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bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 12:53 PM
in the lawn service business, is the lack of consistancy from business owner to business owner. now, as i observe other businesses , i notice they all do it the same. FAST FOOD RESTURAUNT: pull up, place your order thru the intercom, pay at next window, pick up order at next window. REAL RESTURAUNT: walk in, you are greeted by hostess, state the size of your party, then you're seated. the waitress comes, winks at me, takes drink order. brings 4 beers, then takes appetizer order, then meal order. cleans table, hands you the bill. DOCTORS OFFICE: make appointment, drive there, hand them ins card, make co payment. sit till you are called. go in, nurse asks wtf your problem is, checks blood pressure, doctor comes and sees you. CAR WASH: pull up, state your order, pay, go thru, jose fernandez wipes car after you go thru. AUTO MECHANIC: drive over, tell problem, he does diagnostic, gives estimate, does job, you pay, then he gives you your car. BARBER SHOP: u walk in you wait your turn, sit in chair, shampoo, cut, blow, pay bill. LAWN SERVICE: contract needed, no contract needed, how do you SPELL contract? need a deposit, don't need a deposit, need pre payment, don't need pre payment, don't even need payment. pay at time of service, i'll send a bill, pay me when you feel like it. i CAN apply pesticides, I CAN'T apply pesticides, I DON'T KNOW HOW to apply pesticides, I'LL DO IT BUT AM NOT LICENSED. i do have insurence, i don't have insurence, i don't need insurence, i'm only 11 i can't GET insurence! i'll cut it at 2", i'll cut it at 4" , i'll cut it at 6". i'll bag the clippings, i won't bag the clippings. i'll come once a week, i'll come twice a week, i'll come twice a month, call me when you need me. i don't bury pets, i do bury dead pets, i'm a fake cop, i'll do anything you ask. i will move your kids toys, i won't move your kids toys, i will run over your kids toys. i do collect sales tax, i don't collect sales tax, what exactly is sales tax? i use a 21", i use a 36", i use a helicopter turned upside down. i cut during droughts, i don't cut during droughts. i trim shrubs, i don't trim shrubs. i edge with a real edger, i edge with a weedwacker, i don't edge at all. edging is extra, edging is free. i do mulch, i don't do mulch, what hell is mulch. i supply materials, you supply materials. i charge by the hour, i charge by the job, i don't even charge. i clean leaves for the price of a grasscut, i clean leaves for the price of a leaf cleanup, i don't clean leaves. i take the debris for free, i charge for taking it, i leave it at your curb, i put it in plastic bags. AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON. where is the consistancy? will there ever be consistancy? THIS IS A BIG, BIG, MUCHO GRANDE PROBLEM!!!!!!

AL Inc
01-03-2005, 01:09 PM
I have to agree with you bobby. It is all about the systems. Most of the successful people that I know in this business have systems for every aspect of their business. Gives me something to strive for. I try to set my policies and stick with them. Read Michael Gerber "The E-Myth". I didn't understand everything in the book, but I got a lot out of it.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 01:16 PM
yup. people who are service business oriented, become accustomed to a certain "routine" when dealing with these busunesses. in our business, the "routine" is, THAT THERE IS NO ROUTINE!

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 01:17 PM
I for one enjoy the free range aspect of it. I am not enveloped by a preset box of standards.

If I want I can just cut grass. Or I can fert and do landscape with it.

I can bill prepaid. I can bill at the end of the month. I can bill quarterly.

I can do it HOW I WANT.

You see the glass half empty. I think it is half full.

Rollacosta
01-03-2005, 01:19 PM
great thread ,i wish i had an answer ,well OK i do the trouble is this industry is run[maybe to strong a word] by kids[no disrespect intended to the under-25s]and some very un-proffesional and un-qualified adults/so called business men and women

K.Carothers
01-03-2005, 01:25 PM
Your comparing apples to oranges here. Any established business has a consistent way of doing things especially the food industry. They find what works and duplicate it. Many and many years go into the development of their system just like the seasoned LCO's. The green industry has high owner turnover and high new start ups thus creating a lot of newbies going through trial and error until they find their consistency or go out of business and a newbie starts up.

AL Inc
01-03-2005, 01:28 PM
That is the beautiful thing about being self employed, you build the company that YOU want. If I wanted to be told what to do, I would have stayed at my old job.

yrdandgardenhandyman
01-03-2005, 01:33 PM
The ones who do things the right way for their area will prosper and those who don't, will fall to the wayside. Why would you want everybody to do what has been successful to you? Makes it too easy. There's also a little problem with your analogy. These other service industries you've named have a pretty stable base. We have people in and out of the biz all the time. These fly by night operators are doing the real harm by teaching the customer that there are no rules. Maybe the answer is gov't involvement in the operations of your biz. I doubt it though.
People are going to expect what is the norm for your area. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now, get over there, finish the cleanup (hopefully w/o snow) and get a bill out to this lady. I'll bet she appreciates your finishing that she'll pay you, or, depending how you treat her, have you arrested for trespassing.

yrdandgardenhandyman
01-03-2005, 01:37 PM
Sorry guys. I should have read the rest of the letters before I posted. On the other hand, I guess our views have just been reeforced.

AL Inc
01-03-2005, 01:45 PM
One thing that I think is key is keeping a steady customer list. I understand if you are really trying to grow, you will be working for a lot of people for the first time. You will have to go through the weeding out, etc. I'm at a point where I might take on only 3 or 4 new customers per season. I really don't do many one-time clean-ups or pruning for people. My established customers know how we work and that is it. Yardandgardenhandyman made a good point, the fly-by-nighters really have taught people that there are no rules.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 01:53 PM
having no industry standards is what has kept, and will continue to keep this industry, as a whole, at the bottom feeder level

AL Inc
01-03-2005, 01:58 PM
What do you suggest? Forget more gov't involvement.

Rollacosta
01-03-2005, 02:00 PM
there are too many people in this industry who are only doing this work untill they find other employment ie a lot who do lawncare are college kids or adults in between jobs,sometimes i get the impression they have no standerds [i'm not talking about all]

imo all lawncare guys should be qualified ie attend some type of college or schooling,this would help establish local and national standerds as it has done with the tree service industry in the UK

Rollacosta
01-03-2005, 02:02 PM
having no industry standards is what has kept, and will continue to keep this industry, as a whole, at the bottom feeder level

Ahh you just beat me to it , :)

Wells
01-03-2005, 02:18 PM
Bobby,

You are comparing the restaurant business in a very broad definition.
Yes you go in, sit down, order, eat, pay and leave. But you can say the same about the lawn guy; company shows up, mows trims edges, off to next location, company bills client and client pays bill. For the most part its all done the same way.

Lets look at the restaurant business a little closer. Some restaurants serve beer and some do not, some allow smoking and some do not, Some fry the food, some flame grill the food, some serve apple pie for desert and some serve ice cream, some sing happy birthday, others do not, some have booths and table, others only have tables, some take cash, check or credit cards, some only take cash, some are dine in only and others are dine in or take out.

The point here is every business no matter what type of business it is will do things slightly different then their competition. If we all did it the same way and offered the same services, same billing options, same pricing and used the same equipment why would the client need any options when looking for a LCO? They would just pick the first one they come across in the phone book.

KathysLGC
01-03-2005, 02:28 PM
I feel too many get too friendly with their clients and start to do freebies or extras. One client tells the neighbor and now the neighbor expects the same from their LCO. As a solo op I'm really looking forward to smaller houses. I feel some of who you mention (kids, etc.) take on too big of a project and underbid the crap out of it, then when a seasoned LCO comes in to fix the mistakes and finish the job the client can't believe the cost involved and feels as if the seasoned LCO is the one ripping them off. I work with 170 employees here and I've heard my share of stories. I've given them advice as to what they should expect from their LCO. Funny thing is every one here thinks I'm way too expensive but they come to me knowing i'll give them an honest answer. Go figure.....

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 02:28 PM
wells, how can you say in the lawn industry, it's all done basically the same way? one thing for example is payment options. pay now, pay monthly, pay in advance, pay on time, whatever. there is in no way any kind of industry standard in this field, IT'S OUT OF FREAKEN CONTROL!!!! i know damn well when i walk into a resturaunt that there is some kind of organized standard, there is a food handlers license , proof of inspection, etc. in our business, there is no standard what soever, not even a slight one. when is the last time you ate at a resturaunt, and was handed the bill, and you asked them to mail it? when is the last time you got a car loan without a credit check? i bet if you go to 10,000 different car dealers, all 10,000 of them, though slightly different, will have the same BASIC standarsds. you will see a salesman, look at cars, fill out a credit app, etc. where is the standard here in our industry? i can think of 5, right in my area, that are veterens, and all do things completely different.

rodfather
01-03-2005, 02:44 PM
A thought-provoking thread here bg.

