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howardsells2000
04-29-2006, 04:22 PM
This is my first year in the business. I was wondering if you guys that run your business alone offer other services besides cutting grass during the grass growing season. I have about 75 accounts now. Not all of them are every week cuts. I have a hard time just keeping all of the grass cut. People ask me all the time to get mulch or trim bushes but I really don't seem to have time for that. From what I have read on this site, it seems that there is alot of money to be made with the extra services.

I really want to work by myself. I don't want to take on more than I can handle. I am still learning everyday. Maybe it is something that you work up to. In the spring or fall I can do other things.

Just courious how you guys and girls handle all of this.

J Hisch
04-29-2006, 04:48 PM
getting your business plan lined out will help you alot. You are very correct when you say you dont have time for the extra's. What you might consider is finding another capable indivual who could assit with the extra's. Doing that when you are cutting. Or you might decrease your mowing to allow time for the extra's. But the extra work will die off at times. If I was in your shoes I would find a part-timer with a second shift job to do some work for you. Or just galdy reccommed soemone else. You can be all thing to all folks being solo unless you keep your client base very small and provide full service to everyone.

mrbray101
04-29-2006, 05:00 PM
Maybe if you got a helper you could set it up where you mow mon-thursday and save friday and saturday for extra services, rain days, or maintenance days. I do not have a full schedule yet so I enjoy getting the extra jobs because they are a bonus. I just did a 15 yard mulch job friday that took 5 hours and was bid at 1050 so I think that pretty good money can be made from extras like mulching, trimming, small landscape jobs, cleanups, etc. Good luck to you.

A1A Lawn Care
04-29-2006, 05:05 PM
Im a one man operation and I have about 20 accounts, but only 4 of them are solely mowing. The rest are full lawncare services. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of money to be made in "other" services. Thats where most of my revenue comes from is offering a full package.

Prestige-Lawncare
04-29-2006, 05:29 PM
You would be surprised at the services you can accommodate when customers ask for extras to be done.

The other day I stopped and talked to a guy a couple houses down from my home who was grinding some stumps out for these people. He was a lot like us here ... he started out a few years ago mowing. He now does "some" mowing .. but does other things as well, like the stump grinding. (I had a tree that died over the winter, and I wanted to see what he would charge to take my stump out .. which was $75. by the way). Well ... he started talking about mowing, a practically brand new dump trailer he saw in a guys yard for sale, and got really really cheap ... how he sets aside one day a week as his "free day" ... where he mows for his church, a couple of elderly people, a single mother who just got divorces, and he is helping her till she gets things right in her life ... etc. etc. etc.

Anyway ... he gave me his card ... and you know what ... now I have a guy who can grind stumps and stuff for me ... for my customers. He said his grinder is (or was) $15,000., and he would like to have the a bigger one too. The one he wants now sells for $35,000. I never thought of it ... but a couple of days after he was down the street grinding the small tree stumps ... he was back removing a few bigger bushes from a couple of flower beds. He says he does more flower beds then he ever thought he would be doing.

This is what networking is all about. I know four guys in the mowing business, and at one time or another guys call each other to see if they can do a job or two for each other during busy times.

I guess after all this ... my reply way ... get someone to do the "extra work" you don't, or want to do.

NETWORK ... NETWORK ... NETWORK

howardsells2000
04-29-2006, 05:42 PM
You guys gave me some great advise and I will think about it seriously. I have been thinking about getting a helper but I'm a little uncomfortable about doing it. I worry if I can support myself let alone someone else. I sure could use some help though.

Thanks, that's what I like about this site. Great advice.

barefootlawnsandlandscape
04-29-2006, 06:26 PM
It is amazing how much money good help can make you. With my two man operation I mow Mon-Wed. about 65 properties and Thurs. and Fri. are for landscape jobs. All of this is done by me and another guy. The landscaping jobs are were major profits are, but with the right equipment and the right people on that equipment your profit margin can go up on the mowing part too. It is all just a numbers game, if you can do a property in thirty minutes, you and another guy can probably do it in 15 to 20 in. If you have a large property, you can cut it down from 3 hrs. to 1hr 45min. A good employee will pay for themselves.

