Getting Throat Cut

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by G_Dubs, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. G_Dubs

    G_Dubs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Looking for some business advice.

    There is a new startup "landscaper" near me that touts his prices as the best around, and his truck as great big letters that reiterate that. I could care less about that, but...

    Although transitioning to hardscape for the past few years, we do still get a lot of work out of our maintenance accounts, mulching, timing, small plantings here and there etc. I have had two customers inform me that this guy approached them specifically asking what I charge, and that he'll cut my price if they go with him....not very ethical, but no law against it. He is also telling poplle that he is "cleaning up after ******'s Landscaping".

    However, I know he has employees who he pays cash, with no workers comp, liability, payroll taxes, etc., which allows him to be much cheaper.

    Question: should I feel like a jerk if I tun him in for lack of insurance, comp, etc, or should I let it just happen to him by itself, etc.

    I wouldn't care normally, but his nice new truck as in big letters "stonescaping", and if i lose maintenance accounts to someone, and hardscape jobs from those accounts too, i get frustrated.

  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Business is war, go for it. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and start off friendly but if someone directly targeted me like youre experiencing i would have no problem doing the same to them.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    Well lets back up here.

    It costs me more money to pay my guys cash than it does to pay them with a paycheck. This is because I then have to pay the tax on that money, instead of being able to expense the money.

    So how do you know for sure he is paying under the table? What actual proof do you have? I looked at the wording in your post and it appears to me you're speculating. And if he is - I wouldn't worry about it, it's his problem in the long run.

    In the Hardscape industry, this is nothing new. This guy will go away and someone else will pop up. 17.5 years ago I got into hardscaping, I've seen more people come and go than you would ever realize. Nearly all of them lasting only 3-5 years.

    Let him focus on cut throat rates. And you focus on perfecting quality and perfecting a compelling sales presentation. You are taking a photo album with you on your sales presentations, right? And in this album you do have pics of the process and you explain why you do what you do and what can happen if you don't, right? And you have pics of completed jobs with no bare soil in the pics right? Intact, you have 2 photo albums like I do, right? Yes, I said "albums". Not a computer screen. Albums. Full of pics.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Great post DVS ( I just went throught TThomas' whole thread and boy have you made me laugh over the weekend!) I agree 100% about the albums.... Best marketing in the world!!! And G Dubs... hello fellow Upstater... It can be tough up here man.... I am in Plattsburgh and I just moved here 3 years ago from Boston. I worked for a well established company in the greater Boston area for about 15 years and had to move up here to help out some family. I was saving $ to go out on my own when we moved so I decided to do it up here and while there is less competition, there is a smaller population so it kind of evens out.... Everybody talks in small towns and cities so what I will say will mirror DVS... Keep being meticulous, doing outstanding work, and word will spread my friend. If this guy is even talking about cutting your price, he is going to cut himself right out of business real quick.... I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen a guy stay in business who is running around town talking sh@% on other people and claiming he can cut prices by x amount.... That is just not a successful business plan...
  5. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    How did you gain this knowledge and how can you prove that this information you acquired is accurate and factual? Do you have any evidence which supports your claim?

    If you do have verifiable evidence which supports your claim, notify the correct regulating authorities and provide them with the evidence you obtained and hopefully the regulating authorities will do their job and make sure that the other company is following all the necessary regulations.
  6. G_Dubs

    G_Dubs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Here in NY, you can verify workers compensation coverage on the Dept of Labor website, anyone can. He, nor his business name is not listed. By that I know he doesn't have liability coverage on non-existent payroll.

    But I see both points, and I may let him just price himself out of business, I don't know. I don't want karma to bite me in the ass. I just want him to know, tactfully, that I'm aware of his tactics, and that he is doomed with that attitude, and that I'll be under pricing him every chance I get (which I wont, but him thinking that every time he quotes a price wont hurt). Maybe knock him down a peg or two.

    Armsden, I lived in Plattsburgh for 6 years before moving here, and worked for a landscape company in Beekmantown. That Lake Champlain wind is brutal right now.

    Before I go to a customers house, I usually tell them to check out our website to familiarize themselves with our work, and processes. Then bring a small album with me on the initial visit, but, DVS, if you say that big albums will sell more jobs, I'll try it out.

  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    So what's the contractor licensing requirements in NY?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    usually with enough rope they will hang themselves.
  9. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    Probably filing a 1099 on the guys. I used to work for a guy that did that.
  10. hamiltonenterprising

    hamiltonenterprising LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Don't call nobody let him hang himself. He is wrong but at the same time has a family to feed also.

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