My take on this is Consistency and Quality Control are the issues here. All of those other occupations or services make consistency and quality control a key integral part of how they go about doing business day after day, week after week, year after year.

Secondly, which was touched upon already, the "lack of" both consistency and quality control is due in part of the fact just about anyone can start up his/her very own LCO. You find full timers and you have part timers. People 15 years of age and others into retirement. And I would venture that there are FAR more part timers than full timers as LCO's.

Thirdly, as a LCO, you don't need a formal education vs. a doctor that needs to go to medical school. Your car mechanic probably went to some kind of technical school after high school. Your favorite restaurant has at least one chef who probably spent 4 years at a culinary school.

Last, there are many more rules and procedures pertaining to all those services and occupations you mentioned. Lawn care is wide open with little government intervention with the exception of herbicides and pesticides.

I know what you're getting at, but I seriously doubt you or I will ever see it in our lifetime...

yrdandgardenhandyman
01-03-2005, 02:44 PM
Maybe you should be president of our new LCO union. Lead us!

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 02:49 PM
Maybe you should be president of our new LCO union. Lead us!
THAT'S RIGHT!!! I HAVE A DREAM my brothers and sisters. I HAVE A DREAM that one day, we will be equal . I HAVE A DREAM that one day we will be looked up at, instead of down upon. I HAVE A DREAM that one day lawnboys everywhere, will unite. I HAVE A DREAM my brothers and sisters

Wells
01-03-2005, 02:57 PM
Bobby,

I agree with you about the lack of legitimate lco's out there that are working without any type of license or insurance. That part of this industry is a bid problem and needs some sort of regulation.

As far the billing and other items go it's all about options. We live in a world of needing to feel like we have some sort of control over things. The car dealer lets you decide if you want a red car of a blue car, if you want to pay for the car in full or be put on a monthly payment plan, if you want undercoating or no undercoating. Every business allows you a certain amount of options.

I don't see the problem with running a monthly bill for the client as long as you are continuing to perform work and they continue to pay for those services when the bill arrives.

What if every time you used the power at your house the power company showed up at your door to collect their money? or the phone company showed up every time you pick up the phone? It makes billing much easier for me if I only have to do one bill at the end of the month.

yrdandgardenhandyman
01-03-2005, 03:08 PM
THAT'S RIGHT!!! I HAVE A DREAM my brothers and sisters. I HAVE A DREAM that one day, we will be equal . I HAVE A DREAM that one day we will be looked up at, instead of down upon. I HAVE A DREAM that one day lawnboys everywhere, will unite. I HAVE A DREAM my brothers and sisters


I wonder why your customers look down on you. Mine seem to have the utmost in respect for me and my services. Well, occasionally things go a bit awry but that's isolated.

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:14 PM
Interesting post Rodfather

The difference does seem to be a Quality Control issue.

Do you want the restaurant you frequent to not be regulated? I sure don't. No telling what kind of poisoning you will get.

However, if I don't mow someone's grass correctly, nobody will die.

Also, when I go to a restaurant to eat they do not know where I live. Once I leave the parking lot they are out of luck to get their money. As an LCO you know where to get your money.

Same with the other industries...barbers, Walmart etc....

Car dealers seem to be the exception, but they also give you a very expensive piece of equipment to hold on to.

Furthermore, what is your solution?

Do you want more regulation?

The LAST thing I want is some freakin board coming in here telling me how to cut a lawn, or what seed to spread, or how I must bill my clients.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:16 PM
Bobby,

I agree with you about the lack of legitimate lco's out there that are working without any type of license or insurance. That part of this industry is a bid problem and needs some sort of regulation.

As far the billing and other items go it's all about options. We live in a world of needing to feel like we have some sort of control over things. The car dealer lets you decide if you want a red car of a blue car, if you want to pay for the car in full or be put on a monthly payment plan, if you want undercoating or no undercoating. Every business allows you a certain amount of options.

I don't see the problem with running a monthly bill for the client as long as you are continuing to perform work and they continue to pay for those services when the bill arrives.

What if every time you used the power at your house the power company showed up at your door to collect their money? or the phone company showed up every time you pick up the phone? It makes billing much easier for me if I only have to do one bill at the end of the month.
ah, but you see, all the phone companies and power companies do it the same. they have SET, AND MAINTAINED an industry standard. sure, you can pick a red or blue car, but the dealers still have an industry standard, you will still need to be approved before you drive that baby home, this is consistant at every dealer.

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:18 PM
THAT'S RIGHT!!! I HAVE A DREAM my brothers and sisters. I HAVE A DREAM that one day, we will be equal . I HAVE A DREAM that one day we will be looked up at, instead of down upon. I HAVE A DREAM that one day lawnboys everywhere, will unite. I HAVE A DREAM my brothers and sisters


Is there a United Association of Restaurant Pricing?

Is there an American Coalition of Barber Charging?

No

Nothing is stopping a new restaurant from opening up and charging 1/2 what McDonald's does.

There is nothing stopping a new barbershop from undercutting (pun intended) Supercuts.

The fact is, like so many of our experienced LCO bretheren have stated, is that there is always going to be an inexperienced lowballer screwing with the industry.

They won't last.

Gain respect by doing a good job.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:20 PM
I wonder why your customers look down on you. Mine seem to have the utmost in respect for me and my services. Well, occasionally things go a bit awry but that's isolated.
ok, you're not looked down upon? i bet, if you took a doctors son, a lawyers son, and a lawnboys son, put them all together and asked the first one, "what does your dad do for a living?" he will say, "my dad is a doctor." the next will say, "my dad is a lawyer." the third will say(in a very low tone, with his voice crackling) " my dad cuts grass." either that, or he will make up a lie

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:23 PM
ah, but you see, all the phone companies and power companies do it the same. they have SET, AND MAINTAINED an industry standard. sure, you can pick a red or blue car, but the dealers still have an industry standard, you will still need to be approved before you drive that baby home, this is consistant at every dealer.

Oh, by the way there is no industry standard in the auto industry. Have you not bought a car recently?

They all claim to have good deals, but nobody is telling them what to charge.

Nobody is telling them to be honest and disclose all of the problems with the car.

Nobody is telling them what interest rate to charge.

Nobody is telling them what late fees to charge or when to repo the car.


As far as being approved, you are also taking home a multi-thousand $$ automobile and not a $30 lawn cut.

Furthermore, if you wreck their car they are out far more than a $30 lawn cut.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:25 PM
Is there a United Association of Restaurant Pricing?

Is there an American Coalition of Barber Charging?

No

Nothing is stopping a new restaurant from opening up and charging 1/2 what McDonald's does.

There is nothing stopping a new barbershop from undercutting (pun intended) Supercuts.

The fact is, like so many of our experienced LCO bretheren have stated, is that there is always going to be an inexperienced lowballer screwing with the industry.

They won't last.

Gain respect by doing a good job.
no, they don't need one. do you have a resturaunt you like to go to, and have been going to for 5 years? i do, and guess what? the prices are higher now than they were 5 yrs ago! do u have a barber you like? i do, and guess what? it cost more to trim my mullet today than it did 5 yrs ago! on the other hand, you can get some lawn monkey(even a good one) to service your property today, for the same price that he did in 1985!!!!! no, uh huh, no problem here

1MajorTom
01-03-2005, 03:27 PM
ok, you're not looked down upon? i bet, if you took a doctors son, a lawyers son, and a lawnboys son, put them all together and asked the first one, "what does your dad do for a living?" he will say, "my dad is a doctor." the next will say, "my dad is a lawyer." the third will say(in a very low tone, with his voice crackling) " my dad cuts grass." either that, or he will make up a lie

Why wouldn't the third son say, "my dad owns his own business?"

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:28 PM
ok, you're not looked down upon? i bet, if you took a doctors son, a lawyers son, and a lawnboys son, put them all together and asked the first one, "what does your dad do for a living?" he will say, "my dad is a doctor." the next will say, "my dad is a lawyer." the third will say(in a very low tone, with his voice crackling) " my dad cuts grass." either that, or he will make up a lie







So we are considered lawnboys and not business owners? When someone asks me what i do for a living i dont tell them i cut grass. I tell them I own a lawn service. Its all how you present yourself to people. If you come across as trash how do you expect to be treated....

