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  #11  
Old 03-14-2012, 01:04 PM
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inzane inzane is offline
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well, 1994 to 2004 i worked as a lawn applicator..(for a few different companies) so 10 years experience as an applicator in my area, and even though i changed jobs in 04' still kept up apps on my on 2 lawns all this time. i feel confident i have the skill to start-up, and know what this kinda work entails. not gonna sit here and say i know it all or anything like that though, just feel like im ready. i know with the economy its rough to get started, but this type of service is still in big demand around here from what i can tell.. (metro atlanta area) i always did good work when i was an applicator, the customers liked me. i listened to their concerns, always made good on my promises. I can't see going to work for somebody else doing something that i know that i could do on my own. i managed routes with large amt's of customers.. i would rather just do it on my own, not expecting it to be easy either. i did talk to trugreen last week, they offer 13 bucks an hour for a 4 day work week. non-compete agreement. hmmm. i don't think so..

i have got another 3 weeks off of work and i'm studying up for the pesticide exam at this time. i may feel things out for another year before i get out there.. but who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
Inzane

I am a Fert & Squirt only guy. My advice is to find the best Fert & Squirt Company in your area and Train under them until the Economy turns around. This is not the best time to start a business and the Training you get working for the man will make you that much more successful when you do go in Business. Un-like Mowing, Fert & Squirt is a SKILLED TRADE, treat that way by getting the proper training.


.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2012, 08:54 AM
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James Cormier James Cormier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassmasterswilson View Post
fert and squirt would be nice to do only, but I find in my area I need mowing to keep things going.

I did some math the other day on a few accounts. I estimated that for a $60 app customer who I treat 6 times(6x$30 profit), aerate($100 profit), and seed($30 profit) that I made 160 profit(I was just figuring in my head and not exactly sure). That same customer is a $35 mow. Now if I figure $5 profit per mow(which might be low) x 35 visits I make $175 profit.

For the year my bottom line profit is better on mowing, but then you need to figure in 35 mowing visits vs 8-10 app visits.

It's all about learning and customer satisfaction. You will find that residential customers are very loyal. I'm hoping my app side takes off since there are few app companies here.
One BIG thing your missing is this.

How many lawns can you mow alone? Using your numbers you make 175 profit per customer..My guess is a one man show can take care of
60-70 lawn mowing customers?

look at it this way. You mow 70 customers $35 per mow (again using your numbers) that is a yearly gross of $87,700

A one man fert guy should easily be able to handle 400 customers, really much more if you wanna work your tail off... but using your numbers that same guy will do $144,000 in gross sales.

My customer base average is 535 per customer...using that 400 customer base my gross sales should be $214,000 gross sales. There is no way in hell I can mow and make that same gross number.

Oh, and to answer the first question on the post, Ive been a fert & squirt guy since 1986. I offered mowing for the first 6 years after I started my own business in 1994, it took me a while to figure out that was not what was making my company money
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2012, 12:20 PM
vaacutabove vaacutabove is offline
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At what point did yall drop mowing? This is only my second year and with mulch mowing starting and spraying im way way behind. Mulching is good money for time spent on the job. Im no where big enough to drop mowing but hope next year i will not mow at all my self anyways.
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  #14  
Old 03-17-2012, 11:42 PM
HazellLawnCare HazellLawnCare is offline
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I have been in business before and did it all, mowing, fert and weed, snow, landscaping, the works. I am very seriously considering getting back into the lawn business but it will be fert and weed control, aeration and overseeding work ONLY. This was always my most profitable part of my business so why even bother with the other work. I have a very good full time job but I truely enjoy this business and the extra money will be for my fun stuff. With a minimal investment, skid sprayer, aerator, and over seeder I can be back in business. The worst part will be paying for the license and insurance without having a good clientel built up yet.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:04 PM
clayslandscape clayslandscape is offline
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What kind of skid sprayer do you all recommend and do any of you care to share your treatment plans?
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  #16  
Old 04-16-2012, 12:43 AM
TooMuchClay TooMuchClay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnboy11 View Post
How is the market for lawncare programs only, without weekly maintenance? I know true green does well enough, but it would seem difficult to get a lot of application only customers (fert, weed control, etc.). That's where the money is. I now require all maintenance clients to have at least a fertilizer program or I won't waste my time. Any comments??? Anyone just do applications and work for themselves? Thanks!
At Lawn Doctor where I worked, we owned 3 Franchises that operated in parts of 5 counties in 3 states, and we had about 3500 regular lawn service customers, then he bought another franchise and got another 1000 customers or so, that got 6 apps per year, plus countless extras like seeding, lime, aeration, grub control. Plus we had hundreds of tree/shrub care customers. I'd say the owner did about 1.5 - 2 million dollars in revenue annually.
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  #17  
Old 04-16-2012, 06:22 AM
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lawn king lawn king is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
Inzane

