Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

» Welcome to the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum
GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum (
-   Starting a lawn care business. (
-   -   Low ball alternative (

Billy Goat 11-26-2012 08:13 PM

Low ball alternative
Since Iam starting a new lawn business. I dont want to low ball other lawn care companies to try to take their accounts. I was wondering if sub contracting would be a good alternative? Contacting other lawn care businesses and offering to be a sub contractor. This way I can get my foot in the door. My question is, would you as a owner consider sub contracting out work as needed? When you have more work than you can handle or vacations and such.

SECTLANDSCAPING 11-26-2012 08:21 PM

I would but subs are extremely unreliable. To make it worse it would be work that I dont want or wouldnt normally bid. So when I get stuck doing its going to be a problem.

There was a tree job recently that was about 30 miles away. One of my snow subs lived there and I thought Ill send him there to look at. The guy tells me he wants a $1000 to do it and I would have to rent the stump grinder.

I ended up doing the job myself. $100 for 2 guys. $30 for gas. Subbed the grinding out for $200 ($235 to rent). So my expenses were 1/3 of what this guy wanted. Whats the point?

LawnBoy0311 11-27-2012 06:27 AM

Lets just say I own a used ZTR. I have a used truck & trailer, a trimmer, blower, 21" push mower, and a few other odds and ends. I'm a 1 man circus and I spent 15K on startup for everything. Now, lets say Ms. PITA customer calls and wants a quote. I quote her $30 (cut/trim/blow/edge).

My competition, Mr. Wonderful's Lawncare, has a few trucks and a few crews. He took out a loan to finance his company to start with. He's got AWESOME equipment! The kind that makes everyone jealous. Ms. PITA also calls him. He quotes her $40 for the same service.

Am I considered a lowballer? My expenses are much less than his. I am a 1 trick pony as he has a few crews. His equipment won't need as much fixing as mine, but I got mine for a whole lot less (Theres a lot more, but you get the general idea....)

When quoting, come up with a price thats good for YOU. Mr. Wonderful's Lawncare is everywhere. Just because you come in under him doesn't mean your a lowballer. If you quoted "Every yard just $15!!!" Then yes, you are a lowballer. Your better off getting new customers, and if a few come from competitors, then so be it. Do you think Mr. Wonderful's Lawncare really cares if he steals all your customers?

To answer your question, I would not sub contract out any work unless I have to. It would be hard to put my reputation in the hands of a bunch of clowns. Like SECT put it, it may be cheaper to do it yourself. Or MUCH less of a headache.

Billy Goat 11-27-2012 07:28 AM

Perfect Example
Thanks LawnBoy0311, that is a perfect example. Well stated and true for the one man army. I will be starting as a part-time business so I will not be desperate for customers. Where I live there are tons of small yards and thinking about starting around $25 per lawn. My neighbor was unable to cut his lawn for a few weeks due to a operation on his shoulder and a lawn care company charged him $30 per cut/trim. I dont consider that low balling either charging $5 less.

This is funny but true. Most people do not change their own car oil. If you add up the time and money, it is not really worth it when you have a jiffy lube in town. I will thinking about making a flyer with this in mind. Adding up the time and money to mow your own yard compared to having a lawn service. People may relate to it hopefully. What do you think?

willshome 11-27-2012 07:54 AM

DON'T LOW BALL to get work, all you will get is cheap customers that suck the life out of you. When you raise your rates they stop using you and find the next cheap "service"

What I have found that works is
Website Google ranked
look the part "letter your truck & trailer"
If you do have to "low ball" run sales like 15% fall cleanup

willshome 11-27-2012 08:25 AM

If your basing your price only on being cheaper, then you are low balling and why do you want to do that?
Do you think everyone knows their price?
Are they running ads everywhere?
If someone is mowing for $20 will you mow for $15?
What if gas goes to $4.50 a gallon, Do you know all your costs?