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:29 PM
Why wouldn't the third son say, "my dad owns his own business?"

Exactly!!!!!

And for some I would be surprised if the third boy doesn't live in a nicer home and have nicer clothes while also knowing how to do a little physical labor and sweat.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:31 PM
So we are considered lawnboys and not business owners? When someone asks me what i do for a living i dont tell them i cut grass. I tell them I own a lawn service. Its all how you present yourself to people. If you come across as trash how do you expect to be treated....
i bet third boy would say, "my dad cuts grass for $5 cheaper than anyone else....cus he's SMART"

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:34 PM
no, they don't need one. do you have a resturaunt you like to go to, and have been going to for 5 years? i do, and guess what? the prices are higher now than they were 5 yrs ago! do u have a barber you like? i do, and guess what? it cost more to trim my mullet today than it did 5 yrs ago! on the other hand, you can get some lawn monkey(even a good one) to service your property today, for the same price that he did in 1985!!!!! no, uh huh, no problem here

Are you saying that the lawn I cut for $30 today was paying the same 19 years ago. I doubt it.

In fact, I was cutting grass as a teenager back then. I getting like $5 a lawn. The kids in my neighborhood are getting at least $15 to $25 right now with the 'ol push mower and electric "weedeater".

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:35 PM
Don't get me wrong Bob.

I hate lowballers and guys screwing with the quality and image. But, they just don't last.

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:38 PM
i bet third boy would say, "my dad cuts grass for $5 cheaper than anyone else....cus he's SMART"






LOL, also smart enough to know how to spell "cause"

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:39 PM
If this becomes another idiot exchange of insults between packerbacker and gedd then I am out of here.

You two are worse than a couple of children. My dad is bigger than your dad.

Grow up!!

Duramax99
01-03-2005, 03:39 PM
Bobby all of the industrys that you mentioned need to have some amount of over head to start. They need a building, insurance, employees, capital, etc... Joe Dirt could go to wal -mart and but a push mower, trimmer, and a broom and be in business. There will never be a unified lawncare industry. Cause if someone does not want to do a job there is always someone else that will take it.

Just my view. Dont want to ruffle any feathers

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:40 PM
If this becomes another idiot exchange of insults between packerbacker and gedd then I am out of here.

You two are worse than a couple of children. My dad is bigger than your dad.

Grow up!!



I didnt start it and i wont sit here and be insulted.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:40 PM
Don't get me wrong Bob.

I hate lowballers and guys screwing with the quality and image. But, they just don't last.
this is not about pricing, it's about procedure. yes, pricing is a problem, but aside from that, there is no consistancy, or industry standard whatsover in billing,qualifications, type of service a "lawn service" provides, what each service includes, what we are capable, or qualified to do, nothing, there is no standard whatsoever. and you, just like me, have heard a million times, "why do u do it like that? the other guy.....". if everyone did things the same, or at least somewhat similar, there would be a standard. because there isn't one, never was, and never will be, the industry will not evolve

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:42 PM
Bobby all of the industrys that you mentioned need to have some amount of over head to start. They need a building, insurance, employees, capital, etc... Joe Dirt could go to wal -mart and but a push mower, trimmer, and a broom and be in business. There will never be a unified lawncare industry. Cause if someone does not want to do a job there is always someone else that will take it.

Just my view. Dont want to ruffle any feathers





There is overhead in any business and all of them need some sort of capital to get off the ground. The fact is there will NEVER be a union in this business and i for one am glad. I wont be subject to the rules of doing something someone elses way.

Duramax99
01-03-2005, 03:42 PM
not in a lawn business

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:43 PM
this is not about pricing, it's about procedure. yes, pricing is a problem, but aside from that, there is no consistancy, or industry standard whatsover in billing,qualifications, type of service a "lawn service" provides, what each service includes, what we are capable, or qualified to do, nothing, there is no standard whatsoever. and you, just like me, have heard a million times, "why do u do it like that? the other guy.....". if everyone did things the same, or at least somewhat similar, there would be a standard. because there isn't one, never was, and never will be, the industry will not evolve






Why should everyone do things the same? And secondly we cant all do things the same. We live in different climates and different parts of the country. What a person does in FL is completely different then what you do in NJ or what i do in KS. It would work. Plain and simple.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:44 PM
Why should everyone do things the same? And secondly we cant all do things the same. We live in different climates and different parts of the country. What a person does in FL is completely different then what you do in NJ or what i do in KS. It would work. Plain and simple.
procedure should vary from region to region, but be consistant in it's own region

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:44 PM
not in a lawn business






You have no overhead AT ALL in your business? Tell us the secret because everything you buy costs money.

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:46 PM
procedure should vary from region to region, but be consistant in it's own region






And it usually is but the point is there cant be a single union running everything and just out of curiousity why do you want one? Your gung-ho on getting one. For what?

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:47 PM
this is not about pricing, it's about procedure. yes, pricing is a problem, but aside from that, there is no consistancy, or industry standard whatsover in billing,qualifications, type of service a "lawn service" provides, what each service includes, what we are capable, or qualified to do, nothing, there is no standard whatsoever. and you, just like me, have heard a million times, "why do u do it like that? the other guy.....". if everyone did things the same, or at least somewhat similar, there would be a standard. because there isn't one, never was, and never will be, the industry will not evolve

But doesn't the end problem always come to money?

Who cares if things are done differently if you get paid good?

Who cares if customers question your tactics and procedures as long as you get paid good?

Isn't it true that the sole or at least main reason that you would like consistency is so that your pocketbook gets fatter. I know you would bury the dog if the pay was enough. You would listen to the little old lady complain about her bunions (sp) if the pay was enough.

If I am wrong let me know.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 03:52 PM
yes, it matters alot. i don't want to hear about how "the other guy" billed monthly on a "pay when u feel like it" basis. that's just the WRONG WAY to do business. i don't want to hear how the other guy drove by, looked, and if it didn't need cutting, he skipped. i don't want to hear how the other guy took the clippings at no extra charge. i don't want hear how the other guy cleaned your leaves for the price of a grasscut, just because he needed the work, and you needed the service but wouldn't pay. i don't want to hear how the other edged your beds, at no extra fee, cus he considered it "part of lawn maintinence". i don't wanna hear how the other guy did storm cleanup, at no extra charge, cus "it wasn't the customers fault we had high winds and heavy rain." and on and on and on

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 03:55 PM
yes, it matters alot. i don't want to hear about how "the other guy" billed monthly on a "pay when u feel like it" basis. that's just the WRONG WAY to do business. i don't want to hear how the other guy drove by, looked, and if it didn't need cutting, he skipped. i don't want to hear how the other guy took the clippings at no extra charge. i don't want hear how the other guy cleaned your leaves for the price of a grasscut, just because he needed the work, and you needed the service but wouldn't pay. i don't want to hear how the other edged your beds, at no extra fee, cus he considered it "part of lawn maintinence". i don't wanna hear how the other guy did storm cleanup, at no extra charge, cus "it wasn't the customers fault we had high winds and heavy rain." and on and on and on







Do you get paid weekly for the houses you do?

Duramax99
01-03-2005, 03:56 PM
Packer if you read my first thread buying a lawn mower from wal-mart is alot different than office space, a car dealership or a restaurant. If you want me to help you with your business just pm me and we can go over all of your problems.

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 03:57 PM
yes, it matters alot. i don't want to hear about how "the other guy" billed monthly on a "pay when u feel like it" basis. that's just the WRONG WAY to do business. i don't want to hear how the other guy drove by, looked, and if it didn't need cutting, he skipped. i don't want to hear how the other guy took the clippings at no extra charge. i don't want hear how the other guy cleaned your leaves for the price of a grasscut, just because he needed the work, and you needed the service but wouldn't pay. i don't want to hear how the other edged your beds, at no extra fee, cus he considered it "part of lawn maintinence". i don't wanna hear how the other guy did storm cleanup, at no extra charge, cus "it wasn't the customers fault we had high winds and heavy rain." and on and on and on

Then I am right....it does all come down to money.

So, if that is the case you need to ask yourself if you get paid enough to stay in this industry running your business your way. If you do then this is all for nothing. If you don't then....

yrdandgardenhandyman
01-03-2005, 04:00 PM
ok, you're not looked down upon? i bet, if you took a doctors son, a lawyers son, and a lawnboys son, put them all together and asked the first one, "what does your dad do for a living?" he will say, "my dad is a doctor." the next will say, "my dad is a lawyer." the third will say(in a very low tone, with his voice crackling) " my dad cuts grass." either that, or he will make up a lie



I've never seen that. My children and grandchildren seem to be proud that I take care of landscaping. Oh sure, I've had friends give me a hard time but they see me driving my new Dakota, tax deductible, see me drive by to go fishing when they have to go to work at the factory. They see me take a day off and not have to go back to work and explain to a supervisor why they took it off.
You must be a miserable person in life.
I will say that I've learned a lot about conflict resolution from reading your posts and must say you've got kahunas. If I had as many customer issues as you do, I'd have hung it up a long time ago.

