I Shoulda' Known Better!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I was getting ready to mow the other day (we FINALLY got some rain), and a fellow drives up rolls down the window and asks if I'd be interested in taking on a couple more yards. I said, "Sure", dismount, and go over to chat with him.

    Seems he owns a business at the edge of town, has two areas to mow, office property and a warehouse, and his LCO quit the business, leaving him hanging.

    Long story short, he mentioned two or three times there wasn't much to mow at the office, small yard, etc., then told me that they usually did the trimming themselves, and the guy was just mowing. He also mentioned I could probably get another business next door to the warehouse, because the same fellow was mowing it also. I told him I'd get out there and check it out as soon as I could. Well, a couple of hours later, rain moved in, and I had to quit for about an hour, so decided to run out and see what he had.

    He was right about the office location, small yard, mostly trimming around and in between buildings and along the back where there was all kinds of junk parked (these are agri-businesses). The warehouse was a slash and burn type deal, with basically no trimming, no trees, just wide open mowing as was the business next door, who said he would have me mow if I ended up doing the other if I'd do it for what the other guy was charging. It wasn't enough, but was mowing only, maybe 15 minutes worth, so figured it would pay for some gas, since I was there anyhow.

    Welll, go back by the office and leave my bid with his mother. Told her mow and trim, as I really didn't want to do mowing only, would rather do it all, and have it looking half decent. I was in a hurry, wanting to get back to mowing as the rain had passed, and bid what was likely a bit low. I kicked myself as the day wore on, but figured I could still make my target rate per hour figuring all three properties, and they would fill out my day. I also thought the season isn't too much longer anyhow, so I could finish out this year, then re-bid next year, with the knowledge of exactly how long the properties were taking me, and try and get the price up where it should be.

    Well, guess what, the guy never called. I'm almost glad he didn't, and realize now I should have clued in when he kept mentioning how "small the yard is", and "we usually do the trimming ourselves". These were sure signs he wasn't willing to pay diddly-squat. No wonder the other LCO went out of business if he was charging substantially less than I bid, which I'm sure he was.

    I'm just wondering if some of you guys who have "been around the block" before will sometime blow off even looking at a property when someone says the "wrong thing", and what those "wrong things" are?
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I'm at the point where I don't look anymore. I've got connections to guys that work in different areas that I mow that are looking for work. "Here's the number of who you'd like to talk to."
  3. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    i come right outand say this is what we do and how we do it and why and I want to be paid each month . Then I ask them if they are still interested then we go from their. I am tired of looking at these crap holes and a holes that want 5 star service for 20 a cut. kiss my ace ! thats what I have been doing I used to take anything now if it ain't a sweet one I just say no.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    I've been doing this long enough to be able to judge a quote by nothing more than their phone message. Certain towns I don't work in at all. If they call up and leave just a first name and their # and say "call me", I blow it off. Those people that pull up next to you on the job, are usually full of sh!t.
  5. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    I hand them a business card and tell them to call me with name, location, etc... If they call with location I will do drive bye during routes if sweet will usually call immediately if not sweet then will estimate at my time not there's. But, my experince is the ones that drive by and ask are usually just that, A Drive Bye!! Cheap, Cheap!!!

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