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Lowballer or ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rixtag, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    I want to agree with Lone Star and add this example:

    You are established in a neighborhood that averages $30-35 per mowing. Some "lowballer" sticks flyers in all the news paper boxes advertising "$18 per yard".

    That is low balling....


    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    theres a lco here that has all the new trucks and equpment. Ok they maintain 2 banking locations. They charge $225 per month yr. round, for both branches. They have to go over every week and at least blow off the parking lots, when grass doesn't need mowing, also trim bushes 2 or 3 times a yr. Now please tell me how anybody can do that and make a profit? Thats less $30 per visit not including overhead, labor, ( usually 2 or 3 guys) equip and fuel. Thats what I have to compete agains't here. Geeezus!!!
  3. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Here we go again. Guys, some of these examples could be reflective of someone that's just starting a business and need cash NOW to feed their family. Granted, there are exceptions. Lowballing, in my opinion, can be seen in this example:

    Guy A goes to look at the job and all he wants is to be paid, doesn't really care about doing the best job. He tells them $40 to get up all the pine needles in their 1/2 acre yard. Bagging. And hauling it off.

    Guy B goes to look at the job and wants to have a good image reflected in his work so he charges whatever his time is worth to him, maybe $120 for the same job, whatever he feels it's worth. He does a good job.

    Guy A lowballed. How did Guy B learn not to lowball? By doing the same thing Guy A did before and (this is key) learning from it.

    If you can do a good job cheaper than someone else and still make money, why not? That's business. :blob4:
  4. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    A lowballer is someone who thinks he has lower overhead than everyone else and then, after a couple of years, tries to sell his accounts because he can't afford a new mower.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Someone competitive knows his expenses and what he needs to make a profit. A lowballer is someone that has no clue as to expenses or cares even less about profit. He works for getting by until something better comes along.
  6. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I'm just guessing, but I bet more than half of the members here don't know why they charge what they charge for their services. I mean I don't believe that many of us know how to determine our true overhead and cost of doing business. I think it's like the kid in school who is afraid to raise his hand to ask a question out of fear of being ridiculed by the class. Then on test day, he blows the test, flunks out of school, can't get into college, so he buys a lawnmower and gets into the business only to fail at that because he is afraid to ask his buddies on a lawncare forum how to figure out his cost of doing business because he is afraid of being ridiculed. I see things changing around this place, and maybe now is the time to get back to basics, ask the hard questions, and be honest with yourself and everyone else on this site. Do you need help figuring out the business side of doing business. Matbe some of the successful operators on this forum can help us or send us someplace for this information. Be honest, should you be on this list? I think I need help, so I'm raising my hand. Be gentle, I'm your lawnsite buddy.
    Bill Craig!
  7. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    Lonestar probably hit this one on the head, but my answer was closer to parkwest's. ;)

    I'll try and clear up some definitions:

    A cad is a person who charges less than another in order to steal an account.

    An unfortunate is a person who charges less than they are worth because they don't understand their total overhead.

    Both are lowballers. I can be angry at the cad and feel sorry for the unfortunate. Regardless, they don't affect my bottom line because I understand my costs after years of being an unfortunate.

    Bill Craig: I'm all for it. Let's talk Cost of Doing Business! After countless months (and yes, years) of hearing what I need to do to understand my bottom line I finally have a clear understanding of what I need to charge on every job. Truth is, it's remarkably simple! However, just hearing about it doesn't do it. You must apply it day in and day out. And you must not cheat yourself!

    I'm looking forward to a fresh, new thread on this topic. ;)
  8. People who buy lawn care don't give a rat’s azz about what equipment you operate or what truck you pull up to the curb.

    They buy on price, reliability and results.

    If you can meet the above standards you will have great and unlimited success.

    There is NO way a contractor that buys $10k GHS walker can compete on paper vs. one who buys nearly new $1200 52" Toro gear drive off ebay.

    When you add in the financing and sales taxes the walker becomes $14k.

    By operating the old Toro vs. the new Walker YOU pocket vs. Bob Walker $8-12 more dollars per hour.
  9. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    In that case, my goal would be to buy the used Toro and charge new Walker prices. ;)
  10. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    What is the size of the property? Hard to agree with you without knowing that....


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