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  #31  
Old 03-09-2000, 08:10 AM
thelawnguy thelawnguy is offline
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Charles wrote:<br>&quot;Low ballers, friends of the owner/manager and relatives of the owner/manager really can knock you out of a job no matter the quality of your work.&quot;<p>Charles I think you have one of the keys here. I have two commercial accounts, one large industrial park condo complex for snow and grounds and a furniture store/vocational school complex for lawn care only. Both these jobs I have because I know someone and knocked the old contractor out. No lowball needed, though Im sure they told the old contractor that I was &quot;cheaper&quot; (I wasnt). I cant get the snow at the furniture store because the snow guy has been in there a lot longer than me. And these are the same reasons I cant get in other commercial places-its who you know, not how much you charge, at least if you plan to keep the account.<p>Phil Nilsson writes <p>&quot;1. Knowing how long the job will take ... contractor A figures 100 man hours ... contractor B figures 80 man hours.<p>2. The multiplier ... contractor A multiplies his 100 hours by let's say $35 and contractor B multiplies his 80 hours by let's say $25<p>3. Cost issues ... contractor A has legitimate costs, insurance, payroll taxes,<br>overtime wages, rents an operating facility and has other &quot;normal&quot; expenses. Contractor B<br>pays wages under the table, works from his home where he may not be in compliance with<br>zoning regulations, doesn't report wages for workers, and may not even be recognizing<br>business income at all.&quot;<p>These are the facts and realities of this business. Not everybody takes the same amount of time to perform a specific task, for a number of reasons. Not everybody has the same nut to crack, be it because they run out of a trailer or a prime commercial store-front office, runs brand-new hydro z-turns or ten year old gear drive bobcats. And not everybody desires, or can command in their market, the same hourly rate net.<p>Every lawn is different. Every worker is different. Every locale is different. Everybodys needs are different. So everybodys view of how much, how long, how come(!) will be different.<p>Those that cant accept the realities of this business probably are doing themselves and their customers a disservice by remaining in it.<p>Im glad there is no standard to go by. Even with flat-rate manuals for automotive, the times go out the window once the vehicle is a couple years old, rusty, etc. How can a lawn be flat-rated, I have a 34 inseam, you have a 29 inseam, hills, morning dew, constant shade or sun, you all get the picture.<p>Bill
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  #32  
Old 03-09-2000, 09:13 AM
Nilsson Associates Nilsson Associates is offline
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Above post ... one mechanic faster than another? ... one car rusty another not? Hourly rates &quot;cure&quot; local situations to some extent ... then customer probably chooses one mechanic over another (if hrly rates are same) based on honesty, doing a good job, or past experiences with that particular repair shop. Hourly rates allow the mechanic to &quot;ball park&quot; an estimated based on times recorded in the reference book. At other times he'll do the work based on a fixed price that he's pretty sure of.<p>Phil Nilsson
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  #33  
Old 03-09-2000, 10:16 PM
plowking35 plowking35 is offline
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I have not read the lawn care forum in a while, and I remember why. Phil is still posting. If think Larry knows it all he must have learned it from Phil, since he is the Godfather of all landscapers.<br>And I do agree with Larry, the feds do have anti trust/colusion laws.And what Phil forgot to mention is that when that new guy finally goes out of business, there are 10 more to take their place.<br>I said it before and I will say it again.<br>Those who can do, those who cant consult.
