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View Full Version : What do you experienced contractors do in the winter & fall?


AdamCByrd
07-24-2005, 11:40 PM
I am just getting started in full-time lawn and landscape maintenance. I have over 30 commercial maintenance accounts (50/50 residential / commercial) that require weeding, blowing, trimming, and pruning 12 months a year. However, these jobs aren't enough to pay my bills in the fall and winter after I stop mowing.

Can ya'll please give me some ideas of services to provide in the fall and winter so that I can stay busy?

For example, would any of you recommend me investing in a leaf / debris collection system and remove leaves in the fall? Is there any money in that? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

olderthandirt
07-25-2005, 12:06 AM
Don't take this the wrong way but we are a service that only needed so many months out of the yr. espescially in the north. Its a sellers market in the spring and fall and I will raise my prices during those peak times and do extra work knowing that winter is coming and I'll be taking a few months off. Also we have the option of plowing but I hate that and try to avoid it as much as possable. So my advise is work more in the summer and enjoy the winters

AdamCByrd
07-25-2005, 12:12 AM
I know you didn't ask, but just for your reading pleasure, here's what I've got so far (but it isn't enough)

I'll be painting boundary lines in the woods for a large land management company in Mississippi. This might make me $2K this winter.

I am getting into the cattle business with my dad and will have some regular farm work. We pay ourselves $10/hr.

I already mentione in my original post about my commercial / residential landscape maintenance jobs, but they only keep me busy about 8 working days a month.

I'm looking for something to fill in the gaps, and I don't think I'll make enough this summer to let me just ease through the winter, although some more deer hunting time would not be a problem.

olderthandirt
07-25-2005, 01:01 AM
it takes time to build a business where you can take a few months off and still have made enough to sustain your life style and put something away for retirement. Around me we do a lot of lawn installations in the fall. The pay is great compared to maintenece, but you could be offering fert if you get lisc.{something you can do this winter} pruning in the fall and early winter is a great money maker. Point out all the potential tree limbs that could cause damage in a storm and sugggest removing them. Its hard for me to give Ideas becaus eof the differnt regions that we live and I'm not familiar with your growing seasons Good Luck and Great Hunting lol

rodfather
07-25-2005, 08:00 AM
Also we have the option of plowing but I hate that and try to avoid it as much as possable.

You mean sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and answering the phone while you send your guys out, right? :D

olderthandirt
07-25-2005, 10:19 AM
You mean sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and answering the phone while you send your guys out, right? :D
Smart azz ol f@rt, You know I don't sit in the kitchen, prefer a softer chair.

6'7 330
07-25-2005, 12:33 PM
Since as Mac has said we live in northern states and you are in the south, our options can be vastly different. Here in the winter we plow snow, salt parking lots etc.These are options available to us but not open to you in the south.
We do not do it, but the last few years, around here mostly lco’s have started putting up Christmas decorations.Some are very successful at this type endeavor.As Mac said it takes time to build your business, but with time, you will get there.

I wish you Good luck, all the way from chicago

rodfather
07-25-2005, 12:38 PM
Smart azz ol f@rt, You know I don't sit in the kitchen, prefer a softer chair.

Well, at least I got the part about sitting around drinking coffee and staying inside with momma, huh...LOL :p

YardPro
07-25-2005, 07:51 PM
vacation. vacation.. vacation...

Guthrie&Co
07-29-2005, 10:37 AM
sell christmas trees for a month. it makes pretty good for 4 weeks of work

John Gamba
07-29-2005, 02:48 PM
So my advise is work more in the summer and enjoy the winters

Yeah what Mac said. Hes my winter truck. I dont like plowing either.

John

splatz100
08-05-2005, 05:32 PM
Hey AdamCByrd,

Where are you located in LA??

SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC
08-05-2005, 06:04 PM
Sounds Like A Great Time To Go Out An Prospect For New Accounts ! Maybe Put Em On A 12 Month Payment Plan So You Always Have Income ?

Redneckn
08-05-2005, 07:37 PM
I have cows in Louisiana too. That is my winter income. Even though I dont cut yards. I do work on machines and we slow down in the cold too.

We are just north of Shreveport.

SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC
08-05-2005, 09:23 PM
I have cows in Louisiana too. That is my winter income. Even though I dont cut yards. I do work on machines and we slow down in the cold too.

We are just north of Shreveport.

I HAVE A REALLY GOOD FRIEND IN THE SIDING/ROOFING BUSINESS CLOSE BY IN NJ. HE IS ORIGINALLY FROM POLAND AND HAS MAINLY POLISH AND RUSSIAN GUYS WORKING FOR HIM. NONE OF THESE GUYS FROM SO CALLED COMMUNIST COUNTRIES ARE VERY LIBERAL AT ALL. THEY WORK VERY HARD, DO EXCELLENT WORK, OUTWARDLY SHOW HATRED TO LAZY PEOPLE OF ANY COLOR OR NATIONALITY , MOST ARE RELIGIOUS , ALL PAY TAXES IN EXCESS OF WHAT THEY NEED TO, THEY LOVE AMERICA AND THE OPPURTUNITIES IT PRESENTS AND ABSOLOUTELY DESPISE WHAT THE LIBERAL LEFT HAS DONE AND IS ATTEMPTING TO DO TO OUR COUNTRY. MOST OF THESE GUYS ARE OR SOON WILL BECOME CITIZENS AND IN MY OPINION HAVE A RIGHT TO SINCE THEY ARE PAYING THIER OWN WAY. MOST OF THESE GUYS VOTE STRAIGHT LINE REPUBLICAN AND HAVE AND HAVE A DRIVE AND WORK ETHIC NO LIBERAL COULD EVER MATCH. SO PLEASE DONT INSULT THEM BY CALLING THEM LIBERAL. HELL THE COMMUNIST CHINESE WOULD EVEN BE INSULTED BY EQUATING OUR LIBERALS WITH THIER COMMUNISM.
SORRY FOR THE RANT BUT THAT POST GOT UNDER MY SKIN. :angry:

