Feb thru april - the toughest months for a lco

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TMlawncare, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    Over the years I always dread Feb to April. Unless is snow there is no money coming in at all. In april we are starting back to work, but nothing is billed till the first of May. This is very trying for any seasonal company. The past few years we have put together an account for the off-season to help us get through. However, if anything unexpected comes up, it just seems like the credit cards get hammered. If you make it till spring without accumulating a lot of debt chances are you will be fine. Here it is the middle of feb. we are starting to order our yearly supplies, not much money coming in, bank account running low - that seems about right. How about the rest of you. Does this stretch hurt you also? BTW, year long contracts seem to work only with a few select large companies here. Don't work well at all for residential. Must be the short season 23-24 cuts per year.
     
  2. terracare

    terracare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 353

    We actually try to get our cleanups and mulching taken care of my the end of march. In the past few years it's been more difficult financially, but we budgeted all of our expenses and made sure everything was paid for before the winter even started. Right now we are so busy with organizing the upcoming season its crazy. The website needs re-designed, new estimates, new billing systems, commercial bids going out, meetings with our contractors... Its worse than the beginning of may (ok, now im exaggerating a bit)!

    Todd
     
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    This year the weather has been very warm in Va. I have been trying for the last 2 years to do most of my mulching between Jan 1 and March 15th. I am a solo operator and dont do snow removal. This works good for me to provide some income plus I can get the mulch out of the way before the mowing starts. I offer a small discount of 5-7 % for early mulch. Anything after march 15th will be full price plus I cant schedule it on a certain date because of mowing, I just work it in when I can. I am having more of my customers doing the early mulch now so it is in place when spring arrives
     
  4. MWHC

    MWHC LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Posts: 202

    Same thing going on here, no snow and the bills seem to keep coming. One year we billed twice in April. Helped a little bit. I know exactly what you are going through.
     
  5. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Do you ever get in trouble for putting mulch down that early since mulch is an insulator, it holds the cold longer and can damage or kill roots, bulbs, etc while the ground around is warming up naturally.
     
  6. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    We also have some cleanups scheduled for March, but the amount will only be a couple hundred dollers. We do however get our first round of pesticides down in march so that should help out.
     
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    No I havent noticed any damage. But almost all of the jobs are just adding a fresh layer of mulch to an exsisting bed, not making a new bed or mulching against new plants. Last year in late feb. I cut back some Lirrope and mulched over it about 2 inches and by April it was back out as usual.
     
  8. nriddle77

    nriddle77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    For me, December thru the 2nd week of March are my slow times. If it snows, I have some work, but otherwise nothing. Yesterday I did some snow removal, and it felt great to get out and work. In the middle of March, I start aerating, which brings in some immediate cash flow. Good thing my wife works! :)
     
  9. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    I'm doing spring cleanups right now as we speak, my residential services begin March 1st for the full service accounts.. My commercial accounts are year round so I dont have to worry about them..

    I advertise that we do aeration/powerrake/fertilization because when the time comes, I can hit it up! I organize so that I have a line of jobs for aeration for a certain day
     
  10. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,280

    I am just about gearing up for new season now which will likely to start earlier this year due to warmer weather. I got phone calls already urging me to come do their yards, I said I will be there starting next week. Normally by March we are in the zone mowing like crazy, but the last week of February is like gearing up your equip/ or purchasing supply, etc.
    It won't be long before you all get busy again.
     

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