Too many eggs in the basket.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drsogr, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    My Landscape company is fairly small. I have just started to advertise this year, but we did some sod installs, and new yard installs last year. When I advertise, I get calls for everything. Right now I want to take everything, as I want to go fulltime with this. But I don't think I should. Everytime I take on something new, I end up buying new tools and so on. Does everyone here do everything....or is it better to specialize? I would rather stay on the landscape side, then to get too involved in the lawncare side, but it seems that they go hand and hand so much that I am almost shooing away potential customers by not taking the lawn care customers. And with my dreams of going full-time I am almost prolonging it. What do you guys do?

    Thanks,
    Derek
     
  2. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    well, what I am doing is a little opposite of you, as I am in the lawn care mostly, and take on some other jobs as I can handle them. might be a good idea if you do not want to take on all these weekly maintenance jobs, to team up with a local guy who does only that, and give him the work, in return if he gets you landscaping jobs.

    I'm in the same boat though, as I want to grow into full time, so do not like turning any sort of work away. word of mouth is what I am working on and building off of, so the jobs that you do do, enforce that you'd appreciate word of mouth on those same sort of jobs, whether offering them a discount, gift certificate, whatever.

    I don't like to take on jobs however that I cannot do well, and have to draw the line somewhere. most small jobs I will take though.

    the good thing is that calls are coming in
     
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I was the same when I first started out. I took on everything just to get some work and get my foot in the door. After a while you may realize that certain services pay out more compared to others or you may enjoy doing some services more than others.
     
  4. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Derek,

    I understand what you are talking about when it comes to turning away clients. Not only do you not like to do it the client doesn't appreciate it as well.

    When we first started out I tried to be a on-stop shop by offering every lawn and landscaping service that I could. The problem that I had was the same problem that you are experiencing. I had some really nice tools but I wasn't making much money. I also found it hard to do lawn maintenance work all day and then try and find time to do landscaping and tree removal jobs.

    The mistake I made was trying to grow to large to fast. Now if I would of had 3-4 laborers, a abundance of tools, and plenty of time then I think I could of made it work.

    I finally decided that I needed to consentrate on what we do best and sub out the remaining work. I started to develop a network of really good reliable companies that are smaller and looking to grow. I found one that specilize in sprinkler installs and repairs, one that specializes in fertiling and one that specializes in landscaping.

    When a new client calls and request a service that my company doesn't provide I expalin to the client that our company is teamed up with other companies to provide our clients with a complete network of professionals in the lawn and landscape field. I let the clients know that each company can provide them a better service because that company specilizes in that kind of service work.
    Example: (It makes more sence for a fertilizing company to apply fertilizer than it does for a sprinkler repair guy to apply fertilizer).

    Each of the different compainies grow in the areas that they want to be growing rather than trying to take on everything that comes through the door and the best part is the clients really like the idea that we have a network in place to provide them with all of their lawn and landscaping needs instead of just turning them away.

    It's like having a one-stop shop without actually having to be the one stop-shop.

    Some people are not going to agree with my approach but it has worked out well for us and the network of companies that work with us.
     
  5. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I do that to an extent already. I sub out my sprinkler systems, and all of the heavy dirt work. But stuff like lawn care I know I can do, the equipment prices are within my reach, heck I have half of the commercial quality stuff that I would need. I am just afraid I would get too bogged down with it, to do what I really want to do, which is landscaping. Yet I feel that if I don't do it, I am prolonging going full-time. Which I think to run a successful landscape business you need to be working full time.
     

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