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Lost a total of 41 houses this year

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ponyboy, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,572

    Well I guess I am in for a tough year lost 41 houses and only 1 was not happy with the work the rest just found cheaper lco. I am not the cheapest and not the most expensive I just know what I have to charge to make money and not do it for free. Well 23 were in a bid and thats where I am pissed off about and confused. The other houses do not really bother me well I guess they do but after several years with them min 6 years they were able to find lco to do it cheaper now then in the past???
    The 23 was a non profit bid that I have had for 5 years now and never had to bid them out, well they got audtied and this year they had to bid it out,they loved my service and are not happy that i was not low bid but i can not be low bid, I kept 8 of the houses only because the guy in cahrge of the bid did not put them on the list that is how unorganized he was i just bid them because i knew about them. I consider my self a med sized lco and was amazed how low these houses went for most are small houses that takes 3 guys about 25 minutes to cut, weed, weed whack and blow and the shrubs about 2 hours or 6 man hours s/c about 6man hours with edging and removale and f/c about 8 man hours and removale these house weny fot $1050 for the year that is crazy low how can it be done? The big property was $2400 a month all included except chemicals somebody came in at $720 a month it costs more in labor what is wrong with people? These are all legit lco w/ insurance and the works people were giving mucl as low as $30 a yard installed how?
    Well I cut back 1 crew this year to off set the loosing these customers it bothers me because i usually only lose about 3 a year this year everbody is shopping and looking for the cheapest out there.
    Anybody else saying whats going on? After 20 years in business this is one of the worst i can recall and i do not see it getting any better. i will be fine but it hurts when you lose over $100k in houses in one year guess i am done venting hope all is better for the rest of you
  2. schunklawn

    schunklawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    man that hurts to think about...i am a smaller lco in the area, but still do a bunch of business. I haven't had any trouble capturing business from long lived customers as well as new '08 customers. i am getting $70 a yard for mulch on average and also have hit most lawn cutting bid at 10% higher than i would usually and closing them. may just be location. i hope i didn't talk to soon, but i hope you recover with some bigger one time jobs that will make up for the losses.

    No Bunk
  3. jsaunders

    jsaunders LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,781

    sorry to hear that- you will cut down on expensense like you said by dropping one crew- work to be the most efficient as you can and you will find you will be making better money per hour.
  4. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,572

    I still have over 250 most of them full maintenance customers left i am just amazed at some of these peoples prices how can they stay in business i will recover and upsell my customers like i said they all loved the service times are getting tough and they have to make cutbacks some where, thanks
  5. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 829

    I guess you saw my post "This year is off to a bad start". I guess since I have only lost 4 (but they were all lost over the last 2 weeks, my situation may not seem as bad as yours. But I am much smaller LCO than you. So it hurts. I am really beginning to get frustrated this year. Some of the reasons they give for using another LCO are just stupid lies. And I call them out when they lie. Of course it does no good. But I don't just take the B.S.
    I hate to hear your situation. I hope things will turn around for you, me, and some of the others.
  6. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    When Bush was elected oil was $28 a barrel, now it's $111 a barrel and rising.:(
  7. jsaunders

    jsaunders LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,781

    Yeah the $2400 month cut to $720 underbid was crazy. I even told my wife and she said it was nutz. At least that company should be out of business at the end of the year.
  8. N.H.BOY

    N.H.BOY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    Well the customers that bailed out this year for cheaper LCO, they will get crapy service and see that you took good care of them. The customers will then call you in the middle of the year and beg for you to come back:clapping: good luck to you...
  9. GroundEffects125

    GroundEffects125 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    man im sorry to hear that
  10. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,572

    the best part is that all except the non profit houses are paying cancellation fess because they were in an automatic renewale contract. some lcos will give their work away ,i can go broke sitting home why go broke trying to work? these prices me and several other lco are seeing from people are insane, i do not think my customers are lyeing they probally need to save a few hundred dollars because everbody is feeling the money crunch, my wife said sell 2 trucks that are mainly used for snow on the non profit houses and when they call for a bid raise the price and if we win it then just get another truck. oh they said that the new lco are not intresed in the snow and that i was the only lco that handled snow as promised and that i should get it back, that i think is bs it will have to be bid and again someone will do it for free. so i knew this was comming for about a month and that is why i cut back one crew and i think selling off my extra trucks is the way to go and i will see where else i can trim some fat from bigger is not always better we will just keep looking for those who like quality at a fair price sounds easier than it really is

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