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grass disaster
02-20-2005, 08:02 PM
i live in a small town in minnesota, i've been doing this since i was about 10. i'd drive my lawn mower around town and cut for the grandparents.

today i saw a ad in the local paper advertising for lawns:town homes, apartments,single family homes.

as the town gropes i see more competition all the time driving around their old trucks and one walk behind units.

it seems everyone and their brother wants to get in this business. it seems it's more of the lower income people starting up in the lawn business.

i'm just a little worried that they will undercut my prices and take away some of my prize lawns that took me 10 years to get looking as good as they do. i basically have all the commercial business in town and take great pride in that.

i almost feel as if this is my territory. i feel myself traveling greater distances to be getting paid more. since all the scrubs are cutting lawn in my town

my point is i hate hate hate the guyz that drive around in their old trucks with their belt walk behind that stare at me like...i'm going to steal your work :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin

Mountain Peak
02-20-2005, 08:09 PM
You should feel as if it is your territory, and guard it with everything.

The majority of the business may be yours, but it is yours to lose to. I would think that if you are doing things right your customers will stay with you....

jimslawns
02-20-2005, 08:13 PM
When you find out they are out visiting your customers, tell your customers to ask for references and proof of Insurance prior to accepting their bid, this will deter much of your competion. Also your customers will realize that you have been providing a quality, and professional service.

meets1
02-20-2005, 08:15 PM
Been there! Same idea and starting point as you and I am in a small NW Iowa town. About 5 years we had the same problem. Two guys, older semi retired, mowing for $ 5 - 7 a lawn. Yes, they took some good customers away.

Today, I am happy to say we those clients back b/c of many reasons.
1. We did everything.
A. Mow, spray, fert, snow removal, pruning bushes, trimming trees, ect.

2. We even gained there commercial clients
A. Businesses asked for a bid, I placed what I needed and received the work. I asked them if there was a problem etc, all of them said flat out - NOT PROFESSIONAL!

3. These guys limit themselves to mowing. Old stuff, dink around for 2 hours for $20.00 where as we are in and out in 15 - 20 minutes for $20.00.

So, yes you may take hit, but keep things looking great (which I imagine you do), Look PROFESSIONAL and be curtious. Maybe these guys offer mowing only and your doing all the other service work, then use that to your advantage!

brinlee lawn
02-20-2005, 08:50 PM
I just got in, went driving around town checking to see how many of the nice coroplast signs I put out friday were still there, well we are 1 for 10 doesn't that say something nice about my competion. I have never stole anybody's signs why does this business have to be so cut throat.

grass disaster
02-20-2005, 09:01 PM
I just got in, went driving around town checking to see how many of the nice coroplast signs I put out friday were still there, well we are 1 for 10 doesn't that say something nice about my competion. I have never stole anybody's signs why does this business have to be so cut throat.

wow that takes guts. that's something i wouldn't do. i'd go baits if i ever cought any one stealing anything of mine. :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin

bobbygedd
02-20-2005, 09:09 PM
you're doomed

TURF DOCTOR
02-20-2005, 09:11 PM
Black Sunday

plateau lawn care
02-20-2005, 09:23 PM
I just got in, went driving around town checking to see how many of the nice coroplast signs I put out friday were still there, well we are 1 for 10 doesn't that say something nice about my competion. I have never stole anybody's signs why does this business have to be so cut throat.


I lost some signs also bad thing is i put it out to where it was on a corner by itself not in a front yard or blocking any view.

brinlee lawn
02-20-2005, 09:53 PM
Thanks Gedd so I am doomed.

lawnman_scott
02-20-2005, 09:54 PM
i live in a small town in minnesota, i've been doing this since i was about 10. i'd drive my lawn mower around town and cut for the grandparents.



my point is i hate hate hate the guyz that drive around in their old trucks with their belt walk behind that stare at me like...i'm going to steal your work :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin
I bet there was someone who hated the 10 y/o kid driving his mower around town who thought it was his territory. He may have had an old truck and walk behind too.

grass disaster
02-20-2005, 10:01 PM
I bet there was someone who hated the 10 y/o kid driving his mower around town who thought it was his territory. He may have had an old truck and walk behind too.

WRONG. there were no lawn services in my town when i stared.

