View Full Version : What Would You Do In This Situation?
06-11-2003, 02:05 AM
The other day after a good day I was unloading my trailer, when I notice this guy in a small jeep pulling up to my house. First he asked me if I lived here and then he asked me if I had a lawn service that did my lawn. He then added that he had some flyers he was passing out to get into the business of lawn care. I told him that I was in the business and that the equipment he was looking at was mine. I could have ran him off, but I offered him some advice on how he could get started. He seem like an alright guy. I did turned him on to account that I couldn't do. I also turned him on to this site. I wished him the best of Luck and shook his hand even. His name was Jim. So if you all see Jim from Munford / Atoka TN. area give some good advice. I just thought I would pass this on to you true professional's out there with a wide field of knowledge. This is a good site I sure have learn alot from it. So I ask again what would you all have done in this situation? GOD SPEED!!!!! :cool:
06-11-2003, 02:13 AM
You did good. :)
Most people would just walk away.
I talked to a dad about his 12 year old daughter getting into this. He was very polite and let me do the mowing for the house he was selling (he's a realtor) we talked aabout it for a while and then he was very pleased. :)
06-11-2003, 02:58 AM
You don't need advice, you did the correct thing. No sense in being negative or hostile toward the guy, he's going to work any area he can, if you blew him off, he'd just come back when you're not around.
06-11-2003, 06:23 AM
well corny as it may sound, I try to live by the Golden Rule...I often give accounts I dont want to a couple of guys I run into at the gas station or the equip dealer. In all things about my business I try to elevate what we do, how we handle ourselves and interact with customers and guys in our business. While the favors I do for other guys are rarely returned, we have built a reputation that is second to none....so good for you in helping this guy out a bit. Good deeds often pay rewards many times over...and besides, its just the right thing to do.
I'll never forget a couple years ago when I was knocking on doors to drum up new business when one of our largest operators here in this area was working a couple houses down the street.After he loaded his trailer, he walked over introduced himself and asked about the services we offer and our business practices. Said he was paring down his residential work(he's into big commercial/industrial with 4 crews) anf and would I be interested in certain ones that fit my route. Told him yes and over the next few months he sent 4 accounts my way. And have sent accounts his way that dont fit our business.To this day he'll blow his horn at us or stop by for a quick hello when able. After meeting this guy I told myself that he was a guy to pattern myself after. Sorry for the long post but so often we complain about the yahoos in our business that its nice to mention a positive experience with a peer in our business.
06-11-2003, 07:24 AM
You did a good deed,, I've been back in the LCO now for the second year and if I see a newbie out and about I'll try to stop and meet them. I still stop and ask the established LCO's questions and they are real civil to me, and I really appreciate it.. What goes around comes around..
06-11-2003, 09:57 AM
I've met some real good people much the same way. Some are even on here, now.;)
06-11-2003, 03:23 PM
frosty, congradulations, you just took the first step . you have given your direct competition the head start he needed to put you out of business, or at least lower your pay. not a very smart move in my opinion. "what would i have done?" hows this sound. "nice to meet you. we charge $12 for each lawn, and u have to bag and remove everything, its just part of the business. and you CAN apply herbicides, and grub treatments without a license, just as long as you buy it from home depot and not a proffesional supplyer. o, and you need some customers to get you started, i got some that would love to have you......". give me a break will ya guys. who in thier right mind teaches their direct competition how to run a business. are u guys running businesses, or is this just a hobby or something. more lawn services=lower fees=poverty. smarten up will ya
06-11-2003, 03:34 PM
You did the right thing Frosty. Typical response from bobbygedd. Always wanting to pick a fight and make life more difficult for himself. I am quite certain that his lack of professionalism he shows us on this site is even more evident in his workmanship. Not a lot of referral business, huh bobby.
Port City Lawncare
06-11-2003, 03:55 PM
I'd love to hear how assholio got started. Enlighten us!
