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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I just joined on to this forum and looks like I found the right place!!!!!!

Anyway......here is my question......

Years ago I did some lawncare on the side for about a half dozen or so consistant customers. I enjoyed being out in the elements and being able to turn around after completing a customers lawn and seeing a finished product!

Well, the area I live in has really gone to the dogs!!! We have SO MANY imigrant (legal and non legal) workers in my area and even wonder if I can even be competitive?

I notice alot of people say that these guys will move on, but their population in my area is growing faster than rabbits reproduce!!!

Is there a chance for a middle aged (35) white male to make a living in this field anymore? I need to live, and to do that, it requires making some money as well.

It seems like EVERY lawncare truck in my area (100's), is all being dominated by low income wage earners!

Should I waste my $$$ and invest in this career change or look to elswhere for a change?
 

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If people want quality work, they will pay good money for it. If all they care about is being charged the lowest price possible, those aren't the kinds of clients you want. To have quality customers though, you have to know your [email protected] If you know just as much as the other guys, and do the same work that they do, then YES you will have problems with them. However if you are constantly learning things which will benefit the properties you work at, by increasing their beauty, value, and function. If you implement those things, cutting edge technology, etc. then you shouldn't have a problem. What I am talking about, is learning how to do IPM, how to properly establish a lawn and care for it, how to design landscapes properly and install them, how to care for those plants you have installed without using chemicals, etc. Things like that will set you apart from the competition, if you are good at it. Any 12 year old kid can cut grass. I don't think you want to be competing on their level.
 

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yes, there are many levels in this game....

How many of the guys you are seeing in those trucks are reading lawnsite.com on their computers? How many books on lawn care do they have on their shelves?

It is not hard to set yourself apart from the competition.
 

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I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea here, but I would play up the American thing as much as possible if I were you. You know things like: ENGLISH ONLY SPOKEN HERE, AMERICAN BORN AND RAISED. Things like that. Alot of people want to be able to carry on a conversation with their lawn man. So play it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The problem that I'm seeing is that these "GUYS" get out 5+ workers per truck and do the job fairly fast and to tell the truth....it looks good!!!!

Most of the town that I live in has gone to he!!, I have some VERY WEALTHY surrounding towns that these "GUYS" are working in and the lawns they do look GREAT!!! I'm talking 2+ acres with a million dollor home on it!!!!

I really question that I can be competitive enough to make a living and still have a life in this industry. The worse part of the whole thing is I really like being out there doing this!!!!

Oh well,......Time will tell.
 

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If you have million dollar homes around that is where you want to be.But....you have to start somewhere.It is your drive and determination that makes the difference.you have to WANT to succeed.Start part time and build from there.Maybe you can help turn your area into a better looking place in time.By the way,we have some rather high end neighborhoods that we work in,and there are no "imigrants" working those areas. Just my observation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by GLAN
Sounds to me that you have already decided that you have been defeated.

Wrong attitude
No, just trying to save myself $60k worth of business start up equipment. I really want to do this and I know I can get home owners to sign on with me......my concern is WHEN, if ever , is an area OVERPOPULATED with LAWNCARE companies?

It use to be that when you looked in the yellow pages, DOCTORS and Lawyers dominated the pages...in my new YELLOW PAGES....LAWNCARE and MOWING sections combines overtake the DOCTORS and LAWYERS for amount of pages occupied!!!!

I do have another "CAREER CHOICE" thatI would like to go into, but LAWNCARE would have to be my FIRST CHOICE!!

I thank you all for your input on this subject, but you need to understand my concerns on investing into something I enjoy doing and making it a profitable business as well. All may work just as planned, but I thought I'd ask the experts (you guys) first.

Thanks again and keep'em coming!
 

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Originally posted by AMERICAN LAWNCARE
Hi all, I just joined on to this forum and looks like I found the right place!!!!!!

Anyway......here is my question......

Years ago I did some lawncare on the side for about a half dozen or so consistant customers.

You lost me when I read "on the side"

Capal
 

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Hang in there. All I can say it is the same every where. Mow lawns? Yes My nephew mows and he is 7. Pretty good also. Any ways, lately I have been getting alot of calls to contract becuase Miguel (no offence) can't understand what his excustomers wanted nor could he comunicate well enough to upsell other services. That is where YOU take over and gain another well deserving customer. It is said time and time again here but if you do a good job, people will pay for it.
Good luck and lets see a positive attitude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by dvmcmrhp52
Why spend 60,000 on equipment when 6000 can get you started and you can buy as you need?
The area I live in is very "PLASTIC", everyone has to be better than the next door neighbor. If I was to pull up one of these big $$$ homes driveways with a ol'truck and equipment..I'd get laughed right back down to the street!nand from what I can see, if you mow...they also want you to plow come wintertime. At this time I DO NOT have a truck avail. to use a WORK TRUCK. Sure I can get something used, but I'm a person who likes RELIABLE EQUIPMENT and would opt to go with something new (the way interst rates are, it's almost a no brainer).

