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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by osc, Mar 17, 2001.

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  1. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    I have been in lawn and landscape for 6 years and I'm toast. New members may be good for Lawnsite but it is not really that good for those of us already in business. Everyone and his brother is starting a lawn biz and while expenses are going up, people are bidding jobs to work for absolute nothing. There are too many people doing this as a sideline and 2 or 300 bucks a week looks real good to them.

    Last week I lost a 40K per year account to a lower priced outfit that has NEVER CUT A BLADE OF GRASS BEFORE.

    If that wasn't enough, most of my other accounts have informed me that there are more bids coming in than ever before and that my price is now very high. They say these companies all have documentation and references.

    I lost another account to a lower price that is $100 cheaper than what they were paying 6 years ago. It went from $345 to $245 per cut. Gasoline was over 2 bucks last summer, can anyone add?

    Too many people have seen me run up and down the road with a trailor and mowers and they think I'm rich. Sharing info is great but there are now way too many people getting into the biz and it is being ruined. These guys don't even want to pay for their equipment. The recession is going to make things worse as more people look for extra income.

    I'm not trying to discourage any of you in this business but I think that information is way too free to people starting out. Info that many of us worked hard for and paid good money for. I feel that I now have competitors from this site and the info that has flowed freely here has helped to ruin the market in my area. As of right now you can no longer make a decent profit in my area.

    I hope you all have better luck than we are.

  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    Sorry to see it turning bad for you.You got the trucks and a lot of equip. Mabe you could deversify a bit.
    Good luck
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i have been coming to this site for a few months now, and i myself have wondered why on earth people who complain so much about competition would happily give away thier knowledge that came from years of ass busting experience. the fact is it does not take a whole lot of money, or a brain to start a lawn biz, to be succesful at it you u must be durable and able to roll with the punches, most guys , after losing money due to mistakes caused by not knowing what they are doing, combined with the physical stress the job causes, and a need to be able to pay their bills, but cant cus month after month they lose money, are forced out of the business. the people on this site are very knowledgable, respectful, decent people, BUT, they are also creating their own competition by giving out information. kind of like giving away the combination to a lock, then bitching when some one steals yur stuff. sorry to hear the bad news. BOB
  4. Man you are FOS.

    There are 58 hits on this board right now.

    Exactly how many of these 58 are from your little berg in
    Southern Ohio?

    Pull yourself up by your own boot straps and forget about those start up losers and the junk accounts you lost.

    Learn how to market your services to the high end of the
    market in the future so you won't be in this situation year after year.

    I lost a $20k sports field contract from last season do to
    nepotism. I have already made up $10k in new work w/o speinding a dime on advertising.

    In April I will do over $10k just in one shot aerations,
    dethatchings, and renovations (snow mold you know).

    Do to the way my seasonal contracts are structured when it
    gets hot and dry this summer I will still have cash flow
    while spending lots of time at the NJ shore relaxing at
    the beach.

  5. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    I believe the situation OSC has described is very real.

    This is perhaps the best argument for LS to become a fee based site. A place where professionals who are advanced and have established businesses can exchange information.

    If not advanced and established, then willing to pay to access the fountain of knowledge that exists here.

    This is a very hard realization we need to face. Every day, hundreds of lurkers checking in, learning our business. Learning our secrets. Muscling their way into virtually every market in this country. Now the question is what are we going to do about it?

    It hurts. It really does. We have to somehow protect our interests while balancing the needs of Chuck and his site.
  6. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    we all need to pull together, everyday more new compaines pop up and lowball the he11 out of all of us. i wish you guys lucj that are getting hit hard right now.
  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    I admit,lately Ive been tight lipped when asked about how I get my lawns to look so good,and how to stripe it so good.Most who ask are new guys,the same ones who would cut my price by 10 bucks,to get my accounts.Maybe Im mean,but no told me 11 yrs go,I learned on my own,now its there turn.The economy is bringing guys out of the woodworks.
  8. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Fee based!
    It would dramatically increase the level of professionalism of the members and the forum!

    Why not?
    It would "change" LS!

    Why not an online professional organization?
    Schedule in guest posters with special info to share?
    Occasional get togethers?

    just my 2

    We will hit 3000 members soon!
  9. shonts excavation

    shonts excavation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    In my years in buisness i learned that new comers are good
    where i am from i see them come and go every day. I see alot where i am it is what erer i do everyone else does
    I bought a trencher i made good money in 6 mounths i seen trenchers all over they were cutting me by 80% so in 1997 i bought a bobcat charged 50.00 per hour + 25.00 per hour for attachments and in a couple of months everyone had one they were running theres for 15.00 - 25.00 per hour . I thought it would hurt me but it didn't it gave me more work. They might have equiptment but do they know how to use it ???
  10. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I have to go along with Mr. Stone on this one. There isn't that many members in your area on Lawnsite. I have brought 2 in this area to Lawnsite and I have helped them in growing their business. They are not regulars here, that is for sure, but they do check it out.

    We have gotten off the point that if we educate all the lawn companies in the USA and abroad, we can get the pricing up where it should. There will always be new guys starting out that do not price a job right. When all they have is a 21" Murray, they don't feel they need to charge as much. We have all our last year customers back again this season and we have 4 more that want us to do theirs. I'm not against a pay forum, but I don't think educating new members is going hurt us more than help us.

    There are many thousands of lawn companies in the Chicago area, but we have maybe 5 of them on Lawnsite. I think some of you have to rethink about Lawnsite doing anything but good, but this is just my opinion. ;)
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