top quality, those days are behind us

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    it was once a belief, that perhaps held some water, that you should do a top quality job, at a premium rate. those days are behind us now. for alot of people, having a lawn service is no longer a luxery, but a neccesity. almost every household is a 2 income household, husband and wife both working, kids in daycare or at the babysitters, high mortgages and car payments must be made. this forces both parents to work, and even dad gets a part time thing on saturday for some fun money. so, they are looking for a REASONABLE quality service, at a moderate price. when i worked in the printing industry, i saw a change over time. the type of work we did is called "inline finishing". originally, a product would be printed at one facility, then shipped to other facilities to be die cut, glued, and folded on different type of equipment. inline finishing however, was the art of doing all of those steps, on one big machine, all at the same time, and eliminating all the other "middlemen". now, this was never done before. i worked for the man who invented this process in the late sixties. by the late 70's/early 80's, he perfected the process. that's when i started, in the early 80's. he charged an obscene fortune for his work, and why not, nobody else could do it. he also produced a top quality product. as the years went on, and others began duplicating his process, his value went down. by the time i left the industry in 03, the "top quality" approach had diminished to "borderline commercially acceptible" and "whatever we can get away with" and was sold at a competitive price. the same thing is happening in the mowing business. people no longer, as a whole, are willing to pay top dollar for a top job. they want commercially acceptible, at a reasonable rate. how do we survive ? keep overhead low LOW LOW, and cut corners, no one notices but you and me, and i don't know about you, but i, don't give a crap! gone are the days of a top job for a premium rate, and upon is, a half azzed job, at a reasonable price. sorry to bust your bubble, it's just the way it is
  2. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    mabey for your customer base......

    not so with a lot of others....

    that's why you target higher income homes who have more disposable income...
    people that drive a $140K mercedes instead of a $14K honda are more than willing to pay more for premium services.

    these people don't buy cheap things....
  3. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Yardpro, Not so in my experiences. The people driving the $14,000 hondas dont blink an eye at spending $5,000 on new landscaping. I give that same price to the couple with the $60,000 cars in the driveway of there $900,000 houses and they give me a look as if I just killed there first born. Thats how the rich just keep getting richer.... there cheap! :dizzy:
  4. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    They have to pay for the Cars, houses, and their life style. A Millionaire car dealer looked at me as if I were insane, when I quoted him a price on new bushes and sod loll.

    The more they make the higher rate of debt they have and the cheaper they are lol.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    ya, ok, that's why i get people who drive rusty old station wagons peelin off 4k in greenbacks to pay thier landscape bill, and the guy with 2 mercedes and a jag is asking for a payment plan on a $300 tab
  6. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    I think it varies from one person to another. There are some people that wouldn't pay anything to have their lawn mowed. There are other people that just want the best looking yard in the neighborhood and are willing to pay for it. Then there are a lot of people in between that balance what level of quality they are willing to accept with what they can afford to pay for it.
  7. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I agree to an extent. Most of my customers want an acceptable job at a resonable price. Some people do however want to spend big $$$ for the apperance and curb appeal. I am seeing a downward half-azz trend though.
  8. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    Around here its the price, others will cut throat you in a heartbeat...some guys have the market locked in with prices. as far as being professional, forget it, this people do not know the meaning, will i affect the flow? No way...I'm just truckin' along!!!

    next year I pulling the JustMowit, little truck with 21" for $15.00 a yard!!
  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    So Mr. Gedd, tell me this.
    You admit you don't offer premium work. I'm not sure your rates are "reasonable" since you seem to have a surcharge for everything. So how do you retain your clients?... it sure isn't dependability, cause you'll get there when you get there, and you sure can't keep em on your "charm"... I guess it must be the shovel that keeps your customers around. ;)
  10. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Blue collier is the way to go my in voice is dated the 3 my check is in the bank on the 5. I service some hi end customer too but where always last to get payed knowing this in advance lets me tack a few hundred on the bill for my time

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