Emerscape
08-06-2005, 06:27 PM
Plowing .... Plowing.... and plowing... :blob3: :blob3:

absolutely love the snow and plowing.. cant get enough of it... how can you argue with driving around in your truck making $65 an hour... other than snow removal i do brush clearing and a little bit of odds and ends.. if im not busy im out skiing .. love the winter

bobbygedd
08-06-2005, 07:06 PM
my boyfriend, my boyfriend, my boyfriend...
very nice. can we have a rated pg forum here?

RedWingsDet
08-06-2005, 07:18 PM
I do fall cleanups, in the fall. Theres TONs of money in that. Alot more than cutting grass, but only if you know how to price it right. And in the winter, I plow snow. GIT R DUN

nocutting
08-07-2005, 01:43 AM
12 monthly payments for established accounts, mulching after fall clean-ups,winter tree pruneing, amd the best are the "Anti-dessicants" [ Dec, Jan. & Feb] :cool2: payup :alien:

i_plant_art
08-07-2005, 02:32 AM
adam,

most of us sit around in the winter not doing much of anything....... as time goes on you will learn to take advantage of the opertunity to be in a business that is seasonal and learn more of the budgeting and business aspect of setting back some to make it through the winter..... as the business grows you will be able to do this easier and easier... also try putting more of the accounts on a 12 month plan..........if you can make it in the summer that way you should make it in the fall and winter that way, since there arent things to pay for like trimmer line, oil, gas, etc etc. i learned all of this the hard way...... bust my hump 16 hours a day in the spring and summer, spend it all in the spring and summer..... didnt have jack in the winter... still had to bust my hump....... as time goes on youll work things out so that u can relax and enjoy the cold........while it lasts....

TURFLORD
08-07-2005, 08:24 AM
I do snow removal with a sno-blower on a few residential customers. Not too many guys in my area will touch this, so I make a decent $. Also, interior painting and minor remodeling pays well too. Winter is the only time I get to fix my own stuff. Usually I manage to keep busy.

TWUllc
08-07-2005, 07:40 PM
Full time PT (personal trainer) at Bally Total Fitness (Gym). I'm not too big on working in snow, but I'm sure if I had a plow, and the work to justify the plow, I'd love plowing too. But for now, I'm a P.T., and love it.

AWJ Services
08-09-2005, 12:06 AM
I am just south of Atlanta and I guess we cut 9 months out of the year more or less.No snow here. :blob3:

If you only cut grass your really stuck.
The non growing months are an excellent time too concentrate on Beds,pruning,property improvments,etc.Stuff that is hard too fit in when you are busy during the summer.Bed edging is a profitable buisness and the winter is a great time too do this.Paver stone walks and patios and retaining walls are ghood money makers also.
If you have a tractor bushhogging and Food plots are big in the winter.
Just have too get off that mower.
Other than leaf collection it is an expensive doorstop.

impactlandscaping
08-09-2005, 03:47 AM
Well, at least I got the part about sitting around drinking coffee and staying inside with momma, huh...LOL :p


I don't know about you guys(mac, Rod and JG,) but I like to catch up on all my sleep from March thru Dec...lol. Vacations to somewhere warm are always nice too :D

rodfather
08-09-2005, 06:24 AM
I don't know about you guys(mac, Rod and JG,) but I like to catch up on all my sleep from March thru Dec...lol. Vacations to somewhere warm are always nice too :D

I rest up alot too Bill...plowing cha-ching is a nice extra though. :D

gorknoids
08-10-2005, 01:45 AM
for potential projects over the winter. I'm a landscaper trapped in a lawnmower's body right now, so I'm always looking for renovation projects on our properties. Winter is the time for getting to know your local stone suppliers (crusher run and flagstone), working on your art skills (Taking a copy of a customer's plat and laying out new beds) and farming out tree work (with a cut going to you).
I'm in zone 8 (microclimate for the state, which averages much cooler) so we're "balls-to-the-wall" 10 months out of the year. One word about recommending tree subs: I live in hurricane land too, so I know that there are an assload of hacks out there who aren't worth dealing with. Don't sub to any company (tree or otherwise) which you are not absolutely certain will do a top-notch job.
Look at your pre-emergent schedule, also. You probably need to start spreading in late Feb or early March if I'm not mistaken.
Getting to know the folks in other aspects of landscaping will result in a bunch of new contacts. Pool guys refer lawn guys, who refer irrigation guys, who refer mulch guys, etc........

Lost Pine
08-11-2005, 03:16 PM
GO TO KEY WEST AND LISTEN TO JIMMY BUFFET :blob3: :D