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Michigan LCO's

Discussion in 'Network: Central' started by tiedeman, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. MOOSE

    MOOSE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    When routes are tight then u can afford to give a little on pricing like John has been saying. I picked up 30 new accounts. And everytime I land one I let them know I can do it for a $1 or $2 less if they can get a neighbor or two or more to jump aboard. I got a call today for a estimate and it was near 14 that I do, so I bid it at $22 even though it's worth $26-28 but I have so many around, no loading the trailer or driving 3 miles to next job. It makes me wonder why theres so many companies that drive so far for work. Like guys in Warren coming my way to cut. Holy smokes they must have big gas tanks and big pockets to pay wages for that drive time. Or guys from Canton to here. But I do only live at most 3 miles from my closet client. Theres plenty of work around.
    What also helps is returning calls within 4-8 hours and the face to face when trying to upsell. I learned this the hard way. I wasnt returning calls soon enough sometimes 2 days later and not landing jobs.

    I see where the $12 can tick a few of u off but something has to make the phone ring. When it comes to advertising they say u need something to catch there eye and well the $12 does it. Just my .02 on this.
  2. grant087

    grant087 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    i agree with you on this, it seems like they are just trying to get money from the legit companys, another issue like this is all of the non legit companys you see putting flyers on mailboxes and never getting in trouble for it
  3. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,265

    depending on your settings, each person sees the pages differently. the last page i currently see is 212 since i see over ~40 posts per page.
  4. proficient landscape

    proficient landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    This is exactly what I am talking about.. You have to do what you have to do to survive.. I just lost 2 Customers in Birmingham due to a "lowballer" The hardest part for me was.. When I asked "Mrs Jones, Did we not do good work last summer? She said No you did a Great Job and I like you and your employee's It's just this guy is going to do it for a much lower price!" Unfortanetly I felt I was as low as I could possibly go, so I didnt even try to get into a bidding war. I pay taxes,w/c,ins,and Im registered with the state.

    My point is.. I cant afford to take the "I wont cut under $20-$25 attitude, because then I wont have anything to cut. It's unfortanate but most of the time The average joe customer only looks at price.. very rarely does a customer ask if you are insured or pay taxes. so the lowballers that dont pay taxes end up with customers!

    I agree with John more cities should make LCO's obtain permits and enforce it would make it alot easier for us legit LCO's

    I dont have any customers for $12 but if it's small lots and you can afford it go for it. Im forced to use marketing techniques to get the calls and I go from there.. If I find a customer that doesnt want to be reasonable alot of times I will walk away, I get requests all the time for Bi-Weekly service and I dont do Bi-Weekly cuts, so if I cant convince them to cut weekly I walk away but with the way things are right now Im actually considering doing Bi-weekly's just to make $
  5. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    Metro - I agree with you about the cracking down on liscensing and regualtions. It would help a lot - but I highly doubt enforcement will ever come.
    In the interim, getting the phone to ring with a $12 flyer so that you can try to upsell most of the customers may work for you but it really contributes to the problem that face all of us - the discounting of our labor. I can't tell you how to market your business, but after 28 years in the business, I 've seen a lot. We could all learn an important lesson from the auto industry. The race to the bottom may gain you a short term boost, but when the market won't pay more than $15/acre to cut and $12 a driveway to plow.... we'll have no one but ourselves to blame. No one can survive on those prices - except the crackheads.
    I frequently put prices in my ads with "Lawn Service starting from $XX" but that price is more representative of the Average Price in the area - not the Lowest Price I have in the area. I do some lawns for free (in-laws, friends)... but I'd never put "I do lawns for FREE" in my ad - just to get the phone to ring.
    Competition in the market is good. But, the "we'll beat any price" and the lawns for as low as $12" ads really diminish the value of our service (as an industry). Like I said, I can't tell you how to market your business - but I try to encourage everyone to price and market themselves like a profession not a discount service. Only then will people respect us like service providers.
  6. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    got my new dump insert today, finally. Cant wait to use it! Hopefully when its not as cold I will put my 4 foot side boards on. lol.

  7. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,149

    Looks nice.

    Just curious why you went with a dump insert when you also have the dump truck? I'm guessing you just had the need for two dump beds?
  8. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    i had a hole burning in my pocket. JK.
    I am using the dump truck for landscaping this year, and using this truck 5 days a week for lawns, and then if I have a big sod job or something I can use the f150 for lawns and this one will come in handy, or on the weekends or such.
  9. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,149

    Are you bagging quite a few of your properties? Unfortunately collecting grass is something we have gotten into more in the last couple years. Sometimes I think it is great, while others I hate it. If I had a dump insert, I might hate it less :)
  10. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    Yeah, all of mine get bagged execpt a few commericals. I hate bagging, but around here thats what the customer wants, reguardless what is best for the lawn. I guess we just have to keep the customer happy reguardless if we like it or not. Plus for salting next year I can get the salter attachment and use this truck, even though I would hate to rust out a 06 truck.

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