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A story for solo ops about solo ops...with 1 helper

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Liquidfast, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    I don't know where this is going so please...don't post "So what is your point".

    After I dealt with a b**ch of a customer I receive a call from one of my commercial accounts requesting I come in for a meeting. My initial thought was we did something wrong.

    I set a time and meet someone I have never met before. She explains that one of our properties have been transfered to her property maintenance company and would like for us to submit a bid as well as a contract. When I arrived, there was another LCO cutting with a home depot lawn tractor and a push mower, 2 guys and they were cutting a H U G E complex.

    Anyway, after 30 minutes, we hit it off (not physically). She tells me that the current company has been offered 12 other commercial properties and the current guy REFUSED the work. He stated he wasn't willing to grow and in the past has only worked for residential customers.:hammerhead:

    The guys cuts the grass amazingly well but his downfall is he has too many resis and doesn't have the time or manpower to properly manage this complex.

    The reason this company is changing LCOs is the new rule. The company wants ONE company per 6 commercial properties. She shows me 6 bids and what the winning bids were. These contracts range from $30,000 to $44000 per year.:dizzy:

    In order to handle these accounts, one would need 5 guys once per month to do the beds and 2 guys the remainder of the month to just cut......

    Why would ANYONE refuse these contracts??? Would any other solo ops (with one helper) turn this opportunity down?

    LASTLY, becoming a LCO for this particular company places you in their "book". This book has only 14 LCOs in it and this company manages over 90 properties. I brought this up because I cannot fathom how or why anyone would pass this up???? After our meeting, I went to the liquor store and bought a $70 bottle of wine and a thank you card and will be sending it out tomorrow.
  2. Cornwell

    Cornwell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Wow thats a dream come true to me. All commercial properties and big money. Of course lots and lots of work. Nows when you really need to find good people to work that out. You've been handed extreme potential now what to do with it. Good Luck!!!!!
  3. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Boy it sure isn't everyday that you hear a story like that! Around here its a mad bidding war to get the commercial accounts. Having them fall into your lap like that is truly a blessing for you and your business. Good luck and a prosperous year!:)
  4. BobcatZT

    BobcatZT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Nice to hear, good luck. :waving:
  5. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    I wouldn't be able to jump on that, it's a little too much at once. I'd be a little worried because of some of the stories I heard about LCO's that put all there eggs in one basket, then have the basket taken away.

    All the have left is a lot of extra equipment and no lawns to cut. Oh, and payments.
  6. swingset

    swingset LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    That was my initial thought reading your story. I'd probably jump on it because I have some cushion financially but I can see the resistance to that kind of gamble, especially for a solo guy.

    It's a dream come true, or a business-killing leap of faith depending on how your fortunes play out.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    All that glitters is not gold....Especially with management companies. As far as their "rules",... they switch, swap and shuffle all the time. Be careful and keep your 6 o'clock covered.
  8. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    I don't see any problem. With that kind of volume, your equipment could be paid off in 2 months and all you'd have to worry about would be labor. Getting good help is the hardest part of this business.
  9. d&rlawncare

    d&rlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    I agree. PLUS before you do anything, IF YOU HAVENT ALREADY, have a lawyer look over the contract you present them.
  10. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    How big are these properties anyways?

    Just make sure you have a contract for everything. I'd even recommend an early cancellation clause since they are looking mid-season as it is. Somebody is losing money that they were planning on; you don't want that to be you!

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