06-11-2003, 04:28 PM
your opinion of me means nothing. i wonder if the kernal gave his secret recipe to roy rogers. i wonder if a master chef shares his recipies with competing resturaunts. you people are bizzarre. yea dude you did a very NICE thing, it warmed my heart to hear it. was it a good business move? nope
06-11-2003, 04:39 PM
by the way, you think its proffesional to teach your competition how to take work from you? u are dumber than i thought. u guys are pathetic, ok, listen to most of these guys and here is what u get: give extras for free, it keeps the customer happy. take all the **** they give u, heck, u must have no self respect, and if u cant cut grass, what else can u do? if it rains for 40 days, and 40 nights, dont charge extra, its not the customers fault it rained, so what if u cant make payroll and insurence payments, just get your wife to work a little o.t, u got her bustin her hump for bennies anyhow. pathetic! lets see, i must be doing something wrong: wife hasnt worked in 7 years, and never will again. has more rocks on her fingers and around her neck than my whole nieghborhood put together. bills are paid, cash in the bank, in my pocket, eat at the best resuraunts, 5 days a week if we feel like it. take expensive vacations, buy whatever we want, any time we want. and, unlike u folks, i dont need to work in the winter. so, what am i doing wrong? and dont call me an *******! fool!
Port City Lawncare
06-11-2003, 05:58 PM
how about taking all that loot and learning how to spell.
edit- also, am i reading your name correctly? bobby sans g e d ?
06-11-2003, 06:35 PM
Bobby, I'm starting to think you make posts like that just because you think it's what we expect of you. I don't buy that you really feel that way.
It cracks me up when people think their whole business can go down the drain from talking to one guy and giving him some advice.
I remember one clown on here got into it with me because I said I'd wear a Lawnsite shirt around my house. He said I'd be sorry when I lose my whole business to some unemployed neighbor that might see the shirt and decides to go into business for them self and goes around under cutting me. LOL!
What world are you guys living in? If you're business is set up in such a fragile way that ONE small time newbie can put you out of business, you have other problems to worry about.
There are several DOZEN legit and probably just as many non legit LCO's n my area. Giving advice or a lawn or two to some new guy is going to have ZERO effect on my business.
Now maybe if you live out in the sticks and there are hardly any homes around it might be different. But there are more homes around here then I can shake a stick at. More then enough work for all of us.
Frosty, you did the right thing.
06-11-2003, 06:42 PM
Bobby won't understand that last statement about ged. I honestly think bobbygedd is a disgruntled, former lco who lost his business due to his bizarre behavior, low morals, lack of business ethics, or any ethics for that matter, low quality of workmanship and lack of any professionalism that it takes in order to be successful.
Bobby are those rocks that your wife wears the ones that your 21" Murray kick up from the vacant lots that you mow occasionally?
Port City Lawncare
06-11-2003, 07:00 PM
I'm beginning to think all those rocks he speaks of are the ones he's smoking. Does anyone else have a hard time comprehending that jive he's talking?
06-11-2003, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
who in their right mind teaches their direct competition how to run a business.
So you'd rather they went around charging $12 a lawn and possibly taking a potential customer of yours away, instead of teaching them that they can charge $25 or more for that lawn. At least then you have more of a level playing field.
Now this is where you might say, "if I leave them to charge $12 a lawn, they won't be around long and will no longer be competition for me". True, BUT every customer they've come in contact with now has it in their head that $12 is the going rate. And when I show up and tell them it will be $30, their jaw drops and they say, "but the last guy was only charging me $12". Sure, the last guy did crappy work and stopped showing up in the middle of the season, but now I have to do the whole "educate the customer" thing.
I just don't see this business as the kind where someone can come along and "take over the market". And because of that, I'm not scared.
06-11-2003, 08:28 PM
"amazin"....just amazin'...as one of our members used to say. Frosty starts a positive thread.... a few of us comment favorably and then Joes Mow and Blow chimes in and down the dumper the intent of the thread goes. One would think that ignoring highly unprofessional and ignorant comments would be the most effective way to discourage more of the same........
06-11-2003, 11:09 PM
I posted this elsewheres but it bears repeating. Most of the other companies around my area are very unfriendly towards other lawn companies. I don't understand why. There is a large amount of work in my area, and no lack of demand for business. I always try to be nice, talk to the other guys, make friends. Many people act like you are their worst enemy. Whateva. No matter how big someone gets, they can't mow all the lawns in the county, and there will always be work. I'd rather be nice, make friends and network than go around treating other guys in my same business like dicks. I have made a few good friends with other companies, and we share equipment, give each other customer leads, help, whateva. And we are better off for it. When I see these guys that scowl at me and give me dirty looks because I mow lawns too, I gotta laugh. :D Life is too short to worry about what everyone else has and if they are doing better than you.
