks like 40% of their customers vote loud and clear every year. You really are proud of a 60% retention rate? If that's all I could manage I would have to go see a shrink and start working for the man.
I agree with creech about what we can learn from these clowns. Ever googled trugreen? Might be a good read for you over the winter.
As far as input costs, the way a big corp like TG works is the ceo and big boys behind the desks need to make bonus so they call up the managers and tell them to cut fert or cut broadleaf or pre-m and there you go. It all boils down to the big boys bonuses as to how much product if any at all comes out of the hose that week.
Posted via Mobile Device

jasontimm
11-15-2010, 06:53 PM
650 lawns really isn't too bad! We are looking to grow more now then ever!

If his input costs are 65% of his price...he probably doesn't take care of many lawns as he must not have much volume! :)

You are correct about the headaches though!!!!!! :)

It isn't as much fun as it used to be...when I was solo, but atleast I am not working all day from sun up to sun down.

then in two years he's going to sell everything to chemlawn:laugh:

rcreech
11-15-2010, 08:15 PM
6) Use good products
They use great products, and are able to buy them much much cheaper then you and I because of volume. If they use the same product as you, but paid half as much for it, is your product better?
.[/COLOR]

I am not talking just TG when I talk about competitors...I am talking about anyone out here just throwing down urea that sucks. There are a lot of companies out here that don't have a clue...not just TG.

TG does not use "great products"...they melt urea and use granular urea.

It that what you call great product?

As far as they buying in volume...you are correct. I also buy in volume (A little over 110 ton a year) and I can't get anymore discount as I am maxed out. They may be buying a little cheaper (maybe $.15 to $.30 less) but not much. It is all about the market. My suppliers make very little on my order just to keep my business and competitive.

To say they are buying fert half price...yeahhh right.

Even if they were getting it for $2 less a bag (no way possible) that would only be $5-6 per acre cheaper on product cost/acre.

That is nothing!

And lastly...my product IS better then what they use, I use a 30%N with 50% SCU and we get a great extended feeding! If they used a 50% SCU they would get the same results they just choose to go cheap, cut rates and use mineral N!
:)

rcreech
11-15-2010, 08:16 PM
then in two years he's going to sell everything to chemlawn:laugh:

Never know!
:laugh:

starry night
11-15-2010, 10:15 PM
Did I really understand that somebody thinks 2-6% profit margin is good?
Geez, why even work? You can invest money at a better return than that and sit at home.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 11:32 PM
650 lawns really isn't too bad! We are looking to grow more now then ever!

If his input costs are 65% of his price...he probably doesn't take care of many lawns as he must not have much volume! :)

You are correct about the headaches though!!!!!! :)

It isn't as much fun as it used to be...when I was solo, but atleast I am not working all day from sun up to sun down.

ahh There is much you have yet to learn...

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 11:37 PM
Looks like 40% of their customers vote loud and clear every year. You really are proud of a 60% retention rate? If that's all I could manage I would have to go see a shrink and start working for the man.
I agree with creech about what we can learn from these clowns. Ever googled trugreen? Might be a good read for you over the winter.
As far as input costs, the way a big corp like TG works is the ceo and big boys behind the desks need to make bonus so they call up the managers and tell them to cut fert or cut broadleaf or pre-m and there you go. It all boils down to the big boys bonuses as to how much product if any at all comes out of the hose that week.
Posted via Mobile Device

1) I have clearly stated already in this thread that my company has a 95% retention rate.

2) I have also clearly stated that IF I WERE A NATIONAL COMPANY, I would having a 60% retention rate would be better then other national company's. I have also stated that Spring Green's is 44%.

3) Google any national company. Home Depot, Menard's, Dairy Queen, you name it.. you will find garbage about them all.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 11:44 PM
I am not talking just TG when I talk about competitors...I am talking about anyone out here just throwing down urea that sucks. There are a lot of companies out here that don't have a clue...not just TG.

TG does not use "great products"...they melt urea and use granular urea.

It that what you call great product?

As far as they buying in volume...you are correct. I also buy in volume (A little over 110 ton a year) and I can't get anymore discount as I am maxed out. They may be buying a little cheaper (maybe $.15 to $.30 less) but not much. It is all about the market. My suppliers make very little on my order just to keep my business and competitive.

To say they are buying fert half price...yeahhh right.

Even if they were getting it for $2 less a bag (no way possible) that would only be $5-6 per acre cheaper on product cost/acre.

That is nothing!

And lastly...my product IS better then what they use, I use a 30%N with 50% SCU and we get a great extended feeding! If they used a 50% SCU they would get the same results they just choose to go cheap, cut rates and use mineral N!
:)

You think your so smart... but you have such a big ego, that you will never be able to learn anything.

I have a competitor that just got into the lawn care business a few years ago and he currently only has about 40 accounts. We buy from the same supplier. The winterizer that cost me $11.75 per 50lb cost him $15.00 per 50lb. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if a national company like TruGreen is not getting that same bag for about 6-8 bucks, when they are buying MILLIONS of bags.

lawnlandscape
11-15-2010, 11:47 PM
Did I really understand that somebody thinks 2-6% profit margin is good?
Geez, why even work? You can invest money at a better return than that and sit at home.

Clearly you don't know what Profit Margin means... You have some learning to do on the business side of things. 'Profit Margin' (to me) is what % of sales is still sitting there after all expenses (including my wages). Most business owners don't leave a massive pile of cash in their business. They either reinvest it into the business or take it out as a form of wages. It would be terrible tax planning for my company to have higher then a 6% profit margin.

I was under the impression that this was a website full of professionals and owners. This thread is making me think otherwise...

rcreech
11-16-2010, 07:05 AM
ahh There is much you have yet to learn...

Please share!

The lawn care business is easy compared to what I am used to...try me?
:)

rcreech
11-16-2010, 07:11 AM
You think your so smart... but you have such a big ego, that you will never be able to learn anything.

I have a competitor that just got into the lawn care business a few years ago and he currently only has about 40 accounts. We buy from the same supplier. The winterizer that cost me $11.75 per 50lb cost him $15.00 per 50lb. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if a national company like TruGreen is not getting that same bag for about 6-8 bucks, when they are buying MILLIONS of bags.

I DO think I am smart...but disagree on the ego part! :)

I too also get very good pricing and a guy only buying 1 pallet should pay more! But I have a question for you?????

You stated earlier that your product cost is 65% or your price...so if you are paying $11.75 per bag...how are you coming up with that?????

Numbers are not adding up!


Also regarding TG and fert prices...it is a commodity. That is right a COMMODITY!
It is what it is!
I am sure they go through a lot more GAS then we use also...that is like saying they pay $1.50 a gallon! :)

WOW!!!!!!

And you have already admitted that you thing that a 2-6% profit margin is acceptable! You can play the numbers however you want...but I think this is hilarous!

You are truly a moron!

And btw...you won't find a better set of LCO professionals then is on this site!
I find it funny that none of us know what we are doing on here...yet we are very successful!

C ya!
:waving:

starry night
11-16-2010, 08:03 AM
Clearly you don't know what Profit Margin means... You have some learning to do on the business side of things. 'Profit Margin' (to me) is what % of sales is still sitting there after all expenses (including my wages). Most business owners don't leave a massive pile of cash in their business. They either reinvest it into the business or take it out as a form of wages. It would be terrible tax planning for my company to have higher then a 6% profit margin.

I was under the impression that this was a website full of professionals and owners. This thread is making me think otherwise...

Why is it that you think you know so much more than anyone else on this thread?

teejet
11-16-2010, 08:37 AM
I don't care for TG. Although 7 apps of liquid urea is pretty much the same as your 4 apps with a little slow release, as far as quality and timing of nitrogen.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 08:52 AM
Why is it that you think you know so much more than anyone else on this thread?

I know what I know and ask questions about what I don't know Period.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 09:05 AM
I DO think I am smart...but disagree on the ego part! :)

I too also get very good pricing and a guy only buying 1 pallet should pay more! But I have a question for you?????

You stated earlier that your product cost is 65% or your price...so if you are paying $11.75 per bag...how are you coming up with that?????

Numbers are not adding up!


Also regarding TG and fert prices...it is a commodity. That is right a COMMODITY!
It is what it is!
I am sure they go through a lot more GAS then we use also...that is like saying they pay $1.50 a gallon! :)

WOW!!!!!!

And you have already admitted that you thing that a 2-6% profit margin is acceptable! You can play the numbers however you want...but I think this is hilarous!

You are truly a moron!

And btw...you won't find a better set of LCO professionals then is on this site!
I find it funny that none of us know what we are doing on here...yet we are very successful!

C ya!
:waving:

rcreech, every time I read one of your posts I find myself just sitting here shaking my head as I read it.

Comparing gas and fert prices is idiotic and you know it. You and I will pay the same for gas, but we will never pay the same for the same fert, and fert costs have a heck of a lot more competition.

As I stated that was my cost of my fertilizer for my winterizer application. If you were a 'lawn care professional' you know that is the favorite application of the year because it has the lowest product cost. When your spreading/spraying at the same time.. thats when your cost comes in.

I have said at least 5 times now on this thread that a 2-6% profit margin on lawn fertilization/weed control is great by my standards and every other company I have spoken to in my local area. You thinking differently is making me think you don't even have a lawn care business to speak of.

I won't find a better place for LCO professionals? 3/4 of the members on this site are under the age of 21. Most of which are smurfs. They are running their business out of their daddy's garage using there daddy's truck and equipment.

Do you consider yourself a professional rcreech? I don't... Never in my years of doing business have I ever saw or heard of one professional personality insulting another. I have also never seen someone who I would consider to be a professional to be as cocky and arrogant as you.

I think you are one of these younger kids that thinks he knows what he is doing, but really has no idea. Even if you are a bit older, the way your attitude is you can' be very knowledgeable because you have always though you have known everything already.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 09:06 AM
Please share!

The lawn care business is easy compared to what I am used to...try me?
:)

Spoken like kid who is still wet behind the ears.

Ric
11-16-2010, 09:26 AM
Spoken like kid who is still wet behind the ears.

Yo

I don't have a dog in this fight, BUT. RCreech being in Agriculture is no stranger to government RED TAPE.

rcreech
11-16-2010, 09:37 AM
rcreech, every time I read one of your posts I find myself just sitting here shaking my head as I read it.

Comparing gas and fert prices is idiotic and you know it. You and I will pay the same for gas, but we will never pay the same for the same fert, and fert costs have a heck of a lot more competition.

As I stated that was my cost of my fertilizer for my winterizer application. If you were a 'lawn care professional' you know that is the favorite application of the year because it has the lowest product cost. When your spreading/spraying at the same time.. thats when your cost comes in.

I have said at least 5 times now on this thread that a 2-6% profit margin on lawn fertilization/weed control is great by my standards and every other company I have spoken to in my local area. You thinking differently is making me think you don't even have a lawn care business to speak of.

I won't find a better place for LCO professionals? 3/4 of the members on this site are under the age of 21. Most of which are smurfs. They are running their business out of their daddy's garage using there daddy's truck and equipment.

Do you consider yourself a professional rcreech? I don't... Never in my years of doing business have I ever saw or heard of one professional personality insulting another. I have also never seen someone who I would consider to be a professional to be as cocky and arrogant as you.

I think you are one of these younger kids that thinks he knows what he is doing, but really has no idea. Even if you are a bit older, the way your attitude is you can' be very knowledgeable because you have always though you have known everything already.

:laugh:

Comparing gas and fert is exactly the same. Very little mark up and market driven (commodity). You totally missed the point! :laugh:

Please fell free to go on my profile page and also please visit my website at www.lawn-plus.com

I have many good friends on this site and not one is

Thanks,
RC

rcreech
11-16-2010, 09:50 AM
Spoken like kid who is still wet behind the ears.

That is weak!

I asked you what I am missing?

Please hurry as you are wasting my time!
:)

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 09:56 AM
:laugh:

Comparing gas and fert is exactly the same. Very little mark up and market driven (commodity). You totally missed the point! :laugh:

Please fell free to go on my profile page and also please visit my website at www.lawn-plus.com

I have many good friends on this site and not one is

Thanks,
RC

Nice effects on your website.

5 steps is what your offer? Steps 3 & 5 are your lowest costs aps I'm assuming... But on your 2 & 4, and you spreading and spraying at the same time? We have done this also, but next year we are offering more aps and not spreading and spraying anymore in the same application. We were the only company that did it this way and when people only look at the per application rates our rates could not compete.

Every other company comes to fert, and a few weeks later they will come to spray. These guys would always have lower ap prices obviously, and I kept losing bids to them.

fl-landscapes
11-16-2010, 10:00 AM
Nice effects on your website.

5 steps is what your offer? Steps 3 & 5 are your lowest costs aps I'm assuming... But on your 2 & 4, and you spreading and spraying at the same time? We have done this also, but next year we are offering more aps and not spreading and spraying anymore in the same application. We were the only company that did it this way and when people only look at the per application rates our rates could not compete.

Every other company comes to fert, and a few weeks later they will come to spray. These guys would always have lower ap prices obviously, and I kept losing bids to them.

Thats obviously a less efficient way to do it then the way you were doing it. I would try to educate the customer and explain your process better. They are not providing any better service, they just dont have the equipment to spread and spray. I disagree that you should match their inefficiencies to appease the customer.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 10:06 AM
Thats obviously a less efficient way to do it then the way you were doing it. I would try to educate the customer and explain your process better. They are not providing any better service, they just dont have the equipment to spread and spray. I disagree that you should match their inefficiencies to appease the customer.

If I was able to talk to each of my potential customers 1 on 1 to explain this everytime I would. I just don't have the time and really don't want to have the same conversation hundreds of times a year anymore. Most of my competitors DO have the equipment to spray and spread, they just CHOOSE not to.

I am seriously the ONLY company (out of about 25 that I compete with) that currently does spray & spread in the same ap.

fl-landscapes
11-16-2010, 10:12 AM
If I was able to talk to each of my potential customers 1 on 1 to explain this everytime I would. I just don't have the time and really don't want to have the same conversation hundreds of times a year anymore. Most of my competitors DO have the equipment to spray and spread, they just CHOOSE not to.

I am seriously the ONLY company (out of about 25 that I compete with) that currently does spray & spread in the same ap.

I guess you got to do what you got to do. I have always been opposed to the customer who wants to pay for x amount of sweat involved with getting the job done. Either we get the job done properly or we dont. Some work more efficiently than others. Some customers would like to see you out there hand pulling weeds all day in their lawn to justify the cost, those types of customers will wear you down. Sell results not sweat and utilize the equipment you have invested in to the best of your ability to be as efficient as possible WITHOUT sacrificing quality of course.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 10:18 AM
I guess you got to do what you got to do. I have always been opposed to the customer who wants to pay for x amount of sweat involved with getting the job done. Either we get the job done properly or we dont. Some work more efficiently than others. Some customers would like to see you out there hand pulling weeds all day in their lawn to justify the cost, those types of customers will wear you down. Sell results not sweat and utilize the equipment you have invested in to the best of your ability to be as efficient as possible WITHOUT sacrificing quality of course.

Spliting them up will mean more $

rcreech
11-16-2010, 10:18 AM
I won't find a better place for LCO professionals? 3/4 of the members on this site are under the age of 21. Most of which are smurfs. They are running their business out of their daddy's garage using there daddy's truck and equipment.



