Old 07-14-2014, 10:43 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: nc
Posts: 4,264
How large is your service area?

I'm curious how large of an area you cover? How did you go about growing out from you home office? I am in a small market and have 130ish customers. Most are within 15 minutes of my shop.

I've considered expanding to nearby cities but the closest ones that are larger markets are 40 minutes east and west of my current location. It would take true commitment and hope of getting enough initial work to make the drive worth it.

Then there is the logistics of estimates(use of internet instead of face to face?) and call backs?
GrassMasters, LLC
Wilson, NC
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:48 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Maryland
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Go where the money is. My primary service area is 40 minutes from shop

Last edited by whiffyspark; 07-14-2014 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:13 AM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 10,976
You can go east or west, but not on the same day. Better that you corner the market in your small town. By being the best in town--and costing no more--you should build up a large clientele. If you are close, you can run estimates quick--sell it and do it before the competition even gets a chance to give them a quote.
Likewise you can brag that you have soil tests within a mile of everybody's house.
Likewise you can use a cell phone--and advertise that you can do service calls and resprays within 4 hours instead of 48 hours like the big companies. Word-of-mouth and referrals work beautifully in small towns.

Do your church and parsonage for free or half-price word; will get around.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:48 AM
aaronmg aaronmg is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Accident,MD
Posts: 357
On the pesticide/fert side of my business, I will go up to an hour away for applications. Mowing side I won't go farther than thirty minutes away with the occasional exception of multiple commercial accounts that might have a stray property more than 30 minutes. It's my first year in business so I'm chasing the money and trying to get my name out there as best as possible.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:37 AM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: WV
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Our farthest commercial clients are about 45 miles away.... about an hour travel time. They are well worth it though. The majority of our residential clients are all within a 20 mile radius.

The biggest thing is to make sure you have enough work in a certain area to justify the trip, cover all your costs and make money on top of it.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:01 AM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: zone 6
Posts: 1,390
ultimately, you can only answer this after determining what your plans are for growth. If you want to max at 500 and just do apps yourself, its not wise to have a large market. If you want to max at 10,000 actives, that takes a much larger service area. In this case, the chicken does follow the egg.
If this post seems mean, it's probably because I'm drunk posting. Maybe my next one will be better...
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:22 AM
recycledsole recycledsole is offline
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Location: MD
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130 customers within 15 minutes sounds great.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:12 PM
Licensetokill Licensetokill is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 31
Start up/slowly growing and feeling my way 1 man enterprise and passion.
3 counties at present.
122 municipal park properties on an on-call and as-needed basis ~ 2 hour round trip distance plus tolls.
2 additional municipal jobs within 30 minutes. One an on-call residential reference basis, the other blanket vegetation control for all municipal properties.
All counties include aquatic, wetland marine coverage via a Carolina Skiff with mounted 50 gal sprayer.
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