I am a Fert & Squirt only guy. My advice is to find the best Fert & Squirt Company in your area and Train under them until the Economy turns around. This is not the best time to start a business and the Training you get working for the man will make you that much more successful when you do go in Business. Un-like Mowing, Fert & Squirt is a SKILLED TRADE, treat that way by getting the proper training.


.
This is the best route for sure! Learn the lawn care trade, then start on your own. I myself, did a seven year apprenticeship, while attending an agricultural school. I started on my own in 1985 & we are still rolling!
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  #18  
Old 04-16-2012, 07:54 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cormier View Post
One BIG thing your missing is this.

How many lawns can you mow alone? Using your numbers you make 175 profit per customer..My guess is a one man show can take care of
60-70 lawn mowing customers?

look at it this way. You mow 70 customers $35 per mow (again using your numbers) that is a yearly gross of $87,700

A one man fert guy should easily be able to handle 400 customers, really much more if you wanna work your tail off... but using your numbers that same guy will do $144,000 in gross sales.

My customer base average is 535 per customer...using that 400 customer base my gross sales should be $214,000 gross sales. There is no way in hell I can mow and make that same gross number.

Oh, and to answer the first question on the post, Ive been a fert & squirt guy since 1986. I offered mowing for the first 6 years after I started my own business in 1994, it took me a while to figure out that was not what was making my company money
You are right James. That was just one customer and an example of the different routes to yearly profit. As I've grown I've started charging more and my profit has increased.

While I would love to do apps only, my town just can't support that. Maybe in a few years I will have picked up enough to just do apps ans can expand to the neighboring towns or buy some accounts. At this point I need to mow to pay the bills. It is easier to get mowing accounts than app accounts. I then try to upsale. Over the last 3-4 years I've done a high end post card, have a lettered truck, and leave signs after applications(which isn't required and only i do). So far i'm not at a 100 accounts per round yet.

With the size of my area I can do around 20-25 a day and would love to have 300 accounts. Work for 2.5-3 weeks per round and spend the rest marketing or vacationing, something I can't do with mowing. Hopeing some bids come my way and a crew can be hired.
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2012, 01:46 AM
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LawnoftheMonth LawnoftheMonth is offline
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I don't even mow my own lawn.
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  #20  
Old 04-18-2012, 12:30 PM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
Inzane

I am a Fert & Squirt only guy. My advice is to find the best Fert & Squirt Company in your area and Train under them until the Economy turns around. This is not the best time to start a business and the Training you get working for the man will make you that much more successful when you do go in Business. Un-like Mowing, Fert & Squirt is a SKILLED TRADE, treat that way by getting the proper training.


.
Iím also interested in getting my applicators license but it would be logistically impossible for me to work for another Co. to learn OJT. What is the next best way to go....?



Quote:
Originally Posted by HazellLawnCare View Post
I have been in business before and did it all, mowing, fert and weed, snow, landscaping, the works. I am very seriously considering getting back into the lawn business but it will be fert and weed control, aeration and overseeding work ONLY. This was always my most profitable part of my business so why even bother with the other work. I have a very good full time job but I truely enjoy this business and the extra money will be for my fun stuff. With a minimal investment, skid sprayer, aerator, and over seeder I can be back in business. The worst part will be paying for the license and insurance without having a good clientel built up yet.
I never wanted to be the Mow King and I expanded into aeration in hopes that would be the bulk of my cash flow. Some of the application Co. here run $29.95 aeration specials for up to 5k so Iím assuming they do this is a loss leader to get in the door for fert or herbicides.

Iím interested in the approach of combining minimal use of herbicides and heavy on organic based products and education on proper watering, avoid quick release fertilizers where I have to mow or there is an issue with thatch development. I want the focus to be on what is best for the lawn not necessarily what the customer thinks is best such as scalp mowing to get the putting green look, daily watering and use of high nitrogen fert and constant use of herbicides.
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