View Full Version : Something to think about....
09-01-2004, 10:44 PM
I read alot on here about what everyone uses for equipment, how long to use it for, how much money people can or cannot put in their pocket, etc.
I read on an earlier post that people, probably 2-1, more or less run their equipment into the ground, rather than sell it off every 2-3 years, hours dependant.
What's the number one selling point that we have as lawn care operators?
Basically, what's the ONLY selling point that we have as lawn care operators?
It's my opinion, that you're better off buying new equipment, every 2-3 years, rather than running equipment into the ground, putting 2-3000 hours on something.
I do only mid-sized commercial properties, ranging from gas stations and smaller strip mall properties to Wal-Marts and parks for the local township.
It's MY opinion, mostly because I've been told this from new clients over the years, that the reason they tracked me down was because I was using new equipment, not run-down-beat-up-can't-mow-your-yard-this-week-because-my-mower's-in-the-shop equipment.
I believe that not only is the job that you've completed your "calling card", but so is the equipment that you're using, sitting on the trailer, while you're eating at BK, or filling up with gas, driving down the freeway, whatever.
Why else do we have lettering on our trucks, sometimes trailers?
To stand apart from everyone else.
I guess the point of this post is for some of you that might put a little more money in your pocket and try to get by with some older equipment, you might want to try investing in your own business and see the results that it may bring you.
09-01-2004, 10:45 PM
09-01-2004, 10:53 PM
I have not got one new costomer over the years because I run new equipment. I get the jobs because of the quality of work.
09-01-2004, 10:55 PM
You do make a valid point, being your appearance reflexes your image. I agree with you that the equipment has a bit to do with that. I do run my mowers to the ground, but I save lots of money because I am a capable mechanic. I trust my 7 year old scag 52" wbjust as much (if not more) than my brand new Great Dane 48" wb. I do try to give them a new shiny paint job when I get a chance to, but they run great and just like my ol 75 jeep cj -5 (that I rebuilt frame up), I never get left stranded.
09-01-2004, 11:15 PM
I just got done doing my invoicing for September, and got to thinking about some other points that people can chew on.
Now remember, you have to try to get into someone else's head, not your own. You already know how you're running your own business and whether it's worth the work your doing for the money you're getting paid.
Here are some other points.
If you're running newer equipment, I find it's easier to sell to get a better pay. I pull up to a commercial property, I've got a 2003 Dodge 2500, pulling a 2003 Featherlite 24' V-Nose enclosed trailer, with a 2004 Kubota ZD-28, and a 2003 Ferris IS4000. Also in there is a 2004 PG Ultra and the usual hand tools, trimmers, etc.
I can SHOW a current client, or prospective client on the spot that I have all the tools necessary to maintain a property. I'm not talking about Curly, Larry, or Moe down the street, I'm talking about pulling into decent to higher end commercial accounts, even higher end residential accounts, although I don't do residential, and having the owner / manager looking out the window and thinking, wow, there's some money invested in his company.
That's what I sell, is my company.
You can't always sell your "quality of work", because the "quality of lawn" may not allow you to.
Like I said, I do some parks for the township here, but they don't have any money to invest in fertilizing, mostly because they don't have any way to water, and they believe it would just be a waste of money to fertilize sandy soil and not be able to water it when it's 80-100 out in the summer.
It's all image, the first time you pull up to a new account and present yourself you will be judged.
If you look professional, and can set yourself apart from the crowd, you'll be able to land the account that you want, for the money that you want, much easier.
09-01-2004, 11:17 PM
When I get work no one asks me how old my equipment is or how it looks. I love some of my old equipment and will never replace if I can help it. Commercial and large properties do ask though of the amount of equipment I have to handle a job and number of employees. I haven't even advertise for the past five years for work and people still keep calling. IMO the final job is all that matters and your personal proffesionalism with people. Even when I do buy something new it doesn't stay new for to long.
09-01-2004, 11:33 PM
I give my mowers a bath once a week, and a real good clean in the spring. My equipment looks used but then again it should since I use it eveyday.
09-02-2004, 12:39 AM
Ok, so if someone uses a mower that is older and maybe lost it labels and might need a new paint job that means they cant do a good job? Personally a client who hires a company because of new equipment is ignorant and I wouldnt want their business anyway. Even new equipment is not always the best. Plus I dont care if the equipment is 2 months old or 15 years. The equipment is only good if the operator knows how to use it.
Heres a little scenario to relate to: Can everybody sing? Yes. Is everybody good at singing? No
Can anyone cut a lawn? Yes. Can everyone make the yard look good? No.
The apperance of a freshly cut lawn and reliability of a Lawn Company to perform that in a professional and consistant manor is what makes a lawn company a good one.
09-02-2004, 12:41 AM
Yes and no. Plenty of construction going on around here and rarely do a see brand new, spit-shined and polished loaders, earthmovers, back hoes, etc. on the job site. This stuff is equipment, not show cars. It works hard under dirty conditions and gets beat up. Not to say you shouldn't take care of your equipment, keep it cleaned and well maintained but for what I pay for my bigger mowers, I'd certainly hope I get more than 2 or 3 years out of them.
I totally buy into the image thing, it's a biggy for me but there's a fine line between image and vanity.
09-02-2004, 06:36 AM
well, i will say that i think i lost a client this year because of my older truck and equipment. i was new in the area, and the other homes were serviced by lawn companies that have these big, red, shiny new trucks, and expensive mowers, and expensive enclosed trailers. thier rig cost them probably $70-$80,000. mine probably 5 grand. and we are cutting lawns for the same price.......;) . i think this client was more concerned with keeping up with the jonses as they say. but overall, i sell work based on my personality, my full set of teeth, my knowledge, and my ability to speak in complete sentences. passers by look at my product, not my mower. i've had this happen many times, "hi, i was driving by maple street, and saw you working, the property there always looks so nice, can you come and give me a price for mine.?" i've NEVER had this happen:" hi, my friend says you do a great job on her property, before you come by, can you tell me how old your mowers are, and when was the last time you washed them?" the fact of the matter is, there is a "cap" on what we can charge for our services. our competition created this cap, and will see to it that it's always there. my goal is keeping overhead to a minimum, profits to a maximum.
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