Death of a SCRUB.....

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by adrianvbarrera, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    About 4 weeks ago I met a guy cutting lawns for peanuts. We talked for a while and he quoted me some prices for my lawn.....damn talk about low balling. The guy had some commercial equipment some homeowner stuff. We talked and he seemed like real nice guy. I asked him why not all commercial equipment, its a better investment. His reply...."I don't make enough dough to pay for it".

    I asked him why was he charging so damn little. His answer was "customer won't pay more". I told him that I was in the process of starting a similar business and that maybe we could help each other. He gave me the strangest look I've seen and asked me what was on my mind. I told him that I would cut him a deal. I would help him get higher paying accounts by helping him advertise and that he would distribute flyers in his spare time for one of my other businesses....nothing to do with lawncare.

    I assured him that if he did not think that the accounts that he brought in with my help were good accounts he could back out of the deal....give no flyers for me and still keep the accounts.

    He thought it was a fair deal and so our little arrangement began.

    I took a look at his ad and beefed it up a little.
    Took a look at his jobs and estimated profit......and losses.
    Some of his jobs were profitable but most were break even or losing money.
    I rated and labeled his worst jobs and we decided that we would replace those jobs with better ones first.

    This was our strategy:
    Find a job to replace a bad one but call the bad job and explain that we had to raise our prices due to raising cost of doing business to see if we could salvage the account. 25% of his existing bad accounts stayed with him after the increase in price.
    New and existinng accounts were place on simple contracts that I stole from this site...:).
    *********** 4 weeks later *****************
    To make a long story short....all of his accounts have been replaced or upgraded to the new pricing system. He actually does better work because he feels that he is now getting paid what he deserves. And he is looking to purchase some new commercial equipment to become even more profitable. I showed him at what point he would be able to purchase some new equipment so that he would not take on debt that would eat him up.

    Now he can't believe that he use to charge so little.

    Off-topic: The stress ridden face he had when I met him is gone and replace by a guy that is proud of his work.

    Moral of the story is:
    Most SCRUBS want to be paid as much as we do but they don't understand or are afraid to ask for a fair price.

    Lastly he is happily delivering my flyers and I am happy.

    Some of you might frown at me for helping my competition but really I was helping myself. He is just one less low baller. Who knows many months from now that guy could of taken a job away from me because he bid at cost or at a loss.

    Just thought you guys might want to hear about this one.

  2. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    I like it.
    Well done.
  3. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Nothing wrong with that,a scrub is sometimes a scrub because he is uneducated in the field he is working.

    I've heard people talk about doing what you just did and i'm glad to see it can work!Your right,you can only benefit from this situation,good work:)
  4. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,386

    Your guy deserves a lot of credit for being open minded enough to let you"tweak" with his livelyhood! How many of us would have even considered letting somebody do that?:eek:
  5. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    One of my competitors called me in response to my $25 lawn care signs and complained that I was not charging enough, and I should be charging at least $30-$35. He complained that I was taking away his business, but at the time I had hardly any calls. He wanted me to call him back, but I wasn't sure if I should reveal information about my business strategies to my competition, and I also heard from another competitor that this guy actually took down some of my signs, so I didn't really want to talk to him. I was actually advertising $30 before, but then one of my competitors put up a whole bunch of signs for $20 lawn care, so I decided to go down $5. It is difficult for me to tell if I'm charging enough because my equipment right now sucks, especially not having anything bigger than 21" mowers. So a yard that should take 20 minutes might take me an hour. Assuming I had good equipment, how much should I be making an hour? Any suggestions on determining the right price? Should I ask my competition?
  6. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163


    You are right. I think he was willing because he was hurting and not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Now I did all this at his house on his computer and he called his customers. I do not know his customers exact addresses or phone numbers. I took nothing to his home and left with nothing. I think that made him more comfortable.

    But mainly I think he really needed the help and just took a chance.

  7. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 740

    Well done Adrian.

    I underestimated you at first, but i can see your a true pro.

    Keep up the good work.

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