Do you think we could add these services?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cod8825, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. cod8825

    cod8825 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 501

    My partner and I are thinking about adding irrigation and lawn application services to our list of services. My question is do you think we can add them and perform them well. Second do you think we should even though we have never done them before.

    We are getting asked by some of our current clients to do this and are actually losing business as a result. To gain the knowledge we are going to go to school for both over the winter.

  2. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    Sure, you guys will do a great job.
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    How in the world would anyone on here know how well you can do a job?

    If you've never done them before, I'd venture to say that you probably can't do either worth a damn if you don't have the education and/or experience to do them.

    I like the saying "jack of all trades, master of none". Focus on perfecting your current services before adding, and for goodness sake, that's way too large a dive to be adding irrigation and chemical apps at the same time. I'd suggest doing one or the other.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    We should all add plumbing, much of the construction trade, and even some auto mechanics in with it, because I can tell you first hand,...some of this stuff is far less intricate and technical as both irrigation and chemical.
    I'm not trying to be a smart-alec, but PLEASE trust me,...when I say that there is ALOT more to irrigation than hooking up water lines, valves, and a clock....and yes, there is much more than knowing where and how to space heads. It is amazing the amount of knowledge and experience required to know about pressures, flow rates, and velocities, with all the variables - such as grade, pressure, distance, etc..
    Now,...chemical is a WHOLE different thing. Most states require x amount of time experience as a certified applicator before they issue a license to someone as a business. This is for a reason. While maintenance and mowing are a "turnkey" type business that anyone can just get in to, fert. and chem. are something completely different. If you botch up a lawn with a lawn mower, the grass grows back. If you scalp with a trimmer, the grass grows back. If you possibly make even so much as 1/2 oz. mistake, it could be lights out for an entire lawn, trees, or other landscape stock. This is not even to mention the safety of yourself, the property owners and occupants, and even the general public and environment.
    Now, why I used the analogy of auto mechanics earlier, is that while many (probably most) of us on here could do a tune-up of new plugs, wires, cap, rotor and filters,...not everyone could swap a camshaft, or even do a brake job or replace a pitman arm or tie-rod. Let's face it.....there is alot riding on that.
    Take my word for it,...when it comes to either one of these...irrigation OR chem., (to do them right)...there is more to them than either one of these mechanical procedures. This is from someone who does both. No,...I am not a know it all..I am FAR from it (lol). I am just trying to bring light to a topic as to show a comparison of these types of operations.
  5. cod8825

    cod8825 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 501

    Thank you Joe and five0 for your candid input. We are in the decision stage of adding these services. We only know that we are losing money as a result of not knowing.
  6. BBL

    BBL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    You have to have 2yrs experience to get a license here(Michigan) not sure about other states, But I am guessing they have similar requirements.

    and yes it is for a reason, public saftey/Enviromental saftey needs to be priority #1 not Profits, If you care more about money than peoples lives/health and even your own personal saftey, I hope you never come around my area with your business.

    You could try to extend Aerations as an add-on service, It's not much different than mowing a lawn and doesn't require any special training, but it does take knowledge still in order to not destroy shallow lines, sprinkler heads, underground pipes, etc which will into profits if you have to keep replacing damaged parts.

    And really you are not losing any money by not ferting, Hell I am losing profits by not doing heart surgery, accounting, auto mechanic, etc You can't do everything, find your niche and make it work. Just because you don't fert doesn't mean you are losing anything, we(public) would be losing if you decided to just toss chemicals on the ground as if it were candy just to increase your profits.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,204

    I don't know of any school to learn about repairing irrigation systems. Both my sons studied and took test over winter and got their licenses but they didn't get much except some book learning. I have been repairing commercial systems for over 10 years and I learn something new all the need to work for someone that can teach you.

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