How to compete with lowballers and rockbottom prices

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by MXrider13, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. MXrider13

    MXrider13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    Ok some of you know I my last 3 threads I was complaining about not getting any business. I got some small business(I should say had). I got 4 yards, 2 of them just want me to pull weeds, the other 2 want me to mow and do weeds for $30 a week(I get payed after I do the job).

    Anyway these to older guys(they are 22 and 23, I am 19) just out of college who went to my High School. started offering Lawn Care for Mowing, Triming, Edging, Pulling Weeds and gardening for only $10 a week, they also offer $40 a month.

    EVERYONE is taking them, even people before who didn't want Lawncare, want them since its $10 for everything!!!!!!!
    I lost 2 of my yards because of it(one weed only and one mowing).

    What do you guys do about Lowballers?
    Do you think they will do under soon?
     
  2. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    look at what they are working with ,and compare your expenses to theres and either step up and man up and keep looking for BETTER work or do it their way. if your new to this industry try this ........ get, pro-active, do quality work and stop asking or caring what someone else gets paid . its simple do quality work ,know your numbers and move along in the business. we have alot of cheap properties by our standards but you you and your outlook you may think we are expensive . consider this if all they are is a scrub ,they will mess up and it will bite them hard and in 2-4 years it will be over for them ,if your working for their rates you will be in the same spot.
    we can go in a neigborhood and get $100 per acre but we can go into 7k lawns and get $30.00 each someone else can do it for 40.00 and acre and $15.00 for a 7k lawn,but we arenot losing anyone to that guy. you have to do quality fast work at a price you and the HO is happy with and gain their trust,and respect and they will keep you .
     
  3. doyles

    doyles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    agreed
    also those guys dont have a clue what it will cost to do busniss how mutch do you think they will really be making out of the 10 dollars after you just take out the cost of gas remember you have to drive to the jobs so mowers,trimmers,blowers and trucks all burn gas
     
  4. zak406

    zak406 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,519

    ill work at a super market before i pull weeds for 10 dollars an hour lol, they wont ever go under becasue they have no expenses however they will quit after they realize its not worth doing!
     
  5. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,239

    Walmart makes money and they charge less than the local supermarket.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,820

    There is also a certain class of clientele that is seldom inside of Walmart. I want and get business from the kind of people that are in the fine wine/cheese shops more often than they are in Walmart.

    However, these people also will not stand certain things from their service provider. I know this because I have keys or entry codes into some exclusive properties. One is fast, sloppy work. Another sore point is if the service provider looks like a thug or they have an ever changing crew of different people that look like thugs. Lastly, if you are not knowledgeable about your business and/or you try to BS the client when they ask a question, next. This is not an all inclusive list, but these are the issues that got a cheaper, faster, bigger operation fired in favor of slow, fussy and expensive me.
     
  7. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,049

    You can't compete against them. You find different customers. If I get a call from someone wanting a bid I tell them up front my minimum is $XX. They say my last guy did it a lot cheaper than that but he stopped answering his phone. I' sorry but I can't do it for that and tell them to have a nice day. You do a good job at a "fair" price and the customers will come. It depends on the area as to what "fair" is. Marketing, advertising,networking,letting groups of people like your church all plays into finding good customers.
     
  8. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    ok for kicks i did a price check on the 10.00 i will consider all jobs at 7-10k sqft in size
    with a 325.00 push mower $325.00 weedeater 325.00 blower all commercial and a old beater pickup and No trailer he has $975.00 on equipment when you look at a 40 week season all thay have to make is 48.75 a week to cover cost/ 9.75 a day, a fuel bill of 25.00 a day labor of 80.00 x 2 guys 160.00(better then wally world)so they are around 195.00 a day before insurance and taxes so 3.50 a day for ins and 20.00 a day taxes
    218.00 a day plus profit of 45%or so brings the day to $320.00 now at 10.00 it would be hard and almost impossible but if they get 10.00 PER MAN hour it gets much easier at about 16 jobs a day ......still hard but if they do anything extra it may be doable for them using new commercial equipment and if they get used stuff it becomes alot easier in THERORY.
     
  9. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    You HAVE to make a name for yourself. Before I even go out and bid on jobs I tell the potential customer that if they are price shopping then I wont come out. I know my costs and I know what I feel I deserve for the quality I put out. I usually will provide references if they are still interested and then I will do the quote. I inform them that I will not be the cheapest, and I wont be the most expensive, but I will be on the higher end. This helps save me time, gas, and money and focus on customers I want and that want my services. I say that all because It is vital to keep pushing through and trying to find work in different areas and make a name for yourself. If it keeps going downhill, you might want to consider other work. I hear that lawn care in you area is cut throat! Good luck man, Im rooting for you b/c it seems you have the willpower.
     
  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,446

    Your 10 dollar guys think its great now. Wait until July in Tampa. I get most of my new customers when the Florida heat cooks off the "let's start a lawn company" crowd.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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