Best method for price shopping my local competition on dry Fertilizer application...?

Discussion in 'Lawn Care Business Management' started by Exact Rototilling, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I find that I am usually cheaper than some of the "big" companies out there. Keep your overhead low, and buy the most effecient equipment you can for the money. Make sure at the same time that you are fair and making money. Also, shop around. Sometimes you can find suppliers that will give you a pretty good price break from buying larger quantities of fertilizer/herbicide. I try not to be cheaper, but sometimes it just happens that way. Everyone looks at each job different. Sell quality just like the guy above me said, and your clients will stick with you for years to come. And if you find that you are consistently cheaper, then that means you need to raise your price a little. :usflag:
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Lawn nut,

    I'm assuming your billing out per application ...correct?

    What is your growing zone and approx application schedule?

    Assuming your working with cool season grass do your clients often want to skip out on the heavy Fall application of nitrogen as per the Turf research universities and extension offices?

    Are you using slow release synthetic products or fast release quick green up APS.
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  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Remember it is the average price per year that counts.
    You can pay more for your fert/crab product--if--you pay less for your summer or fall fert/chemcial cost.
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378


    What I'm trying to do this season is sell the total cost per season April - November for all my fert accounts and basically include spot post emergent herbicides as a package deal. Also I will include aeration as needed.

    I'm trying to get clients out of bean count mode [cost per aplication] over to, "okay this guy is nuts about our lawn looking it's best let's agree to pay his bundle agreement fee from April-November". Might be just 3 APS....may need up to 6 tweaks of fert inputs.

    Okay now this part of the deal might go over like lead balloons but I want to be super firm about watering and mowing heights. I'm going for the lawn personal trainer angle and old habits die hard especially no offense intended with the "years young" segment of the population.
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  5. bobbycat02

    bobbycat02 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    Thats why i only fert who i mow i never fert who i don't mow because they never listen big part of my job is educating Joe homeowner on what to do and not do so its very hard to take care of a property when you don't know what their doing i tried do some ferts for non mowing customers what a headache never worked out no matter what i did because they never follow instructions even simple ones on how to water you spend more time and money on call backs to fix things that shouldn't go wrong in the first place like i watered the lawn after you came great you just washed off your weed killer now it wont work as it should i told you to water before not after oh I'm sorry now what well then you come back a spray what didn't get the first time on your dime because all they know is you applied weed and feed and it didn't work not your fault cause you didn't wash it off in the first place but your on the hook cause they payed you and they want results and if you don't fix it well i Will get someone else to do it right that's the catch 22 so be careful out there Good luck with your app program hope it works for you:usflag:
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Yes! Makes perfect sense to me. On the front side of my marketing for applications this year is an emphasis on less use of herbicides and more use of organic based products and the best defense against weeds is healthy grass ...and frankly if they can't at least keep the grass up around 2.75"+ for mowing....I don't want them as my clients.

    Watering schedule will be on file. I just don't see the point in having to do continual broadcast spraying. Besides this is all backpack applied APS for this year. It's tough enough to even get ANY herbicide down without it getting flushed off by rain or you can't spray due to wind.

    If I had any inclination that I'd need a full throttle dedicated spray rig...I'd quit this now and just get into crop dusting with a plane with a huge Chem tank up front. That kind of flying has always appealed to me but I wonder what the cancer rate is for those pilots over non crop dusting pilots.

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  7. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    Yes, we as of now bill out per app. Some customers pay early, before the season starts. I like when that happens.

    April or May is when we try and get the pre-emerg down, depending on the year. Sometimes we even spray for weeds with that first app, if the weeds are growing of course. Second app is around June, third is july or august, and fourth is september or october, with an app of spray again.

    Usually the customers just let us do our thing for the season. We lighten up the fall app a bit sometimes tho, depending on circumstance. I would actually like to find a fert with less nitrogen for fall, but haven't yet.

    We are using 50% slow release minimum. Most likely a poly coated product.

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