Jaw Dropping Rates!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by doitforjohnny, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. doitforjohnny

    doitforjohnny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    If you've read my other "trailer" post I just recently started a lawn care business.
    I'm in the process of making flyers and figuring out what to charge. Well I called around to other companies in my Riverside California area to get an idea of what the rates are out here. I myself figured 35.00 dollars a lawn. Well I was on the phone with one guy acting like I was a homeowner looking for lawn service. I asked him "so how much for a mid size house"? He said "I can't give estimates over the phone but it's somewhere between 40-60 dollars" Ok, now I was happy by this time. Then I said "so if it's 40 dollars a week then that would be 160.00 a month? He said "no no no! I do it for 40 a month and I come once a week so that's 10 dollars a lawn. 40 dollars a lawn is crazy nobody does it for that much"!

    My jaw dropped and my eyes sprung out of my head!!!!!! BOING!!!!

    I called another guy and he does lawns for 30 bucks a month, once a week (7.50 a lawn). Am I missing something? Is this a low rate? Is the Californis rate?

    Is there any other guys on here that are from Riverside/California or close by that can explain this?

    FYI the first guy ran 4 crews and the second one was a solo operator.

  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Dang, I thought my area was bad!! There is no way they can do a yard for these prices with gas and equipment prices. I will not drop my tailgate for less than 35 a yard or its not worth messing with. We have several LCO who have a minimum charge of 50 per lawn per week.
  3. GroundForce007

    GroundForce007 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 32

    i would never do a lawn for that price thats stupid
  4. Americal Vet

    Americal Vet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    $10.00 or $7.50 per lawn?????:confused: And running 4 crews to boot:confused:

    I don't know how in the hell they will stay in business. That won't even begin to pay for fuel and routine maintenance:hammerhead:
  5. GroundForce007

    GroundForce007 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 32

    yeah that wont even get you gas to get there lol
  6. CrewKut

    CrewKut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 193

    Maybe you should quote the jobs and then sub it to them and keep the difference! Just kidding :laugh:

    Those rates are incredible, I can't imagine they'll be in business very long.
  7. doitforjohnny

    doitforjohnny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    Maybe they cut and trim in like 10 minutes? But still that is just plain stupid business practice.

  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    a lot of co's do this,

    they will fill up your lawn with 4 to 5 guys and be outta there in 10 minutes.

    the only problem is that when ya do that, your guys will knock out 25-30 a day,

    they come in and there dead dog tired, so they look for other jobs.
  9. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    That doesn't make sense. What you have described to us would be considered extreme low-balling.

    And by the way, your name (doitforjohnny)...isn't that a quote from "The Outsiders?" Besides the fact that Johnny is your name.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah but I doubt they have someone that really can or does do it for that rate because they ALL say that.
    They're likely just bluffing, but in this case he said *I* do it for $40, now you can't expect to compete with a DIY'er rate...

    But for the most part, most of them are likely just bluffing, it comes natural at this stage of progress.
    Some will tell you they have someone who will do it for (insert ridiculous stupid low rate here). All you do then is say "ok then you go ahead and call that guy, thanks for calling" click. You have to be ready to walk away, and do it. I suppose it might take a few of these before the jaw-drop turns to sheer boredom, worst case is by the time you've heard it 100 times, you should see what I mean.

    Anyhow you just have to know they can and will pull this stuff on you, but the reality could be an entirely different story.
    Either way, there are some good answers (other than walking away, but you need to be ready to walk first, for real):

    "So how much for a mid size home?"
    - "Sir, if I could have your address I'll have an estimate for you within the hour." (or by evening, next morning, whatever)
    That's it, you need their address, everything else leaves room for argument or discussion, that's what we try and avoid here.
    For real, if they come back with "I just want a price" or any other phone shopping, one more time:
    - "Sir, I'd like to have your address, once I have this piece of vital information I will be more than happy to estimate the work."
    No address, more argument? No deal.
    So long you ask nicely, if they push or try to force the issue then that's their bad, address and please, thank you.

    Then you just go out there and do that thing, thou you will lose a few right off the bat (on the phone even) this simply saves you the hassle. Once you get it worked out, you call them back and give them the gist of things, how much, basically.
    Make sure the phone number you have is a valid point of contact as well.

    Hope that helps.

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