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do NOT "educate" the competition

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bobbygedd, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, just as i suspected, it was dumb to teach others how to do things. about a year ago, i ran into a guy that just does tree work. we started chatting, he said alot of his customers ask about landscaping, but he just doesnt have the knowledge. i gave him a card, told him if he liked, he could refer them to us. well, he calls and asks if id be willing to do the jobs "with him", my knowledge, his labor, for a resonable split. i said ok. i did everything from speaking with clients, planning /designing jobs, and i have the connections to get the materials wholesale. well, it went good, he got alot of work, we made alot of money. then, the bottom fell out. i was doing the estimates, and designing, and they were still his contacts. the estimates started turning into no sales. well, guess what, he was getting me to design and plan, then telling me the sale didnt happen, but he was really doing the jobs himself(and they looked like ****) . anyway, i stopped by one of the clients to follow up, and found that this guy gave them "our" estimate, then told the client he would come down several hundred dollars. this guy has a very simple lifestyle, no house, and is willing to do the work for what he considers " a good days pay" . much lower than what i could work for. so, u see, i created my own competion by educating this guy, showing him where to buy materials at less than half what others could get them at, and so on. lesson to be learned: dont educate the competition!
  2. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    Isn't there some kind of legal issue here as far as him giving the customer YOUR bid.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Hey bobby...

    ...next time someone likes this comes along, tell 'em to go to the same school you did...the School of Hard Knocks!

  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I think you should have seen that one coming.

    I've had similar offers - I tell them that for $50K I'll let them follow me for one day, work alongside, and ask any questions they'd like. I haven't had a single taker yet, which is just fine with me.
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Sounds like Bobby had a partnership that went sour.

    I would agree Stonehenge.. unless they are from out of town.
    I was once a guest of a owner ( 3 hours away ) of a multi million per year operation. He let me sit in on their meetings, toured his shop, chatted with employees and visited job sites. It was a great day.
    These visits can be very educational and would recommend it.
  6. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    I can beat that one! I had a friend who worked with me for a while, went to school with him, he had worked for another landscaping company before so I asked if he wanted to work with me. He stayed with me fo about a year until one day I pass him and he's pulling my trailer down the road! I knew nothing about this endeavor, turns out he was making a little money on the side! NEVER TRUST ANYONE!

    Brandon Shaw
    Evergreen Landscaping Concepts
  7. thartz

    thartz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    How many LCO's have you trained ? I have probably trained 15 or more; stay for a year then see them the next year on their own.I've thought of making up some kind of apprentice program.
  8. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    Bobby, maybe you could tell the homeowner..."I think he'd be o.k. I imagine that last lawsuit was only fluff....I couldn't believe he sued the homeowner...." "Maybe he's bought his own iinsurnace by now..."

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