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Old 06-07-2008, 02:40 AM
golfatsage golfatsage is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Aiken SC
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New Pond Guy

I am in the process of starting up a landscapping business and with this I want to install ponds. I put a pond in my back yard a year or so ago and enjoyed every second of it.

How do you go about charging people the right price, trying not to be to high but also not cutting myself short money! I am not looking at installing huge ponds, just backyard water features. Is there any money in this?

I will take any suggestions, as you can tell I am starting with nothing more than knowledge of building one myself.

thanks.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:27 AM
LTL LTL is offline
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Go to pond building seminars. There you will learn construction, estimating and bidding, and lots of other useful info. Savio and Aquascape have good seminars. Check with your local pond place for info or go to the company's website.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:05 AM
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Venturewest Venturewest is offline
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I second what LTL said. Ponds and falls aren't all that complicated, and a lot of landscapers offer the service. Not many of them do a very good job. Lots of them look really bad. I can't even tell you how many development entrances in Oklahoma have waterfalls that are not running because they were built wrong. And if they did run, they would look stupid.

If you take the time to attend even a few seminars your ponds will look better than average. Some of the seminars are helpful with all the bidding considerations also. If you have any specific questions you can PM if you want. Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:51 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is online now
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Water features (no matter how small) have some of the best (highest) return on investment. That is to say if you mow a lawn for $40 you will likely net $4 or less. If you build a pond for $4000 you will net $1600 to $1800.

the challenge with water features is selling them to the right people, everyone with a lawn the right size will hire you to cut the grass for $40.

But not every one has several grand for a water feature.

I would suggest getting your first customer or two to agree to a T&M, not to exceed $X contract.
Build as you go, keep track of everything you use (time and materials) and then bill them accordingly, you are not billing them any true profit, just your costs (make sure to include what you are paying yourself in there!)

Then once you have a good idea of what everything really costs you and how long it takes, you can go from there and look for about a 40% net on water feautres.

Use your first few customers as referals, makes sure they know not to tell everyone what they paid for the pond, as actually they are only paying cost.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:04 PM
golfatsage golfatsage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
Water features (no matter how small) have some of the best (highest) return on investment. That is to say if you mow a lawn for $40 you will likely net $4 or less. If you build a pond for $4000 you will net $1600 to $1800.

the challenge with water features is selling them to the right people, everyone with a lawn the right size will hire you to cut the grass for $40.

But not every one has several grand for a water feature.

I would suggest getting your first customer or two to agree to a T&M, not to exceed $X contract.
Build as you go, keep track of everything you use (time and materials) and then bill them accordingly, you are not billing them any true profit, just your costs (make sure to include what you are paying yourself in there!)

Then once you have a good idea of what everything really costs you and how long it takes, you can go from there and look for about a 40% net on water feautres.

Use your first few customers as referals, makes sure they know not to tell everyone what they paid for the pond, as actually they are only paying cost.
Thank you, to all of you these comments are going to be very helpful. do yall ever notice a huge decrease in business in the Winter? Do yall do any pond maintenance or do you set it up and let them deal with that? After looking into this more I am actually leaning more towards just doing water features rather than lawn care. thanks again...
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