1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community on the Franchising Forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Can't compete with larger companies

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dirtwork, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. dirtwork

    dirtwork LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hi all. I recently bid on a large mowing job for a commercial property. It would take one man about 8 hours to mow, edge,trim and blow. I bid $285 per mow only to be under bid by a much larger and very reputable company for $150. The company would use a crew of three hispanic workers paying them $8 to mow. How can a one man operation compete?
     
  2. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    Thats what i say, or how can someone with small equipment compete with three 72 inch decks. I just bid at a baptist church today, hopefully that goes well. Ive only got a ztr 44 in, 33 walk behind. I just figure that in the beginning you will have to bite the bullet and do it for cheaper than they do it, then eventually when you have established enough money and good will, you cacn turn away the cheap jobs, and buy large equipment and get in big time.

    THIS IS NOT A GET RICH IN ONE YEAR BUSINESS. I DONT THINK PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT.
     
  3. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    I think you are targeting the wrong customers. Why target clients whom you KNOW (you said it yourself) you can't compete with? To me that is bad business practice.

    Chances are the company with the 72" mowers aren't going to be running around trying to bid on $25 - $50 residential lawns. Why is that? Cause that have a business plan that works...
     
  4. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    well by everyone else's standards here your already a lowballer. Just curious how you found out 1 the price, 2 wage of employees of the other company, and 3 race of other companies employees. Here is a hint, run your business, not theirs.
     
  5. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    Who gives a rats ass if you are called a lowballer. I am a lowballer, i just have to work a little more for the same money, but i still get the money, and guess what?! My company is growing, I am getting new accounts, and eventually i will be able to spend $10 grand on a nice 72 inch mower. Dont let anybody get you down by ccalling you a lowballer.


    "whoop de do basil"


    trevor
     
  6. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    And isn't that eveyone's goal...to spend 10 grand on a 72 inch mower.
     
  7. CDJLANDSCAPING

    CDJLANDSCAPING LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    This is only my second year and first full time so I hope that I am not speaking out of turn. I HATE LOWBALLERS Lowballing kills us small guys. I used to try and fight it but now I give my fair price and thats it. New customers want to haggle, not me. I tell them the price is what it is because of the quality of work. I lose 50% of my bids but once i have them thats it. I have never been fired and I have picked up next door niegbors on 5 of my accounts..
     
  8. Frosty_03

    Frosty_03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 333

    I agree with lawnman_scott. Don't worry about what you can't controll. Just get out there and be successful, remember you have to fail to be successful. whay are you trying to compete with what you know is a loosing fight. Just controll what is yours and the rest will come. If you been in this business for four years you should know that you will have days that don't turn out the way you like them too. When that happens to me I just try that much harder, oh by the way I am a Mexican and I pay myself way more than 8 bucks an hour. Just keep keeping on!!! and dont try to compete with the big guys or you will lose your mind.
     
  9. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    If you are getting 50% of the jobs you bid on then you are doing better than the bigger companies. Thats a darn good average.
     
  10. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    Why even try? Target residentials and smaller commercials. Most big companies don't mess with too many residential around here so they are ripe for the pickin.'
     

Share This Page