I do think that some of the threads you have read recently that discuss this and offer examples like the commercial properties. And the few mentions of residential are isolated incidents. It is impossible with todays economic climate for prices of anything going backwards.
True there will be start up companies and part timers. That will start at prices some of us had established a few or several years ago. Even they smarten up and raise prices.
I know it may seem like a never ending cycle, and in fact it is.
The truth is, for me it's fine. It seperates my operation from the rest. When home owners and property managers get tired of the substandard service and inability to provide and see us out there day after day, year after year. I am going to get their call eventualy.
And most of the start ups don't last more than a couple years. Part timers will either stay part time, give it up or make a go of it full time. Those that do make the jump to full time a reasonable percentage go right back to part time and finding a job.
People are also smarter these days. They also realize that making the money they earn is not easy, not as it was many years ago. With that mindset. I am finding more and more not taking the chance at wasting their money and will pay a professional service.
everyone should charge to make a profit, and charge as if they had a family and home. Its all these companys that think they have pionered the new idea of power in numbers by bidding everthing at a lower cost. Not after long they will be out of the industry.
Maybe I don't see it, but it has never effected me to make me worry about it. Sometimes I wonder how many people are getting there info from "hear say" or 1 guy they think is a pro. With as many people out there cutting grass its impossible to figure out the pricing. I know what my costs are and what I want to make. End of story. I have 100% retention from last year and am up more than many would believe for this year. I don't keep up with what Bob's lawn service is charging. I could care less.
Every year/season, one of the biggest reasons (IMO) that prices aren't increasing, is the ever growing numbers of newbies/wanna be's that either don't know what they're doing in pricing or they're intimidated about asking for what the job is worth. Or, they think it's the only way they can get customers.
Personally, I have no intention of lowering prices at all, may be going up next season for numerous reasons.