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Think I'm being pushed out (Mowed Over)


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Old 04-01-2011, 02:02 PM
devuono311 devuono311 is offline
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Default Think I'm being pushed out (Mowed Over)

So, I'm in a tough spot. I think I'm being lierally pushed out of the market and "mowed over" so to speak. I've placed a few bids recently and I've based every bid at the lowest I could possibly go and still survive. Example, I bid a local property that is overseen by a property manager. Last year I was one of 2 bidders. This year, no exaggeration, close to 20 different "businesses" bid on that same property... WTF? Anyhow a larger business keeps landing these accounts and looking at prices I really dont understand how they are doing it? My only theory is they are handing some poor sap a mower and trimmer and paying him $8.00 an hour to go take care of these properties. I'm killing myself in gas running around trying to place bids. Another perfect example. As I posted on another post on this forum, I had an opportunity to bid a local school district. My bid was right around $56,000 for the year. That would cover MY overhead, pay my bills, and pay a helper at $12.00/ hr. for 30 hrs/week . Some poor lad landed that same bid for $16,500 a year for the next three years! Over 12 months pay period thats only $1,375.00 a month and for one guy to do it alone you're talking 50-60 hours a week! You're talking a football field, two soccer fields, three baseball fields, all done twice weekly, then two elementary schools, a middle school, the highschool, , administration building, transportation garage, and a adult education school every week also. I honestly feel bad for that guy. I see him going under shortly, unless I missed a huge memo somewhere.

However, back on track, I'm struggling to make it a go this year. I'll be lucky to take on more than the 8 accounts I have from last year. I am going to keep pushing residential this year, but on average I'll need atleast 25 accounts total to make it work. I just cant believe the number of companies that have popped up out of nowhere this year! They are REALLY " Mowing me over".....
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:07 PM
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What other kinds of marketing are you doing? Do you have a website? Is it listed on the search engines? Do you have a listing on google places? Have you registered on business directories at all? Online advertising is the best way to go, everyone uses the internet now a days.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:25 PM
950thomas 950thomas is offline
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The larger companies can bid lower because of volume and usually there is capital improvement work on larger commercial that offsets the lower monthly price that is how I do it
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:13 PM
devuono311 devuono311 is offline
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Please explain deeper if you dont mind. So I can understand, maybe if I understand better, I can see it reasonable to stay. I WANT this sooo bad, but if I cant see making it 5 years down the road, I need to know what I'm looking at.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:48 PM
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The bigger companies can do more properties at lower profit margins its like Walmart when u get big u have to keep crews busy even if u are not making money on that one property u still have your crews for the otherwork that u are making money on I might do a apartment complex cheap just so I can get there capital improvement work because that will typically cover the difference
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:34 AM
cruzgardening cruzgardening is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devuono311 View Post
So, I'm in a tough spot. I think I'm being lierally pushed out of the market and "mowed over" so to speak. I've placed a few bids recently and I've based every bid at the lowest I could possibly go and still survive. Example, I bid a local property that is overseen by a property manager. Last year I was one of 2 bidders. This year, no exaggeration, close to 20 different "businesses" bid on that same property... WTF? Anyhow a larger business keeps landing these accounts and looking at prices I really dont understand how they are doing it? My only theory is they are handing some poor sap a mower and trimmer and paying him $8.00 an hour to go take care of these properties. I'm killing myself in gas running around trying to place bids. Another perfect example. As I posted on another post on this forum, I had an opportunity to bid a local school district. My bid was right around $56,000 for the year. That would cover MY overhead, pay my bills, and pay a helper at $12.00/ hr. for 30 hrs/week . Some poor lad landed that same bid for $16,500 a year for the next three years! Over 12 months pay period thats only $1,375.00 a month and for one guy to do it alone you're talking 50-60 hours a week! You're talking a football field, two soccer fields, three baseball fields, all done twice weekly, then two elementary schools, a middle school, the highschool, , administration building, transportation garage, and a adult education school every week also. I honestly feel bad for that guy. I see him going under shortly, unless I missed a huge memo somewhere.

However, back on track, I'm struggling to make it a go this year. I'll be lucky to take on more than the 8 accounts I have from last year. I am going to keep pushing residential this year, but on average I'll need atleast 25 accounts total to make it work. I just cant believe the number of companies that have popped up out of nowhere this year! They are REALLY " Mowing me over".....
All i have to say is this You stand out from the crowed and you will be heading the way in 5 years and the competition will lose money time and they wont be around by next year. I Think the friend who sold me the lawn care route was feeling the same way as you are but i have gained around 15 accounts in the last 6 months, all residential accounts. So the guy who is working for 1500 a month for the school district will not do the work like the district will want it to be done and he might not even finish his contract before they are already looking for another vendor so don't feel intimidated, right now its the time for us to stick to our guns, in a year or 2 this smaller companies will disappear the same way they appeared.


now the big companies are trying to keep their crews busy and remember they only pay theior crew no more than $9/hr so explain that to the clients when you meet with them if they talk about price.

2011 is still a slow year so im sure people are still losing their jobs and doing what is easier for them but the real businesses will weather this downpour of "gardeners". Also if you have some accounts that you do a terrific job for they will likely call you once the other guys disapoint them.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:54 PM
devuono311 devuono311 is offline
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Thanks for the feedback and positive attitudes guys. Its greatly appreciated.
I've needed to hear some of this.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzgardening View Post
All i have to say is this You stand out from the crowed and you will be heading the way in 5 years and the competition will lose money time and they wont be around by next year. I Think the friend who sold me the lawn care route was feeling the same way as you are but i have gained around 15 accounts in the last 6 months, all residential accounts. So the guy who is working for 1500 a month for the school district will not do the work like the district will want it to be done and he might not even finish his contract before they are already looking for another vendor so don't feel intimidated, right now its the time for us to stick to our guns, in a year or 2 this smaller companies will disappear the same way they appeared.


now the big companies are trying to keep their crews busy and remember they only pay theior crew no more than $9/hr so explain that to the clients when you meet with them if they talk about price.

2011 is still a slow year so im sure people are still losing their jobs and doing what is easier for them but the real businesses will weather this downpour of "gardeners". Also if you have some accounts that you do a terrific job for they will likely call you once the other guys disapoint them.
for residentials i get calls to talk about mowing and sometimes do things like till out a few flower beds. i tell them i can give you a bid for mowing and cleaning and tilling beds or if you use my services all summer i will fix the flower beds at no extra cost on my first visit.Yes it took me about 1.5 hours of free labor but i gained a customer.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
I might do a apartment complex cheap just so I can get there capital improvement work because that will typically cover the difference
What kind of jobs would fall under the capital improvement umbrella? What should these other lawn care business owners be looking for to offer as an upsell?
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