Why the heck am I in this business?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by beautifullawns, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. beautifullawns

    beautifullawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    I found out some budget numbers on a condo today. My friend bid $90000, I bid $79,000. Last year it went for $30,000 and this year is budgeted for $35,000. The fert price is over $5000 for 5 treatments. It will need at least 100 yds of mulch, I bid it for 150yds, and theres a good 5-6 arces to mow every week and you have to collect the grass. The whole area has good tree coverage so in the fall theres a lot of leafs. And hedge trimming would take at least 3-4hours per building and the place had like 13 buildings.

    Why do people not understand how the economy works. All our costs go up every year, but the prices bid go down every year. Am I the only one that sees the problem. Prices haven't gone up for mowing in like 10 years. All landscapers need to get together and set a minium so theres not this horriable bid war every year to see whos lower. :realmad: :realmad:
  2. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    Why your in it for the $$$$$$$$$ remember. I don't know what your profit would be if you got the contract but i can assure you that what you were going to do for the price quoted will not be done for $35,000 corners will be cut somewhere. There are alot of service providers in my area and i don't care how much business they have or get. As long as i have enough to pay the bills and make a comfortable living i and currently content with that.:waving:
  3. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Messages: 507

    im with you, if you look at all my post i say the same thing ,the money i make keeps me going but thats it.....so many lco,s are pricing things so low that its not possible to get any work, im not saying that im priced hight, but if i price a job for $500 and the next guy says 200 who do you think gets the job.. then you get those that want so much work done, 60yds mulch, mowing, cleaning, pruning,edging the works ,then they say oh well i got a price last year for the work it was $1000.00 what in the world. i wish people would get with the times and learn how to price things, its like people work for nothing just to say they work... i dont get it, maybe thats why i cant make money lol......
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Iv'e said it before, we need to somehow "ban" together forming some type of standard in pricing and professionalism and qualifications in this industry. It would be no easy task but I think definitely worth trying. But its the greedy, lowballing scrubs, kids and guys just doing it for fun or a little extra spending money that will make it impossible to achieve that level of business. And this on-going problem will only get worse every year and eventually effect ALL of us!
  5. beautifullawns

    beautifullawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    I have enough to pay the bills and take home a little but these larger places cut down on the work load and are more steady than residential lawns. If the economy takes it toll on people the first customers that will cut you from their budget is the residential. Condos and commercial stuff will always need it. So if your foots in the door and you have a 2 or 3 good size condos or commercial clients that stay with you then you will be in good shape when this happens. I've had one condo for three years now and renewed two more from last year. I hope to keep them happy and maybe they won't put it out to bid after a few years. Only problem is that they are small condos. All the larger ones I try to get into 1 of the 3 big companies have and are doing it dirt cheap. I've got numbers on 4 condos I've bid on. Only 1 have I been close to. The others are done so cheap it has to cost the contractor money to do them. I agree with NOBAGGER we need to ban together and do something about it. The low ballers will realize it one day when they have to get out or declare bankruptcy. They only hurt the industry more by doing this. And the big compaines that have to bid low to get the job to keep cash flow coming in need to look at it to. Its hurting them more in the long run. I'm still ticked off about this and its been a couple hours. :realmad:

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    its just how it works
  7. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    As dusty said, thats just how it works.

    There will never be a "union" type of landscapers/lawn maintanence companies. As long as we dont need to be certified it won't happen. You might get a % to actually join it (the legit people) but it would be so difficult to enforce it that it wouldnt work out. You'd end up having a National group that was priced higher then everyone else and all to show for it is that your in a national group.

    This is why I'm getting certified in as many directions as I can. This year getting pest certification, then ICPI for hardscapes, joining groups to show as references. People who want quality work are going to appreciate that I think and just aids them in going with me.

    The easiest way to deal with it...without lube...is to just say to yourself "I don't want clients that are worried about price, I want clients that want quality" and go from there :D
  8. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,858

    I understand where your coming from. I have the same problem here. Not that were high but we command a fair price for the work received. I don't run into BIG companies like some of you guys but I have trouble with the "little guy" that will bid a whole complex for 10K a year. Sure he gets it, hangs around there all summer doing his good deeds, shines his craftsman up and puffs the nik-stick. I am glad it is him!

    You'll never consolidate LCO's into a uniform pricing structure. That is part of business. I always try to keep the plate full but sometimes it is tough going with the BIg or LITTLE guys seriously underbidding and simply NOT KNOWING!
  9. StrawHatLawncare

    StrawHatLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    It sounds like a nice idea for everyone to get together and come up with standard pricing but its actually illegal, at least if its done that way. Anytime a group of businesses get together to agree on the pricing they plan to offer the general public for a service, its considered price fixing, cant do it. Competition is what makes the economy work, or at least seem like it does. If someone else is undercutting your price, then they have figured out ways to reduce their costs or improve their efficiencies. If you give up and walk away, you risk the chance of losing everything eventually. Take another look at the project, try to find ways to improve your efficiencies, cut your costs, upgrade to a faster machine, give your help some efficiency goals and offer them a bonus if they make them.
    Good Luck!

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    It sounds like a nice idea for everyone to get together and come up with standard pricing but its actually illegal

    that may be true but have u bought gas latley? in town we have 4 stations 1 on each corner and they r all within 3 cents of each other??????????

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