cut throats

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by threebrothers, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. threebrothers

    threebrothers LawnSite Member
    from 60452
    Posts: 3

    Can anyone tell me what you are doing about guys coming in and totally under bidding for maintanance and if anyones knows how they could possibly do it for that low of a price? our prices are very competitive and these guys are coming in with no overhead and just mowing grass, How could they do it soooo cheap? we can not compete.
  2. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    let them under bit us. When they screw it up. The customers will call us to come back. Then prices will have been raised!
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I just let them have it. If the customer is price searching, they aren't a customer I want to have. I will give my customers everything they ask for as long as they treat me as good as I have them.
  4. Patatoe1

    Patatoe1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    Hey Threebrothers, do you guys do tree and stump removal?
  5. nickdurk

    nickdurk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I get this a lot in power washing to, I'm in the process of start lawn service. Agree with letting these companies under bid so low it will drive them out of business. Customers will call back because the work will be half ass.
  6. mx315

    mx315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    I tell people up front we are not the cheapest but we provide quality and not trying to set a speed record trying to get out of their yard. That usually gives the client a good idea of how we operate and if they are just price shopping then it's a short conversation.
  7. thesargent

    thesargent LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    theres nothing you can do about it. dont let it bother you.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    There are four scenarios that this can happen.
    First, it could be the oh so common case of a "company" (or one of the 85% of the "mowing" guys that call themselves a "company") that do not pay the overhead such as taxes, insurance, payroll, etc..
    Second, is the case that is closely related to the first, and that is the case of the service that does not know what they are doing when it comes to expenses in running a business. They THINK they are making money, because that is a twenty dollar bill they didn't have in their pocket before. And hey,...they were only there 20 minutes, right? (no, there's no such thing as windshield time, administrative costs, etc.) Of course, the good news is, they don't stay in business for long. Give them two or three years, and they're outta there.
    Now, we get to the last two scenarios, which can both involve legit lco's.
    The first, is a loss leader - to get set up in a particular neighborhood or area. They will do it for cheap, in hopes of getting more of the neighbors.
    The second, is the large lco's that involve numerous crews. These guys do alot of them, and the owner does not have to make that much per lawn. Thre is one outfit around here that the owner may only make 5 bucks a lawn. Now, 99% of the people on here could not survive making 5 bucks a lawn...I know I couldn't. But guess what? This one outfit I am referring to does about 1400 lawns a week. Not a bad net - 7 grand a week off mowing.
    My best friend, he runs 3 crews, and they just over 400 lawns a week. I'm not sure how much he makes (or has to make) off each lawn, but I do know it adds up. Granted, it costs him around 14 grand a week for his payroll (several other employees for all different things), and another 15 grand a month just to keep the business up and running (building, trucks, insurance, fuel, etc.).
    So anyway, this may give some explanation to these guys when you see these low prices in areas. I have said it before, and I will say it again...Mowing is by far - the absolute positively LOWest paying operation out of the whole entire green industry. There is absolutely nothing that pays less per expense than mowing grass. I (as well as others) have given examples in previous threads that show thing such as how I can make more money with a 15 dollar shovel from Lowes than I can with one of my 10,000 dollar mowers.
    the appeal to mowing is not that it pays so well, but that it appears to pay so well because there are sooo many people into it and getting into it. It is easy to enter into, and does not take a whole lot of thought or knowledge. It's so easy, a caveman can do it.
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    My thoughts on the matter.
  10. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    I never want a customer that is always looking for the lowest price.

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