View Full Version : Working For Nothing.................

02-14-2004, 01:55 PM
..................Is exactly what this guy is doing. I read a newspaper ad yesterday and it said: "Will aerate any lawn for $30 and I will also include fertilizer to get your lawn a healthy start."

That it crazy! $30 to aerate any yard. It's thing like this that have our clients asking why our charges "seem" so steep. Of course my prices seem a lot higher than that guys. I would consider this guy a definite lowballer. What do you think?

02-14-2004, 02:02 PM
Im in fl, and not really sure what an aerator is, we dont do that here, but seems low to me. $30 for fertilizer seems low.

James Cormier
02-14-2004, 02:04 PM
Marketing, marketing, martketing.....their was a company in Texas (I think) that did the same thing, they did thousands of aerations iin the 2 years they ran that promotion, out of that I think I read they sold 1500 regular lawn customers.

Just look at it this way, a local fert company serveral years ago, spent 50k on direct mail in their first year, I think they finished that season with 1200 customers, cancel rate for this company was 10% and the avg. customer stays for 6 years.

So its just another way to market your company, if you dont have the capital up front but have the man power it may be a great way to get customers.

02-14-2004, 02:10 PM
I posted this recently in another thread. Their is an outfit in my area that does nothing but aeration. They charge 15 for the front yard and 25 front and back. The blanket neighborhoods and hang little yellow flyers from outdoor light fixtures next to the garage. The flyers state which date they will be in the area. If you are interested, you check the appropriate box and leave a check for the amount. The customer never has to make a phone call or talk to a person. They get a ton of work.

Kelly & Sons
02-14-2004, 02:13 PM
$30 ???

I charge about $100 - $150 for Aeration & Fertilization...

Kelly & Sons
02-14-2004, 02:15 PM
I wonder how good a job these people do... My price includes:

1)Flagging the sprinkler system
4)Blowing off driveways & sidewalks.

02-14-2004, 02:17 PM
I charge $10 per 1000 sq.ft. for aeration and typically around $45 per 1000 sq.ft. for an overseed operation. So unless they had a lawn around 3000 sq.ft., it would be the only way I would charge $30.

02-14-2004, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Kelly & Sons
I wonder how good a job these people do... My price includes:

1)Flagging the sprinkler system
4)Blowing off driveways & sidewalks.

This is a perfect example of getting what you pay for. With the outfit I described, you get none of that, just a basic aeration and I've always wondered how the don't damage irrigation heads? At the price they charge, they probably don't even worry about it.

02-14-2004, 03:01 PM
Line up 20 aerate and fert jobs charge accordingly then sub them all out to this guy and make 3 times as much as him for doing nothing.

02-15-2004, 02:06 PM
I think it could be done if he is using a crew of illegals. He could be paying between 5.00 and 6.00 an hour. Otherwise, the price looks to good to be true. I personally would never do it for that. There are a lot easier jobs out there.

02-15-2004, 02:16 PM
I like promowers idea. Got me to thinking.

James Cormier
02-16-2004, 06:16 AM
You guys missed the point, there not making money on the aeration, they know that, there trying to get customers for the long haul. Ya gotta spend some to make some, some guys drop alot of money on adv. some dont.

Our min for aeration is 125, but once we offered free aeration to a intire street,I had one guy spend a intire day doing that,that was 8 years ago and we have 16 lawns out of the 22 aerations we did,and 12 plow customers, all because we aerated there lawn for free.

Quick math is 16x$512(avg for year)fert only =$8100.00per yearx8years=$65,000 in sales. So that one day of aeration has brought my company 65,000 in sales so far. NOt counting my plow money.

02-16-2004, 11:14 AM
james how do you figure your going to keep these customers for 8 years?


02-16-2004, 11:33 AM
LawnsRUsInc., read his thread a little closer, he said he did this eight years ago and still has these customers.

02-16-2004, 12:22 PM
This is known as a loss leader , it can be very effective. Once you have a customers trust and appreciation it is easier to sell them your complete line of services, you are already in the door.
WalMart is a prime example they offer an item at less than cost and place it in the rear of the store , my wife goes to buy it and fills the shopping cart by the time she gets to the cash register.

One has to look at the value of a customer over the long term.

I have a friend who has an oil company , he will give any customer a free heating oil tank installed and haul away the old one. ( it cost him about 400.00 total materials and labor) But the customer has to sign a contract to purchace a minimum amount of heating oil and a furnace service policy for the next 5 years . Now he has created an assett for his business (One that can be sold )and he recovers his up front cost for the tank in less than 6 months. The plus is that the customer is committed to him for 5 years with an automatic renewal of 2 years after that. If the customer moves or cancels service there is a steep cancelation fee .

Loss leaders are a great sales tool and if properly structured and executed can increase your customer base and your bottom line

02-16-2004, 02:07 PM
It could be a great marketing idea. Get in the door, which is the hardest part.