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  • $ 15 a yard

    low balling has taken on a new low i opened my weekly trading post today to make sure my add was in there and right beside it there was a add that said mowing and weed eating $15 , home power washing $20 free estimates
    how can i or any one else compete with that ? i take it i will have to deal with this as long as i own this business its hard enough to get it started with out this garbage

  • #2
    you know what i would do!

    Ok, he says free estimates though.. that makes me think why is he offering a low price? just to get ppl to call then he says well your place is bigger than the 15$ places! and he trys to get a higher price at there door..

    ok so i would do this, use girlfriends phone, and call him up, get him to go to moms house and pressure wash for 20 bucks, then get him to go to grandpas house for 20 bucks, after ofc you make sure he doesnt seem l;iek the type thats going to bank rob the houses..

    and just keep him busy pressure washing your familys places, while you line up pressure washing for 50 dollars then send him to do those
    (352)682-3094 Suwannee River, Florida 32680

    Visit my site, http://www.lawnmoore.com, Thanks!

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    • #3
      low balling has taken on a new low i opened my weekly trading post today to make sure my add was in there and right beside it there was a add that said mowing and weed eating $15 , home power washing $20 free estimates
      how can i or any one else compete with that ? i take it i will have to deal with this as long as i own this business its hard enough to get it started with out this garbage

      you will always have to deal with this but in a short time you will understand that he is only cutting his own throat by doing this and he will soon be of no threat, you just keep up what your doing and do what you can to set yourself apart from this grass burner
      JLH Pro Lawn Care
      (386) 235-0567
      jlhprolawncare@gmail.com
      www.jlhprolawncare.com

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      • #4
        thats kinda why i say to get all your family's places washed for 20 bucks, so that he can be losing out a little while you gain a little, however he might blow right through the places and show you how to make a buck!

        I would atleast do a little recon, and call the guy up one day, ask him about the deals, then just say ok ill keep you in mind.

        See what kind of info you can get just to know a little more about the situation.
        (352)682-3094 Suwannee River, Florida 32680

        Visit my site, http://www.lawnmoore.com, Thanks!

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        • #5
          U can't compete with everyone or worry about what they charge most of those guys will not be around long

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          • #6
            Use it to your advantage. Put a line in your ad that says

            " We fix $15 cuts"
            Evansville Lawn Mowing
            Newburgh Lawn Care

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            • #7
              U can't compete with everyone or worry about what they charge most of those guys will not be around long
              This is the best advice. Only worry about the things you can control. You have to position your business as more than a commodity. That is not to say that people dont buy on price. They do. You want the people who buy based on referral, reputation, service and professionalism.

              We are not the only industry that this is happening in. My cousin runs a very successful asset management company. He has to compete with low ballers who will manage money for a fraction of the percentage that most companies will. The bad economy caused alot of people to strike out on their own and start a business without realizing what their true costs of doing business really are.

              As the economy improves alot of these guys will go back to working for the man and that will help. In addition it appears that consumer confidence is on the rise, so this may help with people loosening the purse strings and paying to improve their property.

              Most low ballers dont last the season, I picked up 4-5 accounts last fall from companies that stopped showing up or went under.

              Jay

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              • #8
                Can you scan the ads in or take a picture of them so we can see it?

                Also how often is this publication put out? Can you change your ad next time to counter his?

                Using the suggestion mentioned above:
                " We fix $15 cuts"


                You have to position your business as more than a commodity.
                What is your view on how to do this?
                - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                • #9

                  What is your view on how to do this?
                  Steve,

                  It isn't really that hard. However first things first. Some customers are only going to buy on price. In my opinion you don't want these customers. They aren't loyal and will leave you when the next lower bid come along. Your prices should however be comparable to the other professional LOC companies in your area.

                  Now off of my soap box and onto your question. I think it really revolves around three things.

                  Professionalism: From your adverts to how you answer the phone should reek of a professional business. This builds confidence and respect from the client. They know they are buying more then a lawn cut.

                  Service: I could write a book on this. You have to provide out of this world service. Follow up, do what you say you will, etc, etc. Remember their pets names, how they like their lawn mowed. Be nice, polite, respectful. Don't be the grump because the customer called you at 9am Saturday morning.

                  The third is a little more complicated and is really allot of small things. I like to think that being a one stop shop for all their landscape needs sets a company apart. I like to also be a company that clients can call with questions knowing that I am there to help. They know I will go the extra mile to find a specialty plant or solve a problem with their lawn or landscape. I also like to throw in some freebies every now and then. Things like picking up and disposing of a few down branches from a storm. Running the edger along a property that doesn't pay for edging. Pulling a few weeds from the flower beds. Things that I know the $15 a cut guys cant or wont do.

