Legit vs Non

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rootytalbot, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Customers don't care. I tell people I have insurance and they look at me like I think they don't carry a homeowners policy. License?? - for what, James Bond? To cut grass, hahaha.
    So I bid a yard - time and OVERHEAD included - 50 dollars per visit.

    Next bidder (not legit) - time and NO (business) OVERHEAD included - 30 per visit.

    Does the customer really care that I pay a business tax to help support the health insurance and retirement packages of the local government workers?? Or does the customer want to keep 20 dollars in their pocket every week for 30 weeks -- 20 times 30 equals 600 - and, insurance, the customer probably thinks that nothing will happen and if it does their homeowners will pay for it - and if they think like me they figure the county gov workers don't do anything (except vote) for their cadillac health plans - so screw 'em!

    Who gets the job?? Me or Juan from Goobenzuela?

    I guess he did.

    Who is supposed to protect my business interests from the low ballers and amigos?? Am I supposed to do it? Do I roll up and demand to see their license? Do I ask for proof of insurance? The customers never do. No one has ever asked me if I have insurance. Ever. No one has ever, once asked me if I am licensed. Not once. They really do not care. All they care is about is the same that I care about - How much does it cost??? The bottom line.

    Our local Mayor wanted to get re-elected so he hired a ($35,000) firm to see if having a health plan was a good idea. Turns out it sounded like a great idea - only problem was it could not be implemented until after the election - wonder how the local town workers (and family members) voted??

    Mayor Butthead gets re-elected and now WE have budget issues - and guess what?? our little portion of the county (already have a license to work in county) now requires its own license - oh, good another fee for me - the worker - and free healthcare for the slugs that sit in the air conditioning - its a win, win. To stay legit my fee has to increase - but the non-legit just keeps on plugging away, as busy as ever - maybe even more so.

    If you are gonna do commercial, then by all means, get all the forms, fees, licenses and insurances you can afford.
    But if you are just doing a mow blow and go on rez accnts, you might want to consider options. Ask Bubba Mowerson with the HD Cub Cadet, and the handheld blower (80 CFM) or Juan Valdez with the 1994 Exmark (5000 hrs, original blades) what his business plan is??? Or maybe ask the tween with a push mower tied behind his bike what he thinks about the new law??? It might give you some basic pricing/quoting insight that you never considered.

    So what do YOU get for being legit???
  2. Southern grass

    Southern grass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Well said my freind all people care about is getting the cheapest freaking price they can. I go to work everyday because millions of slobs on welfare and food stamps depend on me to. This system is set up for failure soon people will get so fed up with having to work there butts off while others sit in there govt houses and eat there govt steaks that there stamps paid for the man that gets out and works everyday will soon say hey if they can do it so can I once this happens the system will fail because nobody is paying the taxes from working to support this lazy system
  3. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    Bid jobs in a better part of town. Qualify your customers before you even go to the property. if all the customer wants is "wack the grass down", tell them that they have called the wrong guy. There are lowballers in every town and every year there will be more. I know what I need/want to make. if they don't want to pay me, then I don't want to drop the gate. not sure why this is such a hard thing for some to grasp, but I'm in my first year and have plenty of work. my cheapest lawn is $35 and I'm in and out in 20 min. The majority of them are $40-60 per cut, weekly. My customers like me, I talk to them and treat them as people. I sell myself harder than the work I do or the price I charge and it makes me money.

    My customers dont get bids from other companies, they dont ask me why I charge the older couple (next door) with the same size lawn $10 less than them. I build rapore with my customers from the second I introduce myself and immediately try to gain their trust. I tell them things they don't want to hear about their lawns then follow it up with, "I'm not gonna tell what you want to hear, but I will be absolutely honest with you". The majority of people might not like what you said, but they will remember that you were honest with them.

    The first time I called customers and left messages that I was skipping them due to slow growth, they all called me back and thanked me for not cutting it anyway just make a buck, or for saving them a few dollars. One felt bad since I was there looking at the property and asked me to hit her Lilies with the weed sacked since they were done blooming. It took me 5 min and she insisted I take the full amount for the mowing since I was there.

    screw the low ballers and focus on your business and more importantly focus on your customers.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    nobody cares about insurance until something happens and then listen to the screaming.
  5. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    Your looking at it all wrong, insurance isn't to protect the customer. Its to protect ourselves from our customers. lol
  6. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    The fact of you having insurance is not a sell point. Its part of the cost of doing business. It sounds like your sales pitch is directed to the wrong aspect of your business. You should focus your sales delivery on reliability, professionalism, and the knowledge of what you offer. Like others said it seems like you are marketing to the wrong customers. If sales is not your strong suit you should look into webinars that can give you some pointers on the basics of sales. There is way more to it then "hey I've got a mower can I mow your lawn for 50.00" that's what the "amigos" and the " lowballers" do but they only charge 30.00. And they make a sale. When you hire out work for your house do you take the lowest price for a roof or a new bathroom? Or do you say "he isn't charging enough I bet he doesn't have insurance".
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  7. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    That's not what I'm saying - I have insurance and its cheap compared to the insurance I had as builder and real cheap compared to the insurance I had as a home inspector. I got no problem having insurance.

    My gripe is the business tax (license) - I have to bid against those that don't and I'm on a county line so I have two, plus the nearby city, and now the freakin town that I live in. I mean, come on. Thats freakin ridiculous. Not just the fee, but all the time in filling out all those forms. One tax per business per state is plenty - if they want to roll out all the fancy benefits for gov workers they should make the gov workers pay for it - not me.
  8. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Not sure what a webinar is -- but I see your point. I will see what I can do to polish my salesmanship and I will see if I can find out what a webinar is. thanks.
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,648

    My insurance is no where near 40% of my business, you might want to switch carriers
  10. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    I like your post you made alot of good points that I agee with plus I enjoyed your funny sarcastic humor. Hopefully some day America can get back to working together again the way everyone can do well and we are not working against each other as much. But for now we can all just try to work hard in our own buisiness plans and try to suceed the best we can even if its hard seeing your neighbor get that free welfare check every month.

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