This will be fun to watch!

If all the lawnsite members were not in high school classes right now...they would probably be bashing you!

:laugh:

Ric
11-16-2010, 10:20 AM
Nice effects on your website.

5 steps is what your offer? Steps 3 & 5 are your lowest costs aps I'm assuming... But on your 2 & 4, and you spreading and spraying at the same time? We have done this also, but next year we are offering more aps and not spreading and spraying anymore in the same application. We were the only company that did it this way and when people only look at the per application rates our rates could not compete.

Every other company comes to fert, and a few weeks later they will come to spray. These guys would always have lower ap prices obviously, and I kept losing bids to them.

Lawn

I think you are missing what I call the Ginger Bread Man perception. It looks awful good on the cook sheet but it falls apart once you pick it up. It is all about Perceived value. The customer pays a smaller amount per treatment there by feeling they are getting a bargain. Then they gets more treatment which they sees as extra special care on their lawn.

Received Value and Perceived value are not always the same. However the Customer only understands the education that the Ginger Bread Man gives them.

fl-landscapes
11-16-2010, 10:24 AM
Spliting them up will mean more $

so your changing your program because you havent been able to compete with per app prices of your competitors and you think raising the overall cost of your program is an easier sell? Like I said, what ever works for you.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 10:31 AM
so your changing your program because you havent been able to compete with per app prices of your competitors and you think raising the overall cost of your program is an easier sell? Like I said, what ever works for you.

something like that... lol yes. however I would have said, "Lowering my per ap prices is an easier sell" :)

rcreech
11-16-2010, 10:36 AM
Spliting them up will mean more $

Also more cost!

I just bought out a local LCO (small guy) and will start on his lawns next year.

He is offering 5 apps and he never sprayed and ferted the same time.

I will combine his apps down to my 4 and will be charging the customer the same. I will make MORE per app then he did and I will be much more effecient at it!

Doesn't make sense to me...and I have too much to do to run my business that way!

Educate the customer and you will be much better off!

rcreech
11-16-2010, 10:40 AM
Nice effects on your website.

5 steps is what your offer? Steps 3 & 5 are your lowest costs aps I'm assuming... But on your 2 & 4, and you spreading and spraying at the same time? We have done this also, but next year we are offering more aps and not spreading and spraying anymore in the same application. We were the only company that did it this way and when people only look at the per application rates our rates could not compete.

Every other company comes to fert, and a few weeks later they will come to spray. These guys would always have lower ap prices obviously, and I kept losing bids to them.

Thanks!

I run 4 apps and 5 on irrigated lawns or for those who take grub control.

Hopefully you now know I am not 21....

Here is my profile if it help!

http://www.lawnsite.com/album.php?albumid=263

I also farm 400 acres and have another business (Sell Hybrid seed corn)...so you can eat some crow if you are hungry!
:)

This has been fun...but I have got to get something done today! I am tired of bookwork for today so see ya tonight!

Ric
11-16-2010, 10:58 AM
something like that... lol yes. however I would have said, "Lowering my per ap prices is an easier sell" :)

Lawn

It is the old Low margin High volume compared to Low volume High Margin Business model. Any one can sell on price, It takes knowledge to sell and perform Quality.

ted putnam
11-16-2010, 11:00 AM
Like Ric, I have no dog in this...but, lawnlandscapes is correct about the %profit. Mine was about 2.5-3% last year and I got the "finger wag" from my payroll/tax professional. I'd have been much better to pay that 3% in bonuses to myself and my employees at the end of the year and show break even than to pay tax on the profit after Dec 31.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 11:02 AM
Lawn

It is the old Low margin High volume compared to Low volume High Margin Business model. Any one can sell on price, It takes knowledge to sell and perform Quality.

Yes, I think I have changed my mind already.. lol

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 11:03 AM
Like Ric, I have no dog in this...but, lawnlandscapes is correct about the %profit. Mine was about 2.5-3% last year and I got the "finger wag" from my payroll/tax professional. I'd have been much better to pay that 3% in bonuses to myself and my employees at the end of the year and show break even than to pay tax on the profit after Dec 31.

Thank You! :)

Ric
11-16-2010, 11:45 AM
Yes, I think I have changed my mind already.. lol

Carl

I am not sure which way you are changing you mind. But IMHO High volume means high expense. More Miles on the trucks, more hours on Equipment, more investment in product and less percentage of profit margin.

lawnlandscape
11-16-2010, 11:54 AM
I am going to keep doing things the same way I have been. Fert & Squirt - 1 ap.

ted putnam
11-16-2010, 01:20 PM
I am going to keep doing things the same way I have been. Fert & Squirt - 1 ap.

I do it this way as well. If we've done a good job applying our pre-emergent in the spring,weed spraying should be minimal and that cost for me, at least during my regular fert apps is extremely minimal. It amazes me how your competition can get away with not spraying weeds on a typical, timed visit...or really how they would even want to. My customers would never stand for it and I would absolutely be overwhelmed with the service calls that would come in when they noticed that the handful of weeds they had before my visit were not at least curling and wilting very soon after. JMO

rcreech
11-16-2010, 02:22 PM
Like Ric, I have no dog in this...but, lawnlandscapes is correct about the %profit. Mine was about 2.5-3% last year and I got the "finger wag" from my payroll/tax professional. I'd have been much better to pay that 3% in bonuses to myself and my employees at the end of the year and show break even than to pay tax on the profit after Dec 31.

Ted,

Please explain?

I called my accountant and banker today and they have no idea what you guys are talking about! Seriously!!!!!

Are you guys saying you want a low profit margin?

If you pay yourself a higher salary and to drop your profit margin...you are still not running from the tax man.

I am not following you guys on this at all!

If you paid your guys a bonus...that is money out of your pocket and is no different then buying equipment you don't need.

When I am looking at profit margin I am looking at what I grossed and what it took to make it (labor, material and misc).

My profit margin is MUCH, MUCH higher then TG's and their's in 9%. And you guys are at 2-3%.

Please explain!

sedge
11-16-2010, 04:26 PM
Ted,

Please explain?

I called my accountant and banker today and they have no idea what you guys are talking about! Seriously!!!!!

Are you guys saying you want a low profit margin?

If you pay yourself a higher salary and to drop your profit margin...you are still not running from the tax man.

I am not following you guys on this at all!

If you paid your guys a bonus...that is money out of your pocket and is no different then buying equipment you don't need.

When I am looking at profit margin I am looking at what I grossed and what it took to make it (labor, material and misc).

My profit margin is MUCH, MUCH higher then TG's and their's in 9%. And you guys are at 2-3%.

Please explain!

I think they are taking all or most of the money from the corp as personal income, as their effective tax rate is lower then the 30% for corps. Thus the "profit" margin is 2 or 3% because that is all they left in the corp.

ted putnam
11-16-2010, 05:01 PM
I think they are taking all or most of the money from the corp as personal income, as their effective tax rate is lower then the 30% for corps. Thus the "profit" margin is 2 or 3% because that is all they left in the corp.

Correct. Hypothetical numbers here. Say you grossed 120K for the year. You go back and add up all your expenses for the year and they only add up to 114k. In the eyes of the IRS, the corporation made a net profit of 2% or 6k. You would be better to take that 6k and pay yourself a bonus(less income tax) than not and have it be deferred to your personal income anyway at a higher rate. I pay myself a weekly salary. I pay my guys $12/hr. This,my fert and herbicide, insurance and whatnot are only part of the grand total of expenditures but everything and I mean everything down to a roll of paper towels comes out of the corporation. Ideally, you would want to break even or even better(within reason)claim a loss at the end of the year. If you don't break even and you make a profit and you don't do something with that income before Dec 31, it will transfer to your personal income at a much higher rate than if you'd just paid yourself a bonus(or spent it on something/anything). So, the way I see it, the ultimate goal is to either break even or spend any profit the corporation makes in either bonuses or capital expeditures.

ted putnam
11-16-2010, 05:22 PM
The sad thing was, I didn't see that 3% in the corporate bank account at the end of last year.:laugh: I am being much more "nitpicky" this year.

ted putnam
11-16-2010, 06:19 PM
Correct. Hypothetical numbers here. Say you grossed 120K for the year. You go back and add up all your expenses for the year and they only add up to 114k. In the eyes of the IRS, the corporation made a net profit of 2% or 6k. You would be better to take that 6k and pay yourself a bonus(less income tax) than not and have it be deferred to your personal income anyway at a higher rate. I pay myself a weekly salary. I pay my guys $12/hr. This,my fert and herbicide, insurance and whatnot are only part of the grand total of expenditures but everything and I mean everything down to a roll of paper towels comes out of the corporation. Ideally, you would want to break even or even better(within reason)claim a loss at the end of the year. If you don't break even and you make a profit and you don't do something with that income before Dec 31, it will transfer to your personal income at a much higher rate than if you'd just paid yourself a bonus(or spent it on something/anything). So, the way I see it, the ultimate goal is to either break even or spend any profit the corporation makes in either bonuses or capital expeditures.

Standing here cooking supper I realized my numbers were all off, but you get the idea

fl-landscapes
11-16-2010, 08:33 PM
The sad thing was, I didn't see that 3% in the corporate bank account at the end of last year.:laugh: I am being much more "nitpicky" this year.

yup, I spend money back into my business every year with capital purchases, take dividend bonuses and every year I have a stroke when my accountant tells me what I profited, My standard question is....where the heck is that profit cause it isnt in my corp bank account! Theres always an answer I just dont like to hear it.

rcreech
11-16-2010, 08:45 PM
Ok...so now I am confused!

So you guys have corp accounts and ONLY want to show a low% for the business.

I do not have a corp acct as I run as an LLC and my accountant and banker BOTH want me to have the highest profit margin possible!

When I am looking at profit margin...I am looking at what I make TOTAL and subtract what it took me to get there. So I am looking at gross profit margin.


I thought we were talking about Profit Margin?

What are you all looking at?

If you drain your acct to show a minimum profit...what does that have to do with profit margin?

I don't understand how this got switched from profit margin to you guys draining your account!
:confused:

rcreech
11-16-2010, 08:47 PM
This whole thing started with pricing and selling QUALITY over PRICE!

How in the world did we get off on this tangent?

At then end of the day....buy cheap, sell high and be happy!

:)

fl-landscapes
11-16-2010, 09:29 PM
Ok...so now I am confused!

So you guys have corp accounts and ONLY want to show a low% for the business.

I do not have a corp acct as I run as an LLC and my accountant and banker BOTH want me to have the highest profit margin possible!

When I am looking at profit margin...I am looking at what I make TOTAL and subtract what it took me to get there. So I am looking at gross profit margin.


I thought we were talking about Profit Margin?

What are you all looking at?

If you drain your acct to show a minimum profit...what does that have to do with profit margin?
I don't understand how this got switched from profit margin to you guys draining your account!
:confused:

Well I agree with you, seems we are all talking about two different things, ACTUAL profit margin which I think the original subject was. Then the profit margin we show the irs after we have done all we can to reduce our tax liability. So yes, bonusing out at the end of the year or purchasing capital equipment is a different subject entirely from actual profit margin on applications or services. Yes my accountant, when I say the same thing every year about the profits I have to pay taxes on is "it's not a bad problem to have" and he is right. Just think the government takes to much.

fl-landscapes
11-16-2010, 09:29 PM
This whole thing started with pricing and selling QUALITY over PRICE!

How in the world did we get off on this tangent?

At then end of the day....buy cheap, sell high and be happy!
:)

thats the name of the game

sedge
11-16-2010, 11:09 PM
Correct. Hypothetical numbers here. Say you grossed 120K for the year. You go back and add up all your expenses for the year and they only add up to 114k. In the eyes of the IRS, the corporation made a net profit of 2% or 6k. You would be better to take that 6k and pay yourself a bonus(less income tax) than not and have it be deferred to your personal income anyway at a higher rate. I pay myself a weekly salary. I pay my guys $12/hr. This,my fert and herbicide, insurance and whatnot are only part of the grand total of expenditures but everything and I mean everything down to a roll of paper towels comes out of the corporation. Ideally, you would want to break even or even better(within reason)claim a loss at the end of the year. If you don't break even and you make a profit and you don't do something with that income before Dec 31, it will transfer to your personal income at a much higher rate than if you'd just paid yourself a bonus(or spent it on something/anything). So, the way I see it, the ultimate goal is to either break even or spend any profit the corporation makes in either bonuses or capital expeditures.

But is it really less tax?

If your paying yourself a salary, you have to pay the ss tax both ways. Unemployment and workman's comp i suspect as well. Then you have to pay income tax federal and state. of course you get your standard deductions, but if you made a lot and your wife earns well also, it might not be better to pull it all out as personal income. Corp tax is what, 30%?

Just something to think about.

ted putnam
11-16-2010, 11:27 PM
But is it really less tax?

If your paying yourself a salary, you have to pay the ss tax both ways. Unemployment and workman's comp i suspect as well. Then you have to pay income tax federal and state. of course you get your standard deductions, but if you made a lot and your wife earns well also, it might not be better to pull it all out as personal income. Corp tax is what, 30%?

Just something to think about.

Yes, all of that is exactly what I do. Well, I also give my guys a pretty good end of the year bonus. Everything is paid monthly. I also pay an annual State Franchise Tax even though I haven't franchised a damned thing yet.:laugh:
Not sure on the corporate tax rate. Seems like its 30 or 35%, something like that.
I didn't mean to go off on a tangent with this. It just seemed there was some confusion when the word "profit" was used loosely. There is a big difference between Gross Profit Margin and Profit

Ric
11-17-2010, 12:01 AM
While we all hate to pay taxes, RC Brings up a good point about showing a Profit. He said his BANKER and accountant both want him to show a large Profit. Considering the credit crush we are just coming out of, yawl need all the Borrowing power you can get. You might not need to borrow money today or think you will any time soon. But sooner or later you will. I have been ask for my last 3 years of Tax return by a Loan officer.

ted putnam
11-17-2010, 12:26 AM
While we all hate to pay taxes, RC Brings up a good point about showing a Profit. He said his BANKER and accountant both want him to show a large Profit. Considering the credit crush we are just coming out of, yawl need all the Borrowing power you can get. You might not need to borrow money today or think you will any time soon. But sooner or later you will. I have been ask for my last 3 years of Tax return by a Loan officer.

It may depend on the size of the loans because I have been asked for the last 3 yrs as well. At least with my bank, and I suspect with most, I get asked for a copy of the previous yrs tax returns every time I ask/get a loan. I've noticed in the last 2 yrs they have really dotted their "i's" and crossed their "t's". Gone are the days of "signature" loans, at least at my bank.

rcreech
11-17-2010, 07:04 AM
I didn't mean to go off on a tangent with this. It just seemed there was some confusion when the word "profit" was used loosely. There is a big difference between Gross Profit Margin and Profit

I totally agree Ted!

But the WHOLE time we were talking profit margins and now at the end it has been switched to PROFIT!

My PROFIT MARGIN is very good but by the time I do what I need to do I am living in poverty as far as the govt knows! :laugh:

So long story short...those companines with 2-3% profit margin suck or have to deal with VERY HIGH volume to make a profit. We don't want to do that!

I think then landlandscape was totally wrong and look how his tune has changed and I haven't seen him on here much!

If his product cost are 65% of his total price then he probably is making 2-3%. I will stay in bed for that!