                  These steps take time but add to your reputation as you grow your company. You have to sell these instead of price.

                  I am just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to selling on price. When you are starting out it is easy to rationalize knocking off a few dollars from your price here and there to get the job. You rationalize it by saying I am new and don't have any overhead. I can afford to do this while a big company cant. Well let me say, if you ever want to be the big company with that nice equipment you better charge accurate prices. If you go back to those customers you low balled the season before and try to raise the price to a level that is competitive you are going to find yourself with a lot smaller client list.

                  Jay

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                  • #10
                    I agree with all that except

                    THE running of free edgers, Ive tried that and it led to the home owner wanting it every time for the same price of free. and it gets to where am I a jerk for not doing a 10 min deal for someone for free, or is he because this is how I make a living, and everyone knows what a yard looks like that hasn't been edged. so not like you want to show them what it could look like. cause they know. . yeah they know.

                    My charity and community work comes in the form of helping the older community, giving them discounts and offering my time for other simple things, anything but running my equipment.

                    Like the day I broke my edger on a free job, yeah that won't happen, because I won't let it.
                    KDVandCO
                    kdvandco@hotmail.com

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                    • #11
                      Guys I just wanted 2 say thanks for the advice its hard to ignore this I got a lot invested in this and I don't want to lose it.

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                      • #12
                        Service: I could write a book on this. You have to provide out of this world service. Follow up, do what you say you will, etc, etc. Remember their pets names, how they like their lawn mowed. Be nice, polite, respectful. Don't be the grump because the customer called you at 9am Saturday morning.
                        What other thoughts do you have on improving your service?

                        The third is a little more complicated and is really allot of small things. I like to think that being a one stop shop for all their landscape needs sets a company apart. I like to also be a company that clients can call with questions knowing that I am there to help. They know I will go the extra mile to find a specialty plant or solve a problem with their lawn or landscape. I also like to throw in some freebies every now and then. Things like picking up and disposing of a few down branches from a storm. Running the edger along a property that doesn't pay for edging. Pulling a few weeds from the flower beds. Things that I know the $15 a cut guys cant or wont do.
                        How should you go about letting the customer know you did these things. Should you include it in your invoice as a line item and then show a price of $0.00?

                        How can you take your business from doing these extras for free, to getting the customer to pay for them?



                        Like the day I broke my edger on a free job, yeah that won't happen, because I won't let it.
                        I am guessing you stopped offering this for free? How did that effect your business? Do you feel there is any way to go from doing it for free to getting the customer to pay for it?
                        - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                        Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                        • #13
                          Distance yourself

                          I guess its the same no matter what business your in. We tried selling at cost to larger outfits hoping to make them new customers. What we ended up with was once we raised our prices to try an make a profit was them jumping ship and going to the next selling that was cheaper.

                          You really want to stay away from doing things this way and as you put it...they were not great loyal customers to begin with. So what do you do? Try distancing yourself from these customers and focus on the good ones. What makes you different from the guy charging 15.00?

                          " We are fully insured and guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied with our work"

                          "We are your professional lawn care business...meeting the needs of the community we live in"
                          Northern New York Parts
                          Finding you the Parts you need at Affordable Prices

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                          • #14
                            What other thoughts do you have on improving your service?

                            How should you go about letting the customer know you did these things. Should you include it in your invoice as a line item and then show a price of $0.00?
                            Steve,

                            For improving ones service. My only recommendation is education. Look at other business and how they treat their customers and see if you can incorporate those practices into your business. I also try to read all the industry magazines and books on customer service.


                            For the freebies. If it is something small but obvious I just let them notice it was done. Othertimes I will put a note on the monthly invoice with a no charge line.

                            Jay

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                            • #15
                              Never compete on price

                              Trust me this is not a big deal at all!!! There has always been, and always will be some one cheaper than you. Who cares. All you need to do is add more value and you will have more clients than you could possibly dream off! Some people will always be concerned about price. these are the customers who are not worth having.

                              If you are concerned that you are losing alot of clients due to this add then the solution is simple. You can advertise a special trial price. "Try us today for only $5."

                              THis might sound like a silly idea but when you work out how much the life time spend that you will get from your customer it really makes sense.

                              When you turn up offer an incredible service. Really give them an enjoyable experience.

                              When you give them the quote for the second cut they won't care if it is more than $15. you have already build up a relationship with them. They know and trust you.

                              It really is that simple! i have built a large lawn business completely from this concept. Try it your self and I am sure you will be amazed.
                              Last edited by elrascal; 02-22-2011, 09:20 PM.

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