Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by skurkp, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    I hope not to offend anyone but I would like to complain and get some feed back. I have noticed alot in my area anyway, that there are so-called companies out there that with a mower in the back of there small pick-ups with trailers and equipment I would not put on my yard. These guys are doing commercial and residential work. When I am trying to bid on jobs I can't come close to their bids. The potetial customer says "Whoevers Yard Service" is bidding 1/2 - 3/4 less than I can. I understand why. He has no insurance does not pay taxes, workmans comp and all the other expences it takes to be a legitimate business. How can we as companies get our tax dollars to help to get these people out of business. If I fall behind on my taxes the state is ready to take all of my equipment to the auction and shut me down. BUT they don't even look at the guys not paying and making a killing.
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    How do you know they don't have ins. and work comp??

    You make it sound like they've got junk for equipment, which, if they actually do, or even if it's stuff that's 4-5 years old and just not washed and waxed, they probably have a low overhead.

    Just to have one or two walkbehinds or even a ztr doesn't really cost that much, especially if you put them on a flatbed trailer.

    I don't get how everyone assumes that just because someone is doing something cheaper, that the cheaper guy has to be doing it without insurance and / or work comp.

    If they're doing commercial properties, they've got to have insurance AND work comp, or the company they're doing the work for isn't paying them.

    If they're doing residential, the homeowner doesn't care 1/2 the time anyways.

    Also, if they're really 1/2 - 3/4 cheaper than you are.... are they really making a killing??

    If that last statement of yours is true, I'd have to say you're way overpriced for your area. We all know what it costs for insurance(s), work comp, taxes. If you took those out, I'd probably make another 10-15% on my gross.

    To me, that would not constitute making a killing.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    One thing to consider, if it's any consolation to you, is that these guys cutting with their murray mowers in the backs of their pickup trucks will not be able to do it at a decent capacity for very long. In time, the equipment breaks down and doesn't perform well (if at all). Most of these guys do not make a budget for replacement. They come and go. I've been in this business for over 20 years, and I've seen alot of 'em come and alot of 'em go.
  4. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    I was a scrub for about the first five years in business. I delivered pizzas at night for extra money while I was building my business. I had no insurance or pesticide liscense. I drove a beat up Isuzu trooper with a homemade trailer and had a 36" WB, a trimmer I bought used and a Homelite blower I bought at Lowes. I didn't see myself as a scrub, I was proud because I was a self-employed entreprenuer trying to grow a business. My prices were probably a little lower than the average but I don't think I was considered a low-bawler. I'm now fully licensed and insured and operate a legitimate business with a great long term customer base. I guess I see "scrubs" differently because I started out as one. I don't feel threatened by scrubs. My customers are loyal and wouldn't trade lawn service companies just to save a few dollars. I do a good job and charge a fair price and i've built up trust and loyalty over the years and a good reputation in the neighborhoods that I service. Scrubs will always be around, it's the nature of the business. We're in a business you can start out and make some money with a low start up cost and very little knowledge. It's up to us to learn how to deal with the competition.
  5. jason1978

    jason1978 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Im pretty sure that 99 percent of homeowners could care less about if someone has insurance or workers comp. People are out there for competitive prices and as long as you give that, then you shouldn't care about what someone else does in business. I don't care if someone is a so called scrub or not as long as they are doing what they feel they should be doing, that's fine by me.
  6. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I was driving down the road and came up on a small SUV with the hatchback open. Inside you could see a lawn mower, string trimmer, and hand held blower. The mower was held in by a couple of bungee cords stretched across the opening. :eek:

    I wanted to take a picture so I could post it on the forum. I expect the man and woman in the front of the vehicle didn't have a license or insurance. I also wondered if it's just another case of someone doing what they have to in order to survive.
  7. The Grass Amputator

    The Grass Amputator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I think this post sums it up the best. We all had to get our start somewhere.

    Some would probably call me a 'scrub' because I drive an old truck and operate a 4 year old Toro ZMaster, but I'm just a guy out trying to feed my family. Beats being on welfare.

    And I do have insurance.........
  8. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    How do you know this person was out mowing lawns commercially. Maybe they were going to 'mom's' house because her mower broke. Every time you see a mower in the back of a truck/suv doesn't mean they are a scrub, or even in the business. Maybe the mower broke and they were on the way to get it fixed. Don't be so fast to assume.
  9. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    Yeah, I'm sure that was it!
    They were on the way to mom's. :dizzy:
  10. studentlawn

    studentlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    The bottom line is, if your not getting work, your doing something wrong. Stop worrying about everyone else and start critiquing yourself instead. If your not getting any work because of your price, try lowering your prices a bit untill you get some.

    I don't know about you, but if I list all the ways I have obtained customers, "worrying about my competition" won't be anywhere on that list.

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