Mikefla1
02-20-2005, 10:07 PM
I have been mowing on the side for 2 yrs. Lucky I have two friends that do the same. It's kinda funny I have the east and southeast side of town. Where one friend has north and west and other has south. Well we all worked out a deal where if one of us can get a yard or offerd a yard it goes to that person depending on the side of town. None of us have ever heard anything bad about the other, and luckily all of our customers have never had a problem with the way we work out our yards. I've never talked about the way any other lawn service provides service all my yards have come either for my friends or walkups. I think we have a great operation going. i don't think we have any enemys out there. :laugh: Mike

Mo Green
02-20-2005, 10:15 PM
WRONG. there were no lawn services in my town when i stared.

I doubt that.

QualityLawnCare4u
02-20-2005, 10:54 PM
Hey Grassmaster, not trying to be rude, and Im sure your work is great, but you aint the only fish out their now. I wished I was the only LCO in my area but thats just the way it is. Seven years ago there were not a third of the people in my area in lawn care there is now, but I dont HATE them! They are trying to make a living just like me, and many well fail by being lowballers and Im still here. BTW, I started out with a 88 dodge caravan with no paint, a homemade trailor that was UGLY, and a rusty Murray, was the best I could do. I wonder how many LCO hated me LOL. Just do good work and dont get "Im the only LCO in town who does good work" and you will be fine. An arrogant attitude had destroyed people.

QualityLawnCare4u
02-20-2005, 10:57 PM
Hey Grassmaster, not trying to be rude, and Im sure your work is great, but you aint the only fish out their now. I wished I was the only LCO in my area but thats just the way it is. Seven years ago there were not a third of the people in my area in lawn care there is now, but I dont HATE them! They are trying to make a living just like me, and many well fail by being lowballers and Im still here. BTW, I started out with a 88 dodge caravan with no paint, a homemade trailor that was UGLY, and a rusty Murray, was the best I could do. I wonder how many LCO hated me LOL. Just do good work and dont get "Im the only LCO in town who does good work" and you will be fine. An arrogant attitude had destroyed people.

Man, my spelling stinks! An arrogant attitude has destroyed many people. I meant to say when you thing you are all that and a bag of chips and are the best thing there is better look out!

grass disaster
02-20-2005, 11:06 PM
Man, my spelling stinks! An arrogant attitude has destroyed many people. I meant to say when you thing you are all that and a bag of chips and are the best thing there is better look out!

i'm not conceit it's just that they might take some of my gravy away

bobbygedd
02-20-2005, 11:09 PM
i'm not conceit it's just that they might take some of my gravy away
hey, the best thing u can do is teach them to do quality work, at the right prices. this "raises the bar" for the industry....and will ensure they are there forever ;) :confused:

grass disaster
02-20-2005, 11:13 PM
i think what bothers me the most is.. last year i saw them drive by. i gave them a wave and they decided they were going to stare me down. maybe they were staring at my kubota i guess :)

QualityLawnCare4u
02-20-2005, 11:21 PM
Here is what I have to compete against that brings me to a boil. We have CSX railroad here that is the highes paid company in my area, and only a very few select can get a job there. I know of 2 railroad employs that bought the most expensive toro ztr they could buy and all expensive equipment just for a tax deduction! They will do a 40 yard for 10 bucks! The railroad pays them so much money they were getting burned in taxes. Now this pizzes me off big time! I have no problem with a man trying to make a living but this is lower than a scrub. I was told couple months back by another LCO that one of these CSX people got his azz jumped on by another LCO for taking his gravy away. I hate no one who comes into the biz to make a living but these kind of folks are scum! I would love to have his 80k job if he wants to trade!

ChadA
02-20-2005, 11:33 PM
You should feel as if it is your territory, and guard it with everything.

The majority of the business may be yours, but it is yours to lose to. I would think that if you are doing things right your customers will stay with you....


I agree with Mountain Peak. Most of my customers are people who fired someone because they did poor quallity work. Even though my price is higher by around 15-20%. They found out the hard way you get what you pay for.

Green lawns
02-21-2005, 12:05 AM
If your looking to expand and get new business why not try flyers or door hangers. I don't think the competition will take them, but then again you never know. Don't give up you have good quality and that counts alot.

Norm Al
02-21-2005, 12:34 AM
so grassmaster how was it again that you went into business? oh yeah the same way they were alowed to go in business!

its sad when people would wish to deny others the rights that they want!

