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Luxury Or Necessity

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Clinton D. Wagner, Mar 29, 2001.

  1. Clinton D. Wagner

    Clinton D. Wagner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    <b>Luxury or Necessity, That is the question....

    Is Landscaping and Maintenance for the home owner a luxury or a necessity???
    I look at it this way, it's a necessity that they have there yards landscape, But is it a luxury to have someone do it for them? Mowing the lawn and doing the yard work is a necessity, So is it a luxury to have it done by a maintenance company?
    So are we in a luxury business, and thats why we have a hard time getting higher prices from the home owners?

    When I think of Luxury, I think about our maid service, our gardener, the pool service, the weekly night out for dinner and a show, etc. and I know that when times are hard,and "mony" is short, just where i will start cutting back!
    The first things to go, would be the nights out, the pool service, I know you would say the maid service next, but my
    wife said the gardener, then the maid service, why because they are all Luxurys that we can do without...

    Necessity is what keeps the wheels turning, going after the jobs that need your service all the time, like offices, hopitals,apartments, city work, schools, etc...

    So is the industry more of a Luxury or a Necessity Business?

    [Edited by Clinton D. Wagner on 03-29-2001 at 05:17 AM]
  2. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 496

    I think it all depends on your clientele. My full-time job is in an industry that is is usually always impacted by downturns in the economy. My lawn service is my fallback when times get bad. I have specifically targeted certain types of customers. I have doctor's and lawyers offices. I have retirement condo communities that have dues paid every year. You can't tell me that a doctor or lawyer that makes many times more per hour than I do would choose to cut his own lawn. The same for older people. A retired couple in their 80's is not going to go out and buy a lawnmower and cut their own grass to save a few bucks. If we put some thought into the types of clients that we have we shouldn't have to worry about tough economic conditions.
  3. CDW wrote:

    >Clinton D. Wagner
    On the net since 1995
    So you have been on the net for six years and still continue to subject us to your bold print BS.

    You must not be very quick to learn or you have a
    deep rooted inferiority complex.
  4. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    WEll all I have to say is when you want to make money you do the things others either do not want to do or CAN NOT DO!! There are a lot of 60+ old ladies out there that can not take the 100+degree weather down here and oh yeah...what about those fellas that have backs that are out or have and illness that prevents them from being active. Answer your own question with the info I just provided:)
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I've always looked at it like this:

    There are 2 kinds of people. Those that have more time than they do money and those that have more money than time.

    Chances are you won't do work for the one that has less money and more time but you will work for the one that has less time and more money as he needs to be concentrating on making even more money. He/she does this by playing golf and entertaining with the others that have money, the guy with less does not, he stays at home and looks for projects to do around the house. The guy with the money works long hours and doesn't want to be bothered with the daily chores, neither does his wife, she has to go here and go there and be in this club and that club...........they are the who's who of any town or City. They don't change their own oil or wash their cars either like the other guy does. The have's have found a way to make life a little less cumbersome by paying to have these services performed for them, the have less's of the world haven't figured it out or either don't care to have it done.

    The other class is the older generation, generation Z, they are just a little too old to mess with any of it and would rather sleep most of the day, hence the name Z..... Either one, as long as they pay suit me fine.

    To call it a luxury or necessity would be too vague a description. You have to look at the client and his current financial state or either his lifestyle. Once these have's get a little older and the glory days have given way to the younger generation of "have's" they usually find themselves with more time than they use to have so they dust off their old machines and take back what once was ours............until they get too old then they call somebody again to take care of the little things they are no longer able to do.

    Life is cyclical, the only problem is we age at the same rate they do and our finances seem to cycle with theirs! The problem is we are still doing all the work while at least they had time to pay us to do it.

    I don't even know if this made sense!
  6. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    yea homer well put, i hope that clinton takes notes about this one. th ay i see it is about 60%of my customers are the generation z and can't take care of their property, this is what i do and i'll keep doing it because i really don't want to sit behind some desk all day. so i'm not going to complain and day soon.

    clinto why would you care what it is. your doing something you love to do and get paid very well for it, if anything that would be a luxury.
  7. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    In our county a homeowner can be fined for letting their grass grow more than 12" tall, so keeping it cut is a necessity. Who does it depends on the homeowners' capabilities, inclinations and wallet. Commercial sites are a necessity. Also, Larry Stone, have you read Clinton's posts on the Landscape forum? Frankly I haven't seen you do a cost analysis of a landscape installation that could touch the ones that Clinton does. Content counts!
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

  9. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    This business is a necessity. It's just a matter of priority. If your clientele is mostly cheapskates, when times get hard, they'll find a kid in the neighborhood to do it cheap.

    If they're a professional of some type, it usually means they need to spend a little more time at work, meaning they have to decide between quality time and household chores. That's where we come in. I don't know about you guys, but my wife does not give me a choice about quality time.

    Most of my clients also choose to spend more time with the family. As someone mentioned, the commercial proprties will need to be maintained, but the competition for these can get a little fierce.

    I don't worry much about recessions or economic downturns. The grass will always grow, and we lose a few people every year, usually because they move away, divorce, or die. There always seem to be more new people than that. IMO, the trick is to prepare yourself for this when things are the way they've been for the last 6 or 7 years.

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