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Saturation - w/ escort

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Greenkeepers, May 4, 2000.

  1. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 695

    Hey all-<p>This is on the line w/ Charles saturation post. Yesterday I was going down the road in the truck dropping off some mulch and what did I see? A husband/wife team and dog. Yes I said dog in the back seat of their 1987 escort. The dog was sharing the back seat with a gas can and the 21&quot; Craftsmen mower and weedeater were hanging out of the trunk!<br>These type of &quot;businesses&quot; (I'm being nice calling them businesses). are what are killing us who are really into it. I'm only part time but I run my business like it is my life because in a couple of years it will be. I don't lo-ball anyone because it just drives the whole market down, and I have my standards of where I need to be on a job to make money on it. If I can't hit my limit then I walk away from the job. <br>I agree that you have to start somewhere, but if you can't afford a s-10 with a 4x8 trailer then they should reconsider business. Also, they need to think about the people who are relying on this business to support their families and to live. <br>To them they are making a fortune at $20 for a $32-$35 lawn when they don't have any overhead. And this is why we have everyone telling us that I can get it done for $15 when we bid $30, It just ticks me off. <br>Sorry for rambling here but Charles post just got me going and thinking. No matter how busy we are, if we didn't have &quot;lo-ballers&quot; out there maybe we could charge what the lawn is worth and not bust our ass of some of the lawns just to bread even or have a 7-10% profit. It's just not worth it.<p>Just my opinion-<br>Mike<br>Greenkeepers
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    You know I agree GreensKeepers. What are homeowners thinking. Some of these fly by nite cutters could have just been let out of prison. Some may be unstable mental patients. No references are checked. Just give them the cheapest price. They let these grass cutters around their children and they can case their homes and their comings and goings. How many times have you seen on the news. Employees robbing, raping, murdering, stealing, cheating, from and to their employers. I see the headline all the time. Handyman &quot;robs rapes elderly woman&quot; or family&quot; People you wouldnt normally talk to on the streets you let near your family and cut your grass just to save a buck. Employee robs store owner and kills him. Most of the time crime is commited against you by people you think you know. Just one good reason to hire a reputable company.
  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Hey, this is how I started. Not everyone can go out and buy new walk behinds, a truck and trailer. You have to have some money to make some money unless someone just contributes a few thousands bucks to your business (aka relatives). You are right, some of these guys are fly by night mow and gones. Some are not. <p>How much of a threat is a guy in an Escort with a 21&quot; mower. They are getting the lawns you don't want anyway, I know because I had this crap in 1987. The only people who hire them are price shoppers. Just keep an eye on them, make sure they don't come after your current customers.<br>

    MRPLOW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    Hey don't be so down on them, just worry about yourself and not knocking the competion. If they are just amateurs you hopefully do a much better job on the lawn then them, if not well then you are in trouble.
  5. lakegastonla

    lakegastonla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    Oh, that whole &quot;you have to have money to make money&quot; is a MONDO load of crap! That is just an excuse. All you have to have is a little CREDIT and the banks will cut you a check with a smile. That's how I started out! I had nothing to work with before I went to the bank. <br> And, if your credit is bad, then you would probably not make it in business anyway. Bad credit is a sure fire sign of poor bookkeeping and payment practices, and a pretty good indication that the business would flop anyway.<br> Everyone has a clean slate until they screw it up! Bad credit? Your fault.............NEXT!!!!!<br>
  6. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Lakegastonla: I Second THAT!! You hit it dead on!
  7. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    I think the Lawn Food chain (Quoting Stone) starts like this...<p>Kid next door mows a few yards for gumball money.<p>Older kid next door mows 10 yards to fund a stereo for car.<p>The couple in Escort mow thirty lawns until mower fails....<p>They then purchase better mower or fail.<p>The couple invest in a truck and walk behind Toro with a trailer, raise their prices.<p>They hire that kid with the stereo, his mower broke as well. They get insurance, pay their taxes.<p>Ten years later they advertise their International Lawn company during the Super Bowl halftime (Vikings win, Randy Moss becomes Governor).<p>
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    I wasn't knocking new people as a whole. I was talking about new people who start a business without any idea of what to charge. Who haven't done any research into the type of business their going into. And the people who have been in business for along time and never go up on their prices to at least keep up with inflation. And lawn people who drop prices considerably just to steal work away from others. I don't give a s**t if I offend these type of lawn cutters.
  9. Gus

    Gus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    I started out with no trailer and very cheesy equipment,but I always did the best job possible within the limitations of my equipment. This whole &quot;makes us look bad&quot; thing is a crock!! Only you can make you look bad and the loballers and hacks are a boon to my business. I get at least 10 new customers a year because of thse guys poor business habits. Face it guys, there`s more lawns out there than you will ever be able to handle and a practically unlimited supply of new customers. How well you do is based on your savy and work ethic not what the competition is doing.<p>----------<br>gus....<br>
  10. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    lakegastonla,<p>Try getting a loan from a bank when you have no credit history whatsoever. They are more likely to give someone with glitches on the credit a loan than someone with no history. <p>I tried to buy a Walker years ago with a 50% down payment and was turned down because of lack of credit history....that's reality :( Some of these guys are young and are in the same boat, or they made some mistakes and have bad credit...so what. They don't deserve a chance? I would much rather see a guy with a 21&quot; mower working his ass off to get his own equipment and get ahead than some punk with rich parents forking over $30,000 to start a lawn business.<br>

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