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Exact Rototilling
02-05-2009, 04:47 PM
Considering going with an Aeration centered business model...

Anyone here on Lawnsite have success with a plan like this? :confused:

I've read the really expensive out of print book titled: "Lawn Aeration: Turn Hard Soil Into Cold Cash" many good solid pointers in it.

If I could figure out a way to aerate through the entire growing season I'd bag weekly mowing completely. Problem is aeration is very seasonal. Has anyone done well with the service through the entire season in a northern climate?

Since I'm a legit business Licensed , bonded & insured company with real expense it makes little sense to only be busy during the spring and Fall and not be working when I can't aerate. This is the only reason I'm mowing for 2009 is .... cash flow.

My current plan is still go after weekly mow, trim and blows for the entire season but also work up to 7 days a weeks during the Spring rush ... upselling aerations during the same period of time.

Any input?

Exact Rototilling
02-05-2009, 06:36 PM
I've been thinking about this more. I think the best plan of action is to have my wife [currently unemployed] be largely responsible for aeration flyers and door hanger distribution. And also have her do the great majority of estimates for aerations handing out sprinkler flags etc. This frees me up for the actual work of aerating and my normal weekly mowing etc. The great majority of aerations I have done require an estimate - hand over some sprinkler flag then come back to aerate later.

Now if I could only get her to do the aerations as well. :rolleyes:

phasthound
02-05-2009, 06:47 PM
I've been thinking about this more. I think the best plan of action is to have my wife [currently unemployed] be largely responsible for aeration flyers and door hanger distribution. And also have her do the great majority of estimates for aerations handing out sprinkler flags etc. This frees me up for the actual work of aerating and my normal weekly mowing etc. The great majority of aerations I have done require an estimate - hand over some sprinkler flag then come back to aerate later.

Now if I could only get her to do the aerations as well. :rolleyes:

Put that gal to work as your marketing director! :walking:

1.2.3. green
02-05-2009, 09:14 PM
I have seen strictly aerating company's on line.I myself do lawn treatments and I aerate lawns throughout the season. More in the spring and fall but if a new customer needs an aeration I DO IT IF IT NEEDS IT because if the ground is rock hard the treatments are worthless. Only time I will not aerate is in a drought, or really hot dry weather predicted.:)

LawnTamer
02-05-2009, 10:19 PM
Couldn't do it here. People here only aerate in the spring and fall. There are too many college kids and boy scout troops that use aeration to raise money. I am lucky if I can get $40-45 for an average 5-6k lawn. I make as much money mowing as I do aerating. Of course, I can mow a lot faster.

Exact Rototilling
02-05-2009, 10:57 PM
Couldn't do it here. People here only aerate in the spring and fall. There are too many college kids and boy scout troops that use aeration to raise money. I am lucky if I can get $40-45 for an average 5-6k lawn. I make as much money mowing as I do aerating. Of course, I can mow a lot faster.Wow and I thought we had it bad here. Fairly easy to get 1.5 times the mowing rate here but pretty tough to get the 2.5x the mowing rate. However point well taken - that's why I'm aggressively going to market mowing this year right along side with aeration in the spring.

I just renewed my multitude of licenses for Washington state and my $210 bond is due for renewal [required for a license in WA] but that doesn't stop the Craigslist lowballers in Spokane from advertising for $25 per aeration for lawns up to 15,000 square feet plus Same day service with 25 years experience every spring. You just can't be a legitimate Co. and operate at those rates, pay sales tax & business operation tax on Gross revenue. I'm not the busy body type but it really irks me when I see that going on. These clowns probably have a disabled sign hanging from their rear view mirror, collect SSI, food stamps and welfare etc. :nono:

Wish me the best. Gave my wife a good pep talk tonight. Hope she can do flyers, door hangers and estimates and sprinkler flags and I can do the rest on my non mowing days. :walking:

What is scary is the luxury spending is down over 30% for 2008. Who knows what it will be for 2009?

john_incircuit
02-07-2009, 06:27 PM
I think it would be difficult to turn aerating into a year round business... even so that we charge for aerating 3 x as much as we do for mowing the same area.

If you can line up the jobs and have the endurance, it may work, but as you saturate one area, your driving times will get longer and longer.

For example, our properties are pretty small, 4k to 6k in average and all within 10 minutes drive time or less. One person can aerate 5 to 7 a day, so this is around $700 or $800 a day.