Billy Goat 11-27-2012 08:56 AM


Originally Posted by willshome (Post 119060)
If your basing your price only on being cheaper, then you are low balling and why do you want to do that?
Do you think everyone knows their price?
Are they running ads everywhere?
If someone is mowing for $20 will you mow for $15?
What if gas goes to $4.50 a gallon, Do you know all your costs?

I have no intensions of so-called low balling. Its like any other bid for any job. Its whats you are willing to profit from. If this lawn averages $20 base on what most charge and someone bids it at $40, does that mean everyone else is low balling? Iam sure all lawn companies have some accounts that have low to no profit but still keep them for some reason. On the other hand, Iam sure they have accounts that they make a killer profit from. It may even out in some cases.

This question really doesnt have a right answer. It depends on everyone's opinon on the subject.

dpld 11-27-2012 09:27 AM

pricing should be done on what the market will bare and not what your overall costs are.

your overall costs will determine what your profit margin will be and it should not determine what you charge.

a 40 dollar lawn is a 40 dollar lawn and it should not make no difference if you are using a sears push mower or a 10k Z rider.

the best way is to find a average of what everyone else charges and charge the same and throw in certain low cost services to separate yourself from the others
like edging the beds and walkways, etc, etc that really don't cost too much time and money for you to do.

as we grow our customer base we want to retain our customer base into the future but more often then not as a business grows guys have to weed out their " low paying jobs" because they obtained them when they did not have many costs and those customers don't fit into their current business model as their costs for doing business rise.

the evolution of a business is to grow and if it does not it eventually fails or goes stagnant and when most start out they say " i am never gonna be the kind of business that has multiple crews running all over the place " but as time passes they find that scenario is inevitable.
there is only so much money you can make as a owner operator and regardless of how hard you work there is a limit to how much you can do and as costs rise and inflation adds up the 50 k you make this year that provides you with a good lifestyle can not even pay the bills 5,10 years down the road.

when i started out 22+ years ago when i had no wife, children or mortgage and had only 2 employees i made good money for back then and definitely had less headaches then today but i could not live off what i made back then today even though back then i felt like i was living like a king.

Billy Goat 11-27-2012 10:08 AM

Thanks dpld for your reply. You have been doing this for a long time and I look forward to your insight on my questions. Most of my questions will be what if type questions. Knowing the dos and donts before hand will save me alot of trouble in the future. I have been in manufacturing most of my career life and everyone knows plants are down sizing or moving operations out of the country. It is becoming a service nation and there is not enough to go around. Lawn care was is one of my hobbies but now I may have to live off it. No matter what kind of service I research, they all have the same issues in some form or another. You have to be multi-task and able to do all kinds of stuff to survive.

dpld 11-27-2012 12:27 PM

your welcome billy goat, you got the right approach as for foreseeing things down the road because lack of foresight is what causes most problems for new businesses and what you do today and how you do it will have profound effects on your business in the future.

too many guys are so concerned about getting things going now that they usually don't understand how it effects things going forward.
i understand that we have to worry about the present but in reality the future is all we got and today will be just like yesterday, old news.

i certainly did not invent the wheel in this business and i had my share of miscue's but from day one i always tried to follow the lead of the successful companies because in the end that is what we all want, success.
if it works for them it can work for you and me and for me it did.

the bottom line is we provide a service and the only thing that should concern a business owner is providing the best service with the highest integrity possible.
i leave the price cutting to places like walmart and costco because in this industry it cost money to provide the very best service and offering low prices only ends up costing the business owner profit, and when the business owner is not making enough profit he either fails at providing the best possible service or he cuts corners to make it up.
all of our work is based on time and outside of that it is equipment, insurance and other operating expenses.
we don't have a mark up in the service industry like retail locations do and it is very important to keep that in mind when selling work because anyone starting or running a business knows first hand how difficult it can be to provide top tier service when the money is not there.

