to begin, i am wrapping up my first season as a professional lco. i've worked for one lco in NC and a large landscape company in FL. i am knowledgeable of many aspects in this industry, you could use the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none", however i am very meticulous with my work and take pride in what i do. last winter when i forged the idea of setting up shop, i found this site and the only thing posted was grumbling about low-ballers. i have since found that the people who whine about such practices are ones who probably cannot compete at a professional level. i am by no means a lowballer, first year considered i feel i've done fairly well. before i continue let me provide an equipment list so all can know where i stand. everything was bought new, about half of which with profits from this years operation. 1993 f-150 5x8 carmate trailer 2003 toro 44" t-bar wb 21" 6.75hp piece of sh....eer joy to mow with craftsman pusher stihl br 420 backpack cub cadet string trimmer (this turned out to be great equip.) echo sr210 stick edger echo pas230 w/hedger attachment and of course all the misc. shovels, rakes, wheelbarrels,tarps, lopers, pruning snips ......... (not to mention shirts, magnets, flyers, doorknob hangers...) anyway, my post is concerning pricing and the performance of employees (i have none). what i have noticed is many peoples replies to posts are "up your price!" or "is that it?". when i mow, i come close to $45 an hour, and that's fine for know. many people say $1 a minute or more. what i want to know is, is the customer truly getting a fair price from these people? is the work they are performing really worth every penny? i have one customer in a very nice part of town and most of the lots are 1/2 arce. i charge this customer $38/mow and it takes me around 40 mins before it's all said and done. the properties on either side are maintained by two of the largest lcos around. each crew is 2-man and the equipment is to be envied. throughout this season i have pulled up to this customers house and one or the other of the mentioned lco crews are already at work. i have and always can begin mowing and finish, load up and drive off before either of these established 2-man crews are even close to leaving. guess what else?, my stripes are straighter, i've no ruts or tear-ups, no missed weeds....i do equal if not better work than these crews. so, my question is, are prices high to compensate for poor employee performance or what. it takes two guys w/better, faster equipment 25% longer to mow an identical lot. i have seen this time and time again. does anyone have any real opinions on this other than blah, blah, 'those lcos are in need of...' , ' try and take their business', .... what i'm looking for is a true explaination of why the pricing is what it is today, and how you justify it. if it gets too high, customers can always buy the $150 yardman special and mow for themselves.