Need start up advice please

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Soupy, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I have been in the mowing business for about 12 years. In 2004 I am taking on a partner that is licensed. He knows how to mix, calibrate etc. But the only products he is familiar with, is the ones that TGCL uses. I just want to make sure we can't do better. Our goal is a lush green weed free lawn that doesn't need to be cut every other day.

    My question is, do you having recommendations on products to use in Zone 5 (St. Louis metro area) or any help coming up with a sound program. We plan on using liquid and granular. We plan on doing 6 apps with Grub/insect control extra. No tree/shrub at this time.

    I have a meeting set up with a lesco rep next week, But I'm anxious to hear what you guys have to say. Plus I'm not sure we are going to use Lesco or use them exclusive. I have been talking to LGF (since i'm just across the river from him)and he has been very helpful, But he thought it would be best to see what you guys had to add.

    Also something I haven't had a chance to talk to LGF about is Bed control. This is something that My partner hasn't done much of. Actually this is one of the reasons I want to get into this. The big guys around here don't care or try to sell customers on this and I see it as a growing problem. I hate showing up to a clients lawn and see weeds growing everywhere outside the lawns. Finally I'll be able to offer them a solution to this. The only thing I know so far to do would be spray weeds with round up then apply pre-m to the beds. I would like to hear of a more sound approach.

    There is only a few Fert/weed control out fits in our area (TGCL, Scotts). 99% mow guys don't offer this service, so I think we can make a good go at this.

    I know I have a lot to learn, But I feel at worse we can't do any less of a service as offered now.

    By the way My partner will handle all applications, while I keep running the mowing end of things. But I will be running most of the business side of things.


    Soupy
     
  2. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Posts: 406

    Tell your partner to be careful. Especially if you plan on approaching old TG/CL accounts. Some managers of TG/CL branches are fairly agressive in going after people that violate the terms of the obligatory "non-compete" contract. Others either don't care or, are too busy to bother with getting the attorneys involved depending on the number of accounts that are directly taken, dollar amount etc..
    Lesco will be immensly helpful and should steer you in the right direction. Most of the products he used before are available through Lesco and even some that were unavailable at TG/CL. 2,4-d is a good example as they removed all of it from inventory many years ago when "bad press" starting popping up on this product.
    As for bed-weed-control, I'm not sure I would approach that market with "guns a blazin." While it can be lucrative it also has a high potential for liability. Call backs can be frequent and if plant material(s) die, who or what does the customer point their fingers at? Say for example a customer has a thin or even non-existent mulch layer in the beds. They could wear you out with call backs. I'm not saying it's not worth a shot, only that there are certain drawbacks.
     
  3. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    be very-very careful t/ tgcl non-compete agreement.

    Bed weed control, = alot of money during a dry year, especially if your on a monthly maintenence program w/ your customer, but can be a nightmare for a wet year like we had this year, call backs, service calls and pulling weeds will kill you.

    tgcl products are as good as any other product when your looking for bang for the buck. there are superior products but you'll pay for them and they may be less cost effective.

    one suggestion, research your crabgrass preventer, tgcl switched to barricade and it is a crappy product pre-m worked much better.
     
  4. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    vegomatic40 & hortboy, I sent you both a PM.

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Vegomatic

    Non-compete contracts have been shot down all over the country. If Soupy pesticide tech is his employee and not an owner of the company on paper, they can approach TG/CL accounts all day long and not give TG/CL a case. This falls under a right to work. Non-competes are written to Stop people from going into business for themselves and taking customer with them to start their business. Non-competes can only be written to cover a time period of ( I believe ) only one year. True that TG/CL can sue anyone for any reason but that doesn't mean they will win. Many times big companies will try an mussel the small guy with law suits he can not afford to defend.
     
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Ric, That makes me feel better. But I'm still a little nervous now. I'm sure we are going to end up with a lot of their customers. Because they are not well respected around here, but are tolerated because of lack of competition. I'm hoping the fact that we are going to sell a more personal service along with the fact that we will be the first to offer both Lawn care & maintenance.

    I asked him if he had a non-compete agreement and he says that he don't remember signing one. He is going to ask one of the newer drivers if they signed one. I guess I'll just have to pay him a hefty salary instead of making him a partner.

    By the way Ric, I still have your phone # and will call you soon when I hear back from Mike about the Spray Truck. I talked to him yesterday and gave him your message and he is going to send me some pictures in a week or two.

    Thanks,
    Soupy
     
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Soupy

    I talked to Mike about a week ago. I had a problem with my PTO. He told me he would send me an other unit, But first let him check something. Trey Called me back an hour later and told me to try Something. I tried it and it worked. No more problem and it didn't cost me a thing.

    Mike at Fleet Force is a good guy and I hope to buy many more trucks from him. This one is in the paint shop now. I hope to get it back by Monday or Tuesday and send it to the sign guy.
     
  8. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Posts: 406

    Sorry Soupy, I didn't receive the PM. Guess I didn't edit the profile when I switched ISP's. Ric is correct when assuming that the non-compete contract has a time limit (1 year from date of termination) it also has a "geographic area limit" written in that is designed to keep ex-employees from going after old customers. All employees are required to sign the contract before corporate will even process the new-hire paperwork. Otherwise the employee is no longer an employee and sent home.
    Not all states are "right to work states." Missouri being one of them. Furthermore the states with that type of legislation on the books generally have that law to protect employees from being denied employment contingent upon joining a union. TG/CL is NOT a union shop. While I could argue the point further I won't as that is the job of LAWYERS. Soupy, you guys are probably ok but just try to find out a little more info. by getting a copy of his non-compete and taking it to a good buisness attorney before wandering into it blindly. Hortboy, I've been using Barricade for many years and have yet to find a pre-emergent that is kinder to new turf and performs as well for crabgrass prevention and believe me I've used them all.
     
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    vegomatic40

    Ronstar is not a DNA type regulator and therefore is not a chemical root pruner. However it does not get weeds that grow from roots only seeds. I have had good luck with Ronstar on grow in.
     
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

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