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How do you compete with this??!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by miketull8, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. miketull8

    miketull8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Okay, so I am fairly new at this. I have been doing just 8 yards for the last few years. I have a full time job and have been using a Lawn Boy Commercial 21" after work...puts a little extra cash in my pocket, and I love doing it. Now, I was told to not even drop the gate for less than 35 bucks for the average yard...now that I am buying a Quick 36 this week...this "minimum charge" has even more meaning. I want to have 15 solid customers by spring....now the question.........is 35 bucks really the minimum? :confused: This site scared the !$@? out of me....check it out and let me know what we need to do to keep the prices where they are supposed to be!! What IS the going rate? Be ready for this >>>> :dizzy:

    http://big-js.com/landscaping.htm :hammerhead:

    you may have to copy and paste....
  2. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 1,134

    keep that guy in your area, I dont want him here.
  3. miketull8

    miketull8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    I am not trying to beat him up or anything...not trying to badmouth him at all....I really, am just shocked!! This is what makes it really hard on the rest of us that want to give the customer a great looking yard, and make a few bucks doing it. Bucks, not spare change...so what is the actual minimum rate? I know that everyone has a different number in mind, but if you respond, it helps us all by knowing, we cannot let guys like this ruin our market...
  4. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Technically, my basic service starts at $25. But not very many customers get classified as "small" yards. Its a marketing ploy.

    I bet that guy is also. Look at his page. He's got discounts all over the place to reel customers in. I bet if you call him up and ask up how much regular service would be, he would say that the $13 is a discount for first service then regular service is XX amount of $$$.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If 35 doesn't work go 30, but I'm glad you seen the light on this minimum nonsense, and don't go no less than 30 thou, seriously.

    What do you mean, right on that Web site the man said his schedule fills quickly...
    Once his schedule is full what's the difference, how is that so hard on you?

    If anything guy like that in my area I write down their phone number so I got someone to send some bi-weekly customers to.
  6. miketull8

    miketull8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    not necessarily hard on me...but hard on all of us....we are expected to cut lawns for 13 bucks, because joe blow does...we need to get paid for the good work that we do....true?
  7. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    true to a degree, i don't buy into the whole set minumuim thing. I estimate my time to make a profit.... If the job takes me twenty minutes or less... its usually a 20 dollar bill. I dump a couple bags of potting soil in a raised bed and it takes me 5 minutes i might even not charge...

    I don't have 200 customers...or need them for that matter...

    to me its about building goodwill and a strong reputation and eventually getting ~50 quality maintenance customers.. I would much rather do more installs...

    there is a local sandwich shop by me....corner lot

    the amount of lawn is 46" X 100' on one side
    44" X 100' in the other direction

    Once a month I trim the hedges, shrubberry and take care of the flower beds

    i get paid good for this

    i can't let the lawn go that long though

    i mow that once a week, usually eat lunch when i'm there too, pass out some cards, let the truck be seen

    I charge them a whopping 10 dollars to mow and edge...

    to me the exposure and having the place look good is worth it....

    This is my buisness plan... yours might be diffrent

    Lets use the coffee analogy

    mobil sells a cup for 1.00 its bitter and on the burner to long
    stewarts sells a cup for 1.50 and its allways fresh, best milk in ny state
    DD sells a decent cup for 1.90 and its ok
    Starbucks (imo) isn't that good and costs 4.00

    all these buisness sell alot of coffee and make money
    there customers all choose a respective buisness based on a series of criteria

    and maybe a few more

    Just my.02

  8. Johnson LCO

    Johnson LCO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    Always stick to your minimum, and always try a high price first. My boss has me cut a lawn that takes seriously 5 or 6 strips with a 52". It takes 2 ppl less than 10 mins. The yard was soo small but he told her $35. He never thought she would take it but she did. Dont go low. People are lazy and want our services, so why give them away?
  9. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    They must be happy with $6-$7 an hour. they shouldnt last.
  10. lawnscapesLLC

    lawnscapesLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    I don't even worry about those guys. He can't cut everyone so there will always be lawns left. Just charge what you need to charge to make a profit. I'd rather cut half the lawns of that guy and make the same amout of money. Work smarter not harder. I do have 2 lawns I do charge less for but for the same reason as barefeet does. Good exposure and have gotten a few customers by my truck being seen at a busy intersection.

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