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View Full Version : Am I "THAT GUY"?


Tony317
03-18-2013, 08:36 PM
reading through these wonderful threads ive been realizing that the new competition every year is usually the guys that sell on price and use push mowers and low ball and don't last very long...is that me?

I know this might sound stupid..but after reading all of it..it sounds alot like me

im just starting, push mower, SUV with a small trailer, using fliers, no big commercial mowers, and im targeting the smaller neighborhoods

am i that guy?

If so...i would realllly like some help on how to not become like all of those guys that people talk about, i want to be able to successful and not go down mid season

SECTLANDSCAPING
03-18-2013, 08:50 PM
use what ever mower you want. It just saves time to get a bigger mower. With few clients time isnt a issue.

I would be on the lookout for a cheap used walk behind. Theres not really money in small lawns and you dont want to do big ones with a small mower.

You already know not to compete on price. Find a minimum charge and stick to it. Its not easy finding good customers. Theres a lot of wanting something for nothing. Then theres people that try to burn every man with a mower.

The only thing that can stop you from closing up shop is lack or work or lack of profits. You can only do so much to drum up work. Your in full control of your prices.

doug1980
03-18-2013, 08:56 PM
It takes money to make money. Simple as that. Need money for the right equipment, marketing, etc. Some people can make a nice living staying very small, to be big takes time and money. Just depends on how big you want to be.

Grass Doctor
03-18-2013, 10:39 PM
dude, just keep it going u will learn how to bid etc. dont compare with any other business around ur area be original, ur self if this is what u choose to do. strive, work hard.

i still run around with a 21 inch mower in the back of my pick up truck im using a toro weed eater cause im afraid some stuped will stile my 460.00 weed eater again. yes i have a zero turn(toro 4200) it works awesome for my needs, but who cares i loaded up in my pick up too.

i don't own no bank, or no one or anybody just be you baby ask other landscapers and go down or go up in your prices how ever works for you.

this is my 3rd year in business still same guy with more customers quality lawns i can even say the best lawns of where i drive around i have upscale customers, hard working, rich class people, middle class people my price is flat as steal baby.

i charge 40.00 for cutting 2.000sq or 6,000sqf or i charge 100.00 for (20,000sqf or to do an acre(45, 000 and something)) if i want to lower my price to aerate to do a seasonal promotion(50.00) i will and who can tell me in lowballin :D:D:D:D my aerator its screaming money . just be ur self men thats all i can say

LawnBoy0311
03-19-2013, 08:05 AM
reading through these wonderful threads ive been realizing that the new competition every year is usually the guys that sell on price and use push mowers and low ball and don't last very long...is that me?

I know this might sound stupid..but after reading all of it..it sounds alot like me

im just starting, push mower, SUV with a small trailer, using fliers, no big commercial mowers, and im targeting the smaller neighborhoods

am i that guy?

If so...i would realllly like some help on how to not become like all of those guys that people talk about, i want to be able to successful and not go down mid season

You may or may not be. I spent a while researching justmowit.com and how his business works. Its a father/son team using only push mowers and about 17 crews. Gross revenue for them is in the millions. All they do is mow....nothing more. For them, their business plan works well. It won't work for everyone though. Research him and see what you can come up with. His name is TJ Justice.

Mowing with a small push mower and smaller properties can do very well. Providing you get a few in the same complex/street. I had a few I did last year that I did well on.

Work your way up from there, or do what makes you money.

I look at lowballing a few different ways, as do others. When 5 companies quote a lawn for $40 a cut, and you have 1 guy quoting $25 per cut, thats lowballing. Flyers saying "All lawns $20!" thats lowballing. But if you quote $30 while a few others quote $35, I wouldn't consider that lowballing. On the other hand, you should know your costs before you quote to make sure its profitable.

Keep it up and stick to your plan!

Steve
03-19-2013, 11:18 AM
reading through these wonderful threads ive been realizing that the new competition every year is usually the guys that sell on price and use push mowers and low ball and don't last very long...is that me?

I know this might sound stupid..but after reading all of it..it sounds alot like me

As you read through these responses, what thoughts go through your head? How are you going to take this information and be different?

Hedgemaster
03-19-2013, 10:06 PM
Listen, this is easy...


Just post the following on every lawn care forum you can find:

"I won't drop MY ramp for less than $60!"


You are now a professional in the eyes of the world.

Grass Doctor
03-20-2013, 12:00 AM
Listen, this is easy...


