opposite of mow & blow

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stumpjumper, May 18, 2006.

  1. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    there have been a lot of threads lately about slow starts for new guys. i was in the same boat until i noticed that most of the ads in the paper were for mow,trim and blow only. i changed my ad to emphasize full service, hedge trimming, mulch,plantings and cleanups. been snowed under ever since. i'm also picking up the mowing on about 30% of the other jobs. most of the customers say they would rather have 1 guy that will do it all.
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You kind of have to watch this crazy business for some time to see what is at work here, but you are right in assuming the market is open and slightly better for the full service / high quality kind of guy... At least around here it is, I let all the mow 'n blow guys fend it out with those who can't afford my services because that way we're out of each other's hair.

    What happened for the past two years or so is all of a sudden, everybody wanted their little lawnboy. It was to some a sign of success, to others it was just they got too busy, whatever... The problem was, mainstream America could hardly afford the full service guy, but that's what everyone kept doing is calling us and then came the old song and dance of OH gee I can't afford that...

    In response to this, Lco's adjusted and over time the market saturated itself with the affordable and economic service. The lawnguy still made his money while the customer felt like they were keeping up with the joneses, the problem later snowballed into a fierce competition where the prices went further, and further down.

    Along came those like yourself who saw the light in the dark tunnel, and guys like you and I started providing an upstream, or upscale service. Sure it cost more, but now the Joneses have a dark, rich turf with criss-cross checkerboard designs while the ones trying to keep up can't afford all that so once again, the few who see the light are in the meat section of the market while those who can afford it manage to stay ahead of the pack as well.

    I suspect in time we will see a trend where more folks will spend the money and once again the market will saturate itself towards the full-service guy, at which point it might be a wise idea to swap over to the affordable services before everyone else does it. The trick is to predict it, a trick which sometimes I perform with success but has also burned me before.

    Since not everyone can adjust in a timely fashion for more than one reason, the secret is to stay in this business for the long term and do what you normally do while allowing the market to do what it does. This way you win some then you lose some which evens out, because to constantly adjust may not be a good idea as you may find yourself chasing a dream that stays three turns ahead of you, so to speak.
     
  3. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    i really don't know how upscale i am, i still have several customers that just want it cut short and trimmed for my minimum of $30. but the customers who have been calling since i changed my ad are in the more affleunt areas. i find out exactly what they want and price it towards the high end for this area. some of their requests are a little odd sometimes, but its their money.
     

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