lawn service is it really worth it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfcat75, Feb 17, 2001.

  1. turfcat75

    turfcat75 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    with so many lowballers out there and cheap customers out there is it really worth all the headaches just too work outside in some fresh air?i think there are way more cheap people than anything out there thats for sure!with so much competition out there ...way to many lowballers and they are there year after year what used to be the industry to get into doesnt seem to be it today.we dont have million dollar properties where i live some 350,000 areas but lots of times the ones with the money are so cheap,mostly elderly people with there usual saying i cannot pay that price i'm on a fixed income,well i am too!my kids have a disease they need to eat 3 times a day....anyone ever think about doing something else other that the lawn industry...?
  2. MowJo

    MowJo LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Posts: 70

    Nope. I love this business and the challenges it presents!

    As far as lowballers are concerned, they can have the cheap customers. I spend as much time building customer relationships as I do providing services. Reputation and word of mouth are powerful tools against lowballing. Personally I don't feel too threatened by lowballers and I do not underbid because good customers are after far more than just a low price.

    just my opinion.
  3. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    As long as you do good work, low ballers are not a problem. Their work reflects their price, so they are paid what they are worth. When it is rainy and cold and the grass is growing an inch a day and you are behind, I have thought about doing something different, but then I think about the days that it's in the 70's, the sun is shining and it makes the bad days go better. I have done other jobs that paid well, but I wasn't as happy as when I'm mowing. Why do a job you don't like when you can do this. :)
  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    I agree with MoJo and Eric. My favorite responce to hearing "I'm on a fixed income" is: Damn, you're lucky, I don't know what's gonna be comming my way every month!!! That usually shuts'm up. As far as lowballers are concerned, you can''t possibly have as many as we do here in Central FL. My county alone has OVER 1500 licensed lawn service companys. Of that 1500 I figure there's only about 20 of us that actually run our business like a business. Such is life I guess.
  5. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I can't & I DON'T Compete with High School Kids & Low-Ballers ......those are not the type of customers I target .....I go after & accept accounts which FIT my Profile

    Ed ...I know how you feel in Brevard we have about 1,000 legit (but no ALL legal) and twice that of cutters doing this "cash .....mow & go"

  6. Forever Green Lawn

    Forever Green Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    I've been in lawn care and landscaping for over 12 years and have also worked other jobs. I'm happiest being outside. We also have low ballers around here in NW Indiana. They seem to come and go with the wind. If the economy keeps turning down, many will go away like they did in '92 or 93.

  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    There is going to be lowballers in every business so you aren't going to be able to avoid it. There are certainly going to be more in some businesses than others. Lawncare is quite a bitter easier to get into than say, starting an auto dealership or even a McDonald's. But every industry has competition, strong competition. And that's where the superior business minded people will rise above the rest, and the others will fall by the wayside. You need to analyze your marketable area and find out what it needs. Some areas are going to be better than others for this type of business. I'm not trying to be a smart-ass or a know-all, I'm just conveying my opinion. If your market only has minimal amounts of money and population, it is certainly going to be difficult to compete. They don't put McDonald's in unincorporated towns or small non-traffic areas for a reason. The same applies for this business. You will only get out of your area what it has to offer. I'm not raining on your parade, I'm just giving you a perspective and to try and see what it will take for someone to succed with what they have to work with. I think if you try really hard and put your heart and soul into it, you will succeed. This is merely my opinion and the theory of how I want to run my business. I'm just starting my business and have alot to learn, and maybe in a year or less, or longer, I might be belly up, or maybe I won't. All I know is I'm going to give it everything I can to make it work, good days and bad, and you can do the same. There are people around me that are positive, and some that think I'm an idiot to start this business. That's great, they're entitled to their opinion, but they're not ME, I have to try it for myself. I wish everyone the best of luck! Happy cutting!
  8. VLM

    VLM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    Since you've just started out in the business, you have alot to learn especially about low ballers. Don't feel too dissapointed about this, you're just starting out. Charge the going rate and do the best work you can. If people complain, then they are not the type of accounts you want anyway. These are the same people who will be late payers or bad debts. Stay away from them. It takes years and years to build up a good clientel and reputation that will get you referrals. After a time, you won't even have to advertise anymore, you will get so much work from referrals. The real advantage to having a lawn business actually has very little to do with being outside (although it is a nice perk) it is the autonomy! Being able to work where and when you like. Choosing who you will work for and how much you would like to make annually. In a word, freedom, there is nothing that can compare!
  9. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 723

