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Went fishen today.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by meets1, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    Kinda. Rainy, sleeting, cold so what better way to spend the day than to cold call a few accounts that I have had in the last years and lost to low bid, maybe never serviced before or new businesses that have come up in the last year or so.

    All my calling netted me 2 possible bids for total grounds maintanance - meaning, mowing, fert. programs, bushes, mulching, sweeping the lot and re-striping the parking lot.

    Now this year, unlike any other, I have had to re-bid alot of my commericial work due to other LCO's calling asking to give a bid. Now what I don't understand is what am I missing? I called all day, visited a few accounts and hardly anyone was interested in getting a quote. I tried strictly lawn care, they reply we have that taken care of. So I ask do you bid this every year, YES they do, I ask - well I would like to be placed on your bid list or give you one right now - they reply - well, I think it is taken care of this year. Others are just plain jackas*& over the phone while others are polite, thanking for my time to call and they;ll keep my number, name etc on file for anything that comes.

    I also don't understand that the accounts that have, mainly commercial are attacked every year by the same LCO's wanting the job. 90% of the time I retain these accounts. But when I call, stop by other accounts and asking about there parking lot - they don't want a bid. Others - they say when can you do it. Now this is in realm of our parking lot business but still same concept in regards to lawn care.

    I am getting tired off all this bidding stuff cuz really guys - do you all bid all your work? It is one thing to price check but if 2 of us are x amount and #3 LCO comes in and is 30% cheaper or more - does that really constitute a "BID"? Then to me the guy on the other end really has no idea as to what he is seeing, reading, or even being proposed.

    Maybe I am tired of the business and need a change? Anyone wanting to move to NW Iowa and buy me?!!?? That way I can get a boat to go fishing!!
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    It's called competition ... business IS competition. You can never get passive, and expect renewals automatically. There is always some guy that wants what you have. Don't be Wally Pip.

    If you are growing tired of it, let me say that if you do something else, you will face the same problems once the newness wears off. I don't care if it's another business, or working for a company. It's business, it's competitive, and just because you are established does not mean you have to work less hard to be successful.

    Heck, even the poor schlep working the overnight shift at a Mobil gas station has to worry about getting killed for minimum wage. It could be worse.
  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    It can always be worse. Thing is in my area we are pretty rural - most towns are 10 - 20 miles apart and any where from 1000 to 6500 people / town. Now my town is always preaching keep local, buy local, support local. That I have a problem with. Yes, I bought a new 08 D-max 4 door from the Chevy dealer - do I work for him NO. Does he hire out - YES but he keeps it in town. I have bought 100K worth of toro equipment from toro dealer - never did an ounce of work for him either. That is ok.

    It is the wealthy one of the town, the city council, the local lawyers, banker, business men that preach stay local or........... These are the guys that I get run-around from, that go out of town for there work, that talk the talk but it ends there.

    Yes, I do go out of town and do work. But I don't expect to be patronized like I would in my own home town. If called, sure I check the job out and see what I can do. I don't lowball bids to get work. I don't need to nor am I going to practise that type of business.

    I think if you talk the talk you better back it up. Not be quoted in the paper, radio saying you better support the local business man, such as myself cuz I am an asset to the community. I just get sick of it!
  4. Jaon t

    Jaon t LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Maybe they have all of their contracts taken care of because it is almost the middle of April. Around here, I would bet every LCO will be in full swing next week.

    I wouldn't necessarily blame the lawyers, city councilman, business owners, etc. for your bad planning. Don't take it the wrong way, just the way I see it.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Meets - are you guys still covered in snow down there??

    We just got by the other night, just 3". About 90 miles north and west, 14".

    Anyways, to answer a couple of your questions, yes, I rebid everything every year. Whether it's me stopping in to talk to the owner with a handshake saying that my price is the same, or dropping off a new quote sheet with a price at the end, it's a bid.

    2 of the accounts that I lost this year, 1 was it was the first time they got a bid against me in 7 years.

    The Wal-Mart I lost, it supposedly was the first time someone bid against me since the store opened.

    I personally would have always thought these accounts would be magnets for bids.

    The largest amount of my accounts, the owners / managers have come to me for a bid. This year I door knocked 3 accounts. Of the 3, I haven't heard from any yet.

    This week while waiting for the new fallen snow to melt, I"ll be checking up on them.

    But, to go back to your question, you cannot assume stagnation in the bid process. You can only hope that people are fair on both sides of the process.
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    Fair play - to bad that doesn't go across the board for some of these guys.

    JAON- T responce hard to say. What expereince do you have as see you have 16 post thus far and are telling me it is bad planning on my part?? So therefore you go to church, preacher says something that hits a nerve - you leave church, get angre with church cuz as you would state that is bad planning?? I don't know your location but with 5000 people in one town the effects are felt greater when there are 50,000 people per town simpily looking at # of accounts to go after.

    Being loyal - as far as I am concerned - is out the window with people.

    I am tired of hereing support your town, your local business, venders etc when it is the "wealthier crowd" that does the preachen and goes else-where out of town for there services. It is not just my simple lawn care operation, it is the plumber, electricians, the service industry in my area. My thought is the wealthier ones think he isn't getting part of money - I would rather see someone else run off with it. In the end though - who is hurting who?

    As far as visisting with accounts - well I wouldn't be posting if not mowing 1000K homes to 40 acre complexes. I have been around, know what, when, where, how. I do my homework, find out from real estate agents whats going on, my uncle in a builder, keep up at the lumber yard and attend the local council meetings now and then. Bad planning - that gets yet - any day JAON - T 4 in the morning till 6-8 at nite, 6 days a week - I know how to roll and will run with anyone.
  7. Jaon t

    Jaon t LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Don't know if you read the part about "don't take this the wrong way" or not. Just because I only have 15 posts or whatever, doesn't mean I don't have any experience. Been in business over 15 years.

    Where I live, there are a few hundred LCO's. Lowballers are a dime a dozen. If you waited until April to knock on a few doors, you are about a month in a half late. Fortunately, I don't have to do this. My customers don't "horror out" the properties for bid except for every 5 years or so. I write up multiple year contracts, with a fuel tracker built in to cover for the ridiculous fuel prices.

    As far as keep it local, I agree with you. As the old saying goes "do as I say, not as I do" is how most of the "big wigs" do business,

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