are you a "better quality" lowballer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    let me ask you fools a question......i presented my new business plan to the boys at the mower shop, and they all grumbled and moaned. thier position was- "provide a top service, at a higher price." well, it wasn't long before i showed them that THEY WERE the lowballers, not the guys doing level "b" work. it's like this: i will give a lesser product, at a cheaper price. the end result is, i will charge less than my competitors, but, i'll make more. it seems that these "top quality" guys, charge about $5 more a week for the service....but, they are giving it away. they are- bagging the clippings, picking up trash, edging walkways and beds weekly, and doing a top notch wacking job every single week, clipping the weeds along the curbline and cracks in the walkway. so, for that $5 extra, they are using walker mowers (about $7,000 more in price than my mowers) hauling around a truck load of grass and debris (which causes more fuel consumption) and not to mention the disposal fees and time at the dump. if you are only charging a couple of bucks more, and doing a better job, you are more than likely, a "high end" LOWBALLER. are you?
     
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    In a way they are giving the customer TOO MUCH. I think im guilty of this, but it really only hurts when you have employees.
     
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Im very guilty of this, one of the things that has hurt me badly. I have made a vast improvement this year but in the past I did all the above things, edge, bag, flower beds, go get mulch and put in for almost cost,:realmad: GRRR, for a little or no extra. Im still trying to weed all the old pita out and I have not made this mistake with the any new clients.
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    How about charging a little more (the $5/cut) and delivering a top notch (A)product while not incurring the extra expenses you mentioned. . .
    Here's how:
    - mulch everything and most pros would be hard-pressed to tell that I didn't bag (done regularly through fall as 90% of mine are)
    - therefore, no dump fees or windshield time to & fro
    - no big truck to haul debris or heavy equipment (just an F-150 hauling a ztr and wb - about as econmic on fuel as anything else big enough to pull a trailer)
    - and it only takes a few seconds to squirt a few weeds in the cracks 3 or 4 times a year while operating a backpack blower

    Under these familiar circumstances I would not consider myself a "high-end lowballer".

    For what's worth. . .
     
  5. fastpitcher

    fastpitcher LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 91

    The true low-ballers force us high end suppliers to be high-end low-ballers; Don't they?

    I think the big question is; is there enough customers to pay a high end price for a high end job????

    Rick

    my answer is not yet!!!!
     
  6. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    forget walkers... every single murray at walmart cost more than your mower, bobby. lol.

    with our walkers, 2 of us can do most yards in ten minutes for that high quality $40 mow. (no beds or spray). we see those guys with those never heard of before walk behinds, that are $10 less and dont catch grass... we usually mow half the street before they get one done. why do 1.5 an hour @ $30, when you can do 6 an hour @ $40? ;)

    rick.... they wont pay high $$$ when theres 500 other lcos driving around town acting like they are starving and willing to work for spare change. even the richest dont give a crap about highest quality personal service. they want to stay rich so do it as cheap as possible. sure when they call you up and say they arent satisfied with current guy.... are they ever willing to pay more? nope. its not the quality, its the price they dont like about current guy. tell them you'll do it for less and you can sell your trimmer and blower, cause theyll never care if you use them on their yard.
     
  7. DistLawns

    DistLawns LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 120

    I think ****** has the right idea. Bagging every cut every week is the number one way to complicate your business with the most overhead. I charge anywhere from 15-30 dollars extra, on top of the normal mow price to try and discurage customers from wanting it.A few extra bagging customers won't hurt when there paying yu top dollar for it.
     
  8. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    You are right about the bagging crap. I recently picked up several new clients and told everyone of them that I mulched. I guess they did not understand my rules and pricing guidelines. When you start doing their yard they come out"oh, I wanted my yard bagged" and dont want to pay extra for it. I have lost 2 this month for that reason and fixing to let 2 more go Friday if they dont want to pay extra. One called and left message tonight that they wanted me to start hauling off their pile, did not want to burn it anymore. Im sure they are going to want to pay for their 40 dollar yard to go to at least 75.
     
  9. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Ouch!! ---"but it really only hurts when you have employees."---
    This statement says-- I can not get away with not paying the employees but I most definitely can get away with not paying me!
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    depending on the size of the lawn, a walker mower will not produce any faster. my time study shows, that on our average residential, the bulk of the time is spent loading, unloading, starting, mounting, adding fuel, whatever. the actual service time on the property is only around 8 minutes. that 8 minutes consists of mowing, wacking, blowing, edging. even if 5 min of it is the actual mowing part....a walker compared to a walkbehind with jungle wheels, will not make a difference. take into account that the walker costs 7-9 thousand dollars, the maint on the walker is more expensive, the repairs are more expensive, and the heap of grass /leaves and debris it picks up will cost $$$ to get rid of, as well as costing you more in fuel to drag around 2-4,000 of debris on the back of the truck. a total waste of money doing small- medium residentials.
     

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