Networking with the "competition"??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by impactlandscaping, May 11, 2004.

  1. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Just curious to see how many guys out there network with other LCO's in your area to handle different services that you may or may not offer. I know a few other owners here in town, and we have called each other many times to use each other's services on jobs.We can also call or email each other to check on potential hiring of employees. It seems everyone who wants a job has worked for at least one of us in the past....Anyways--- Example, I have a friend / LCO coming to a jobsite Wednesday to level and grade a yard for us. I normally would do it myself, but we have been having machine troubles, and I can sub it for about the same as rental fees. In turn, we are doing some hydroseeding for a few other co's in town who do not offer the service. I know some markets are cutthroat, but there is plenty to go around, and we don't look at each other as obstacles in the way to success, just a quicker way to get there. I also do not do trees anymore, and have been using a buddy of mine who does great work and also does our stumps for us as well. He in turn sends us landscape jobs, because they do not do installs anymore. What do you do and don't do with other companies / owners in YOUR areas???
  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    I sure do, I have subbed out some trimming I cant do with my normal hedge trimmers, ie ones that require extended reach trimmers, and then markup his price about 15%. He also builds fences so I've reffered some jobs to him as well. He's a good guy, good and friendly.
  3. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    I do too. I don't have a vac systema nd I call another company to handle leaf and debris pick-up. Always there in case:D Anway, I have go thim out of a jamb or two when he was sick. It sure can make your life easier.
  4. AuburnGuy

    AuburnGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I also have a good relationship with the competition. He is full time and i am Partime. He also does some landscaping and he has helped me do some of that that my customers wanted. I think its good to have someone you can trust in this business. The other day his truck broke down and i picked up his trailer at took it to my house until he was running again. You never know when you may need some help with something. I also refer some of the larger jobs to him that i don't think i could do.
  5. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,973

    I use a slashing contractor for heavy jobs, has proven a great earner for my business, I just do the quotes use his base fees and 30 to 100%, he bills me I pay after I get paid, works great.

    I've tried using guys with push mower businesses to help with small jobs and when I'm over booked, but it always fails, either poor work or they poach or unreliable, talk about bite the hand that feeds, these morons are thick.

    So now I just stick to ride on stuff and what I can't do my tractor guy does. This is reciprocated too, great arrangement!
  6. Its been a while since I’ve visited LawnSite due to the fact I’ve been running around with my hair on fire // B-U-S-Y…but as I was checking out some of the more recent post, I saw this one and begin to laugh – why – NOT at the post but that I actually considered posting the below but felt it was just to crazy to chew up band width. HOWEVER – given this post, and that’s what this site is for – here you go.

    About 4-5 weeks back my team and me had been working in a very nice neighborhood for a customer who purchased a new home and was preparing his current residence to market. The owner asked me what he (we) needed to do to get it ready other than just mow and trim hedges/shrubs etc. My customers know that I am not one to spend their money freely and always do my best (most always) to save where we can and make the best of it. So, I put together a project plan that included two new (1 600 sq. ft. & 1 250 sq. ft) flower beds stocked with a variety of vegetation (mainly color) with premium fine chip brown mulch in order to add some snap curb appeal and to brighten up the existing entry way too (this property already has everygreens out the yang). This project took us two days (10 hours) as we did half one day and finished up the second. So I was in the neighborhood two days.

    WITH THAT SAID, as we were leaving (turn around at end of block) I notice a LCO with a really nice rig – his trailer was painted to match his dodge and equipment all in place and very professional. I saw a few workers in the front yard, stopped and jumped out with one of my business cards. I ask who was the boss man – and it was the guy I asked. I introduced myself and explained that I like to network/know other LCO’s. I told him that I only had this one customer here and that he was moving and this was a onetime project but I would be happy to pass along his business info to the owner to share with the new buyer for potential business – the jack as* looked me square in the eyes and said NOT INTERESTED! I turned and headed for my truck. Upon entering the truck – my guys tell me he took my business card and tossed it on the ground. So much for that – end of story right –WRONG!

    Last week I received a call from a man who had found my business card in his yard and wanted to talk to me so we setup an appointment. Well – I cracked up when low and behold it was the SAME HOUSE where I had stopped and TRIED to talk to the jack as* LCO.

    One of the first things the owner told me was ‘I recognized your logo and your card matches your truck/trailer signage – you were the outfit that just installed those wonderful beds down the street.’ Now – by this time I’m shocked and still laughing under my breath because I know I got him – this owner is mine now! We discussed his current service company (I’m not one to price cut or talk bad about LCO’s especially those who are reputable and friendly, but I did tell him what had happened). The owner looks me square in the eyes and says – NOT INTERESTED in him (the other LCO) anymore.

    Bottom line…
    I was hired to do a $4700 (30% profit) project.
    Now I have that owner and two others on the same street as regular mowing maintenance customers (annual contracts).

    And I know that two fundamental beliefs I have about professional business were proved yet again by this experience – that is 1 – professional appearance (signage, business cards, uniforms etc and image is important (but not the most important) and 2 – WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!

    In short, YES I attempt to network with other companies (not just lawn/landscape) and with great success as mentioned in the post impactlandscaping mentioned (In fact, very much like what he is doing) and I think professionals should – its called professional courtesy - right!

    Last but not least – IF I EVER SEE THAT JACK AS* LCO AGAIN – I owe him a nice lunch and you can bet I will be handing him 50 business cards with no rubber band around them as I have discovered another way to market my business – JACK AS* LCO’S (hahahahalollololo)!!!

  7. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    Definitley, I deal with a few different LCO's and it has worked out great so far.
  8. I also wanted to mention that LawnSite has been a valuable networking tool. TXTURFGUY who is a memeber here has sent me several new customers and there havce been others.

  9. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    My brother inlaw is a huge company, and one of my best friends also. Help each other out, lend equipment if needed, they send me unwanted accounts. I have a guy who cuts in my neighbor hood who I've gotten close to also, cool guy, sends me accounts, and alot of advice.
  10. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    i sub out all fert jobs, and some landscaping jobs, it helps get my name out for some mowing jobs because the companies i sub to only do fert and landscaping.

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