Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]One of the things I think about, is it possible for a new lawn care business owner to compete on value? I guess theoretically it is possible but I think it is very difficult to just start out and position yourself as having more 'value' than another start up.
The answer is without a doubt, 'YES', it's definitely possible for a new LCO to compete on value. In fact, just starting out is the very time to do so.
Why? First off, because you don't really have processes in place and you could easily implement them right from the start. Once you have a routine established it's much more difficult to make changes.
Second, because you want to get quality, loyal customers right from the start and if you start off your business competing on value instead of price, you'll build a much more stable business than if you were simply competing on price.
So, how can a new guy just starting out compete on price? Well, the easy answer is to go the extra mile and do the things the average LCO isn't willing to do. Of course that's the 10,000 foot answer so I'll try to bring it down a little.
Offer service that others aren't willing to offer. Things such as a 'lawn/landscape diagnostic report' after each service visit. Much like the print out you get from JiffyLube or any other express oil change service, it's a simple page that lists all the services performed, offer suggestions for improving the lawn/landscape, and mentions the tentative date for the next service. That's one idea.
Another one would be to simply do the little things some LCO's don't do such as blowing all the grass off the hard areas (I know, I know, but most low-ballers don't do this), adding a pattern to the lawn, making sure the lawn is completely emaculate before leaving (no garbage, debris, etc.), or something as simple as showing up when you say you will.
Something else you could offer would be a personal follow-up visit to make sure everything's as they anticipated. I know many LCO's are afraid to interact too much with their customers but that's one of the best things you could do. Stopping by once a month or even simply calling them on the phone to find out how things are going will go a long way towards building a lasting relationship with your clients, plus, it gives you another opportunity to upsell them additional services.
So, is it possible for new guys to compete on value? Absolutely! Does it take a little extra effort? You bet. But, it's effort that will more than pay off down the road.