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Being a Scrub VS Just starting out.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 2 Black Thumbs, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. 2 Black Thumbs

    2 Black Thumbs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    During the past few weeks Iv'e noticed posts(some from looking in the arcives) that mentioned Scrubs and other posts mentioning how they started their business using just a pick-up and some cheaper gear(Murrary, Weed eater, etc) and I wonder what puts these people into the catagory of scrubs vrs. just new people into the business of. Is it a tax thing or am I missing the connection. The reason I ask this is because I am seriously thinking about getting into the business but don't want to be considered a scrub during my initial start up time:( Any info is greatly appreciated. :) Thanks guys and gals TBT
  2. Biz license (if applicable)


    Report you income

    Pay taxes

    The euqipment doesn't make you a scub, the lack of listed items above does.

    Also being under bid by another LCO I have seen as the same.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about being called a scrub, there are a lot worse things you could be called.
  3. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    I think alot has to do with your age. If you are 13, and driving up and down your street in a Crapsman, you have initiative. If you are 30 and doing the same, you are a scrub.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I'll meet up with you at the Bay Family Restaurant and let you in on the secrets. As long as you don't steal all of my work!!!:D
  5. We do 4 U

    We do 4 U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I think it is all in the way you present yourself and how good of a job you do. If, when you done with a lawn and the edging is non-exstint, sidewalks and driveways aren't blowen off, etc, you will be classified as a scrub. But if you do good work, look some what professional your not classified as a scrub.
  6. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    I look at a scrub as an individual who advertises, and operates a mowing business under the table, I.E. not paying taxes on the revenue he is generating,

    1) It's totally unfair to a legit business, regardless if that business uses a murray mower or a $1000 proline.....you can use any tools you want, If you do sloppy work, you're just a sloppy business man.....however you are paying your fair share, If you are charging well below market value for services, you arn't a scrub, just a broke business man. If you are deliberately undercharging just to get jobs........U R A SCRUB. ( I was one once, big mistake.)

    2) The under the table guys can and will charge less because they arn't paying 40% of whatever they are earning to the Gov and a lot of people will hire these guys regardless.... they are scrubs too. I have no respect for under the table guys because esentially they are ripping off our country in much needed taxes.
    Look at it this way, Billions are never collected each year because of scum like these and you and I have to carry the burden. I personally know a guy who does yard work and hasen't paid a dime in years to taxes and everytime I see him he always chides me about it. One of these days I'm gonna turn his ass in.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    The guy I saw the other day using a coke bottle as his gas can is a SCRUB!
  8. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    Hey proline32,

    Ask that guy about his retirement plan.

    I also know a guy who has been mowing lawns (full-time) since he was in high school. He is now in his mid-40's. I asked him if he figured his taxes himself, or used an accountant. I WAS going to ask him about depreciation vs. total write off on equipment, ect...

    He said "I have never paid taxes"! :eek:

    As it turns out he has no insurance either.

    Instead of getting mad I casually said..."oh, then you must have some kind of good investment plan for your retirement".


    "I have a fat savings account", he says.

    I told him that that savings account won't go far if he becomes disabled...and without liability insurance he had better pray that he never injures someone else. "Eyeballs are VERY expensive to replace" I tell him...."particularly when they belong to someone else".

    When I inform him that the interest on a savings account does not come close to keeping up with inflation and that in 20 years the money he has saved will be won't be worth nearly what it is worth now I could tell it was like someone had just enlightened him to some 'great truth' of the universe or something. He seemed shocked to find out that he has no Social Security to look forward too...no one told hime that you paid into it all your life in order to collect it later. I guess he thought it was a government handout...hehehe.

    "uh, well, uh, I never thought about that."

    This guy has lived at home with his parents (who are by no means wealthy either) his entire life and has no financial plan for his 'golden years'.

    I said, "Dude, I hope you like the taste of cat food...there is no prime rib in your future!"

    His face was DRY! :laugh:

    I guess "what goes 'round-comes 'round" for scrubs too.
  9. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 175

    Newbies vs. Scrubs:

    I asked this question one time on LS and this is what I surmized from all the answers and from what we've seen on the road for 6 years --

    A scrub is not a legitimate business, with proper licensing, paying taxes, being insured, and they continually lowball other LCOs to get their business. The lowballing drives down the rates in the area and makes it hard for legitimate businesses to stay out there.

    Our saving grace is the quality of our work and the great customer relations we have. We've had many of our customers for over 5 years.

    Being informed and researching your market before you get started is a good idea. We did not have Lawnsite to go on and we did set pricing too low at the beginning. Had we known, we would not have done it. Just because you are just starting does not mean that you should charge less. We quickly changed our ways when we realized we weren't doing so well. You will drive yourself into a hole if you charge too little. Customers will expect a lot for less and you will get a lot of deadbeat customers. You REALLY want the customers who are willing to pay you for your hard work.

    For one thing, you will not have the fast, commercial equipment unless you invest right off the bat. You will be working harder with your walk behind or push mower than you will on a Zero Turn. Your Craftsman weedeater will not whip grass as fast as the commercial brands. Keep these things in mind. You need to be making as much as the established LCOs and you need to charge your customers the market rates! This is fair to the other LCOs, your customers and YOU.

    Most of all -- do a good job! Edge your walkways and driveways and blow them off -- EVERY time! Mow once a week during the growing season so that you don't leave huge clumps in the grass and on the neighbors sidewalk.

    Look professional -- don't carry your push mower in the back of your Suburu. Get a trailer and carry your equipment around like a pro.

    Know the turf in your area. Do some research on the net. In Florida, we researched University of Florida and other places on and off line. Don't cut the grass too short and kill it off. It looks BAD and eventually it will cause lots of problems (disease and death to the turf). Take care of your customers as if you were servicing your own yard.

    Oh yeah! Do take care of your own yard and put a little sign out in front of your property with your business name on it. I mean, make it stand out! This is great advertising. We have a LCO -- extremely well established in our area. We mow all his neighbors yards because his yard is a complete MESS! He wanted to "keep it in the neighborhood," so he told our customers. They told him they weren't letting us go -- period. When you establish that kind of loyalty, you know you are doing your job!

    Don't let the lowballers and true scrubs worry you! They will always be around. Just don't BE one of them. We stopped and talked to some kids in a development where we mow. They asked us if they could mow with us to make money to fix their push mower. I told them to get some eye and ear protection, charge more for their lawns (they were charging $15/mow, weedeat and blow). These lawns should get $20 or $25, especially being push mowed. But they can't even do those because they didn't save enough money to get their mower fixed. The started just needed to be rewound.

    So, those customers will probably be calling some pros in the near future. The grass is growing fast and people can't afford to wait on the neighbor kid who might be too lazy one week, have a ball game the next and get a girlfriend the week after that. They were nice kids, but they just didn't have a clue. So, we tried to help them 'cause all they do is make us look even better!... and I really can't say too much bad about kids who actually want to work a little.

    This has been a VERY long post, which I'm well known for... Many people probably ignore my posts, but hopefully you'll find some good information here.

    Good luck if you decide, TBT!

    A & D (Debbie)
  10. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    scrub. around here ,thats what we call a certain type oak saplin. dont usually
    amount to nothin . but under the rite conditions,she ll make one heck of a strong tree.
    what most people call a scrub ,i call an apprentice. theirs a few scrubs around tho.
    the only reason i would use the wd is they are not to be trusted ,on your place.
    another wd forum is crook. theres some in every trade.

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