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number of lcos is rediculous!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lsu03, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. lsu03

    lsu03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    i see TONS of lcos in my small city of only 10000 and now am recondisdering even starting up. pretty much everyone with a mower and truck and/or trailer is starting to cut now. how could i even convince potential customers i am a better choice???????
     
  2. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Posts: 2,160

    Welcome to the wonderful world of being an LCO...... you are a better choice because you are insured,liscensed etc...
     
  3. lsu03

    lsu03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    a lot of these other ppl are too unfortunately...

    a lot of you guys are not also 15 and probably looked down upon by customers and have some/lots of experience...
     
  4. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I'm really starting to think this is going to be the year that seperates the men from the boys..

    With gas prices skyrocketing, fly by nights can only operate at the cheap rate for so long.

    We are growing more than 75% this year, and I credit it to LCO's going out of business and bad poor service/bad results from the ones that are still around.

    Hang in there
     
  5. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Keep your costs down, do a good job, weather the storm. You will survive and prosper. It just takes time, its not going to happen overnight. The guys just looking for a quick buck because its 'Easy' aren't going to be around long.
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Sheee who you telling?

    I see it too, the parade of trucks-trailers keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.

    Ohhhh yeah I'm 41 and I get "bestowed upon the privilege of being 'allowed' to do a little work for some CASH *IF* I would be interested" all the time. Here's some cookies and a soda, come'n get it, made them just for you! and so on.
    Sure I'm just an ungrateful bastard now by looking their kind generosity of a gift horse in the mouth, but I feel that way about it too...

    That was one of my biggest complaints last year, and then when I let them do it because I'm short on work and I can't afford to tell them how it is then next thing that happens is they keep taking more and more advantage of me, it just never f444n ends I swear.

    I really wouldn't have a problem with it, if it wasn't always that one thing leads to another garbage that almost invariably comes around... Only a matter of time, but I can say I still have some customers who do it to me and they're with me today and for the most part I can't really say it's all that bad either.

    So what can we do, what can I do, what can you do?
    Just deal with it best you can, if it's a stupid answer it's because it's the only one I know for sure that works.
     
  7. LawnNc

    LawnNc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 420

    I'm starting out, part time just six months in. Lic. and Ins. listed on your business card helps. Do a quality job, take the time to do the little things no one else thinks of. As far as all the lco's, I said the same thing to myself last fall when I started out, but remember all you need is your small corner of the market to get started. Impress the heck out of your customer, get to know their yard and them, then treat em' both like gold. Then pray they appreciate your hard work.
     
  8. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I hope so. I really do. So far the have pretty much the same customers as I did last year. I was starting to become concerned but am starting to feel better about the season.

    Its funny last season most of the south was in a drought now fuel prices... Yet new LCOs keep coming up like weeds. I think there are several factors that will thin the herd.
     
  9. coif_kid

    coif_kid LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 93

    You may get mad at me saying this, but I do look forward to your opinions.

    First off this really applies to anyone who started in this business less than 10 years ago because prior I would say that it was signifigantly more difficult to see the upcoming growth of the industry.

    Anyway, why is everybody whining about the amount of LCO's out there. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that in the long run more and more people will be entering this field as the manufacturing jobs dry up. This industry is easy to get in and there still is some money in it so of course there will be continued entrance into the industry by further competition. I just don't get it why people start in this business and then complain about the competition. The writing is on the wall. Expect competition to continue to get worst. Expect prices to continue to stagnate while your costs go up. The reality is for the most part, this is a low skill industry when compared to other areas (You can argue all you want, but I can list hundreds of jobs that require greater knowledge, talent or skills than the lawn industry) with low barriers to entry. Just read an economic book on perfect competition and it is clear what is and will happen to this industry.

    That said, when you know what is going to happen I really don't think people have a right to complaining about how hard it is to compete or low balling is killing their business. If you want to make more money or make a business prosper with less competition get into a field where it is harder for just anyone to enter (ie. skilled tradesman or profession).
     
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,915

    I have been saying this for a long time. The market value of anybody, regardless of industry and level, is directly related to the uniqueness of what is being offered.

    Residential grass cutting isn't rocket science -- no education, no training, no special skills, and the up-front cost of getting a business started is very, very small. Seeing new entries as competition to the business should be no surprise, and not unexpected.
     

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