Mega-Lawncare Company

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Feb 15, 2000.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I got a really nice color mailer from a mega-lawn care company yesterday advertising fertilizing for $129.00 for a yard under 4000sqft. For lawns upto 10,000sqft it costs only $169.00. They also offer Supplemental services such as aeration and mowing. And if you are not happy they will work on your lawn FREE OF CHARGE until you are completely happy with the results.<br>How do you compete with this?<br>My suggestion is - I am going to hire them and never be completely satisfied so I won't have to mow or fertilize my lawn this year.
  2. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    hey ed-<br>do they say where they're from?<br> If they're from out of town (depending on how far away), you have a big advantage as the local guy.<br>This is about the same way insurance co.'s like progressive can make low price claims- they get a ton of people & bank on the risk that thay'll have very few complaints for return trips. If all the cust.'s called & had them come back time after time, they'd go bankrupt.<br>Another way they get low prices is they usually use bargain basement products at a bulk price to boot. There 's a guy in my town that does this. I tried the same product, & it didn't work even half as good as the name brand fertilizer I normally use.<br>Plus they have a bunch of 21 yr.olds working for them for min. wage who come in & work like a tornado- get in & get out. <br>You have the advantage cause you can give the personal touch. The cust. is just a number with the big guys, & you can bet they won't give discounts or an occaisional freebie. Give them the analogy of a resturant with personal attention from your waiter vs. McDonalds where billions & billions served. Which would you choose-price or quality? your price shouldn't be that much higher (10-25%) for the quality of better service. Tell them you get what you pay for. <p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  3. jeffclc

    jeffclc Guest
    Messages: 0

    You didn't say if that is a per trip price or a seasonal price. If per trip, it sounds high. Seasonal, how many and what kind of treatments are they offering? The prices could not be all that out of line if they are only offering a basic service, 3 fert apps, no weed control.<p>PLease give us some more information.<br>
  4. OP
    MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Sorry I didn't include the program, here it is:<br>under 4000sq price=129.00 if prepaid<br>up to 10,000 sq prepaid price=169.00<br>5 step program<br>1) fert, preemergent and broadlear weed control<br>2)fertilizer and broadleaf weed control<br>3)slow release nitrogen and IF weeds are present a spot ap of weed control. Insecticide as needed<br>4) fert, broadleaf weed control, Insect as needed<br>5)fertilizer , winterizer<br>It doesn't say if its granular of liquid but I have seen the trucks and know what they do and how it is applied.<br>Smitty is right, this company is from out of the area and I do have loyal customers who want a local small business to do their lawn. I have picked up some business from dissatisfied customers but its hard to convince some why my price has to be so much higher. ed
  5. Mow ED why does your price have to be higher.<br>I would take as many 10,000 sq foots prepay 5 steps at $169.00 PREPAID with the proper density.<p>Here is your total investment:<br>Used cargo van with some body wook done painted white with some fleet decals $5000<br>one lesco spreader $300<br>A couple of can sprayers $50<br>Bags of 46-0-0 that you can buy for $8@<br>A gallon of Confront $105<p>Each app gross $33.80. It will take about <br>5 min to apply and say 5min in travel time<br>so ONE laborer (registered tech NOT certified) can do 6 homes/hour=$202.80/hr gross sales. Minus material cost of $2 worth<br>of 46-0-0 per application and maybe .50 worth<br>on selective herbicide and non-selective to<br>kill the weeds growing thru the sidewalks.<p>So in conclusion in 8 hours the truck and one man will gross $1622.44 PREPAID.<br>fERTILIZER costs $96<br>herbicide cost $24<br>Laborer $100<br>TRuck and fuel $50<br>Total costs $270<p>Net profit for the day is $1352.<p>This comes to a total gross profit margin<br>of 83.6% <p>The problem with most of you guys you have no business sence and until you get some informal or formal business training you will<br>ALL eventually fail in the green industry.<br>
  6. fireball

    fireball LawnSite Member
    from ne Pa
    Messages: 172

    I agree with Larry. But Larry you don't have to be so hard on us guys that are still trying to learn. After all, education is a lifetime expereince. My only addition is that while you can make some serious money duplicating the big guy, you can make even more by analzing why the customers are dissatisfied and filling that need. The customer will pay more when he perceives that he his getting more value to use the McDonalds vs up-scale resturant argument. <p>as far as them working for free on your lawn till your satisfied. I think the practical application of this company's attitude(Tru-green) is that they come back if there is a complaint about an application after that they get rid of the customer. Their theory is that if a customer isn't satisfied after two applications, five applications won't make him happy either. Move on, there are more suckers out there and no sense pouring money down a dark hole. Its true, because they are the one's making the big bucks(read the ServiceMaster Annual Report)have double digit growth every year and much to Larry's chagrin drive new trucks. After Larry, they have done more to make us better business people than we care to admit. They have shown us that you can do it.
  7. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    hey L.S.<br>you wonder why you get tormented in these forums; ask around. You did great up until your profit margin statement- STOP THERE.<br>Everyone, including yourself, started at the beginning somewhere. <br>If you've read other posts, you'll remember mow ed is relatively new to our industry. Nobody starts at the top. As you grow , you pick up things, take training, etc. Why is it so hard to give advice & not throw in the peanut gallery remarks, as you say. The old saying goes 'Better to be silent & thought a fool than to speak & remove all doubt.' <br>We can always glean from knowledge of those with seniority, but don't be such a smart a**. You weren't always the oldest on the block. <br>In addition, I get alot of calls from people that tell me they're fed up with the pathetic service they get from Chemlawn anyways. These big corp. bunches start like gangbusters, then piddle away with quality of service once they take on more than they can handle. Always remember that.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<p><br>
  8. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    Larry mentioned a herbicide called Confront. Is this a better choice than Lesco's Momentum for broadleaf weeds? Any suggestions on finding info on various products like these on the Web?
  9. Hey smitty,<p>Your total cost on a fertilizer application<br>is $25. You want to make 35% gross profit margin. What is your selling price?
  10. likes to mow wrote<br>&gt;Any suggestions on finding info on various products like these on the Web? <br> <br>Use a search engine to find the mfg. web site<br>read the label. Then you may be able to ask a more specific question.

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