Originally Posted by Florida Gardener
Yes, he lives in an area that requires year round maintenance. I'm assuming you live in Maryland, but I don't know what your winters are like.
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The Op is onto something thought Chris. Jim's area would require it, but as state by the OP, diversification makes Jim more valuable and able to offset some income losses because of it.
That is a option we have not discussed here. Making more money with customers you already have. I am not a Jim Lewis by any means , but if you are one of my customers you would not know that I do not offer all those services. You see I figured out awhile back that networking, is a very valuable tool, which makes you not only more of a asset to the customer, but it also has the potential to make you much more money if you find the correct network.
A example that brings me revenue every two months. L and O - I do not possess the license for lawns in Florida. But that does not mean I do not have the ability to fill the customers need. I have a L and O company does great work. I worked myself a deal to get their program at a slightly lower than normal rate per K. There work is above standard for the market but their normal price is not near what the market will bare. So I get a discount of say $12 per K I turn around and charge the customer $17 per K, which the customer is happy to pay for the quality and the simplicity of paying through one source and dealing with one company. Say the customers property is 5K - that is a additional $25 every two months I get for doing nothing more than being a contractor who has networked. What is even worth more - when the neighbor sees the lawn we service blow up and start getting deeper green and they wonder what their guy is not doing. They notice and often inquire on what we are doing different, this leads to the cycle continuing and then next thing you know I am making $25 every two months for simply networking and have picked up a new customer as well. Go along with that - The L and O sells sod - guess who does all their sod work now , that is right , this guy. Guess who subs out all his Sod work...that is right - this guy.
The possibilities are endless if you are willing to not be a normal lawn jockey and demand a deeper cut than you truly deserve. If you are able to work with other contractors, tree, irrigation etc etc and get them work because you so often will be the first contact for the customer - so if you can simply make a phone call and get the need accomplished and collect your little bit - then level billing and drought become less of a issue in the long run. Just my two cents sense everyone seems to agree that in most of your areas you are not able to provide services year around or stretch out the season with a payment option for the client. Make more with what you can. Trust me this is a very viable option if applied correctly as a larger and larger part of my business is becoming the middle man.