06-11-2003, 11:53 PM
Well I knew I would get some good respones and not so good respones, but I just wanted to see what you all had to say on the situation. I was always taught to treat others as I would want to be treated. I also was taught to help those who want to help themselves. Bobbyged I am gald for you that you have all those riches it sounds like money has not bought you happiness, but keep making it and buy all those rocks for you wife I am sure she really appreciate them. For me I would rather eat a bologna sandwich that has been sitting in my truck after I long day of cutting, but you know I don't have anything bad to say about anyone cause I know who and what I can accomplish. I have been around the lawn business all my life even as I made my first career in the Navy and believe me I have met souls like yours out there, but that's what make life all the better. I remember cutting grass when cutting wasn't cool, but look at this business now. If you do it right you can make a living and a very comfortable one at that as buy your own testimoney. I am gald for you Bobby keep up the good work. Maybe some day we might pass ships.
As for worry about someone taking my business I don't. This business we are in has come along way and just any other business it will bring all walks of life. So to everyone else KEEP THOSE BLADS TURNING AND ALWAY SHARE A SMILE AND A WAVE!!! GOD SPEED!!!! :cool:
06-12-2003, 12:05 AM
For the record ... I think that you did the right thing.
Also, for the record, I would have done the same thing.
Just because I teach someone how to do something doesn't mean that they can do it as well as I can do it nor does it mean that they can do it at all. But let's just say that they learn their lessons well and are my biggest competitor and that I loose customers to them left and right. Well, then, shame on ME for not taking my own lessons to heart and for not paying attention to my own business.
06-12-2003, 01:12 AM
bobby's the guy that gives you dirty looks when you wave at him from your LC rig
Bobby's just bitter because its been raining up in his neck of the woods for 40 days and 40 nights.
06-12-2003, 01:41 PM
In regards to bobbyged(less)
Yep, and here I thought the lawn care industry was without them, but I guess the old saying is true, in any group there is at least one *******.
06-12-2003, 11:19 PM
Hey welcome to the site. Where in Memphis are you? I'll see you around. :cool:
06-12-2003, 11:20 PM
Sorry about the spelling:cool:
06-13-2003, 02:46 AM
I had one competitor who would put up signs all over his neighborhood advertising $20 lawn care. He then ended up giving me lots of work which he either couldn't do or was too busy to do (and I don't think any of his jobs were in fact $20). I probably shouldn't have taken the jobs from this guy who got lots of work for false advertising, but I needed work so I did.
Well, next season, I started putting up my signs and this guy actually called me pissed off because I put signs where he had some of his or in "his" neighborhoods. He acted betrayed because he had "given" me work that he didn't want to do (and I know for a fact he made at least a little money on it as well). He now thought somehow he had a right to tell me not to put signs in "his" neighborhood. I had been doing lawns in that neighborhood for years before this guy ever came along, but that's not really the point: This guy was so worried about one competitor, a competitor who had less than 10 customers, in a city of over 1 milliion people, that he resorted to threatening me. This was so crazy I didn't know if I should take him seriously or not, and actually notified the police. It seemed he had mental problems to me, since he even thought it was worth his time to call me in the frist place! This guy's time would have been much better spent focusing on his own business, instead of worrying about me.
I've been in this business, at least part time, since I was 15, and I honestly would have given up long ago, except for the fact that I didn't finish my degree yet, and I still believe that I can build a good business eventually, despite my numerous setbacks. As difficult as it's been for me, I don't expect most of my new competition to last very long. Most new people don't realize how difficult it is to start and maintain a succesful business, and some helpful advice or even jobs from me is not going to make things that much easier for them. And I'm certainly glad for the advice and work that people have been generous enough to give me.
