2011 Is it yet another year of low ballers???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wright48, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Wright48

    Wright48 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    Im in north jersey and season is about to begin in a week or two, Just wondering if anyone has been getting lowballed or thinks this season is going to be like lowballers 2010
  2. Baytownlawncare

    Baytownlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    I have been passed up on my pricing on estimates this year. I will not back down like I did last year on my pricing. I have had about 6 on site estimates since mid February and only landed 3 jobs. I have started sending rough estimates via email to feel people out. If they are not willing to pay my rough price I don't go out to give a firm estimate. Saves me time and gas. Not sure if I am getting low balled but I am sure folks are price shopping this year. Wait until it gets hot and people really don't want to do their yards then the calls will come.
  3. I don't really care if people are lowballing. I focus on the clients I am looking for and that is all. These posts get annoying after a while. There will always be lowballers, stop focusing on them and focus on what you need to do to make it.
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    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    You cannot let it bother you. You have to stick to your price and sell yourself. If the customers sole focus is price then you do not want them as a customer.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. goose2

    goose2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    You should spend your time thinking about how you can make your business better than thinking about how other people do business.
    I for one could care less if I ever make a dime doing it. I am retired and only mow for the enjoyment.
  6. Texas Lawn

    Texas Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    anyone ever get high balled?
  7. Haha that's a good question....
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 944

    I got highballed!...last year.....a larger company was cutting a yard for $65 and i had no idea but i saw a yard where the grass was like 6" tall so i stopped and asked them if they needed it cut....i offered $50 and the guy was like well we already have another company doing it...(more like neglecting it lol) and he said he liked my price and he would call his mom about it who lived out of state...she was the one who paid the bills or something...lol...anyways i left my card and they never called me...so i got highballed and on top of that they weren't even doing a good job keeping the lawn up :/
  9. abbzer0

    abbzer0 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Actually, sounds like they were doing a good job of keeping the grass "UP", when they should have kept it down!
  10. Denise B

    Denise B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Doubtless you know everything I'm about to say, but I'll say it anyway just for the sake of generating a discussion.

    Speaking for my pro friends here in Florida, you guys are in a heavily saturated, highly competitive market. As with all non-exclusive products/services, you have two basic choices:
    1. Sell a unique/tailored, high-end concept to fewer clients who are willing to pay more for outstanding, way-above-average results; or
    2. Drop your prices, offer mow-blow-go, and keep your volume as high as possible.

    It's almost impossible to find a happy medium down here in the sunny south, and there's not really a "middle class" when it comes to green maintenance. With a few exceptions, we have two phyla: High-bid commercial outfits or low-bid residential outfits.

    Mow-blow-go may not be what you want to offer, but classic marketing theory applies:
    If you have to choose, it is always safer in a non-robust economy to have numerous low-margin customers than it is to have only a few high-margin customers. If you lose a few low-margins, you'll survive. If you have only a handful of high-grossing clients and you lose a major account, it can be devastating.

    The Big Dogs down here who have been doing it for decades have a simple formula -- they diversify. They hate doing small residential, but they'll go into dense subdivisions and sell sell sell, trying to get a few dozen small accounts within a 2-mile radius with which they can buffer the potential loss of a huge commercial account.

    One of our major players down here used to rely on only four monster jobs (two malls and two huge office complexes). When the recession rolled in, he wisely sucked it up and started courting jobs he's not fond of doing, such as subdivision commons areas, condominium complexes, estate residential (2+ acres), etc. Sure enough, in 2009 he lost his fattest account, and even though it hurt his bottom line significantly, he didn't have to let a single employee go. His profit margin is lower, and he's juggling more accounts (and therefore more aggravation), but he's still afloat and in the black. That was not the case with the high-end commercial outfits that failed to flex in time.

    One of the smaller guys is doing some creative marketing. He offers clients a 3% discount if they pay their bill within 7 days. He offers a 10% discount if they pay the year up front. He offers package discounts if the customer combines services, such as maintenance-plus-installation, or maintenance-plus-irrigation, etc. He offers to blow the roof off (most roofs down here have low slopes) once a year for free with an annual contract. He offers atypical services, such as power washing driveways and sidewalks. He's been really successful with this kind of marketing psychology. People like discounts, they like buying things "on sale," they like to believe they're getting a little something extra without having to pay for it.

    I think we're all going to have to work our butts off to keep our heads above water. (I'm not sure why this downturn was called a "recession." We have families living in their station wagons and dumpster-diving behind restaurants. In my book of references, that's a Depression, not a recession.)

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