    I agree Eric,Ive worked Three other Jobs for the tastmasters. When i got back home from the Army in 71 i went to Tech School and became a machinest, Worked that job for 3yrs,slowest work ive ever done and really didn't know what i wanted to do. Then i went into construction,I don't think mowing is near as bad as roofing.That lasted around 3yrs. Then i worked for Sunoco Oil Co. got into management which payed well but was a number uno head-ake. So in 89 i started the Mowing Service i have no regrets, i do around 9-11 yds a day at my own pace. If i want to sit down and rest i will. Sure in the heat of summer it gets very nasty,the heat the soaked clothes and all but like i said i can work at my pace and love working outside, and i do make a good living. I just wish i would have started earlier,40yr old when i started,but still no regrets.Do the best job you can and youll get a ten-fold return. Hope to have many more yrs thanks to the Lord God.I pray that all on the forum have a great upcomeing season. Marks Mowing Service
  10. Hello Everybody:

    First of all being Self Employed is one of the Most Rewarding Experiences in life & if you have never lived it, you can't even fathom what I'm talking about? :) No harm intended! I promise.

    If you are one of the Unique Individuals that is cut out for this work & later you give it up. You'll regret it Many Many times until the day you die? I've been there & I'm doing it now!

    If you work for someone else in this Great Country, you are not Guaranteed your next PayCheck. That's a Fact Jack! Look around at all the big companies laying off & going out of Business. As far as that goes look at the little companies going under TOO!

    A lot of folks need their lawn done professionally & they are willing to pay extra for it, they just want it done right! As long as we live there is a demand for Professionals in the Green Industry.

    You can't worry about all the low ballers out there, maybe a little problem if you only have a very very small community to work in?

    Yes, there is a great amount of folks looking for the El Cheapos out there. You just got to set the pace & be #1 where you are at. If you see somebody that catches your attention, look at them figure out what caught your attention & just "Flat out, out do Them" It's all about Making Money. If you are unhappy with what you are making, well figure out what you got to do to get paid more money in less time?

    I fought it for a few years & then I woke up & smelled the Green $$$$$. I looked at my competitors & really I couldn't find many that came close to me? I was lucky in that part of it, but I as everybody else LOL, needed More Money. So I figured out ways to better my Appearance First & Believe me it's very important. Then I knew I had to make more money in less time, so I upgraded Equipment? Hey it was costly, but I didn't hear much about the Competition any more.

    When I did hear that horrible word Competition, I just laughed & said what Competition, I am the Competition! Really I was, if someone said that I would say could you please explain to me how they are my Competition & if I can understand how they are I will be more than glad to Better Myself! Then that would shut them up in near about all cases?

    You can't compare Mickey D's to Steakout, but they both have their places, then again you can't compare either one of them to MaMa Jeans Kitchen. They all have their place just as you do? If I could afford to, I would eat steak every meal & a lot can afford that. They are the ones looking for that High Dollar Professional too!

    You need to remember something else too, these so called Rich Folks are a lot Broker than you think? The Jones's will wipe them out in years to come. I did far better in Neighborhoods in the $80K up to about $200K than I did in the $200K & up. LOL, a lot of them Rich Folks just do not have the money. Yeah, they all have one thing in common, most live on a BUDGET. I want a Budget where I only have 1 new BMW & My poor old wife is Driving a New Cadillac STS, now that is a budget. When they say the word budget, the best thing to do is hand them at least 2 of your business cards, Thank them for giving you the opportunity to bid on their services, turn your back, walk like a Man & go back to work or bid on the next job! Only the Rich live on a BUDGET! The working class has to pay for what they want.

    It's hard work buying all that Fluff & Thrill, but when you can stand there & look them dead in the Eye & Laugh saying How are they my Competition? That is when you know it's straight up from there?

    Make people want you to perform services for them, make them want your Equipment parked in front of their house, make them want you & nobody else doing their Lawn Work.

    This is all you got to do & in time the Money & Work will come?

    Look like a Pro, Act like a Pro, Work like a Pro & you will get Paid like a Pro! It just takes time!

    Hey off topic again, OH NO!
    Here where I live there is this Guy that has 2 beauty shops, if you walk in one of them wanting your hair done on the spot they laugh at you & try to set up a appointment for a week or 2 later. They charge twice as much as anybody else & more. 1 of his shops has over 35 employees & the other has over 25. How do you think he has accomplished this? HE IS THE COMPETITION$$$$$ Ca Ching, I here that cash talking to me!

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