View Full Version : Business Decision
Trevors Lawn Care
06-14-2004, 07:06 PM
I am in the process of making some deciding business decisions on where i want my company to head. I have an older brother who doesnt have much else. I have a great deal of faith in him, and am seriously contemplating paying for his fert. licensing, and then having a whole fert. side of the business next season. What i am contemplating is....Is having a fert side of the business worth it. I have NO idea what pricing would run, but i do know i would set a rate per 1000 sq. ft and go from there. What i dont know is the profit from doing ferts. I do know that if say i have 50 fert jobs that run for about $150 per job that is only an addition $7500 for the year GROSS..
Give some advice? Do you need a huge customer base in order to make any good money from this?
06-14-2004, 08:41 PM
Trevor, the numbers are pretty easy to figure out. Here' s a hint though, They will blow away what ever your making mowing. I would be more concerned with how well your gonna do with agronomics.
THere's alot to fertin & squirtin other than pushing a spreader,pulling a hose or even getting licensed. Its a little different than buying a lawn mower and becoming a landscaper. I see too many people out there that think just cause they got there license their a LCO. But have no clue to proper turf care. Ive been doing this for 18 years now and sometimes I get baffled.
I would look into some local university that has a turf program, usually in winter and send your bro their. Or send him to work for chem dog or someone else to learn the trade.
Or if you think you can sell the work hire someone that has experience and a license to get the ball rolling and grow from their.
06-14-2004, 10:03 PM
I totally agree with James, the #'s are worth it and I would not even think of going back to mowing. I use the fert. bus. to gain access to properties for other jobs as well. However you do need a good number of clients to justify a dedicated employee to net you some $. It may take some time but if done correctly the bottom line is much bigger than mowing.
Trevors Lawn Care
06-14-2004, 10:31 PM
this move would be on top of mowing. We really would be starting simple the first year...and grow/learn from there on where to go.. I think it is in the best interest of T.L.C though.
I kinda have my older bro at my dispense, and it sounds good if we could put him into the turf classes at the community college. Thanks guys.
Any more input?
PS// when we are talking that you need to have a large customer base...What are we talking...50-200 customers? More/less?
06-14-2004, 10:39 PM
heres my timeline of how I grew into just fert and "projects" as opposed to mowing. Year 1- 50 fert cust. year 2- 80- (able to quite mowing) In my third year and have 130 cust. Size of accounts has alot to do with bottom line as well. I hope to be around the 175 mark by next year. I work solo and that # of accounts would be all that I would want to service without hiring someone. hope this helps, Steve
Trevors Lawn Care
06-15-2004, 02:01 AM
ok....Ive got an idea what i can expect and hope for.
I dont need necessarily how much you make per year...not my business...but what could i expect with....say 25 lawns averaging 5k sq ft.?
Most of my lawns i cut are between 2k and 8k of turf. What would the price breakdown for a lawn of 2k sq. ft. be? What type of expenses are involved in the beginning stages of the fert side of a business. I dont think it would be neccessary to buy a 200 gallon sprayer or anything along those lines. Would something like a backpack sprayer work...Remember small lots...
Thank you all for your responses....I have been thinking on these issues A LOT@!!!!!
06-15-2004, 10:23 AM
Something to look into before getting a big sprayer is a small 3 nozzle boom for your pack pack sprayer. I use SP0 sprayers with the boom and .2 gpm, 110 degree tee jet nozzles. Works good for herbicides on lawns or R-up on large areas. I think that it covers about a 65" swath, so it is a realtime saver over just a single nozzle. I have .3gpm nozzles for it to but the out put is almost too high and you have to pump the thing like crazy just to keep enough pressure in there to get a good spray pattern.
06-15-2004, 04:10 PM
start up expenses depends on your state laws and regs. In Pa. my biggest expense besides equipent is insurance. To get a BU # you need atleast $300,000 in coverage. I have a million dollar package due to sub work that I do and the developers require it and i pay around $900 a year. As far as priceing goes I do not step foot on any property for less than $220/year. That includes 5 apps usually. from there I use 1/4 increments to price out lawns. 1/2 acre=$440, 3/4 acre=$640 etc. etc. I statred using all granular apps til i could afford sprayer. So dont sweat not having one til you get some $ rolling in. Also I offer a small discount(after mark up) for paying up front for the year, this eliminates any $ on the streets for material.
06-15-2004, 11:03 PM
I took over an existing company this spring. We did do some reft/spray but nothing major. This came up, good chance to expand, (we do mow,landscape ect) I bought a PG machine and got rid of the trailer,tanks, and hose reel. We maintain around 400 accounts. Most of these are 3 app's. I have a part time guy who is lic'd and he works well. So far 95% perpaid for the year and that is nice. If will out gross everything else we do! Take small steps b/f you leap!
06-16-2004, 09:31 PM
I agree with all the posts. The equipment is less expensive than mowers and last alot longer and one man can easily turn 1200.00 in a day. I have a mimium of 60 per app. if the lot is too small then I let it go or they pay the 60.00. works like this 300.00 per year in sale per customer x # of customers= huge dollars. your materials are usually less than 20% to complete the job. your fuel and insurance. but look how simple it is to make big numbers 50 x 300 equals 15,000 for little work. 50 cutomers are a cake walk.
06-17-2004, 02:42 AM
Here in Michigan, you have to have a LICENSED applicator in your employ, or you yourself must be licensed. Do not confuse this with being certified as an applicator, as all techs are. In order to aquire a license, one must either a. Have a Bachelor degree in an agricultural related field, AND 1 year experience working for a licensed applicator, OR b. have 2 years experience working for a licensed applicator (as a certified, registered technician). Michigan is one of the extreme states when it comes to requirements for actual licensing. Another option, is to hire an actual LICENSED applicator to you employ, however, this in a way (as I found out) is not really even a feasible resolve, since you have to have enough work right off the bat to keep one busy full time (around 400 accounts). By the time you pay someone who carries a license, pay the insurances, and then the marketing and and product, you are about back to square one again. Now, if you can get your brother certified, and get him working for someone else for 2 years, then he is able to come in and carry a license for you. If I can be of any help, feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to assist you with any questions or anything.
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