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Additional Services

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Kingskid, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. Kingskid

    Kingskid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    New to forum and lawn maintenance business. What are some additional services that can be offered to our customers to generate more income and how do you quote? Any good resources for quoting jobs?
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    If your handy...There's a ton of jobs.

    I have done everything including changing light bulbs.

    Small Jobs like changing light bulbs "for the elderly"

    Are freebies. this generates word of mouth.

    people always have stuff to haul to the dump. "light hauling"

    sprinkler heads broken, painting a storage shed.

    There's just to many to list.

    I even drove a customer to the airport and watch her home for 6 wks.

    bringing in her mail, Feeding the dog.

    sometimes elderly people have NO ONE. And when they find a guy like myself
    Who can do a few things they have struck gold. "Tooting my own horn here"

    I have a customer who calls me just to talk.
    also I feel for people who have no one anymore.

    Just keep your eyes open and talk to your customers all the time.

    you can tell little white lies to then. Like Yea I have a customer and I painted his shed and boy it looks good..
    Bingo now he wants you to paint his shed...
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    weed gardens, mulch, decorative stone, tree and bush trimming, aeriation fall cleanup...look for something they need, i try to sell at the bottom of my invoices, they are going in the mail anyway, this months bills advertise aeriation and overseeding special for september, septembers bills advertise fall clean up july advertised bushes and hedge trimming....
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    There is just so much, that it all can't be done. You see a bare spot, toss some seed and scratch it in. Fence repair? Before anyone jumps on you and says it is not part of the industry, let me tell you,...it IS Fences are part of landscape...plain and simple. The mulching of beds and such hit on a BIG area of the business.
  5. twindiddy

    twindiddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    Yeah, my partner told me the other day she didn't think cleaning up those styrofoam peanuts out of a lawn fell within the realm of lawn care. I say, if they're paying for it, it does.

    Posts: 7

    This bieng my first year I don't think I could have made it without extra services. I build a propane tank enclosure,helped a customer move, watched a customers house and got there mail while on vacation and pressure washed and stained alot of decks. It sucks I know, but next year will bring more accounts and less extra work. Also do you guys ever put up christmas lights? I have a whole theoretic price sheet made up and could use some advice. :help:
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Although there exists the rare LawnCo does ONLY grass-cutting, I find it is not possible to survive like this. I tried last year to do ONLY grass-cutting (LOL) and had it going on for about 2 months but I found out:
    - Grass-cutting is too seasonal, it doesn't grow enough months out of the year AND you can only handle x-customers during the busiest time which dictates how many regulars you have during slow times.
    - IF you do ONLY grass-cutting, several customers will leave and hire another service in addition to new customers gave me strange looks when I told them it's all I did. In the end, I just couldn't survive like that, but try I did.

    If you want to double-bonus your lawn-care, offer core aeration (with optional lime/fertilizer/seed). Now you can do ONLY aeration or ONLY lime + fert or ONLY seed or any combination of it or ALL of it but whatever, here's the thing:
    - ANY treatment involving the above not only improves the lawn BUT it also makes it grow stronger and faster, giving you 1 or 2 more grass-cuts for the next season (hence, the bonus).
    - The improvement, once you get half-way decent, is VISIBLE and most customers will love you for making their lawn look so good.
    The aerator is a kicker - 1000 dollars for a used one, and that thing will WORK you but once you get good at it, it's easy:
    Cost of Aeration = Grass-cutting fee + 10 and add another 5-10 for the really big yards. On average, I get an easy 40 minimum and am quick to quote 45 minimum and get 50-60 for the larger yards... For a 1-acre lot it's around 70-75, maybe 80, dunno...
    For me, I load the aerator and I can do about 3-4 yards/day - Time-wise I could do more, but the work is a killer, after the 3rd yard I've had enough... Still, easy 140-200 bucks in like 3-4, maybe 6 hours with all the driving, etc...

    And of course, leaves suck but cleaning / removing them for your grass-customers helps keep your customer base for the next season (if someone does not remove / clean the leaves, it will kill the grass), and things are peachy if the customer does their own leaves, but some can't or won't.

    As for me, I like doing mulch, hedge trimming, and core aeration (w/ lime, fertilizer, and seed). I also have a small stihl 021 16" chainsaw (or maybe it's 14" whatever) for branches / small trees and a set of loppers (or lopers) to clip off branches when it's only a few.

    Mulch is great:
    - Buy a 10-tine pitchfork (like 60-80 dollars). Hard to find but the wide fork is awesome for mulch, forget those stupid 4 or 5-tiners.
    - Buy a 6 cu. ft. wheel-barrow (like 50 or 60 dollars at Home Depot / Lowe's). It's great: 120 - 140 dollars in equipment because once you've paid for a few parts / repairs on the fuel-operated crap, you may find like I did that you just gotta love the ole' fork + barrow. In addition, couple of shovels (one flat-end, another round-end) allow you to also work with dirt / topsoil.

    A leaf rake + small tarp (6x8 or 8x10) is great for clearing small piles of crap AND helps a LOT when loading crap in the trailer / hauling to the back of prop.

    Far as what to do extra, here is my experience:
    - Try a few things here and there, and see which ones you LIKE. Then, stick to the things you like and do more of it. I found that if I liked to do something, it is far easier to make a profit.
    - There truly is no end to the possibilities thou I am loathe to become a Jack-of-all-trades too (and master of none). For me, 3-4 (maybe 5) different things works best, anymore is too much, any less is not enough.
    - Whatever I pick, I have to be able to SEE it in my mind, for example: I can not SEE in my mind a lot of people wanting light bulbs changed - But you might see things different because I can tell you that EVERYBODY has lightbulbs thus yes, the possibility certainly exists, but I just don't SEE it - I find it helps when I can SEE something before I get too far into it, thou sometimes you also just have to DO it in order to see it as well.

    Good luck
  8. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    We are looking into expanding into a totally different market, carpet cleaning. There are some new ways of doing it that we are exploring. Would not be a large investment to start and has many benefits. No weather problems, clean, paid on the spot, and good return on investment. If you are interested send me a pm and I'll share some info with you.

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