06-13-2003, 03:05 PM
wouldnt it be nice, if, when u pulled onto a street, there were not 5 other trucks on the same street? the bad thing: pull onto a street, there are 5 other trucks. the good thing: by sept, at least 3 of them will be gone. the worst thing: me teaching them, them teaching others, and by sept, there are 7 trucks on that street. educating your competition, is like shooting yourself in the foot, period! dont get me wrong, u fellas are very nice people, and god knows your hard work and dedication are very admirable, but the fact remains, teaching others is creating competition, which means less work and or lower pay. "give a man a fish, and he will eat today, teach a man to fish, and he will eat always." my advice: if you own a fishmarket, dont teach a man how to catch fish, teach him how to raise chickens!somehow, for some reason beyond my comprehension, you folks really believe that by creating your own competition, it wont cause your business any harm. there is plenty of work around, and hard work and dedication will keep your family fed, but wouldnt you like a little more than that? more competition will keep you from growing, and keep prices down. the answer, again, to the question:"did i do the RIGHT thing?", the answer NO! U DID NOT. did u do a NICE THING? yes, you did. personally , my business has taken a dramatic turn, in the right direction. im picking up new lawns at the rate of about 2 each week. and at my price, too. how is this happening? people see the nice work we do, and stop or write the number down from the side of the truck. i have, more than once or twice, had other lawn companies stop and ask , "how do u get it like that, etc, etc." i never give advice. id rather have thier customers than thier friendship. i dont get smart with them, id hate to have them start with me and me have to whoop thier *** over something stupid, but i usually say stuff like, "o, all we do is cut the lawn, she has another company do the fertilizing, i dont know what they are using." good luck to you all, hope it dries up soon, keep safe
Port City Lawncare
06-13-2003, 10:39 PM
you are just too freaking cool and about as insecure as anyone i've ever read a post from, no matter the subject, no matter what the forum.
you might have a great LCO operation, but one day you'll need some help from someone and they'll rip your head off and spit down your throat.
that, or someone might flatten you with a spatula and feed you to the cows. :dizzy:
06-13-2003, 10:58 PM
Port City,,,shame on you...now you made his day by letting him get under your skin
Port City Lawncare
06-13-2003, 11:05 PM
Not at all, I find him amusing at best. Someone once threatened to flatten me with a spatula and feed me to cows, I've always wanted to use that line on someone else. Besides, cows aren't carnivorous.
06-14-2003, 09:55 AM
i got news for ya kid, u r living in the land of make believe. 3 yrs ago, i needed emergency surgery. i was out of work for 3 months, couldnt even drive the trucks. i called several lawn companies around here, people i know or just wave to on the road, explained my sitruation and that i needed someone to keep up my lawns till im ready to work. offered to pay them the full amount the client was paying me on each property, all close, tight route. NOT ONE of these people would help me out. however, several of them offered to take on my customers on a permenent basis. i ended up losing about 40 % of my operation. so, if u want to be a sucker, go ahead, its a dog eat dog world, and we are all wearing milkbone shorts.
Port City Lawncare
06-14-2003, 10:17 AM
"NOT ONE of these people would help me out. "
With an attitude like yours who could blame them? If I were in your town you'd be the one person I'd target with low bids and free fungisides. :D
06-14-2003, 12:58 PM
now, is it really true? is forest gump really the smartest guy in alabama?
06-14-2003, 02:35 PM
bobby...I'm gonna have to disagree with you here on this one. A passing conversation in a parking lot or local convenience store is not going to enlighten one's competition to the point where it is going to put them out of business.
Now if he said he met the guy one evening, sat down and explained to him marketing, taxes, insurance, employees, advertising, equipment financing, how to trim, how to build a wall, the composition of fertilizer, how to get licensed, etc.... then maybe he would have been going a bit overboard.
I have learned over the years that other businesses similar to ours are more of an aid than a thorn in the side.
We pass to them what we don't want or can't do, and usually the same comes our way from them as well.
Now don't get mad at me bobby....
06-14-2003, 09:14 PM
I am sorry that 3 years ago you landed on your back and noboby would help you out. Man that must have been a real drag, but now you have soured from this and you are right in your mind that no one looks out for you inyour part of the country. Now I did say in your mind. I think there are good people everywhere and we are all trying to make a living, but you have it all Bobby you should be happy and not so sour as you sound in your post. I guess if you exspect that people will treat you unfair and it sounds like you had been treated unfair than that is your choice, as for me I will help out anyone who needs help and in turn it will help me be a better person. GOD SPEED!!!! :cool:
06-14-2003, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by Frosty_03
I was unloading my trailer, when I notice this guy in a small jeep pulling up to my house. First he asked me if I lived here and then he asked me if I had a lawn service that did my lawn.
Unloading your trailer & he asks if you need a lawn service & if you live there?
The guy is either a thief or a total idiot.
06-14-2003, 11:16 PM
Bobby is an ex postal worker....lmao.... But he does have a point. He just exagerated the point a little.
Yeah if ya spill your guts like Sean stated, then your invitin competition. But sayin "hi", and givin a lil advice, probably wont do much harm.
