why can't you cater to cheap skates?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i believe there are many markets, and many strategies for selling to anyone who wishes to buy. why can't you sell to cheapskates? every other business in the world, has found a way, to do business with people who have a white knuckle grip on thier pocketbook, and are willing to accept less, at a cheaper price. i can get a haircut at a salon, for $18, or i can go to eddie the barber, for $8.50. the pretty lady at the salon will tell me she can make me look like brad pit, she's pretty, smells nice, and wearing high heels , she can give me a shampoo, and rub herself on me, all for $18 plus a $5 tip. but eddie the barber , has bad breath, hasn't bathed in a week, and tells it like it is, "listen kid, you aint winnin no beauty contest, i'll leave the mullet and buzz the sides for $8.50." and his tip is, " hey eddie, the #3 horse in the 4th at belmont looks good today." a top shelf resturaunt sells "dinner" for $30 a person, but you can get a combo meal across the street for $3.49. all four of the businesses just mentioned are making great money, the lower priced ones have simply found a way accomodate tightwads, by giving them less, for what they are looking to spend. simple. WHY CAN'T YOU learn how to sell to cheapskates?
  2. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I think justmowit beat you to this one.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Any deal with a business involves risk. This risk has to do with how well the job is done vs. how fast I can get it done for the money I am being paid. I can only use as much material and labor as what your money pays for. Ultimately I MUST earn a certain minimum to cover the cost of materials and labor, undercut this minimum and you undercut yourself as I can not do more for less.
    Sometimes things don't work out as they should. It takes longer or it took more material than expected, it should cost more but it can't. If it takes less time or material than expected, it is never a problem to lower the quote. For this reason, higher quotes tend to be given to cover these variables.
    When business is slow, WE take more risk meaning you get the better price but there is a limit to how much extra I can do to please you for the lesser price should things not work out exactly as planned. Conversely when business is good, WE take less risk, the price is higher but so is the guarantee that you'll get a job well done in the end, regardless of circumstance.
    Thank you for your time.

    p.s.: If you'd still like Eddie's 8.50 haircut, I got the man's phone number right here.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no he did not. he does it completely different. he bills on a "per cut" basis. my plan involves being "locked " in, to 24 cuts. it's also an "ala carte" service.
  5. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    What about the guy in Houston that sells $18.00 a mow, he has not raised prices in 6 years......he looks pretty comfy with his wife next to him on the web site........that's my plan for next year, $19.99 cuts, with the HD PP Toro, take it or leave it, no stripes, no specials....nothing.....this is easier, no shaving in the mornings, grab a "DICK U" shirt and go mow!!!!
  6. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    The trick in this business is REPEAT business. If you cater to cheapos, then get ready for a bunch of complaining, skipping cuts, canceling early in the season, asking you to come back later and do clean-up for cheap, checks bouncing etc...

    I would ask for payment up front on these types of customers.

    Why spend time on cheapos when your loyal, good paying, clients are wondering where you're at?
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The fact of the matter is that we as an industry are ALREADY at the bottom of that realm. We are NOT the $18 a cut hair salon....we are the BoRics. we are NOT the $30 a person dinner places,...we are McDonalds - with one, no, make that TWO on every corner, mind you. (that's about how many "grass cuttin'" services I see at every intersection). Mowing is the "jiffy-lube" of the green industry. Though it is (atleast can be) performed professionally, - with uniforms, structure, and all, it is still an operation that can be performed by 6 dollar an hour monkeys (like oil changes). No one spends $50 for an oil change. (Unless it's on their Ferrari, or it is the woman who gets sold the $15 dollar air filter and the $12 PCV valve). Face it, we already ARE the fast food of the agriculture business. That's why we have to do it in numbers. You have to do ALOT to make anything like that.
    If you and 1 helper go out and do a lawn, let's say a $40 cut...1 hr. w/drive time and all. You pay your helper $8 an hour...(12 actual cost). Fuel for truck and mower...$4. Wear and depreciation on machine $5. Administrative costs (ALL office)...say $1. (including stamp). You now have $18.00. Now, pay your taxes and insurance out of that, put some aside for the business, then put some in your pocket, and you've made HOW MUCH? Ok,...so if you make $12. an hour, that is cool.
    There are guys who are running multiple crews that are making alt of money because they are making just a little off each one. If a guy is making $5-6 a lawn and is doing 1200-1400 lawns a week (there are a few around here like that), he is doing better than the guy who is making $20 a lawn and is doing 100 lawns a week.
  8. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    He raised to $19.00 but he may have sold the business, we went and looked at buying it earlier this year. All the pictures of him and his wife are now gone.

  9. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    I wonder what he got for it, looked like he was doing well for himself.....I'm sure he has plans to invest his $$.....thanks for the info, hope you guys had a great year....
  10. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Sure it can be done...... That was my original business model...

    Move into a neighborhood ........reasonable price......huge volume

    I made money at it but the amount of equipment, labor, support staff, supervisors, vehicles, $10,000 lawnmowers, mechanic, parts, fuel, phones ringing from PITAS wanting $50 service at a $30 price.......... It became a real hell of a way to try to make money......

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