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 04:01 PM
Packer if you read my first thread buying a lawn mower from wal-mart is alot different than office space, a car dealership or a restaurant. If you want me to help you with your business just pm me and we can go over all of your problems.





LOL, i dont have any problems! My point was EVERY business has overhead from the mower all the way down to the piece of paper you print your bills on.

greendave
01-03-2005, 04:01 PM
Bobby, I gotta agree with you on this one, to a degree. This is a problem with ALL service industries: lack of consistencies and industry standards. The automotive repair industry is worse than the green industry. There are NO standards of repair and maintenance. Just compare the service intervals in your owners manual on two different cars. This coming from the manufacturers. Parts: if i had a dime for every time someone told me they could buy the "same" part from Autozoo for less than I was selling it to them I'd be rich. NOT the same part. Same component. Different quality. How about the processes you use for fertilizing? Is there an industry standard? No. How about pest control? Regulation, yes. Standardization, no. What one guy says, another guy will tell you won't work. Yes, the lowballers and idiots give the industry a black eye, it happens in all of them. And so it goes. That's what makes the free enterprise system in this country work. The strong survive, and the weak perish. Those who provide outstanding customer service will be the ones who survive in today's self centered society. Fix the problem? Probably never. Use it to your advantage: outwit, outplay, and outlast the competition!!

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 04:03 PM
The problem is whos to say that their standards should be the ones to be followed? It will never happen

yrdandgardenhandyman
01-03-2005, 04:24 PM
this is not about pricing, it's about procedure. yes, pricing is a problem, but aside from that, there is no consistancy, or industry standard whatsover in billing,qualifications, type of service a "lawn service" provides, what each service includes, what we are capable, or qualified to do, nothing, there is no standard whatsoever. and you, just like me, have heard a million times, "why do u do it like that? the other guy.....". if everyone did things the same, or at least somewhat similar, there would be a standard. because there isn't one, never was, and never will be, the industry will not evolve


Look, the reason I came to Lawnsite was to learn various methods. I have tried many standard methods I saw here, some worked very well for me, others didn't. Some of that was due to me, either a method was suited to my needs and abilities or it wasn't. Either a method was suited to my clients needs and wants or it wasn't. Doesn't mean a method was no good. Just not right for me.
My point is, is that we can use Lawnsite as a guideline, a guidepost for running our prospective business's but we still need to be able to be flexible on methods and adapt to ourselves, our clients and the attitudes and economy of the region we operate in. Our clients might prefer to be billed every month or pay ahead or pay per cut or service. We are going to constantly be asked to perform one time services for strangers and it is my policy to be paid for those upon completion as long as it's under $1000.00. We are a service industry, much like a plumber or electrician except we don't have to prove we know what we're doing before working. Our clients take a chance on us sometimes too.
By the way, some plumbers and electricians will bill for services and some demand payment up front depending on the size of their job. I usually choose the ones whom will be billed. payup

For me, Lawnsite IS the standard. And we, who are serious about making these businesses sucessful are going to invent new standards or methods depending on the changing climate and needs of our business.

Loosen up Bobby. Unless your current attitude works for you.

Wells
01-03-2005, 04:29 PM
Bobby,

You have pointed out a very viable problem within the industry.
What do you propose be done about it?
You mention more of a standardization, but be more specific, just what components would you standardize?

Would you like everyone to bill the same way?
Would you like everyone to bid the same?
Would you like everyone to provide the same services?
Would you like all LCOs to go through training first?

You've discovered a problem that has been around for many years, what is your solution to fixing it?

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 04:31 PM
There is no way to do it AT ALL. It will never happen.

jim dailey
01-03-2005, 04:49 PM
Why wouldn't the third son say, "my dad owns his own business?"

Why wouldn't he say my Dad owns his own business, a lawn and landscape company and his name is BOOBY GEDD. NO, Booby, I don't want any naked pictures! Pervert.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 04:54 PM
the changes I'D LIKE TO SEE, to the industry as a whole (remember, region to region...) I'D LIKE TO SEE: no business on a handshake. signed contracts, billed monthly, with a 5 day grace period where service ceases after the grace period, no further service until the bill is paid in full (or an agreement has been met)and no other lco will pick up the account, until the contract has expired, or both parties agree. I'D LIKE TO SEE: standard pricing, with regulated minimums. I'D LIKE TO SEE: standard lawn mowing service includes-mowing, weedwacking, edging of walkways, blow off hard surfaces. anything else (edging of beds, etc) is charged as a separate service. I'D LIKE TO SEE: weekly mowing. no call off policy. if the lco shows up, and the homeowner claims it "doesn't need cutting, " the homeowner pays full price regaurdless. if this makes client cancel, no other lco will service said property until the bill is paid in full, and contract expires, or an agreement is met. the lco may choose to skip the cut because of drought, and not charge, but that is at his/her discretion. after all, he/she is the professional. I'D LIKE TO SEE: no favors or freebies. this is my livelyhood, ANYTHING WE DO is charged accordingly. I'D LIKE TO SEE: anyone providing lawn service,on a for hire basis, must be legal to do so. this is not meant to insult anybody, but....you must be of legal driving age, or older, you must be a licensed pesticide aplicator, you must be insured. if your area requires you to carry a business license, you must have one, etc. I'D LIKE TO SEE: unity amound lco's. if rodfather calls and says he's in bed for the next 5 days, can he have some help, then that means me, and a couple other locals do whatever we have to, to split up the evenings and help him out, and we all get the same in return, if needed. emergencies only will apply, not cus you're going fishing or anything else. these are a few requirements to get into the local brotherhood of lco's (business agent, bobbygedd), there are many more, but that lists a few

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 04:57 PM
Why wouldn't he say my Dad owns his own business, a lawn and landscape company and his name is BOOBY GEDD. NO, Booby, I don't want any naked pictures! Pervert.
quit stalking me. and you're not allowed in the union either

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 05:04 PM
the changes I'D LIKE TO SEE, to the industry as a whole (remember, region to region...) I'D LIKE TO SEE: no business on a handshake. signed contracts, billed monthly, with a 5 day grace period where service ceases after the grace period, no further service until the bill is paid in full (or an agreement has been met)and no other lco will pick up the account, until the contract has expired, or both parties agree. I'D LIKE TO SEE: standard pricing, with regulated minimums. I'D LIKE TO SEE: standard lawn mowing service includes-mowing, weedwacking, edging of walkways, blow off hard surfaces. anything else (edging of beds, etc) is charged as a separate service. I'D LIKE TO SEE: weekly mowing. no call off policy. if the lco shows up, and the homeowner claims it "doesn't need cutting, " the homeowner pays full price regaurdless. if this makes client cancel, no other lco will service said property until the bill is paid in full, and contract expires, or an agreement is met. the lco may choose to skip the cut because of drought, and not charge, but that is at his/her discretion. after all, he/she is the professional. I'D LIKE TO SEE: no favors or freebies. this is my livelyhood, ANYTHING WE DO is charged accordingly. I'D LIKE TO SEE: anyone providing lawn service,on a for hire basis, must be legal to do so. this is not meant to insult anybody, but....you must be of legal driving age, or older, you must be a licensed pesticide aplicator, you must be insured. if your area requires you to carry a business license, you must have one, etc. I'D LIKE TO SEE: unity amound lco's. if rodfather calls and says he's in bed for the next 5 days, can he have some help, then that means me, and a couple other locals do whatever we have to, to split up the evenings and help him out, and we all get the same in return, if needed. emergencies only will apply, not cus you're going fishing or anything else. these are a few requirements to get into the local brotherhood of lco's (business agent, bobbygedd), there are many more, but that lists a few







So your going to give someone 5 days to pay a bill? Wow! Im sure you cable, gas and electricity companies would like to see you pay your bill within 5 days! Not gonna happen



Weekly mowing? Already happens with good LCOs. I mow when it starts growing and i stop when it stop growing.


Why should everyone have pesciticide lisences when not everyone puts chemicals down? Doesnt make sense.


