How do you compete with this?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Herrick, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    Submitted a bid for a couple rather large lots, one, a daycare, about 2.5 acres the other, a house, just over 1. I am also bidding on the Mowing of the larger lot. Both lots are owned by the same lady, so it's a package deal, all or nothing. My boys currently go to the daycare, and the owner likes to give business to those who do business with her. She got another bid from the place that has been doing it for the last few years, I beat them on the mowing, but the fert was just stupid cheap... They are getting $90 an app for the 2.5 acres, and $75 for the 1 acre.:hammerhead: I was more like $250 an app. And had already discounted it a LOT.

    If I can match or come close, I can get the jobs, but I'm at a loss as to what to do to cheapen this down so much. I know that my program is WAY better than theirs, but this is one of those ladies where price is everything. If I can get close to this and not loose money, I'll do it just to get the mowing (which would be the real money here anyway). What the heck are these guys doing for $90?
  2. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    The old bait an switch. You can't even buy the materials to do that amount of acreage and do a decent job.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    Stupid price. She must be a shrewd negotiator. You cannot compete with that and you should not try. Sounds like they are losing money each time they do it.

    Find out the name of the co and report them if they are not licensed. Feel free to mention thir lack of quality every chance you get. Weeds, crabgrass, grubs, uneven green.

    And maybe you don't want it. In Michigan the pesticide regulations for day-cares and pre-notification of parents is so complicated it is usually not worth the time.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  4. MarkSupply

    MarkSupply LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    she gets what she pays for, based on the price it has to be urea and I would say on the high side a 1/2 # of N per application. Now if they are set up for liquid who knows what their putting down. If you really want the account you could make it work if you don't mind spreading fert for free!!
  5. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,157

    Remember that you beat there price on lawn service. Alot of guys that cut will fert a lawn cheap cause they want to cut it. So if you were 15 a cut less then them at the end of the year with your prices the customer still pays the same total for the same services. Is that the case here? I'm not justifying the strategy I have seen it happen alot.
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    i've learned the hard way a long time ago that you do not want the "price" customers. you'll never survive. if price is there priority then walk away.
  7. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    I think jc1 has a point. It looks as if they are willing to eat the cost of fert so they can land the mowing bid. I'd leave it unless the mowing is gonna really pay off. Probably not worth it though. IMO.
  8. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    If your only using one bag of fert, then they are making good profit!
  9. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    A day care, you say?

    What about playing on the "think of the childrens" aspect.

    Ask her if she thinks having someone who (likely) isn't licensed applying such products where children are present is a wise choice.

    And ummm, if she's OK with using unlicensed contractors for a day care facility, maybe you should rethink where your kids are staying.
  10. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    In NY its now illegal do do daycares.

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