You can tell the ones that are full on it pretty quickly on here!

Guess us 21 year old "wet behind the ears guys" are doing it right! :laugh:

Wow that was a long thread to end up exactly how I thought it would! :)

rcreech
11-17-2010, 07:08 AM
While we all hate to pay taxes, RC Brings up a good point about showing a Profit. He said his BANKER and accountant both want him to show a large Profit. Considering the credit crush we are just coming out of, yawl need all the Borrowing power you can get. You might not need to borrow money today or think you will any time soon. But sooner or later you will. I have been ask for my last 3 years of Tax return by a Loan officer.

Exactly!

My banker told me that a local that was very successful wanted a large load and due to him "hiding" all his income he wouldn't qualify.

Here a "rich man" don't qualify for a loan because it looks like he doesn't have a pot to piss in!


As I stated earlier...I also don't see how you are hiding from the tax man. If you take it out of your corp acct and put into your personal acct you still pay taxes.

And saying you should have given your boys a bonus is GIVING away your profit and is no different then buying equipment you don't need at the end of the year.

I am still confused on this whole 2-3% profit margin deal!

I think he was all wrong and covering up!

What do you think Ric?

rcreech
11-17-2010, 07:17 AM
Here is what I always thought and also how it was explained to me and the definition.

landlandscape,

Can you please explain to all of us what you were talking about earlier?

Thanks,

Rodney Creech


Definition of Gross Profit Margin
What remains from sales after a company pays out the cost of goods sold. To obtain gross profit margin, divide gross profit by sales. Gross profit margin is expressed as a percentage.For example, if a company receives $25,000 in sales and its cost of goods sold were $20,000, the gross profit margin would be equal to $25,000 minus $20,000, divided by $25,000, or 20%. Basically, 20% gross profit margin means that for every dollar generated in sales, the company has 20 cents left over to cover basic operating costs and profit.

fl-landscapes
11-17-2010, 07:55 AM
Here is what I always thought and also how it was explained to me and the definition.

landlandscape,

Can you please explain to all of us what you were talking about earlier?

Thanks,

Rodney Creech


Definition of Gross Profit Margin
What remains from sales after a company pays out the cost of goods sold. To obtain gross profit margin, divide gross profit by sales. Gross profit margin is expressed as a percentage.For example, if a company receives $25,000 in sales and its cost of goods sold were $20,000, the gross profit margin would be equal to $25,000 minus $20,000, divided by $25,000, or 20%. Basically, 20% gross profit margin means that for every dollar generated in sales, the company has 20 cents left over to cover basic operating costs and profit.

Im not sure what you want me to explain besides what has already been said about gross profit margin and profit. I was agreeing with you about profit on services mentioned earlier were low, then the conversation switched to how much profit a corp shows at the end of the year. As the only shareholder in my corp any profit at the end of the year goes directly onto my personal income and taxed at that rate. If I take "dividend bonuses" they are taxed at a lower rate. Or I purchase something to offset my gains, usually a piece of equipment I need. This year was a tracked boxer 425 with toro soil cultivator. Im pretty sure ted brought up the "empty the bank account" thing before I did and I was just agreeing with him, and trying to say I agree with you on the ACTUAL profit margin you get on services. Hope thats not making things more confusing.

Ric
11-17-2010, 10:03 AM
Exactly!

My banker told me that a local that was very successful wanted a large load and due to him "hiding" all his income he wouldn't qualify.

Here a "rich man" don't qualify for a loan because it looks like he doesn't have a pot to piss in!


As I stated earlier...I also don't see how you are hiding from the tax man. If you take it out of your corp acct and put into your personal acct you still pay taxes.

And saying you should have given your boys a bonus is GIVING away your profit and is no different then buying equipment you don't need at the end of the year.

I am still confused on this whole 2-3% profit margin deal!

I think he was all wrong and covering up!

What do you think Ric?


RC

My point is while we all hate to pay taxes, their are advantages to paying them. In the rich mans case he "F" up and might of lost more than he saved by cheating Uncle Sam. Who knows how much money he could of made with just the seed money to get started, or how much business he could of saved with a shot of cash flow? I would hate to be offered a very lucrative contract and have to turn it down because I couldn't finance start up.


The decision is not whether to show a profit, but how much profit to show.


WHAT IF WHAT IF: Other Reason for showing a profit would be for selling a business. Once again a sharp businessman is going to want to see 3 years P & L from the Tax records. So you don't think you will ever sell? Let us not forget acts of god and how your family might have to sell after you are gone. Or what about accident where you must prove your income to an insurance company or Court Judge. On the open market your business is only worth the income produced and nothing more. That means my 100 Account business could be worth more than a 3,000 account business.

rcreech
11-17-2010, 10:29 AM
Im not sure what you want me to explain besides what has already been said about gross profit margin and profit. I was agreeing with you about profit on services mentioned earlier were low, then the conversation switched to how much profit a corp shows at the end of the year. As the only shareholder in my corp any profit at the end of the year goes directly onto my personal income and taxed at that rate. If I take "dividend bonuses" they are taxed at a lower rate. Or I purchase something to offset my gains, usually a piece of equipment I need. This year was a tracked boxer 425 with toro soil cultivator. Im pretty sure ted brought up the "empty the bank account" thing before I did and I was just agreeing with him, and trying to say I agree with you on the ACTUAL profit margin you get on services. Hope thats not making things more confusing.

I wasn't directing that towards you...I meant it for Ted and the Landscapes dude!

Sorry!
:)

fl-landscapes
11-17-2010, 12:24 PM
I wasn't directing that towards you...I meant it for Ted and the Landscapes dude!

Sorry!
:)

no problem.....it was my fault, I saw you put landlandscape and thought you meant fl-landscape

rcreech
11-17-2010, 12:53 PM
No prob...Fllandscapes

Where did our little buddy go that wants to operate like TG and not make any money?

He was on here all the time when he thought he was right and calling us all a bunch of your kids.

Now that he has found that we are all very successful professionals he just disappeared!

LOL

:)

fl-landscapes
11-17-2010, 01:04 PM
No prob...Fllandscapes

Where did our little buddy go that wants to operate like TG and not make any money?

He was on here all the time when he thought he was right and calling us all a bunch of your kids.

Now that he has found that we are all very successful professionals he just disappeared!

LOL

:)

probably cant afford internet access anymore:laugh:

Ric
11-17-2010, 02:18 PM
No prob...Fllandscapes

Where did our little buddy go that wants to operate like TG and not make any money?He was on here all the time when he thought he was right and calling us all a bunch of your kids.

Now that he has found that we are all very successful professionals he just disappeared!

LOL

:)

RC

I didn't see him post in this thread. Maybe he is to busy trying to get CEU since he couldn't afford to go to GIC

rcreech
11-17-2010, 08:29 PM
RC

I didn't see him post in this thread. Maybe he is to busy trying to get CEU since he couldn't afford to go to GIC

I was talking about Lawnlandscapes!

It is funny to watch there kind of people on here come and go!

He went from telling all of us that we didn't know what we were doing to out'a here!
:)

Just like business...if they don't know what they are doing they don't stick around long!

If a guys says you need to run your business like TG...chances are his days are numbered! :laugh:

Guess a 2% profit doesn't last long!

sedge
11-17-2010, 11:43 PM
I was talking about Lawnlandscapes!

It is funny to watch there kind of people on here come and go!

He went from telling all of us that we didn't know what we were doing to out'a here!
:)

Just like business...if they don't know what they are doing they don't stick around long!

If a guys says you need to run your business like TG...chances are his days are numbered! :laugh:

Guess a 2% profit doesn't last long!

Does TG pay dividends? If so, then the low % of profit is after they paid their investors, so it is a false profit so to speak.

TLS
11-18-2010, 08:06 AM
It just seems silly to compare ANYONE's company on Lawnsite to a privately held Fortune 500 corporation.

They are the Wal-Mart of LCO's. Nobody likes Wal-Mart, why should any of us like TG?

naughty62
11-18-2010, 08:09 AM
WE spray a few postage stamp sized yard .usually$25 minimum .They are good word of mouth advertisement .If a person can not live under that persons means .Know or learn their cost of doing business and work from sun-up to sun-down ,they are not gonna make it .How many times have you seen a new small business go belly up .new homes ,boats,campers,$40.000 work trucks with thousands of dollars of shiny chrome objects,shiny new equipment that will never pay for itself .IT also help if you wife is an active dedicated business partner . You can have a M.B.A.from Harvard but if they have no common sense and can not live and operate with in your means ,you are screwed from the get go.I want ,I want I want !!! .Bankruptcy,divorce,The repo man does not impress your neighbors and the Jones .Greed and this kind of mentality has brought our country to its knees.

fl-landscapes
11-18-2010, 08:14 AM
It just seems silly to compare ANYONE's company on Lawnsite to a privately held Fortune 500 corporation.

They are the Wal-Mart of LCO's. Nobody likes Wal-Mart, why should any of us like TG?

Its a little different. Walmart is a huge retailer with HUGE buying power, they beat down suppliers to pass savings on to us in the form of cheap goods. Trugreen is a SERVICE provider and the walmart mentality doesnt equate out the same in a service industry. A better comparison would be TG to McDonalds I guess, you want a cheap crappy burger go to McDonalds, want the same cheap crappy lawn service, go to TG, want a cheap shotgun or t-shirt go to walmart. By the way ever thought about all the money walmart saves us by providing cheap goods? They really arent evil. Although I agree with the premise of you comment, no comparison of us to the largest lawn care company in the world. Thats a good thing, gives us selling points.

TLS
11-18-2010, 08:20 AM
By the way ever thought about all the money walmart saves us by providing cheap goods? They really arent evil.

I see your point about my comparison. Not a direct apples to apples.

But don't get me started on Wal-Mart. They are EVERYTHING that is wrong with our Country/Economy right now! Wal-Mart is NOT good. They really ARE evil!

fl-landscapes
11-18-2010, 08:30 AM
I see your point about my comparison. Not a direct apples to apples.

But don't get me started on Wal-Mart. They are EVERYTHING that is wrong with our Country/Economy right now! Wal-Mart is NOT good. They really ARE evil!

We wont argue this one, but I would say fanny may freddie mac and artificially inflated housing prices and giving home loans to people who couldnt afford them and the ensuing housing crash is bar far and away the biggest reason we are where we are.

sedge
11-18-2010, 08:34 AM
I see your point about my comparison. Not a direct apples to apples.

But don't get me started on Wal-Mart. They are EVERYTHING that is wrong with our Country/Economy right now! Wal-Mart is NOT good. They really ARE evil!

Walmart is NOT evil, unless you and everyone else is that shops there as well.
I do agree though that the Walmarts of the world have and are ruining the country, but they are doing so on our behalf or request, as we support them with our dollars.

jasontimm
11-18-2010, 08:42 AM
Think about it, what if chem lawn was a great company that provided a great service, look how many customers we get from them because they suck? face it, we make a lot more money because they are out there doing a crappy job, i for one am glad they are in my area...i hope they dont change their ways....easy competition.

Ric
11-18-2010, 11:41 AM
Think about it, what if chem lawn was a great company that provided a great service, look how many customers we get from them because they suck? face it, we make a lot more money because they are out there doing a crappy job, i for one am glad they are in my area...i hope they dont change their ways....easy competition.

History is an important teacher and we should all study history. But TG and CL were a very important part of the history of our industry. They were the innovators of our industry and with out them or companies like them we would not be where we are today. Corporate TG/CL even today is an important part of our industry as the Big boy who is fighting the Tree Hugges for our rights. Of Course add in the fact they do crappy work at low ball price which both helps and hurts our industry.

As for Walmarts, Fanny May and Freddy Mac etc, I believe it goes back a lot farther. As conservative as I am and as much as I liked Ronnie I blame his Trickle down economic for Globalization which I believe is the root of all evil in our economy today. When Corporate CEO had the Taxable cap on their income lifted to be able to make 40 million or more per year, They started to Out Source our higher paying jobs. When Factory workers lost $ 25 an hour jobs to $ 5.00 an jobs flipping burgers they had no buying power. We had an economic collapse. However whether than take our bumps the Government tried keep the economy afloat with a false Economy as in Fanny May and Freddy Mac. Now our Government has put the next 3 generation into debt with even more false economic stimulus packages. Sorry but we are sliding down the path of no return and a complete bankruptcy of our total economic system is in sight. If you think today's kid are too lazy to do math without a calculator, do think they want to pay off our debt??

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 01:00 PM
It just seems silly to compare ANYONE's company on Lawnsite to a privately held Fortune 500 corporation.

They are the Wal-Mart of LCO's. Nobody likes Wal-Mart, why should any of us like TG?

..... I like Wal-Mart. Speak for yourself.

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 01:01 PM
Here is what I always thought and also how it was explained to me and the definition.

landlandscape,

Can you please explain to all of us what you were talking about earlier?

Thanks,

Rodney Creech


Definition of Gross Profit Margin
What remains from sales after a company pays out the cost of goods sold. To obtain gross profit margin, divide gross profit by sales. Gross profit margin is expressed as a percentage.For example, if a company receives $25,000 in sales and its cost of goods sold were $20,000, the gross profit margin would be equal to $25,000 minus $20,000, divided by $25,000, or 20%. Basically, 20% gross profit margin means that for every dollar generated in sales, the company has 20 cents left over to cover basic operating costs and profit.

umm..... you added a very important word in there. GROSS. good one...

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 01:04 PM
No prob...Fllandscapes

Where did our little buddy go that wants to operate like TG and not make any money?

He was on here all the time when he thought he was right and calling us all a bunch of your kids.

Now that he has found that we are all very successful professionals he just disappeared!

LOL

:)

I was doing a thing called WORKING. Getting all the trucks ready for snow.

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 01:08 PM
I was talking about Lawnlandscapes!

It is funny to watch there kind of people on here come and go!

He went from telling all of us that we didn't know what we were doing to out'a here!
:)

Just like business...if they don't know what they are doing they don't stick around long!

If a guys says you need to run your business like TG...chances are his days are numbered! :laugh:

Guess a 2% profit doesn't last long!

I will never understand why you continue to knock other people.... I have been in business for many years and have been growing (based on annual sales) by over 300% per year for the past 5 years. Recession??? Did we have one of those....

I'm sorry that I don't have time to log onto this forum everyday like you do. I usually pop on here about once a week until winter hits, then I have a little more time... however then I choose to spend my time on plowsite.

I can assure you, my company is not going to 'disappear' anytime soon.

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 01:17 PM
History is an important teacher and we should all study history. But TG and CL were a very important part of the history of our industry. They were the innovators of our industry and with out them or companies like them we would not be where we are today. Corporate TG/CL even today is an important part of our industry as the Big boy who is fighting the Tree Hugges for our rights. Of Course add in the fact they do crappy work at low ball price which both helps and hurts our industry.

As for Walmarts, Fanny May and Freddy Mac etc, I believe it goes back a lot farther. As conservative as I am and as much as I liked Ronnie I blame his Trickle down economic for Globalization which I believe is the root of all evil in our economy today. When Corporate CEO had the Taxable cap on their income lifted to be able to make 40 million or more per year, They started to Out Source our higher paying jobs. When Factory workers lost $ 25 an hour jobs to $ 5.00 an jobs flipping burgers they had no buying power. We had an economic collapse. However whether than take our bumps the Government tried keep the economy afloat with a false Economy as in Fanny May and Freddy Mac. Now our Government has put the next 3 generation into debt with even more false economic stimulus packages. Sorry but we are sliding down the path of no return and a complete bankruptcy of our total economic system is in sight. If you think today's kid are too lazy to do math without a calculator, do think they want to pay off our debt??

