Newbie lesson learned:

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by fiveoboy01, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    A couple weeks ago, I recieved a call from a realty company in town to mow bare lots in residential neighborhoods. 13 lots, I was told they were all easily under a half-acre. No problem, no trimming, xx.00 per lot.

    I get out to some of them, and some of them you couldn't even put a mower on. Rocks, mounds of dirt, etc. Plus it had rained a lot, and there was a lot of mud.

    I came out ok $-wise, because I could mow roughly half of them, and a few were completely bare dirt over 50% of the lot.

    But, I should have bid 50-75% higher than I did, no doubt. A couple of the lots took me an hour to do. We're talking nearly waist-high wheat and grass on some of them. Now that they're knocked down, I can mow more of them than last time. I'm going to honor my price, and hopefully I'm going to get some spec houses with this realty. But, I've already gotten a couple calls for lot clearing from a few other companies. They won't get the same price, that's for sure.

    I had to go buy an Echo brushcutter, after realizing that a weedeater wasn't cutting it(pun intended).

    Lesson learned:

    Never, EVER bid anything without looking at it first. EVER. No matter what. I'm almost ashamed, I should have known better. Especially after being on this site so much.

    I can guarantee I won't make that mistake again!
     
  2. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    Don't feel bad. I look at stuff and still mess up the bid.
     
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    There is not a person on here who has not made mistakes and Ive made my share of them. These are all lessons well learned that you wont forget. Just chalk it up as a learning experience.
     
  4. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    Been there, done that. I've been too busy, or too tired to go and look at a property and just bid on the phone without out looking at it......... dumb a$$. Won't do that again. But we all under bid at times. It happens.
     
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    The key is to learn form your mistake. If you don't learn from it...Thats where the mistake is...
     
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    Your first mistake is cutting waist high grass with a mower. Many mowers won't last to long taking that kind of abuse.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You need to charge double for that kind of crap for that exact reason. The mowers actually DO last a long time doing it, but they require a lot more maintenance: Just one such lot puts about a week's worth of wear and tear on it. But you could not have known that, which brings me to my next part...

    I do not see why, if by the time you got there, you felt (and still feel) obligated to honor your end of the bargain. I could see your point if the other party had been straight and upfront, but that doesn't appear to be the case here... That guy lied to you or otherwise convinced you it would be nothing like the nightmare you saw when you got out there ... He sure did, he even said it would be 'no problem' lots, and anytime someone gets cute with me like that and then I get there and I see I've been duked, I'm gone before I even unload, I just keep right on going.

    Then again, with realtors this does not surprise me.
     
  8. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    spot on.there is no need to feel like an idiot here.it brings back a few ugly memories thats for sure this thread.if you do the same thing again i would be asking yourself a few questions., other than that you live and learn




    *aussieflag*
     
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Perhaps you missed the part of my post stating that I went and bought a brushcutter...

    I don't blame the realtor. How should they know what equipment I'm using? For all they know I had a brush mower. I don't expect them to know anything about clearing lots. They're there to buy/sell property and build houses. It's MY fault for not looking at the lots first.
     
  10. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    I once gave a price on a lawn from two houses away. Lady said her mower broke. and could I cut the lawn. Well it must have broke last season, the yard looked like a corn maize!!!I think weve all learned from our mistakes. To quote someone here on this site " the key to staying in bussiness is pricingyour services right! Know your overhead. price accordingly, DONT GIVE ESTIMATES OVER THE PHONE!!! Good luck!!!:confused:
     

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