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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Competition take away?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #21  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxarth View Post
... The customers belong to me, just as I belong to them. ... We put possession to a lot of things. It's not weird to put possession on our customers.
If they somehow belong to you, can you sue someone for taking them from you? Who will listen to your complaint and what judgment do you deserve?

My personal philosophy, and I hope that of many others, is that you call them "my customer" because they've given you a job. They've not given you themselves. They call you "my landscaper" because you give them work in exchange for money. You don't give them yourself. The only right you have is to fair exchange of their money for your effort. To me it feels more like an alignment than an ownership.
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2012, 12:24 PM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Do not badmouth other people/companies to get work - anything else is fair game. Marketing to a neighborhood because you think a lot of people there hire lawn companies is a smart move. People switch providers for many different reasons - day, time, price, frequency, quality of service, services you offer, customer service, billing practices. Don't feel bad when we get a customer that used to have another provider - don't feel bad when we lose one either. Its a business - some people forget that and take things personally that they shouldn't.

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  #23  
Old 02-03-2012, 12:48 PM
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We are all so very alike, yet we are competition.

Sad stuff. Good thing we are all separated from each other.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:46 PM
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I've changed my thinking over the past few years. I've become more tolerant of competition and less tolerant to slavery. In the process I've become more fair. To myself and others.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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^ My way of life.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:03 PM
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i certainly would not be purposely knocking on peoples doors looking to steal anyones customers because i believe in the karma thing and what goes around comes around, but at the same time i would not be knocking on anyones door looking for work to begin with because you only come off as a unprofessional hack with nothing better to do.

i would however advertise the hell out of my business in any way shape or form possible and if someone called me up for a price on their own free will, i could care less who was serviceing the property.
thats life and all of your customers came from somewhere, you did not invent them and if they did not cut their lawn before you they don't intend on cutting it themselves after you.

if someone comes along and offers a better job at a better price and they believe them and they come through on their promise you will be thrown out to pasture quicker then the jews left christ 99 out of 100 times.

if they called or asked about a price or problem that would be a clear indicator that they are not 100% happy with who they have regardless if it were your mom.

there are unwritten rules and ethics we follow as competitors and for the most part all is fair in love and war but two things you don't do is knock on other contractors customers doors and low ball them on purpose to steal the job.

i would not want to be on the recieving end of that bad mojo especially when we are in a business in which our successes are determined by a whole lot of hard work and a whole lot of luck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
We are all so very alike, yet we are competition.

Sad stuff. Good thing we are all separated from each other.

i find that funny, sad and true.

thats the difference between us common everyman types in comparison to say doctors.

my wife is in the medical field and when they have confrences with all the vendors of the medical supply companies like we have in trade shows most of the conversations in the educational portions of the shows are about the doctors working in harmony with each other keeping prices and costs within a certain percentage of each other, so in order to not create too much parody in their prices to force patients to shop around.
sure they go over new products and go into how they can cut costs and be more efficient but as a industry they work together.

our trade shows mostly pertain to if you buy this new 10,000 peice of equipment it will pay for itself in two years and all it is is product pushing.
most of the seminars are for CEU's on certain licenses but they usually revolve around a particular product and if you started selling it today you could make more money.
they never go into ethics and working together mantras because there is nothing for them to sell and make off of you and they want you to believe it's that new lawn mower you really need to turn a profit

we could make more money and benifit far more from each other then we can taking each others lunches.

we have a little cooperative with myself and 20 other local landscapers, we formed a group and we pay dues and have meetings and have guys come in to give lectures for pesticide credits and we hooked up with vendors and we buy our equipment from the same people so we get a group discount and we all charge within a specific price range.
we don't have a set singular price, it is more of a high and low.

for example, hourly labor rate low would be say 55.00 per hour and high would be 65.00 per hour which is fair because we are all legit but at the same time our businesses vary in size.

from there the big difference is how many hours you or the others would charge and we let that determine who's price is better.
it might take one guy 10 hours and the other might take 6 hours.

we got wet backs that are as bogus as you could be lowballing at like 25.00 per hour but the people in our area is conditioned to know the price ranges of all the guys that are fully insured so when pepe lopez comes along with a price of half of what the next lowest guy is the red flag goes up, pepe gets shot down and he can go try that crap in another town because it aint happening here.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:33 PM
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Doctors do that because nearly all of their invoices go to insurance companies or welfare.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:22 PM
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Doctors do that because nearly all of their invoices go to insurance companies or welfare.
no that is not true, if you don't have insurance and if you don't qualify you get stuck with it as well as doctors get paid a set rate for each procedure from insurance co's.

but needless to say i really dont want to get into a debate about the american healthcare system and my reference to the medical profession was one example of many professions that practice solidarity. lawyers, accountants, electricians, plumbers and the list goes on.
they all have a standard price range they work in and it has nothing to do with what profession makes more.
it varies from region to region in what the rate actually is due to differences in cost of living.

when it comes to landscapers and tree guys, they can tell you all they want about what they want to make per hour but when a customer calls up 5 different companies they get 5 totally different prices, it leads them to believe we just pull the numbers out of our azzes and start to think we are all crooks.
this will be my 23rd year in business and my 28th doing it and i can say that between what i have witnessed first hand and heard from customers over the years about the other guys out there i really start to wonder if we are our worst enemy.
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  #30  
Old 02-03-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default It doesnt make a difference either way.

You can go door to door, or post a sign on a bulletin board, either way if you get the attention of someone that already uses another company, then your advertising to the competitions customers.

I send postcards to all of the higher value neighborhoods numerous times a year, knowing that my competition does work in that neighborhood. Why?
Because you want to market to the people that need and use your services.

You will always be advertising to your competitions customers, no matter how you do it. Its part of the business.
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