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View Full Version : Rant: Scabs and Lowballers


Mack77
04-01-2011, 02:49 PM
I run a very small, but LEGITIMATE company. I'm fully insured, licensed, pay state income taxes, worker's compensation, etc, etc. A few of my $70/week customers have called me up saying they have offers to cut their lawns at $40 from other LCO's. When I first started 8 years ago, these very properties were $60 weekly lawn mowing properties! How do shave off 30% from 8 years ago!?

This year, my insurance premiums are increasing, my one employee deserves a raise for good service, fuel prices are increasing...how are we supposed to keep our heads above water when we're constantly getting cut down at the knees by these illegal lowballers?

I know this must be the 100000000000x post about this crap, but had to vent.

tlc1994
04-01-2011, 03:18 PM
Let me ask: do you know to a certainty that these guys aren't legit? They could just be very poor businessmen; in that case, they won't be around long. But if they aren't legit, your customer is still entitled to their decision, no matter how poor of judgement it is. Hopefully your customers have enough loyalty to stick with you and realize what they would be losing quality service and reliability, just to save some money. If worst comes to worst, and a customer wants to let you go, I would tell your customers (politely) to ask the new guys if they are licensed and insured- in case they damage any property, and if the guys answer "no", then at least your customers will see the mess they are about to get into. That is what I would personally do.

Mark Oomkes
04-01-2011, 03:23 PM
Capitalism and free market.

Same way WallyWorld has ruined retail pricing. Get used to it.

tlc1994
04-01-2011, 05:06 PM
Capitalism and free market.

Same way WallyWorld has ruined retail pricing. Get used to it.

^That pretty much sums it up. :usflag:

Mack77
04-01-2011, 06:24 PM
Na they're not legal. My customer asked them and they are uninsured and not a "company". He is debating the decision because going with this illegal company could save some $$$.

Mark Oomkes
04-01-2011, 07:18 PM
He is debating the decision because going with this illegal company could save some $$$.

Once again, thanks to WallyWorld and cheap mentality.

vencops
04-01-2011, 10:08 PM
I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong (and I am licensed and insured). But, let me ask you something.....

In all your years of mowing grass......how many things have you damaged that cost more than a few minutes time and/or <$50? I'm always curious.

$80/mos. savings is nothing to sneeze at. And, I'm betting most guys who mow grass for $40/yd. are making a profit.

Good luck.

DeereHauler
04-03-2011, 01:03 AM
it will never change. Position yourself to do something not every tom, dick, and john can do. We offer mowing in a maintenance package and we no longer go looking for just mowing jobs. We offer light excavation, hardscapes, and landscapes to avoid the low balling of the mowing world. Yes every field of work has low ballers, but mowing is the worst. Look around this site, it has how many members? Most of which mow grass, or just started.

JFGauvreau
04-03-2011, 08:49 AM
This is why I mainly don't cut grass as a primary service for my business:

1.- Low profit
2.- To much trouble with customers
3.- To much competition
4.- Any customers would change company any day just to save 5$, even if the other company 5$ more was way better and more professional. If they can save 5$ they will. (At least in my area it's like that)

DeereHauler
04-03-2011, 10:24 AM
This is why I mainly don't cut grass as a primary service for my business:

1.- Low profit
2.- To much trouble with customers
3.- To much competition
4.- Any customers would change company any day just to save 5$, even if the other company 5$ more was way better and more professional. If they can save 5$ they will. (At least in my area it's like that)

taa daa. exactly

Lovingreen
04-04-2011, 09:23 AM
We all fight this every day. I try to set myself apart, but with such a low barrier to entry and most clients that dont really put alot of value in "legitimate" or higher quality, Its always going to be a fight. Some days I want to throw my hands up and walk away, but I love it and keep at it.

With that said, if I can't at the very least maintain my current profit margin (which has diminished substantailly) over the next year or two, my business will be swallowed by the highest bidder and I'll move on.

wbw
04-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Your licensing and insurance are of virtually no value to your residential customer. They protect you. I have homeowners insurance to protect me. I could hire the neighbor kid and I am covered. I just want my lawn mowed. If I liked you I would pay a slight premium to do business with you. A slight premium.

DeereHauler
04-04-2011, 08:23 PM
I'm sure we could complain about this until we're blue in the face. If you're mowing $20 lawns, or building $50,000 patios, theres gonna be one somewhere. Look back at your business since you started, how many have come and gone? Hundreds? So yeah, it frustrates us to no end, but if we hang in there thats all thats important.