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Old 05-01-2014, 11:24 PM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Working with other lawn services

I hope this is in the right forum. I'm curious about your experiences working with or for other lawn services. I've had some good ones and bad ones. I was passing out my flyers the other day and I ran into a solo guy and started talking to him. In fact, I wasn't even going to talk to him, but he offered me some water, which was pretty cool to me. I offered to help him, since I'm just starting out this year with no customers. I ended up helping him on about 4 jobs the first day. Then he called me back today and said he had a big cleanup job to do, so I went to go help him again. Both days I put in about 8 hours, so even though I didn't make a whole lot per hour, it was worth it.

More importantly, he tells me how much he bids. Now, I don't know how good he is at pricing, but I think he tries to make about $60 an hour, so that sounds about right. So by doing the jobs with him, if I know what he's charging it gives me a better idea what to charge if see a similar job. I think this alone might make it worth working for him. Plus, he has more equipment, so if people call me for jobs that I can't do, he said he will do it with me, so I don't have to turn work down.

I suppose a possible disadvantage to working for him is that I could be spending that time passing out flyers, but I'm not planning on working for him 40 hours a week. Does anyone else do this? Or do you do work for other lawn services and pay them a percentage?

Then there's also referrals. I'd like to find a tree trimming company that will pay me a referral for tree jobs, and I'll just add tree trimming to my flyer. I tried that once in the past though, but when I found a job for the guy he didn't end up paying me. His excuse was he didn't make enough money. I didn't accept that as an excuse because we had an agreement, and if he bid too low that wasn't my fault. Also, we agreed on a percentage, so even if he only made $100 he still could have paid me a percentage of the $100. So I quit giving him referrals; he lost out on more work because he was greedy.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:41 PM
Southern Lawn Care, LLC Southern Lawn Care, LLC is offline
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Location: Alabama
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Your join date says 2003 for this fourm, and your just now starting to get customers? What the crap have you been doing for the last 11 years?
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:40 AM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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I've had to start over numerous times

I'm sure some people would say I am crazy to even be trying this again. But I don't care. Those people were there when I first started. "You have too much competition". "It's seasonal". "It's not consistent income."

All those things are true (well what is too much competition?). In addition I've never had much money to invest. When I first started I wasn't charging enough. So eventually my equipment would break and I would lose customers.

But even after I learned to increase my prices I still had problems. I might manage to make enough to pay my bills but not enough to save up for the winter. So that means having to get another job. Then, I tried to work my job and run my business at the same time. I know there's plenty of people that do that, but it hasn't worked that well for me so far, at least not with 40 hour a week jobs. And since I have no degree, I can't really make enough if I work less than 40 hours.

But I like running a lawn service. Actually I'd like running any business, but the lawn service has certain advantages, one being relatively low start up costs. I don't know what it is about it. Maybe it's addictive. Maybe I should have spent all that time doing something else, but I didn't. I haven't given up.

So yes, I"m starting over again this year. Because it's what I want to do. I really believe that I can do it. Am I insane? It's definitely possible.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:51 AM
ColliCut Land Mgmt ColliCut Land Mgmt is offline
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Location: O'Fallon, MO
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I don't think it's a bad deal at all. I am set up a similar way... I found a solo operator with too much work, and now about 90% of the properties I service are his clients... I just sub for him, and have a few clients of my own to keep me going in case he were to ever end our deal.
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