Massive widespread drought - impact on you

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Really, I have been in the same situation. This year I finally hired on a couple guys for part time help and it's help boost production and pushing me higher in growth.

    The biggest problem with my business is that most of my clients, if not all, keep saying they really appreciate they have someone that knows what they are doing and I'm not a company sending out college kids or simple lackies who don't know what they are doing.

    This really sucks as I'd like to eventually step back and take a management role. But in the some token, I've started to really amp up my pricing for services and making more for my time than ever before. Basically, because people truly want my services, I'm not bidding against others. Am I taking advantage of my customers though?, no. I might be on the high end but nothing outrageous.

    So, keep it small and keep it real. I've centered my business on creating long-term relationships with my customers and not a high volume, get it done as fast as you can so I can send a bill type of service. This type of business plan is a slower growth plan, but it's now starting to pay off after 7 years.

    Consider yourself lucky also. With a crazy drought year, you can absorb the impact better than larger businesses.

  2. BOSS LAWN 2343

    BOSS LAWN 2343 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    The drought has really only affected about 30% of my weekly accounts. If I drive to the property and it doesnt need to be cut, I call them to skip the mow.

    Then again, it has also affected the one time mowing calls. It is easier to cut dry though..
  3. Snapper Jack

    Snapper Jack LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    While on vacation up north, up state NY and Pennsylvania where hit by the drought badly and cutting the grass way to short didn't help matters.
  4. whosedog

    whosedog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 730

    NJ isn't doing too good either.Thank God I only do this on the side (saturdays only) because if this was my bread and butter my family would be starving.After non stop rain till June,we were cutting like it was springtime;then it just stopped raining.I took a drive yesterday and all the lawns are toast with only a few weeds popping up.Too bad the US government doesn't offer landscapers insurance the way it covers farmers who lose their crops due to drought.We need some tropical storms to soak the ground for a few days;these scattered thunder showers don't do much good;next thing you know the trees will be dropping their leaves.My son is doing little bush and tree jobs;I'm making some money trading a few stocks (CORN,MOS,AGNC) I actually am doing pretty good so far made 4G,started learning about options and am doing well with them so far.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Think about all those guys depending on this to feed their families:waving:
  6. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,766

    Thanks for the explanation. I bet you could sell contracts to certain customers. Its finding those customers that's the hard part. My area is no different and getting those customers takes time. Its just the route I want to follow.

  7. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,766

    Thank you for confirming what I believe. When I first started this I was the same way. Blow through the property as fast as I could and get to the next one. Now I take my time and make sure everything looks good before I leave. I'm not in a hurry because the customer is paying for my time. I'm not on beat the clock.

    I have less customers but each customer is more profitable. They love the landscape and the work I do and they know they get their moneys worth. I'm not cheap either. I have to cover the costs of the time involved. But I have a whole lot less stress because when I do hear from a customer its because they are complimenting me not complaining to me.

    I know it will take time but it does get frustrating sometimes.

  8. mpriester

    mpriester LawnSite Member
    Male, from Dunbar, Pa.
    Posts: 97

    im in pa and its been raining off and on the last couple days. i'm small with only 20 accounts but only 1 of my accounts is about half brown, i started cuting them a little high when it started warming up. hopefully the rain will help. i have noticed a lot of leaves falling. The one time mowings have dropped off alot. i'm lucky to have another business that is seasonal as well and its starting to pick up. Who knows maybe we will have a real winter this year.
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    They have been predicting rain here for today for the last 5 days they even raised the % from 30 to 50 starting at 6am. So I wake and now it starts at 4pm maybe. That is what is so frustrating the last 5 or 6 rain days never happened and I have little faith this will either all the big cells are going pass to the north of us. We need a nice 2 day tropical storm that gives a month or twos rain in a day. It's one advantage we have over the mid west we do get a dozen would be hurricanes that just have mild winds and tons of rain each year coming up the coast. Just one of them and my problems here will be solved for 3 weeks.
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Seems silly but the old trick of washing your fleet to anger the rain gods has worked once again. Spend Saturday washing a trailer and 3 of the trucks and just got rewarded with about 2 hours of medium to heavy rain with a change for more tonight. Going to be in the 90s this week that was really needed now 2 more weeks and our traditionally driest month ends.

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