The Outstanding US Dept as of today is $13,802,842,890,777.42. There are 309,503,153 citizens in the United States as of today. Each citizens share of the debt is $44,596.78. The National Debt has increased an average of 4.18 billion per day since September 28th 2007. There are some fun facts for ya.

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 01:20 PM
WE spray a few postage stamp sized yard .usually$25 minimum .They are good word of mouth advertisement .If a person can not live under that persons means .Know or learn their cost of doing business and work from sun-up to sun-down ,they are not gonna make it .How many times have you seen a new small business go belly up .new homes ,boats,campers,$40.000 work trucks with thousands of dollars of shiny chrome objects,shiny new equipment that will never pay for itself .IT also help if you wife is an active dedicated business partner . You can have a M.B.A.from Harvard but if they have no common sense and can not live and operate with in your means ,you are screwed from the get go.I want ,I want I want !!! .Bankruptcy,divorce,The repo man does not impress your neighbors and the Jones .Greed and this kind of mentality has brought our country to its knees.

My wife has no interest in my business. lol She says home with the kids though, and I always have a nice warm meal waiting for me when I get home to my clean house. :clapping:

mowZ06
11-18-2010, 01:42 PM
My wife has no interest in my business. lol She says home with the kids though, and I always have a nice warm meal waiting for me when I get home to my clean house. :clapping:

40.00 min. I dont worry about joe blow taking my jobs away from me. If he can do it cheaper so be it. More then likley he wont be there next season for many reasons and my wife is my business partner and book keeper. I even cook and clean around the house:laugh:

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 03:14 PM
40.00 min. I dont worry about joe blow taking my jobs away from me. If he can do it cheaper so be it. More then likley he wont be there next season for many reasons and my wife is my business partner and book keeper. I even cook and clean around the house:laugh:

It is HUGE pet peeve of mine when people say "they won't be around next season" or "they won't be around very long with prices like that" or anything else like it.

I companys I compete with have been around for GENERATIONS. I have been around for quite a while and am considered a 'young company' in my market.

The companys I deal with are going to be there next year, and 30 years after that.

---------------------------------------------

Going back to something we were talking about earlier in this thread... I leaning towards breaking up my spray and spread applications again. I just simply can not compete anymore if I don't and I just simply don't have time to spend 10 min with every single customer to tell them 'how we are different' anymore. I would have to hire 2 fert sales men just to go around and continue to do all this explaining. Attached is a photo from one of my competiors website. This is the type of program every company around here is running. I just can't be the only odd ball anymore.

One VERY apealing thing about this to me too is I will no longer have to send certified applicators to every single visit. If its just a fertilization I train my landscapers how to spread and if they are a little slower they can do it.

TLS
11-18-2010, 04:19 PM
..... I like Wal-Mart.

You would! :rolleyes: :hammerhead::laugh:

mowZ06
11-18-2010, 04:21 PM
It is HUGE pet peeve of mine when people say "they won't be around next season" or "they won't be around very long with prices like that" or anything else like it.

I companys I compete with have been around for GENERATIONS. I have been around for quite a while and am considered a 'young company' in my market.

The companys I deal with are going to be there next year, and 30 years after that.

---------------------------------------------

Going back to something we were talking about earlier in this thread... I leaning towards breaking up my spray and spread applications again. I just simply can not compete anymore if I don't and I just simply don't have time to spend 10 min with every single customer to tell them 'how we are different' anymore. I would have to hire 2 fert sales men just to go around and continue to do all this explaining. Attached is a photo from one of my competiors website. This is the type of program every company around here is running. I just can't be the only odd ball anymore.

One VERY apealing thing about this to me too is I will no longer have to send certified applicators to every single visit. If its just a fertilization I train my landscapers how to spread and if they are a little slower they can do it.

Well I have seen a few in my area that are cheap cheap and they dont show up the next year. I just wonder why. Mulching,Mowing , Lawn apps,etc. Some have under bid me they get the job. Then for some reason I end up getting the account. Thats all I am saying. Nothing personal towards you at all. I was a young start company at one time also and 20 years later Im still at it. No insect control above ????? I could not do that program.

ted putnam
11-18-2010, 05:15 PM
Well I have seen a few in my area that are cheap cheap and they dont show up the next year. I just wonder why. Mulching,Mowing , Lawn apps,etc. Some have under bid me they get the job. Then for some reason I end up getting the account. Thats all I am saying. Nothing personal towards you at all. I was a young start company at one time also and 20 years later Im still at it. No insect control above ????? I could not do that program.

No summertime weed control except Aug-Sept after things like nutgrass, buttonweed and spurge (not to mention stray crabgrass) have run their life-cycle and put out seed for next years crop. Customers around here wouldn't stand for it. No way I could run a program anything like that!!!

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 06:36 PM
Well I have seen a few in my area that are cheap cheap and they dont show up the next year. I just wonder why. Mulching,Mowing , Lawn apps,etc. Some have under bid me they get the job. Then for some reason I end up getting the account. Thats all I am saying. Nothing personal towards you at all. I was a young start company at one time also and 20 years later Im still at it. No insect control above ????? I could not do that program.

I do not include insect control as a base application for all of my customers. I have always learned that there isn't a good insect preventative. The way to get insects is best with a curative. I do insect control personally, but its always a curative. I include letters with my late spring application telling customers if they see specific areas of their lawn browning out in summer more then others to get on the phone right me right away, and I will come out and make sure they do not have an insect problem.

Again, I will not claim to be extremely knowledgeable about insects, but I was always taught the best plan to have against them is a as needed curative.

lawnlandscape
11-18-2010, 06:40 PM
[/B]

No summertime weed control except Aug-Sept after things like nutgrass, buttonweed and spurge (not to mention stray crabgrass) have run their life-cycle and put out seed for next years crop. Customers around here wouldn't stand for it. No way I could run a program anything like that!!!

Maybe your climate is different?!? I have always run 2 weed aps (mainly) one in spring and one in fall, and have never had weeds breaking out on healthy lawns during the summer. The preemergent put down in spring should have controlled the crabgrass already.

Now if I just acquired a lawn that is in really thin or something like that there may be a few weeds that pop up in summer, but it is in poor condition to begin with, it probably looks a hell of a lot better the summer I had it, then the previous one.

rcreech
11-18-2010, 08:30 PM
I will never understand why you continue to knock other people....

I am not knowing "other people"...I am just knocking you! :)

Look back and you say I am "wet behind the ears" "a kid" and then you say that there are not any professionals on here and we are a bunch of kids under 21.

I didn't sling personal mud until you did!


ANYWAY...what you were talking about before what not PROFIT MARGIN then...you was just talking profit.

You were the one that was throwing everyone off.

Now...please share with me how your input costs are 65% or your price please?

You have yet to answer that and I am trying to figure out how in the heck they are so high.

rcreech
11-18-2010, 08:34 PM
I am glad that I can sell the program that I believe in and run my business effeciently! I am also glad that I make MY OWN business decisions and don't let others influence me or my bottom line!

Honestly lawnlandscape...I think you should stick with your program and sell it! Tell the customer they are getting screwed by the others as you have invested in the equipment to do both at one time and it will end up SAVING the customer money because you can operate more effeciently!

Don't lower yourself to the other companies ineffeciencies! You will not be able to grow as fast and it will COST you more money to operate!

That is my take!

Sell your program with CONFIDENCE!

rcreech
11-18-2010, 08:40 PM
umm..... you added a very important word in there. GROSS. good one...

What is the difference between profit margin and gross profit margin?

NOTHING!

What you and Ted were discussing before wasn't profit margin! It was profit!



You don't buy all your toys and pay off your bills and see what is left and call that your profit margin.

Profit margin is selling price minus your inputs.

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 12:20 AM
What is the difference between profit margin and gross profit margin?

NOTHING!

What you and Ted were discussing before wasn't profit margin! It was profit!



You don't buy all your toys and pay off your bills and see what is left and call that your profit margin.

Profit margin is selling price minus your inputs.

What Ted and I are talking about is called NET PROFIT MARGIN. Your just completely lost..

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 12:27 AM
I am not knowing "other people"...I am just knocking you! :)

Look back and you say I am "wet behind the ears" "a kid" and then you say that there are not any professionals on here and we are a bunch of kids under 21.

I didn't sling personal mud until you did!


ANYWAY...what you were talking about before what not PROFIT MARGIN then...you was just talking profit.

You were the one that was throwing everyone off.

Now...please share with me how your input costs are 65% or your price please?

You have yet to answer that and I am trying to figure out how in the heck they are so high.

See, you read my text, and then your brain can not seem to comprehend what it says.. I did not make the blanket statement by saying its a bunch of kids here under 21 no professionals. I said this place is MOSTLY people under 21. Use that little search box and type in age, you will get many polls asking people how old they are.

You should be able to figure out the 65% yourself. I stated what some of my numbers are the first post in this thread. Apparently my numbers are low to most people. Take your cost of a QUALITY fertilizer spread at 1N per K, then take your cost of a QUALITY broad-leaf herbicide sprayed at 2 gallons per K, and you will see how I'm at 65%. Its not rocket science...

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 12:31 AM
I am glad that I can sell the program that I believe in and run my business effeciently! I am also glad that I make MY OWN business decisions and don't let others influence me or my bottom line!

Honestly lawnlandscape...I think you should stick with your program and sell it! Tell the customer they are getting screwed by the others as you have invested in the equipment to do both at one time and it will end up SAVING the customer money because you can operate more effeciently!

Don't lower yourself to the other companies ineffeciencies! You will not be able to grow as fast and it will COST you more money to operate!

That is my take!

Sell your program with CONFIDENCE!

Why are you so respectful in this post... Is there 2 different people posting under the same name? lol

I keep going back and forth with what I'm going to propose for next year. I have a month and a half to decide though.. thats when my proposals go out for next year.

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 12:33 AM
Net Profit MarginAftertax net income divided by net sales, a measure of management's ability to carry a dollar of sales down to the bottom line. In other words, net profit margin refers to that which is left for the owners from a dollar of sales after all expenses and taxes have been paid. Also called net margin

TLS
11-19-2010, 06:34 AM
thats when my proposals go out for next year.

Your not going to do what TG/CL does and auto-renew???

That's one thing I've been doing for 20 years and it works out very well.

rcreech
11-19-2010, 07:28 AM
Several things here!

On my most expensive application my input costs are 36% of my price. And that is Round 1 using Dimension.
But my next rounds are less and my last round input costs are only 18%.

So my avg input cost over four rounds is 29%.

Where in the heck do you come up with 65%. Because you already said that that doesn't include equipment and labor and that has to be taken out and that is how you get down to your 2-3%

Just curious.

Now as far as you now saying NET PROFIT...you never said that, and you got on me for not saying GROSS. I always talk gross because that is the only indicator that keeps management out out it.

What you call Net profit I just call profit! Splitting hairs, but you can't pay all your bills and buy toys and then call that margin IMO.

You didn't just have me lost on here...you had a lot of people lost.


I apologize for being a butt on here but I don't like you attitude on here sometimes as you think your crap don't stink.

I respect everyone on here including you when there isn't mud slinging!

I do think it would be best for sure for you to stay with your current program.


I do have one question for you though!

If TG has a 9% profit (not profit margin) why are you not doing better then them? They have CEO's, Office rent, office managers, and all the overhead costs.

IMO...you should be BLOWING THEM OUT OF THE WATER!

I know I am!

Just curious to why your profit (net profit as you say) is so much less then theirs.

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 08:26 AM
Your not going to do what TG/CL does and auto-renew???

That's one thing I've been doing for 20 years and it works out very well.

Why do you even talk????
TG does not have their customers sign contracts for a set period of time.
If I call my cable company and get their TV service without a contract, I have it until I cancel it. This is another example of how your ridiculous bashing of TG make YOU look UNPROFESSIONAL.

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 08:32 AM
Where in the heck do you come up with 65%.
Now as far as you now saying NET PROFIT...you never said that, and you got on me for not saying GROSS. I always talk gross because that is the only indicator that keeps management out out it.


Just curious to why your profit (net profit as you say) is so much less then theirs.

Clearly I must be billing much less then you per application. But in my area I am known to be on the high end already.

foreplease
11-19-2010, 08:38 AM
I only use them for Pre'Em, but gladly will pay them to do it. Very reputable company as well who is known for using quality products.

At this price, I happily let them do my yard. If they offered an organic fert program, I would pay them to take care of that as well.


I am six pages into this thread and have not seen this question, so I will ask you: What is the logic or thinking behind continuing to use Pre-Em and being interested in organic fertilizer(s)? I run into people all the time who are concerned about synthetic fertilizers but think nothing of using a jar of Ortho (any of several products) in shorts and sandals, no gloves, diluted wrong if at all.

lawnlandscape
11-19-2010, 08:42 AM
I am six pages into this thread and have not seen this question, so I will ask you: What is the logic or thinking behind continuing to use Pre-Em and being interested in organic fertilizer(s)? I run into people all the time who are concerned about synthetic fertilizers but think nothing of using a jar of Ortho (any of several products) in shorts and sandals, no gloves, diluted wrong if at all.

:clapping:

rcreech
11-19-2010, 03:05 PM
Clearly I must be billing much less then you per application. But in my area I am known to be on the high end already.

Our prices are very similar looking at your first post!

And from the price you are getting on your last round we are right in check on that also.

Dunno!

TLS
11-19-2010, 04:19 PM
Why do you even talk????




Put your keyboard ego back where it came from buddy-boy! :rolleyes:

No one deserves to be addressed like this. You wouldn't talk to me in public like this, and you won't here on LS.

For as seasoned, professional, and "big" as you portray yourself/your business on here, you sure don't act like it. You've been on LS for just over a year, it's time to start acting like the adult you claim to be.

You stir the pot, yet lash out when others contradict your thoughts. :confused:

We're just here to help each other out! Not everyone had LS back when we started in this business. We did things by trial and error. I share these trials and errors that I experienced simply to help others.

Ask. Learn. Tell.

Thats what it's all about.

sedge
11-19-2010, 05:21 PM
Put your keyboard ego back where it came from buddy-boy! :rolleyes:

No one deserves to be addressed like this. You wouldn't talk to me in public like this, and you won't here on LS.

For as seasoned, professional, and "big" as you portray yourself/your business on here, you sure don't act like it. You've been on LS for just over a year, it's time to start acting like the adult you claim to be.

You stir the pot, yet lash out when others contradict your thoughts. :confused:

We're just here to help each other out! Not everyone had LS back when we started in this business. We did things by trial and error. I share these trials and errors that I experienced simply to help others.

Ask. Learn. Tell.

Thats what it's all about.

Excellent post!!

CHARLES CUE
11-19-2010, 08:52 PM
Put your keyboard ego back where it came from buddy-boy! :rolleyes:

No one deserves to be addressed like this. You wouldn't talk to me in public like this, and you won't here on LS.

For as seasoned, professional, and "big" as you portray yourself/your business on here, you sure don't act like it. You've been on LS for just over a year, it's time to start acting like the adult you claim to be.

