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DiSantolandscaping
10-09-2011, 12:02 PM
is it possible to get in to doing hardscapes in softscape installs without being in the mowing side of things? I want to do hardscapes, softscapes. lawn installs etc. I dont mind mowing but theres 50 million people that only mow. and i didnt know if there was a way of just doing installs and so on.

Dr.NewEarth
10-09-2011, 02:03 PM
Why not? You just have to advertise. There is a company here that has done quite well doing just turf installations. They got a job putting down turf at the football stadium (artificial usually) so that an English Elite leaque Soccer team could play here.

I think all you need is the knowledge, experience, along with advertising and drive

Bigred350
10-10-2011, 09:55 AM
We have been in the landscaping business for 35 years and have never mowed one blade of grass.
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White Gardens
10-12-2011, 07:58 AM
I mow maybe 5 yards, and next year it will be down to 3. The only reason I mow these accounts anyways is that they are full maintenance clients and they requested the mowing.

I can't compete mowing only because I can't just mow and go and call it good. I'm always picking up sticks, weeding, edging, sniping a few shrubs, etc... Ultimately my price is higher than other mow services and I tell any potential client that.

I primarily do landscaping and that is 90% of my business. My business model has done well for me, but the only drawback is the not-so steady income. I've had some banner months, and some extremely slow months.

My only other problem with my set-up is that the economy, and my smaller market is pushing down prices for services. Not only is every Tom Dick and Harry out mowing, but now they want to landscape. Where I shine is that I have the knowledge to do it right and I've fixed my fair share of installs. That and I also get business because the mow guys just want to mow. I've acquired a few accounts just because of that reason, and I have a feeling that as time progresses, that is what the mowing industry will have to adjust to, which is full service.

It can work, but you just need to make sure you are marketing yourself correctly and getting the landscaping business. To compensate for the income stream, I have a good amount of landscape maintenance clients where I go in once every 3 weeks and take care of everything but the mowing. That helps fill in between the landscaping and hardscaping installs.

CALandscapes
10-12-2011, 11:23 AM
We offer maintenance services in addition to installation, but do not accept "mowing" only clients. All of our maintenance is full-service, and most of the residential maintenance clients have signed up with us after we installed their landscape/ hardscape. These maintenance clients help us not only by providing a steady stream of revenue through their regular maintenance contracts, but also by many of the extras they request (for example, we have several clients who spend $10k+ annually on seasonal color & mulch).

MarkintheGarden
10-25-2011, 02:00 AM
is it possible to get in to doing hardscapes in softscape installs without being in the mowing side of things? I want to do hardscapes, softscapes. lawn installs etc. I dont mind mowing but theres 50 million people that only mow. and i didnt know if there was a way of just doing installs and so on.

Mowing is steady work and income and requires less tools, knowledge and experience.

Isobel
11-08-2011, 11:42 PM
is it possible to get in to doing hardscapes in softscape installs without being in the mowing side of things? I want to do hardscapes, softscapes. lawn installs etc. I dont mind mowing but theres 50 million people that only mow. and i didnt know if there was a way of just doing installs and so on.

of course it's possible. just need to focus your skills, target your advertising, and find the clients that don't need mowing.

GreenI.A.
11-09-2011, 12:25 PM
I'm late on this one but we don't touch mowing at all. I own a commercial mower only because I find cleanup is easier on installs if we mow the grass down short before beginning. We specialize in Irrigaion, Landscape Lighting and Fertilizer, but also do alot of lawn installs and starting to do more and more hardscaping and softscape plantings. The way things are now, I am expecting to start the season next year with 10 full time employees (7 highly skilled guys, 3 laborers) all with out doing lawn maintanence

JimLewis
11-10-2011, 09:32 PM
Mark Bales is correct. Weekly maintenance accounts provide good regular steady income, often year-round. Where design/build is very season in most parts of the country and can also go up and down depending on the economy.

I prefer the landscape design/build part of the company. That's the part I work most in. I have other people that predominately manage all the sales, employees, etc. for the maintenance division. But maintenance provides a good, regular, dependable income 12 months out of the year for us. We handle about 270 accounts each week at an average of $165-$175 each. Do the math on that. That's the amount we make each month, 12 months of the year, from our maintenance division.

The profit margin is much better in hardscapes & design/build side of the business. But that side isn't steady.

Not to say it can't be done. Obviously several people have already replied that they don't do much or any maintenance. I just think it's more difficult this way because you don't have a cushion. Maintenance makes for steady cash flow.

AGLA
11-10-2011, 10:23 PM
Don't overlook the fact that mowing can be a marketing engine for a company that is not yet well established. It puts you in direct contact with potential install customers every week. It gives you many potential recomendations from them to people that they know. It gets you, your crews, and your trucks seen all over town all of the time.

Advertising for landscape construction without being established or any other recognition will not get you very far on a good day, and no where at all in this economy.

JimLewis
11-10-2011, 10:38 PM
Very good point! Approx. 25% of our hardscape / landscape design/build business this year came from our existing maintenance clients or their friends.

GreenI.A.
11-11-2011, 08:24 PM
Very good point! Approx. 25% of our hardscape / landscape design/build business this year came from our existing maintenance clients or their friends.

Hereing that makes me want to consider starting a maintenance crew or two