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picframer
04-21-2009, 07:43 AM
Just going through the mail, here is what the lawn care side is up against, I removed the company name but this is a typical example of other material I have seen in the mail:

LAWN MOWING AND YARD WORK SERVICES
Name Omitted SERVICES

Do you require a lawn care service for the 2009 season? If so, NAME REMOVED Services is up to the challenge. Our experienced young entrepreneurs charge a low cost and leave you with a high quality result.

Hiring large companies can cost quite a bit. Our services will leave you with more money in your pocket.

NAME REMOVED Services does one time jobs or weekly services for both commercial and residential properties in Dartmouth. Our previous clients have 100% satisfaction with the quality of our work. No lawn to large or small.


AVERAGE PRICING

$20 per cut (Compared to $35-$45 being charged by other companies). We will beat the price of any company of similar service.


SPECIAL OFFER

NAME REMOVED Services will only be accepting a limited number of clients this season. Call and book your free estimate before April 30th 2009 and get 30% off your first cut.

Remember we will beat any quote you receive by at least 20%


CALL TODAY!
Save Yourself the Time and the Work

turfmaster
04-21-2009, 09:38 AM
That's very similar to what's going on in my area and probably across the U.S.
I bid a 1/3 acre job yesterday. Lots of trimming around landscaped islands and trees and bushes. The lady told me she had fertilization, cleanups and power washing for me to do if I was reasonable on the mowing. I bid it low at $35.00
and she told me she has bids for $20.00. I told her to go for it. :eek:

wdcutter
04-21-2009, 05:09 PM
It seems to be the way its going at the moment, but I wonder how many they actually do for that price and how long will they last at it. Some are using a price to get to the potential customer and I saw a lot of it in the city last summer as they were going door to door. That left a lot of landscape maintenance opportunities in the area and I was more than happy to do them. I went out to give an estimate on a spring clean up and quoted the guy $160.00 for a small lot, he said, well we could cut off the $30.00 disposal fee and start a compost pile next to the stonewall, thinking ok whatever. I can do that, but I told him that I will be taking pictures of before and after, as the area he wanted to start this pile along the stonewall was next to an open field. I could only imagine the phone call later. He told me that he would have to talk it over with his wife and I haven't heard from him, but I knew that already before I left...
By the way this was my Ins. agent and I was close to bartering myself, lol.. Thinking that I could take care of his property for the season and he could take care of my GL Insurance payment this summer, lol...
I still get a kick over the look on his face, you would of thought that I told him that I just ran over his dog or something. I was doing these for $240.00 and up last fall.

Steve
04-21-2009, 05:25 PM
This is very interesting stuff. Thank you for posting it. It does give you a snap shot of the state of the industry at the moment.

What things have you all been doing to deal with this?

wdcutter
04-21-2009, 07:05 PM
I continue to promote my services, but I am not limited to any one thing and I offer a complete lineup of property maintenance services. I won't waste my time bartering with these customers, there are plenty of guys/ gals running around neighborhoods looking for the quick buck that will keep them happy until next week or month.
I also do handyman work and I can schedule these around each other like on rainy days or if I get in a pinch I have a network of contractors that I trust and can draw on if needed and vice versa. I'm also starting to get emails and calls from asset companies to do rehabs and continued care for foreclosure homes and more and more folks are getting things fixed around there homes these days, so look into what one can offer for services.
In watching other small businesses grow I noticed that the ones that seem to continue to grow always had a couple of irons in the fire, usually related in some way. My old boss owns a logging outfit, then started buying woodlots and now develops them to the point of house lots, then sells them through his own realty company.
I know a guy that offers pressure washing to go with his lawn & landscaping business and that keeps him going.
If one door closes another one opens and I see it all the time. If I'm not mowing I will be doing something, whether building picnic tables, decks, painting, doing a remodel, there always seems to be something that comes along just when I need it.

Steve
04-21-2009, 08:11 PM
I'm also starting to get emails and calls from asset companies to do rehabs and continued care for foreclosure homes and more and more folks are getting things fixed around there homes these days, so look into what one can offer for services.

Do you market specifically to them or how do they go about finding you do you think?

picframer
04-21-2009, 08:37 PM
I continue to promote my services, but I am not limited to any one thing and I offer a complete lineup of property maintenance services.

Sounds like you are on the right track bud, we have to diversify in market conditions and look at other ways to earn a dollar and it seems to me you are doing just that.

I feel for all the guys and gals who are trying to run a lawn care business at the moment, I believe if we hang in there and offer other services things will turn around.

turfmaster
04-21-2009, 09:02 PM
I am not even focusing on mowing this year. Quite frankly I'm tired of trying to defend my pricing. I am rototilling and planting trees, flower beds and light landscaping, power washing. I only picked up 2 mowing accounts this year. Like I said in another post, when the economy turns around these guys running around with dads push mower will be gone and things will return to normal.