Bottom line is, If your good, noone can touch you no matter how much you tell em....Hell I could tell any lco to go under bid my accounts, and 95% will tell em "No Thanx":D
06-15-2003, 01:41 AM
mad, at you, mr. adams? certainly not. not mad at anyone. just stating what i believe to be the facts of life. yup, u r correct, i got "a sour taste." i dont know how people are where u guys live, but around here, folks are rude, nasty, and only out for them selves. one time i was out on my boat with my wife, a guy with his wife and two kids was broke down in the middle of the bay. hotter than hell that day, they were just stranded, roasting. the guy was practically begging people for a tow, they were just ignoring him. so i go over, throw him a line, and tow him (he is docked about 1.5 hrs away) i take him the whole way, and make sure he gets in safe. he offers me cash, i say no way. he tells me that they were stranded for 3 hrs before i came by, about 100 boats had passed, no one would help him. just in conversation, i tell him my last name. he looks me up, and sends me a thank you note, with a check. i never did cash it. but, my point is, around here, "decent" people are few and far between. im glad you guys are so nice and everything. hey, if i give u my p.o. box # can you guys lend me some cash? i took a beating on the belmont stakes....
06-16-2003, 05:40 AM
So your story indicates a good point:
If everybody just looked out for themselves and said basically said "Screw everybody else!", then when we all better hope we're never that guy in the boat, which is more than likely going to happen sooner or later, one way or another.
If I had been around when you needed surgery, I would have jumped at an offer of temporary service for 100% unless I was already working 10 hour days all week (which has only happened a few times). And I won't sit here and say that I'd do it just cause I'm a nice guy either. I could use the extra money. I've even called my competition looking for jobs they don't want or can't get to, and worked for less than 100%.
Sure, I'll admit there's no guarantee that if the tables were ever turned those people would help me, but you probably weren't thinking that when you helped the guy stranded in the boat, or I guess you would have left him there.
As far as making more competition for ourselves, I would think about it this way:
If you own a fishmarket, and you teach a guy to fish with a line, what are the chances he's going to build his own succesful fish market?
And if you're taking care of your customers and they don't go for the first guy who comes along and offers to do it for $5 less, why would it matter if 100 more of the same guys come by?
06-16-2003, 11:32 AM
You definitely did the right thing! I would gladly, and have helped LCO's in my area as they have helped me as well. It is wonderful to be friends with everyone you can no matter what you do. All the LCO's around here are very friendly. Everyone waves at each other going from job to job and occasionally we stop and talk or even eat lunch together.
I feel sorry for people who are mad at the world and are always scared someone is going to take something from them.
Here is some advice:
Live by the golden rule: Do unto others as you have them do unto you........
Life is GOOD in Tennessee!:D
Originally posted by bobbygedd
i dont know how people are where u guys live, but around here, folks are rude, nasty, and only out for them selves. one time i was out on my boat with my wife, a guy with his wife and two kids was broke down in the middle of the bay. hotter than hell that day, they were just stranded, roasting. the guy was practically begging people for a tow, they were just ignoring him. so i go over, throw him a line, and tow him (he is docked about 1.5 hrs away) i take him the whole way, and make sure he gets in safe. he offers me cash, i say no way. he tells me that they were stranded for 3 hrs before i came by, about 100 boats had passed, no one would help him.
Well, I guess you're not all that bad. Wow, the boaters around you must be jerks. Where I am, the first thing boaters do, and while they are running around, is keep an eye out for people who need help. Also, the people on the shore also watch the boats, and regularly call in about boats in distress.
Years ago, I remember when in class to get my boating safety certificate, the instructors constantly stressed the need to watch for other boaters in trouble, because one day it might be you.
It's too bad the other local LCOs didn't help out when you needed them. In my area most of the small operations help each other out. Although, I haven't had to test that help with a situation such as you were in, but I hope they'd help out.
06-16-2003, 12:47 PM
But, NJ is the most discruntled place on the planet.
I was probably in one of those 100 boats.LOL
You see alot of stupid moves every day.If i stopped to say something to everyone,or help them,i would get no sleep.
I think the guy was casing your place Frosty.Any how Good
Karma cant hurt:p
06-16-2003, 06:07 PM
QUOTE]NOT ONE of these people would help me out[/QUOTE]
06-16-2003, 08:01 PM
mh, why the "duh?"
06-20-2003, 12:31 AM
I know that deep down inside you are a good person cuase if you weren't you would be as blessed as you are. And you did the right thing to help a stranded boater out. My hat is tip to you for that. To everyone else that has read and gave their input I want to say thanks and GOD SPEED!!!. :cool: A live is good here in TN.:cool: :blob2: :D
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