Anyone NOT mow and do applications only?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by lawnboy11, Feb 19, 2001.

  1. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Messages: 181

    How is the market for lawncare programs only, without weekly maintenance? I know true green does well enough, but it would seem difficult to get a lot of application only customers (fert, weed control, etc.). That's where the money is. I now require all maintenance clients to have at least a fertilizer program or I won't waste my time. Any comments??? Anyone just do applications and work for themselves? Thanks!
  2. Getmow

    Getmow LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 445

    Well I am going to find out for myself this year. I just sold the maintenance portion of my business.
  3. Forever Green Lawn

    Forever Green Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    That's all I do. No mowing. It really is not too hard to get fertilizer only customers. It really depends on the market by you, but overall there is a good demand for fertilizer/chemical work. Yes, you can make good money at it. Let me know how it goes!

  4. WatkinsLawn

    WatkinsLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    one of these days I'll get the guts to get out of the maintenance end of this business. I definately make more money on the apps. but there is something to be said for having a consistant schedule with the mowing. I have a guy who works for me that I am considering making a partner in the maintenance work and I'll concentrate on only lawn apps. I just can't stand the thought of having someone else involved in my business but I'm really ready to stop doing the mowing myself. I have even considered just selling the equipment to him and then sub-out the mowing to him. What do you think about doing something like that?
  5. Garry

    Garry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    I have a spray system, a good spreader, two hand cans, a good test kit, a real nice microscope, and twenty-five years of Green industry experience. I've also found this computer to be a valuable tool.

    I've spent years in the chemical aspect of this business. The only lawn I mow is my own. I'm interested in the science of this business. PROPER management ranks at the forefront of todays landscape needs.

    Remember, there are plenty of companies offering the "candybar and potato chip" diet, and plenty of people willing to buy on price alone. Without sound agronomic practice, I feel I must warn you, you are in for the hassle of your life
  6. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Messages: 181

    Thanks for the replies guys, I am encouraged! Garry, I appreciate your concern and you are correct. I do have a solid understanding of agronomy, soil science, plant pathology, etc. and I agree that mgmt. is key.

    I think that to make the transition from full maintenance to apps. only I would advertise apps. only services while still doing full maint. until I had enough apps. only clients to fill my shcedule.

    David- I hear ya! This year I decided to have no employees. I am able to pick the best 75 out of 110 clients, keep them and service them by myself. I don't want to deal w/ employees this year, but I don't want to mow forever!
  7. Rodney Anderson

    Rodney Anderson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I've been doing lawn applications for 16 years and I love it. Been on my own for 5 and you can become a very desired person in your field. Think of how many services do not really offer that personalized service because they are in a production mode. You do not have to be a super large service to make a good living. Strive on making a customer base that will never ever will think of switching to another service because you're the man and no one else.
    Use you buying tools and good turf management skills and you
    will make money. And do not give your services away. You have to make living. A shopper will shop again next year.
  8. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    i'm thinking about starting out with applications without offering mowing. i just can't see how one can make money mowing these days. would rather spend 2k to 3k on a good aerator, rather than a mower. and i think applications could be more flexible to somebody working another job while trying to get going full-time, because your not gonna have to be out there every single week. i figure it would take longer to get to that "quit my night job" point. however, i would think that it would be easier to pick up customers that want applications rather than grass cutting. anyone else start out this way the past few years?
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I am a Fert & Squirt only guy. My advice is to find the best Fert & Squirt Company in your area and Train under them until the Economy turns around. This is not the best time to start a business and the Training you get working for the man will make you that much more successful when you do go in Business. Un-like Mowing, Fert & Squirt is a SKILLED TRADE, treat that way by getting the proper training.

  10. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,987

    fert and squirt would be nice to do only, but I find in my area I need mowing to keep things going.

    I did some math the other day on a few accounts. I estimated that for a $60 app customer who I treat 6 times(6x$30 profit), aerate($100 profit), and seed($30 profit) that I made 160 profit(I was just figuring in my head and not exactly sure). That same customer is a $35 mow. Now if I figure $5 profit per mow(which might be low) x 35 visits I make $175 profit.

    For the year my bottom line profit is better on mowing, but then you need to figure in 35 mowing visits vs 8-10 app visits.

    It's all about learning and customer satisfaction. You will find that residential customers are very loyal. I'm hoping my app side takes off since there are few app companies here.

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