Business Update - Loss Leader

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turfer, Aug 29, 2000.

  1. Turfer

    Turfer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    I haven't been on here in a while. I'm pretty busy. Business is really picking up just from referrals from existing customers. I'm at 70% of my goal which I set for year end. I think I'll probably go over my goal by 10/15. My Ford Ranger died from exhaustion so I bought a 93 z71 with a 5.7. Great truck and what a difference in pulling power.

    I stumbled over someting during my second landscaping job during the month of August. I way underbid the pine straw part of a job. I bid by square yard coverage instead of square feet coverage. (I walked it off and did not multiply by 3. When I put my wheel on it, I really felt stupid). Anyway, I charged the customer $7.50 a bail for straw but I needed 2.5 times more than I bid. I only paid $3 a bail so I broke even on the straw. The customer has asked me to do loads of other work in their golf course yard. Aerating, seeding, front and side yard landscaping, compost bin. I'll surely make up my pine straw mistake on these jobs. Does anybody use the loss leader concept to get more business ? It sure worked on these folks. Thanks.

    Anybody have any ideas to "clean up" the edges of a large natural area. I'm thinking about using a mini tiller to establish a wide, deep border.
  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Most commercial landscapers use mowing as a loss leader.

    Then newbies get in the business - mowing only - charge the same as the commercial landscaper - and after 3 years wonder why they're only making wages.

    Clean-up you edges with a Browne TrenchMaster bed edger.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    Have to agree with kent .. i own a trench master and untill
    this season i used to do it with a long and very time consumming espesilly if its clay go rent one a try it out they rent here for $85 a dayBIG BIG BIG diference in time like hours.....i luck up and rented one and when iturned it in the man said it was for sale so i wrote a check for $600. and its allready paid for its self one of the best time saving tools i ever purchased.
  4. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I agree with Kent about the lawn pricing, and especially with the "just mowin" firms out there.

    Did you want to put a low maintenance boarder like wildflowers (cheap fix) or no boarder and just use a push blower to clean up debris and push it farther back in the woods.

    What did you plan to do with the tiller or trencher, I'm not seeing eye to eye on that one.

  5. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    A somewhat Typical scenario. Women needs lawn mowed. Our regular price $30 discount to $22. Lady loves us. Within a year we have installed a deck, water feature, wood fence, fenced in horse pasture, aerating, fertilizing. tree & shrub maint. garden rottotilling, she has also referred us to her friend who wants an addition and she has called to ask if we would build a new home for and her new husband next spring.

    I think mowing almost has to be a loss leader to get your foot in the door over some of the fly by night competition out there. You need to offer more than a mow & blow if you want to make some real money otherwise what are you offering that the kid down the street can't do.
  6. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Great point parkwest.

    But, build a house? put on an addition?

    Talk about full-service! :)
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    LOL, the biulders around here wont even mow their own lawns. You sure you arent building houses as a loss leader LOL.
  8. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Well Mr. Parkwest I guess I have been flying by night for fifteen years . Guess it's time I get a real job like yours.
  9. tslawn

    tslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Excuse me? I've seen some of the work the "kid down the street" can do. "He's" done some work near some of my customers. Does the kid down the street mow with lines in the yard? Does the kid trim everything that needs to be trimmed? Does the kid edge the flower beds and walkways? Does the kid mow without leaving huge gr*** clumps in the yard? Does the kid blow all the gr*** off from the walkways and driveways and flowerbeds?????? I ask you again, "What does the kid down the street" know how to do, except CUT GR***????? We, collectively, offer a service. A dependable, professional lawn service, that's what. There really is money out there in the mowing business!
  10. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    There's just wages in mowing, no profits.

    I did all those detail services when I was a teen. Good job, too! - I paid attention to detail and took work away from commercial cutters because I did a better job.

    Had an OLD Bunton 52" (11hp Briggs!) Striped all my lawns, trimmed, edged (old McClane 2hp) pruned, blew (old Echo with the 'bowl' carbeurator).

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