Who else is worried?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by B_gerrits, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    With more and more people driving around with mowers(mostly illegals) here but also now a ton of people wanting in to supplement their income. The price of everything going up and dispensable income going down is anyone else worried that the days of being able to make a living in this industry comming to an end?
     
  2. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I am new to this website and pretty new to the industry, but for what it's worth I am not too concerned about losing business to anyone yet. As long as you stand out from the competition you shouldn't worry. I have a lawn service in Riverside co. and started out in the business to supp. my income 3 years ago. The people doing the same now are probably real estate and loan people or construction, so when they come up to the Summer months they will try to find something else. Or at least when the market picks up they will probably get back into their original gigs. I will admit, however, that when I see a new guy driving around town I can't help but get that feeling in my stomach wondering how he got the call and not me.
     
  3. josh3338

    josh3338 LawnSite Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 28

    Fahzu hey i too am in temecula/murrieta. i know how you feel i have been seeing alot of new trucks with mowers out there. some of these guys are under cutting me pretty bad too. almost half. oh well
     
  4. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Hey Josh,
    I've had a customer in Vintage Hills(Tem.) for about 5 months now which I purposely overbid since they were upfront about being high maintenance (the customer, not the property). I didn't hear from him for about 3 weeks until he hired me because the other guys weren't doing what he wanted. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a great gardener, but I offer good customer service. The uncomfortable part...the previous service showed up one day after I had already serviced the property. I was talking to the neighbor, and they hopped out of the truck started working and I had to stop them. Awkward (sp?) Anyway, it was a perfect example of not being good listeners or the obvious language barrier. So don't stop bidding accordingly, if they don't hire you on the spot they might do so after experiencing the other guys...and if they still don't hire you, maybe they don't care that much about their landscape. Nice to talk to you.
     
  5. LawnsUnlimitedatl

    LawnsUnlimitedatl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Don't worry about things or people you can't control just focus on what you can do to better yourself and your business and don't ever give up. You never know when the big accounts will be coming.:usflag:
     
  6. Dynamic

    Dynamic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    I am nervous as this is my second year in business and more and more you see retired or people who do this as hobby and don't relize the impact of thier undercutting actions. Who would have thought that a push mower would fit in the trunk of a honda civic so they could drive around and make money during the day as they were working full time at night. At the end of the day I hope with proper insurance, good equipment, and a reputable name that we can keep going and the hobbiest will be pushed out.
     
  7. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    Wow old people with a push mower in the back of a car is one I haven't seen yet. Send me some of those to compete with and I will send you 100,000 mexicans:laugh::laugh::laugh:

    Dude that is great advice. I am kinda at cross roads trying to decide whether to look for full time work or part time work and do this on the side or stay with it full time.
     
  8. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    When I fist started out I used to comment all the time about how many LCOs were operating in my small town. Sometimes it seems there are 2 LCOs for every property...

    One thing to realize is that there are several different types of customers, and their are different types of LCOs out there to provide the services. Many customers have C-, D, or F quality lawns, may be on fixed income, and the only thing they care about is that the grass does not become a jungle. A low price matters most to them. Some LCOs cater to this type of customer.
    If you want to stand out form many of the part-time, after school, or retired and extra income LCO's show the customers you are serious about the business. Be professional, be responsible, be dependable, be knowledgeable about the business, and offer a full service maintenance and landscaping package. If you do these things you will be able to stand firm on your prices and be a couple of steps above many of your competitors. You will see that your customer base begins to change also. The part-time low-ball operations come and go. Set yourself apart by being a smart business owner, not a person that mows grass.

    I know that the first 3 or so years in the business is rough. People sometimes do not take you seriously. They think you are going to mow a few lawns and in a year or two you will move on. After 3-4 years people have a chance to see your quality work, and they see your dedication, and see that instead of getting out of the business you are expanding. Then they start to take notice. Don't lose sleep over the amount of competition out there. Sure someone will have to go sooner or later if your market is saturated. The strong will survive, and the weak will fail. Put your mind to it, be strong, and be the winner!
     
  9. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    This is great input Landscaper 22 so do you offer different levels of service or only do high end stuff?
     
  10. John Zaprala

    John Zaprala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    I think if anything these undercutters will be gone in a few years after poor service. Stay consistant with your service and pricing and you'll get references. A lot of what we sell is a "luxury" item. Not so much lawn mowing, but fert. programs, irrigation, hardscaping & more. People don't need these things they want them. If they want their lawn to be green they'll be willing to pay for it. If they just want it cut, they're obviously not interested in paying more for a full service company.
    You have to offer a full line of services to target mid-range to higher end customers. They don't want to talk to 3 companies for cut, fert, & Irr. To stay competitive you have to continue learning new services, have better service, and sell yourself to the customer. :usflag: USA! USA! hehe "Why, yes sir, I do speak english and so does my foreman!" We have H2Bs, but to be a foreman you gotta speak the language. Customers feel good knowing they talk to the workers and not get a blank stare.
     

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