How to beat TGCL?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by dmk395, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 994

    Everyone does like to bash TGCL, however they must be doing something right. Their prices are low and service is not perfect however, in most cases I have seen the lawns are green, which to the consumer is the most important thing. I think the only way to actually compete with them is to charge less than them, people who have a green lawn aren't going to switch to my service if I have a higher price...granted an unhappy person might but how many are really unhappy? If there are so many then they would be out of business. I don't want to say that lowballing is the way to go, but if you can sell the customer a full service package, why not take the fert/pest apps for a little less? I have seen some of the pricing guidelines on lawnsite and wonder, who can really afford these prices? Someone recommended that I charge $850 for a 5 fert program with Grubb Control for a 39000sqft. yard.....thats a 100 profit per app almost.....who the heck can afford $850 a year for fert/pest services? I think by charging what TGCL charges one man opp can net over $100 an hour....remember this is volume business.
    What do you all think?
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    How are you going to beat there price when they buy their material for less than your supplier can buy IT?

    How are you going to beat there price when they are ghosting yards, or just spraying front and leaving.

    You certainly aren't going to use slow release materials.
    I don't know, it may be time to cheapen up the product everybody else is. People strut around talking about quality and value and then slink to WM or TG and buy the cheapest shmm available.:angry:
  3. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 994

    Slow release fert with crab grass preventer (lesco) $17.50bag 12,000 sq. ft.

    Here is a quote my customer yard is about 11,500sq ft.....$40 per app..........profit after material $22.50
    Sounds possible
  4. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    Sure thats possible. Here is mine. 50,000 sf Last year TG price $53 this year $70 . With your fert it would be 72.91 . Would have to pay the customer $2.91 for the honor of treating his yard.
    Sure they will charge a reasonable amount when they think they can get away with it. But as soon as you price they will swoop in and low ball ya just to keep cust. And they know all the tricks. Sat down with my supplier today, I am thinking about offering discount fert program along with premium for the cheapo business. I will call it Mark Mart or True Lies or something.


    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    Here's how to beat TrugreenChemlawn:

    Tell the customer to ask a few questions which must be answered immediately.
    #1 What is the name of my technition?
    #2 Does he have a pest licence?
    #3 How much experience does he have?

    That will get them studdering in most cases. Make sure to explain that what is important is their tech's credentials-not the companys' in general. :p
  6. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 462

    True Lies. Thats a great one Mark!

  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    I don't like your possible math fromy taste. That lawn with load & prep time, travel and application has a value of about 30-32 min in my book. I'm not running fancy equip, legal mumbo jumbo, experience & education for $44/hr. I'll quit first.
  8. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 994


    If you are running only 2 of those an hour you should retire and move onto greener pastures. Remember I am thinking of volume here....sure having only a couple jobs like that is hardly worth it, but line up the whole block..aka TruGreen and it works. Lets face the real situation....there is no other way....we can piss and moan all we want.
  9. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    It is the smaller properties where you could probably compete, but as 1grnlwn says they way underbid the larger properties. I took one over last year after there was no evidence that applications were even being made (except the tell tale marker and invoice in mailbox). Two weeks after my first application, the lawn actually looked green. Needless to say they are paying my "exorbitant" price knowing they are receiving something.
  10. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Actually I could do more than 2/hr if very very close. But how many will I do in a 8-9 hr work day including servicing machine, gasing truck, mixing spray, loading fert, apaer work and drive time? There is a difference. Avg production in this business is probably about 150-200k/day. More if there between 12-20K+ each and fairly close. But then your gonna get a few less $ in proportion to size.

    200k/12k avg=16.66 lawns

    So at $22.50/app for labor, taxes, benefits, OH, equipment etc nobody is gonna retire quickly from volume. You didn't include a few pennies for weed control either.

    $45/hr above materials for anyone other than a one man operation with low, low expense is is just not enough. Look at what the marketing cost are to do this volume. How much do they spend to aquire an account?

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