Off season jobs...what do you do?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ThreeWide, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    Since this is my first year in the biz, I don't have enough account base to provide much income during the winter season. Most of my accounts are pay per service, which means they will dry up over the next few months. I have a couple of flat monthly fee clients, but not enough to live on.

    There will be a few things to do, but we certainly cannot plow snow here in GA. Looks like I will be looking for a part time job to fill the gap. What gigs have you folks done in the off-season?

    It would be nice to do something that would help provide green industry experience for next year.
     
  2. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Last winter I spent delivering for a flower shop. Easy work, pay wasn't all that great, but decent around Christmas and V-Day. It was kind of weird, I had run into the owner of the shop about 8 or 9 months earlier at a gas station, and she asked me what I did over the winter. Asked for my phone number for future reference. I had forgotten all about it, when we got our first snowstorm in Dec. the lady called me up out of the blue, looking for me to work.

    Thing I learned, a lot of small shops that rely on deliveries have a hard time finding anyone, since typically they want you to use your own vehicle and gas. Since I do that all year already it was no big deal. I'll probably work for her again this winter, she STILL hasn't found another driver since the end of Feb.
     
  3. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Can you sell? Lots of RV and Boat shows over the winter and I work a few of them. I also have a full size truck and can pull any boat or RV so I will pull to the shows. The 3 shows that I worked gave me about 4 weeks of work that I really like. Also gets you a great price on a new boat!!
    Look into Real Estate investment. Use the Winter to find a house and fix it up and sell it or rent it out. Handyman work fits well with LCO's.
    What ever you do be sure to give yourself time to work on building your business. I pass out fliers in fall so if the customer has a problem with the current LCO, that is fresh on his mind and he is ripe for picking. Year contracts need to be signed and set up to go early in the year. Also spend time getting equipment ready for next year. I did not overhaul my pluger's last winter and when I needed to use them this fall I really did not have the time to do the work so I had a few late nights. I will do it this winter.
     
  4. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    Great idea...because I was an RV owner for the last several years. Never thought about that one.
     
  5. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi TurfUnlimited,

    How about holiday lighting displays? Keep thinking and coming up with ideas. Those customers you service in the winter time could possibly become spring customers for other services.
     
  6. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Oct/Nov

    - Winterize Sprinkling Systems
    - Fall Leaf Cleanups
    - Fall Aerating
    - Fall Lawn Fertilizing/Winterizing
    - Gutter Cleaning
    - Christmas Lighting
    - Winterize Lawn mowers for people that cut their own lawn (winterize fuel system, sharpen balde, clean air filter, clean spark plug, change oil, clean deck).

    Nov/Dec
    - Christmas Lighting (install and remove)
    - Snow Removal

    Jan/Feb
    - Snow Removal
    - Tree Removal (downed branches from winter storms, requires chain saw)

    March
    - Spring Cleanups
    - Spring Aerating
    - Power Raking
    - Window Cleaning
    - Power washing


    Just offer a list of services that you think people will bite on:
    - Personal Assistant (run errands)
    - Car Detailing (you pick it up and drop it off)
    - Fence Repairs
    - Junk removal (runs to the dump)
    - Paint House numbers on curbs
    - Install peep holes in doors
    - Distribute flyers for other companies
    - If your good with the computer try offering logo designs or web page design.


    There are tons of ways to keep yourself busy in the off months.
    or you can try working for someone else during the slow times.
    - Part time job at home depot
    - If you don't plow you could try working for someone who does.
     
  7. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Always look for things that put you in the face of your next customer. If you get a night job that you work by yourself you will not meet any people so be sure to work in a way that lets you network. Get a few nice golf shirts and have your logo sitched on them and wear them everywhere you go all winter so people will know what it is you do. Network- Network -Network.
     

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