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Adding Fert/Pesticide service to my company.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Pietro, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    Long story short. I have roughly 130 clients. We have been in business 3 years. We are getting our pesticide license this month. Lots of our clients use a pesticide/fert company as well as us, but we want to change that. We know we will gain their business easily, as we are going to offer a package deal with a slight discount. For example, signing up for a season of lawn cutting and fert/pesticide gets you a better rate. Anywho, I read the books I had to buy, and sent my checks in for the class...but the books dont really give you info on setting up a fert program, like what treatment and when......what are you guys offering?
  2. olive123

    olive123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    not as easy as it seems...
  3. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

    Things vary in different parts of the country. You need advice from your general location.
  4. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    Start with your county extension service's recommendations for turfgrass in your area.
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    I would make sure and get as much info as possible. It is not as "easy" as just buying some equipment and going at it!

    There is a lot of knowledge that is needed...especially if you are planning on doing a good job.

    Using the correct products at the correct time is important.

    You not only need to know how products work (both fert and chem), but you need to also understand why they work the way they do.

    Not trying to discourage you...but you can get yourself in trouble trying to make the "quick buck" in this business and it can end up costing you if you don't watch out and know your stuff!

    Good Luck!
  6. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    Were not looking to make a "quick buck", but you gotta start somewhere, and you learn more and more as you go. Were going to start small and build it up.....but we ARE taking the class and getting licensed........just wanted to know what basic plans you guys started with.....like # of applications per season, and where you learned what needs to be put down and when.
  7. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Well the books you'll receive are just the safety, handling, "Right Tool Right Job", and etc. They won't show you how to set it up, but they will show you how to read the label, and the right calculations. If your looking for info I wouldn't go to county, go to the state (unless you have a county that is picky).

    It sounds like you do a lot of residential homes. That I don't know to much about since we really shun away from doing individual homes unless under contract. But anyways if you offer it to your current contracts you'll make pennies on the dollar. The good side it will attract more business. Costumers in my area like a company that can do everything instead of contracting out everything out to different companies. Obviously you'll end up making more with more accounts cause then you can buy materials in more off bulk at the beginning of the season.

    We run fert applications for our maintenance 3 times a year for about 2.5 weeks a season. Yes we do get those one time deal jobs still through out the year.
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    While you're getting your pesticide license taken care of, I'd recommend that you go ahead now and look up three or four potential vendors that you may want to work with for your fertilizers, weed controls, spray & spread equipment, etc.
    In between spurts of their business, see if they can sit down with you and discuss the very questions you're asking here.
    Don't be shy about asking for an appointment.
    Hell, they may flip for pizza! :)
    And if you go to 'Their Place' they can show you 'ins and outs' of what their products are about.

    They're businessmen. And if they're professionals they'll look upon their appointment with you not so much as a "one time" sales opportunity, but more so as a chance to "grow" a customer by 1st developing a relationship, and then helping to develop a program to suit the needs of your type of customer.

    I recommend talking to more than 2 vendors just so you can understand different perspectives of the industry in your area. And of course to help keep them honest...
    Both are equally important.
  9. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    ^Truth. However, we only have lesco and jon green in my area, everything else is wayyyy too far. If all goes well, We will be buying a permagreen spreader to add to the push spreaders we now have. The 1-2 acre properties will be a pain in the arse, but we wont get the permagreen until we absolutly NEED it. 6 grand is 6 grand lol.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Lesco people usually are very good at helping newbies develop programs without being pushy. The key is to give them input as to what you're already doing, and what you think your customers will want.

    Don't dedicate yourself too strongly to the Lesco person you meet with, no matter how good he /she presents their program. Because lots of things can happen in the months down the road at Lesco, at ' Jon Green ' or wherever...

    In other words, get their recommendations, smile & shake hands, maybe buy a few things on your way out, but quietly leave your options open for '08 until you think it through. :waving:

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