Lowballers V/S More Effecient Services


LawnSite Member
Kansas City, MO
Lowballers are looked down upon around here. And rightly so if they are cheating the goverment by not paying taxes. Cheating is cheating.

Let me suggest, however, that every lowballer is NOT cheating. I can mow a 39 acre property for $625/time for good money. Many services would charge double. How do I do it? EFFICIENCY! That's what it is all about.


LawnSite Member
Kansas City, MO
So lets look at the parts that make up efficiency:

1) Expenses- researching best equipment per dollar, best/quickest service per dollar, low-maintenance mowers, etc. Do everything you can to lower your expenses! Do you really need a $20,000 truck? Analyze your expenses.

2) Advertising- most effective ads for low prices. Some services spend $500 dollars advertising before they have a single customer. Take time to print up flyers and go door to door (CHEAP!). Give small discounts for increased customers. Put work and time into it and reap the benefits.

3) Time management- take your NET PROFIT and divide it by the number of ACTUAL hours you put into mowing in one year (including research, trips to the dealer, clean up, etc.) Disappointed? Probably so. Find ways to do the job quicker without comprimising quality.

4) Employees- do you really need that many? Regularly evaluate how effecient they are working. Cut 'em if you must, but make sure they are worth the cost.

5) Reputation- this is the most important. Act with integrity. Be kind and flexible. Don't be some hard-nosed uncaring individual. Your presentation to potential customers, especially residential ones, can you land you the job, even if you're not the lowest bid!


LawnSite Silver Member
$16/acre is a little cheap for my blood... even i was cutting it with a 10'+ swath.

1.) a cheap truck is like a cheap mower... always nickel and diming you

2.) advertising... sorry, i've got a better idea than walking around.

3.) with my advertising my route only gets tighter.

4.) i don't have any at the moment, however down the road i plan on running 2 crews

5.) you're mowing for $16/acre. i really hope you're not getting underbid. if you are, move, find a wealthier part of town/city/county/state/country to work in.


LawnSite Senior Member
Here we are, opening the can of worms again. LOL

Actually, I agree with you for the most part. My hourly rate might be $50/hour but I have a $10/hourly overhead vs a company with a $60 rate with a $20/hour overhead, as an example. The result, almost the same, but not quite.

Yes, as an individual, you CAN make very good money. $30, $40, $50+ an hour vs much less in the corporate world. You might win a few more bids as well. But the advantages with a crew of men can be very beneficial as well. Two men can do twice the work per hour, hopefully if they are competent. And the joy of owning multiple crews is the OPTION to join in the work, or not. You continue to make good money on the backs of others, in your organization.

Really, I believe that's what it's about. At least for me. I'd like the option to participate in servicing, but know that the business will operate even though I don't. And then there are people who truely love this line of work, just because. More power to them.

Both ways can pay well. It's up to you to decide at what level are you happy at and can say "I'm satisfied where I am right now".

But as far as $625 for 39 acres, that depends on your time. To long and it's not worth it, but a fast time will net a good rate. If you cut that in 7 hours, for example, I'd say that's good money.

J Hisch

LawnSite Bronze Member
Evansville IN
No way I would cut 39 acres for 625.00 even if you put six machine on it..........I can spend time on more profitable things..And Yes its nice to have a choice if you want to mow or not.

Lawn Dog2001

LawnSite Bronze Member
South Carolina
Originally posted by Rook00
I can mow a 39 acre property for $625/time for good money. Many services would charge double. How do I do it? EFFICIENCY! That's what it is all about.

Why would you want to be that much less than your competitors? You are only hurting yourself. Maybe your making money. But whats wrong with more money???

The best way to bid is just slightly under the price of your competition. That way you are still making fair market value, and you get the job.


Yardley, PA.
Originally posted by Rook00
I can mow a 39 acre property for $625/time for good money. Many services would charge double. How do I do it? EFFICIENCY! That's what it is all about.
Keep in mind that some charge more simply because they want more. Not ncessarily because they have to in order to cover expenses. It can be that they like a different quality of life. They charge that much so that they CAN afford that $20,000 truck.
If you're content to drive a cheaper truck, then you can charge less.
And a cheaper house, and cheaper hobbies, and cheaper dining, etc, etc.
It's what you feel your time is worth.
Unfortunately for those that want more out of life, they are often competing with guys that only want beer money.