As for "ON THE SIDE", I worked a FULL TIME job and after hours I would go out and mow one or two lawns a day. I had a TRUCK then, a 48" BOBCAT, TANAKA TRIMMERS, and STIHL BLOWER....All on a 16' trailer. I have since sold all that equipment and DO NOT even have a vehicle worthy enough to pull a small trailer!

I have to monies set aside to invest into a business, I'm just asking for some opinions if this industry can still make enough money with two people woking it (legal Americans), without getting washed out by ALL of these illegal companies.
 

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Glan WAS right, you're kind of going at it the wrong way...

Originally posted by dvmcmrhp52
Why spend 60,000 on equipment when 6000 can get you started and you can buy as you need?
Exactly! Here's my list of equipment that I use regularly and couldn't do without. I know I have a good eye for good deals but they are out there.

truck $3k used, very reliable and looks like new.

trailer $450 used

eXmark TTHP 52" 17hp $2k used looks/runs like new

Toro 21" less than $100 used

Stihl trimmer $259 new.

Echo split boom $240 used with two attachments.

Kawasaki backpack blower traded some worthless (to me) stuff for it.

That's a complete setup in perfect working order for around $6k.

I've got other stuff that i use that I got dirt cheap or free, this stuff is all commercial grade BTW. It all looks good and is as reliable as can be. Oh the blower could look better but just needs some paint.

I just picked up (the other day) a Simplicity hydro lawn tractor 14hp v twin pressure filter lube, 38" mulching/discharge deck good little tractor, I traded 34 mowings for it, just to turn around and sell it, should make a few hundred dollars off of that deal.

There is always room for you if you are willing to not only do the best work but have the best customer service as well.

Tell me you'd be ashamed to have this in a rich person's driveway, I'm 16 and it's all paid for. Oh I sold the Scag w/b though.
 

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You want some advice. Go and do what you want to do and forget about the others legal or not it's all about you own reputation. If you are good than accounts will come your way. You ahve to taste failure to be successful. So forget about the illegals cause you can get grey worring about it. JUST DO IT!!!!
You also said you want dependable equipment there is alot of second hand dependable equipmenet out there. The best advice I can give you is learn to fix your own equipment and Stay Positive Dude. We all have experience rejection at one time or another, some have quite and made excuses, but I totally believe is that we are who we are and if you stay optimistic about your work, business or life in general it all works out for the better. Don't blame the other guy for your misfortune, this is a very good business we are in and if you want it will give you the world especailly if you have those high dollar homes. JUST KEEP THEM BLADES ATURNING AND THEM WHEELS ROLLING, AS I SAY THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY IN GRASS!!!:cool: GOOD LUCK AND GOD SPEED!!!!!:blob2: Here is my own yard!!!!
 

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Any ways, lately I have been getting alot of calls to contract becuase Miguel (no offence) can't understand what his excustomers wanted nor could he comunicate well enough to upsell other services.
He has a good point.

But let me tell you the other side too, I'm a mexican and love my job, when I started there were lot's of obstacles I had to face, people not trusting you because you look ilegal, even tough I'm not, people wanting to pay me a cheap price, people taking advantage, lcos looking at me like a menace and so on.

At this point my company is getting some name recognition, not for the cheap prices, but for dependability and quality, always return calls as soon as posible, never promise nothing you can't deliver, go the extra mile (but charge for it), You have no idea how many customers I have gotten just because their former lco doesn't show up, doesn't return calls, doesn't have time for extras, doesn't know how to mow correctly.

The area I live in is very "PLASTIC", everyone has to be better than the next door neighbor.
Then everybody would want their lawn look better, you think those people ("ilegals?") know how to treat a property, how to spot problems before they apper, identify the type of turf, plants, know how to install mulch properly and so on.

If you're looking for a carrer change this field has lot's of customers who always look for a profesional, but if you're calling carrer change going out and spending 60k in equipment just to impress people, you'll become your own competition.
 

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Most likely I know the areas you are working in. More than likely I know who some of the BIG competition is in that area. Those guys have been in there for a LONG time, and the clients will not leave them unless they REALLY mess up. Those guys know their clients, know their plant material, their insects, pathology, etc. The clients they serve want people who know their stuff, no questions asked, and who have lots of experience.
 

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I always try not to sell the price, but the quality, personal attention, and educated individuals on the property at all times.

So I feel that if you can sell on those items then you can make it.
 

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american, my advice, dont waste your time. the market is flooded, forget the garbage about "do a better job....." it aint so. guys willing to work for minimum wage will do a nice job too. and the customer knows this. try to run it like a real business, like maybe enforcing late fees, you will lose that customer to someone who will do just as good a job, and take all the b.s. they want to give him. i started only a few yrs ago, and since then, the number of lawnboys has multiplied by about 4 or 5.
 

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Hey Tommy,

I'm not going tell you what to do - you'e getting a lot of good advise and motivation on this thread from a lot of LCO's up against the same competition as you are.

Two things I would like you to think about is this:
1. You keep on coming up with excuses - do not try and look for 10 reasons why you cannot start your business - look for one good reason how you CAN and work from there. Even if you are an one man operation.
2. Always remember - there is nothing as good for your business as good strong competition.

Good Luck and good fortune

PC
 
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