Best "niche" services/add-ons

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by emil35, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    I'm going to be going to college full time next year, and in doing so I'm going to be downsizing my business to handle just want I can on the weekends. However, there's anyways some free time during the week here and there, so my question is, what's the best "niche" or add-on service one could offer in my situation? I've thought of stump-grinding, fertilization (need a license for that however), mini-excavation...what do you guys think and/or what would you recommend? I've also thought of keeping the business going full time and having a good crew of 2-3 guys working it for me, but I'm not sure if it's worth it after all the headaches of employees. It would also be primarily to handle one account that isn't always best to work with or is the pay for the work. Tell me all what you would do in my situation. Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Mulching and hedge trimming are easy to do in small amounts of time, as well as small landscaping installs (flowerbeds, small trees and shrubs). Aerating and overseeding is also not that time-consuming, but you'd want to own your own aerator if that was your "niche."
     
  3. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Thanks for the input Precision Lawns. Anyone else? Would you guys, if you were me, try and keep the whole thing going during college with the hopes of finding and putting together a good crew of 2-3 guys and hope everything gets done right and that the main customer doesn't get weird and quit -or- would you focus all on college and work just on the weekends? The plus side to the crew choice is that I wouldn't have to do much of the "labor" work, and most of my college could probably be paid from the profits, but the bad side would be that I would have to still deal w/employees and all those issues. Plus I would probably be (depending on where I choose to go to college) 15-30 miles from my main service area...and may have to commute in to handle problems/issues at any moment...
     
  4. ACTON'S Lawn Care

    ACTON'S Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Its would be great to be able to have a crew going full time while you go to college, but unless you already have your ducks in a row and great employees with a solid work history with you, you may still want to work hands on until they do. I dont know your peticular situation, but its usually extremely hard to go from working by yourself to jumping in having 2-3 employees you have to count on..
     
  5. SPLC

    SPLC LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 51

    I agree, I did the weekend thing for my college years, only I drove 3.5 hrs to my cottage where my customers were. Keeping it seperate for me worked well. I built customers every summer, and did mowing and cleanups in the fall on fridays, sat, and sunday. A buddy of mine did the crew thing and was always on the phone, of course he was way bigger than I was. I liked getting away from all of it, personally. More time to PARRRR-TAY!:drinkup:
     
  6. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I know two guys that turned over their biz to employees while at college...didn't work out for either guy. The first guy let his brother run it, went from 100 residentials to 10. The brother would mow in the morning, then stop for lunch and pretty much devote the rest of the day to drinking :drinkup:

    The other guy decided to drop out of college rather than deal with the headaches. So while it is an option, probably not the best option...
     
  7. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Thanks for the advice everyone. Its a tough decision to make. Anyone else have any other thoughts for me to think about? Does anyone do mini-excatvation work in here, such as work done with a TORO Dingo? or small skid steer/backhoe? I've always wanted a unit like those and thought it might meake some nice cash on the side. Also, would you have just one truck for it all (commuting, work, play, etc.) or would you keep two trucks (one for more commuting/play and the other for work)? I currently have a small truck that I use for driving and such and a bigger heavy-duty truck that I use for work...but I am considering going to just one truck that can "do it all" but I'm not sure. Thanks again!
     

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