Why not lowball the scrubs?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by casey, Jun 2, 2001.

  1. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    Find it fascinating learning how LCO's operate in different areas.

    Around here scrubs die a quick death. The spring growth, fall cleanups, or if they make it that far, the first big snowfall knocks off the pretenders pretty quickly.
    Just wondering.
    If you have top quality commercial equipment, years of experience, and dedication to you business, how can a scrub compete?
  2. AndrewLawn

    AndrewLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    call me crazy,but when scrubs lowball aren't they hurting themselves anyway?If they're truly lowballing,they shouldn't be around long anyway.No reason to make their problem yours.By the way,this isn't meaning to sound harsh,if it is.:)
  3. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    I find it interesting that lowballing scrubs would have much of an impact, (if any), on most well run LCO's.
    In my case, (and I suspect many others), I have built up a slow and steady, very loyal customer base. I am not only the contractor but a fairly good friend of my customers. Most of them have been through the low ball, here today, gone tomorrow, low quality service experience these individuals provide. They know I'm not the cheapest but carry liability insurance, provide exceptional quality maintenance and show up throughout the year like clock work.
    I try to always converse on a fairly professional level/act and perform as any well run business person would do. Most people are not stupid and after their decision to take you on they do not want to lose you for the same ole same ole low ball operator that many have experienced in the past.
    I think it's just a matter of slowly building and keeping good paying, appreciative customers and weeding out the riff raff as you build your clientele.
    We are in the worst drought in history in Florida but last Friday I stopped to try and give another LCO an account that I could'nt take on, (really nice guy). He politely told me he was maxed with 50 accounts and offered to send me more biz if I could handle it. Just shows that the folks that are doing things right are not hurting, even in such a drought.
  4. GLM

    GLM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    I have found that there is a market for scrubs here mowing all of the sand pit lawns. I sure don't want to do them. Also they are just hurting themselves low balling. If they do a really good job have good equiptment and are reliable then they can get a higher price. Who wants to work for less? I don't fear them at all there's plenty of work out there for them that I don't want. remember that the customers that you are looking for are SERVICE oriented and not PRICE oriented. If they get hung up on price move on let them deal with some scrub that mows when he feels like it and let their yard go down hill, then they will be looking for someone more professional.
  5. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Posts: 1,540

    Seems that GLM and Bassman have had the same experience in their areas that I've had in mine. In 2 years I've seen the business cards and flyers the lowballers leave on my clients doors and mailboxes. At first I was worried about losing some of them but soon found out that a majority of my customers have "been there...done that" over the years. I have not lost one customer yet because of a cheaper bid (knocking on wood).

    After talking to them about the subject I've been enlightened to how much people value dependability and truthfulness...as important as a neat job to most of my folks. They realize that "loyality" works both ways...to the benefit of all. :)

    They know that that the old saying is true..."You Get What You Pay For".

    I have people calling me all the time because their "cheap" guy just disappeared. POOF!!!

    Over time the riff raff clients seem to wind up with up with the scrubs...and their lawns prove it (usually a mile high and never trimmed)! :D
  6. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    my 3rd year in business i picked up 2 accounts next to each other, and i was taking care of them as i normally do, and one day after cutting the 2nd lawn the lady called me up and decided that she was going to switch back to her old service(scrub). about 2 weeks went by and her lawn looked terrible, she called me back up and begged me to come back and start to take care of her again. i agreed and 2 years later i haven't had to worry about losing another yard that i cut once, the customers are hooked after 1 cut.
    about the subject of dependiblity, i let my customers know that i will be at their homes every 5 days, rain or shine, unless thunderstorms, then 6 days. and i try to get to their homes within a hour and half of the time i cut it last week, if not i'm their about the exact same time, due to i start the same time and keep the same routes all year long. in the summer they know i cut way back and only cut it when it needs it.
  7. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469


    A scrub can complete because he doesn't run a ligit business. A scrub doesn't carry liability insurance, doesn't report the money he's earned to the government, doesn't bother getting required licenses' (business, spraying, etc.) and pays their help under the table. A scrub can do good work, but because of the above items, they also put themselves into a position where they can "lowball" ligit businesses (not that they always do).
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I can't get over how ya'll have to cut way back in the summer! We're just getting cranked up in the summer when the weather gets hot.

    I'm trying to get a minimum of $100.00 a month out of any new customers............and also changing that schedule to weekly or bi-weekly. I lost an account the other day to, I suppose, a lower priced guy. The yard was as good as any on the street and better than most. When I asked the customer to tell me why he was dropping me he just said he was making a change, never told me why. It was no biggie really, the next week I picked up 2 more at $100.00 each per month year round.

    Just keep in mind, IMAGE IS EVERYTHING. Most scrubs lack this. Keep yours up and the work will be steady.
  9. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    as most know,i dont like labels ,scrub etc.
    dont mean you cant useum i just think it says
    things about the one using them.
    as to ( scrub) work. they dont even try to do
    what i try to do so why worry about them.
    my work produces a slow but steady improvement in the
    lawns looks and condition.i dont think thats what the
    refered to people are trying to do.later
  10. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    Offer a reliable, respectable, affordable service and everything else will fall into place. The money will come. Competition is inevitable, regardless of what form it may take ("scrub", established legit pro, etc...) Worry about doing what you can do and what you say you are going to do and they will flock to you. It always works this way. It may take time, but it works.

    Sean Adams
    Visit www.lawncaresuccess.com for Free Information, Advice, Tips, Newsletters

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