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How do you picture your lesser competition?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by tcls83, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    Do you ever visualize in your head how a cheapo rinky-dink lawn care operation operates? Sometimes I'm declined a job because the other operation is cheaper or they offer gutter cleaning , dog poo pickup, diaper changing, some lame reason. I'll take a drive by If im passing by and the job those guys did looks so crappy. These guys crack me up.

    I picture a guy like this:

    -pulling up in a 2wd rotted out Ranger pulling a homemade trailer made of deck boards, oil leaking everywhere

    -Pulls out his walk-behind saturated in dirt so much that you cant tell what color it is, and always manages to lock in one of his handles so the mower so it starts spinning in circles with him chasing it.

    -Asks homeowner if they can use an electrical outlet in their house so he can run his electric trimmer he acquired by finding it in a dumpster.

    -Needs the outlet for the electric blower too.

    -When he walks around he has this awkward skip.

    -Talks to his customers in that same tone as that voiceover from infomercials

    -Has bad luck with constantly managing to get a direct hit with his head into a basketball sized hornet nest numerous times. (Knock on wood that never happens to me. probably will)

    -Sign on truck is printed on computer paper and duct taped to his truck and is fading out.

    -Thinks he looks professional because he has 20 road cones surrounding his truck when at the job.

    I'm not saying my equipment, truck and trailer looks as nice as the ones you see on an Exmark brochure, but I try to keep up with making my stuff looking clean as much as I can.

    Post what you think of when you picture those guys who seem to under cut you in price. I'm always looking for a good laugh.
  2. zim bob the landscaper

    zim bob the landscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,706

    that happened to me just a week ago
    it was some old guy that has some teens work for him gettin paid $10 an hour and has a big nose and is skinny lanky i hate him. ill tell u more about him later
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Me last year.

    I'm totally revamping my business to do away with the way I was last year. I had the image, i didn't have the business structure or the level of professionalizm that I should or wanted to be at. Thats what I think of.
  4. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    I guess sometimes everyone's got to start somewhere though. Hopefully the part about bashing your head on a live hornets nest wasn't true though!
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    no hornets nest. Although a guy I used to work with did that one year. Kinda funny.

    Last year I had a good image, nice f250 with powerstroke, a 1 year old trailer, 48" bobcat walkbehind, new blower/trimmer, all other equipment was new also. Just I didn't have a good business structure. Thats what I look at when I'm thinking of "lesser competition" I don't care what their image is, someone can have the nicest set up in the world but if they aren't profiting they're just out there being a slave to themselves.

    This year I'm putting my focus on the business side of things and not the "loving to mow grass" side like I was last year. I still love the work though.
  6. tteckster

    tteckster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Ya know, the more I read, and research about this business, it’s just that, a business! Whether you’re into carpet cleaning, car sales, or commercial cleaning (my family’s business) it is a business, and all the same rules apply. So, MMLawn is starting to make a lot of sense now (after reading a lot of his previous posts). Whether you’re a large LCO or a small solo, you have to be accountable for what you do in/for this business, no matter what you look/smell like. Try to always uplift your industry! So why say "lesser"?
  7. DixieFerris

    DixieFerris LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 440

    it kind of surprises me, but not too much none of you ever mention your competition as yourself. Sure everyone has their internet muscles on in here from time to time, me included. But the biggest obstacle is yourself in most cases. If you are taking care of yourself in a presentable manner, pricing that allows you to make money, and boast major confidence and results to your customers, it doesn't matter if their are more LCO's than homes, you will always been busy 24-7. If you aren't a salesman, you don't stand much of a chance.
  8. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    Its just a fictional mental image meant as a joke. I want to hear of how others view them, because everyone has one in the area. Just looking for a laugh. Maybe it wont be funny.

    tteckster-I don't mean just image when I say lesser. I also mean lesser by poorer workmanship, undercutting guys like me that are trying to build their businesses that produce top notch work. These guys just get their foot in the door because of some bogus service they tack on then later on abandon ship after 6 months.

    KC who posted before actually has a nice truck and equipment -better than when I first started, dont know why he originally said that. I had an old chevy, a mower, a trailer, but even when I first started, considering I had some bugs to work out, I retained most of my customers because they like my work, I'm straightforward, and thats why I'm still in business. Looking good does help too though. I've obviously have made decisions that I've done in the past that make me cringe too. Nobodys perfect.

    I also don't believe in the guy who first starts a business expecting profit instantly just because you buy a new F-550, new diesel Exmark, new bobcat and etc with huge payment at the end of the month. Some succeeded that way- more power to them. I just dont want to look like someone just took a crap on my trailer with heap of shoddy lawn mowers on the back.

    If you go out looking rinky-dinky like that and don't know what youre doing, and want to grow a nice business, you started too early. Get some experience in the field working for someone else firsthand, and save up some money or take out a loan, and get some decent used commercial equipment, KMart is not your power equipment dealer.

    They sure make good businesses stand out though!
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    I try not to worry much about them. In our town, one has old chevy, there own 2 wheel homemade trailer, craftsmen mower, blower, trimmer and a troy built mower. Do a bad job, no lines, just circles. That is what I see - us running circles around them.

    Sure we can all get a cocky and show what we have but it is your business. YOU need to make of it what you what. You need to SELL your service - be it high price, medium or low, YOU need to know your numbers!

    I like being my own worst emeny or competition. I know I have to keep things going - be driven, not only for me personally, but for my family, guys we hire, the clients I serve.

    But I will admit I hate to see when other guys jump in and start under cutting everything to get the work. Then I hate them! Until 3-5 years later they figure it out and there gone!
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Personally, I don't think at all about lesser competition...equal or better, now you have my full-fledged attention.

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