How does subcontracting work?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Precision Lawns, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    We want to start offering our customers fertilization and pest control, but we're not licensed yet. We're looking at licensing for next year. In the meantime, rather than applying illegally, we'd like to sub it out. That way we'd still be the only contact with our customers, and we wouldn't have to tell them "no," but we'd still be fully legal.

    Obviously, when looking for a sub we'll be trying to find someone who is easy to work with, knows their stuff, is reasonably priced and, of course, licensed (and we would ask to actually SEE the license). Anything else we should make sure to look for?

    And once we find a sub we like, how does it work? Do we ask them for a price list so that we can give our customers prices when they call? Or do they always have to go out and do an estimate independently of us? Do we get a discount on their services, and if so, what do we charge the customer? Are we supposed to make money off of the service? Do we get to schedule the jobs, or do they? We'd like to keep the contact with our customers with US as much as possible, so our customers don't start thinking to themselves "Why am I calling Precision Lawns when they always just have to have X Fertilization Company call me back? I should just call X Fertilization Company." Does that make sense?

    Anyone who uses subs, or who acts as a sub, I'd really appreciate an explanation of the process. We want to make sure we do this right. Thanks!
     
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    We sub out our fert. as well. We work with a company who seems to be good so far. They take our info. (when lawns are being cut) and they work around that. They bill us and we bill the customer so the customer doesn't get bombarded with all kinds of invoices. (that is a big plus). They need us more so than we need them so they are constantly giving us refferals and places to bid. A lot of businesses seem to want just one service and to not be bothered with calling 10 different companies. They have reffered probably 30 places so far that were accepting bids. One good thing is they really market their business so my name is getting out there a lot more than if I were to just do it. So far all has worked out.
     
  3. cemars

    cemars LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Look at all your questions, and then ask one more. Is it really worth it to sub out this work for for 1 year. What if the sub screws up and looses accounts for you, what if he tries to take the work from you in year 2, what if your customers don't want to use a sub or end up liking him more than you. Maybe you should just stay away from the application business until you are ready to do it yourself.
     
  4. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    not only that but you will need a clause in you gen liab for subs to be covered.
     
  5. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Would we need that if they had their own insurance (which they would need to have for us to consider them as a sub)?
     
  6. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    The problem is we have customers asking for fertilization. Our options are to either tell them no and they'll look elsewhere, or tell them yes and we sub it out. I think our customers will be better satisfied if we will do the legwork for them. And there's no guarantee we'll be licensed next year - if we like our sub a lot, or we hit obstacles in our path to becoming licensed, maybe we'd keep subbing it out for longer.
     
  7. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    here is the real deal .you can legaly broadcast granular fert without a license if it does not have any pre emergent pesticidal(sp) compounds in it . like a strait 10-10-10 .
     
  8. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    We've called the TN dept. of Agriculture, and they said we could put down anything that was a "pure fertilizer product," didn't matter what form it was. However, they also said that anything with an EPA # we can NOT put down. So we went looking for products without an EPA # and we just can't find them around here. It doesn't help that we're allowed to put it down if we can't find the product. None of our suppliers have anything without an EPA #, nor do they know where to get them.
     
  9. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    i just went outside and looked at a cheapie bag of weaver brand 10-10-10 from lowes it does " not " have an epa # on it .it's like 3 to 5 bucks a 40# bag.
     
  10. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Well, that may explain it - we were only asking our commercial suppliers. Didn't check with Home Depot or Lowe's. Not ideal, but may work in a pinch...we'll check into it.
     

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