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How do you balance landscaping and mowing?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by hudsonhawk, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    I got into this business mostly on the lawn side of things. I have a decent residential customer base (around 40) for mowing. Takes about 2 days to mow everyone. Picked up a lot more knowledge and opportunity for landscaping in the past few years. I realize landscaping pays WAY better for my time. When spring hits and everybody wants to be served at the exact same time (mowing and landscape) there is always a difficult balance. Trying to decide if I should drop some of the mowing customers to focus more on landscape or just leave it be? Been tough to keep everyone happy especially with all the rain this year. What has your guys experience with this? Thanks.
  2. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Posts: 860

    Are you solo? Get help and free up some time. I'm kind of in the same boat, but I'm currently running a three man crew. In July I plan to split into two crews for three days a week. I've got a part timer I'll take with me doing all the additional work Mon-Wed, then rejoin the other guys for the full service accounts Thurs-Fri. Ultimately easing into two full time crews; a maintenance crew, and an install/ everything else crew.
  3. hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Posted via Mobile Device

    I do have help. 2 people besides myself. It just feels like I'm missing out on landscaping while we are busy making sure everyones lawn is cut every week. Makes it harder when it rains a couple days every week. Seems like I'm chasing nickels(mowing) when there are dollars(landscape) to be had.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 544

    I stopped mowing altogether to do apps and installs. I sometimes miss the mowing side the parts I miss about it are steady reliable money , keeps guys busy and paid, and the grass guys usually get the snow.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    I set so many hours a week to lawns. The rest goes to other projects. I do some mowing to keep the doors open for the other jobs that make money.
  6. mowandblow1980

    mowandblow1980 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    If it only takes two days to mow could you add a day for landscape projects or could your two guys handle the mowing while you do landscape projects?
  7. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 920

    I just tell my customers that mowing happens thurs Friday landscape rest of the week. If they want every 5 days then they are charged and either way I make good money Monday-Wednesday and steady money Thursday and Friday.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    Been at this point you are now for the last 5 years or so. We take on more and more landscaping each year and we could take on so many more projects, we just don't have enough hours in the day to do more than we are now. We mow 63 accounts and have tons of landscaping projects, so it gets hectic for sure especially when we can only landscape 3 days a week. We mow the other 2 days. I work on saturdays right now to try to stay ahead, but it's tough when all your landscape customers want there work done now. I think for sure at some point down the road I'm going to ditch the mowing all together, but for right now it's good busy work for my crew and peace of mind. Looking forward to someday doing full landscape work only. I have no great advice for you but just keep grinding away or add more team members.
  9. hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Thanks for all the replies. I often wonder if I should just drop half the mowing. Here are the reasons that keep running through my head. Mowing takes lot's of maintenance and gas and manpower to get all the yards done. I have to drive to and be on someone's property every week for only $35 or $40 each time. The amount of grief I sometimes get from some people over mowing gets very tiresome. Landscaping typically makes a lot more $ in a fraction of the time and usually the customer is very happy. Am I missing something?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Posts: 507

    I think that you might want to look at getting more efficient employees, a single guy should be able to mow atleas 10 decent size lawns a day,if it takes three people to now 40 lawns that would be a problem for my business. have one guy now full time,you will need to add more lawns to do that,have the other guy help you a few days a week,and help with the larger mowing accounts, this way you are all productive.on weeks that rain is expected or holidays you all mow.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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