building business out of area

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Agape, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    I am looking to start a service route approximately 30-45 miles north of here in a more economically sound area where several wealthy communities are.

    has anyone built their business in this way? The thing that worries me is the time and fuel it will take to give estimates will be a huge use of resources, but I believe that this is the direction we need to go.

    any suggestions? anyone done this? what do I need to keep in mind?
  2. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,336

    I've thought about it. You would need to schedule all your estimates on one day per week if possible. My concern is getting to the area just as it starts to rain after getting a lawn or two mowed, then having to drive clear back home. Or forgetting to load something or having something break down.
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  3. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I have an area that I have been trying to exploit for the past year and a half. It is 30 minutes from my place and though it is not that far, I have built a reputation for great service. I have four clients in that area and it is very difficult when I get a phone call and they have an irrigation leak, landscape light out before a party, or some other kind of semi-urgent issue. Most things can be handled when I am scheduled to be there, but the worst is this time of year when I am already super busy.
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  4. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,358

    I run 30 mins to 2 different areas. It works, need to be wise, rain can suck, and bringing extras help. We go to one area once a week and the other 2 to 3 times a week. We even go to a metro area once a week that is 45 mins away. You need to make it a full day in the area or have accounts to work the direction.
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  5. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I believe unless your willing to set up another location/ building with local people to run that division, your transportation/travel cost will be cutting into your profit both ways. Perhaps training 2 to 3 key personnel to handle at least 1 crew and take care of the estimates will provide you with a slow growth approach while still leaving you in control of the planned expansion from your main base of operations.
    easy-lift guy
  6. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    I definitely need 2-3 accounts before it becomes worthwhile. Until then, it can suck going to give estimates. I can put em on one day, but calls the next day won't wanna wait a full week
  7. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    I'm getting ready to start a mass marketing to an area 45mins from me. I'm targeting an area that has 10-15 communities in a small area. I plan to move to that area in the next 2-3yrs so I want to have a solid route and reputation built before I move.
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  8. USA Lawn Care

    USA Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    i have a few routes very far from where my central location is. I started them by finding one reliable guy I can sub work to, then advertising. When the accounts are built up enough in that area, years from now the hope is to put in a permanent location there. My farthest route right now is over 2 hours away....I have never met the clients personally but they send pmts right away when billed. No one has cared that I am not in their immediate area....only that my lawn guy (my sub) does a great job and they are happy. It's crazy but it works and there is no area too far away from me which means i have income coming in from every direction and i am not limiting my income because "it's too far to drive".
    Best of luck. I believe secondary locations add some security to your business.
  9. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    I don't trust anyone with my accounts, i need to maintain control.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,567

    I would try hard to get a commercial property in area first to make it worth while. We have an HOA that is 35minutes away now we can build from that, hopefully?

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