plus, most home owners who want the best realize that when they look for a quality lawn outfit.

good luck.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
Yesterday 08:58 PM
by achri12
24 2,488
Hello from Kentucky
09-30-2014 06:42 PM
Yesterday 07:45 PM
by TRV
8 1,331
These are the days on...
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
Yesterday 07:00 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
176 14,128
Hi from IL
Yesterday 02:07 PM
Yesterday 02:07 PM
by steveinil
0 28
WNY saying Hi.
Yesterday 07:27 AM
Yesterday 07:27 AM
by Sargewesser
0 33
Group Buying Software as...
Yesterday 06:49 AM
Yesterday 06:49 AM
by ferona
0 36
How to: Use Thumbtack...
11-17-2014 06:39 PM
11-24-2014 07:58 PM
by thom
17 580
How much do you up sell...
Essex Groundskeeping
11-23-2014 07:13 PM
11-24-2014 06:29 PM
by stevef1201
8 186
This sucks...
09-18-2014 05:56 PM
11-24-2014 05:49 PM
by biglee
16 3,213
Pressure Washing...
07-31-2014 07:13 PM
11-24-2014 04:32 PM
by acrajchel
4 667
New website
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
11-23-2014 07:40 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 313
My site is on fronts page
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
11-22-2014 10:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
16 536
Pics for website
11-21-2014 05:40 PM
11-22-2014 10:01 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 168
Peco Bagger
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
11-22-2014 05:56 PM
9 341
Beginner Mistakes:...
01-31-2007 12:45 PM
11-22-2014 02:42 PM
by stevef1201
22 6,206
Contract or no contract?
11-20-2014 09:18 PM
11-21-2014 09:33 PM
by TRV
3 202
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
11-21-2014 08:02 PM
by stevef1201
4 356
Billboards for marketing
11-16-2014 08:39 PM
11-21-2014 07:05 PM
by acrajchel
13 415
Belt dealer problem
11-21-2014 08:45 AM
11-21-2014 06:36 PM
by Steve
2 151
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
11-21-2014 06:32 PM
by Steve
7 260
What is going on with...
11-14-2014 03:04 PM
11-20-2014 02:50 PM
by biglee
40 1,000
My advice for new guys
11-15-2014 09:32 AM
11-19-2014 01:47 PM
by biglee
10 538
Lawn Care business...
10-23-2014 02:23 PM
11-19-2014 12:39 PM
by acrajchel
28 1,901
raking leaves ?
10-22-2014 10:19 PM
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
by acrajchel
14 1,491
Leaf removal
10-24-2014 05:14 PM
11-17-2014 07:34 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,229
sod job
10-30-2014 09:21 PM
11-17-2014 07:10 PM
by acrajchel
7 814
Customer wants me to...
Mr. Mow
11-09-2014 07:13 AM
11-17-2014 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
10 586
11-11-2014 07:15 PM
11-17-2014 06:46 PM
by acrajchel
14 510
small biz in Phoenix,AZ
11-08-2014 09:35 PM
11-17-2014 05:59 PM
by acrajchel
2 361
Client won't pay...
10-30-2014 03:53 PM
11-17-2014 05:37 PM
by acrajchel
22 1,424
Government contracts
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
11-17-2014 12:59 PM
by Steve
2 290
Need help on deciding a...
11-10-2014 06:32 PM
11-17-2014 12:44 PM
by Steve
12 554
West cost lawn prices
10-09-2014 10:51 PM
11-16-2014 07:54 AM
by stevef1201
8 1,644
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 08:55 AM
11-15-2014 08:44 AM
by avetslawncare
14 1,760
Truck, Trailer,...
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
11-13-2014 08:35 AM
by jrs.landscaping
81 31,905
The most dangerous part...
10-06-2014 03:45 PM
11-12-2014 05:05 PM
by stevef1201
14 1,737
A little hang up in snow...
11-08-2014 07:05 AM
11-12-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
4 475
