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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yardsmith, Apr 3, 2000.

  1. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    Just browsing thru the classified section of Sunday paper in the service directory noticing all the new ads for lawn care. This is starting to perturb me, because I know 70% of them aren't licensed or carry ins., & probably pocket most of their $$ under the table, yet advertise like it's a garage sale, with no concern to laws governing doing it as a legitimate business. <br>Yes I know cuz the 1st 2 yrs. I started lawn care was to get my feet wet, & I had 10 lawns & did it part time to help thru unemployment, but once I saw the potential, I got licensed & paid taxes, etc. & went for it. But I sure didn't advertise in the paper for fear of getting turned in.<br>Maybe I'm the pot calling the kettle black, but these guys also contribute to the continual lowballing effect of the trade, never allowing prices to get up to where they need to be to earn a decent income of what you're worth as a service vendor.<br>Anybody ever call these types to ask if they're insured, licensed, etc.? Any comments.....?<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<p>
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,009

    I think there will always be a market for these operators. I'd say most, probably 95 percent of the homeowners in my area could care less about my operating status as long as they are happy about the service they get for their price.<p>commercials are a different story. when I bid them, part of the presentation is to remind them that they better have darn good liability insurance if the go with a &quot;cash&quot; operator.<p>good luck<p>GEO
  3. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    Smitty,It upsets me as well,they are coming out of the woodwork here too..Grin and bare it they may be gone next week...We can only hope!<p>----------<br>John <br>
  4. GrassMaster

    GrassMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Hello:<p>It's a sad situation, but at one time or another everybody does it. Just some people kind of get carried away with it.<p>It's just the better people get fully legit. It will always be this way, one way or another.<p>One thing you can do is let the customer know that if these people get hurt on their property, that they are liable for their hospitalization & if they do damage to anything on property that it will be virtually impossible to collect for damages.<p>Always let the customer know that you are a licensed & insured professional, also you pay workers compensation if this applies to you.<p><p>----------<br>GrassMaster - Home: www.lawnservicing.com<br>My Start Up Page www.lawnservicing.com/startup/
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    To be upfront, I was invisible the first six months starting out. I never would have registered with DRS(dept revenue services)nor would I have bothered with liability insurance if it wasnt for the commercial accounts. I could have stuck with 100% residential and remained invisible but needed to expand my market beyond just homeowners (esp with snow removal) besides, remaining invisible wont help when you apply for a mortgage or loan or try to collect social security. And, no, nobody has ever asked in the eight years in business for proof of insurance or my tax number as far as lawn care goes. Commercial snow bids almost always ask for insurance info and tax ID info. Even my commercial lawn customers could apparently care less about my insurance status.<p>Bill
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,908

    Nobody cares to ask about insurance until they need it. I include my insurance info with my estimates. It costs me money so I might as well use it for some good. I also do some renovation work so people are happy to know I have insurance I think.
  7. ashlandscaping

    ashlandscaping Banned
    Messages: 113

    We had alot of fly-by-night companies here but the towns are cracking down on them. You have to be insured and lic. in each town you work in. They will give you 1 warning then they will tow your rig and or fine you and so on. It is great it getts rid of all the by the pants companies that charge WAY to little and bring down the market. I have a proof of insurance in my breif case and I will say I am ask to show it about 2 out of 3 lawns. People dont want to chance it no more. I saw a neighbor of my customer get suied when the employe of the company she hired cut his finger off with the hedger and the employer HAD NO WORK MAN COMP. so the guy siued both the owner of the company and the home owner. I dont think she had to pay but still the headaches alone are not worth the less cheaper price. At least around here it is getting better. But in the same ran I see lots of new trucks and names every day. All looking to move in for the kill.
  8. Scape Sculptor

    Scape Sculptor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Smitty, I see the same thing going on here in the Akron-Canton area. You look in the paper and on the street, droves of them. The biggest thing that is really getting to me is that the customers don't seem to give f*** that I have a Hort Degree, have over 20 years experience,or that I will do quality work. They just care that it is the cheapest. Yet they b***h about how bad the guy they had last year was. Or that he never even showed up. I have had to lower my minimum mow price to $20 just to get some work. I am trying to stay in the $35-$40 per hour range. I have even had to lower to $25/hour on mulch jobs to put me in the running on that, and still don't know if I'll get them. I don't know what is going on here. I used to work for a Landscape Co. that did over $2 mil in sales per year, as an estimator/Designer, and bid at $45-$50+ per hour per man for jobs. I don't want to give myself away. But I want biz. I enjoy this and I am going at it cold turkey. Going out on a limb. I want to succeed. I hope it gets better. Good Luck, Will be in touch, Dan

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