Just post the following on every lawn care forum you can find:

"I won't drop MY ramp for less than $60!"


You are now a professional in the eyes of the world.

what worl hedge :confused:

Tony317
03-20-2013, 12:27 AM
As you read through these responses, what thoughts go through your head? How are you going to take this information and be different?

yeah i will

wandfsmall
03-20-2013, 08:06 AM
What I think is funny is almost EVERYONE was THAT GUY at some point. You do have a few that worked with another service such as dpld that helped them get started in the business, or maybe some grew up where a parent did this business and learned from them but to be honest almost every business starts out now knowing how to work. Personally I hate seeing small backyard repair shops that are not authorized to work on anything nor even have access to repair manuals, however my father did that years ago. The problem is once you have things figured out you learn how bad of a job you were doing before, and you try to tell customers to avoid that kind of work. You will be the same if you get threw starting a business as well. Such is the circle of life.

Steve
03-20-2013, 12:24 PM
Such is the circle of life.

Very very true. And then knowing this, it shows you the importance of as you grow to market that difference in knowledge you have, difference in skill level, and how the customer will benefit from it.

Grass Doctor
03-20-2013, 10:43 PM
What I think is funny is almost EVERYONE was THAT GUY at some point. You do have a few that worked with another service such as dpld that helped them get started in the business, or maybe some grew up where a parent did this business and learned from them but to be honest almost every business starts out now knowing how to work. Personally I hate seeing small backyard repair shops that are not authorized to work on anything nor even have access to repair manuals, however my father did that years ago. The problem is once you have things figured out you learn how bad of a job you were doing before, and you try to tell customers to avoid that kind of work. You will be the same if you get threw starting a business as well. Such is the circle of life.

wise men thats all i can say

cruzgardening
03-21-2013, 02:23 AM
im going on my 3rd year and i got to tell you i started very similar push mower and no helper, moved up to get a helper. best advice i can give u is very simple.



Pay yourself for the first year an amount u think is reasonable do not raise ur salary for the first year keep on getting more costumers n pay yourself the same amount when you have 50 accounts as when you have 100 assuming u are paying ur bills and ur rent. reinvest everything into the business and i can assure you sooner then later all that extra money reinvested into your business will make u a very wealthy man.

i did that 3 years ago and i can assure you i bought out a small business about 25 accounts and now we have more then 200 accounts and we are growing at a 30% rate... this business is easy if u follow the advice i gave u.

Pay yourself a salary for the first year or until u get to your first goal then raise ur salry and dont raise it till u meet ur goals but always reinvest into the company :)

wat5150
03-21-2013, 05:18 AM
im going on my 3rd year and i got to tell you i started very similar push mower and no helper, moved up to get a helper. best advice i can give u is very simple.



Pay yourself for the first year an amount u think is reasonable do not raise ur salary for the first year keep on getting more costumers n pay yourself the same amount when you have 50 accounts as when you have 100 assuming u are paying ur bills and ur rent. reinvest everything into the business and i can assure you sooner then later all that extra money reinvested into your business will make u a very wealthy man.

i did that 3 years ago and i can assure you i bought out a small business about 25 accounts and now we have more then 200 accounts and we are growing at a 30% rate... this business is easy if u follow the advice i gave u.

Pay yourself a salary for the first year or until u get to your first goal then raise ur salry and dont raise it till u meet ur goals but always reinvest into the company :)

What do you consider very wealthy?:confused:

Billy Goat
03-21-2013, 06:19 AM
Iam also new in the business, some accounts some may say Iam a lowballer but I quoted others and the customer said they had another quote that was lower than mine. I personally like the smaller accounts due to Iam in out. Mondays and Tuesdays, I do most of my small accounts and all I need is a push mower, trimmer, and blower in the back of the truck. I look at it as long as Iam paying my insurance, taxes, and bills with a little profit on top, others can call me what they want.

Most of us old dudes can remember the days when we were kids running around the neighborhood door to door mowing lawns with our parents push mower they bought from Sears or Montgomery Wards. Those things could take a beating and keep on running until the wheels fell off.

ratchetmaster2
03-22-2013, 12:18 AM
I look at it as long as Iam paying my insurance, taxes, and bills with a little profit on top, others can call me what they want. .

I totally agree. As long as I am meeting my responsibilities and obligations, and earning a little extra for spending money, then I'm doing ok. 90% of people my age think I'm some richy rich because I don't need mommy and daddy to pay for me.

