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Need advice - to many lawnboys

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by meets1, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    This past spring I have seen 4 people start up. They have taken away work from me, others and themselves for being assian to say the least. Example - Commercial account - mowing roughly 3.5 hours - I don't do it but another LCO does. He is running a grasshopper - 62 inch deck. He was mowing for $140 / time. New bid $65.00 to a guy that is 65 yrs old - retiring in June and has a 28 yr son to help him. 1 JD 525 mower and a new ENCORE with turf tires.

    Next bid - condo - I did for $28.50. Easy mowing - 4 units. New guy says I want the work - give a price of $20.00 / cut. He has the job.

    A school I bid - 21,500 to mow with our equipment - one guy (same as above) says I'll mow with your equipment (schools) for $20,900. School thought that was a better deal.

    Next job - 66k worth of open mowing. His bid - $22.50 / mow.

    What is up with these people. Insurance, Gas/fuel??

    I don't get it! Needed to rant a little I guess!
  2. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    school will like it till they got to buy new mowers.

    prices keep going down around here. $15/acre for multi open acres. $10 a pallet labor to lay sod. $30/hr tractor work. boy, do more and more lawnboys think they going to get rich off this every year, though.
  3. Stan's_Lawn_Service

    Stan's_Lawn_Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Sorry for your lose, it is the sign of the times, every year there is new lawnboys, next year they may not be back. maybe even this summer!
    Why? Because they make no money, get lazy, get fired for terrible work, or they carry too much debt. So if you are an established lawn service, with a good reputation for quality work and are dependable, there is always plenty of work out there. You will turn some customers every year because they think that the grass is greener elsewhere. You may even get those customers back if they find out differently! Don't fret you just get new customers. We find that some customers change lawn care every 3 years or so. It is just how people are.

    Stan's Lawn Service
    Springfield, MO
  4. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    they will be toast next year, because they are pricing themselfs right into the bucket.
  5. outlaw1960

    outlaw1960 LawnSite Senior Member
    from denver
    Posts: 307

    Every year we lose some to the Viet. market. They always come back, If they care about quality, at a price. If not they get what they asked for, shoddy work at a shoddy price.
  6. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    I've seen a several new startups in SUVs with small trailers this year. It looks like dads with their sons. See americans WILL DO THIS TYPE OF WORK. If we could just send some illegals back home we could raise our prices and be in high demand as well.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    unfortunately there is not much ya can do about it
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I'm with you on the "what the heck are they thinking". They obviously don't have much in the way of business sence. Over time they will fail but they will be replaced by another goof.
    It really is the customer that causes the problem without really knowing it but those type of customers aren't for me.
    Everyone likes a low price, if you were told you could buy gasoline for a dollar a gallon wouldn't you go there all the time. Its real gasoline and you are getting a deal. Thats great but how long could the vendor sell at that price before he finds that he is losing money and he closes up. Same with mowing. The difference is that everyone can mow lawn. I really don't have an answer but I have tried to diversify and make my business different by highlighting my personal service. It works to the people that want this piece of mind. The low price seekers go away and I have long term happy customers who like to know that I am on the property.
    I appreciate your venting and hope you have better luck in the future.
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    I here ya! I think to that it is the customers fault without them really knowing it. I understand it is not rocket science to provide this service but at the same time business is business - insurance, fuel/gas, equipment upkeep etc.

    There is this other crew that started as well. Brothers - both mid 20's and one works for an electrician by day, off at 4:30 and mowing by 5. His brother works in the local bank - same story. I guess whatever huh??

    Yes, I have been around a few (alot) of years but this year just seems worse than b/f.

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