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Target Area?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Posts: 466

    Hey Everyone,

    If you were just starting out fresh in the lawn service business, what type of areas would you target? Would you go for more commercial or residential accounts? Also, would you go for the bigger accounts or smaller accounts? Here's my theory on both.

    I would target the larger commercial and larger residential areas. If I went for the bigger accounts I would make more on each account and I wouldn't have to find as many big accounts in order to make some good money.

    If I went for the smaller accounts. I would have to find at least 50 to make decent money. And 50 accounts is very hard to find around here....unless you bid way low in order to get that many accounts.

    I believe it would be easier to get around 20 Large accounts, rather than trying to find 50 Smaller accounts.

    If you lost one of those big accounts, you could easily replace it to make up for your loss. If you lost a smaller account it wouldn't take as much toll on your accounts receivable, but what's a few small accounts going to hurt?

    Anyway, what does everyone else think? What would you rather do? Would you rather have fewer accounts that are bigger or a lot of smaller accounts to drive all over to? And why?

  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Starting out fresh? Go for residentials. Learn to walk before you run my friend.:D You need experience before tackling the large commercial accounts. Residentials are more foregiving than commercials...trust me.
  3. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    Go with the smaller residentials. If you can get a few larger ones in there too then that's great. Like you said, with the smaller ones, to lose 1 lawn shouldn't hurt too much. With the larger ones, if you lose 1 lawn, you might be hurting a bit.
  4. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    Actually I would say take what you can get as they all spend the same. Then work on getting quality accounts. That does not mean the account that pays the most money. That means the accounts that give you the greatest net return.

    Just remember that when you lose a big one you have lost a large portion of your income in one swift motion. That can hurt sometimes.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    You are entirely incorrect on that point.

    If that was the case, most of us would drop residentials completely and only service commercial work. But that is not the case for the majority of us. Do a search and I think you will find that most of the LS members say that the majority of their work is residential and small in number of square foot lots (5 - 30K).
  6. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Hey Rodfather, I only do residential,part-time and don't plan on getting into commercial but curious about your quote. What kind of bad experiences have you had with commercial?
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Not so much bad, but they can be harder to deal with when it comes to appearance, staying on schedule, keeping to your commitments, etc. That's why I will price a commercial account 25% higher (in terms of square footage of mowing) over a normal residential. Commercials demand more, plain and simple.

    I am not saying stay clear of commercials all together...just recognize there are big differences between residential and commercial accounts.
  8. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Posts: 457

  9. Lawn Specialties

    Lawn Specialties LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    The big money jobs are tough to get because everybody wants them.I make more steady money off every day Joe's than anybody else. You will tend to make more per hour on large commercial accounts but they have a tendancy to price shop more than the residentials do.I took care of four large commercial props for one guy until the economy slowed he decided to go price shopping. I had worked them for two years and got nothing but compliments on them. He found someone cheaper and I lost 20% of my income. Not trying to complain just saying you will find greater loyalty in smaller reidentials.
  10. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    What kind of equipment are you using? That's a very big factor. It's important to match your properties to your equipment to get productivity up.

    In any event, don't put all of your eggs in one basket. If you have a few large commercial accounts one season, that's great but what happens if you are under-bid the following year and those accounts represented 60% of your income? In a situation like this, you are o longer the boss and depend more on one source. Not good. Keep it diverse, and take great care of all clients. I think having a healthy mix is the best way to go.

    Some guys here, like jimlewis for example, don't handle commercial accounts and do just fine. I currently have just three small commercial accounts & really don't care all that much if I up those numbers.

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