Lining up 1000 properties a year, all within easy driving distance would be a challenge for us.

treegal1
02-07-2009, 09:18 PM
exact, why not start an organic soil service??? add compost and some seed to the aeration and you got a cash cow, depending on state laws maybe an organic fert gig??? that will work great with the aerating and tilling, and again add a pile O seed and its an organic lawn??? but that only.02 cents so..................

hey also let the head of your household go talk to other heads of the house??? works here.....

here is the stuff you need

http://yelmworms.com/index.php

lbmd1
02-09-2009, 08:46 AM
Go to www.lawnaerating.com I spoke to him about 8 years ago about his service. He runs year round but he's based out of CA. Great guy, shared lots of helpful info. He guided me into offering aerating more aggressively. I was looking at the Plugr and after talking to him, I went for it. Anyone serious about aerating need only buy a Plugr. Once you have one, nothing compares to ease and quality of plug depths. I live in NH and only offer aerating in fall and some in the spring, but it adds a good deal of $$ to the bottom line. Very profitable service when you add some seed and some straight fert to the visit.

Mike

Exact Rototilling
02-09-2009, 01:49 PM
Go to www.lawnaerating.com I spoke to him about 8 years ago about his service. He runs year round but he's based out of CA. Great guy, shared lots of helpful info. He guided me into offering aerating more aggressively. I was looking at the Plugr and after talking to him, I went for it. Anyone serious about aerating need only buy a Plugr. Once you have one, nothing compares to ease and quality of plug depths. I live in NH and only offer aerating in fall and some in the spring, but it adds a good deal of $$ to the bottom line. Very profitable service when you add some seed and some straight fert to the visit.

Mike

Yes I've been to their web site before. I will be using some of the same tactics for "why my service is better" and it's not just the Plugr. You should see the mess the other companies leave behind on walks and driveways. :hammerhead:

I'm not getting much of a commitment from my wife for doing flyers - door hangers, estimates and scheduling. Thinking about hiring someone. However my experience has been pretty bad when I bring someone on board. They want a "bigger cut of the pie" customers thinks the employee is under paid and I'm jerk because the lawn only took so long to mow.

Also thinking about spending some big bucks on enclosed trailer graphics to get the message across. Everybody has "Lawncare" or "Landscape" on their trailers. Dime a dozen. But how many people have a rolling flyer on wheels showing how much better my service is than the other Co's for aeration? Mowing route will be very tight but I'm willing to drive a little further for Aeration since it's more money per hour than mowing. Fact is I have no plans to advertise mowing in the service paper.

I think I'm going to buy a tasteful [non-dork] scooter to speed up the flyer and door hanger runs. Will stow it in my enclosed trailer on flyer days. Walking is way too slow huge time burner. Well honey I bought the $2000 scooter since I figured I'd be stuck with the flyer duty and couldn't count on your help. :laugh:

Exact Rototilling
02-09-2009, 01:55 PM
exact, why not start an organic soil service??? add compost and some seed to the aeration and you got a cash cow, depending on state laws maybe an organic fert gig??? that will work great with the aerating and tilling, and again add a pile O seed and its an organic lawn??? but that only.02 cents so..................

hey also let the head of your household go talk to other heads of the house??? works here.....

here is the stuff you need

http://yelmworms.com/index.php

Thanks Treegal,

The organic angle has always interested me. I've thought of marketing the organic approach but what I've learned is it seems that people just don't want to pay for much for any extras. I had a tough time selling common fertilizer along with aeration as it was. Most just wanted me to aerate and they will do the fertilizer themselves.

The organic approach is great - I'm 100% sold on it. Unfortunately one needs to tap into the greatest market base to survive in this business.

I did a few lawn renovations last year, small area lawn planting and I top dressed with treated compost sewage sludge [hardly organic - almost Haz Mat IMO] over seeding etc. As a solo op I found that I got bogged down on bigger projects and it was tough to keep my schedule. Also I have a fairly limited hauling ability with my trailers and vehicles. I have to preposition a different trailer the day before....etc.

My plan for 2009 is to focus on specific areas to cut down a windshield time and fuel burn. If I can't be in and out of a property inside of 1.5 to 2 hours regardless of the service I'm going to bid very high on whatever service it is.

My plan is to build up my mowing clientele as the core of the business and work my myself silly cramming my spring services [aeration, tilling, renovations] around the edges working 7 days a week during the spring. :weightlifter:

Exact Rototilling
02-09-2009, 11:26 PM
*trucewhiteflag*
I'm looking for attention grabbing possibly digital wrap graphics examples to put on my enclosed trailer to upsell my aeration service. Any ideas?

I was thinking of something WWII style bomber nose art style but not something that would not offend my wife so that would mean no female girl stuff but something of bomber nose art style to get the point across. Just brain storming here. Just a total upsell on why you need your lawn aerated with my Plugr.

Any ideas?