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Eating crow

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bohiaa, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Guys, When your just starting out, do you find that you may pick up one. on the side of town that you dont have any? and you have to take a cut im pay just to do this one, in hopes that ya pick up more in that area???
  2. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    everyone does that, think of it as your loss leader, part of your marketing campaign to be seen in the area.
  3. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    If that is a neighborhood where you can make good money, the next question is, how many of those lawns would it take to get them to a profitable level, considering the extra drive? A full day's work scheduled every week?

    Then it's time to do some aggressive marketing. Don't just wait for the neighbors to notice what a great job you are doing on that one lawn. Go to them and solicit the business.

    Good luck!

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Would you like to bid it for 25 and get the job or bid it for 35 and sit at home.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Yea, That's a major part of it, My mowers just collect dust, and Hell, If I go to that area and cut for 1/2 the season and dont pick up any more. then it's time to dump the account.....

    Thanks for the advice guys
  6. Mountain Peak

    Mountain Peak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    I have one of those this year too. I am now seeing why I don't pick up more in that area,,, the people are cheap. I'm going to drop him at the end of the year. he's grumpy and terminally ill. He was rude to my crew one day and I was going to drop him then, but his wife wrote this sweet letter thanking us for dealing with her husband in his condition. He was suppose to die months ago but is hanging in there.....
    I should drop the account because it's the only one in the area and not profitable, but I'll break even on it for the rest of the year.......

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Not only did you not work your butt off for no money but when you go out of business you will get a lot more for the mowers because they are still new.:)

    Never, NEVER lose money in the hopes of future gain.

    And why if you are cutting 1 at 25 do you think the rest are going to pay you 35. They are all going to pay you 25.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah LOL, then later when you have some money you PAY your marketing campaign to work for YOU rather than paying the Customer so YOU can work.

    Nowadays I don't do schitt for less than standard industry rate but it takes time (4 years in my case), I did a LOT of work for dirt cheap in my first year, $20-$25 / hour was not at all uncommon even into my 2nd year I did it, I think it's like you said, everyone does that because it doesn't cost 3 thousand dollars to advertise someplace with money you don't have.
    But ALWAYS advertise, more is better, the more advertising you can put out OR afford to pay someone else to get out, the less of this above bs you gotta do.
  9. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    My opinion would be to stay home if I had to take it at 25.00 if it was costing me more than that to do it. The problem with this industry is that we take jobs at a given price just to get the work. When in reality, we have no idea what it is costing us to do it based on our own individual company's overhead and expenses.

    I worked that way from 1979 to 1987. I than realized I was tired of doing it for FUN and started charging based on my company's overhead and expenses. Since then, we do less work and make more profit.

    I finally realized that if my competition was so smart at bidding jobs, why are the failure rates for this industry so high?
  10. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

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