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

getting to know the competition

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Island Lawn, Feb 23, 2001.

  1. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I just want to throw .03 on the table here.

    I have always been concerned about trying to price our services fairly. I dont want to pilage and plunder the market. Yet, I dont want to give away services either.

    The one thing that I have failed to overlook was profit margin when comparing my bids to the competiton. If I have a lower overhead than most, and my equipment is paid for, and I dont have outstanding leases for vehicles, then Im actually only calculating replacement and operating costs plus storage as overhead vs. payments, storage, leases, operating costs, replacement costs etc. Therefore its not necessary to charge what the competiton is to make the same money.

    Hence this season I have recinded my price increase.

    Kris
     
  2. site

    site LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    My best source for pricing info has been the landscape architects we work with. I'm not worried about being too high on price, I'm worried about being too low. Once I've figured out what it costs me to do a job plus profit I can generate a good price and make money. If my carefully considered price is consistently the low price I want to know. I'm not out to gouge anybody, but I am in business to make as much money as possible. I provide a deluxe service and should be priced accordingly. The thing that really frustrates me is trying to get customers to tell me what other contractors were charging after the bid has been awarded and having the customers not want to tell.
     
  3. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    I believe it is a good plan to meet the competition and exchange ideas. I did this in my small local area, everyone I talked to was very helpful!
    I would start a conversation with an owner and introduce myself as being new to the business. Everyone stated there was plenty of work to go around and would usually volunteer info about their pricing and other aspects of their business, however if they didn't volunteer it, I would not ask.
    In one particular conversation, I found out that a BIG commercial acct was taking bids this year. About a week later an aqaintance urged me to bid on it, I decided not to.
    One reason I'm new and want to stick with residentials, but mainly because I knew how excited the guy was telling me about bidding on it. I don't believe in burning bridges or cut-throat competition.
    I strongly believe in fair competition and professionalism, especially evident at this site.
     
  4. Majestic

    Majestic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    I dont know about the six jobs a day,I have one route where we do 16 yards that day and it is the most profitable route we do.I have a minimum in which I charge no matter how small.I have some where you just use a weedeater and its still the same minimum price (takes 5-7 min.).I have found sometimes new landscapers are so anxious to get a premier housing plan or condo unit they actually bid half as much as I did just so they can say "well we are doing so and so" who cares its all about profit.Some of the best accounts are the small ones who you charge a healthy price and they dont shop you every year.Once they get used to doing business with you ,you can usually raise that amount annualy with no problems.
     

Share This Page