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  #34  
Old 03-10-2000, 06:45 AM
Nilsson Associates Nilsson Associates is offline
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Plowking ...<br>are you saying that I'm not welcome to post here?<p>Phil Nilsson
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  #35  
Old 03-10-2000, 07:03 AM
plowking35 plowking35 is offline
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No Phil you can post anything and all the time. This is not my forum, if it was then it may be a different story. This is the US and Freedom of speech is a right. I will chose rather not read your posts and that way not be reminded how ridiculus this industry has gotten.<br>The day anyones lawn whether commercial or residential becomes the most important thing in ones life(whether that be the contractors or customers) we have gone way to far. We keep saying service service service, we raise the bar so high, that we cannot compete anymore with ourselves let alone one another. Then I read from pro's in the business like yourself and others that say we need to raise it even higher, and do this and that,use this formula to figure your costs, use that formula for profit. Well in the real that doesnt work. each indvidual is different, and each business is different. Just let evryone be, and things will shake out on their own.<br>As far as losing the customer, suck it up, it happens everyday in every type of business.<br>I lost a roof contract last fall after a verbal agreement , for 300$ which was 5% of my total cost. The contractor didnt include alot of things I was going to. But hey that happens. <br>
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  #36  
Old 03-10-2000, 07:08 AM
plowking35 plowking35 is offline
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GABBY<br>DADDY<br>MAMMA<br>TINKERBELL<br>SHADOW<br>BABY BROTHER/SISTER<br>My 4 yr old daughetr typed this to remind all of use what is important.<br>
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  #37  
Old 03-10-2000, 07:24 AM
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lawrence stone lawrence stone is offline
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Plow king wrote:<p>&gt;I will chose rather not read your posts and that way not be reminded how ridiculus this industry has gotten.<p>How does one not read a message but the is able to respond to the same message?<p>&gt;Then I read from pro's in the business like yourself and others that say we need to raise it even higher, and do this and that,use this formula to figure your costs, use that formula for profit.Well in the real that doesnt work. each indvidual is different, and each business is different. Just let evryone be, and things will shake out on their own. <p>So you are suggesting the everyone be ignorant and go thru thier business life without any knowledge or direction?<p>There a certain formulas that apply to<br>every business. Without gaining this knowledge<br>early you are sending your business a death<br>wish.<p>Eventually when your ignorance will overcome the profits you might have stepped into in the past will be history and you and the most important thing to you in your world will be standing<br>in line for a cot down at the homeless shelther.<p><br>
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  #38  
Old 03-10-2000, 07:45 AM
grasskutter grasskutter is offline
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Everybody loses accounts by being low-balled,I have lost some for a mere 5$,Usually I get called back a few months later, but turn them down, because it will happen again in the future. Have fun at this job life is short,there is enough work now for everyone. take it easy, this should be fun!!!<br>As for you Larry,some of you think you know everything,when the rest of us do know everything. I expect a few useless comments from you on this, sorry everybody.<p>----------<br>grasskutter@cs.com<br>
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  #39  
Old 03-10-2000, 07:46 AM
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Charles Charles is online now
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You remember that plowking when you have to pay to put those kids through college. What does it cost per kid now? $50000?Probably be 100,000 in 18yrs.I don't really know. Trying to get the price to at least keep up with inflation and letting other lawn services to know what most other are charging. I see nothing wrong with that. I am not talking about price fixing. Just education. I think Phil, larry and everyone has a right to there opinons without abuse from others.<br>
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  #40  
Old 03-10-2000, 08:31 AM
Nilsson Associates Nilsson Associates is offline
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When I was in this business I could see that lots of green industry folks just weren't getting a &quot;fair shake&quot; ... I always felt that the industry was being taken advantage of by customers who seemed to look down their &quot;noses&quot; at those who earn a living by doing physical work if you will. At that time, if you didn't go to work carrying a brief case, well ... some thought you were &quot;uneducated&quot; ... sometimes you could &quot;sense&quot; or &quot;feel&quot; being looked down upon ... at that time you were just a guy with a shovel so how much could you know? That was over ten years ago and lots of things have changed. Prices in some markets are much better now, owning your own business has a better status now, the industry inch by inch has gained more professionalism ... the environmental issues and awareness has made a difference, brought more attention to the industry. <p>Like you, I've seen lots of green industry people &quot;come and go&quot;, come in with all good intentions, work hard, get &quot;punished&quot; in the system, fade away, maybe that view, my view was influenced by the notion that I've always been for &quot;the underdog&quot; .. don't like to see good people get &quot;beat up&quot; working their tails off, maybe not much to show for it. That's why I'm for higher pricing, see the &quot;people&quot; getting more out of it, less struggle, more respect, better lifestyles, the whole nine yards. Never thought the &quot;good life&quot; ... family, friends, earning a good living was only reserved for the bankers, lawyers, doctors or Madison Avenue &quot;fastrackers&quot;. <p>Snowking is right about what's important, family, friends, a sense of belonging. My position is that I merely want to see everybody have a good life &quot;financially&quot; so that we can all take better care of our families. The &quot;haves&quot;, the &quot;have nots&quot; ... both sides of the fence but I always figured that just because a person works with their hands for a living is no reason why they shouldn't get just a little closer to the &quot;promised land&quot;. I'm for the little guy getting a &quot;piece of the action&quot; being proud of how they earn a living, having something to show for it. It wasn't that long ago when the majority of folks working the green industry made much money. Things have gotten a lot better since then, and if these posts will or can prevent just one &quot;unsuspecting&quot; newcomer from making mistakes that &quot;stamp out hopes&quot; and &quot;squash dreams&quot; then it will have been all worthwhile.<p>I don't have all the answers, neither does Lawrence, nor Snowking, nobody does ... but we try to do what we can. That's why forums like this are so helpful, making things easier for everybody, avoiding the pitfalls, hopefully all can continue to &quot;give&quot; whatever they can on a friendly note.<p>Thank you<br>Phil Nilsson<p>
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