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boog 02-18-2011 11:25 PM

$ 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

LawnMoore 02-19-2011 01:00 AM

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 :D

JLH Pro Lawn Care 02-19-2011 01:07 AM


Originally Posted by boog (Post 84915)
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:cool:

LawnMoore 02-19-2011 01:12 AM

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.

950thomas 02-19-2011 01:12 AM

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

shadrach 02-19-2011 11:13 AM

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

" We fix $15 cuts"

wellbiz 02-19-2011 05:38 PM


Originally Posted by 950thomas (Post 84926)
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.


Steve 02-20-2011 01:25 PM

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?

wellbiz 02-20-2011 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by Steve (Post 84999)

What is your view on how to do this?


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.


kdvandco 02-20-2011 04:30 PM

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.

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