Look in the mirror:

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Lizard Lawn Care, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. Lizard Lawn Care

    Lizard Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I have heard a hundred times in Lawnsite that companies are tired of being low-balled!

    Here is the dictionary definition:
    low-ball or low·ball (lbôl)
    tr.v. Slang low-·balled, low-·bal·ling, low-·balls
    To underestimate or understate (a cost) deliberately: “He often took illegal cash payments from developers in return for... low-balling the cost of construction and renovation work” (Boston Globe).

    People state a new company, a bunch of kids, a small company, teenagers gave a lowball price. Maybe we should all look at what we have done in the past before we start pointing fingers....:nono:
    what did you do when you were a new company, probably like the rest of us and gave cheaper prices to get business..... most people believe some money is better than no money.....as we continue to grow and become more estabilished we can then charge a premium for our services....:rolleyes:

    I have a small company, just me, the only employee, no payroll taxes, work comp, FICA, nada!!!! I can charge 30% less than you and we will net the same anount. (assuming you are operating ligeally and have a staff) the way I see it, if I sit behind a desk, make calls and send out my crews everyday, I will have to have 3 crews to make what I make solo.......

    I dont find out what the competition charges in town and then beat it by 10%.... if I did that I would go crazy.......
    instead, I charge what I can be satisfied making.....my minimum is $30.00 per hour....(man hour)...I make 45,000 (net) a year and dont work to hard....not so many stresses.......and charge a cheaper price....... you do the math!

    A lot of other LCO's may say I low ball them, I do.... but then again there are companies that low ball me.....I dont get pissed...just realize that company can do it cheaper or will be out of business in a month!

    I bet you keep your customers happy, they will stay...... you get lazy, greedy, grouchy, rude, unprofessional, or perform lackluster work.... there looking for someone else (hopefully me). :clapping:

    If someone wants to get in this business, they can do it with a 21" push mower and a ryobi trimmer and edger from home depot, and I am willing to help them any way I can.......and you should be too....

    Dont be a whiner!!!:cry: be a hard workinh inspiration to others:rolleyes: :usflag: ....

    I am probably going to be banned from this site, but thats my opinion!
  2. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Well, you have a good point. Ive been business for 11 years and now very stable. I will admit it was tough the way i started out. i did not know nothing about landscaping or the business end of it either. I had a brand new 753 bobcat and a 1979 rebuilt piece of junk 1 ton truck with no dump bed. Iwas in the auto body business and able to rebuild it. Yes i was cheap cut prices to get work but i did not take on something that i really couldnt do or make worse. I tried to be legal with licenses and ins. The only thing on this site that really gets to me is a newbe asking how and to price a major retaining wall or paver job. This could be very costly liability and agervation wise to take on not having a clue what you are doing. I started with the bobcat moving dirt and gravel, etc., this is hard to screw up. If you spend enough time any one sooner or later can get a gravel driveway or a couple loads of top soil in back yard to look good. I worked with another contractor on srw than started to build them my self. I still do not do pavers, im a 2 man company and stay very busy with srw and new yard installs. Having proper licenses , ins., and business ethics any one new or old acquire. Im still a lot cheaper than some of my competion due to being a small company. How ever being small does not make you exempt from business responcebilitys. I carrry proper ins., workers comp, payroll taxes, and a Md. home imp. licenses. When i see a new guy out there trying and plays on the same field as i mentioned , i offer assistance, but when you have the wonders who refuses the business elements as i mentioned i will dump on them real quick. I am ready to turn in a guy in my area for no licenses, he was warned several months ago by other contractors to get them. He bidded a srw against me and was $1,500.00 cheaper than me on a 5000.00 job. I do not appreciate this.
  3. D and H Seasonal Services

    D and H Seasonal Services LawnSite Member
    from SE, Pa
    Messages: 68

    I would hate to admit it but I would have to agree with most of your statement
  4. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    Hey Lizard Boy,
    Im in your area also.
    Your 30.00 per hour is way to low even if you dont have all that overhead!
    You still have a truck and insurance, rent or mortgage?
    Subtract that out of your 30.00 per hour and you might as well get a job at Mc Donalds.
    If Im not grossing 72.00 per hour working myself its not worth it because even though I dont have all the overhead like the big guys do, I still have health ins, truck ins, house payment, bills, groceries, and the list goes on.

    But on the other hand you might live in single wide?
    Cause at 30.00 an hour you sure are not ever going to live in the New Tampa area..:hammerhead:
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No doubt, and I'll add that it's not all the Lco's fault. At least HALF the blame lies with the customer, over half of them ALL want something for nothing and will stop short of nothing to get it.

    The new Lco is as guilty of lowballing in order to generate the sales he needs to survive as the customer is guilty of taking advantage of that, meanwhile we were at the time, mostly unaware of it all. That part I wouldn't have minded (being unaware), what I had (and still have) a problem with is I suspect the customer was and is aware of what they're doing most of the time, that's the only part I truly resent, the rest I can tolerate.

    But look at it this way: I gave an estimate today for someone who wanted a 1/2 acre wooded area cleaned of the leaves...
    My estimate: Several thousand dollars (yes, literally, that's what I said).
    So now this lady is going to call around until she finds someone willing to bust their tail to clean up leaves in the woods, I'd say she's willing to pay 200-400 maybe 600 dollars tops.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't touch it because you CAN'T make it spotless for one, the ground is so soft you really can't get any equipment in there (like a pushblower) as it will sink (not to mention trees in the way), and the leaves have likely been accumulating there for 100 years... But I am sure someone out there will ... And I have to admit, if I were in my first or second year, I likely would've attempted this.

    And if you're NOT a low-baller, then would YOU clean that 1/2 acre wooded lot of leaves for $400?
    Well I don't know how thick they are, think woods, trees, nobody's touched it in years.
    Well, would you? And if the answer is no, guess what? That's all she'll pay.
    No she didn't say it, but I can read between the lines.
    So who IS the lowballer when only a lowballer can get this job?

    It is a dog eat dog world.
  6. Lizard Lawn Care

    Lizard Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Hey Yamapoopski:

    I was fortunate, I am the only singlewide allowed in Calusa Trace.
    (No need to be rude because I stated my opinion, I am glad you make 72.00 per hour, maybe someday I can make that much as well.....)

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