Possible to make it in such market

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Posts: 466

    Is it possible to make it in such a small market? With a population of 16,000 in a 30 mile radius is it really possible to make it in the lawn care business?

    Would it be more possible working in an area with a much bigger population like 150,000?

    Or how about working in an area of 300,000?

    We've been working for almost 5 years and are having problems getting over that hump. We would like to increase our profits to the $40,000 - $65,000 range. It's like we're stuck in a rut making $28 - $30,000.

    Should we look at moving our advertising to a bigger market area? Or would you just expand your 30 mile radius to say 75 miles? Or maybe even work in the small town two days a week and drive a couple hours to a bigger city the rest of the week?

    We have to do something. We are wanting to get over that hump. It's like we can't obtain anymore clients here in this area. What would you do?
  2. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    16,000 population in a 30 mile radius in Oklahoma. Just guessing I'd say that is somewhere in the western half of the state. I'm over in Muskogee - 60,000 population for the entire county.

    I have been over in the central part around Edmond and there are a lot of homes in that part of Oklahoma City which look like they could afford the services of a LCO.

    I'd say if you are wanting more business try the more densely populated areas.

    Let's see what some others have to say about this. And of course the Okies know how the economy is here.

  3. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    how many other local companies are near you? that would be more of the question, here in central jersey, theres TONS of companies, i mean large companies like Diggers, DiImperios and G&G all right around trenton area. Diggers i know isnt that old of a company but huge, g&g ive never hearrd of but is located in columbus, nj and has a huge place with many crews... same for diImperios but theyve been around 10+ years.

    I also see a lot of little guys "more like myself" yet im pretty professional asside from no truck advertisement. Im going to a full enclosed trailer any day now and will get advertising setup on that, something high end again.

    I have all new equipment, no cheap stuff, i see lots of companies with non-english speaking guys, scruffy looking, not just dirty from work like me and my help lol and old beater trucks, trailers and Craftsman lawnmowers etc lol. i mean common, buy something at least half ass not junker craftsmans.

    I once had a customer "trade" me cheap a craftsman lawn tractor for fence work and cash, i figured hey, its worth the $150 or whatever, and it was, but i decided quickly ill NOT ride on it since its a junker, i let my father use it now on his property. I could not use that unit day in and day out , just wouldnt last longer than a month.

    Id say my area is hard to get business, and i primarily only do a few small close together towns, within a few miles of each other and i get descent business. Id like this full time but not there yet.
  4. absolutelawnman

    absolutelawnman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    What City? I would assume that at least 1% of the area gets lawn work done, that would be 600 customers. How about offering other services? In most cases we use lawn mowing as a loss leader and upsell everything else.
  5. CBramble

    CBramble LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Offer more services...
  7. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Whats the demographics like there? Whats the average income for the 16,000 residents and whats the average size yard?

    I've researched my market area, I have 85,000 residents and 40,000 homes in a radius of about 15 miles, average income is 40,000 (roughly). I thought this area was bad, but it turns out it's actually pretty much average for Ohio. Now then there's 74 listings in the yellow pages for lawn care companies, and an additional 20 other listings in landscaping. I on average only see about 20 different companies in this area though, so it works out to be pretty good...but I'm still having a hard time breaking into the market. Money is tight for alot of people, people are worried about economy and don't want to spend on frills I think.
  8. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

  9. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Posts: 466

    Thanks for all of the posts! Your advice is definately helpful. I'm sure it would take a toll on you if you had to drive a pretty good distance a couple of days a week. You have to contend with the weather, equipment issues, gas, etc. Around here everything is spread out. There's a couple of towns 30 miles away with 5,000 or so population. There's a bigger town 90 miles away with a population of 50,000.

    We'll probably try to add more services and try to expand our radius some and see how it pans out. Just trying to get some more ideas from everyone. Thanks again!

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