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We Won't Be Beaten on Price

OP
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Freaky Fido

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northeast USA
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....
I was actually happy to post a loss on the books my first two years, but it was a tax strategy to reduce my taxes on other income while setting up the business for the future. I wasn't lowballing (deliberately anyway), just buying everything I could to write off/depreciate.

One thing that didn't help my friend was his lack of attention to routine equipment maintenance and replacing equipment that just needed minor adjustments/repairs. He'd buy new blowers every year because they only blew hard for a little while and performance declined over time. It was due to nothing more than throttle cable stretch!

And he did stupid/inefficient things like running wavy mulcher blades on his Z with an open discharge and bagging with his walk behind and a catcher even though he had a rear bagger for the Z. The problem was his helper (son) couldn't get used to the tail swing of the bagger and kept damaging things, so they removed it. Running with the mulchers with little vacuum left a lot of stringers so they would go over the lawn with string trimmers after mowing to try to get them all, lol. And picking up twig/acorn piles was a 2 person job - one to drag the barrel and one to pick up the piles by hand. I showed him how to do it with one person, a grain shovel and a rake but he wouldn't listen. Vacuuming leaves with the truck loader was a 3 person job, one in the truck, one with a rake and one on the nozzle. So maybe they really were only worth $25/hr...
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Youre not gonna Walmart lawn and landscape very lawn before your reputation goes very awry.
 

GRANTSKI

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Ct Shoreline
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
Yep I tried out a new possible part time employee and he is one of these guys. Has 4 half assed illegitimate all cash “businesses” & talking about how He’s the best at all of them & gonna run another company out of business by pricing dirt cheap. Yea ok city of 50,000 what are you gonna take care of all of them w a Ford ranger ? Def childish thinking building a business plan around ruining someone else’s business & a huge red flag when ya show up first day talking about how you are going to ruin another business owners life. Such small minded thinking that alone made him a no go for an employee ntm I don’t need a Jack of all trades that can’t put 100% into anything
 

Bigg-Lenny

LawnSite Member
I’ve talked to two of my competitors this week to see if there were areas we could help each other out. I always find those to be productive conversations, as opposed to broadcasting we are better and cheaper.
That's what I do. I'm a one man crew who does this on the side. Any work that I don't want to do,...I just pass it on to another landscaper that I've gotten to know. I haven't made a dime off of the work that he's done for me,...but my customers are always happy because they think that I (my company) was the one responsible for the work that was done.
 


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