Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Richard Martin, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    When and if a full blown recession hits how is everybody going to handle it? Are your route lists full of customers who's jobs might be affected by a recession or are your customers blue collar workers who weather recessions better?

    I would say that my route list is about 60% recession proof. Amoung my list of "could-be-hurts" are a vice-president for USI, a mortgage broker, one guy who lives in a killer house but drives so-so cars and various beauracrats who work in D.C.
  2. Chip

    Chip LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Here's my take on what might happen during a recession. First most homeowners hate to cut there lawn, second they don't have the equipment to do it if they are already paying you. I think they may give up weekend trips to Fridays and the Outback before they cancel thier lawn service. Every weekend around here there is a wait to get a seat at any eating establishment. This tells me theres lots of disposable income. The stock market hasn't hit the pocket books yet. Remember the grass grows because of moisture not economics.
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I agree with your concern. There was some discussion a couple of days ago, but nobody pursued the thread very much.

    See thread 12158 (sorry, don't know how to put the address into a message).

    The bears continue to roam where it counts, even today. Eventually, they will roam in the backyards too!

    I'm solo and don't have upscale residential customers. They will not work with a solo operator only offering mowing services. I fear that some of them consider having the mowing done a discretionary item. When they look for places to start cutting expenses, I may be part of history.
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,884

    W talking up a recession to get his tax plan passed. And now he talking up and "energy crisis for the whole country" to get his OIL cronies more drilling. We are just in a slow down that was desired by greenspan. Last i heard there was still 4.2% unemployment and thats very low. The economy is still producing over 130000 new jobs per month or quarter. Anyway the layoffs that are happening seem to be putting more people in the lawncare business and thats bad news for us. Its harder to replace the customer turnover rate with so many lawncare companies to choose from and bidding for the same customers.
    I think the stock market dropping like it has will effect the retirees disposable income and therefore effect some of us who deal with the elderly or the early retirees. Higher energy prices means that people have less money to spend on luxuries.
    But then again the drop in interest rates may offset alot of the bad stuff going on.
  5. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    I would say we will all have to wait and see who is affected because the guy with the great house and soso cars might be the most well off because he has not wasted his money on a new 80,000. SUV every other yr but stuck in in a CD that is foolproof...Those people that look or sound bulletproof are usually not as safe as they let on....You guys would not believe the people that make 200,000.00 /yr and live month to month just trying to act like they make 400,000.00/yr?!?!?!?!?! It aint never enough!!!
  6. Chip

    Chip LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    That's so true skyphoto but those people will always find a way to keep there place cut so there neighbors don't know how much they are hurting.
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I agree with Chip. While it may be harder to push "extras" the lawn itself will still need to be cut. They may have to cut back on "other" things, but in general they still stick with us during the slumps. Remember, for them to buy a decent "tractor" type mower, they will spend upwards of $3000.00, while if they just stay with me, it is only $1500 or so. Plus what homeowner wants to spend his whole Saturday afternoon mowing, when he can be spending it with his family.

  8. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    My main income is the extras! Mowing just gets my foot in the door and provides steady income. The reality is that most homeowners dont spend 3 grand for a tractor! they got o sears and buy one for 1 grand! I am not afraid of loosing mowing accounts.... Im afraid i wont have as many requests for extra services!
  9. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    You mean we have not been in a recession. Oh you mean in the real world!! Seems my town is always in recession.
  10. pcs

    pcs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 198

    The way I look at it is that we are providing a service to these people who don't have time to do it or don't want to do it. True people have to cut back on some of there expenses when the economy is down but most people will cut back on go away for the weekends or going out to eat. I'm pretty confident that people will still pay for services.

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