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Landscape v. lawncare v. both

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jseamster, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. jseamster

    jseamster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Now in my third year I'm trying to simplify and really focus in one area.

    Over the past two years I would entertain both landscape jobs and lawn contracts. I found this extremely difficult - especially in the the first year! I got myself into a bind more than once - trying to schedule a landscape job while worrying about the clients I should have been out mowing, while seeing the forecast calling for days and days of rain.

    Decided this year to make a choice and really focus on making it work. I will be trying to build my lawn contract business - while only seeking landscape jobs that are enhancements to my exisiting lawn customers.

    I think it's important to have a solid foundation of lawn contracts.

    Mentally, it has been some relief from the stress of self-employment to refocus my goals in this way.

    Any thoughts on this subject?
  2. GrassBlaster

    GrassBlaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 153

    As a newbie myself...I face this dilemna. Not only with landscaping, but with spring clean-ups, too. I do this psrt time right now, and I hate to tell people that they're gonna have to wait til next Saturday or the one after that until I can get to it.
  3. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,157

    That sounds like what I did years ago. Increased the lawns, and cut way back on larger landscaping jobs. Most of the time, just the yard maintenance (hedge/bush trimming, cleanups, bed maintenance, etc) for our existing lawn customers keeps us plenty busy.
  4. jseamster

    jseamster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Thanks for the feedback. Seems to me that whatever the focus you choose may be - it's just damn important to have one and put all your energy (and $$) into it. Whether its pavers, ponds, landscaping, lawns, etc.

    The good thing for me as a third year guy, is with lawn maintenance I should know to some degree what I can plan on making for the entire season by mid-April.

    I look forward to other folks thoughts. Cheers
  5. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    I was looking through one of our phone books today and I counted over 1,000 lawn/landscaping companies!! That sounds like market saturation to me and with the unpredictable nature of the business, I think its wise to focus on more than one area of the industry. Just my .02.
  6. jseamster

    jseamster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I see your point. Same situation here.

    I guess the saving grace is to pick one thing, but be damn good at it and run the operation as efficiently as possible. At least in the first few years. I could see how after time it could limit one's ability to compete with more full-service operations.
  7. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    my plan of attack for this year, is Take on enough clients that will keep me busy Monday tru Thursday. Leave Friday and saturday as back up days and this is also when i will do my landscaping projects. Its alot easier to re sced a landscape project then it is to not cut someones grass and then have to wait a week to cut it. I can see where they might get a little upset with you and then thats when you start losing customers. But what do i know

    Just my 2 cents

  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    For you guys that are mostly lawn care & maintenance:

    Do you find yourself getting bored mowing and blowing?

    I want to do this full-time and realize lawn care is necessary. I really enjoy the landscape aspect of the business, but a little worried that I'll get bored with the lawn care.

  9. jseamster

    jseamster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Actually, I don't get bored with the mowing and blowing. You can find that there's an art to it, just as any landscaping job. You know you've found this when you're driving away from the property and you can keep your eyes off the rear view mirror admiring your striping, and looking at the clock and realizing you've reach a new level of effiency.

    But I suppose it's different for everyone. What ever aspect you choose, learn to admire your own work.
  10. lawn8646

    lawn8646 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 23

    I personally try to offer as many services as possible. I have found that my existing customers are alot more willing to give me the work because I already am taking care of their property. This way any new clients I can really sit back and see if they will be profitable or not because I am not pressured just to gain more accounts because the ones I have are keeping me more than busy.

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