Precision
02-21-2005, 08:47 AM
Yup Norm AL.

This is America and last time I looked anyone who wants to can start his own business. Be they inept, a lowballer, a scrub or a guy who really wants to do a good job.

Bottom line is it isn't your territory, There is nothing you can do about competition other than provide superior service. Stealing signs, jumping the guy, lowballing him out of business are all felonies. Racketeering, theft, assault.

Now you know how we all feel here in Florida. Every redneck with $2 and a pick up has a LCO. There is a guy here who uses his convertible Camaro with his 21" on a rug in the back seat with his weed eater and pole saw sticking out the back.

YardPro
02-21-2005, 08:58 AM
Here is what I have to compete against that brings me to a boil. We have CSX railroad here that is the highes paid company in my area, and only a very few select can get a job there. I know of 2 railroad employs that bought the most expensive toro ztr they could buy and all expensive equipment just for a tax deduction! They will do a 40 yard for 10 bucks! The railroad pays them so much money they were getting burned in taxes. Now this pizzes me off big time! I have no problem with a man trying to make a living but this is lower than a scrub. I was told couple months back by another LCO that one of these CSX people got his azz jumped on by another LCO for taking his gravy away. I hate no one who comes into the biz to make a living but these kind of folks are scum! I would love to have his 80k job if he wants to trade!


why not talk to these guys. is they need to show a loss for tax purposes have them pay you $25.00 to mow thier $10.00 yard. this should lower thier tax bracket.

YardPro
02-21-2005, 09:03 AM
as far as the competition goes, don't sweat it too much. 75% or more of small businesses fail within the first three years

bobbygedd
02-21-2005, 10:18 AM
as far as the competition goes, don't sweat it too much. 75% or more of small businesses fail within the first three years
unless thier mommy bought thier equipment for them

Norm Al
02-21-2005, 10:37 AM
my mommy only breast fed me when i was little,,,,,after that i had to pay my own way!:)

GrassMasterNC
02-21-2005, 10:51 AM
ditto for what yard pro said. and remember - the guy on top is always the one that smiles and waves at the compeittion. If they try to "stare you down" - then they are obviously intimidated and know their place in the local food chain. Continue doing it everytime you see them. When you get the opportunity, try to help them understand the value of quality work and competetive pricing. Make them understand this is what drives "par for the course" in the area. If they can't handle that, push them out of business. You have two options....help them - therby helping you, or completely destroy them.

Matt

kipcom
02-21-2005, 11:03 AM
you're doomed

Thats a pretty BOLD comment...... :dizzy:

Sounds like you (Bobby) practice this method.

J.Gordon
02-21-2005, 11:21 AM
i live in a small town in minnesota, i've been doing this since i was about 10. i'd drive my lawn mower around town and cut for the grandparents.

today i saw a ad in the local paper advertising for lawns:town homes, apartments,single family homes.

as the town gropes i see more competition all the time driving around their old trucks and one walk behind units.

it seems everyone and their brother wants to get in this business. it seems it's more of the lower income people starting up in the lawn business.

i'm just a little worried that they will undercut my prices and take away some of my prize lawns that took me 10 years to get looking as good as they do. i basically have all the commercial business in town and take great pride in that.

i almost feel as if this is my territory. i feel myself traveling greater distances to be getting paid more. since all the scrubs are cutting lawn in my town

my point is i hate hate hate the guyz that drive around in their old trucks with their belt walk behind that stare at me like...i'm going to steal your work :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin



Well if you didnít want competition you should have started a career that would require you to be educated in the field. Something that would require you to have a license, experience and the education, that would allow you to do that type of work. But the skilled work force has competition also. If you want to keep your clients and not have to worry about your competition taking your gravy away from you, then you need to be the most efficient at what you do!


Here is what I have to compete against that brings me to a boil. We have CSX railroad here that is the highes paid company in my area, and only a very few select can get a job there. I know of 2 railroad employs that bought the most expensive toro ztr they could buy and all expensive equipment just for a tax deduction! They will do a 40 yard for 10 bucks! The railroad pays them so much money they were getting burned in taxes. Now this pizzes me off big time! I have no problem with a man trying to make a living but this is lower than a scrub. I was told couple months back by another LCO that one of these CSX people got his azz jumped on by another LCO for taking his gravy away. I hate no one who comes into the biz to make a living but these kind of folks are scum! I would love to have his 80k job if he wants to trade!



