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how many of you guys are "making it"?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GreenerSolution, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 67

    i dont want to do maintenance. Just application programs. But my question is how well is the market for this specialized niche. id love to hear your war stories. ive worked for a lawn care company for 4 years. and golf course spray tech for 6. ive been working for a company where my boss either gave up or is looking to sell. So I am looking to go on my own this up coming spring. I know i can do it better because he was asking me to do things i would never do to a customer. im not gonna say i was spraying water but....

    but yeah, Id like realistic expectations. I work hard as hell for everyone else. I imagine Ill do the same for myself :)
     
  2. Pythium

    Pythium LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Posts: 166

    My best advice...learn to sell. Sell yourself and your product/service. I know grass. Selling people on the fact that I know grass was/is most difficult challenge. The market in our area is saturated with fert/squirts. So the competition is tough. I will not compete on price.
     
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,765

    Go for it. But don't lowball our other guys in your area. And read a book or two on running a small business. Horticulture is important--but--the business aspects are important, too. Why not buy your boss's company if he wants to sell? Naturally he will have to self-finance for almost any company he sells to. Pay him about 14 percent (of his asking price) per month for 7 months.
     
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    Tell you what, work hard, market yourself, build relationships with customers and you can certainly build an app business. I did it with NO experience starting out, now 75 customers and growing. All you have to do is outperform tg which isn't hard to do.
     
  5. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 67

    The problem with the company I work for now, my boss is infatuated with high volume. he's the "lowballer". He does about 95% commercial for a very cheap rate. Plus his company is worth about 1.5mil. A little steep for me. I've spent the last month preparing after work, now that things are slower I have really been spending my time studying marketing, meeting with accountants, hawking for equipment, studying target audiences.

    How many accounts did you guys get in year 1? This is the area where i have my biggest fear. I feel once I get the ball rolling, my skills will increase because I work extremely hard at everything i do and will improve. :weightlifter:
     
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    Year one accounts for me was about a dozen. Seems wimpy I know, but I had no experience and did not market heavily that year. To me, was better to learn doing a few then botch a whole bunch. You won't have that issue.

    If you have a bunch of existing contacts who want your services right now, I would think 50-60 accounts would be doable perhaps. If you are starting from pure scratch, not quite that many.
     
  7. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 67

    How long have you been doing this DA?
     
  8. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    So , what you really wnat to do is , learn the business from your boss then stab him in the back by starting your own and steal as many accounts from him as you can
    . Of course you will quickly deny this as it does not make you look decent .

    Am I right ?









     
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    Yes Unfortunately You are right. It is real easy to put a knife in your companies back and steal their customers.

    Here in Florida Non Compete contracts are not all that enforceable and very expensive to pursue. The little guy can't afford to go after a former employee who steals accounts. But the Big Box guys will go to the ends of the earth to make an example of them.

    I have a real set Ideal on What is stealing from the company. If you are driving my truck servicing my accounts and a Potential customer approaches you. That is my customer and not yours to do on Saturday of after hours using my equipment and supplies. However if you are at church or a bar and meet a potential customer, then they are your customer to do side work. However don't use my equipment or supplies because that is stealing.

    .
     
  10. EquityGreen

    EquityGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    If your boss didn't have you sign a no compete agreement knock on some doors and get your customers. It's his own stupidity for not having you sign one. That's what I did year one along with other means of marketing. We're in year five and have 800 Fert accts. slowly but surely it'll come your way if your good at what you do and treat your customers like you would want to be treated. Good luck to you! 2013 will be the best year ever!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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