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Residential vs. Commercial vs. Mixed...

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by bladelawn, Feb 7, 2007.


What is better?

  1. All residential accounts

    18 vote(s)
  2. All commercial accounts

    9 vote(s)
  3. Mixed

    74 vote(s)
  1. bladelawn

    bladelawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    What do you guys think? Is it better to have all residential or commercial accounts, or to mix them? They each have uniqueness to them. Having just residential accounts means you might not need as much equipment, but you need more accounts to make the same money. All commercial means more equipment, less accounts for same $. What do you think? Any experience/preference?
  2. CAG

    CAG LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Posts: 344

    imo a mix is the key.. in our area comm does not mean more equip we have very large yards that need 60" cuts to get them done in what i feel is a good time.. as much as the res are a pita bottom line is they pay.. the fuel. travel time, labor costs, and mileage is the down side but we only lose a couple accounts a year.. on the other hand we have great realationships with the management's co we work for and they technically go out to bid every 1-3 years but we always know we have them.. ii have never lost a commercial in six years, but for example one co we service 5 places and another 3 and if something were to happen and i did get them with no res it would be a bad year!! so a little advice would be as u grow and realize that res can be a pain and not as profitable don't sell them or drop them.. kinda likke the stock market... don't put all your eggs in on basket!!!
  3. cgrappler135

    cgrappler135 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    For us a mix is also key because our commercial accounts can be done on mondays and tuesdays when the residentials dont really want it done that early in the week!
  4. bladelawn

    bladelawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    why dont they want it done early in the week. never heard of that...
  5. jinx 88

    jinx 88 LawnSite Member
    from ozarks
    Posts: 44

    I think if I had it to do all over again I would stay with res. I have one comm. account that takes three guys all day, and I could do 10 res. lawns for the same $$$. But I don't have any contracts either. I don't think it would matter if it was a mix if your lawns aren't over the limit of your equipment.

    On the residential lawns, most people like them to look nice on the weekend,that is why a lot of mine are toward the end of the week.

    Hope I could help,
  6. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,435

    To look good for the weekend. Which with residental's thats their time to take their sons and daughters outside, and prefer not to see you there on a weekend.

    We have pretty much all commerical contracts with development companies that have multiple building's and larger properties, commerical/industrial parks. We have done away with doing single home residental account's unless placed with in the contract for their business I.E. Peterbilt dealership and service center in Waukesha WI, and a home that they rent out up the street.

    They only Residental that we still deal with is condo/subdivison assoication's. Whats nice about condo assoication's is having the landscaping and snow plowing locked into the contract as well. Condo's have committe's which have their meetings to discuss issue's in their complex to what kind of work needs to be done and what they want done. They then talk to their property management company who have to then hire us to do the job. Its a long cycle to get jobs for landscaping but most of those jobs stem from us actually talking to the resident's just saying "hey that would look nice if we did such and such here". Subdivison's that we do have a lot of open parks, Blvds, and islands.

    But you forgot another option up there bladelawn is Municapl granted we only have two possibly a third Municapl contracts one for a school system, andsports complex They usually get fitted in the week if they have something special going on that weekend. Schools are generaly done on weekend's when school is in during the school year then switched to weekday during summer. I hate cutting around kids, they have that curious side to them to jump out of no where.
  7. bladelawn

    bladelawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    how do you go about getting municipal contracts???
  8. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,435

    Local paper, under Township Meetings/Notice's, they have usaully what is being discused at the meeting. Then Submit your bid to the board and wait. It's kind of hard to get municipal contracts. Seeing as they pretty much go for the cheapest bidder all the time.
  9. bladelawn

    bladelawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    ok thanks ill try that.
  10. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Diversification is the key. Its much like managing your own stocks and bonds. When you diversify, you can stay safe. When you get hard accounts (year after year ones), you need to off set them with new ones, because next season someone new to the business may underbid you, and there you sit. I perfer commercial accounts because they pay more, its less travel time, and that means more money in your pocket book! So go get 'em!

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