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cooltype
10-19-2009, 11:11 PM
I have been thinking about going in with a friend and opening a landscape supply store. I currently do landscaping/maintenance and he does hardscapes, so naturally we want to sell materials for both lines of work. Plan on carrying mulch, some plants, pavers, blocks, and probably some gravel, concrete sand, natural stone like flagstone, etc. Found a building in town thats about 2500 sf. half is garage space, the rest is office and lobby. The owner said we could put a deposit down and hold it till first of the year or feb. I want to have it going by first of march at the latest, thats when it starts warming up around here. Just wondering if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions? also, is there anything out there on the web that shows gross reciepts for other landscape supply stores around a certain area? I am curious what kind of volume we could expect to have. I atleast want to hire another guy to work full time with my part time guy to kinda take my place in the mowing field so i can dedicate time to the store if i do this. I might end up needing another person besides the 2 of us to run the store. The building is located on the second highest traveled road in the city and great road frontage.

thats really long so im going to stop now. so tell me what yall think?

sehitchman
10-20-2009, 12:17 AM
Do you plan to supply mostly Consumer do it your selfers? You may find little support from landscape/hardscape companies since you are also in the business.
I've got a couple of good supply Co's near me, but there always seems to be something more they could offer. Like hourly rental of a small dump trailer. Delivery of rock, block and other heavy items at a reasonable charge. Then gravel, sand and fill dirt need to be gotten somewhere else. Even if you don't offer all of that it would be nice if you lined up referral companies and posted the cost.

I would love it if mulch and pine straw prices could be held for 30-60 days from the quote, sometimes takes that long to get a commitment for the job. Customers really dislike having to change prices after giving a quote. Allow local landscape, hardscape companies to post business cards, but only those who purchase material from you.

Don't forget to get set up to take credit cards, consumers really like to use the plastic.
Good Luck and success!

lawnkingforever
10-20-2009, 01:14 AM
Around here these landscape supply companies have been popping up like weeds. The good thing is that it really has driven down the price of mulch this year. If your area is not over run with these companies, sounds like it could work for you since you have expirence. You guys would have a nice advantage with bidding work, since you would be getting material direct. Sehitchman had a great idea with the dump trailer. I see alot of these businesses doing firewood and Christmas trees during winter.

cooltype
10-20-2009, 01:41 AM
yeah there is only one place around here that has one very small dump trailer for rent. there are a handful of supply places around but most are poorly put together with no structure it seems like. Alot of places that sell plants and things but only 2 that i can think of right of hand for hardsapes. Also, the closest irrigation supply place is about twenty min away and i cant think of anywhere except that place that sells landscape lighting. I would eventually be really interested in selling irrigation and lighting supplies once i learned more about both. Another idea i have is to promote organic fertilizer in the future after i get licensed to spray it so i can not only spray yards but sell it. I dont see anybody really talking about the organic stuff around here but there is alot of people "going green".

I have alot of ideas i think could work really well its just a big step i feel like and i want to make sure i do it right.

I have been searching like crazy and for the life of me i cant find anything online about the gross income or gross sales of landscape supplies grouped by location or however to see what the market is like in my area. I dont have a good grip on what kind of volume there is potential for, although i see the few good landscape stores seem to be doing really well, any help on this part of how to find that info? I may just have to call the courthouse tomorrow and see if they can help. Thanks for the suggestions so far!

cooltype
10-20-2009, 01:47 AM
i know some contractors may be reluctant to bring me their business since i am a competitor, this shop is very close to some high end residential who i hope will come in and buy and maybe even give me business. Also its 5 min from downtown Chattanooga and a ton of people use the main road in front of the store to go to and from work. Worse case scenario i figure is if the retail sales turn out to be mediocre it will still be worth the extra business i can bring in by having a commercial poperty that draws attention to my maintenance and landscaping business. Rent is very cheap and the property is very nice, $1700 a month rent split between 2 guys and all we need to do to the property besides signage and supplying the yard is about 150ft of fence and gate, alot of the lot is already fenced in, so very low investment to property going into it.

CkLandscapingOrlando
10-20-2009, 08:55 AM
Down here I dont know 1 nursery that dont do installs except the very large wholesellers that sale by the truck load. Sales are down big time here on the soft and hardscape scene. Your talking real big over head here as well. You'll probly be buying 100yds at a time of every thing. Sod by the truck. A few pallets each of the stones, fert, and what nots. If your gonna carry plants you need every thing common and then the plants that set you apart. Alot of insurance.

If you can eat those cost and keep yourself a float for a few years till you can turn a profit, go for it.

david shumaker
10-20-2009, 07:17 PM
I use landscape supply companies for my mulch, rock, dirt, etc. I think you will need more than 2500 sq. ft. The companies I deal with have big and small dump trucks and big equipment to load if you pick up. I have everything delivered. It cost more, but saves time and hassle.