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We Won't Be Beaten on Price

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
From a landscaper I've never heard of from outside my area trying to get work in my area and spamming local Facebook pages - bold and italics added:

We Won’t Be Beaten on Price
Not only are we the best in the business, but our prices are also customer-friendly. If someone gives you a price, we guarantee to beat it. At [name removed] Landscaping we ensure affordability on every project, so you won’t overpay for the best service.

We are backed by years of experience, meaning we are the experts you need to take care of your home or business. We treat your home as we would our own. Call us today to discuss your project ideas and receive a free quote.


So what are your thoughts on this idea of not being beaten on price and a guarantee to beat any price? It's not something I would ever do and it's either bogus BS or complete desperation in my view. And, if they treat my home as their own does that mean they'll be moving in? ;)
I never, ever compete on price. And very rarely 'sweeten' a bid to win it. Supply and demand here doesn't warrant such things.
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
I wish this industry like many others didn't see their competition as the devil. If we would all work together and keep prices high everyone would be happy. :hammerhead:
Yep. I did just that this season.....coordinated a price increase with a fellow application business in the area who does good work. Neither of us had any desire to be the cheapo in the area.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
No, he wasn't making his margin. He couldn't afford to pay his guys who he was paying cash or even put gas in his truck. He was living off his retirement money from his days in the PD which he took as a lump sum disbursement. He left town when the money ran out with the $4,500 some sucker paid for his client list. He tried to sell it to me for $70k.
So what was he thinking?
Same thing MOST newbies do
“I’ll steal all this work by giving lower prices and I’ll have so many customers I won’t know what to do with all the money!”
It’s why so many people fail at this
 
OP
F

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northeast USA
So what was he thinking?
Same thing MOST newbies do
“I’ll steal all this work by giving lower prices and I’ll have so many customers I won’t know what to do with all the money!”
It’s why so many people fail at this
Yeah, well he had low overhead, or so he thought. He was actually happy making $25/hr for general labor. He had some slow/no payment issues from condo associations and a convalescent home chain too. Running into cash flow issues when you're already lowballing is never good.
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
Walmart school of thought
Drive prices down to Chase competition out of business then corner market and raise prices

Walmart , Home Depot, Lowe’s did it to all the small business
Now that those little hardware stores anc markets are virtually gone
The prices are way up.

brickman used to do the same thing
To break into a new market they would have a truck and a trailer... that’s it
They would run crazy low prices they knew were under bid
Then have three trucks
Then five

eventually in the ruined market
They would reside prices and buy a building
Usually at a steal of a price from some guy that went out of business

there’s a reason their nickname was “the evil empire”

thats the only reason I can think of to do the “crazy Eddie” these prices are insane! marketing pitch
Yeah but you have to be fairly large to do that. The walmart school of thought is to buy in bulk to get a better deal than the local business, and then to sell it cheaper. As a small business, I have the same basic expenses as the next guy doing the same thing I do. I have to decide if I want to make money, or lose money, or by happy breaking even.

Many argue with me, but the mowing side of things is not very profitable. You can make money, but running crews and trying to make a profit is difficult. To me it's the opposite of the walmart school of thought in this business. It's the guy that chooses not to have insurance, use junk equipment and a homemade trailer that can work for cheap in this business. Or the guy that doesn't understand business and thinks that because he retired makeing $25 per hour that he can charge customers $25 per hour. Those are the ones that hurt our pricing. But all I can do is try to spend time in the nicer neighborhoods and not deal with too many tire kickers. It takes awhile to figure people out, but after almost 19 years in the business now, it's fairly easy to avoid most of the potential customers you don't want to deal with or work for.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Yeah but you have to be fairly large to do that. The walmart school of thought is to buy in bulk to get a better deal than the local business, and then to sell it cheaper. As a small business, I have the same basic expenses as the next guy doing the same thing I do. I have to decide if I want to make money, or lose money, or by happy breaking even.

Many argue with me, but the mowing side of things is not very profitable. You can make money, but running crews and trying to make a profit is difficult. To me it's the opposite of the walmart school of thought in this business. It's the guy that chooses not to have insurance, use junk equipment and a homemade trailer that can work for cheap in this business. Or the guy that doesn't understand business and thinks that because he retired makeing $25 per hour that he can charge customers $25 per hour. Those are the ones that hurt our pricing. But all I can do is try to spend time in the nicer neighborhoods and not deal with too many tire kickers. It takes awhile to figure people out, but after almost 19 years in the business now, it's fairly easy to avoid most of the potential customers you don't want to deal with or work for.
I didn’t say it was the right way to
Do things

I’m saying that’s the thought
And the belief it will somehow work

for brickman ;or Walmart) hundreds of other offices keep you solvent while adozen lose money driving others under.
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
Now I have heard of some larger companies lowballing to keep work, but they are already large at that point. Why they do it is beyond me. I guess to meet payroll, but why spend $100 to make $100? I can stay at home and make $0 and spend $0 and accomplish the same thing. I'm not going to have all the headaches to break even or worse than that. I guess everyone has a different business model. The only thing that makes sense to me in this business if you are going to turn very little profit is if you have 2 crews that profit you $10.000 per year each, that is terrible, If you have 10 crews profiting you $10,000 per year each, that's better. About the only way I know to grow to that level is to do it fast though. You would have to buy out other small businesses and not grow one yard at the time. But again, it's not super profitable to pay for accounts and that is going to cut into the already small profit.
 

Hayduke

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Oregon
No, he wasn't making his margin. He couldn't afford to pay his guys who he was paying cash or even put gas in his truck. He was living off his retirement money from his days in the PD which he took as a lump sum disbursement. He left town when the money ran out with the $4,500 some sucker paid for his client list. He tried to sell it to me for $70k.
I know a guy just like that. He retired from a corporate job with a nice chunk of change and a decent pension. Decided he'd go into landscaping.
He has two bidding strategies, and these are for bigger $10,000 plus jobs. He will either look at one of those websites like Costhelper, which if you ever have, the price suggestions are ridiculously low most times.
Or he will tell the client to get two other bids, and he will beat the lowest one by 10-15%.
Somehow he is still in business, but I know for a fact he has posted several loss years, just chewing away at his retirement money. But he just doesnt get it. has never really done a thorough look at his profit and loss....
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
I know a guy just like that. He retired from a corporate job with a nice chunk of change and a decent pension. Decided he'd go into landscaping.
He has two bidding strategies, and these are for bigger $10,000 plus jobs. He will either look at one of those websites like Costhelper, which if you ever have, the price suggestions are ridiculously low most times.
Or he will tell the client to get two other bids, and he will beat the lowest one by 10-15%.
Somehow he is still in business, but I know for a fact he has posted several loss years, just chewing away at his retirement money. But he just doesnt get it. has never really done a thorough look at his profit and loss....
That is what you call a hobby to keep busy. I can think of a lot of other things I would rather burn my retirement on than mowing lawns at a loss. I don't get people. Not everyone one uses the brain they are given, sadly.
 


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