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Considering going with an Aeration centered business model...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Considering going with an Aeration centered business model...

    Anyone here on Lawnsite have success with a plan like this? :confused:

    I've read the really expensive out of print book titled: "Lawn Aeration: Turn Hard Soil Into Cold Cash" many good solid pointers in it.

    If I could figure out a way to aerate through the entire growing season I'd bag weekly mowing completely. Problem is aeration is very seasonal. Has anyone done well with the service through the entire season in a northern climate?

    Since I'm a legit business Licensed , bonded & insured company with real expense it makes little sense to only be busy during the spring and Fall and not be working when I can't aerate. This is the only reason I'm mowing for 2009 is .... cash flow.

    My current plan is still go after weekly mow, trim and blows for the entire season but also work up to 7 days a weeks during the Spring rush ... upselling aerations during the same period of time.

    Any input?
     
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    I've been thinking about this more. I think the best plan of action is to have my wife [currently unemployed] be largely responsible for aeration flyers and door hanger distribution. And also have her do the great majority of estimates for aerations handing out sprinkler flags etc. This frees me up for the actual work of aerating and my normal weekly mowing etc. The great majority of aerations I have done require an estimate - hand over some sprinkler flag then come back to aerate later.

    Now if I could only get her to do the aerations as well. :rolleyes:
     
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    Put that gal to work as your marketing director! :walking:
     
  4. 1.2.3. green

    1.2.3. green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I have seen strictly aerating company's on line.I myself do lawn treatments and I aerate lawns throughout the season. More in the spring and fall but if a new customer needs an aeration I DO IT IF IT NEEDS IT because if the ground is rock hard the treatments are worthless. Only time I will not aerate is in a drought, or really hot dry weather predicted.:)
     
  5. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    Couldn't do it here. People here only aerate in the spring and fall. There are too many college kids and boy scout troops that use aeration to raise money. I am lucky if I can get $40-45 for an average 5-6k lawn. I make as much money mowing as I do aerating. Of course, I can mow a lot faster.
     
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Wow and I thought we had it bad here. Fairly easy to get 1.5 times the mowing rate here but pretty tough to get the 2.5x the mowing rate. However point well taken - that's why I'm aggressively going to market mowing this year right along side with aeration in the spring.

    I just renewed my multitude of licenses for Washington state and my $210 bond is due for renewal [required for a license in WA] but that doesn't stop the Craigslist lowballers in Spokane from advertising for $25 per aeration for lawns up to 15,000 square feet plus Same day service with 25 years experience every spring. You just can't be a legitimate Co. and operate at those rates, pay sales tax & business operation tax on Gross revenue. I'm not the busy body type but it really irks me when I see that going on. These clowns probably have a disabled sign hanging from their rear view mirror, collect SSI, food stamps and welfare etc. :nono:

    Wish me the best. Gave my wife a good pep talk tonight. Hope she can do flyers, door hangers and estimates and sprinkler flags and I can do the rest on my non mowing days. :walking:

    What is scary is the luxury spending is down over 30% for 2008. Who knows what it will be for 2009?
     
  7. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 309

    I think it would be difficult to turn aerating into a year round business... even so that we charge for aerating 3 x as much as we do for mowing the same area.

    If you can line up the jobs and have the endurance, it may work, but as you saturate one area, your driving times will get longer and longer.

    For example, our properties are pretty small, 4k to 6k in average and all within 10 minutes drive time or less. One person can aerate 5 to 7 a day, so this is around $700 or $800 a day.

    Lining up 1000 properties a year, all within easy driving distance would be a challenge for us.
     
  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    exact, why not start an organic soil service??? add compost and some seed to the aeration and you got a cash cow, depending on state laws maybe an organic fert gig??? that will work great with the aerating and tilling, and again add a pile O seed and its an organic lawn??? but that only.02 cents so..................

    hey also let the head of your household go talk to other heads of the house??? works here.....

    here is the stuff you need

    http://yelmworms.com/index.php
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  9. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 462

    Go to www.lawnaerating.com I spoke to him about 8 years ago about his service. He runs year round but he's based out of CA. Great guy, shared lots of helpful info. He guided me into offering aerating more aggressively. I was looking at the Plugr and after talking to him, I went for it. Anyone serious about aerating need only buy a Plugr. Once you have one, nothing compares to ease and quality of plug depths. I live in NH and only offer aerating in fall and some in the spring, but it adds a good deal of $$ to the bottom line. Very profitable service when you add some seed and some straight fert to the visit.

    Mike
     
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Yes I've been to their web site before. I will be using some of the same tactics for "why my service is better" and it's not just the Plugr. You should see the mess the other companies leave behind on walks and driveways. :hammerhead:

    I'm not getting much of a commitment from my wife for doing flyers - door hangers, estimates and scheduling. Thinking about hiring someone. However my experience has been pretty bad when I bring someone on board. They want a "bigger cut of the pie" customers thinks the employee is under paid and I'm jerk because the lawn only took so long to mow.

    Also thinking about spending some big bucks on enclosed trailer graphics to get the message across. Everybody has "Lawncare" or "Landscape" on their trailers. Dime a dozen. But how many people have a rolling flyer on wheels showing how much better my service is than the other Co's for aeration? Mowing route will be very tight but I'm willing to drive a little further for Aeration since it's more money per hour than mowing. Fact is I have no plans to advertise mowing in the service paper.

    I think I'm going to buy a tasteful [non-dork] scooter to speed up the flyer and door hanger runs. Will stow it in my enclosed trailer on flyer days. Walking is way too slow huge time burner. Well honey I bought the $2000 scooter since I figured I'd be stuck with the flyer duty and couldn't count on your help. :laugh:

    Ruckus.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009

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