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Specializing in one particular service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    There is a post over in one of the other forums about not doing mowing at all, and just specializing in a particular service. Sounds like a good idea to me if you find the right customer base.

    What do you guys/girls think?
  2. metro-hp_48

    metro-hp_48 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TN
    Posts: 874

    Heard along time ago here, that there was no real money in mowing. The people that stopped, and went to fert. never regreted it. [None that I ever noticed. Could have over looked one.]
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have thought of just doing aeration & fertilization
  4. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    I think its beneficial to have many different specialties because you don't need to rely on a customer's one special need. By staying more well rounded with different services your company will appeal to a broader range of customers "shopping" for services that they desire. Just what makes sense to me.
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    This has been something I've never been able to figure out what is best. There's the saying "do one thing and do it good". There's also something to be said for diversity. I really enjoy the aspects of being a full-service company. Not giving anyone else an opportunity to get on our customers property. I also enjoy the wide variety of services we perform for our own personal satisfaction and the customers. For now, we'll do it all.

    After doing this three years, if it was only about the money, I'd do applications. I know I do quality work in that field and could be booked solid. I'd just do it solo.That area shows good profit margins for us. I also know I'd go fricken' nuts doing the same thing E V E R E E E E D A Y! I need variety, it's the spice of life.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    There are some good things and some bad things about just doing one service

    Good things
    Not a lot of overhead, equipment buying and maintenance, you can be off a couple of days for an application compared to mowing, only specilalize in one service,....can't think of any more

    Bad things
    You only specialize in one thing, customers might want someone more well rounded, no variety, might only be able to perform the work during certain times of the year....can't think of any more
  7. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 706

    This si something I have been pondering lately too. In the past I have done only applications and landscaping. But I am adding mowing this year.

    I will only mow customers that I also do their treatments. But...l what i found was that i was missing alarge part of the market because of people wanted a full service company and ddi not want two seperate comapnies to mow and fertilize.

    At the same time I have backed off of doing so much landscaping. Found I did not have the equipment to do the big jobs and couldn't afford the equipment because I didn't do enough of them. I'm sticking more with just softscape work.

    So.... I think you have to have boundaries -- but being too narrowly focused can be tough. For instance -- only aerations. But... some people amke that work too. I guess you just ahve to have a plan in place for whatever you decide to do and market and sell accordingly.
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I have thought about this also, but for starting out I think mowing is a wise service to offer.

    For just doing aeration and fertilization/chem apps, how large would you client base have to be to keep you busy? Pretty large and will take many more years to aquire. I will keep mowing until my client base is full, then direct more energy to the chemical side of the business.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    yup walker, the only way that I would make the switch is if I had a lot of customers signed up for it already
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I enjoy mowing and want to make that the foundation of my company. I want to branch out and add other services onto that foundation that will supplement the mowing end of the business.

    What I do not enjoy doing is landscaping. I don't want to do that. I also don't want to do flower/garden/bed maintenance. I hate that kind of thing. I don't even like spreading mulch.

    I think diversity is key in any business venture. Lately I have been pondering the 'full service' idea, offering all services that possible for a yard. Lots of guys here do that, and someone referred to not being full service as 'leaving money on the table'.

    While I agree that not offering everything is not taking advantage of all the possible $$ to be made per customer, my former partner pointed something out to me. I have never had a problem with booking up lawn mowing customers and having enough work through the year. At least in the past as partnership/solo. If I can make my $50 to $60 per hour, and max out on available time, what difference does it make if you are doing some of the work in a yard or all the work? There are only so many hours in a day/week etc. Does it matter if you spend all your available time making $$ off just mowing, or if you spend it making money off a variety of services? As long as you are maxxing your potential, I don't see a difference.

    Now, if you can get more $$ per hour than your mowing average, that's another story. If you don't like just mowing all day and want to mix it up, that's also different. But for someone like me, who enjoys the mowing, I don't see the difference.

    Of course, that might change once I start employing people and I need to fill possible open hours with work. But for my status now, max work is max work.

    I have added on other services I want to get into and enjoy doing to supplement my income. I dig aeration and doing leaves, and filling up more time in the fall when mowing is slower is good. I want to move into other services and do things which will help my expertise and business. Diversification is good, imo. But I don't think a person HAS to offer every service possible in the industry.

    I say if you just want to aerate and do ferts/apps, if the market will bear it go for it. There are lots of app only businesses in this industry. Turfscape in Pinkney doesn't do maintenance, and he does well for himself. It's your business, the important thing is to do what you enjoy!

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