Having problems with competition in my area...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Clear View Landscapes, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Clear View Landscapes

    Clear View Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    There is a company in my area that has been around since '99. He was one of the first companies in the area to offer "professional" mowing for both residential and commercial properties. The problem is that his mom and dad set him up with all of the equipment needed (obviously rich parents.) So he has never had to work from the ground up like most of us. His wife makes plenty of money for the both of them, so he has no problems undercutting myself and any other company around. The market is so used to $35/acre, so it's impossible for a college educated/ formally trained professional to make any money without traveling a minimum of half an hour. I am expanding my company to the larger city nearby, but it's not an overnight thing around here because of the competition. I am just having a hard time in my city proving that it's worth the money for the quality that I have the ability and resources to provide. He offers the cut and run, mow, trim, blow down and run. Where as my company is more into the full service aspect of the market. Occasionally I regret locating in my current area, but it was best for my wife and her career. If anyone has any opinions/ advice/ or experience with this scenario it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time in advance

    Craig
    Clear View Landscapes
    1-765-230-6033
     
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Okay...so you are saying that he does the basic cut, trim, blow, run & go. But you want to offer more and better quality services. So I ask...Why are you complaining? From your description of a market plan it seems as if you don't want/need his customers. It seems as if his customers want the cheapest person out there that does an okay job...which isn't you. LEt your quality of work and work ethic speak for your company...NOT your price.
     
  3. The Good Earth

    The Good Earth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    Wal-Mart Economics, plain and simple. LB hit it square on the nose. Don't market to the lower customer spectrum. Rise above. Also, consider venturing out of the box a bit. Every schoolkid or wannabe entrepreneur with an El Camino and a Lawn Boy mower can mow. You have offered proof of that. But not every one of them can offer turfgrass management, or construction services. You will be amazed how many folks want 1 company to do it all. If they need someone to mow, fert, weed control, aerate, build, whatever. Familiarity goes a long way in this biz. If they know you, and you offer quality services, you will be hired to do more than just mow. Offer them the moon and you will most likely get the stars along with that.
     
  4. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    If you can't beat 'em . . .
     
  5. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    If the first "real" guy started in 99 I would think that there would be a lot of room to grow. And I agree with the others about moving above. Stand out as the best.
     
  6. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    You mentioned $35/acre, so I'm assuming the lots there tend to be larger than the tiny plots my way. Is your competitor mowing mainly bigger props? If so, find a niche with the small lawns. Or like mentioned above, branch out, offer more services, at least start with mowing AND fert services.
     
  7. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

  8. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    Are you giving customers what they want or what you think that they need? Sometimes, there is a difference.
     
  9. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    Everyone wants to start at the top. You have to meet your competition until you establish yourself. What has college and formally trained professional mean and what has it got to do with this business? Maybe you need some sales and marketing advice.
     

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