You stir the pot, yet lash out when others contradict your thoughts. :confused:

We're just here to help each other out! Not everyone had LS back when we started in this business. We did things by trial and error. I share these trials and errors that I experienced simply to help others.

Ask. Learn. Tell.

Thats what it's all about.

I guess i miss understood LS i though you were to post a question you didn't know than every one was to beat you up :hammerhead:

A dumb question is one you already know the answer to

Nice post

Charles Cue

mowZ06
11-19-2010, 09:22 PM
Ditto to the above.

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 08:01 AM
That is amazing! My product cost alone is well under $1/k average over 4 apps.
As far as overhead costs...the way I look at it is the more business I have it drops my avg overhead cost.

And a 3-5K lawn only takes about 5-10 minutes total so very little time involved and we should already be on or around that area.

$36 would be for a 2-3K lawn.

Don't have many of them though. Just isn't what we are set up to do!

Who is only doing 4 apps. One way they under bid is by doing a 7 treatment program. $30.00 X 7 + $210.00. Do the math.

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 08:02 AM
That is amazing! My product cost alone is well under $1/k average over 4 apps.
As far as overhead costs...the way I look at it is the more business I have it drops my avg overhead cost.

And a 3-5K lawn only takes about 5-10 minutes total so very little time involved and we should already be on or around that area.

$36 would be for a 2-3K lawn.

Don't have many of them though. Just isn't what we are set up to do!

Who is only doing 4 apps. One way they under bid is by doing a 7 treatment program. $30.00 X 7 + $210.00. Do the math.

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 08:04 AM
Our miniium price is $29.95. But I will not do less than 5 treatments a year. Maybe you just can't service everyone.

Ric
11-20-2010, 08:44 AM
Our miniium price is $29.95. But I will not do less than 5 treatments a year. Maybe you just can't service everyone.

Dan

No disrespect BUT how can you drive a truck to a job for $ 29.95 let alone spread any product???? Two factors might be 20 accounts in a row and the fact Northern guys don't use 1/10 the product we do in the south.

mowZ06
11-20-2010, 08:52 AM
everyones overhead is not the same. Some might be ok with making a smaller profit. 40.00 seems to work for me. 30.00 for someone else could be making the same profit. I include Merit with my second app and I use it as a selling point and it gives me and the customer a piece of mind.

lawnlandscape
11-20-2010, 09:26 AM
Put your keyboard ego back where it came from buddy-boy! :rolleyes:

No one deserves to be addressed like this. You wouldn't talk to me in public like this, and you won't here on LS.

For as seasoned, professional, and "big" as you portray yourself/your business on here, you sure don't act like it. You've been on LS for just over a year, it's time to start acting like the adult you claim to be.

You stir the pot, yet lash out when others contradict your thoughts. :confused:

We're just here to help each other out! Not everyone had LS back when we started in this business. We did things by trial and error. I share these trials and errors that I experienced simply to help others.

Ask. Learn. Tell.

Thats what it's all about.

You would not be saying all the ridiculous stuff you are saying in public.

I lash out when people use false claims or personal claims to tare down any one else or any other company. I think its immature and unprofessional.

lawnlandscape
11-20-2010, 09:30 AM
Dan

No disrespect BUT how can you drive a truck to a job for $ 29.95 let alone spread any product???? Two factors might be 20 accounts in a row and the fact Northern guys don't use 1/10 the product we do in the south.

I just sent out a $29 per ap proposal on a 3k lawn yesterday for 2011

timturf
11-20-2010, 09:37 AM
Who is only doing 4 apps. One way they under bid is by doing a 7 treatment program. $30.00 X 7 + $210.00. Do the math.


Located in the northern edge of transition zone. Maintain cool season turf, will eliminate any bermundagrass.

I make 4 visit for weed control, otherwise my fert app. would be in three visits. Late winter, summer, and a late summer app. My prefer fert visit arn't the best times to kill any broadleaf weeds.

Why can I do this, my experience, knowledge, and the quality of product.
My program is more expensive the most competition, but you generally pay for what you get!

I don't even pull up to the door, let along apply anything for the price you guys are charging. Quality, not volume!

TLS
11-20-2010, 10:33 AM
You would not be saying all the ridiculous stuff you are saying in public.

I lash out when people use false claims or personal claims to tare down any one else or any other company. I think its immature and unprofessional.

Listen Buddy.

Grow up.

I don't post ridiculous things, false claims, or personal claims here. Nor, do I tear down others. I am mature and professional.

My feelings I typed in the above post seem to be shared by the majority of others contributing to this thread.

I've been on LS for quite some time, and in the business 3x's longer. People like you who insult and post derogatory comments get banned. I've seen it happen. I'm on the fence as to whether you'll contribute positively here on LS since lately you do nothing but stir the pot. I'd like to see you contribute, as you appear to be a large operation and may offer some great input.

However, I've looked back with a search, and the majority of your posts are questions (pretty basic questions I might add for as much as you boast) which is fine. But it seems that when someone disagrees with or has differing opinions about a subject, you lash out and tell us to shut up and ask why do we even talk!


So, I'll ask directly this time, as you didn't get the hint in my post above....you owe a few of us an apology.

rcreech
11-20-2010, 11:01 AM
Who is only doing 4 apps. One way they under bid is by doing a 7 treatment program. $30.00 X 7 + $210.00. Do the math.

Dan Stephens,

Welcome to Lawnsite!

Who is doing 4 apps? Many are! And for many reasons starting with a sound agronomic program and due to time. I can Net just as much as you on 4 apps as you do on 5.

I can charge more per app...and with less cost I come out ahead.

Part of my strategy is taking a customer from a 5-6 app program and moving them to my 4 step. They save money on less apps, get the same amount of product and I get their business. Boy that makes sense now doesn't it?

I offer 4 apps on non-irrigated lawns and 5 apps on irrigated or those who want to add a summer grub control.

As stated by Timturf...it is not how many times you show up but the quality of product used.

I would put my 4 app program up against anybody's 6-7 step program.

And...you may ONLY take 5 app lawns and that is ok...but my avg lawn size is pushing 30K and I don't think you would turn away a guy that wanted to spend $400-500 a year just because he didn't go with you on 5 apps! :hammerhead:

I have customers with very large properties that only take 2 apps and I am ok with that when they hand me a check for $500-1000.

Thanks and enjoy this site!
It will open your eyes for sure.
:)

rcreech
11-20-2010, 11:02 AM
I just sent out a $29 per ap proposal on a 3k lawn yesterday for 2011

If your input costs are 65% that leaves you with about $11 to get there and pay yourself!

I guess you do work on 2% PROFIT MARGIN! Sorry I questioned you!!!!!

:laugh:

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:10 AM
Dan

No disrespect BUT how can you drive a truck to a job for $ 29.95 let alone spread any product???? Two factors might be 20 accounts in a row and the fact Northern guys don't use 1/10 the product we do in the south.

Non taken. In my experience I actually use the minimium very little. 1,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. Our average size lawn is 13,000 sq. ft. (1/2 smaller & 1/2 larger) The price for 13,000 sq. ft. is $75 to $90 depending on the program. We offer a 6 or an 8 treatments program. If I feel that I need to reduce the price to compete with another bid I reduce the number of treatments. Still, Iwill not do less than 5 treatments a year. As for quality. I beleive I have a reputation for being the quality leader in my area.

rcreech
11-20-2010, 11:10 AM
Our miniium price is $29.95. But I will not do less than 5 treatments a year. Maybe you just can't service everyone.

My Min is $36
Here is my point!!!!!


Your 5 apps x $29.95 = $149.75
My 4 apps x $36.00 = $144.00

Now what do you think!

Yep, you got another app on them and you made $5.75 more then me for the year...and see how that pencils out after you drive there and work!
:clapping:

But why you are doing that I am going to sell that customer on a 4 app program, make more per app and steal them from you because they can save $5.75 a year!
:)

It's all about business strategy! Work smarter...not harder!

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:17 AM
If your input costs are 65% that leaves you with about $11 to get there and pay yourself!

I guess you do work on 2% PROFIT MARGIN! Sorry I questioned you!!!!!

:laugh:

Ok guys. I was just offering my point of view. Sorry if it bugged some of you. What works for me may not work for everyone.

I try to look at the big picture. My trucks bring in about $150 per hour. Over all I show a 15 to 20% profit.

rcreech
11-20-2010, 11:19 AM
Ok guys. I was just offering my point of view. Sorry if it bugged some of you. What works for me may not work for everyone.

I try to look at the big picture. My trucks bring in about $150 per hour. Over all I show a 15 to 20% profit.

Dan Stephens,

That was not towards you...it was towards lawnlandscape as he stated throughout this thread that was has 2-3% profit margin. Then he back tracked and said "net profit"!

:)

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:24 AM
My Min is $36
Here is my point!!!!!


Your 5 apps x $29.95 = $149.75
My 4 apps x $36.00 = $144.00

Now what do you think!

Yep, you got another app on them and you made $5.75 more then me for the year...and see how that pencils out after you drive there and work!
:clapping:

But why you are doing that I am going to sell that customer on a 4 app program, make more per app and steal them from you because they can save $5.75 a year!
:)

It's all about business strategy! Work smarter...not harder!

That's great. I'm glad it works for you. However, in my area 4 treatments no matter what product you use just will not produce the kind of results that I and my customers expect. I wish I could do it with less. But in my 30 years of experince most the time it doesn't. I'm not saying that it doesn't work for you. I use that number of treatments because it is a quality issue. Thats what it takes. Some of my competitor (Like TG) do more.

What it boils down to is what ever business model works for you is the one you should use.

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:28 AM
Dan Stephens,

That was not towards you...it was towards lawnlandscape as he stated throughout this thread that was has 2-3% profit margin. Then he back tracked and said "net profit"!

:)

OK, Cool! Thanks

rcreech
11-20-2010, 11:33 AM
That's great. I'm glad it works for you. However, in my area 4 treatments no matter what product you use just will not produce the kind of results that I and my customers expect. I wish I could do it with less. But in my 30 years of experince most the time it doesn't. I'm not saying that it doesn't work for you. I use that number of treatments because it is a quality issue. Thats what it takes. Some of my competitor (Like TG) do more.

What it boils down to is what ever business model works for you is the one you should use.

Have you ever tried using a 50% SCU as it should work for you! It is all about extending your feeding.
If it rains in July and August I typically recommend an additional application but that rarely happens. That is also why I do 5 apps on irrigated lawns. The lawn is being pushed more, there is more N loss and more growing time.

Why put 5 apps on a lawn that is dormant for 1-2 out of 7-8 months of the growing season?

My 4 app lawns almost always look better then others 6 app program.

WHY???

As stated if they show up 6 times and put down a little each time vs my 4 apps of a including 3 passes using a slow release product then I smoke them!

If they used better product I am sure they may have a slight edge..but my costs are still lower and I am charging more per app.

It isn't the amount of visits..it is quality of product and timing!

Try it and you may be surprised!

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:37 AM
We are in the transition zone. Our lawns are Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Tall Fescue. No Bermuda, Zoyzia, St Augustine or other warm season grasses. So it does require a different program than down south. I just try to maintain the highest quality and at the same time be somewhat completive.

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:41 AM
Have you ever tried using a 50% SCU as it should work for you! It is all about extending your feeding.
If it rains in July and August I typically recommend an additional application but that rarely happens. That is also why I do 5 apps on irrigated lawns. The lawn is being pushed more, there is more N loss and more growing time.

Why put 5 apps on a lawn that is dormant for 1-2 out of 7-8 months of the growing season?

My 4 app lawns almost always look better then others 6 app program.

WHY???

As stated if they show up 6 times and put down a little each time vs my 4 apps of a including 3 passes using a slow release product then I smoke them!

If they used better product I am sure they may have a slight edge..but my costs are still lower and I am charging more per app.

It isn't the amount of visits..it is quality of product and timing!

Try it and you may be surprised!

Good point. I use a 25 to 30% slow release in the spring, 50% in the summer and 20% in the fall. This is what is recommended by Purdue University Trufgrass program. I would use 70% in the summer if I could get it.

rcreech
11-20-2010, 11:43 AM
We are in the transition zone. Our lawns are Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Tall Fescue. No Bermuda, Zoyzia, St Augustine or other warm season grasses. So it does require a different program than down south. I just try to maintain the highest quality and at the same time be somewhat completive.

I totally agree!

I am just across the IN line West of Dayton OH...so we are dealing with pretty much the same kind of deal.

Think you may be a tick North or me but not sure without looking.

I am just 6 miles south of I-70.

You were just asking why anyone would offer 4 apps so I just wanted to let you know why!
:)

Good to have you on here...as you seem like you will have a lot of great to add!

Dan Stephens Sr
11-20-2010, 11:56 AM
I totally agree!

I am just across the IN line West of Dayton OH...so we are dealing with pretty much the same kind of deal.

Think you may be a tick North or me but not sure without looking.

I am just 6 miles south of I-70.

You were just asking why anyone would offer 4 apps so I just wanted to let you know why!
:)

Good to have you on here...as you seem like you will have a lot of great to add!

Thanks! I hope to be able to add a little. So far I really enjoy the discussions. Oh, I am about 50 miles south of Indianapolis. :cool2:

tlg
11-20-2010, 07:24 PM
This is where I am different!

I WILL NOT drop my price and don't care what the other companies charge. Once I have given a person a price it is what it is.

When they say "will you match their price" that is when I say "only if they match my product quality and service". And I mean it!!!!!

I tell them that my prices are where they are at for a reason and that we use the best products and don't skimp on rates etc. And that we backpack all edges and if they have a problem will talk directly to me blah blah blah. You CAN separate yourself and sell VALUE! Yes VALUE!


If the customer called you for a price then that obviously means that they are NOT HAPPY with their current company for some or many reasons.

Why should we give them a better lawn and better service for the same price? :dizzy:

I know that I could pick up a lot more business if I did drop my price a little but I have too much pride and technically that is not the kind of customer I am looking for!

I don't want a customer that is nickel and dime'n me! I want the customer that loves their lawn and is willing to "spend the xtra" to make it look good. They are also the customer that will add services later because THEY CARE!

Low end clients will price check and high end clients don't talk price...just quality.

That is who I am looking for. :)

I agree completely. I have never priced matched or lowered a price just to get a new account. Sure were competitive. You have to be. I simply refuse to work for less money. I have been in this industry a long time. I can assure everyone that the price shoppers are not a desirable account to begin with, they will complain at every increase and most likely never be a loyal customer. If you consider the time, money and effort to get that new customer ( advertising, labor etc... ) how good is that new customer when they go price shopping again next season. You really need to keep them more than one season to get a return on your investment in getting them. The only thing anybody needs to say at the point of sale is " I have already given you my best price ! "

New customers call us for a variety of reasons . The number one reason has and always will be poor service from the company they currently have. Price is pretty low on the list. I truly believe that smart customers can see value for their dollar in what we do for them. They Will even pay more if they are happy with our service. We all should remember we are a service business. Customers want good service and a company that cares. And believe or not they can be happy even if there lawn dosen't look like a golf course.

