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Using your car or motorcycle TO DO BIDS to save on gas?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Exact Rototilling, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    If your driving to a potential clients house for a bid and your driving this car or motorcycle, both are my rides, will it taint the vital first impression?

    I'm planning on being well dressed, possibly Co. jacket with logo and I'll have some targeted flyers, promo ink pens that actually write well. I present myself professionally etc.

    Any thoughts?


    KLR 650 45+ mpg
    Civic 35 mpg
    85 Toyota 17 mpg
    91 Toyota 4runner 14 mpg



  2. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    I would use a car, even a Prius in a heart beat, but I would have it lettered and be in uniform myself.

    I'm not sure about the dirt bike, I had an old boss in windows that drove around on his harley.. he's still richer then me, so maybe lol.
  3. moose203

    moose203 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    IMO if i were a customer and you showed up in ether i would tell you no thanks. not saying you don't do quality work because i don't know you but that just does not look professional, it would be hard to give you my money from the image it portrays. I would rather see a dirty work truck, not saying a rusty old beater but a reliable looking truck that it is obviously dirty from working

  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    My other choices are these Toyotas. 4runner is in great shape but the 85 Toyota needs some polish [no clear coat] and elbow grease and the canopy [can't see it in the pic needs to be repainted]

    I guess I could also show up with my enclosed trailer with graphics and lettered with Co. name etc. That's not done yet - hopefully in February.

    Should I assume that when I pass out door hangers, flyers, etc the same would apply.

  5. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    Everyone has their own opinions yours is perfectly valid. I happen to agree with with Az Gardener though. He posted this in another thread.

  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I think the car would be fine. They are going to know that isn't your work vehicle, and if they are too stupid to figure that out, I don't think I'd want them as a customer. The bike? BAD idea. You can tell them what equipment you use, but that is likely not going to be an issue IMO.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I've almost always given estimates in my car, for more than one reason.
    It might make you stand out from the rest, but not in a bad way, I don't think.
    Not sure about the bike, but maybe that's just me, but both the car Or the suv look sharp.

    All in how you carry yourself, how you do things.
    In my case estimates are a process, I do them separate from other work, either first thing in am or late in the pm, I even dress fresh just for that (like end of day, I'll shower before I head out), so I'm always fresh in the car.

    What you think is better I show up right after cutting 8 lawns?
    But I like doing it because it helps my "take it or leave it" mind set.
    I find there's less temptation for me to lowball a job, no matter what happens I can't do it right then anyhow.
    So it's not as important whether or not I close the sale.

    Plus the way I do things it fits in, so I think do whatever works for you.
  8. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    IMO the car is fine, not as nice as the client might want to see, but if you show up in a BMW they will think you charge too much. The bike is a big no. People have very mixed emotions about bikes as you probably know. It wont matter to some, but others will not like it at all. I do occasionally use my bike to go collect , but never first meeting.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    This sort of thing has been beaten like a dead horse, there must be 100,000 threads on "is this professional????"

    I mean come on, you really think any customer would form a bad impression of you because you show up in a car? Why not just get one of those house moving machines and carry your entire shop with you from estimate to estimate, to make sure you look as professional as possible.

    A lot of 'advice' guys give on this stuff, it comes from an LCO's point of view, not a customer's. Like the guy talking about the paint peeling off some guys walk behind, like anybody would even care about that stupidity.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, I just find these threads to be, well, dumb.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That's funny because a bmw is exactly what I show up in :laugh:
    You can get older used ones for 3-4-5 thousand, what I have are late 80's early 90's models, they're in nice shape for the age.

    And if a customer gives me a funny look as I pull up, you're right, they think I charge too much - that codes someone thought I was cheap, the look just saved me time.

    More than one of my customers own a bmw themselves, most of theirs are newer but in the end it's still just a car.

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