How do you treat your competition?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I was talking to another Lawnsite member on the phone and actually offered some help when/if need be in the future. He stated that the competition here is a lot friendlier than where he's from.

    How do you treat your competition? Do you refer work to them or get work referred by them? Do you look the other way or scowl when you drive by them? I've also bought out one competitor who was retiring and possibly another quite soon. So burning bridges is not a good thing to do.

    Most my work is referral. Many companies here don't like doing sprinkler repairs and send it our way, which I appreciate. So in turn I try to help others as well. Just a curious question.
     
  2. I guess you probably know my answer!

    I could learn a lot from you DanaMac. I think if I went out of my way to be friendly to my competitors in Phoenix, it would help the overall business climate there. I have always talked about creating some sort of an organization, much like ALCA, but more local, to get all the repair companies in Phx together once per quarter or so to chat about the business...just never had the time.

    I still think it is a good idea...but so are the other 400 ideas running through my noggin that I don't have time for.

    By the way, if I didn't thank you...I thank you now! I am going to take you up on your offer....
     
  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    It's pretty cold her in NJ too. I only have a few guys that will communicate freely, openly and honestly.
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I called another local company today (lawn company actually) to try and drum up some work. I saw a mutual friend this week that told me this guy had his own company. And I actually went to high school with him. So I call and tell him who I am, what we do, and would he need our services for repairs. He asks or rate. I tell him $56. he tells me he charges $35 an hour.

    I about crapped my pants. I was charging $45 in 1995 when I started this company. He also tells me he has low overhead, works from the house. Well so do I but I don't tell people that. Plus that shouldn't make a difference.

    He then tells me he went into this biz because he was an engineer and the comp. he worked for paid for him to get his masters degree and he based all his projects on starting a lawn comp. He then was let go after getting the masters so he decided to start one up. He based his rate on what someone in Denver told him the going rate was. I let him know he was dead wrong and told him of 4 companies that charge $50-$60. Plus myself.

    He has a masters degree and doesn't realize he's leaving a ton of money on the table. Where are his profits? I guess I won't be getting any work from him.

    If he is reading this, sorry to bash you but your killing yourself and the rest of us who know what were doing.
     
  5. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,416

    wilson only has 4 irrigation companies including mine. one of them has pretty much dropped out of the game, i might have seen him once working on a job this summer. another one is a fireman so he's pretty much part time. and the last one is a dumbass & im always fixing his installs. (the people dont want him back)
     
  6. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,416

    out of those other 3 companies, i service dozens upon dozens of their systems! i try to stay on top of my game, return calls within hours, next and same day service calls... my client base has doubled this year alone! around 200 now.

    People want to deal with a company that is organized and will return their calls!!
     
  7. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 659

    in my area, most of the competition are good people. there are the few that i do not socialize with, but for the most part, we are cool. for example, i have lent my machne to my one of my competitiors when their's broke down. i have went to another company's project with my vermeer and bored under a street for him.

    they have also helped me, too. one contractor lent he his hammer drill and bit to drill a 2" hole in concrete. another contractor gave me fittings when i was far away from my shop.

    so one hand washes the other, and together they wash the face.

    right?

    brian
     
  8. Dana...I hear that a lot from lawn companies...


    I think the reason they do that is because the are servicing the irrigation on jobs they already maintain.

    they probably also only do the service work on their regular maintenance day...with a guy who is already there anyway....see how this can still be profitable.

    The guy is already there...already accounted for in biz plan and making money for the maintenance...then he makes an additional 35 per hour fixing heads etc. Probably charging for an hour when it is 15 minutes also!

    I agree his rate is low...but not apples to apples I'll bet.
     

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