Dan Stephens Sr
11-21-2010, 07:44 AM
I agree completely. I have never priced matched or lowered a price just to get a new account. Sure were competitive. You have to be. I simply refuse to work for less money. I have been in this industry a long time. I can assure everyone that the price shoppers are not a desirable account to begin with, they will complain at every increase and most likely never be a loyal customer. If you consider the time, money and effort to get that new customer ( advertising, labor etc... ) how good is that new customer when they go price shopping again next season. You really need to keep them more than one season to get a return on your investment in getting them. The only thing anybody needs to say at the point of sale is " I have already given you my best price ! "

New customers call us for a variety of reasons . The number one reason has and always will be poor service from the company they currently have. Price is pretty low on the list. I truly believe that smart customers can see value for their dollar in what we do for them. They Will even pay more if they are happy with our service. We all should remember we are a service business. Customers want good service and a company that cares. And believe or not they can be happy even if there lawn dosen't look like a golf course.

:clapping:BRAVO!:clapping:

mowZ06
11-21-2010, 08:53 AM
Educate your customer.
Use only the best products.
Treat each customer's yard like it was your own personal yard.
Most of larger companies in my area just run on the yard and leave with no personal notation about the yard they just serviced.
Pricing should not be the most important factor if it is you do not want that customer.

rcreech
11-21-2010, 11:24 AM
tlg, Dan Stephens and mowz06,

We are all on the same page!

ANYONE can sell price but it takes a person with business skills, knowledge and confidence to sell VALUE!!!

Unfortunately when you start to sell price you are no better then the other guy and price is all that matters...it is a spiral downward.

Not only do you get caught up in the pricing wars...but one must also CUT back on product to make a PROFIT! Then that SAME CUSTOMER that wanted a good price is going to call you back because they have a weed in their lawn! :laugh:

Don't want them!

This whole thread was started on pricing and we talk VALUE...then it gets switched back to pricing!

Yes "ballpark" pricing is a given...but quality products used, customer attention and service (although played down by many) is what puts my nice trucks on the road, food on my table and good equipment to work with daily! Oh yeah...and allows me to buy my toys that I love so much!

A person can sell price if they want...but I choose to work less and have more to show for my efforts!
:)

rcreech
11-21-2010, 11:24 AM
Educate your customer.
Use only the best products.
Treat each customer's yard like it was your own personal yard.
Most of larger companies in my area just run on the yard and leave with no personal notation about the yard they just serviced.
Pricing should not be the most important factor if it is you do not want that customer.

Our business models MIRROR each other!

Fun isn't it?
:)

TLS
11-21-2010, 11:42 AM
Educate your customer.
Use only the best products.
Treat each customer's yard like it was your own personal yard.
Most of larger companies in my area just run on the yard and leave with no personal notation about the yard they just serviced.
Pricing should not be the most important factor if it is you do not want that customer.

As Rodney stated..."Our business models MIRROR each other!"

I couldn't agree more. It's what works, and what keeps my business manageable <---the way I like it!

TheRev
11-21-2010, 03:11 PM
Our business models MIRROR each other!

Fun isn't it?
:)

Funny Really, i've been reading posts on lawnsite for awhile now, one thing i noticed is EVERYBODY claims to be the best at what they do, and everybody does quality work that make sales on the quality they provide with the price as an afterthought......I wonder what would happen if the above were all put in the same service area, i wonder what the price per K would be after a year or so?

Point being...I'm not doubting that everyone on here does quality work, to their standards anyway, but if you had 500 accounts up for grabs, and 10 quality company's going for the same accounts, and everyone is going to sell on quality, at some point price is going to be a deciding factor in the customer's decision making thus driving your price down, i'm guessing after your all done patting each other on the butt and telling each other about your high quality, you will take 35 dollars for a 8k lawn if it means staying in business or going broke.......Just a thought.

dwc
11-21-2010, 03:18 PM
i'm guessing after your all done patting each other on the butt and telling each other about your high quality, you will take 35 dollars for a 8k lawn if it means staying in business or going broke.......Just a thought.
35 bucks for 8k and you will be broke VERY quick! I will work for the man if it comes down to that...be better than working for peanuts.
Posted via Mobile Device

rcreech
11-21-2010, 03:34 PM
Great question...and I have a very simple answer!

Look at what has happend to the mowing guys!

That is what has happened to them.
That is one reason I have tried to spread my risk adding services no one else offers.
Those services include seeding and emerald ash borer and have become a great addition to my business.
If I could sell the fert side I would and just seed...but that is a whole nuther story!
:)
I also have another business that is more successful then my lawn business and farming operation so not a big deal other then I would miss this very lucrative side.

So long story short one must always be prepared for competition and seperate yourself as much as you can.
And if an area had several awesome turf companies it would be much more competitive and pricing probably would go down.
I could work for much less and still make good profit I just don't want to.

Competition has always been a factor on pricing for every business.

Roundup cost $60 a gallon 10 years ago and now you can get it for $8 a gallon since it is off patent and COMPETITION!
Posted via Mobile Device

sedge
11-21-2010, 08:26 PM
35 bucks for 8k and you will be broke VERY quick! I will work for the man if it comes down to that...be better than working for peanuts.
Posted via Mobile Device

Go broke quick? Really? You must have some very high overhead. Granted, one wouldn't get rich, but one can sure make a profit at that rate. At least i can.

tlg
11-21-2010, 09:07 PM
Funny Really, i've been reading posts on lawnsite for awhile now, one thing i noticed is EVERYBODY claims to be the best at what they do, and everybody does quality work that make sales on the quality they provide with the price as an afterthought......I wonder what would happen if the above were all put in the same service area, i wonder what the price per K would be after a year or so?

Point being...I'm not doubting that everyone on here does quality work, to their standards anyway, but if you had 500 accounts up for grabs, and 10 quality company's going for the same accounts, and everyone is going to sell on quality, at some point price is going to be a deciding factor in the customer's decision making thus driving your price down, i'm guessing after your all done patting each other on the butt and telling each other about your high quality, you will take 35 dollars for a 8k lawn if it means staying in business or going broke.......Just a thought.

In a fantasy scenario like this and all companies being equal you could be right. In the real world ( this is where were at right ) ALL companies have different factors determining how they conduct and price there service. We all have to get X amount of dollars per application to be profitable. The only way to compete here would be to look at your cost of doing business, reduce that cost , and try to meet your competitions pricing. In the fantasy you describe it really is the only way. I think most owners/ managers would agree that reducing cost is pretty tough. The reality is maintaining customer service through good management, quality control and marketing will always be the number one way to get and retain customers. Does anybody really believe that the buying public is so stupid that their decision to buy is based on price alone? Those that fall into this trap will surely fail.

The $35 dollar lawn deal amuses me. What do you do if this price puts you bellow cost of doing the work? How long can you really operate before you destroy your company? If you have to cut your price just to stay in business and it's bellow cost, the going broke part is right around the corner.


Treating our customers lawns is the easy part of the business. Treating the customer right is something we strive to do better everyday.

tlg
11-21-2010, 09:29 PM
Go broke quick? Really? You must have some very high overhead. Granted, one wouldn't get rich, but one can sure make a profit at that rate. At least i can.

Would you care to elaborate? As I have said before we all have different inputs to determine our cost and pricing. I don't dispute what your saying. Just wonder how you can in fact treat an 8k lawn for $35 ?

sedge
11-21-2010, 09:44 PM
Would you care to elaborate? As I have said before we all have different inputs to determine our cost and pricing. I don't dispute what your saying. Just wonder how you can in fact treat an 8k lawn for $35 ?

Well it is just my son and I, so labor is a cost, but we get paid what's left over. I just got back into it after a 2 year hiatus.

Fert costs are less then $1.00 per K per app and the pre emergent program per app is a little over $2 per 1K.

dwc
11-21-2010, 09:53 PM
Go broke quick? Really? You must have some very high overhead. Granted, one wouldn't get rich, but one can sure make a profit at that rate. At least i can.

Really man??????? You just posted how your product cost to treat said lawn would be $24. You did NOT include any broadleaf or grassy weed herbicide. So if we just go with the $24, that leaves $11 to pay for your equipment, truck, fuel, insurance, office work and costs associated, licensing, more insurance for that, oh don't forget that broadleaf herbicide and I guess if you have to make a return visit to satisfy a customer then in a sense you just basically PAID that customer to treat their lawn. We won't even get into TAXES cause we all see by now that you would show a loss at the end of the year.

Not trying to be a jerk, but crap like this is exactly what KILLS this industry.
Posted via Mobile Device

sedge
11-21-2010, 10:30 PM
Really man??????? You just posted how your product cost to treat said lawn would be $24. You did NOT include any broadleaf or grassy weed herbicide. So if we just go with the $24, that leaves $11 to pay for your equipment, truck, fuel, insurance, office work and costs associated, licensing, more insurance for that, oh don't forget that broadleaf herbicide and I guess if you have to make a return visit to satisfy a customer then in a sense you just basically PAID that customer to treat their lawn. We won't even get into TAXES cause we all see by now that you would show a loss at the end of the year.

Not trying to be a jerk, but crap like this is exactly what KILLS this industry.
Posted via Mobile Device

Lol, lol, you crack me up. I don't fert and squirt the same round, so my max cost is under $16. The $2 price includes pre ermegrnt and broad leaf control.

Licensing is cheap.

Work out of our home shop, yes there is a cost, but I would have the shop whether i was doing lawn treatments or not.

Insuncre is $1K a year for liability and $600 a year for truck and trailer. Big whoop. I have to pay the $600 to stay home.

Like I said, I can make a profit at $35 for 8k, do I want to do it for that, no, not at all, but I could if I had to.

tlg
11-21-2010, 10:36 PM
Well it is just my son and I, so labor is a cost, but we get paid what's left over. I just got back into it after a 2 year hiatus.

Fert costs are less then $1.00 per K per app and the pre emergent program per app is a little over $2 per 1K.

At $2 per k on your pre program your cost for material alone is $16.00 on that 8K lawn. That $19 you have left sure isn't your profit. Take off insurance , licensing, fuel, vehicle maintenance, office cost and supplies, equipment cost, taxes, rent, water, gas, electricity, advertising, then your labor. What's left over now? Are you sure your making money?

sedge
11-21-2010, 10:53 PM
At $2 per k on your pre program your cost for material alone is $16.00 on that 8K lawn. That $19 you have left sure isn't your profit. Take off insurance , licensing, fuel, vehicle maintenance, office cost and supplies, equipment cost, taxes, rent, water, gas, electricity, advertising, then your labor. What's left over now? Are you sure your making money?

I didn't say it was all profit, but I can make a profit from it. Now would I want to live on it, no, but I could if I had to.

I listed the insurnace already, yes it is there, but not the high
Licensing is nill. i think $50 per year
In house office
No rent, I own and no debt
No water, have my own well
You pay taxes on profit, least I do

And like I said......

What is your price for that lawn?

lawnlandscape
11-21-2010, 11:21 PM
If your input costs are 65% that leaves you with about $11 to get there and pay yourself!

I guess you do work on 2% PROFIT MARGIN! Sorry I questioned you!!!!!

:laugh:

Clearly my imput costs are not 65% on the smallest lawns this earth has to offer. You said your under $1 per K in cost. Really??!??!? I'm at $2.65 per K on my average ap. There is no way you can fert & squit in one ap for that kind of cost. At least not anywhere near recommended rates.

lawnlandscape
11-21-2010, 11:25 PM
Non taken. In my experience I actually use the minimium very little. 1,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. Our average size lawn is 13,000 sq. ft. (1/2 smaller & 1/2 larger) The price for 13,000 sq. ft. is $75 to $90 depending on the program. We offer a 6 or an 8 treatments program. If I feel that I need to reduce the price to compete with another bid I reduce the number of treatments. Still, Iwill not do less than 5 treatments a year. As for quality. I beleive I have a reputation for being the quality leader in my area.

:clapping: WoW - 13k = $57.49 for me ;)

lawnlandscape
11-21-2010, 11:29 PM
My Min is $36
Here is my point!!!!!


Your 5 apps x $29.95 = $149.75
My 4 apps x $36.00 = $144.00

Now what do you think!

Yep, you got another app on them and you made $5.75 more then me for the year...and see how that pencils out after you drive there and work!
:clapping:

But why you are doing that I am going to sell that customer on a 4 app program, make more per app and steal them from you because they can save $5.75 a year!
:)

It's all about business strategy! Work smarter...not harder!

If thats working for you thats great, but its a very hard sell. Customers think more applications = better lawn. In my opinion its important to do a Minimum of 5-6 applications just so you are able to be on the lawn once every few weeks. That way if you see a problem (such as insects) you can take care of it before its a problem.

I have even seen some guys on these threads that build a visit just for coming to look at the lawn and spread or spray nothing, and they bill their customers for this visit. :dizzy: I will never get that one.

lawnlandscape
11-21-2010, 11:36 PM
Funny Really, i've been reading posts on lawnsite for awhile now, one thing i noticed is EVERYBODY claims to be the best at what they do, and everybody does quality work that make sales on the quality they provide with the price as an afterthought......I wonder what would happen if the above were all put in the same service area, i wonder what the price per K would be after a year or so?

Point being...I'm not doubting that everyone on here does quality work, to their standards anyway, but if you had 500 accounts up for grabs, and 10 quality company's going for the same accounts, and everyone is going to sell on quality, at some point price is going to be a deciding factor in the customer's decision making thus driving your price down, i'm guessing after your all done patting each other on the butt and telling each other about your high quality, you will take 35 dollars for a 8k lawn if it means staying in business or going broke.......Just a thought.

:clapping: ding ding ding. Agree 100% :clapping:

sedge
11-21-2010, 11:39 PM
:clapping: WoW - 13k = $57.49 for me ;)

I now see why your application costs are 65% of your inputs.

lawnlandscape
11-21-2010, 11:42 PM
The $35 dollar lawn deal amuses me. What do you do if this price puts you bellow cost of doing the work? How long can you really operate before you destroy your company? If you have to cut your price just to stay in business and it's bellow cost, the going broke part is right around the corner.

Clearly no one is going to sell a service for less then what is costs to offer it.

lawnlandscape
11-21-2010, 11:44 PM
I now see why your application costs are 65% of your inputs.

:dancing: I'm on the high end of the scale in my area as well. :cry: I deal with tons of competitors that like to spread at 1/3 - 1/2 N per K. :hammerhead: Makes it very, very hard to compete the honest way :walking:

ted putnam
11-22-2010, 12:07 AM
:dancing: I'm on the high end of the scale in my area as well. :cry: I deal with tons of competitors that like to spread at 1/3 - 1/2 N per K. :hammerhead: Makes it very, very hard to compete the honest way :walking:

At 1/3 to 1/2lb N per K, your competitors either have to come out once a month and apply to keep them looking decent which means more than 5 apps per year or their lawns look like sh!t the last 3 weeks of each round. Those are the only 2 possible scenarios I see given what you're telling us. Poor turf quality one out of every 2 months should be a "no brainer" for customers who want a company that provides results. Less expensive but more frequent apps is a little tougher obstacle to overcome (but it can be done). It comes down to explaining to each prospective client that your 5 app program at $60/app is still cheaper than their 7 app program at $55/app and that their lawn will consistently look better due to your use of "proper" rates. For customers with half a brain that don't live in a bubble the choice is pretty obvious.

sedge
11-22-2010, 12:16 AM
:dancing: I'm on the high end of the scale in my area as well. :cry: I deal with tons of competitors that like to spread at 1/3 - 1/2 N per K. :hammerhead: Makes it very, very hard to compete the honest way :walking:

ouch!

What's your min? And how many sq ft does that include?