SNethercutt
03-22-2013, 12:37 AM
Well I started out a little different than you. I started with my dads toro ZTR a nice echo trimmer and a crappy blower.

I didn't start until August, late in the season.

February the next year I looked at my own ZTR. I financed it 0% through Sheffield. Cost me $60 a month. I felt like I was successful. I worked harder.

Did I low ball my first few yards. In others eyes I'm sure I did. In my eyes I was making money. But I also worked part time.

You will low ball. But plan ahead.

Tell yourself that once you get 30 accounts you have a minimum. You have an hourly price for all your labor. Stick to that.

I screwed up a lot of job just looking at them and pulling a number out of my hat. Then I changed that and said I am charging $90 an hour.

So when you trim bushes, write down how long it tales you to trim a bush after you get good at it. 2 minutes? For each small bush bill for 2 minutes of time. And so on.

Always try to leave a little cushion for extra time never know what can happen.

Hell today I tore up someone's down spout for their gutter.... spent 10 minutes on the phone with the customer. Fixed it to where it looked decent until I can get over there Sunday and replace it.

And if you ever tear up something on someone else's property always let them know. Don't think you can get away with it. It cost you more later. I could have lost a $35 account weekly over $12 down spout and 2 hours of my time.

warbuff
03-22-2013, 01:35 PM
I think a better questions might be, rather then am I that guy? What is my next step & where am I going from here. We all had to start somewhere. If we work hard, and are smart about attaining our goals where we started is not where we will end...

jasonw
03-23-2013, 09:26 AM
I only went in debt to myself lol. Steve has an article around here somewhere of what I use to use, A 1981 Toyota station wagon and a converted boat trailer, thats how I started. I used a 5yo mower and weedeater that I had laying around home. It was not until I mowed me first half acer lawn that I decided I needed to go bigger and better, Not because I could not do it but 3 hours to mow a large lawn with a 21" mower for $50 was just not worth it. At that time I started upgrading but NOT like a lot of other people here did, I got a 42" Troybilt tractor from Lowes brand new in 2009, today it is still going strong and looks new. I got a 5X8 carry on trailer from lowes as well. Most of my equipment came from there and ALL of it is cheap residential grade stuff, if you care for it it will ALL last forever. Pricing was always a problem for me. I have tens of thousands of dollars in stuff just waiting to work but I am sitting at home because unlicenced out of town low ballers are taking over my area. I charge $20-$40 for a mow where as they charge $10. I have not advertised even this year because well to be honest my business can't aford it and I am not sure I am going to stay in the game. I can dump more of my personal savings into it but I have already lost so much.


reading through these wonderful threads ive been realizing that the new competition every year is usually the guys that sell on price and use push mowers and low ball and don't last very long...is that me?

I know this might sound stupid..but after reading all of it..it sounds alot like me

im just starting, push mower, SUV with a small trailer, using fliers, no big commercial mowers, and im targeting the smaller neighborhoods

am i that guy?

If so...i would realllly like some help on how to not become like all of those guys that people talk about, i want to be able to successful and not go down mid season

warbuff
03-23-2013, 10:55 AM
I only went in debt to myself lol. Steve has an article around here somewhere of what I use to use, A 1981 Toyota station wagon and a converted boat trailer, thats how I started. I used a 5yo mower and weedeater that I had laying around home. It was not until I mowed me first half acer lawn that I decided I needed to go bigger and better, Not because I could not do it but 3 hours to mow a large lawn with a 21" mower for $50 was just not worth it. At that time I started upgrading but NOT like a lot of other people here did, I got a 42" Troybilt tractor from Lowes brand new in 2009, today it is still going strong and looks new. I got a 5X8 carry on trailer from lowes as well. Most of my equipment came from there and ALL of it is cheap residential grade stuff, if you care for it it will ALL last forever. Pricing was always a problem for me. I have tens of thousands of dollars in stuff just waiting to work but I am sitting at home because unlicenced out of town low ballers are taking over my area. I charge $20-$40 for a mow where as they charge $10. I have not advertised even this year because well to be honest my business can't aford it and I am not sure I am going to stay in the game. I can dump more of my personal savings into it but I have already lost so much.

Might sound a little simplistic but, pick a neighborhood close to you that you have clients in. Really focus on them and ask them to help introduce you to their neighbors. Sometimes just the introduction is all you will need. If you can position yourself as the man in one neighborhood that everyone looks to, you have less overhead fuel and time wise and that will give you a stronger base to build from.