Why in the world would i want somene doing my work for me? And why in the hell would i want to help the competition? If they are sick then tough it out or lose out on the money. You guys are not my problem.


Seems to me you have to much time on your hands.

Listen to John Lennon? " Some may call me a dreamer..."

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 05:12 PM
pay attention, i said 5 day GRACE PERIOD. and yes u should have a pesticide license. not having one is like saying u have a hamburger stand, but don't sell french fries cus you're not licensed to use the fryer. and help, yes, help, this is what union brothers do. and btw you're already in charge of cleaning the urinals at the union hall, keep it up, you won't even have it that good.

K.Carothers
01-03-2005, 05:28 PM
ok, you're not looked down upon? i bet, if you took a doctors son, a lawyers son, and a lawnboys son, put them all together and asked the first one, "what does your dad do for a living?" he will say, "my dad is a doctor." the next will say, "my dad is a lawyer." the third will say(in a very low tone, with his voice crackling) " my dad cuts grass." either that, or he will make up a lie

Bull$**t Bobby! You have a major self esteem problem. If you think that low of what a lco is then get the hell out of the business. I bet if you asked "how much time do you spend with your dad?", the doctor's,lawyer's,corp exec,upper management etc.. sons would say nothing! Work hard,honest,ethical and be a good father,husband,provider and your kids will respect,honor,admire you. This country doesn't need anymore"look at me,my car,my house,my job and so on while their families are nothing more than a cute picture with no substance.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 05:30 PM
in fact, i don't have a self esteem problem, just the opposite. stick to the subject

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 05:33 PM
pay attention, i said 5 day GRACE PERIOD. and yes u should have a pesticide license. not having one is like saying u have a hamburger stand, but don't sell french fries cus you're not licensed to use the fryer. and help, yes, help, this is what union brothers do. and btw you're already in charge of cleaning the urinals at the union hall, keep it up, you won't even have it that good.




LMAO! I assume you have a lisecence to cut hair then? What you say? You dont cut hair? To bad , get one anyway, we dont care if you dont provide that service!

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 05:34 PM
Bull$**t Bobby! You have a major self esteem problem. If you think that low of what a lco is then get the hell out of the business. I bet if you asked "how much time do you spend with your dad?", the doctor's,lawyer's,corp exec,upper management etc.. sons would say nothing! Work hard,honest,ethical and be a good father,husband,provider and your kids will respect,honor,admire you. This country doesn't need anymore"look at me,my car,my house,my job and so on while their families are nothing more than a cute picture with no substance.




AMEN to that! The only one here who thinks of himself as a lawn jockey is gedd. We all think of ourselfs as business owners.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 05:39 PM
when hair cutting falls under the category of lawncare, then i'll cut hair, until then, get your bucket, rubber gloves, and scrub pads

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 05:41 PM
when hair cutting falls under the category of lawncare, then i'll cut hair, until then, get your bucket, rubber gloves, and scrub pads





LMAO, and when flipping burgers can be compared to lawnwork then ill believe in your outlandish comparisions! Talk about a battle of wits with an unarmed opponnent!

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 05:44 PM
LMAO, and when flipping burgers can be compared to lawnwork then ill believe in your outlandish comparisions! Talk about a battle of wits with an unarmed opponnent!
just because you can't get a pesticide license is no reason to get mad at me. come to jersey, i'll let u clean the toilets, spray tanks, and spreaders. this will get you the experience u need working under A REAL lco. then maybe u can test for your license

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 05:47 PM
just because you can't get a pesticide license is no reason to get mad at me. come to jersey, i'll let u clean the toilets, spray tanks, and spreaders. this will get you the experience u need working under A REAL lco. then maybe u can test for your license



Cant get one??? I dont need one because I DONT DO CHEMICALS. How many times do we need to go through this?????

greendave
01-03-2005, 05:58 PM
OK moderators, time to pull the plug on another pi$$ing match. This one's deteriorated like so many other Gedd threads................

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 06:00 PM
OK moderators, time to pull the plug on another pi$$ing match. This one's deteriorated like so many other Gedd threads................





Why? All im trying to figure out is why i need a chemical lisence when i dont do it? I dont think im asking for to much. I havent called names or insulted.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 06:02 PM
i don't want to upset the board, or mods on this one. i'll stop the mouthing off right here. this is a good thread i think

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 06:03 PM
i don't want to upset the board, or mods on this one. i'll stop the mouthing off right here. this is a good thread i think




Thank you bobby for not insulting me anymore. And this is a good thread.

Sean Adams
01-03-2005, 06:10 PM
uNIONS, FRENCH FRIES, HAIR CUTS AND A QUOTE FROM A JOHN LENNON SONG....I THINK THIS HAS GONE WAY OFF IT'S ORIGINAL TOPIC...

I would like the firing back and forth to end now. If the conversations cannot remain civil then they will be removed, culprits hunted down, dragged to town square, and everyone will simulataneously push their "ignore" button on you.....Seriously, back to topic without the bickering or this gets closed again.

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 06:17 PM
LOL



The point is there cant be any consistancy in this business because we all do things differently and we all offer different services. I dont do chemicals and i have no interest in doing them. Does that make me any less of a company? NO it just makes me different.

rodfather
01-03-2005, 06:23 PM
The point is there cant be any consistancy in this business because we all do things differently and we all offer different services. I dont do chemicals and i have no interest in doing them. Does that make me any less of a company? NO it just makes me different.

I'll go along with that.

I think maybe bobby's original point was it would be nice to have some consistency in our industry...which I am all for.

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 06:28 PM
I'll go along with that.

I think maybe bobby's original point was it would be nice to have some consistency in our industry...which I am all for.





It would be nice but its not going to happen. If we all offered the same services and we all had the same equipment and we all worked the same hours and lived in the same climate then its possible but we dont so the subject is moot.

boatdude
01-03-2005, 07:59 PM
I venture into this fray with some hesitation but I can't resist. Of Bobby's 6000+ posts I probably agree with him 90% of the time (rough around the edges but very insightful). But on this issue I think he's got it entirely wrong and I think the fact that he was a "union" man in his previous working life is showing through. If there were standardization as supported by many of you on this thread the only way it could be achieved is by REGULATION. Believe me...you don't want that kind of regulation. Many of these ideas are the antithesis of entrepreneurship and capitalism. Entrepreneurship is about people taking a risk and using their wits to make a living...whether that living is $20,000 per year or $250,000 per year is decided by nothing more than the wits and determination of the individual. And some may be happy to make the $20,000...it may beat their alternatives. I also think that Bobby thinks he sees standardization where none really exists. There are thousands of examples but since many of you seem to like the restaurant example I'll use one of from that industry. At a chain around here called "Red Robin" you can expect to pay at least $6.50-7.50 for a "premium" burger. At Burger King you can get a regular cheeseburger for $1.50. If this industry had "standards" you could only get a burger one way and it would cost about the same wherever you got it. Want yours flame broiled...too bad...that is not the industry standard. Want yours without ketchup...to bad...that is not the industry standard. Some people just want the $1.50 cheeseburger...is having that option something that should be regulated away? Capitalism and entrepreneurship are what make this country and its economy great. EVERY business and industry has its challenges...the green industry is not the only one with challenges. Being in ANY business is challenging and hard at times...if it were not everyone would be doing it.

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 08:07 PM
Bobby

You said standards when you first started this thread.

In reality you want an iron fisted union.

You said that restaurants, car dealers etc.... all had standards. Well they are not unionized.

Say what you mean from the start.


Since the true meaning of this thread is Union, I will address that.

A union is a bad idea....period.

It is my business. It is not rocket science. Nobody is going to die if I screw a lawn up. I don't want "Big Brother" telling me how to run MY BUSINESS.

The whole reason so many guys are in this business is because they don't want to work for "the man".



And just keep in mind unions can go both ways you know. What if the "Union" says the new industry standard is to bill quarterly? Would you do it?

What if the "Union" says that you cannot increase prices this year because it will not be good for the guys on the other side of town from you....which has nothing to do with your customers or your side of town? And, you were counting on that raise for your new pool next year? Would you keep your prices the same? Judging by the way you respond and the rebel that you are you would tell them to stick their standard where the sun don't shine as soon as it doesn't benefit you.

Things to think about.

Mo Green
01-03-2005, 08:09 PM
I do what is best for me and do it the way I like. I don't care if someone else thinks it's right or wrong. I don't really pay that much attention to how every joe schmo runs his biz. It takes alot to just keep me and my biz going. No time to worry about others.

packerbacker
01-03-2005, 08:22 PM
Bobby

You said standards when you first started this thread.

