Am I losing jobs because of my age?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TClawn, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    recently I was bidding on a fairly small yard that the former lco did not have enough time to take care of.

    the lady called me up and I said that I'd be right over (it was right next to another yard I was doing that day). I went through the whole bidding process with her and it seemed like I would get the job. my prices were fair (gave a $5.00 dollar discount from what I normally charge because I can just walk across the street from the other house) she then says that she has to "talk it over with her husband" but the said that unofficially you've got the job ( :rolleyes: ).

    a week later when I'm doing another lawn I see an lco there
    mowing her lawn. so do you think that she didn't hire me because of my age (I'm 15) ?

    unfortunately I'm starting to feel that some times I don't get jobs because of my age. have any of you had the same experience?
     
    CamLand likes this.
  2. CamLand

    CamLand LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,300

    Keep your head up Chris,sounds like the owners are shopping for the cheapest price...
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Im sure that is what the case was. You have to just deal with it for a while. Its not really fair, but its real life.
     
  4. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    The older generation sees teens as punks. They only see what the bad ones have done not knowing there are a lot of good kids out there. Just stay positive and it will work out for you.
     
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    It is partially. They think that since you are so young you'll do it for nothing. Bet she paid the other lco more too. People don't have confidence in kids. I mowed yards when I was your age and had that problem until I got the job mowing at the highschool I was working at. They didn't think I knew much about mowing either at first and then I ran circles around one of the other guys and really pissed him off but the manager kept me on till I got on full time. I stayed there until just a couple of years ago. Funny thing is when I got hte job at the school I quit mowing yards for everyone but once they found out I got the job at the school people that wouldn't hire me before came asking again. Never went to mow after work though. I made better money with the school compared to what I had been making. It ain't easy being a teenager. Do yourself a favor though really listen to the old timers and ask questions, some may not help you but some will be glad to.
     
  6. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 249

    i'm 16 and have been doing this for almost 4 years now. I also have experience with a commercial lco. Anyway, DON'T EVER lower your prices just because they are accross the street or next door. I know that you want to grow in your buisness and get more accounts but stand your ground and charge accordingly. I have found that people will respect you more if you charge a desent rate. Don't undercut to like 15 or 20 bucks cuz then all you will have is cheap accounts & thats the last thing u want. If you do good work the the word will travel. Also a little advertising won't hurt either.

    - Matt
     
  7. Ability

    Ability LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I used to have the same problem when I was younger. I not only was young but I looked even younger.

    They way to overcome this is to address their "untold" concerns to their face even though nothing has been said about it. They likely would not tell you what is on their mind, which is that you are young and you probably don't know anything about lawncare and will likely not do a good job. All of these things are of course false.

    So what you do is head it off at the pass. Bring it up at the begining and the end of the meeting. Tell them that you know that some people have concerns about your age. But, that you know lawncare as well as anyone and that they can trust you with their lawn. Explain that they will get a quality job from you like or better than they would from a 40 years old with 50k worth of trucks, mowers etc... And, it can't hurt to show them a little of your knowledge by talking about lawn stuff such as growing cycles, types of grass etc....

    As you get older you will find that you don't have to "prove" yourself as much. But, until then it is part of growing up.

    I hope this helps.
     
  8. MowforMoney

    MowforMoney LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Heres is how somtimes it worked for me. I am 19 now so I am still very young. But, when I was your age I felt the same way somtimes. On the other side of things tho, somtimes I felt I got jobs because of my age. You know those type of people who just want the basic cut for cheap rate. I somtimes got the feeling because of my age they were just hiring me figuring I would be the cheapest. Somtimes I am sure I was close if not the cheapest but most of the time My price was right on with the going rates little bit cheaper because a 15 year old doesn't need to be making 60 bucks an hour. But still I always felt that I had it go both ways and I somtimes still even get that, but I have noticed it is alot less.
     
  9. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    That would be the reason if you were working in my area. At 15 you cannot be licensed to spray, cannot be commercialy insured and cannot carry workman's comp. Not having these you would not get many contracts here.
     
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,414

    I think any one under 25 in any business has a hell of a time selling to new clients. I happen to be 34 and am told when I tell them this is my 17th year in the trade "really you look so young" I often get the impression if I was just a few years younger I would be getting turned down on many of the older people I service. Try not to come across to cocky and be as respectful as you can and they may not race to judgment so quickly. One of the reasons I grew beard when I was 24 was to many people felt I was under 21 infact I went out only a month ago and still got carded to get in a bar and at my age I thought that would have ended by now.
     

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