This is a continuation of the ALOP thread I was contributing to and I realized this portion was heading in a different direction so I thought better to begin a new thread. All business is there to serve the client. Most clients in general are not sophisticated enough to recognize good from great. Most can't even tell good from bad. They want it all and are also not willing to pay more than they have to. Having a separate contractor come in during a complex landscape job is not the most practical or efficient way to get a job done. It certainly does nothing to help control costs. I was at IA a few years ago in a business seminar and we were discussing L/S jobs. Someone from the East coast said something about L/S jobs taking a few days. I was sitting by a guy from So.Cal. and we both held up our hands at the same time with a dumbfounded look on our face. What can you do in a few days? Well... plant plants and lay down sod, mulch, that was all a landscaper does in some parts of the country. In our market even a "simple" landscape consists of a pool, small waterfeature, hardscape, pots, drainage, boulders, irrigation system, lighting, plants, turf and granite topdressing. There is not enough money for most clients to hire "experts" in what others would consider "niche" markets. I only say this as a old geezer who has been around a while and seen things evolve over the years and I would not get too comfortable in a Niche market of any kind. All you need is one big company to open a branch in your metro area and bring a crew from here that does it all for much less and you will be whining like all the mow boys about lowballers.