Maybe you posted it, but not going to re-read the entire thread.

sedge
11-22-2010, 12:18 AM
At 1/3 to 1/2lb N per K, your competitors either have to come out once a month and apply to keep them looking decent which means more than 5 apps per year or their lawns look like sh!t the last 3 weeks of each round. Those are the only 2 possible scenarios I see given what you're telling us. Poor turf quality one out of every 2 months should be a "no brainer" for customers who want a company that provides results. Less expensive but more frequent apps is a little tougher obstacle to overcome (but it can be done). It comes down to explaining to each prospective client that your 5 app program at $60/app is still cheaper than their 7 app program at $55/app and that their lawn will consistently look better due to your use of "proper" rates. For customers with half a brain that don't live in a bubble the choice is pretty obvious.

He is dealing with fescue, so there is a lot more forgiveness then with bermuda like we have to deal with, however, it makes us do more apps, which in turns makes us more money......:laugh:

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 12:23 AM
ouch!

What's your min? And how many sq ft does that include?

Maybe you posted it, but not going to re-read the entire thread.

Check out the very first post in this thread. However, I just mailed out a $29 per ap bid a few days ago for a 3k lawn.

Also, the lawns we service are mostly KGB grasses

timturf
11-22-2010, 12:28 AM
I've never had anybody question me giving them only 4 apps. Yet I've had many question the price of my service!

Most will take my service after talking to them. They usually have tried the others with poor results, and are beginning to learn that they need somebody at their property with extensive knowledge, using high quality products, working with the soil chemistry, instructing them on proper culture pratices, while continueing to enforce that we, the applicator, can't control much, like mother nature, or whoever is providing the proper culture pratices, I'm only controlling the nutrients applied and the very minimal pesticides being applied, since we are trying to be sensitive to the enviroment.

The client needs to understand that's it a home lawn, and will not be the quality of a up scale gc fairway. This is especially true if your growing turfgrass in the transition zone.

App dates:
mid march, pre emerge, ~ 30% win, spot broadleaf
mid june, 90% win
mid Aug, 90% win
mid oct, 30% win, spot broadleaf
~ 3lbsn/m/yr
= amounts of Ca and S, little if any Chlorine

Let the soil feed the turfgrass!

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 12:30 AM
At 1/3 to 1/2lb N per K, your competitors either have to come out once a month and apply to keep them looking decent which means more than 5 apps per year or their lawns look like sh!t the last 3 weeks of each round. Those are the only 2 possible scenarios I see given what you're telling us. Poor turf quality one out of every 2 months should be a "no brainer" for customers who want a company that provides results. Less expensive but more frequent apps is a little tougher obstacle to overcome (but it can be done). It comes down to explaining to each prospective client that your 5 app program at $60/app is still cheaper than their 7 app program at $55/app and that their lawn will consistently look better due to your use of "proper" rates. For customers with half a brain that don't live in a bubble the choice is pretty obvious.

This is where the problem comes in. I don't have the time anymore to sit and explain why we do our program the way we do and why we are priced higher per application to hundreds of potential clients every single year. My competitors lawns don't look crappy, but don't look like the best lawns in the neighborhood either.

I also don't EVER like to knock other company's when speaking with prospective customers. I just have a huge thing against that.. plus, I think it would make me look worse then which ever company I am talking about.

Once again, my company has only a 95% return rate year to year on our lawn fertilization/weed control customers, so we are clearly doing something right to keep them once we got them.

I do like the idea of being on a customers yard once a month though. Then if their are insect problems, or any other problems we can catch them.

ted putnam
11-22-2010, 12:31 AM
He is dealing with fescue, so there is a lot more forgiveness then with bermuda like we have to deal with, however, it makes us do more apps, which in turns makes us more money......:laugh:

I suppose you're right. There is no "forgiveness" for poor,inconsistent results around here and at 1/3 to 1/2 lb N per K , that's all I would get with my 6 app program. I also looked at a couple of very old price sheets I have "obtained" through the years. His rate for a 9k lawn was the going rate around here about 15 yrs ago.

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 12:33 AM
His rate for a 9k lawn was the going rate around here about 15 yrs ago.

Well.. Thats comforting. lol

timturf
11-22-2010, 12:34 AM
He is dealing with fescue, so there is a lot more forgiveness then with bermuda like we have to deal with, however, it makes us do more apps, which in turns makes us more money......:laugh:

Here in the transition zone, much more forgiveness with common bermundagrass. If my clients would except bermunda, I would only make two applications, instead, I find I'm making 4 app to kill that da---- bermunda!

ted putnam
11-22-2010, 12:54 AM
This is where the problem comes in. I don't have the time anymore to sit and explain why we do our program the way we do and why we are priced higher per application to hundreds of potential clients every single year. My competitors lawns don't look crappy, but don't look like the best lawns in the neighborhood either.

I also don't EVER like to knock other company's when speaking with prospective customers. I just have a huge thing against that.. plus, I think it would make me look worse then which ever company I am talking about.

Once again, my company has only a 95% return rate year to year on our lawn fertilization/weed control customers, so we are clearly doing something right to keep them once we got them.

I do like the idea of being on a customers yard once a month though. Then if their are insect problems, or any other problems we can catch them.

I am not specific with names of competitors in conversations with prospects either but I do not have a problem with pointing out differences especially when it comes to quality and costs.

If you have a 95% retention rate then WHY are you wanting to change? Is it strictly for market share? I would much rather have 400 customers I made 150K off of than 600 customers I made 200k from. If you are losing customers each year, then I agree, something has to be done. If you are looking to change your program so you can lower your price so you can get the "Lions" share of the new sales in the spring, then I feel for you. I don't need busy work that bad and I can get a sun tan at the lake sipping brews. I would stick with quality and not worry so much about quantity as long as you are growing each year.

fl-landscapes
11-22-2010, 07:56 AM
This is where the problem comes in. I don't have the time anymore to sit and explain why we do our program the way we do and why we are priced higher per application to hundreds of potential clients every single year. My competitors lawns don't look crappy, but don't look like the best lawns in the neighborhood either.

I also don't EVER like to knock other company's when speaking with prospective customers. I just have a huge thing against that.. plus, I think it would make me look worse then which ever company I am talking about.

Once again, my company has only a 95% return rate year to year on our lawn fertilization/weed control customers, so we are clearly doing something right to keep them once we got them.

I do like the idea of being on a customers yard once a month though. Then if their are insect problems, or any other problems we can catch them.

But you have time to go out and do an extra app???

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 08:23 AM
I am not specific with names of competitors in conversations with prospects either but I do not have a problem with pointing out differences especially when it comes to quality and costs.

If you have a 95% retention rate then WHY are you wanting to change? Is it strictly for market share? I would much rather have 400 customers I made 150K off of than 600 customers I made 200k from. If you are losing customers each year, then I agree, something has to be done. If you are looking to change your program so you can lower your price so you can get the "Lions" share of the new sales in the spring, then I feel for you. I don't need busy work that bad and I can get a sun tan at the lake sipping brews. I would stick with quality and not worry so much about quantity as long as you are growing each year.

I am holding on to my customers, but I'm just not picking up new ones like we use to. Also, the % of my proposals I send out that are getting signed is about 25%! Thats terrible compaired to what we use to be at. I always try to ask people why they decided not to go with us. Biggest complaint: Per ap price to much higher then others (even if we are offering less appliciations. Customers feel that more applicatoins = more product = greener/more weed free yard. Also, with the example you give. I would take the 600 customers and 200k over 400 customers and 150k.

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 08:24 AM
But you have time to go out and do an extra app???

Its called employees. :usflag:

fl-landscapes
11-22-2010, 08:28 AM
Its called employees. :usflag:

even worse in my opinion, sending employees out to do an unnecessary application as opposed to explaining why your current program is what it is and why. But like I have said all along, to each his own, its your company.

ted putnam
11-22-2010, 08:46 AM
I am holding on to my customers, but I'm just not picking up new ones like we use to. Also, the % of my proposals I send out that are getting signed is about 25%! Thats terrible compaired to what we use to be at. I always try to ask people why they decided not to go with us. Biggest complaint: Per ap price to much higher then others (even if we are offering less appliciations. Customers feel that more applicatoins = more product = greener/more weed free yard. Also, with the example you give. I would take the 600 customers and 200k over 400 customers and 150k.

I have not and will not ever understand that "mentality".But hey, when you've got employees doing most if not all of the work, it doesn't really matter if the business is working harder for less money. right?

rcreech
11-22-2010, 08:49 AM
I am holding on to my customers, but I'm just not picking up new ones like we use to. Also, the % of my proposals I send out that are getting signed is about 25%! Thats terrible compaired to what we use to be at. I always try to ask people why they decided not to go with us. Biggest complaint: Per ap price to much higher then others (even if we are offering less appliciations. Customers feel that more applicatoins = more product = greener/more weed free yard. Also, with the example you give. I would take the 600 customers and 200k over 400 customers and 150k.

1) Educate your customers - More apps doesn't = a green lawn
2) You only have to talk to new customers about why you are different - it doesn't take long and it is called CLOSING THE SALE
3) You are retaining customers but not getting many new ones = sound like your customers don't see value in what you are doing or you would be getting referrals from them and not having to sell as hard
4) If you have good employees...let them sell for you and reward them! I am and it is working great
5) I agree with fllandscapes - It will be cheaper to educate them, them add an additional application

When you first started on Lawn Site I thought you were some big business man when you were calling us all down and telling us we didn't have a clue.
Now you are questioning your pricing and your program and act like you don't know whats going on!

I am confused!
:dizzy:
:)

rcreech
11-22-2010, 08:53 AM
[/B]

I have not and will not ever understand that "mentality".But hey, when you've got employees doing most if not all of the work, it doesn't really matter if the business is working harder for less money. right?

I want the least amount of customers to make the most amount of profit possible.

If I could make a great living off 20 customers that would be great!
:)

TLS
11-22-2010, 10:29 AM
I want the least amount of customers to make the most amount of profit possible.

If I could make a great living off 20 customers that would be great!
:)

I do!
Posted via Mobile Device

starry night
11-22-2010, 10:46 AM
I do!
Posted via Mobile Device

You've got some of those upper-crust Philadelphians with palatial estates.
Right?

rcreech
11-22-2010, 10:57 AM
I do!
Posted via Mobile Device

You are probably full service!
We ONLY offer lawn health solutions such as fertilization, weed control etc.

Our avg res customer only spends $450-500 per year with us.

That wouldn't go very far with 20 customers!
:)

fl-landscapes
11-22-2010, 11:13 AM
1) Educate your customers - More apps doesn't = a green lawn
2) You only have to talk to new customers about why you are different - it doesn't take long and it is called CLOSING THE SALE
3) You are retaining customers but not getting many new ones = sound like your customers don't see value in what you are doing or you would be getting referrals from them and not having to sell as hard
4) If you have good employees...let them sell for you and reward them! I am and it is working great
5) I agree with fllandscapes - It will be cheaper to educate them, them add an additional application

When you first started on Lawn Site I thought you were some big business man when you were calling us all down and telling us we didn't have a clue.
Now you are questioning your pricing and your program and act like you don't know whats going on!

I am confused!
:dizzy:
:)

Agreed! Looks like he came in asking a question but didnt want the answer.

Ric
11-22-2010, 11:31 AM
You've got some of those upper-crust Philadelphians with palatial estates.
Right?

Dirt

They are called Main Liners because they live along the the Main Line of the RR. The White Horse Fencing cost twice what a normal working class man's house cost let alone the House and Grounds. But these are the same people who come for social season in Boca Grande each year. Some of them have Million dollar condos that are only used once a year for two weeks like a time share only they sit vacant the rest of the year when they are in Palm Beach for that social season etc. A much different life style than we are used to.

rcreech
11-22-2010, 11:37 AM
Dirt

They are called Main Liners because they live along the the Main Line of the RR. The White Horse Fencing cost twice what a normal working class man's house cost let alone the House and Grounds. But these are the same people who come for social season in Boca Grande each year. Some of them have Million dollar condos that are only used once a year for two weeks like a time share only they sit vacant the rest of the year when they are in Palm Beach for that social season etc. A much different life style than we are used to.

Most of them are retired LCO's from Florida!

Ric is just telling spilling his guts to us and his hidden lifestyle!

:laugh:

rcreech
11-22-2010, 12:00 PM
Here is a true story that happened this spring.

I do a 4.5 acre lawn in a very upscale neighborhood and mostly half to 1 million dollar homes. His lawn is awesome and his neighbor wanted an estimate on his lawn that was just over 5 acres.

When I gave him his bid in 2009 I was $600 higher for the year.

His lawn looked good but not great and he was NOT happy with his current provider. He had clover even after the dude re-sprayed....LOL!

When I gave him his estimate he flipped out but I told him how we did business and he was very impressed but didn't want to make the jump in price. I told him if he ever needed anything to give me a call.

Spring 2010...phone rings and it was him!

He prepaid for the whole year and I just talked to him about a month ago and he LOVES his lawn and we even had a strange growing season.

He has since added aeration and we did some slice seeding for him where he had some thin turf issues.

This is a prime example of a client paying more and getting more!

Plus it is sweet to have 9.5 acres in two lawns, side by side!

That doesn't happen very often.

:)

SELL VALUE...NOT PRICE!!!!

tlg
11-22-2010, 12:29 PM
Clearly no one is going to sell a service for less then what is costs to offer it.

So you would agree that there is a point when you simply can't compete on price alone? All the debate started here about being in the " ballpark " on pricing and minimum price. My argument here has been that nobody competes on price alone. There is a point where you can't lower your price per application anymore and still make money. The cost of doing business is what it is. Different for each of us I might add. There has been discussion here about being in the "ballpark ". What I 'm saying is you need just to play the game not just be there. If your largest competitor dropped his prices next season well below your cost per app. Leaving you no way to match it or be in the " ballpark " what are you going to do? As you said " no one is going to sell a service for less than what it cost to offer it". This is what I was trying to get you to see. If you are having problems getting new customers maybe it's time to step back and really look at your business from top to bottom. Maybe your price per app is not the problem.

If you don't like what I'm saying no problem. My advice is free. Debating differing opinions and having an open discussion is what makes this site interesting. I'm only trying to help.

rcreech
11-22-2010, 12:34 PM
So you would agree that there is a point when you simply can't compete on price alone? All the debate started here about being in the " ballpark " on pricing and minimum price. My argument here has been that nobody competes on price alone. There is a point where you can't lower your price per application anymore and still make money. The cost of doing business is what it is. Different for each of us I might add. There has been discussion here about being in the "ballpark ". What I 'm saying is you need just to play the game not just be there. If your largest competitor dropped his prices next season well below your cost per app. Leaving you no way to match it or be in the " ballpark " what are you going to do? As you said " no one is going to sell a service for less than what it cost to offer it". This is what I was trying to get you to see. If you are having problems getting new customers maybe it's time to step back and really look at your business from top to bottom. Maybe your price per app is not the problem.

If you don't like what I'm saying no problem. My advice is free. Debating differing opinions and having an open discussion is what makes this site interesting. I'm only trying to help.

WOW!!!

That is powerful stuff!

Pretty much what we have been saying all along...but this one really hit me!

Great post!

rcreech
11-22-2010, 12:38 PM
If you are having problems getting new customers maybe it's time to step back and really look at your business from top to bottom. Maybe your price per app is not the problem.
.

