Am I crazy ??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by aceman71, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. aceman71

    aceman71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I live in a small market and have a very succesfull lawn business..I've never taken an account from another guy except through a straight up bid process. This year I've got this punk following me around low bidding everything I do ..he's only managed to take 3 accounts but he's *&%$# me off so I went to a couple of his and told them I would do them for free all summer just because I can. The rest of us in business here have a mutual respect for each other...but this guy :hammerhead: Am I nuts?
  2. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    No, your not nuts. Just stupid.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If I hear anyone's low-balling my prices, I like to go way low before the low-baller comes so at least they got something to work with.

    So if the yard's worth 30 and you know someone's low-balling it at 25, price it at 25 and if that doesn't slow them down, go down to 20 and soon they won't mess with you no more. Now you don't have to do it for free and if they still want to out-low you, then that is their choice but at most they'll last until end of June.
  4. stevo22

    stevo22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    are you crazy??don't know the answer to that one...all i know is that i would have a talk with punk...kind of a come to jesus talk...if that did't work i would have someone follow him for a couple of weeks and then approach each of his customers and offer 5-10 cheaper...take all of his accounts and then drop all of them at once after a few weeks...
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    If you've got customers going to the low guy, then that's fine, you'll always have people that'll go to the lowest price.

    I've got 3 contracts still on the table as of this week, repeat business that hasn't comitted one way or the other yet this year.

    I was talking to one property manager, she's in charge of 3 banks that I do.

    She told me that she's gotten 7 bids so far this year, and I was the highest one.

    I said that's fine, 4 years ago, I would have been the lowest, and I've not RAISED my rates in 4 years on their property, yet, this year I'm the highest out of 7 bids.

    I said to her, with you being in the banking business, you are not going to be the lowest on a loan rate, nor are you going to be the highest on a CD / Savings rate, but you're going to lure customers to your bank on service.

    If the customer chooses to stay because of the service, great! If they choose to follow the rates, there's really nothing you can do about that.

    I said this will be my 18th year as a LCO, and I didn't get this far being low bid year after year after year.

    Right now, I've been in business the longest in my area, with one other guy being in business for 15 years.

    Everyone else has moved on, sold out, etc.
  6. aceman71

    aceman71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    You have to understand with a population of around 25,000 thousand to work in you have to be aggressive to protect your territory agianst people like that.
  7. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Grass grows in Minnesota???

    I thought the only thing that grew in Minnesota were fish tales:laugh:
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I'm in a town of 300, and I'll never do a yard for free.
  9. aceman71

    aceman71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I totally respect that ..I'm not saying that you need to be as drastic as I was.
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Once you're on here for a while... you'll realize you're just like everyone else.

    You're a lawn mowing guy.

    There's nothing to prove here, other than you make money.

    If you're doing a yard for free once, let alone for the whole season, you are not a smart business man.

    What's going to happen next year your customer says they've got someone new that's doing work for 1/2 your price??? Are you going to say "Well, I'd better do it for free again so I can keep my yards."?????

    In many many people's eyes here, that really is just plain dumb.

    Also, after you've been on the board for a while, you'll realize that Runner probably bit his tongue when he said "impressive" from having it so firmly planted in his cheek.

    Again, we're all lawn mowing guys here, at least in this part of the forum. We're happy that you made what you made, but many won't be impressed. The reason that we won't be impressed is because many on this board are either starting out, or doing this work part time.

    The rest that are doing it full time, are ones that have found their niche, and do the amount of business that they're happy with.

    The quicker you learn that we're all here to learn how to make more money, not lose it like you're proposing, the quicker people won't jump on you.

    We can all do that on our own easy enough.

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