In reality you want an iron fisted union.

You said that restaurants, car dealers etc.... all had standards. Well they are not unionized.

Say what you mean from the start.


Since the true meaning of this thread is Union, I will address that.

A union is a bad idea....period.

It is my business. It is not rocket science. Nobody is going to die if I screw a lawn up. I don't want "Big Brother" telling me how to run MY BUSINESS.

The whole reason so many guys are in this business is because they don't want to work for "the man".



And just keep in mind unions can go both ways you know. What if the "Union" says the new industry standard is to bill quarterly? Would you do it?

What if the "Union" says that you cannot increase prices this year because it will not be good for the guys on the other side of town from you....which has nothing to do with your customers or your side of town? And, you were counting on that raise for your new pool next year? Would you keep your prices the same? Judging by the way you respond and the rebel that you are you would tell them to stick their standard where the sun don't shine as soon as it doesn't benefit you.

Things to think about.






IF there was a "positive reputation" button for a post you would have it with that one!

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 09:38 PM
ok then, what is the answer to a definite problem. facts are facts boys, let's adress one issue at a time. i started in this business 9 yrs ago. the standard rate back then was $25, and today it is STILL $25. i'm told by the vets here that in the early 80's they were getting the same $25. 25 yrs later, and the rates are the same. solution please

dishboy
01-03-2005, 09:43 PM
If it was not illegal I would suggest price fixing. I wish I had a answer, the moment you start raising your rates to keep in step with inflation you will see a mass exodus to scrub of the week.

Kelly's Landscaping
01-03-2005, 09:49 PM
Course you are overlooking that mowing times have went down due to more efficient quicker equipment. Iv been in the trade Bobby going on 18 years this season and no prices have not moved a whole lot but they have gone up about 5 bucks a lawn. When I started I worked for a guy that used 48-inch belt drive snappers. I thought they were quick till I saw guys on 61 inch scag 3 wheelers which I though were quick till I was beating their times in half on 60 inch lazer ZTRs.

Lawns that use to take me 1 hour bagged with 2 48-inch wbs now take me 15 mins bagged by myself on my lazer. Prices may not have moved much but we make a lot more now then we did back then. Perhaps you don't with all those fenced in back yards with miles of sidewalk but out here its better then it ever was.

cutnedge
01-03-2005, 10:21 PM
solution please
First, how about making the public aware of illegal operations? Maybe all of the local LCO's chipping in and having the area flooded with flyers explaining legal operations versus illegal ones. The only problem is that the homeowner has no consequences when hiring a illegal operation. But, then again, it might make a scrub think twice before lowballing behind you.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 10:24 PM
yea kelly, we're able to do more lawns a day by spending more money on higher priced equipment, while fuel, insurence, accounting, fees etc have all gone way up. it doesn't even out. there u have it, in 18 yrs you're telling me fees increased by $5. in another 18 yrs you'll be making minimum wage. my accountant used to do my quarterlies, by hand, for $50 a quarter. he started using computers, thus making the job faster/easier, and now.....it's $90 a quarter. how come it's not $55?

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 11:07 PM
yea kelly, we're able to do more lawns a day by spending more money on higher priced equipment, while fuel, insurence, accounting, fees etc have all gone way up. it doesn't even out. there u have it, in 18 yrs you're telling me fees increased by $5. in another 18 yrs you'll be making minimum wage. my accountant used to do my quarterlies, by hand, for $50 a quarter. he started using computers, thus making the job faster/easier, and now.....it's $90 a quarter. how come it's not $55?


If all of your information is accurate then you there is something serious to consider.

That is: this industry will not be Standardized, Unionized or any other kind of "ized" in the next 10 to 15 years. I guarantee that.

So, you might want to get off a sinking ship before you drown.

cgland
01-03-2005, 11:31 PM
Bobby,

Your initial post is probably the funniest thing I have ever read! LOL :blob3:

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 11:34 PM
now tn, i prefer to try and make a difference in changing things, than to run away. and you, cgland, wats so funny?

cgland
01-03-2005, 11:37 PM
Just the way you put everything...perfect. Cutting w/ an upsidedown helicopter was my favorite. The whole idea of the post isn't funny, but the reality that it is exactly how things are is hilarious...good post.

Chris

Tn Lawn Man
01-03-2005, 11:45 PM
now tn, i prefer to try and make a difference in changing things, than to run away.


Well unionizing Ain't gonna happen.

You would be better off educating your fellow LCO's to correct bidding and pricing procedures.

Interesting thread though.

bobbygedd
01-03-2005, 11:51 PM
i'll tell you that i'm at least getting thier ear. in the past 2 yrs, i stop and chat to these meatheads on the street when i see them. i preach my thing, and alot of them think long and hard about it. i hand out pamphletts to clients with info on checking for ins, tax i.d, pest #'s etc. i've even threatened a few of them, telling them i know they arent licensed, and are applying. they could sub me, and get paid a few bucks, or get turned in. choice is thiers.

DUSTYCEDAR
01-04-2005, 12:21 AM
bobby public service tour 2005 informing the meat heads :waving:

Kelly's Landscaping
01-04-2005, 01:55 AM
The only reason bobby wants to have a union is because he thinks he will be shop Stewart and finally get that entry level mob job he has always wanted. I will say this bobby your in the right state but unlike the sopranos you are not going to get any where near me with your shovel and I would not like to be a member of bobby’s local 319 or what ever number you designate yourself. You want fairness get a job you want a chance for a better life then accept that comes with the chance for a lesser life. If success was a guarantee and no one ever failed then every one would be self employed you either got it or you don’t. And crying about how unfair it is or how so and so is not legal is still crying in my eyes.

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 08:51 AM
The only reason bobby wants to have a union is because he thinks he will be shop Stewart and finally get that entry level mob job he has always wanted. I will say this bobby your in the right state but unlike the sopranos you are not going to get any where near me with your shovel and I would not like to be a member of bobby’s local 319 or what ever number you designate yourself. You want fairness get a job you want a chance for a better life then accept that comes with the chance for a lesser life. If success was a guarantee and no one ever failed then every one would be self employed you either got it or you don’t. And crying about how unfair it is or how so and so is not legal is still crying in my eyes.
who's crying? i'm not crying, but i don't lay down and accept things, i strive to improve. the people in this field for the last 50 yrs DID NOTHING to improve thier own livelyhood, there has been no evolution whatsoever. i don't understand that for a minute. are you a "lay down and take it" kind of guy? i'm not, people like me make change, we make a difference. are you irish? u gotta be irish. guys like you remind me of a hamster running on that little whhel. running, running, running, working soooo hard, but never moving an inch. my god man, open your eyes, in your own words you were able to raise fees only $5 in 18 freakin years!! that does not concern you? are you crazy or something?

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 10:38 AM
who's crying? i'm not crying, but i don't lay down and accept things, i strive to improve. the people in this field for the last 50 yrs DID NOTHING to improve thier own livelyhood, there has been no evolution whatsoever. i don't understand that for a minute. are you a "lay down and take it" kind of guy? i'm not, people like me make change, we make a difference. are you irish? u gotta be irish. guys like you remind me of a hamster running on that little whhel. running, running, running, working soooo hard, but never moving an inch. my god man, open your eyes, in your own words you were able to raise fees only $5 in 18 freakin years!! that does not concern you? are you crazy or something?








Ive had just about enough of this.

First of all bobby common sense dictates that you will catch more flys with honey then vinegar so KNOCK OFF THE RACIAL SLURS and insults.

Secondly you wouldnt be in business without the guys who came before you. They have revolutionized this industry for us and its not to hard to see. They are ones who came up with ideas for better mowers. They are the ones who came up with plans for improved billing plans. They are the ones who came up with better tax plans for all us and improved health care plans. They have done alot for us most of which you dont recognize because all you care about is making an extra dollar on each yard and getting paid exactly on the day you want.

The fact of the matter is nobody is going to pay us $75 to come over and mow their 6000 SQ FT yard. And thats a fact not an opinion. I dont know who said the minimum has only gone up $5.00 but thats WRONG. Around here just in the last 5 years its gone up $10.00 and some cases $15.00! I charge at least $30.00 and i know guys who charge $35.00 for a postage stamp lawn.

As far as a union goes...nobody cares and nobody will want one. We went into business to do things OUR way. Not have some clown tell us how and when we can do things and thats EXACTLY what a union would do. It will NEVER happen so get it out of your head.

