"GREEN" Profit Margins...?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by emil35, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Hello all,

    Currently I own a small lawncare business, but I'd like to go "Green" with it and offer only organic services that would be good for the environment rather than hurting it. First off, any advice on services to offer and prices? Second, have many of you found a move like this to be more profitable? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    Probably a dumb question, but how were you hurting the environment before?
    Neal
     
  3. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Oh not a dumb question...I was thinking of "Green" as more organic fertilizers vs. man made, and so forth...things like that.
     
  4. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    It would really be a good idea for you to learn as much as you can about "man made" fertilizers and their properties if you haven't already. If you are basing your decision to go "green" solely on the information of the critics of synthetic fertilizers you will get a scewed view of reality in my opinion and your business will be fear driven. If you learn about fertilizers in general and make your decision based on knowledge you will be able to communicate your decision to use organic products because of the benefits you discover, not the fear mongering so prevelant on the "green" side. Confidence comes from knowledge and experience and there is no short cut for either one.
    Neal
     
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    you can be a "green friendly" contractor just by becoming knowledgeable about the materials you are working with and using them in a responsible way.

    without knowledge you can do as much or more dammage with "organic" products than synthetics.

    If you want to become a truly "green friendly" company here's a list on how to start.

    convert all equipment to propane fuel, use all 4 stroke weedeaters, etc....
    either convert vehicles to propane, or buy hybrids. Another option for vehicles is to use compact trucks that are more efficent.... make sure all equipment is clean inspect for leaking fluids......( large source of polluiton)

    Use Proper ammounts of nitrogen for the materials you are growing. Be extra careful on slopes. Use iron substitution for at least a few nitrogen applications....

    make sure the micro nutrients and pH are in the correct parameters so you are not having to use excessive nitrogen as a baind aid for poor soil conditions.....


    things like the ones above will go further to make you a "green" company than just using organic products...don't buy into the hysteria that some of the "organic" people are promoting.....
     
  6. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Thanks for all the advice. Would running diesel engines with biodiesel work too? I need the power of my bigger trucks, but I'm looking into moving out the older ones and getting smaller trucks for the more run around stuff. I'll be researching quite a bit over the winter. I just want to do something to help with the pollution issues and also help my business stand out. We have a business thats local that makes itself known for the organic stuff, and from their site they sure make alot! But they use mixes and blends of organic and synthetic as well. Also, I think I need to raise my prices. Anymore advice would be great! thanks
     
  7. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    I'm not a diesel guy, I like clean smells personally...especially when I'm parked at a customers home and in their environment. Relating to your service offerings, I would suggest you look for a wrinkle that would set you apart rather than copy what your successful competion is doing. You are the only one who knows your costs and margin of profit you need. Price yourself to make money...that's what you are working for really. Take a look at our programs at www.wolberts.com and notice what sets us apart. You should be able to pick several things out that are a bit unique.
    Neal
     
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i like the biodiesel idea...
    yes, diesel smells, but the exhuast is not deadly.
     
  9. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    Very good point! Are there any biological downsides to bio-diesel? Are there quality checks in place to prevent contaminents from being burned with the fuel and becoming airborne? I see folks advertising they use french fry oil and the like to fuel their old smoke belchers with. Does the particulate matter influence air quality? What happens to it when it reaches earth eventually? I'm pretty ignorant regarding the subject.

    Neal
     
  10. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    the spray side of the green industry is the most profitable return on investment as far as i am concerned.

    just watch your numbers adjust your prices accordingly and have fun jumping off your stack of money! :O)
     

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