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View Full Version : How many of you offer fert??


LB Landscaping
12-05-2002, 11:45 PM
I am looking into getting certified for fertilization. Alot of my customers have their property taken care of buy companies like Tru-Green, and Lawn dawg, I know that alot of them would switch over to me if I offered it. So how many of you guys offer it? Is it worth it?

Runner
12-06-2002, 12:37 AM
You can't even TOUCH with a lawnmower what you can make in fert.. The profit margin is just so much higher. It's like this. I'll tow my 18' ft. trailer to a job, unload my $10,000 mower, cut the lawn, trim it all out, then blow it and collect my 35-40 bucks for my 35 minutes time. THEN, I'll unload my $400 spreader, drop in about $16 worth of product, spread it in about 10 minutes, (15 at most) and collect $55. Now, let's do the math. $55 in. $16 out. That leaves me $39 that I made in about 10 minutes. How much gas did I burn doing it? How many blades do I have to sharpen? Belts? Pulleys? Oil changes? (The most I have to do to my spreader(s) is a squirt of grease every now and then.) How much depreciation on my $10,000 er I mean my $400 spreader. Sure, it takes more clientele, but if you can get through them like that, you can build it. I'll never buy another piece of mowing equipment again. I am currently at only about 100 accounts right now, but am going to double this this upcoming season. The season after that, I will double that, and ceiling out for myself for awhile. (approx. 400 accounts) The program is already rolling and it's WORKING! THIS is where it's at! I currently only do the fert part of the time, but when I dedicate my full days to the fert., I do about $800 a day. I am not meaning to sound like I am boasting here, but just stating on an educational note for everyone, that I do more before an early lunch than what I do all day myself with my Lazer. The trick is, to have the knowledge, and KNOW WHAT THE HECK YOU'RE DOING. I am blessed, because I have a former golf course superintendent with some SERIOUS education mentoring me. He did this for several years, and has won PGA awards as well. He said that one day, he just came to the realization that if he's going to have 3 to 400 people (members) bickering at him, that he might as well own something. So, he went out on his own, and has a company that does thee - finest - work in the area. No one can even come CLOSE to the grass he grows. I swear this man could grow grass - on a rock - in someone's basement. His (ours, now) turfs are so thick, that we perform what WE call the golf ball test. What this is, is we can cut the grass at 3" high, take the customer out in his lawn, take a golf ball, hold it straight out and drop it. This ball hits the top of the grass, and STAYS right at the top. There is NO other company around that grows grass that thick. Oh sure, there are some decent co.'s out there with decent looking yards, but not like this. Is it a pain to cut? Oh, sure. I cut several of them, but it is well worth it. We don't get a whole lot of top growth, but the grass is just so thick, that the discharge chute is full. It takes a high powered mower to cut it. A homeowners tractor is basically useless on many of these lawns. These customers end up hiring out the cutting, and I LOVE to see the other cutters reactions to this. :D Anyway, I am just blessed to have such a friend to help me like this. He has taught me so much, (I already had a decent start, granted, in the agronomy end of it, I guess that's why he opted to "work" with me on this. Thanks, John. It is truly a blessing having you as a friend.:angel:

LAWNGODFATHER
12-06-2002, 03:56 AM
Just fert alone is less than 1/4 of the service a certified lawn care tech. can provide that offers a complete IPM program.

Don't be a fert only service. Just applying fert alone does more harm than good.

Tony Harrell
12-06-2002, 06:33 AM
I realized the advantages of lawn care over maint quickly. I passed the NC test last month and want to steer my biz in that direction primarily. I'm grooming my cousin to take over the maint end of things and I'll still retain control. If you do the numbers, the application side is a real winner. I agree however, knowledge is the key.

Gravely_Man
12-06-2002, 10:43 AM
If the above comments don't get you to become certified for fertilization I don't know what will. It is a great moneymaker for you. Start studying now for the exam.

Gravely_Man

LAWNGODFATHER
12-06-2002, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by Gravely_Man
If the above comments don't get you to become certified for fertilization I don't know what will.

He doesn't need to be certified to apply fert., He does however to apply any control chemicals.

Too many people think just adding fetilizer to their services will boost their bottom line, and it will, but they are missing the most important part of that side of the business.

The real money is in weed control, and it is a big part of fertilizing.

LB Landscaping
12-06-2002, 01:23 PM
Thanks guys I ammgoing to do some research on certification, I think it will be a good way to expand my business.
LGF I should have been more specific, I meant controled chemicals as well as fert. Thanks everyone for your advice and info!!!:D

walker-talker
12-06-2002, 01:32 PM
When I went to the GIE a month ago I was able to attend a lot of roundtables and met a lot of people. Out of the dozen or more people that I spoke with, I was the ONLY one that did not offer this service. I get back and coencidently I got a call from two customers, one residental and one commercial asking if I offered this service. They said they had someone doing this for them already, but since I mowed their property, they would rather me do their chemical applications. I am going to put a package together to give customes options, like a bronze, silver and gold package. Bronze being just mowing, silver adding a 4 step chem application and gold adding a 8 step chem application....something like that. I need to get licensed first, then I will put a package together.

Take the advise that is being given to you about getting educated!! I think this is where the scrub fails and others suceed.

IMHO
MATT