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advice on business plan


LawnSite Member
Omaha, Nebraska
What gets the best response when bidding potential fertilizing customers?

I am weighing the pros and cons of 2 plans.

PLAN A: Use a smaller number of steps with higher price per step
PLAN B: Use a larger number of steps with lower price per step

Plan A will give the customer a lower yearly cost, and give me a higher profit margin, but a lower gross profit per customer.

Plan B will give the customer a lower cost per step, and give me a higher gross profit, but a smaller profit margin.

I use a price quote sheet which shows the "cost per step" and "full season prepaid price" ... Which is more important to customers?

I've been in the business part and full time for 19 years and am going full time and aggressively expanding in fertilizing this year.
As the fertilizing goes, its almost like starting a new business from scratch, so I have the freedom to do about any business plan.
(Competitors in my area offer 4-8 step programs, 6 is the most common)

...whats your input?
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LawnSite Bronze Member
Kitchener, ON
If you can make it worth while, plan A is a good starting point. When time constraints become even more tight, plan B would be the one to go with. It's hard to get the correct numbers game down before you make it public. I went through a lot myself, only to go back to my original assessment and advertise residential services "From $25".

Personally, in my area, where winter is 6-7 months of the year and the growing season can be shorter than 5 months, I only fertilize (dry only, no liquid as it's illegal in Ontario as of spring 2009) twice a year, once in the spring, and again in the fall. I don't advertise steps, programs or otherwise. I advertise it online for a month in the spring and a month in the fall. I charge by the hour, plus material used to keep it simple.

People that are truly interested in a spray on fertiziler/grub control will pay for it. I wouldn't advertise prices, I'd work on selling the business name, high colour flyers for instance delivered in potential high profit areas would be the best bet. I suppose I could say I'd treat it similar to advertising lawn care work. Great ads, clear and to the point in full colour with high res print. At least, that's how the larger lawn care companies advertise their services.

These guys are the volume player in Ontario: http://www.weedmancanada.com/services.html