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View Poll Results: Would this be a good viable business?
I think its a great idea and has a very high likelihood of sucess 2 18.18%
I think this would probably work out well 2 18.18%
There's a chance (like anything) but it doesnt look good 3 27.27%
You'd probably fail 4 36.36%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:51 PM
Timi The Sod Lover Timi The Sod Lover is offline
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Exclusive sodding/ re-sodding company ~~~CLICK ME~~~

Hey everyone,

I was previously an owner in a general contracting/ home maintenance/improvement business for the last 5 years and thinking about opening up a new very specialized company. A niche business which focuses almost entirely on re-sods, sodding, and for those who which to pursue the seeding avenue cater to them as well. (Although this will likely be in the less than 10-15% of business or contracts)

As I discovered from reading some posts for a couple hrs yesterday you people like details so here's the situation....

For the experienced, novice and maybe even beginner landscapers who take on sodding job they are likely aware (assuming priced correctly) there are fantastic gross margins involved with sodding/ re-soding.

I live in fairly heavily populated city about a million however plan to cater to the west end (probably a population of a couple hundred thousand). Now given everybody and there dog are landscapers but I have a strong marketing/advertising background, a decent amount of contacts within the industry (companies growing sod), realators, and some media contacts. Without really marketing sodding at all in the past with the old company we would do between 15-25 sodding jobs during the season (4 months) at the time.
Now, I think I could increase this tremendously maybe 50-75 contracts in our first season and really focus on this niche business.
I like the idea of this company for three major reasons, Firstly, like I said the gross margins are fantastic. Secondly, sodding is a tremendously easy service to provide, meaning is hard to **** up when proper steps and the fundamental are practiced. And thirdly its instantly gratifying to customers. (A bonus: its a rewarding and satisfying business to take customers shoddy dead lawn from when they leave from work and come home to wonderfully green grass.) Our main focus would be on residential re-sods but we would also go after new residential builders, small-med commercial and residential and potential small-med government contracts. (Some mulching, planting and/or toping up gardens beds could be added for a value added service to customers but our bread and butter would be in the sod)

I would really appreciate everyone's educated thoughts on this potential niche business

ps. I live in canada and it gets cold so maybe this has to do with homeowners having to invest in there lawn every 4-5 years or so, and likely also from poor and inconsistent lawn maintenance.

Thanks in advance!!!
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2009, 04:57 PM
Timi The Sod Lover Timi The Sod Lover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timi The Sod Lover View Post
Now, I think I could increase this tremendously maybe 50-75 contracts in our first season and really focus on this niche business.
Apparently there is no delete or edit thread??? Anyways after I completed a business plan I would have an estimate/ projection of sales and contracts and it would have to be more than 50-75 not sure what I was thinking. However I dont think 100+ contracts is unrealistic based on my experience for our first year. Just wanted to clarify that.

Thanks
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2009, 06:09 PM
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CkLandscapingOrlando CkLandscapingOrlando is offline
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Thats a very common business here. I know some nurseries that would be out of business were it not for doing this
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2009, 06:27 PM
Timi The Sod Lover Timi The Sod Lover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CkLandscapingOrlando View Post
Thats a very common business here. I know some nurseries that would be out of business were it not for doing this
Really? Ok, thanks Chuck that's great incite. Like I said I've been involved and in the industry for about the past 5 years and have never seen or heard of any companies which focus solely on sodding or even have it as their main focus. From what ive seen its always been these landscaping companies which offer a number of services eg. interlock, disposal, excavation, lawn cutting, aerating, dethathing etc. some have a focus in hardscaping only but ive yet to see sodding.

If you have some links to site of these companies which main business is sodding can you post the links.

Thanks
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2009, 01:15 PM
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Ric Ric is offline
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Tim

Having been there and done that, there are some facts you must face.

1st sod is back breaking work.

2nd It requires a lot of heavy equipment to get the job done

3rd It requires a lot of time spend from 5 AM in the morning at the Sod Field waiting for Sod to be cut so you can get it today. To late sales calls in the evening to sell your next job.

4th New construction is way down so the demand for Sod is low. Those who are set up with Heavy equipment are low balling current prices in order to stay busy and pay bills.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2009, 01:42 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Good idea. Some sod farms around here also install sod. Sometimes "Big Roll" sod. Need special equip. They charge less: 4 feet wide and 100 feet long.
http://www.aaaturf.com/

Remember sod can get weeds, disease, or grubs--and you are highly dependent on your supplier for the best seed, and top-quality sod, cut when you need it.
And...if you let it sit for more than a few hours--you can get biological "heating" --it will die later and you get to replace it all.

Be sure to market to sports venues, and schools. Stores and commercial developments like strip malls also like sod.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2009, 06:30 PM
Timi The Sod Lover Timi The Sod Lover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
Tim

Having been there and done that, there are some facts you must face.

1st sod is back breaking work.

2nd It requires a lot of heavy equipment to get the job done

3rd It requires a lot of time spend from 5 AM in the morning at the Sod Field waiting for Sod to be cut so you can get it today. To late sales calls in the evening to sell your next job.

4th New construction is way down so the demand for Sod is low. Those who are set up with Heavy equipment are low balling current prices in order to stay busy and pay bills.
Hey Ric,

Thanks for pointing out those things, I just wanted to mention a couple things from my experience.

1) I agree it is fairly hard physical labor however some people really enjoy this type of work. I had several employee's who said, "If I can be out in the sun all day, getting exercise and working with people I like, im very happy" Finding the right team of 2-3 guys to start will not be hard for me.

2) When I was performing residential sodding we used either a 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck, 5 ton dump trailer, sod cutter, wheel barrows, shovels, rake and that was about it, I dunno if this would quality for heavy equipment? However one thing I was looking at potentially purchasing was a boxer to increase efficiency.

3) Our sodding companies around here work like clock work. I'll place an order 4 hours before sometimes give them a day or two in advance and the skids/ pallets of sodded are dropped off shortly before we need to start laying. (They're organization and delivery is top notch)

4) Lastly, where I'm situated the economy hasn't been hit very hard at all. We have an extremely high rate of government employment thus mostly unaffected with the "recession". Canada as a whole isn't as bad off as the US.

Please keep the comments coming though people. If anyone wants to play the devils advocate I'm all for it, it will only help ensure the business is indeed viable and all aspects have been well thought out

Thanks
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2009, 07:59 PM
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CkLandscapingOrlando CkLandscapingOrlando is offline
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The only thing heavy you need is a bobcat. A trailer for the sod would help cut cost but aint cheap. Most of them around here order at least a semi a day. Most also sell pallets and pieces as well.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2009, 09:57 PM
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SNAPPER MAN SNAPPER MAN is offline
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There are a few companies here that do that and recently all but a couple of their trucks have been parked. They are making more money selling the sod to landscapers and homeowners they they are installing it themselves. One company does both and they make very good money. It's actually something I'm considering doing.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2009, 08:50 AM
hackitdown hackitdown is offline
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Based on the number of orders you got without any special marketing, I think you may be on to something. What do you have to lose by making a big marketing push on the sodding business?

But don't give up your day job.
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