quit applying pesticides?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by CNYScapes, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 916

    I am considering not applying any more pesticides starting next year. We would just stick to mowing and landscaping, and refer our customers to another spray only company.
    Too much paperwork,training, protective gear,licensing,liability for me to bother with the 50 or so lawns we do.
    Do you think our customers will mind if we try to refer their spraying to another company? I would still want to do the mowing.
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    That's the thing about th application business. Because of the indirect overhead costs, it takes a larger x amount of jobs to cover the overhead. I would say that about anything under 100 accounts as a minimum, is just futile. You HAVE to cover the overhead, costs and time involved before you even make anything. Another thing to consider is material costs. Until you start getting up into an amount that you are getting material at a discounted rate, it is rough to make it. Just a little hint; it's going to get worse.
     
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720


    Please, listen to MY experience, and don't repeat it!
    Do what you want to well enough to make a living, and to make your customers happy. But don't forget to find time to look for key, really good 'partners' in this green industry that you can truly trust to delve off what you no longer want to do. Because, you'll very SELDOM hear how much you're needlessly and harmfully blamed later by a past customer, when things go to 'hell' with a bad 'passing off' of business that goes awry!.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I would cut it out without mention, just one of those things you stop doing, it's not that necessary anyhow...
    Then I would go with the mentality that insects in the turf are actually good for the lawn.
    I'm serious, there are plenty of articles discussing the benefits, google up on it and see how that fits.
    Because I very rarely treat for insects, unless they're actually doing serious damage.

    You might keep the gear handy for that one (or 3) customers who won't let you stop, grandfather clause those few accounts, it will bite you a little for some years but it should be tolerable.
     
  5. TURFLORD

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    I make good money off of chems. I'm solo, so that cuts down on employee training a bit. In Jersey that can be alot of work to train new people. I only have about 20+ customers of various sizes. Once I got all the systems of paperwork established it was very easy to maintain. I go to 1 seminar a year, do a survey every other, pay $225 a year in fees, maintain an inventory once a year, and all my app records are on one page. Maybe you should examine the way you have things set up. Look for efficiencies in everything and you'll save time. I was audited on site a few years ago and the inspector was pleased with what he saw. Or he was annoyed that he drove from Trenton to check out my small time butt and just wanted to leave. I offered, but he didn't even want to see my storage area.
     
  6. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I was in the same position a few years ago, and I think Runner is exactly right, I had too few fert accounts to make it worthwhile. In 2002 I started subbing out my fert accounts, and after suffering through a terrible experience (they sold out to TruGreen without telling us), went back to doing it myself. So be careful who you sub to! This season I started subbing to a local one man application business and it has worked out very well, he really has made me look good.
    Just an option to consider, if you can hook up with the right company.
     

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