The Kiwi Lawn Ranger
04-29-2006, 08:15 PM
Dont think of an extra worker as someone you have to "support". Think of him as someone that is freeing you up, to help you make more money. So that you can go out and get those more lucrative jobs .
The Lawn Ranger
Taupo New Zealand.

cessnasovereign
04-29-2006, 08:51 PM
I plan to mow Mon-Thurs and have Fri/Sat as extra job days and or rain days. I've gotten ALOT of people wanting extra services, mostly people who I don't even cut for, just random people..

qualitylawnmanagement
04-29-2006, 09:24 PM
Why do you guys mow at the beginning of the week? People want there yard to look nice on the weekends for when people come over. I mow wed-friday and use Saturday as a back up day if it rains, and do all of my landscaping jobs mon-tuesday. I just always wonder why some people mow at the beginning of the week.

Killswitch
04-29-2006, 10:37 PM
Why do you guys mow at the beginning of the week? People want there yard to look nice on the weekends for when people come over. I mow wed-friday and use Saturday as a back up day if it rains, and do all of my landscaping jobs mon-tuesday. I just always wonder why some people mow at the beginning of the week.


Thats the way I do it too but I have a few commercials I do on saturday.

ECS
04-29-2006, 11:55 PM
I mow Mon-Thurs and leave Fri open for anything else or in case of a rain day. Worst cas scenerio is I end up going camping on fri afternoon and return Sun afternoon. So far it has worked out quite well for me doing it this way with no complaints.

topsites
04-30-2006, 01:14 AM
This is my first year in the business. I was wondering if you guys that run your business alone offer other services besides cutting grass during the grass growing season. I have about 75 accounts now. Not all of them are every week cuts. I have a hard time just keeping all of the grass cut. People ask me all the time to get mulch or trim bushes but I really don't seem to have time for that. From what I have read on this site, it seems that there is alot of money to be made with the extra services.

I really want to work by myself. I don't want to take on more than I can handle. I am still learning everyday. Maybe it is something that you work up to. In the spring or fall I can do other things.

Just courious how you guys and girls handle all of this.

I wouldn't do this now because it's asking for trouble, but towards end of the year, consider increasing a fair amount of your grass-cutted props by 5 dollars a cut: Don't do it for all of them but do this for the ones where you can really feel the drag for the money, leave the rest alone or you might hurt yourself. Then come spring of '07, quote those slightly higher prices as well... Actually, you could do it now for one or two here and there if you got one that's really un-nerving you but again I really would lean towards saying leave well enough alone and don't fix what ain't broken, so to speak.

That is what I did and I lost 15 of my grass-cutting accounts and now I have a little more time not only for other stuff but also I am able to keep on top of the grass schedule easier as well. It's a little less work in the end but not much, and the price increases balance it all out, I'm 1,800 ahead of last year's deposits by now even thou I'm working a little bit less (but not much).

The only other thing I've done since last year is plan ALL day same thing stuff: So when cutting grass, that is all I do all day - All I got with me is Wb, weedeater and blower and that is ALL I do - it is efficient because less stuff gets in the way because the truck and trailer isn't crammed full of crap and I'm not shifting gears from one job to the next, plus better mpg in the truck - In the evening after I get home, if tomorrow calls for another type of work, unload the grass mules and load whatever stuff required.

If push comes to shove, grass-cutting is always priority one for me, it just has to be that way. So I cut and cut and cut like a madman for several days (sometimes a week or so) until I'm finally caught up, then hit it off for a day and spread mulch like a madman and then it's back to grass-cutting for however long. Sometimes I do bring the hedgetrimmers along or some other small tool if there's a quickie job I can knock out enroute, do that.

