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Subcontracting mowing

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by scottt, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. scottt

    scottt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    If business goes as planned this year, I might quit mowing after the season is over. I am moving into applications this year. My question is for those who have done the same. Do you think it would be better to subcontract all maintenance or do you think I should just sell all the maintenance and stick to apps. I think it would be easier to focus on apps only but know I can make money just coordinating for a sub. I also see it being easy to convert app customers to maintenance customers and make more money off of them. Your opinions and insight would be appreciated.
  2. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    You will get a lot of different views on this one. I am in a similar situation, not by choice though. I have the lisc. and will be inquiring the pest app within my corp. I always see the customer base as the asset. You created it and your customers have confidence in you(or your entity). I would try to keep control of that any way possible. If you sub that work out and have binding agreements your sub will not squeeze you out. Trust me it can and will happen. Keep your finger on the pulse my friend.
  3. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    Scott, Very common problem your facing. Here's my story in a nut shell

    After 9 years working for fert & squirt companies (never did mowing) I went on my own. That was in 94. I had no intention to offer mowing, my first year a big commerical contract wanted me to bid everthing so I bought a mower and did just that, 5 years later I found myself with 150 fert customers and 100 mowing customers.
    Every year all my time was spent putting out fires with the mowing crews, fixing machines, changing blades getting behind schedule when it rains, worrying about summer drought slow downs, early snow falls. Basicly a huge headache. I tried subing out the mowing one year but that didnt work, So I sat down with my Fincial advisor in 2000 and came up with a plan. Try for 1 year to sell off all mowing contracts with equipment and employees. After one year if I couldn't sell I was ready to walk away from mowing and concentrate on fert & squirt. And I was truly ready just to walk away from mowing, I was lucky enough to sell the accounts and equipment to a local company and they took on my old employees. I made some money but more importantly I got my life back.
    Right now I work alone, I got 300 customers, a nice office and I make a little more working alone then I did with 4 guys mowing for me. And because I do it all my self I got no headaches.

    I look back and say why the hell did I buy that mower
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi Scottt,

    Be wary of the pit falls James Cormier. But if you can manage sub-ing it out, then why not?
  5. scottt

    scottt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    Thanks for all the replies.
    You have helped me on many questions I have had about working toward apps only. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
  6. IndyPropertyCare

    IndyPropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    We say >>> Thanks for dumping all those mowing accounts :D It has increased our business 200%.....mowing turf is nothing more than :::: Sitting down on the job and going along for the ride :p

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