Anyone partner with application company?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FIRESCOOBY, Dec 6, 2006.


    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    I spoke with a rep for a local company that provides herbacide applications and the like. I have many customers that inquire about fertilization, emergents, etc. I have been referring them to this company, but many want to "just know the price" and not do the leg work themselves.

    This company offered to send me some information to provide my customers. He also said the way he works is to call him personally and he'll go right out and provide me with the estimate within 24 hours, usually same day. That way I can provide the customer with a quick price, and include it in the contract if applicable. They also said they are very "hungry" for a reputable LOC to refer in my area. He said they have referred some in the past with less than desirable results. I am looking to just include the service with no "upcharge" as I am not doing anything except making a phone call.

    Has anyone done anything like this, and how has it worked for you?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MDLawnman

    MDLawnman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 229

    That sounds like a good idea. If everyone does their job everyone makes out OK. It frees up your time too. Please keep us posted on how this is going for you.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I have a local guy that does that for me. He sends me lawn, trimming, weed control referals and I send him my fert business.

    It works out quite well. We have a great business relationship, we both make extra money, we both look good.

    But the important thing (in my experience) is to find a local guy who isn't trying to duplicate the True Green example of doing really shoddy work and "fixing" is with excess nitrogen.

    My guy uses slow release granular ferts and applys the right stuff at the right time of year and makes sure that I am made aware of issues that he sees. Not just the typical fert and squirt 3 minutes or less with one generic tank of water and nitrogen for everyone.

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    I actually have used this company up until this year. Stopped it because the $75/ visit was a little too much as I was trying to save as much money as I could for the business. They do alot of work and have a really good name. The owner of the company is a local and started as a LCO in 1978 and grew and grew. My experience is that they do quality work and most of the applicators have been with the company for quite some time. The "other" company has a really poor reputation around here.

    I'll keep everyone updated, but it may be slow. I'm solo and am trying to remain pretty small as to provide quality, reliable, and personalized service. Man, that sounded like a sales pitch. Hope it goes well...we'll see.
  5. green_with_envy

    green_with_envy LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Posts: 214

    I have a friend of mine going for his tests this winter. Plan is for him to start the fert co. and then we both feed eachother and help when needed. Still 2 seperate companys should things go sour.
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Firescooby, something you might think about. You said you weren't going to mark up the work you were just going to add it to your list of services provided? In my day job if I hire someone to do work and they sub it out guess who I call when the job isn't done right? I don't call the sub I call the guy I hired and that's you. If the app guy kills something or damages something you moght be out some money and a good customer. You migt want to add a little money onto the job to cover those few phone calls you are going to get. Whenever we refer someone we are very careful to make sure the customer knows it is a referral only and we offer no guarantees or any warranties. I hired a company to backfill a foundation for a house we built. The skidsteer driver hit the wall and cracked it in several places. Turns out the company subbed the job out to another guy. Now they have a pretty big repair bill to sort out. I'm not even talking to the guy that was running the skidsteer now. Good thing I haven't paid for anything yet.
  7. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    I do this all the time. I do not charge for the phone call or any up charging. This company does not give me any referrals because he also does the lawn care thing like me. I use him because he is good. I call him and he gives me an estimate which I give to the owner. He gets the work, I made the customer happy for a simple phone call, he bills them and he gets paid. I have a big list of contractors that I use for anything and everything that I can not do or choose not to do. I have a great re-pore with all of them and they will not solicit my customers because I am the one that gives them work and I am the one in charge of the property. I have taken many lawns from a big company in the valley ( not deliberately) and talk to him all the time, go for coffee with him and he is fine with that because I give him lots of work in return. Now he only has to deal with me and not several homeowners.
  8. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    Fert and herbicide apps can be more profitable than cutting grass if you have the right supplier. Get your liscense and do it your self. Why give away those profitable extra's. A 200 dollar broadcast spreader towed behind you z-turn will do a lot in a short period of time. 500 dollars will get you a 25 gallon boom sprayer to mount or tow behind your Z-turn. The same tank sprayer with a spray gun will let you pin point roundup(glyphosate) along chain link fences, cracks in pavement, around utility poles etc. Just think how much trimmer time you'll save. A bag of scotts fert will give you a general what and when chart. But remember the #1 rule. READ THE DIRECTIONS on any product you apply, and follow them.

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    Right now I don't have the time nor the desire needed to obtain my applicators license. I'd be lying if I didn't occasionally spray round up in spots though, but not often.

    I'd rather spend my time right now trying to build the current aspect of my business instead of starting to "branch out" too early and sacrificing service. Truth is, they can do it cheaper than I could with the amount of supplies they buy and the equipment they have.
  10. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    Same here. I do a lot for my customers and do not need anymore on my plate to deal with. I do their lawns, their plowing, check their houses, do numerous odd jobs, and do not have the time to do ferts also. I do not wish to work 10-12 hrs a day or 6-7 days a week. I am happy with the 8 hr days 5 days a week. It gives me time to do what I want to on my time off.

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