Serious question, no offense to anyone, just want thoughts...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnguyland, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. ooo

    ooo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 235

    I think low ballers may hurt others to a small percent, but 90%+ of my work is repeat business year after year. I havent really expanded so I havent really looked to take on a whole lot of work at once, but i believe eventually your service quality will win out and you dont need those customers consistantly price shopping to save $5 a week.
     
  2. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    My opinion is that there is still a niche for each of us. Look at the fast food guys- theres one (Maybe more) on every corner, they all sell hamburgers, they all are 'cheaper' than the other guy, etc., BUT.... YOU still only eat at one. For what reason do you choose that ONE? Price? maybe. Better food? maybe. Atmosphere, or better people? maybe. Bottom line, there will always be competition, we all work a little different from each other, even though we are all in the same field, and customers will need to choose which one of us to hire and for their own reasons. No one of us "Owns" any of these customers, we need to EARN their respect and their loyalty. Some of these customers will never be loyal, some will be our best customer, its just human nature.
    I'm a newbie to lawncare, but I've been on the business side of several businesses including used cars, farm equipment, and ATV's/ Motorcycles (You think the motorcycle/ snowmobile/ ATV industry isnt a ***** market?????? You aint seen anything in lawncare)... ultimately competition will be your best friend or your worst enemy, it is what YOU make it.
     
  3. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I didnt realize they would **** my french. The word wh0re comes to mind. It is the only word to describe the feeding frenzy, over crowded dealer world of selling motorcycles/ ATV's and especially snowmobiles!!!
     
  4. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Heres the problem as I see it.

    A new guy decides he has experience since hes been mowing Grandma's yard since he was 10. He has zero dollars in his pocket to get started, zero knowledge of running a business, zero insurance and no business plan, he's just winging it on a hope and a prayer.

    He purchases some Craftman equipment on his Sears account and then decides he's a professional LCO and he's ready to tackle commercial accounts. He goes out and underbids the established LCO's on as many commercial accounts and he can contact driving down prices to the point that the established companies walk away.

    Meanwhile the newbie struggles to produce a viable product, realizes he greatly underbid the projects and finds himself unable to make any profit, by June he cuts his losses, sell the business and goes back to slinging burgers. In the meantime the established company is called in to clean up the mess that was cause by those that didn't know what there doing and had no business trying to persue commercial accounts before they were ready.
     
  5. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0


    Steve,
    I like you buisness plan, seems like your really on the ball and are truly interested in helping promote the industry instead of draging it down. I believe you'll do very well in this business.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,917

    I agree with this assessment, with regard to grass cutting. This has been discussed in another thread about using contracts/service agreements.

    Grass cutting is on the low end of the scale, and that is why it is attractive to get entry -- very little skill, and very low cost entry for capital investment. With the trades mentioned above, one just doesn't decide one day to be a plumber, electrician, etc. Training is required and tests must be passed, and certifications obtained. This is not so for grass cutting. Oh yes, maybe a business license is needed, and an insurance policy is needed, but these do not give you any accreditation on capability.

    I have read so many threads on LS of those attempting to justify high labor rates because they are a "professional" grass cutter. Say what? Somebody highly trained in a field, an expert in their discipline, possessing certain experience, can lay claim to big money for their work time. But, for grass cutting ....?
     
  7. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,784

    newbee's dont bother me at all. we were all there at one time. if your 10-$15-$25 under me so be it. if you fail by june and the customers comes crawling back to me, ill just assume they wont be trying to find someone cheaper than me again and i can add them to my 90+ % of repeat year after year customers.

    low ballers are part of the business. i kind of like it. it keeps the prices at fair market value. i cant charge $100 for a $50 lawn. but i wont charge $25 for it as well. and if i hire a plumber, or a carpenter, ill see the different prices and their experience and probly go in the middle. it jsut keeps things honest. newbees, ill answer your ?'s
     

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