Pissing off the compitition

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Uranus, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    I just got my business of the ground 3 months ago and went 0 for 4 looking for mowings. I then lowered my price for the next couple of estimate and got 3 out of 3. Two weeks into my adds and flyers two of my bosses coustomers called and asked for a price for mowing. I see it as if they are calling other companys you already lost them. I signed both of them and felt guilty. Meanwhile I got a few more accounts and while I was doing spring cleanups I found out who was doing the work last year and I know 3 of the old companys. I talked with the owners and one didn't care, one said o'well, and the third said if they want to shop around for 5 dollars good riddens! Now my old boss found out I had 2 of his old accounts and was pissed off. Our relationship went south and the bad thing is he lives 2 houses down from me and I dump my grass there too. Should I have told him they were calling me or is he just being selfish. Both of them got my number out of the local paper and i did not approach them.
     
  2. Palmer'sLS

    Palmer'sLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 535

    look man....i dont care about if i took your customer...or you are 5 bucks less so f@#$ you.....you are tryin to make a living.. the other lco's are tryin to make a living too...therefore the sayin is "do what ya gotta do"......in a perfect world, we wouldnt have these problems...but the last time i checked...the world wasnt perfect
     
  3. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    You screwed up my friend.

    2 houses down and he lets you dump grass at his place?

    I would be pissed also. I don't care if you got the call.

    It looks bad on your part. Find other customers before it gets out of control and a war breaks out.


    kc
     
  4. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    theres enough houses for everyone.... when i did my landscaping business plan for class in my research i found there is 1 LCO for every 1000 houses


    maybe your areas are terrible but there is so much businessa round here its disgusting... most phonecalls include "If you guys stillhave room on your schedule plaese call us back"
     
  5. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Who cares about your old boss. Sounds like he was charging more than the market could bear, or in other words was charging more than his customers were willing to pay.
     
  6. cet

    cet LawnSite Member
    from Toronto
    Posts: 89

    Maybe you can be a little cheaper then your boss because he lets you do little things like dump grass at his house. I think that is a little to close to home to take work from your boss. If he looses enough work he might not need you!

    I don't think he said OLD BOSS.
     
  7. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 487

    If you lowed your prices by $5.00 just to get those accounts than how much lower will you go. I for one stand on my pricing, I won't waiver and my customers seem to appreciate that they get quality work for my prices ( I'm not saying you don't do good work) but stay with market in your area don't waiver and the customers will come.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Raise your prices slightly to compensate for the loss of gratis dumping grounds and keep on going. Thou I feel some for the loss of your friend, I lost many friends like that over the years and today find I am better off thou I'm around such a different circle of people that it amazes me I ever even got along with the other kind.

    It is a dog eat dog world, you should never do unto others before they do unto you but then I don't think that was the case here. Maybe you made a mistake, and yes I would've told you to take a hike if this was my situation as well, thou more likely I would've just started to charge you a small fee for the dumping... To me, money fixes a lot of the bs. Well, good luck.

    Maybe you did something wrong but there's no telling and it's too late now.
    Nothing you can do, nothing I would've done different from your perspective, I probably would've done what you did.
    So again I would raise prices slightly for the main reason that you should always do that, but otherwise I think it is ok.
     
  9. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    "Pissing off the Competition" sounds really smug by what you wrote. First, he was your friend and boss. Second, he let you dump grass there. Third, did you not tell him you were going into the business? You also state "old accounts", are they old accounts because you have them now or did he lose them before you signed them? Your statement "I signed both of them and felt guilty" says to me that you knew you were not being etical where your friend and boss are concerned. Personally and Professionaly I would go to him and say look I am sorry about the way I handled the sitiuation. I was a little gun shy about approaching the sitiuation with you. First, it lets him know your not someone he can no longer be friends with or give advise. Second, it breaks the ice and lets you know what the future dealings might be like. Why do these things, because if you felt guilty your propably not a bad person.
     
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Given that your old boss is a close neighbor and still friendly enough to let you dump grass at his place, I would not sign up any of his customers, even if they call you...normally I believe business is business but in this case it's not worth the hassle.
     

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