Question for the solo operators? Offering Full Service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JohnsonLawn, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    How many of you solo guys are offering full lawn and landscape services, everything from mowing, fert, pavers, installs, etc. Also, how much do you feel being solo limits you or are you able to keep up with the work load. Do you feel it is better to limit the services that you offer or just specialize in certain areas. I am offering everything I can, but find it hard to stay focused and find myself chasing my tail alot of the time. Any comments are appreciated
  2. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    Its a PITA... I'm in school 36 hours a week, mowing 40 hours a week, and then trying to do things like shrub removal in my "free" time, which is about none....I dont offer paving or anything, and in late spring, summer, and early fall, I dont feel limited at all by offering full service...

    I contract out fert, and for most other things I just kindly suggest to the customer that it will be a couple of weeks so I can get a free day to do it, unless it is something that isn't time consuming like trimming a few shrubs or something..
  3. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    Mow Right, How many full servcie accounts do you feel that you can service a week.
  4. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    I'm doing 70 accounts in 4 days and have Sat/Sun/Mon off. I work with my brother in law but have done the whole route by myself in 5 days. I could probably manage another 10 accounts solo for a total of 80 but this would be 5 days a week.
  5. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    I have about 50 properties right now....

    Since I am in school this is my max, some accounts are several acres and working by yourself this can be very time consuming, although i hope to get another mower and have one of my friends on these large time consuming properties

    I messing with (includes drive times ect) school 36 hours a week, I dont get out of school until 2:25 and it is getting dark at around 7:45 right now which only gives me 5.5 hrs per week day of light, and 14 hours on saturday, and i dont work on sundays unless i absolutely have to.

    (5.5 x 5) + 14 = 41.5

    ^ Is about how many hours I work in a week, and I am barely keeping up right now. If i wasn't in school right now then I would be able to get all my accounts done in about 3 days by myself, and 2 days with another mower and another person.

    I would say a normal full time person could service about 60 accounts per week if you are only working 40-50 hrs per week NOT INCLUDING time spent repairing mowers and things of that sort. I offer full service lawncare although many people do their own yard work.

    It would just all depend on your grouping and how big the accounts are and how fast you work, and if you have them scheduled (I dont). I group the lawns to the best of my ability but I dont have schedules
  6. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 352

    To offer a true FULL have to be dedicated and be able to committ 100% of your time to the business and your customers needs. If you dont, then someone else will. :dizzy:
  7. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    I can't do it all... being solo, all I want to do is the maintenance side of it, installs take too much time for a solo (for THIS solo anyway!) I know it's good money, but for me, I don't want to be distracted from my maint. to take a day to install a few hundred pavers. I would think that you would need 2 crews, on for mowing and maint. and the other for installs. I would rather sub that part out or recommend someone else who specializes in installs.

    I'm only one guy right now. I can't do it all! Besides, I would rather be a master of one trade, than a jack of all trades. Work gets sloppy and overwhelming when you get too much on the table.
  8. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    That is my fear also, I offer full service lawn care but normally only just do things on the days off, and for things that would take tons of time I hire in like a teenager for $50 cash or something like that.... but mainly I refuse to buy expensive equipment over and over again to offer more and more services..
  9. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    its not like I can avoid school, and my customers are happy with my work
  10. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    I'm finding the key to this business is "find your niche"!

    Some on this site are Mow, trim, Blow and go and have 90 - 250 accounts, and other service the high end customers and only have about 40 - 50 accounts, some mix the installs and maint., some are just maint.

    There is SOOOOO much that can be done to someones landscape that it would make your head spin to try and do it all... ESPECIALLY if you're solo.

    Give me a mower, my shades, my hat, some tunes, and grass as far as the eye can see, and I'll be a happy man!

    Hell, being that i'm in Phoenix...maybe I should look into rock polishing!!! hmmmm

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