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  #1  
Old 05-04-2000, 07:24 AM
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Charles Charles is offline
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Raining here! Wahoo!. I didn't think it could get worse. But this year the grass cutters are tripping all over each other. I have heard it said in the past that there is plenty enough work for all of us. But this is too much. Husband and wife teams in stationwagons out there pulling lawn trailors. Did I miss something here? Is the lawn business really such a goldmine? I know that most of these people will drop out by mid summer. But man my ad has barely attracted the calls I use to get. I change it too. I don't blame anything except that their are way too many lawn companies out there. I must pass 10 a day on my route. I have almost a full schedule but could really use 20 more yards. I know I am being lazy by not soliciting door to door etc. The point of this post is to wonder why their are sooo many lawn care companies out their fighting for so few yards. I don't think I have ever seen it this quite saturated. Every corner their is a lawn care company lol. I think in this town of 200,000, their are alot of people on collecting disability and working a cash lawn care business on the side. I saw in the paper the other day that people on disabilty were the most likely to be audited by the IRS. I saw a man the other day doing a commercial job with what looked like a 5 year old holding a blower. People out their, just because you see alot of lawn care companies out their, dont assume that they are making alot of money and you should quit your real job and join us.
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Old 05-04-2000, 07:47 AM
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Charles Charles is offline
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I am not through whining lol. Unlees it is a referral. On the calls I rarely do get. I don't even see the point of going to give an estimate anymore. I have free estimates in my ad. But people are going down the list of adds and calling 10 companies. I know I am not going to be the lowest. I gave a estimate the other day. I told her 40$. Another companies said 30$. 30$ people!!! I was charging that price 10 years ago. MOst of these companies and the parttimers have no idea what a profit margin is. They don't know what inflation is. I am not really hurting for business. Just that I could be doing so much better. If we were on a level playing field. It use to be just an annoyance having the work for free lawn care companies. Now there are so many idiots out there its hard to ignore. I am not exagerating when I say so many. When the heat and humdity and they start breaking down and get out.... But the damage will already be done in the mindset of the customers. That they will think their yard cut is still worth 30$ and alway will be worth that. Because of all the sucker lawn care companies out there. Now I am through whining for today at least
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Old 05-04-2000, 08:16 AM
Toroguy Toroguy is offline
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Charles,<br>I have also noticed the large number of lawn co.s. Five companies will service ten residences on an average city block. With probably five different prices.<p>I think there is a ton of opportunity in this business.<p>In the world of airline pricing, a newbie like Reno air moves into the market. Big guy American Air, drops fares to shut down the competitor, in essence working at a loss. Newbie leaves, prices rise.<p>This is business Charles, the mowing is the easy part. Looking over your shoulder can take your eyes off your vision, and it seems to make you angry. Once mid summer comes around and the station wagon crews drop out you can employ a tactic called price gouging.<p>Hope this helps
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Old 05-04-2000, 08:59 AM
Scraper Scraper is offline
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I'm with you Charles! I may be one of those guys you referred to who's considering leaving his job though. I have been at this part-time for the past 5 years (just haven't had the &quot;balls&quot; to leave as yet as my wife and I just bought a house) and have been in the biz since I was 15 working for others. I can tell you that my prices are probably the highes in the neighborhoods, but I go with the motto...&quot;you get what you pay for&quot;. I know the cost of doing business as I am fully insured and use almost a months biz to just pay my insurance not to mention what I pay for the equipment. I bet half those cars you see out there pulling a trailer don't have a business policy for their automobile let alone for their business! I am just outside Philadelphia and see and feel the pressure. I bid a job and had the guy call back saying that everyone else he called was &quot;a little lower&quot; than my price and that he'd keep my number in case it doesn't work out with who he goes with as he likes the work I do for others in his neighborhood. Well the hell with that! I told him he could toss my number as I am not going to deal with price shoppers and running a business like this is not cheap! I agree with Toroguy in that half of them will fizzle out once the heat really starts packing a wallup and those half-acre lawns start looking bigger and bigger with a 21&quot; push mower.<p>Side note: I watched this guy and his 10 year old (couldn't have been any older) with their wagon and trailer) 21&quot; push mowing an acre commercial property by my home on a Saturady in the rain. I just chuckled and shook my head. To think a national chain (Enterprise Rent-a-Car) would stoop to that level. He must be cheap to say the least!
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Old 05-04-2000, 09:03 AM
Scraper Scraper is offline
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One more thing...as I was doing my invoices last night I thought about lowering/adjusting down my prices for a couple clients as I am afraid they may find their neighbors are paying less than they. Some of these customers I have had since the inception of my business. Still haven't decided what I am going to do as they haven't complained about the prices as of yet. I guess I should just leave good enough alone. It hits the pocket hard when these guys come out and bid all the lawns in a neighborhood at $22.50 and you are charging anywhere from $30-40. <br>
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2000, 09:10 AM
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geogunn geogunn is offline
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chances are that everyday when I pull out of the drive that I am gonna have to look both ways real good because if I don't I might get run over by another cutter zooming down the road in my neighborhood.<p>every week I pull fliers out of my mailbox offering to cut my grass for $20! HECK! I lost my next door neighbor to one of these guys! My lot, and those like it, is a $30 to $35 MINIMUM for me.<p>I dunnow how but I still am malking profit, but, like most, I could use more.<p>I do alot of elderly and people that require a cutter to be dependable. I was 15 minutes late the other day in getting to one of these people and she called to see if I was OK. I thanked her for her concern, and she commented that she kept me because I did everything I said I would do everytime, including arriving on time.<p>Just think of it another way. If there weren't so many $20 cutters out there, alot of grass would go uncut!<p>GEO
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Old 05-04-2000, 09:44 AM
Scraper Scraper is offline
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Geogunn: That's as bad as them putting flyers in your customers mailboxes while you are there working! Happened to me the other day! Best part is the customer showed it to me then crumbled it up and threw it away! *L*<p>P.S. If grass went uncut it would give the brushhoggers more work.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2000, 03:26 PM
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geogunn geogunn is offline
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yo scrapper--if there was more bushhogging work out there then I'd be doing it! Southside would have trouble competing with all the farmer/slashers we have here!<p>GEO
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2000, 09:25 PM
cantoo cantoo is offline
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Charles, do you put in your ads that you are insured and pay the proper taxes. When I give estimates I mention that I have taken pesticides courses and chat abit about insurance costs for it and my business and remind them that if my price is too high that there are lots of kids that cut grass and can do a good job as long as they stand there and watch them. My main competion here is kids and a couple of retired guys who cut grass. No insurance and don't pay any taxes I would love to report this one old guy who is constanly bad mouthing me to anyone who will listen. But he's old and gonna die someday and I'll be there to wave goodbye.
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Old 05-04-2000, 10:36 PM
cantoo cantoo is offline
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I forgot to add that I cut the cemetery that he will be buried in so I can Fertilize ( piss on) his grave every time I cut it..
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