Ive said it before and ill say it again. Everyone is different and most economies vary from state to state. Do you actually think what you charge for a yard in NJ is comparable to what someone charges for a yard in Beverly Hills??? Its not even close, so there can be no standard as to what everyone's minimum is. We are all different but coming here will let everyone know what the other person thinks. You need to learn to accept the fact that none of us are the same and we all wont think like you do.

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 10:51 AM
they are cheaper in beverly hills. so, you went up $10-$15 in the last 3 yrs? this means that in 2001/2002 you were charging $10-$15 a cut? i rest my case. i'm trying to make a point here, and a valid one. if you don't think this indistry is in shambles, you are terribly mistaken. and it's not a racial slur i was using. i will make a difference, you,and others like you, may slow me down...but you'll never stop me

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 10:58 AM
they are cheaper in beverly hills. so, you went up $10-$15 in the last 3 yrs? this means that in 2001/2002 you were charging $10-$15 a cut? i rest my case. i'm trying to make a point here, and a valid one. if you don't think this indistry is in shambles, you are terribly mistaken. and it's not a racial slur i was using. i will make a difference, you,and others like you, may slow me down...but you'll never stop me





Once again you have twisted what someone said and spun it the way you want to read it. I said in the last 5 years not 3 and yes 5 years ago there were alot of people here around here who had a $20-$25 minimum. Read more carefully next time and yes you called him out on being Irish.

HOMER
01-04-2005, 11:01 AM
Posts: 6,666

Bobby.................your spendin way too much time telling others they are doing things wrong!!!

You should take another vacation, go break some arms or sometin ehh.

all ferris
01-04-2005, 11:36 AM
Bobby, great thread! You have become a legend on LS. If the people who read this don't know you they have their head up their turd cutters.

I think there are certain LCO's in any area that drag the industry down. Everyone knows who they are in their area and we see the piss poor job they do. I think alot of this comes from what a customer will tolerate. I would venture to say that 80 - 90% a LCO's customers have never had their grass cut by another company. Therefor, they just don't know that they could get better service or more options from a different LCO. It would be like only going to McDonald's to eat and never trying other restaurants. You would never know that there are better places to eat. If customers were more knowledgeable about LCO's and knew the good LCO's from the bad, this industry would probably become more standardized.

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 12:07 PM
Bobby, great thread! You have become a legend on LS. If the people who read this don't know you they have their head up their turd cutters.

I think there are certain LCO's in any area that drag the industry down. Everyone knows who they are in their area and we see the piss poor job they do. I think alot of this comes from what a customer will tolerate. I would venture to say that 80 - 90% a LCO's customers have never had their grass cut by another company. Therefor, they just don't know that they could get better service or more options from a different LCO. It would be like only going to McDonald's to eat and never trying other restaurants. You would never know that there are better places to eat. If customers were more knowledgeable about LCO's and knew the good LCO's from the bad, this industry would probably become more standardized.




Once again the word "standard" is used but once again NOBODY here wants to explain what they think the standard is! I for one am very excited to find out what you guys think the standard is. So let a rip and let the rest of know!

all ferris
01-04-2005, 12:14 PM
Customers would dictate what the standards would be, not LCO's.

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 12:16 PM
Customers would dictate what the standards would be, not LCO's.





Is that a statement? If so then how can you agree with Gedd when he says LCOs should set the standards??? He says we are always right and the customers are wrong.

cutnedge
01-04-2005, 12:22 PM
Customers would dictate what the standards would be, not LCO's.
Heck, they already do. Look at the kid next door.

all ferris
01-04-2005, 12:34 PM
When did I say that I agree with Gedd? All I said that this is a great thread.

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 12:36 PM
When did I say that I agree with Gedd? All I said that this is a great thread.



LOL, sorry i assumed that if you post what he says is great then you must agree with him
:dizzy:

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 12:54 PM
Once again the word "standard" is used but once again NOBODY here wants to explain what they think the standard is! I for one am very excited to find out what you guys think the standard is. So let a rip and let the rest of know!
the standars is, that there is no standard. to the guy who mentioned good hamburgers and bad as an example, you're way off, i'll tell u why: the fast food hamburger for $1.25 will always be one step up from dog food, and will always be cheaper than the "better hamburger". the places that sell the better burger are $6.50, and they will always be much more expensive than the inferior burger. this is not so in lawn care. you can get "the better burger" for the price of the crappy burger. i see it here with my own eyes, guys are doing impeccable work, for $20, $22, $25. when they should easily be getting $30, $35. so, once again, in EVERY OTHER BUSINESS, you get what u pay for, cheap prices always equals inferior product. BUT, in lawn care, YOU CAN get a premium job, for alot less. packer not trying to start with you, but i need to make a point using you as an example. packer stated that he works for around $5 less than his competitors (around 20%), and also stated he is prompt and provides a superior service. well, he's not the only one, there are alot like him doing top notch work at a cheaper price

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 01:07 PM
the standars is, that there is no standard. to the guy who mentioned good hamburgers and bad as an example, you're way off, i'll tell u why: the fast food hamburger for $1.25 will always be one step up from dog food, and will always be cheaper than the "better hamburger". the places that sell the better burger are $6.50, and they will always be much more expensive than the inferior burger. this is not so in lawn care. you can get "the better burger" for the price of the crappy burger. i see it here with my own eyes, guys are doing impeccable work, for $20, $22, $25. when they should easily be getting $30, $35. so, once again, in EVERY OTHER BUSINESS, you get what u pay for, cheap prices always equals inferior product. BUT, in lawn care, YOU CAN get a premium job, for alot less. packer not trying to start with you, but i need to make a point using you as an example. packer stated that he works for around $5 less than his competitors (around 20%), and also stated he is prompt and provides a superior service. well, he's not the only one, there are alot like him doing top notch work at a cheaper price







Bobby...ive tried to explain this before, the fact is i can afford to do it cheaper because i dont have employees to pay, i dont have outrageous gas bills to pay, i dont have $40,000 worth of equipment to pay for. Im a solo guy who still stays competetive with 75 % of the companies around here.

Most of the companies around here have a $30.00 minimum. SO DO I
Most of the companies around here charge $50.00 per hour for fall cleanups. I CHARGE $55.00 an hour.

Im very competetive when it comes to pricing. But the fact is if someone approaches me and they have a high end yard and they are paying $75 a cut and ask me to do it for $70.00 then yes i will take it. On the other hand if it was a $30.00 yard and they asked me to do it for $25.00 i would say NO because i do have that minimum. Ive told you before im not a wealthy person and if i have a chance to pick up a $70.00 yard and make an extra $2500.00 for the season then yes, im going to do it. Thats alot of money to me. I wish i was like you guys and could afford to turn people away but im not.

lpwhandyman
01-04-2005, 01:23 PM
ok then, what is the answer to a definite problem. facts are facts boys, let's adress one issue at a time. i started in this business 9 yrs ago. the standard rate back then was $25, and today it is STILL $25. i'm told by the vets here that in the early 80's they were getting the same $25. 25 yrs later, and the rates are the same. solution please
This makes no sense. You started nine years ago charging $25 and today you're still charging the same. Then YOU are to blame. You're whining and complaining but you're the one digging your own hole. Here's your solution. CHARGE MORE. That way you'll have actual work to do instead of starting countless (usually useless) posts.

cutnedge
01-04-2005, 01:24 PM
Im very competetive when it comes to pricing. But the fact is if someone approaches me and they have a high end yard and they are paying $75 a cut and ask me to do it for $70.00 then yes i will take it.
The problem is ,where do you draw the line? Okay, lets say you were "approached" by this customer and you knocked the $75 lco out of the saddle(heavens forbid you didn't lowball him) with a $70 quote. Now, someone comes behind you and starts cutting at $65. If "approached" by this customer again, do you now bid $60? When will this checkers game end---when your $30 minimum is reached?

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 01:25 PM
The problem is ,where do you draw the line? Okay, lets say you were "approached" by this customer and you knocked the $75 lco out of the saddle(heavens forbid you didn't lowball him) with a $70 quote. Now, someone comes behind you and starts cutting at $65. If "approached" by this customer again, do you now bid $60? When will this checkers game end---when your $30 minimum is reached?





I already said where i draw the line and to be quite honest its up to me where i do it and its my business just like what you charge is your business

cutnedge
01-04-2005, 01:27 PM
I already said where i draw the line and to be quite honest its up to me where i do it and its my business just like what you charge is your business
About what I figured.

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 01:29 PM
About what I figured.




You asked a question and i already answered it! Im sorry if its not the answer you like but its the one you get.

meets1
01-04-2005, 02:00 PM
I read all the threads. Took me a while to search each one in who was replying to who but all points I have taken in consideration.

