Need Advice

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Tyner Lawn Service, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. Tyner Lawn Service

    Tyner Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 328

    I am in the process of building up my lawn care for the future. Here's the deal last December of 02 I sent out over 100 nice letters to property management companies and apartment complexes telling them I would beat any reasonable bid by 10% on fertilizer applications if they would just tell me their price less 10%. to see if I could do it for that. I had 0 response and so in early january of this year I sent letters out again. NO RESPONSE. I have never had this happen before. I have no enemies out there and never had this happen. Do you think they were offended by me wanting to know what they pay? I felt it was no different than Home Depot saying they would beat someone by 10% I gave them until Feb 1st. Any ideas? Thanks
  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    You and everybody else in Omaha can beat the other guys price if it is "reasonable".

    Come on, what can you really do for them???
  3. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 360

    Personally I think, from the customers point of view, that you are desperate for work. See this is the problem with landscaping. It's all cut throat. Everyone can do it cheaper. But can you really and make the money? Personally I don't care what the other guy is getting. If the customer wants me then they have to pay up. I ain't doing nothing for nothing. Most of my new accounts are from customer referals so it doesn't really matter to them what it costs. They have seen the work and want us to take care of their property.
  4. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I do not think that any reasonable manager would even consider swithing companies based soley on "10% less". try an introduction letter and ask politely for a chance to bid on any work they may have coming up in future. You should get a better response this way.
  5. Tyner Lawn Service

    Tyner Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 328

    Actually last year I sent out an introductory letter and gave out bids with a total in labor around $150,000 and they all were very interested until that last guy came in with a cheap bid and got it. I heard thru the grapevine this is what some do. We live in a city of say 750,000 including suburbs and such and have over 100 ads in phonebooks and it's not uncommon to have 100 weekly ads in the paper all spring. There is an estimate that we have the most lawn services per capita in the country. And we all drive new trucks and have nice mowers. It was just an idea. I am planning on some day subbing out 250 residentials so I guess the big commercial is too cheap.
  6. B. Phagan

    B. Phagan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    I see many people doing this type of marketing and thankfully, they don't get results. People know nothing is free and "discounts" end up costing more one way or another.

    The assumption is the existing contractor is making a killing, you can save the customer 10% and you will somehow profit? How?

    If I were a competitor in NE, I'd call this prostituting the marketplace and continuing to tarnish our professionalism.

    If I were a PM Co, I'd view this as a co that can't find work and who would accept any work anyone was willing to give them.

    Speaking as a former owner of a 45 person LCO and pest control/fert co, I can tell you if you do this properly, you can make a 50% net profit.....but not this way.

    I would suggest:

    Direct mail marketing only normally provides a 1-2% return at a very large expense.

    Let's quit giving away our profits and expertise

    We should be giving proposals, not chasing bids hoping to get some work.

    And for those who I hear say "all customers are cheap".....this may be an epiphany!!
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would just market that you are a professional service and provide the attributes & services that you have. Also include what seperates you from the competition. Don't pressure them because then you will drive them away.

    I try never to give discounts to new customers. I give discounts to loyal customers.

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