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Scrubs Cracking?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Charles, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,822

    I see some new ads in the paper for commercial(not brand names of course) and craptsman type stuff for sale in the paper. I think some of the newbies are realizing there are only so many pieces in a pie. If I am not getting any calls for new cuts I know they are not even with their senior discounts, lowest prices in town, lowballing ads. Either that or they finding no profits working so cheap with the price of gas as high as it is. So I am waiting like a cat to pounce LOL. I had a high turnover the past couple of years and not many new calls for business. And no wonder! Saw a mini van pulling a trailor yesterday and a guy in a pick up loaded with equipment in the bed and they are just everywhere with all the layoffs around here.
    The stress of it all has me scanning the ads for a parttime job myself. I dont have the patients of a cat and dont really like speculating on whether the calls will start coming when the heat is on.
    I called the local paper about the lack of calls and she said their just too many ads. WELL DUH!!
    We definitly need more industry in our area to keep these people busy and all we are getting right now is service type jobs. And we got people fighting new industry that wants to come in.
    If some of you guys think this cant happen to you that is what I thought a few years back. All I was worried about was whether it rained.
    I am not going broke but the biz is nothing like it use to be.
  2. Eric ELM

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

    We lost a customer to a lowballer this season, but picked one up the next day, so it all evened out. I guess some of these lowballers know the value of their work. :)

    This company that got it, does very poor work and they only sharpen the blades when their mowers go into the dealer for repairs. I also know the dealer. I saw one of their machines in for repair one day and I felt the blades. The edge was like a round pencil. :D
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,822

    Eric, glad it evened out for you. Thats what I am counting on for next month the low quality types getting fired or dropping out.
    I had a slightly less than a full schedule last year. But over the winter I lost a church(they split up and no longer could afford lawn care and the preacher was going to do it). People moved or started doing it for them selves. Just like that a large part of the biz is gone. And like last year the calls have stopped coming in to replace them. I try to do work to perfection and am very nice to customers and flexible. I have not lost work because of quality. I expect turnover for one reason or another. But the last few years the calls have just trickled in for grasscutting. I guess it has to do with the size of the population versus the % of lawn care people. They are not all just scrub either I am focusing on. Their are some very large outfits out their that are even working multiple towns up and down the interstate. I dont know how they going to make it. So I am not just blaming scrub or lowballers. I would feel better if thats all their was. I have a busy day today though just waiting on the dew to evaporate
  4. Eric ELM

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

    I saw a sign in a front lawn of a resident yesterday and this LCO is from 45 miles west of here. I can't believe they would drive that far to do lawns. It is a big town they are from and the cost of gas and tolls to get to here has to be costing them big bucks.

    The lowballer that is in my area also puts out these metal signs saying they did the lawn. Is this a common thing in other areas putting out signs like this?
  5. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    Eric,I`ve seen lco`s put out signs in yards they do.They normally give the customer a discount in exchange for the advertising.Go figure.
  6. River Hill

    River Hill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    I just started seeing signs like that here in Maryland. They have been installed when the person has done the muching and the lawns. I now this person has started to receive a great deal of calls. I would not put up a sign just for mowing as a customer looks at the whole landscape. If you just did the cutting and the persons plant beds were overgrown it would leave a bad image.
  7. Not in my area. That's real tacky. I don't think any of the homeowners I have for customers want a mini billboard on the property.

    Local laws and deed restrictions might make this a no-no.
    You should check with the local govt types if this even can be allowed.
  8. Freetime

    Freetime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    It is against city ordinance here to place a sign of any kind in the lawn unless you are doing work as in remodel, landscape construct, new home construct, and only as long as you are their then the sign has to go.

    Guy (full time policeman) had his sign pulled from vacant corner lot about 3 weeks ago it was a nice sign like real estate. City inspect said “you are not doing continuing work on the property” and impounded the sign, small town politics don’t you just love it.
  9. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 695

    We just got our signs.. We put them out when we do mulch and landscape jobs.. NOT on weekly cuts.. The first day that I put one on a job site we got a call that night....
  10. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Checking the classifieds seems like it might be a good gauge on the "State of the Industry".

    I still see new guys all the time cutting my island for pennies.

    Most of my business is still my annual customers I picked up last year. A few one-timers coming back from last year too. No way I'm turning it down, although my goal was "full service or no service". Things are are different now. I NEED the cash flow. New equipment to pay for. Food would be nice, but I gotta cut expenses lol!
    Another yet met goal is to raise my prices. But I'm finding it challenging to sign people to last years prices!

    Hope I can continue to compete.

    I believe a local professional association could help raise the standard of the industry, but gotta educate the competition on the benes of associating w/ each other first first.

    No time for that, I'm just trying to pay my bills!
    You know the story.

    BTW Charles, I work outta min-van and loaded 5x10 trailer.
    Maybe that was me you saw!

    I got this route that takes me through the piedmont and into Clemson...
    Maybe I passed you along the way!LOL

    [Edited by Island Lawn on 04-27-2001 at 10:39 AM]

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