Sounds to me like you have a great opportunity here. Start subbing these guys out! Pay them what they want and you can keep them as busy as they want to be.

Smalltimer1
02-21-2005, 12:15 PM
Here is what I have to compete against that brings me to a boil. We have CSX railroad here that is the highes paid company in my area, and only a very few select can get a job there. I know of 2 railroad employs that bought the most expensive toro ztr they could buy and all expensive equipment just for a tax deduction! They will do a 40 yard for 10 bucks! The railroad pays them so much money they were getting burned in taxes. Now this pizzes me off big time! I have no problem with a man trying to make a living but this is lower than a scrub. I was told couple months back by another LCO that one of these CSX people got his azz jumped on by another LCO for taking his gravy away. I hate no one who comes into the biz to make a living but these kind of folks are scum! I would love to have his 80k job if he wants to trade!

I hope there's no railroad guys on here, they would jump you for saying they make 80k a year. They're lucky to get 50k, I know several people who retired from CSX when they abandoned the line at home, and they said on a good year they might see 55k but on bad years its more like 45-48k. In fact I know one guy who left CSX because of salary cuts and went to work for the state.

Smalltimer1
02-21-2005, 12:17 PM
i live in a small town in minnesota, i've been doing this since i was about 10. i'd drive my lawn mower around town and cut for the grandparents.

today i saw a ad in the local paper advertising for lawns:town homes, apartments,single family homes.

as the town gropes i see more competition all the time driving around their old trucks and one walk behind units.

it seems everyone and their brother wants to get in this business. it seems it's more of the lower income people starting up in the lawn business.

i'm just a little worried that they will undercut my prices and take away some of my prize lawns that took me 10 years to get looking as good as they do. i basically have all the commercial business in town and take great pride in that.

i almost feel as if this is my territory. i feel myself traveling greater distances to be getting paid more. since all the scrubs are cutting lawn in my town

my point is i hate hate hate the guyz that drive around in their old trucks with their belt walk behind that stare at me like...i'm going to steal your work :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin :gunsfirin


Everybody hates competition but the consumer. Competition is what keeps quality good.

MMLawn
02-21-2005, 12:21 PM
I'm sure the guys and companies that were doing it around you before you were even born hate it also.

Competition is a way of life so get use to it, instead of complaining one adapts and overcomes if you want a sucessful business.

QualityLawnCare4u
02-21-2005, 03:48 PM
Everybody hates competition but the consumer. Competition is what keeps quality good.

Hey smalltimer, let me clarify myself. I dont know about your area but the railroad pays great here. I had a friend that got on last year and he made 48k his first year. The guys we have in the lawn care are not newbie employs, been there awhile and that is what one told me he made (could have lied, I know). Now, with that being said, in MY area we have a very high unemployment rate which is forcing a lot of poor unemployed people into the lawn service. When you have someone who has a good job that most folks in my area would give their left (arm) for and someone does something like this, well Im sorry, it aint right!! In past couple of years seen a big increase in lawn care, pressure washing, car washing and carpenter work so many folks are unemployed. Nothing personal against CSX (I dont care what company for that matter) its just if you already have a job let someone else feed their darn families!! BTW, my dad retired from CSX 3 years ago, so once again nothing against the company, just the prinicipal.

MMLawn
02-21-2005, 04:00 PM
Hey smalltimer, let me clarify myself. I dont know about your area but the railroad pays great here. I had a friend that got on last year and he made 48k his first year.


I can assure you that the salary is at mininum the same and probably higher in Raleigh, NC where Smalltimer is than it is in Blackshear, GA. I lived and worked in Raleigh for 10 years and that area has one of the highest per average salaries in the South and year after year rated in the top 5 Cities to live and work in by Fortune Mag. For like 2 years it was rated Number 1 even. Also 48K is a LONG way away from the 80K that you first said and more in line with the 50-55K that Smalltimer said. I'm sure that some of the guys that have been working there 25-30 years make much more and those if any are the ones in the 80K range.

