Any other lawn service guys sub out fert?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Business is Good, May 17, 2005.

  1. Business is Good

    Business is Good LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    One of the local guys does this. He has an arrangement with the Lawn Dr. guy. All I know is the lawn service gets a small kickback as a referral fee I guess. What's the proper way to set up this arrangement and who makes what money? Is there a normal referral fee? I think the fert guy gives the lawn guy a discount (that's where the fee comes from) and the lawn guy charges the customer the normal amount...I think. Again, what's the best and fair way to make a business arrangement with an applicator?
  2. Davis Lawn Mowing LLC

    Davis Lawn Mowing LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    I dont want to get liscensed, well, dont have the time actually. So my buddy who does mowing, landscaping, fert, and has a landscaping stock yard takes my fert requests. He is downsizing his mowing, actually will not take on new accounts anymore and really wants to faze it out altogether so he refers mowing customers to me who call and want service. Works out decently. We are old buddies from high school.
  3. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I was using a sub for several years, and I would just tack on a percentage to his price. He would bill me, and I would bill the client. I ran into too many quality problems, and I am back to doing the apps myself. I downsized a bit this year, so my workload has been manageable, and the lawns look better.
  4. tjgray

    tjgray LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    We do a lot of sub-contracting for several different companies and we have handled payment in several different ways. We were doing alot of sub-contract work for my husband ex-employer. He was paying us 25% and providing a gas card and chemicals. We made decent money with him last year and the first couple of months of this year but he just sold to TGCL so no more of that. Luckily before he sold he had already hooked us up with a partner of his who has a huge landscaping company. They were glad to hear that Donald was going to have some extra time and have put him to work spraying 3 or 4 days a week *more if we wanted but we do have a small growing customer base ourselves to take care of*. I invoice them for $20.00 an hour plus gas. They provide the chemicals. The Sales Manager of that company just gave us a list of 42 properties. These properties are small commercial mowing accounts that they lose money on because of their 5 man crew status. He told us to get him estimates on how much The Other Side will do them for. We are in the process of doing that and once finished if our cost is acceptable I am assuming we will bill them and they will bill their clients whatever.....

    We have also done some small amounts of sub-contracting with an indoor pesticide company. He sends us the outdoor services and we send him the indoor services. We invoice him a slightly lowered from our normal pricing sub-contractor charge and he invoices his customers whatever :)

    There are many ways sub-contracting can work. What you really want to consider is who you are subbing with. Do you trust them? Do you trust their work? Will they treat your customers like they deserve to be treated?

    On the subbie side of things we have learned that one needs to be careful with spending too much time subbing for only one company *although we are kind of still doing it*. It was a blow to us to find out that our first contractor, our mentor, our supporter, who provided 5 days a week worth of steady work had suddenly ceased to exist. We got lucky that we have been able to replace the work so easily as things could of been a lot worse.

    Hope everyones day goes well :waving:
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i sub out about half of my my customers and the other half hand it them selfs with what i recommend. all but 5 accounts get done by one company. in all honesty on subing out it depends on the company you're dealing with. you can get a top notch job or something not worth paying for. i know what is being put down on all my lawns, when, and by what tech. its a headache having to deal with some customers and explaining if they have disease or anything of that nature and what coarse of action will be taken. everything has worked out for the best so far. the arrarangement i have is the fert. company sends me mowing, landscaping, shrub main., plowing, seeding. i'm lucky all this company does is just fert. and large commercial plowing.
  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I want total control over what goes on the customers lawn. No subbing out fertilization for me.

  7. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I have an arrangement with several lawn mowing companies that sub fertilizing and weed control work to me. It works for everyone involved and I will be happy to add more companies I subcontract for.

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