Standards: Something that is established as a rule or basis of comparison.

That is the question at hand. I judge our standards by my business plan. In my area we are the highest charging company. We do well and yes, we lose an account every now and then based upon our fee. Just lost a mowing account that we serviced for 10 years. The neighbor retired, bought himself a Sears special and now is the new mower guy in the neighborhood. Fine - so be it. I beleive we are a few levels above and beyond him in business practices, professionalism, and workmanship. Is this what I am to compare our business too?

Or is the guy who's entire rig is worth less money than what we carry in the back of our trucks. Smoke hanging out of his month, one pant leg tucked in the boot the other over the boot, the old Sears mower with bagger that in held in place by a few rolls of duck tape, the troy built 32 WB and the trimmer that is blowing more smoke than the what he is. Is this the person who is setting my standard of workmanship?

Yes, there are a few legit companies that set standards or that may follow our standards, but we know we must in order to maintain the clients, the work and our image in the public eye.

To me it is like asking a guy who has a 1/2 million $ motor home what he gets for gas milage. If you have to ask, you couldn't afford it.

So in the end, who is better off. Joe Blow or yourself. I would think you, the business owner. It is your pride, your equipment, your crew, your workmanship that is being seen every day through the eyes of the public. Joe Blow comes and goes.

I don't want to offend anyone and if I did, I guess you know who you are. For there are probably a few Joe Blows out there that are now legit companies that have learned a lesson or two from watching "us" do our business!

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 02:13 PM
This makes no sense. You started nine years ago charging $25 and today you're still charging the same. Then YOU are to blame. You're whining and complaining but you're the one digging your own hole. Here's your solution. CHARGE MORE. That way you'll have actual work to do instead of starting countless (usually useless) posts.
i didn't set the pricing, guys like you did. i didn't create this mess, i walked into it.

Kelly's Landscaping
01-04-2005, 03:05 PM
Read more carefully next time and yes you called him out on being Irish.

Ahh don't worry about it Packer I am 8 nationality’s and happen to have an Irish last name and I am quite proud of it. Un like Bobby who is so obviously a New Jersey Italian its not funny yet he has a fake name and he will never tell you what the name of his company is. I thank god I do not share in Bobby’s bloodline and its thin skin. I guess I love to spar with Bobby since he is incapable of hitting back but keeps swinging anyways and he does make me smile. He can take the worse position on an issue and will not budge and that makes him Bobby.

He also has some Dem qualities and is very good at twisting facts and leaving out important information in his attempts to make a point. He points out I said on average we only make about 5 dollars more a lawn then we did when I started. But he left out that I said how much more efficient we are now. We do 20-25 more lawns a day now then when I started in this trade. That adds up to a lot of cash he will bring up the cost of the mowers well that is true but they have bigger motors and are better built and in my experience last longer now. On a large mower like a 60 or bigger we expect and get about 100 hours of use per hp so on a 27 kohler that bring us in 2700 hours of expected use. I know this for about every hour of actual mower time I make a little over 100 dollars that means that mower will make me a quarter million in its life time. For the price of 8-12 k I do not see that as that big of a money loser. We all debate the cost of depreciation the trouble is most of the guys here continue to claim it on there personal spread sheets long after the unit has hit zero. Yes things wear out but not as fast as some like to think. And yes your accountant may charge more so what if you didn't figure it out we make more as well. I will tell you something about my accountant he left is company and went on his own the same time I did and he is pissed at me as my income and growth have dwarfed him and his fathers new business.

rodfather
01-04-2005, 03:11 PM
Ahh don't worry about it Packer I am 8 nationality’s and happen to have an Irish last name and I am quite proud of it.

8 nationalities :dizzy: Damn Kelly, you should have your own seat in the UN or something my friend LOL...

Mo Green
01-04-2005, 03:36 PM
i didn't set the pricing, guys like you did. i didn't create this mess, i walked into it.

And YOU chose to walk into it. No one threw you into it.

Always looking to blame others for your situation. YOU have the power to make changes, but it seems like all you want to do is COMPLAIN about how bad things are instead of making a difference.You claim that you do good work and provide great customer service. If this is true, then you should be able to raise your rates and still retain your customers.

You seem to have such a knack for starting these argumentative threads. You make outrageous statements and only reply by twisting someone elses words. It's so pathetic.

If you're wondering why so many "kids" are getting into this industry, it's because cutting grass for a living is not on the "top 100 hardest jobs on the planet" list. Anytime someone starts a business doing work that a homeowner can do for himself, you're not going to be able to charge high prices. It's simple economics. Companies that provide services that most ordinary people cannot perform are the ones that can "name their price".

lpwhandyman
01-04-2005, 04:31 PM
So Gedd......1. Are you going to do something about it in 2005? 2. Are you raising your prices this year? 3. If not, why? 4. If so, how much?

dishboy
01-04-2005, 04:42 PM
So Gedd......1. Are you going to do something about it in 2005? 2. Are you raising your prices this year? 3. If not, why? 4. If so, how much?

Great question, what percentage should the "Union Guys'' raise their price this year.

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 04:45 PM
Great question, what percentage should the "Union Guys'' raise their price this year.



Good question and whos to say homeowners will even hire a union member?

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 04:51 PM
So Gedd......1. Are you going to do something about it in 2005? 2. Are you raising your prices this year? 3. If not, why? 4. If so, how much?
it's very hard for me to raise fees, i'm already 20-30% higher than my competitors. but i will raise them anyhow, perhaps 3% , not sure yet. i have "other ways" of raising the prices, without actually showing an increase on paper. so, yes, in reality, i will get an increase of about 7% average on each property

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 04:52 PM
it's very hard for me to raise fees, i'm already 20-30% higher than my competitors. but i will raise them anyhow, perhaps 3% , not sure yet. i have "other ways" of raising the prices, without actually showing an increase on paper. so, yes, in reality, i will get an increase of about 7% average on each property





What are those ways?

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 04:59 PM
look man, i can't share privilaged information with non union members

rodfather
01-04-2005, 05:05 PM
Besides considering raising your rates bobby, think how you might be able to lower your costs as well. Lowering your expenses will have a greater effect on your P & L than you might think.

Mo Green
01-04-2005, 05:05 PM
A one member union.... how funny.

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 05:11 PM
A one member union.... how funny.
hey, rome was not built in a day! all the great ones stood alone, and were laughed at. they laughed at columbus when he said the world was round.

dishboy
01-04-2005, 05:38 PM
it's very hard for me to raise fees, i'm already 20-30% higher than my competitors. but i will raise them anyhow, perhaps 3% , not sure yet. i have "other ways" of raising the prices, without actually showing an increase on paper. so, yes, in reality, i will get an increase of about 7% average on each property



So it sounds like your going to raise everybody a buck[3%] It sounds
like status que, all that ranting and raving about how all the old timers are ruining the industry you are only willing to raise your rate a buck............ I'm sorry I thought our fearless leader was going to take us into new unchartered territory :dizzy:

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 05:41 PM
So it sounds like your going to raise everybody a buck[3%] It sounds
like status que, all that ranting and raving about how all the old timers are ruining the industry you are only willing to raise your rate a buck............ I'm sorry I thought our fearless leader was going to take us into new unchartered territory :dizzy:
i can't do it alone! you people are deserters! even the lone ranger had tonto. who do i have? nobody. it will come out to about 7% on all services, with about 3% being actually visible to the client. i will take you to the promised land, but you have to follow

packerbacker
01-04-2005, 05:41 PM
look man, i can't share privilaged information with non union members




Translation: I have no idea

bobbygedd
01-04-2005, 05:52 PM
Besides considering raising your rates bobby, think how you might be able to lower your costs as well. Lowering your expenses will have a greater effect on your P & L than you might think.
good idea rod. i guess i could start with payroll. get rid of one employee, do more of the work myself, go fishin less, spend less time in the pool..... ok, let's not get crazy here, any ideas that are more realistic?

rodfather
01-04-2005, 05:58 PM
good idea rod. i guess i could start with payroll. get rid of one employee, do more of the work myself, go fishin less, spend less time in the pool..... ok, let's not get crazy here, any ideas that are more realistic?

To start with...

1. Use a insurance broker, not an agent. A broker will continually look for the best deal from MANY companies they represent. Normally an agent represents just one company.

2. Buy items like grease, oil, filters, etc., in bulk. Not indivudual

3. Do non-productive things like buying fuel, etc. on YOUR time...not when there are employees with you.

I'll have others as I think of them...