Update to losing my 2nd, 3rd and 4th biggest accounts....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LwnmwrMan22, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I've made the calls, just to confirm that these accounts are infact changing vendors. So far the 3rd and 4th biggest ones are changing.

    The 3rd largest account was 2 fairly large stripmalls, about 4.5-5 hours per week, full service, total account was worth about $13,000 for the year, gross.

    I'd been doing these since 1996. I lost them over $20 per month per unit, so $40 per month for 6 months, or $240 for the year. This from a company that is going to drive from 20 miles south of me, to do one of the accounts 30 miles north of me.

    The 4th biggest account, my YMCA dropped me because times are tough. Even though they accepted my bid last year before they even had any members, and now you can't even park in the 300 car parking lot because there are so many members. People are constantly parking on the street.

    I didn't raise my price at all on this account since I'd only had it a year.

    The 2nd biggest account that I THOUGHT I was losing, so far I still am, but I called today to confirm.

    The manager said "Didn't manager B call you back and ask if you wanted to resubmit?" I said no, no call. So manager A says "well, if you want to readjust your price, we'll reconsider". I said if I can have a 2 year contract, I'll drop my price to $65 per hour this year, and then $70 next year.

    This is the Wal-Mart I was trying to bump up to $75 per hour. Manager B then asked if that was the best I could do, and I said yes. She then said that company B that they're most likely going to go with, is at $50 per hour, but that company C is willing to do it for $43 per hour.

    I said that's just rediculous, that I haven't been at those rates for 10 years, and they agreed, but that's the way it's looking like it's going right now. If those companies can't meet the insurance requirements, then I could possibly still have the contract back.

    Sooooo... I'll now be readjusting my company. I know my niche market is smaller commercial properties, and will now have more time to target those, about 15-18 hours per week more time.
     
  2. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 1,134

    Good luck with it, just keep up the good fight I guess.
     
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    One of my questions is "What is Walmart going to get for $65 an hour?" Is that one man, two men or what?
     
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I like your signature and as I read it and think of your situation I also think that everything happens for a reason. Make this percieved negative turn into a positive. Use the situation to do even better. Pick up different accounts and make even more money or just use the free time to relax a little this season and regroup for next year. Its up to you but it is what you make of it and I am sure you will do well. Take care.
     
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    They get me, plus the cost of supplies.

    Each additional man hour is $50 per man hour if I have to bring someone in to help.
     
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,232

    Keep your head up, you'll just do fine. With fleet farm, the gas station, the shopko, and little mall next to it all going up in the next year there is many possibilites to recover. Spend some more time with the kids for the summer until you pick up more.
     
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    My point with this post was to demonstrate to those that thought the reason I lost the accounts was because I was charging too much.

    The Wal-Mart is in a farm town about 30 miles north of me. All rates are lower there. This just finally forced me out of that market, which I should have been out of there a long time ago.

    The strip malls are essentially charging the same rate as my own, showing my rates discussed in the other thread are not out of line.
     
  8. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    What supplies are you talking about? If your just talking about gas, and line for the trimmer, then your lucky to have ever got the job at $65 per hour. Thats way high to me and I guess I'm not the only one who thought so. Still it sucks to lose accounts, lost quite a few myself but all you can do is move forward.
     
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    No, a scope of work for Wal-Mart includes all the fertilizing and chemical apps, as well as mulch renovation each year, irrigation repairs, guarantee that plants / trees do not die, or contractor is responsible, etc.

    It's those supplies that I'm talking about.
     

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