QualityLawnCare4u
02-21-2005, 04:38 PM
I can assure you that the salary is at mininum the same and probably higher in Raleigh, NC where Smalltimer is than it is in Blackshear, GA. I lived and worked in Raleigh for 10 years and that area has one of the highest per average salaries in the South and year after year rated in the top 5 Cities to live and work in by Fortune Mag. For like 2 years it was rated Number 1 even. Also 48K is a LONG way away from the 80K that you first said and more in line with the 50-55K that Smalltimer said. I'm sure that some of the guys that have been working there 25-30 years make much more and those if any are the ones in the 80K range.

Yes MMlawn, one of the 2 guys I know that are doing lawncare have been their for 29 years, the other I dont know how long he has been there.poin My t is, if you have a decent job in a repressed area why are you trying to go in the lawn biz to help defer taxes! Forget the 80k! Its the point of why they are doing it. The 80k I said is what lawn guy #1 he made. The 48k is my friends first year working their. I wished I made 48k in lawn care. It makes no differnece if its 180k or 20k, my point was they went in lawncare for the wrong reason. BTW, I have a several relatives in Greensboro, beautiful countryside last time I was their.

MMLawn
02-21-2005, 04:50 PM
BTW, I have a several relatives in Greensboro, beautiful countryside last time I was their.



Next time you come to visit them let me know and dinner will be on me.


Heck, I might even let you help us cut grass too... :waving:

Mdirrigation
02-21-2005, 05:18 PM
You have to start somewhere , the easiest way is an old truck and belt drive walk behinds . Thats how I started in 1981 . I had a 1969 chevy , a old boat trailer turned flatbed , a case rider and gravley convertable . And in 1999 I sold the mowing and maintenance ( 400 customers )for a very good sum . ( and I still kept the original 1969 chevy but it got totaled 6 months later)

Never underestimate your competition , the guy with the older truck can do the same or better work . The truck doesnt do the work , it just gets you there .

QualityLawnCare4u
02-21-2005, 05:24 PM
Next time you come to visit them let me know and dinner will be on me.


Heck, I might even let you help us cut grass too... :waving:

Alright, Ill take you up on that offer! It has been so long since Ive seen them Im ashamed to say I cant even remeber all of my relatives names. Their last name was Worth.

430 boy
02-21-2005, 05:27 PM
Competition is a very good thing. It weed out the one who can't hack it and for
the rest of us it sharpen us up. a wise man once said "every moring a lion wake up and know he has to hit the ground a run or he will not got breakfast. every moring a deer know if he doesn't hit the ground a run he will be someone breakfast." Point being you better run like hell because today might be your day
:blob3:

mbella
02-21-2005, 05:36 PM
Worry about the things you can control. Competition isn't one of them.

brinlee lawn
02-21-2005, 06:03 PM
I did not intend this thread to become a competition is bad thread, competition is a good thing but stealing someone elses property is a little to far. Maybe they can't afford to have there own signs made so they take our's down. :gunsfirin :gunsfirin

dvmcmrhp52
02-21-2005, 07:40 PM
I like competition.
Why?
It seperates the men from the boy...............errr, I mean the
businessmen from the ...............dare I say it............................scrubs? :p


Seriously though, competition brings out the best survivalist thinking, therefore the most innovative at times.

It's all about who can play the game better,and yes, it surely is a game.

I'm just sitting back waiting until the passle of weekend warriors goes "kerthunk"!
There will be all sorts of cheap underutilized equipment waiting for someone to snatch up.
I went into this with a Lonnng term plan, part of which was to weed out some competition by sheer staying power in the market place. We'll see how it all pans out in a few more years.
Worst thing that can happen is we sell the equipment and do something else, this is America don't ya know................

I don't intend to sell anything though.................

Mo Green
02-21-2005, 07:42 PM
I like competition, too. I think it's good for business.

meets1
02-21-2005, 08:14 PM
Competiton is good for us guys. We all complain on this site about the "scrubs". Well they do make our job what it is today - Being, addressing, acting, and conducting ourselves or business as PROFESSIONAL!

1. I have area guys that drive old stuff that do work which resembles there equipment.

2. I have another in our area that has "daddy's" money and all new JD equipment, 5 trucks, none older that a 2003, which were all bought new, and the list goes on. Does that mean he is doing better job/service than our company, no, but I do know one thing, our overhead is alot less.

But then compare to that to my #1 statment, we and the other guy outperform him 10 to 1.

But with #2 guy and myself, were able to stay busy and yet were able to check ourselves against each other a bit. Its like were running a race, always seem to be within stride of each other.