Painful lesson

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cutntrim, Mar 8, 2000.

  1. Mowin4cash

    Mowin4cash LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    I know that if one of my commercial properties did me that way, they wouldn't get an opportunity to screw me again. Remember the old saying, &quot;Screw me once, shame on you......screw me twice, shame on me&quot; (Or something like that)<p>Mike
     
  2. Breakdowns are not age dependent. Breakdowns<br>happen do to poor perventative maint.<p>All my machines are preped and some are in<br>use today March 8. That has got to be one of<br>the earliest dates I have started spring services. <p>Actually some of my old mowers (with 16 HP twin kohler magnums) are better than new<br>OHV engines IMHO. They more use more fuel<br>put they run cooler and very hard to overload.
     
  3. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Are we not just as guilty for choosing the lowest price when buying services or products as our customers our? For example how many people have switched their long distance carrier to save a few pennies a minute, or took the $14.95 oil change at the tire shop rather than the $21.95 goodwrench at the GM dealer? How about Buying gas down the street where it is .05 a gallon cheaper, when even if you filled your tank it wouldn't amount to maybe a buck or two. The list goes on and on. I think to some degree were all guilty of it, we just don't pay attention until it happens to us. Just some food for thought.
     
  4. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    I agree with you on maintenance, but...<p>The older a machine gets the more time it requires you to work ON instead of WITH.<br>
     
  5. ashlandscaping

    ashlandscaping Banned
    Posts: 113

    Hey Cuttrim a friend just lost 3 large jobs in the range of total for all 3 $ 30000 per year. To 1 % now that is sad. They have had these property for 7 years year round won awards and all and that is how they treat him. It can be nerve beating but can be well worth it.
     
  6. John Deere

    John Deere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    Lee Homan: I really don't want to get into this to deep, but you are comparing apples to oranges. Those services that you have listed might have different prices, but they all have industry standards. Believe me, they know where there bottom line is and they all make a profit where we are trying to point out that a lot of the people in our industry don't know where there bottom line is. Furthermore I think a lot of us our looking for a better way to handle our accounts year and year out without the chance of losing our accounts to someone who doesn't know what they are bidding on and some manager only looking at price and not price + quality + reliability. Yes we are all looking to get a good deal when it comes to everyday items and services, but there is something to be said about loyalty.
     
  7. Jay Raley

    Jay Raley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Larry,<p>Once again your negativity and willingness to promote yourself as the &quot;end all, be all&quot; contractor shines through once again.<p>I believe you are the smartest man alive. With that being said do you want a medal or a chest to pin it on? <p>I am being smart mouthed and very disrespectful in this post, and I don't care. I have had it up to my ears with Mr. Stone and I am on the attack. If I get banned, so be it.<p>I would put this in an e-mail but I can't seem to find one for 'ol Larry. <p>Dave,<p>I sympathize with you my brother. Last year we bid 3 apartment complexes ran by 1 management firm. The guy that got the bid knocked us by $100.00 for each complex. We thought that we were dead square on our bid, no smudging anything because it was a friend of a friend. Anyway, we got bumped. 2 weeks ago the same firm calls us and wants us to bid this year. I'm thinking these folks think they are gonna try and see if we are gonna come down on our price with them. We met for lunch and I told them that we couldn't swing it without increasing our prices 3% straight across the board. They jumped right on it. Turns out the yo-yo that got the bid last year wasn't worth a damn. He was a real idiot. Called these folks on Saturdays wanting to know if it was ok if he came and did some work. They finally got fed up. And all 3 places are a total wreck. <p>Just roll with it. They will be back, I would bet on it. And when they come back make 'em pay through the nose. And if the don't come back, oh well. Every new beginning is some other beginnings end. <p>----------<br>Jay Raley<br>The Good Earth Grounds Management
     
  8. Nilsson Associates

    Nilsson Associates LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    John Deere hit the nail on the head when he used the term ... &quot;industry standards&quot; because there are none. The three issues that cause contractors to stray away from the concept of what the work is &quot;worth&quot; are ...<p>1. Knowing how long the job will take ... contractor A figures 100 man hours ... contractor B figures 80 man hours.<p>2. The multiplier ... contractor A multiplies his 100 hours by let's say $35<br>and contractor B multiplies his 80 hours by<br>let's say $25<p>3. Cost issues ... contractor A has legitimate costs, insurance, payroll taxes,<br>overtime wages, rents an operating facility and has other &quot;normal&quot; expenses. Contractor B pays wages under the table, works from his home where he may not be in compliance with zoning regulations, doesn't report wages for workers, and may not even be recognizing business income at all.<p>The other big variable is that when new folks enter the business ... they don't &quot;pass through the doorway of understanding&quot; meaning knowing those two above ... time or pricing are learned the hard way ... if at all. A &quot;new start&quot; often ends up pricing too low to get a &quot;foothold&quot;, doesn't make enough money to cover costs, wears out the equipment and can't replace it, gets discouraged, and moves on to something else. In the meanwhile he &quot;screws up&quot; the market at the lower end which causes a ripple effect right to the top rung of the &quot;price ladder&quot;. Each &quot;new start&quot; needs to be educated and know about the TIME REQUIREMENTS OF THE WORK and ... THE PRICE REQUIREMENTS OF THE WORK. The &quot;others&quot; ... the existing businesses need to form a &quot;solidarity&quot; as to prices and rates and not simply engage in bidding wars thjat depress the prices in general ... and that ... is a huge undertaking ... because it requires a huge amount of cooperation. Independent business people sometimes are too independent leading to a continuation year after year in a &quot;price struggle&quot; that only the customer can win at. In many markets the customers have been winning the &quot;price wars&quot; for many years ... no pricing standards<br>... no &quot;quantity&quot; of work standards has fueled this situation. Look at the auto repair business as an example ... the hourly rate is posted so the station owner is not &quot;at risk&quot; for how long the job will take ... he gives the estimate based on what the &quot;book&quot; says in a range suggested in the &quot;book&quot;. I had the CV joints replaced in my car ... the posted hourly rate was $49 for labor ... when asked what the job would cost ... the mechanic went to the book, looked it up and said about 3 to 4 hours, give or take.<br>How do you like that system? Another alternative is a &quot;merging of businesses&quot; under one name in local markets ... where prices are the same for everybody within the system. Something like paying the same for a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee no matter if you're in New York or Alabama. <p>Phil Nilsson<p>P.S. It's not hard to make money when you don't have any expenses against the income and are operating illegally. <p>Phil Nilsson
     
  9. Jay wrote:<p>&gt;I am being smart mouthed and very disrespectful in this post, and I don't care. I have had it up to my ears with Mr. Stone and I am on the attack. If I get banned, so be it.<p>I would put this in an e-mail but I can't seem to find one for 'ol Larry. <p>----------------------------------------<p>And why would I even open e-mail from you?<br>Are you special?<p>Maybe it's time you got a job and stopped complaining about YOUR feelings.<p>Now get a life. I have got to go for I have<br>five figure maint. contracts I need to perform.<p>
     
  10. Phil wrote:<p>&gt; the existing businesses need to form a &quot;solidarity&quot; as to prices and rates and not simply engage in bidding wars thjat depress the prices in general <br>-----------------------<br>Don't the feds have laws against &quot;anti-trust&quot;<br>issues?<br>
     

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