Bi-weekly winter...
11-04-2014 08:37 PM
11-12-2014 10:06 AM
by WesleySnips
9 667
taking first steps...
11-10-2014 08:24 PM
11-11-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
1 370
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
11-11-2014 08:12 AM
by Just for Cuts
4 425
Business Cards
10-25-2014 01:03 PM
11-11-2014 07:56 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 1,377
How the unregister?
11-04-2014 07:39 AM
11-10-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
4 645
Belt adjustment question
11-05-2014 06:43 AM
11-10-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
5 547
New parking area
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
11-10-2014 01:25 PM
by Steve
2 390
11-07-2014 05:42 PM
11-10-2014 11:41 AM
by Steve
1 349
hi, from Minnesota
11-07-2014 02:21 AM
11-07-2014 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 368
New to snow plowing
11-05-2014 04:00 PM
11-07-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
6 618
New Member
11-05-2014 10:35 PM
11-07-2014 01:15 PM
by Steve
1 411
New to the business
11-05-2014 03:21 PM
11-07-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
1 461
11-04-2014 02:19 PM
11-07-2014 12:54 PM
by Steve
1 494
Read more about these lawn care business marketing categories.
General Business:
GopherHaul, Podcast
How to Estimate - Services To Offer:
Aeration, Apartment / Condo, bed edging, Color Change Plantings, Dethatching, Edging, Fall Leaf Cleanups, Foreclosed Homes, Gutter Cleaning, Hardscaping, Hedge Trimming, Home Safety Inspection, Irrigation, Landscape Project, Lawn Mower Repair, Mowing, Mulch Jobs, Outdoor decoration, Parking Lot Cleanups, Pet Waste Removal, Pressure Washing, Property Management, Snow plowing, Stump Grinding, Tree Removal
How to Estimate Jobs:
Lawn Care Business:
Barter, Bikini Lawn Care, Business Failure, Business loan, Business Plan, Debt, Debt Collection, Estimate or Proposal Form, Franchise, Fuel surcharge, How to sell, Insurance, Job Tracking, Lawn Care Contract, Lawn Care Customer Survey, Lawn Care Uniform, Lawn Care Videos, Operational Costs, Overhead Costs, Prepay, Pricing, Start up, Tiger Time Lawn Care,
Lawn Care Business Books:
Lawn Care Customers:
Buying customers, Commercial Customers, Customer Retention, How to get, Residential Customers
Lawn Care Employees:
1 Man Lawn Crew, Bonus Pay, training, Your First Employee
lawn care equipment:
bed edger, Lawn Care Truck, Leaf Sweeper, Mower, New Arrival, Trailer, UltraVac
Lawn Care Marketing:
Billboard, Brochure, Business Card, Community Projects To Promote Your Business, Coupons, Cross Promotion / Synergy, Direct Mail, Door hanger, door to door, Free Giveaway Contest, Free Lawn Care Flyer Template, Gift or Discount Cards, home show, Internet, Lawn Care Business Sales Letter, Lawn Care Logo, Lawn Care Marketing, Lawn Care Truck & Trailer Signs, Lawn Care Website, Lawn Signs, Magazine Ad, Magnets, Mailing list, Marketing on, Newspaper Ads, Parade, Postcards, publicity stunt, Referrals, Review My Lawn Care Marketing Material, t-shirt, Welcoming Kit, Word Of Mouth
Seasonal Promotion Ideas:
4th of July, Armed Forces Day, Christmas, Election Day, Fall, Halloween, Memorial Day, Spring, Summer, Valentine's Day, Veteran's Day, Winter:
Estimation Software, Landscaper Software, Landscaping Business Software, Landscaping Estimate Software, Landscaping Software, Lawn Care Business Software, Lawn Care Estimating Software, Lawn Care Software, Mowing Software
Search Engine Optimization
» Lawn Care Business Discussion Categories
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy