I tried very hard,

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by chigreen, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. chigreen

    chigreen LawnSite Member
    from chiczgo
    Posts: 1

    i've been doing lawns for couple years part-time. I lost my full-time job early this year(company layoff) I planed to start my own lawn care business, i print 2000 door hanggers. i deliver them my self. i received 3 #$%^ing calls, they were big lawn, i gave them an estimate of 30 dollars per mowing, trimming, blowing, they did not like the price, i went done 5 dollars, they say "NO" there is a guy around my twon his prices were 17.95 per week. he killed me. i invested about 4000 for all my tools, for anyone out there that lowballs others stop doing it, we have families just like you do, i need to pay my bills just like u, lets play fair and whoever does the best job win.
     
  2. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 603

    Hey, If you want to make some money in this business fast, why dont you just offer a one time mowing of $25-$30. Pass out flyers in one neighborhood saying that you'll be back the next day to off this one time mowing, if they want it done, stick the flyer to their door. Once you done the work, leave a bill and collect ur money.................good luck.............if u do a good job, they'll sign up for regular service
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I understand your frustration, more than a few of us are feeling the money pinch right now, the season's not quite here yet so the callers are mainly playing games.

    Perhaps print another 2000 flyers, and wait until early next week, pass those out. Then, do it again, week after week, different hoods. Sooner or later, it will start, it's just a matter of days, maybe another week or two, here in va we could use some rain also.

    Patience helps.
     
  4. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Ok but the same could be said for new comers in this industry taking work from those of us who have been doing it for several years. This industry is filled with all types of competition. Don't get too discouraged a $17.95 cut will look like a $17.95 cut. Grab any accounts that you can to pay the bills. Try calling some of your local LCO to see if they have any yards that they want to drop (we all have them) and go from there. Best of Luck.
     
  5. Norwell

    Norwell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    While I am new to this site I have had some experience in this industry/trade and am considering a comeback. The only critique I have is this, and it has been said before, don't drop your price. To paraphrase a line from a movie..."a bad salesman will always drop the price." It will do you no good if it costs you more in fuel and insurance than you'll get back. Keep your head up...and in your situation I know that may be hard right now. Stick to your guns, you have an idea of what you are worth...don't cut your throat just to get an account. The reason I say this is that the person you have to cut yourself for is not worth it. Their will be no loyalty, no sense of respect, and they will leave you when the next guy comes around offering to do it for $15 or whatever. They won't even have the decency to call you or write you a letter to let you go. You'll just pull up one week to find a freshly cut lawn or another crew already there. So you may be asking yourself...why did I get out to begin with...and why should I listen to this guy? I will admit I am just one person on the opposite side of a computer screen that you may never meet...very anonymous and safe. Long story short version...I took over my grandfather's operation when he became unable to operate it about 10 years ago. At that time I felt I had to have every account no matter what. I had the functional side of the industry down but not the "business sense/savvy". I cut my competitors low and ran them out of some neighborhoods altogether. But I didn't make enough money to cover taxes and insurance. I barely paid for my fuel and had to dip into petty cash to buy groceries. So i sent out a letter stating that I would have to raise prices...and you know what...I lost about 10% right off the bat and lost another 25% the start of the next season. Then while thinking about my money problems I ran over a sprinkler head...and oh by the way...I hadn't paid my insurance premium and that was the end of the business. Thank goodness I was able to sub/sell off the remaining accounts and was able to walk away but left a 40 year name in the local trade tarnished and bruised. I'm not here looking for sympathy or apathy just letting you know that what goes around comes around. Decide what you are worth and stick to it. Take inspiration of your fellow members on this site. A couple of members have some very good words to live by in their signature line and in their posts...one is ,"Profit is not a dirty word." Another one I really like is something like, .." I don't drop the tailgate for less than $xx.xx." If you establish yourself as a professional business person you will close the deals you can. The tire kickers are out there and most of those are just using your bid to talk down their current provider. I'm not advocating price fixing but I am advocating that an honest days work is worth an honest days pay. After all this rambling I just want you to ask yourself..."What is my time and effort worth?"
     
  6. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    $17.95? Sounds like a bunch of mexican workers. Good luck competing with that.
     
  7. Tlc_concept

    Tlc_concept LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18




    Sad truth..........
     
  8. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    Of course if you're out of work and looking for stuff to do you could try and get the illegals reported. Approach them in a friendly/curious manner and inquire about getting your lawn mowed. Then call your favorite INS agent with their phone and license plate numbers.

    I know another guy on this site did that and they were out of the country within 3 weeks. It's worth a shot and then you could approach the companies the illegals used to do and get in on the ground floor. :usflag:
     
  9. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798


    On your flyers offer other services such as yard clean-ups, edging, trimming, ect.. at 17.95 a yard he will not be working long. He will get to many and can't keep up or he will provide crappy service, or he will not be able to afford to stay in business. Just get your name out there and keep trying.
     
  10. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412


    harsh selfish patriotism...i like it:usflag::jester:
     

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