Re-thinking your biz model?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by meets1, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    We all mow, landscape, snow removal etc. What do you guys do different each year to set yourselves apart from the "other" LCO's?

    Myself - we mow, add spraying/fert programs 6 years ago, we landscape small to medium yard, snow removal. Well a few years ago - commercial properties were asking us about parking lot maintance - sure - looked at it and bought a paint striper and that has been a great buy. Now were starting to do decks, fencing, etc for the job that were landscaping and also for others just looking for a deck when the local builders are to busy during the summer for just a deck. I also sell wood during the winter - not a big money deal but it is extra money.

    Problem I see is when I start something or add a service - I am soon followed and there goes the profit margins cuz most people I beleive have no idea what there actual cost of doing this service cost them. It is truely dog eat dog out there and I think I need to stay a step ahead (most times) to be inovative and push the service industry a little differently each year.
  2. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    Right now I just do full service lawncare

    which includes but is not limited to

    mowing and trimming
    shrub trimming
    shrub removal
    edging mulch beds
    installing mulch beds
    leaf cleanup
    contracted fertalizing
    contracted pest control

    things i want to do and have equipment for but haven't really advertised yet:

    planting flowers and stuff
    grass seeding
    stuff along that line
    gutter cleaning
    painting (as long as its not detailed)
    ripping up decks and things like that

    basically any odd jobs as long as customers will pay enough money to make it worth my time, and i dont have to buy equipment specifically for that type of job.. and as long as the will let me do it on a day off with my employee

    to me, i dont really know if it is worth it to expand into all kinds of business like blacktop striping and things like that, i would rather just stick to lawn care and start different businesses if i see a need for them with alot of people
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I don't try to be everything to everyone. In the beginning 14 years ago, that is how I did more. My company does only a few things but we do them very well, we do them quickly, and at a very good price.
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I would like to operate that way. There are only about 18000 people where I live. It makes it more of a challange to specalize. Next year I intend to offer weed control. In the state of South Dakota they offer the pesticide applicator classes and test in January and February.

    Other plan is to advertise more.
  5. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    There is no point to adding extra services unless you are adding extra crews to perform those services.

    To make money in business your work needs to be quality and you need to be able to do it quickly.

    The only way you can do things quality and fast is to do it over and over and over. If you lay pavers everyday your going to be awesome at laying pavers in no time. But it your always switch from pavers, to fence, to lawns to fert, you will be a jack of all trades master of none.

    I think its makes sense for a FULL SERVICE LANDSCAPE company to get into parking lot maintence, fencing, decks etc. But you should have seperate crews for each divison.

  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    exactly Matt...and you'll know/own the best equipment to get the job accomplished as well.
  7. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    I agree with the seperate crew idea and to the most part I have that covered. Although there are a few guys that overlap, myself being one of them. Although only 2 spray/fert. Everyone helps out mowing, trimming, etc. Everyone helps with snow removal but with special items of work - yes different crews are more effiecient than pulling guys here and there.
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I work on refining my business not expanding services. Just doing the things we do better, perhaps differently. Mostly it involves a lot of tinkering with existing systems, educating ourselves to new materials and products. Networking with other industry professionals is very important. Like this but also with your local associations.

    My newsletter that we introduced a couple of years ago was a huge boost, this year I have been introduced to a horticulturist that has really been helpful with water management products and products to manipulate the plants. I have been using fertilizer injectors on homes for years. Thees things set me apart from the other contractors.

    I don't even call them competitors because the services they provide are different than mine. Yes we all mow grass but my clients are looking for a different level of service.

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