Better still, for large projects I've been known to tackle it enroute like above by bringing one extra tool and knocking out one piece of the project then next week another bit ... So like if they wanted this and that and then some, I do this one week and that the other week and 3 weeks later it is done lol be creative, you'll be fine.

oslo
04-30-2006, 03:29 AM
Maybe cut back on the mowing next year. Eliminate some of you less lucrative accounts and PitA's. Use the mowing to get your name out there and for some steady income while you need it, but the money is "other services".

one man gang
04-30-2006, 04:57 PM
Why do you guys mow at the beginning of the week? People want there yard to look nice on the weekends for when people come over. I mow wed-friday and use Saturday as a back up day if it rains, and do all of my landscaping jobs mon-tuesday. I just always wonder why some people mow at the beginning of the week.

I too mow Mon. thru Thur. (and do the extras the other days ) with Mon. being the heaviest day. Everyone wants the grass cut on Fri. but I put as many people as I can early in the week so when it rains or there's a breakdown I never have to mow on Sat.. If one of my Mondays are having a weekend party or whatever, I cut them on Fri.. I hate cutting on the weekend when there's a million people out and about. And what happens if it rain Fri. and Sat.?

one man gang
04-30-2006, 05:10 PM
I too mow Mon. thru Thur. (and do the extras the other days ) with Mon. being the heaviest day. Everyone wants the grass cut on Fri. but I put as many people as I can early in the week so when it rains or there's a breakdown I never have to mow on Sat.. If one of my Mondays are having a weekend party or whatever, I cut them on Fri.. I hate cutting on the weekend when there's a million people out and about. And what happens if it rain Fri. and Sat.?

I shouldn't say never, it could rain Thur. and Fri.

J&R Landscaping
04-30-2006, 06:19 PM
I've been doing mowing but also offering the other jobs. It takes some time and scheduling but so far so good! My customers who want other landscape jobs done get put on a list. Right now, I have about a week and a half of work to get done plus mowing. I tell them this when I estimate the job. Most don't mind because they where refered to me and know how good the work is!

ENDURO
05-01-2006, 04:19 PM
I also didn't really want to do any extra services as I just didn't have the time and it seemed to really slow me down. I do however try and do as many as I can for 2 main reasons. First, the extra money is nice. Second, and this is just as or more important than the 1st: You don't really want your customer getting quotes from other LCO's for lawncare services as there is a good chance they could end up w/ your mowing account next year. Just my opinion.

StBalor
05-01-2006, 10:09 PM
You guys gave me some great advise and I will think about it seriously. I have been thinking about getting a helper but I'm a little uncomfortable about doing it. I worry if I can support myself let alone someone else. I sure could use some help though.

Thanks, that's what I like about this site. Great advice.

I was the same way. I hired a guy this year and it's working out ok. I just went out and picked up more lawns this year so i could pay him and still be making what i am use to. Even doing it this way i get done alot quicker and have time for other things. So i am making more money in the end.

KINGjosh
05-02-2006, 02:28 AM
75 is a nice # for a solo op if they are all prime accounts. All you have to do is raise your cutting rates and every other service you offer up. Blame it on rising business expenses as I did.

I was just like you, then I raised my rates on all accounts to above market price.
That got rid of about 10-15, Then you also send a note to all bi-weekly clients stating that thier price is going up considerably if they don't get on a weekly cut program. Only if their grass is getting out of control. Then slowly weed out old customers with new high paying accounts. Then you get the ferts and all the extras you can handle. All of my extras except trimming are priced fairly high, that way 75% of the people say no and it keeps me less stressed. And when they do agree to the price, you will have no trouble finding the time my friend, trust me.

My point is, people like us cant keep getting more and more customers. We want a reasonable amount of top notch clients that pay top dollar. It will take a while to get your schedule filled up this way but once its achieved, you will be making a **** load of money working minimal hours.