This point is what I was trying to make in one of my last posts!

If one is not able to grow their business (or their customers through referrals) then you are not doing a good job IMO!

The best thank you, you can get from a customer is a referral. My business is growing only due to my customers as we do very little marketing.

It is by far the best and cheapest way to get an awesome customer!


lawnlandcape,

You talk out of both sides of you mouth (again and again). You said you have a retention rate of 95% yet you can't get any new business.

Then in another post you said you grow 300% every year.

Make up your mind...and how many customers do you really have.

There is a big difference in % going from 1 to 2 or from 100 to 200!

I take it if you are not picking up many customers and yet you are growing 300% you must not have many!

That would also EXPLAIN your very high input costs due to buying low volume.

Don't know...just guessing!~ :)

Can you please explain?????

starry night
11-22-2010, 12:57 PM
Dirt

They are called Main Liners because they live along the the Main Line of the RR. The White Horse Fencing cost twice what a normal working class man's house cost let alone the House and Grounds. But these are the same people who come for social season in Boca Grande each year. Some of them have Million dollar condos that are only used once a year for two weeks like a time share only they sit vacant the rest of the year when they are in Palm Beach for that social season etc. A much different life style than we are used to.

Thanks Ric. I was trying to remember that term Main Liners but I couldn't quite pull it out. Sure would like to have some of those accounts myself.

Ric
11-22-2010, 03:58 PM
Thanks Ric. I was trying to remember that term Main Liners but I couldn't quite pull it out. Sure would like to have some of those accounts myself.

Dirt

Well over 50 years ago as a kid, My church group had an exchange visit with Kids from Bryn Mawr on the Main Line. They came and visited us first and we never realized how rich these kids were. My family had a up scale house 2 bathroom 4 bedroom house so I didn't think we were poor until the Return visit. WOW I will never forget the house had 3 sets of stairs to all 4 floors. Each bedroom had a private bath which was unheard of in the average mid 1950's home. The 4th Floor was the Ball Room complete with a Soda Fountain and Bar. The basement was a play room complete with Billiard table etc etc. The Garage had a grease pit and two separate maids quarters above complete with there own kitchen. The house was build in the 1920's but was completely modern for the 1950's. That was my only trip to Philly, but I never forgot it.

TLS
11-22-2010, 04:15 PM
Ahhh yes.

The Main Line.

No, I don't have one property in that area.

But the counties (Chester & Montgomery) that the Main Line encompasses are shared with my service area.

Some of the houses in these areas (and other areas nearby) are quite amazing. I have a few REAL nice accounts, but most are modest upper middle class homes situated on 3/4 - 5 acre lots.

I am no where near "FULL" service, but do Full Service lawn treatments, lawn mowing, and Snow and Ice control. I'm comfortable swinging in the $3K to $12K range yearly per account. I make more snowplowing than I do both mowing and turf treatments combined.

Ric
11-22-2010, 06:01 PM
Ahhh yes.

The Main Line.

No, I don't have one property in that area.

But the counties (Chester & Montgomery) that the Main Line encompasses are shared with my service area.

Some of the houses in these areas (and other areas nearby) are quite amazing. I have a few REAL nice accounts, but most are modest upper middle class homes situated on 3/4 - 5 acre lots.

I am no where near "FULL" service, but do Full Service lawn treatments, lawn mowing, and Snow and Ice control. I'm comfortable swinging in the $3K to $12K range yearly per account. I make more snowplowing than I do both mowing and turf treatments combined.


TLS

Been there and done that in Boca Grande, the winter home of the Duponts, Rockfellers and Vanderbilt families just to drop a few names. Some of these People are People and pay the freight and treat you like a Peer. However most only inherited their money and only know how to keep it by being cheap with the help. What really gets me is they beat up on the Maid or Yard Boy and then celebrate with a bottle of Champagne that cost more than they saved in a years time.

I fell for the """"Do My place Cheap and I will get you all kinds of work and tell my friends I am paying you big money""" Of course the SOB goes to two parties that night bragging how cheap he got service.

Bottom Line:: Big money isn't always the best business. You might charge more, But you end up giving more and the bottom line is not all that great.

tlg
11-22-2010, 06:12 PM
[QUOTE=rcreech;3799158]This point is what I was trying to make in one of my last posts!

If one is not able to grow their business (or their customers through referrals) then you are not doing a good job IMO!

The best thank you, you can get from a customer is a referral. My business is growing only due to my customers as we do very little marketing.

It is by far the best and cheapest way to get an awesome customer!


Customer referrals built my business. It's human nature for people to want to share a good experience or try to help a neighbor or relative that's having a negative experience with their current lawn care company. By the same token don't ever get them angry. They will shout it from the roof tops. Again this is why customer service is so important to retain and get new accounts.

rcreech
11-22-2010, 06:22 PM
Customer referrals built my business. It's human nature for people to want to share a good experience or try to help a neighbor or relative that's having a negative experience with their current lawn care company. By the same token don't ever get them angry. They will shout it from the roof tops. Again this is why customer service is so important to retain and get new accounts.



Very true...but I think if one person was dissatisfied, it wouldn't put a nail in the coffin.

Now if you pissed of 10, 20 or 100 yes!

You will always have a few people that are disgruntled for some reason as some are just hard to please but we must go out of our way to make it right.

I have had customers very upset with me...and by the time I left although I am sure they were still mad I settled them down.

What we do is a science and there are things we can't control. Be HONEST and it all works out in the end.

As long as you are honest and not screwing people you are good to go in almost any business!

Simple as that!
:)

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 06:37 PM
[/B]

I have not and will not ever understand that "mentality".But hey, when you've got employees doing most if not all of the work, it doesn't really matter if the business is working harder for less money. right?

Yes, to a certain extent. Obviously I put in nearly double the hours that any of my employees put in during the busy seasons, but very little of my hours are billable hours.

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 06:41 PM
1) Educate your customers - More apps doesn't = a green lawn
2) You only have to talk to new customers about why you are different - it doesn't take long and it is called CLOSING THE SALE
3) You are retaining customers but not getting many new ones = sound like your customers don't see value in what you are doing or you would be getting referrals from them and not having to sell as hard
4) If you have good employees...let them sell for you and reward them! I am and it is working great
5) I agree with fllandscapes - It will be cheaper to educate them, them add an additional application

When you first started on Lawn Site I thought you were some big business man when you were calling us all down and telling us we didn't have a clue.
Now you are questioning your pricing and your program and act like you don't know whats going on!

I am confused!
:dizzy:
:)

I think every good business owner questions certain aspects of his business on a regular basis. I think that is the very thing that creates innovation. I hate when people do things because its 'the way it was always done'.

Clearly my customers see value in what I am doing, or I would not have a 95% return rate. I also never said I'm not picking up many new customers, I said I'm not picking them up like I use to.

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 06:44 PM
Agreed! Looks like he came in asking a question but didnt want the answer.

I was looking for an answer, but not personal insults.

mowZ06
11-22-2010, 06:56 PM
My saying here is QUALITY WINS OVER QUANITY in a service oriented business. 20 years ago when I started I advertised for about a year or 2. Since then it has been all word of mouth.

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 06:57 PM
So you would agree that there is a point when you simply can't compete on price alone? All the debate started here about being in the " ballpark " on pricing and minimum price. My argument here has been that nobody competes on price alone. There is a point where you can't lower your price per application anymore and still make money. The cost of doing business is what it is. Different for each of us I might add. There has been discussion here about being in the "ballpark ". What I 'm saying is you need just to play the game not just be there. If your largest competitor dropped his prices next season well below your cost per app. Leaving you no way to match it or be in the " ballpark " what are you going to do? As you said " no one is going to sell a service for less than what it cost to offer it". This is what I was trying to get you to see. If you are having problems getting new customers maybe it's time to step back and really look at your business from top to bottom. Maybe your price per app is not the problem.

If you don't like what I'm saying no problem. My advice is free. Debating differing opinions and having an open discussion is what makes this site interesting. I'm only trying to help.

TLG - If it came across that I was saying that I need to be the lowest price, let me say now that is not what I was trying to say. If my largest competitor lowered his price to where I could not even be in the ballpark and make money, then hes cheating his customers or my expenses are to high. I just don't think when my price is $47 for a smaller lawn and his is $32, that is NOT in the ball park in my opinion. Would I consider lowering my prices if I saw these prices on one, two or even 10 lawns... no. But when I start to see prices like this flying around over 50-100 lawns, that's when I start thinking... (which was the reason for this thread).

I 'step back' and look at my business everyday. Our lawn fert/weed control program is still growing every year, so I'm not tremendously worried about it. It just bothers me that we are not picking them up like we use to. We are the only company around here (that I know of) that actually apply at recommended rates, so I don't know of any other problem. I do live in a smaller area and have a decent share of the market, and that's probably the main reason for the growth in this area slowing.

PS: I have no problem with what you are saying.

lawnlandscape
11-22-2010, 07:12 PM
This point is what I was trying to make in one of my last posts!

If one is not able to grow their business (or their customers through referrals) then you are not doing a good job IMO!

The best thank you, you can get from a customer is a referral. My business is growing only due to my customers as we do very little marketing.

It is by far the best and cheapest way to get an awesome customer!


lawnlandcape,

You talk out of both sides of you mouth (again and again). You said you have a retention rate of 95% yet you can't get any new business.

Then in another post you said you grow 300% every year.

Make up your mind...and how many customers do you really have.

There is a big difference in % going from 1 to 2 or from 100 to 200!

I take it if you are not picking up many customers and yet you are growing 300% you must not have many!

That would also EXPLAIN your very high input costs due to buying low volume.

Don't know...just guessing!~ :)

Can you please explain?????

Why do you feel a constant need to attempt to tear people down? For the life of me .. I just don't get it. I always assume the people are honest until they give me a reason to think differently. I think you should do the same. What reason would I have to sit here and make stuff up?? Its not like I'm sitting in my mothers basement doing this for entertainment.

Once again I never said I'm not picking up customers. I said I am not picking them up like I use to. Also, this thread is about my lawn fertilization/weed control program. My company has been growing by 300% over the last several years. We offer many other services then just the one this thread is about. Those included on the attached photo (which is from one of our company brochure's) are just a handful of them.

How many lawn fert/weed control customers I actually have is not important for the purpose of this thread. In case you havn't realized, I like to keep my anonymity on these boards for many reasons.

1) No customers to gain here
2) I like to talk about numbers and don't want to give them to my local competition
3) These are public boards and don't want my customers to read my business talking
..... there are many more reasons as well.

Based on how much product you have talked about ordering for a year I would estimate my lawn fertilization/weed control customer base is about 150% your size. I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop attacking me, as I am sick of justifying myself to you.

Talk to ya later, my mommy says its time for dinner. :dancing:

rcreech
11-23-2010, 07:34 AM
Why do you feel a constant need to attempt to tear people down? For the life of me .. I just don't get it. I always assume the people are honest until they give me a reason to think differently. I think you should do the same. What reason would I have to sit here and make stuff up?? Its not like I'm sitting in my mothers basement doing this for entertainment.

Once again I never said I'm not picking up customers. I said I am not picking them up like I use to. Also, this thread is about my lawn fertilization/weed control program. My company has been growing by 300% over the last several years. We offer many other services then just the one this thread is about. Those included on the attached photo (which is from one of our company brochure's) are just a handful of them.

How many lawn fert/weed control customers I actually have is not important for the purpose of this thread. In case you havn't realized, I like to keep my anonymity on these boards for many reasons.

1) No customers to gain here
2) I like to talk about numbers and don't want to give them to my local competition
3) These are public boards and don't want my customers to read my business talking
..... there are many more reasons as well.

Based on how much product you have talked about ordering for a year I would estimate my lawn fertilization/weed control customer base is about 150% your size. I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop attacking me, as I am sick of justifying myself to you.

Talk to ya later, my mommy says its time for dinner. :dancing:


As I stated earlier...I don't "tear people down"...I am calling you out!

I have been on here for a while and people know how I am. I may not have the best manners...but I will call a spade a spade and NOT blow smoke!

If I say anything...I CAN and WILL back it up!

I don't tolerate bull crap and I smell a lot of it when you are on here.

You came on here saying that I was a kid, wet behind the ears and that this site was't professional and many other things. That doesn't set well with me considering myself and many others have build very successful business's and friendships on here.

You act like you are the business GOD, then you are asking questions that I asked my first year in business! :dizzy:

I don't care what your profit margin is (now that I see you mow I that further explains your 2% margin), or what you do in your business...but if you are going to come on here and ask questions you need to be ready for the answers.

btw...that is the most generic marketing piece I have ever seen..maybe that is why your new sales are not going up. I can order 1000 of those right now from Real Green that look just like that! :)


End of story to me!

fl-landscapes
11-23-2010, 07:40 AM
I was looking for an answer, but not personal insults.

Oh my bad, I thought you were asking if you should add an application and reduce your per app price to compete with local competitors, and EVERYONE responded saying they thought it was a bad idea. I forget.......which way did you decide to go???

rcreech
11-23-2010, 08:00 AM
Based on how much product you have talked about ordering for a year I would estimate my lawn fertilization/weed control customer base is about 150% your size.


This is the dumbest comment I have ever heard!!!!!!

Are you serious?

You are linking the amount of fertilizer I order to the size of your customer base?

I go through over 110 ton of fert a year...and that could go on 100 lawns or 2000 lawns.

Prime example:
Americanlawn has 3000 accounts and he goes through 60 Ton of pre-emergent

This spring I will be well over 650 accounts and I will go though over 40 Ton of pre-emergent.

How are you linking volume to customer base?


And if you are going through more fert them I am...why is YOUR PRODUCT COST 65% of your total cost and mine on avg it less then 30%?

REMEMBER IT IS ABOUT PROFIT....NOT HOW MANY CUSTOMERS YOU HAVE!

This is where it doesn't add up man!!!!
:cool2:

fl-landscapes
11-23-2010, 08:11 AM
Hey RC.....you need to empty your PM box wont let me send you anything cause its full.........my advice to you on this one is to delete the thread (I should too), its consuming too much time and not worth it!

lawnlandscape
11-23-2010, 08:14 AM
This is the dumbest comment I have ever heard!!!!!!

Are you serious?

You are linking the amount of fertilizer I order to the size of your customer base?

I go through over 110 ton of fert a year...and that could go on 100 lawns or 2000 lawns.

Prime example:
Americanlawn has 3000 accounts and he goes through 60 Ton of pre-emergent

This spring I will be well over 650 accounts and I will go though over 40 Ton of pre-emergent.

How are you linking volume to customer base?


And if you are going through more fert them I am...why is YOUR PRODUCT COST 65% of your total cost and mine on avg it less then 30%?

REMEMBER IT IS ABOUT PROFIT....NOT HOW MANY CUSTOMERS YOU HAVE!

This is where it doesn't add up man!!!!
:cool2:

Obviously I meant I cover 150% of the area you do. I hope you don't act like this in your everyday life.

My product cost can only be a higher % then yours for 2 reasons:
1) I am applying it at a higher rate
2) I am doing more at each application. Whether that be a grub control, insectide, weed control, ect.

I really don't think this is rocket science.

lawnlandscape
11-23-2010, 08:17 AM
Hey RC.....you need to empty your PM box wont let me send you anything cause its full.........my advice to you on this one is to delete the thread (I should too), its consuming too much time and not worth it!

Tell me about it!