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Should we help the newbies by not helping them too much?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by davidcalhoun, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    I often see newbies on here asking us to price out a job for them. I for one do not feel we are really helping them out long term by giving them the answers.

    A good business person will learn from their mistakes and a bad business person will ......well, we'll see.

    If one of these guys underprices a job once, you can bet (if he is any good) that he won't make that same mistake again. AND THAT IS A VALUABLE LESSON TO LEARN.

    It's OK to teach them methods to help them. Just don't give them all the answers. It's kind of like the old saying about fish. You can give them fish to eat for the day and they will eat for the day, or you can teach them how to fish and they can eat fish for the rest of their lives.

    So next time you see some newbe ask how much he should bid, I will probably respond that he should figure that part out for himself. He will get up to speed real quick or he will be out of this industry in a short time.

    Too harsh or just right?
  2. toac

    toac LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 350

    first bush job i did several years ago i quoted $100....it should've been a $5-600 job. that will never happen again.

    in some ways i'm glad that i learned my lesson but in others wish that i had had a website like this to get some ideas of what the pricing should be.
  3. RandyS

    RandyS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Maybe a bit harsh. Plus we can only give guidelines anyway. What we can charge where we are might be less or more then where they are.
    The best part is it only costs us a few minutes of time to help someone. Why waste your own time by telling them you're not going to help?
  4. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Best lesson I ever learned my 1st major landscape job 12 pallets of sod 200 some odd plants 15 yrds of mulch....and more. I think I made about 2000$ and it took me 2 weeks by my self. But I learned a lot from that job so ya I definitely agree might be harsh but If I had lawnsite back then who knows what might have been like. I think general help is okay which is all we can really give anyway. They will still fail and from that hopfully learn something.

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I'm fairly new, and I think it's a great idea. I can't count the times I was in the middle of a job when I first started and I would wonder what I was thinking about when I bid a job. That has stopped, and I have learned how to make money by bidding jobs properly.

    Now I can look at a job, and it takes me hardly any time to come up with an extimate on hours and then the charge for the job.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I'm a participant on Yahoo answers also, and what I find is that while many other great answers come along and many are better than my own, there is also the time when I know mine really is the best yet the Asker picks one that I feel is wrong, but such is life.

    There is also the case where, such as when I'm helping someone with homework, I don't feel the straight dollar figure answer is a good answer because while it answers the question, it does little to prepare the Asker for the next time (like the eventual test or pop quiz). In that sense, I try and give them the mechanism or the tools by which to solve the question, and once again there are times they'd rather want it straight, and I have to accept that.

    So I don't think it matters, more so if they're not ready for the answer then it likely won't register, there is a time factor involves practice and experience, so no matter how well intended the answer, sometimes it falls on deaf ears and worse it sometimes backfires because it gets taken the wrong way.

    In view of the frustration I feel from that I don't disagree with not helping at all because that's your choice and mine, and I think how anyone decides to help is a choice as well, the one thing I don't like is smart or wise guy answers and put downs, sometimes it's irresistible but I would rather if an answer backfires that at least I was honestly trying to be of assistance.

    Not that I'm perfect, but that's my take on things.
  7. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    I can't imagine pricing a job only by a brief description. Too many variables involved. :)
  8. Piscitelli Landscape

    Piscitelli Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    If You Dont Help Them The Customer That Got The Work Done For To Cheap Will Them Always Be Seeking The Cheapest Prices In Most Cases And Not The Best Work On The Other Hand If They Screw Up The Job For To Little The Customer Maybe Will Think Twice About The Cheapest Qoute Next Time But I Stress The Word "maybee"
  9. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 601

    very simple,if you don't like or want to help just skip over it.then one day it will come back when you need it.i may ask but its not for you all to do it for me,just a guide to help me.
  10. motoguy

    motoguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Proper pricing is all about experience. Once you've got a "feel" for a few jobs (size, tools required, man hours required, volume of {whatever you're applying}, etc), you'll be more accurate in your pricing. The key is to price those first few jobs, or jobs requiring "new to you" stuff, profitably.

    I don't see why it would be detrimental to help people out through their first / "new to them" jobs until the experience accumulates. Heck...if anything, it may keep someone from screwing up badly early on, then running an "undercut special" the rest of the season to catch back up...

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