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Gave up on Lawn service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dodgemania, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Dodgemania

    Dodgemania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    I only had about seven accounts, wich is nothing. Wanted alot more this year. Did yellow page advertising, got a few calls. Out of fifteen estimates got zero, so I'm not wasting my time doing the seven that I do have.

    There hasn't been a problem getting calls but just not landing them. And before you experts say what about your quality of work or your prices.

    I haven't any complaints about service. The seven that I did have I lost 3. One yard was 1.25 acres. I was doing it for 50 reasonable right. Got a call a day before I was going out there I've got some one else to do it for 35. Not easy mowing either, back yard is like a mountain. She stayed on the line trying to see if I would come down to 35. I told her thanks but if any thing I'll have to be higher than 50 due to inflation. I mean I deserve a raise don't I. That's how it's been this year.

    My estimates have gone the same way, somebody else going well below market value for a yard.

    If I wanted to lowball the competition, I could of had 15 to 20 yards by now. Wich by no means is alot. But I'm not riding around town 2.30 a gallon doing yards below market value. But it's nice getting those checks at the end of the month too.

    I'm just glad the bobcat work and the grading has picked up tremendously.

    I here alot of people crying about lowballers, and it gets annoying to here. But was wondering if anybody else was in a simaler situation with mowing and is it harder these days for you guys to get quality yards at a fair price.
    In a way I'm relieved I can concentrate now on something I enjoy doing alot more. But just thinks it's shitty the way the market is.
  2. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    All of my clients have come via word of mouth. I do no advertising and am currently having to turn away work. I am convinced that word of mouth clients make you lowballer-proof. I have had clients approached by other LCO's with prices much less than mine and none of them bit. I generally have 100% retention from year to year. Occasionally, I'll cull out a route killer or two or the ever present PITA.

    It has taken me a lot of time to get to this point, so I think patience is key in developing quality clients. I know this is a luxury that you may not be able to afford. At any rate, I wish you well with your other endeavors.
  3. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    How is the economy in your area? I find that areas with decent economies and a higher standard of living practically breed LCO's, and higher, professional prices. Even your price of $50 sounds low for 1.25 acres, but if that is the market price for your area, then of course you are not a lowballer. Perhaps you just don't have a good area economically for quality priced mowing accounts.

    Just my 2 cents.
  4. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    I think its the same everywhere.....word of mouth has helped me more than anything else.....I saw three trucks I have never seen before pulling mowers????Nothing on the trucks????I'm just trucking along trying to get more...
  5. David Grass

    David Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    see if you can buy another business in your area, I did that about 10 years ago, it was just a dozen accounts, and didnt cost me a lot, but it gave me much more word of mouth accounts, I think once you cross the 30 barrier, if you are good, you will have automatic (altho can be slow) growth.
  6. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 378

    this is our 6th year in business, advertised a little the first few years in the newspaper. Most of our customers have come either from word of mouth, or stopped us at a job we were on. Have only lost 2 customers over the 6 years, other then the few that have passed away. We are to the point we are turning people away as well. I dont think our economy here is anything special, i see more and more trucks with mowers behind them heck even station wagons pulling a small trailer with mowers in them.
  7. Dodgemania

    Dodgemania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    All of you make good points maybe I pulled the plug to soon. Obviously the mowing aspect I'm know where near word of mouth type of advertising because I have such few accounts. Or did! Years past I turned down lawn accts because I was doing other stuff, but late last year and this year when I decided to try and get more accts it just seems every body wants some body to come chop there grass up for a few dollars. It just seems somebody trying to make some beer money. One of you made the comment that $50 was to low for 1.25 acres, and I agree but $35 are you serious. That's just got to be beer money.

    May just try to seek commercial accts in the future. I've got a likely hood of getting a 50 acre condo complex next year plus snow removal on a three year contract. So I guess if this works out I'll have my hands full anyways.

    Just wanted to see if you guys thought it was getting more competitive in your areas. That would let me know maybe or maybe not it's just my area.
  8. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    I think people estimate different, I had one lady I did, two acres to mow, 1 in the front, mow trim edge, blow....2nd in the back just mow.......$210.00 is what I charged her and she paid, I was on that job 3 hours...so I think its what you figure your time is worth, not sure????
  9. PTOhioMower

    PTOhioMower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    Ditto on that one!!

    Having good customer relations and doing quality work keep the word of mouth customers coming.
  10. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 897


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