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Strictly Lawn Care

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DreamBig:LiveBigger, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. DreamBig:LiveBigger

    DreamBig:LiveBigger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Hey everyone, I'm looking for some opinions. I have a setup that can handle 160 lawns a week. 1 - 2000 Dodge Ram, 1 - 16' trailer, 2 - 60" Lazer Z, 1 - 48" Metro w/b, the blowers and weedwhackers as well (4 man crew). I have the intention of having a full service business in the near future, but I need more capital for that. I know I could handle fewer customers and offer more services to them with the equipment I have. I'm debating between running a business that is strictly lawn care (mowing, lawn apps., aerating, etc.) or handling few customers like I said above. My intention for this coming year is to hustle and work my a$$ off to build capital, with the intention of buying new equipment for expantion the following year so I can offer a full service business. Do you think I will run the risk of chasing customers away if I don't offer mulching, trimming/prunning, clean-ups, etc., or will it be no problem to pick new customers up when I am equipped for a full service company. My main goal this year is to make as much money as I can, I believe that is everyone else's as well. I would make more money with just mowing this year then I would offering all the other services. That is of course as long as mother nature cooperates.

    Just looking for some opinions, all are welcomed. Thanks Guys
  2. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    Dream Big,

    Here is my opinion and maybe not some of the others on here. How can you say that you will make more only offering basic mowing. I offer the basic mowing and then I also offer mulching, hedge trimming, aeration and over seeding, fall cleanup and lawn apps. I do all the mulching in the spring before mowing season really begins. I also do the hedge trimming in the spring before mowing season really hits it hard. Then I mow all summer, then when the early fall starts I do the aeration and over-seeding, fall hedges, and fall mulch (for those that want it). So far I have not completly stopped since mowing season started last year. It is slower now due to winter but in Late Feb, and all of March I will be making money on the extras that I offer. As for the lawn apps I sub them out to a big Chem only company that does not offer mowing etc. So I am not there when they are doing their thing. One thing to think about also is when you aerate and over-seed you need to wait about 2 weeks before you cut the lawn again to give the new seed time to germinate and take off. If you have any questions you can feel free to email me 2menandamower@bellsouth.net or give me a call anytime 865-385-5400. God luvck to you and don't get me wrong I am not getting ugly here I just see more money when it is slow than not offering these services at all to those I serve as loyal customers. Good luck.

  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Yes I think you would chase some customers away. In my experience everyone I've talked to wanted everything done by one company. Why not have a couple of crews just for lawn care and one or two crews committed for landscaping and all the extras.
  4. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    I forget how many clients you said you have already. But what I'd do, is either grow to the point that you will have a 5 day/6 day schedule filled with mowing and that last day could be used for your mulch/shrub trimming/other jobs.

    That or if possible just buy a second truck and remove one of your employee's from the 4 man crew and put that one guy on all the other jobs and when he has no work you would bring him back on the mowing crew. Wouldn't take a ton of money to expand to a second truck.
  5. raschmid07

    raschmid07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    I am in Knoxville as well. Who do you sub out your lawn apps to? I wouldn't mind offering that, especially since they don't do any mowing.
  6. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    A couple of thoughts.

    If you will make the most money this year by offering the basic services, then why do you want to offer more services next year? It would make sense to me that when you find the way to make the most money then you would want to repeat that the following year.

    Don't worry about chasing customers away. There are lots of customers. Instead, focus on what kind of customer you want. Do you want the mow and go customer or do you want full service customers? Both have their benefits and drawbacks. If you try to be all things to all customers then you will probably not do very well at any of it.

    Where do you want your company to be? What is your vision? At each step of the way, ask yourself if the things that you are doing now are taking you closer to or farther from your goals.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    My opinion is that you need to either be a mowing company or a landscaping company. Both endevors require a substantial investment in equipment. If you try to do both, you will be investing twice the money, and when you are landscaping, the mowing equipment stands idle, and when you are mowing, the landscaping equipment stands idle.

    Why not gun for one or the other, then buy the equipment to do it right, timely, and efficiently, then go make some money.
  8. OnMyOwn

    OnMyOwn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    Chase the full service accounts:

    1. more GP in items other than mowing.
    2. $ is spread out over empty months of mowing.
    3. clients become dependent on you to be their go-to guy for everything
    4. if you don't do it, I'll come into your neighborhood and offer it. (Think about it)
  9. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Right but mulching and doing bed maintenance doesn't take any more than simple hand tools and wheel barrows. I definitely wouldn't pass up these jobs because come August when things are slow you acn fill those days will extra jobs, that will net you more anyway.

    Im a 90% mowing too, but it doesn't make since not to do jobs like mulching and trimming when it DOESN't require anymore equipment than most of us already have.
  10. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    As I stated before most Commercail accounts are full service so unless you are going to sub the rest out, you have to do Shrub trimming Mulching, fert, and weed control there is no way around it with commercial, most of them want a packaged deal. with Residential you can do mow only 95% of the time because thats all alot of people are looking for (the majority)

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