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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kutnkru, Feb 26, 2001.

  1. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Cut-Throat Competition has begun to rear its ugly head from the woodwork. Here's the latest and greatest in flyers:

    DETHATCHING $90.00
    4 STEP FERT PROGRAM $250.00

    *name changed to protect the stupidity of others

    These were the fliers placed at the homes where the turf areas were an average of 10-13m/sf of serviceable areas.

    Cant wait to see how many customers they get.
  2. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Surely they won't last very long how can they survive at 18dollars per cut? I still don't believe they will efect the work of those who do almost a perfect job. Beautiful work in my area sells itself. Aways has, atleast for the last 10yrs. Marks Mowing Service

  3. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    $18.00-20.00 per cut down here for 10,000 square ft. I guess it depends on what you're paticular market will bring.
  4. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    I charge $60.00 per hour or basically $1.00 per minute. I would say I mow about 1,500 sq ft a minute. 10,000 sq ft takes about 7 minutes to mow. By that LCO's price -vs- mine, that leaves 11 minutes to trim, blow and go. Depending on the site itself and how many yards in the area already servicing, I would say they are in line with what I charge for a straight simple mow account.

    I generally start out at $15.00 a 1/4 acre, but quickly add to that time for all the other site conditions, travel time, extra trimming, etc...

    Of course I can not see your area where these flyers were handed out, and I am not aware of your economy there, but if just a 10,000 - 13,000 sq ft plot of just grass, I would say $18.00 is a average price here. Maybe on the low side for a full maintenance company's price, but not for just a mowing outfit.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Kris I completely understand. I consider an average subdivision lawn about 1/3 to 1/2 acre. I would get around $35 for this.

    I wouldn't even consider putting all this expensive equipment on a lawn for less. I understand all the arguments about our market will not pay more. But you guys pay the same prices for your equipment as I do. Fuel cost are about the same. Insurance, taxes and maintenance is about the same, so why not demand more?

    Your clients work for somebody. Do they get raises? Do the companies they work for accept less payment? Do they pay taxes, insurance, equipment cost and other overhead? Because of costs and inflation alone you should be concerned about prices.

    I'm not talking about the super tiny lawn either.
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Thats whats frustrating to me, just like Hoss stated. In our area those size propeties 99% of the time will be cut by a legitimate contractor for $30-40 per cut.

    The problem and why this enfuriates me so much is because all these cut-throat competitors are doing is driving the fair market value down.

    I dont like to cut the posatge stamps for less than $18 and prefer to get $22. I also agree with Scott that we should get $60 an hour.

    However, I believe in minimums as well. I dont know maybe its just me, but when I bid Residential lots I bid for how long it takes using one 36" to cut. Then when we show up with a 48,52,or60" deck mower that's less time involved and more profit in our pocket.

    I also think that many contractors forget to factor in what we call STUD time for the day when bidding on Lawn Accounts as well. Thats Start Travel Unload and Dump. These factors all have to be added to that inital 18 minutes.

    Just what I think.

  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Dont worry about it.

    I find that most all my worthwhile accounts were obtained through referral, and as far as referrals go it seems price is secondary.

    IOf you feel a compelling need to go after the price shopping pennysaving ad scanning customer then by all means go ahead since you will not only get a customer but one that expects much more for their shrunken dollar than the next one.
  8. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 695

    Don't worry in the summer when it dries out their customers will be calling you for a bid in the fall because their "experts" went under. Then you can tell them that the professionals had were lowballers and are out of business because of this.
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Bill point taken about you get what you pay for, and YES I understand how they(the penny-pinching-mongrels) will always expect more for their vast expense account with their current LCO -LOL.

    However, when customers begin to see that more and more newer companies are offering the same services this makes the customer's start to re-think what exactly the value of their dollar is. They too often forget about the quality factor when contemplating this.

    I remember in our area two years ago many of the LCO's that I have admired the work of, and often looked to for sage advice found their customer's began to price shop. I know that these were also contractors who had been towards the top of the ladder in pricing, yet the quality of their work was phenominal. And they were only $5-8 more per cut than I. So I guess when I see this, it sort of makes the pucker factor hit.

    I guess the problem then comes down to the moral deliemma of when clients begin to call you back because of the lack of professionalism(to quote Mike), should we then charge them an increase for the quality workmenship they desire to have again or do we just take them back as if nothing ever happened??

    Thats the main reason why these guys are so frustrating to me, is because they force us to make decisions that I feel that we shouldnt have to. Then again maybe its a good lesson for the customers so they will appreciate both the quality and value of the dollars they are spending with us more.

  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I have a lady that will chase me around the yard to give me a check. She had so many problems with past people she wanted to make sure I showed up next week. Once it gets really humid down here in the summer the lowballers head for the air conditioning. On the issue of taking back customers that left. I would definately raise the price! Maybe only a buck or 2, but raise it. I'm not real sure I would take them back, but it will be several years before the $$$ come into play again. haha.

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