Beating Low Ballers at their own game

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lsylvain, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    I've been thinking of my spring "special offer" for new customers this year, and was just going to use the 20% off deal i usually offer. But I was thinking of doing something to get back at some of the low ballers.

    Well, first I am the only "real" business around so I won't be steeling any work from legitimate businesses.

    I was thinking of putting a coupon on my door-hangers for a one time cut for about $12.00. I have a specific area that I am thinking about and the jobs are all really small, and $12 should cover my cost. I would put on the hanger that it is only good for the property that received the door-hanger. I would also put on them that they would have to get their cut before I start my other jobs sometime in march.

    I'm figuring that I will get 2 - 3 times the response I usually get from the hangers. Then after I do the cut for the customer I give them a price for the rest of the season. If half the people stay with me I'll be good to go.

    The other thing I was thinking about was the fact that I would be out there mowing over a week before everyone else so I should get some pretty good exposure.

    I'm sure a lot of the jobs will be from cheapos, but I'll know not to bother advertising to those addresses in the future saving me money.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. I think you should try it and let us know if it does work.

    I personaly have realy small lots in one area and do lawns for $13.00 a week. I have 12+ house right next to each other takes me 3hrs.

    You may call that lowballing but I get a ton of NEW customers from seeing my hard work.

    New customers have 12,000+ sq. ft.
     
  3. Casey

    Casey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    you might do better with a $amount off coupon, that way there won't be as much sticker shock when you tell the actual price to continue. .
     
  4. ksland

    ksland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 927

    You are cheating yourself by only making $156 in 3 hours of cutting.
     
  5. ksland

    ksland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 927

    I have to correct myself, I suppose if you have very minimal overhead, and mow by yourself, your prices are not out of whack.
     
  6. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Mow the lawn for FREE the first time,no one can beat free.


    BTW if your the only "Real" business around why are you bothering to under cut yourself any way?.:confused:
     
  7. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    The reason I'm wanting to undercut is to raise the standard around here. There are about a billion guys with push mowers going up and down the streets for next to nothing. It has been that way around here since the beginning of time. Over the past 5 years I don't have dittley for residential accounts, live off the commercials.

    I'm figuring a large portion of these people don't realize that they can get quality mowing service. If I can go in under the scrubs and do a good job, I know there are people, that will sign up.

    Stuff that your customers take for granted, like monthly bills, my customers think is the best idea since sliced bread. I'm not kidding! I have had new customers call me to say "I got my bill in the mail today, that is the coolest thing, with a return envelope and everything!"

    In the past I have done: $25 off, 20% off, and get the 4th cut free. the problem I have had is about half the people have me do just enough work to meet the requirements to get their deal. by that time it's really too late to get new customers in any numbers.

    I've done the free cut thing before but just for a few people. It works really well, but you just can't do as many, financially hard to do. I don't know about you guys but I'm almost broke by the time I send out the first bill every spring.

    I'm figuring if I can do it for cost I can cut them all day long. And since I will be doing this before I start my other jobs it will be extra $ to cover the over head that I'm paying from last years jobs anyway.
     
  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,157

    If it is a one-man operation, I would think that rate ($50.00+ per hour) is not bad.
     
  9. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    You may doing something wrong in business if you are worried about the Low ball guys. The only discount that I offer is to existing customers who give me a productive lead. You should not cut your prices as you may have payments to make and are trying to make living. Also some customers who have been with you for a while may question you on why the paid full price before, but now you are doing the same work at a discount.
     
  10. Not a good idea sounds way to desperate. Never cut prices.
    Big Jim & ffshuter make very good valid points
    If your the only real one in town make them pay your price
     

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