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Can I Still Make Money With This Idea?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wil22, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I like to use a direct approach especially in the evenings to get new clients. I give a simple introduction and tell them about my services. Most people right now turn down my offer to mow their lawns but ask can I areate and do flower beds? I have a few nice flower bed jobs lined up.

    Yes I can areate. Just got my areator today. I read on this board information about being having a license to put down seed, chemicals and fertilizer. I will get my license soon do that soon.

    I want to advertise to areate only. How do I convince a homeowner that I will areate only? Winter is near and I want to make my money before it gets too cold. I would appreciate your comments.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Yes you can make money just doing aeration. With the soil like concrete down here it is a great thing to do and everybody (customers) does it. You can also overseed and spread lime and starter fert. (with no licence you can not put down any herbicide. call 919-733-3556 and ask for Jennie Ferrell and she will set you up with the study guides for the test. They give the test each month in Statesville)
    Just charge the right price for the work. Do not give it away. It is hard work and it is hard on the equipment. I have done over 200 so far this year and still have a few to do. I try to get any with over seed done by the first week of Oct. as the seed needs time to get going before the weather gets too cold. It is the most profitable thing that I do. It is also a good thing to do in the spring before you drop pre-em. To be honest I think you are a little late this year as most start in mid Sept. and run to about mid Oct. but you can still try. Most guys are so busy that you can still get some this year. Just put out a flier saying what you do and pass around. You should get calls.
    I do not know what you mean by doing flower beds but if you are talking about putting in mulch you may want to wait a few weeks till the leaves are off the trees as it is a bummer to make a new bed of mulch only to see it get covered and than 1/2 the mulch gets pulled up with the leaves.
    Good luck with the aerator, by the way which one did you get. I have a plugr and it pulls great plugs but it is hard on the hills. I rent the Ryan Lawnare 4 and it does better on the hills as far as going up and down but does not pull as good of plugs. Personally I like to sit on the tractor and pull the trailers and let the guys push the walkbehinds.
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    You can apply seed without a pesticide license. You can sub out the fert if they want it, but they might already have a fert company so they can just hire them to do that. TGCL doesn't fertilize when they aerate and seed here. They do apply their fall fert after germination starts though.

    I have a good flier that gets good results. You might have to change the price to meet your area pricing structure. It is a simple Flier with black print on yellow paper. But it is the info that attracts the customers.

    The price I have on it is $60* (this is what gets the phone ringing) The * means there is small print (well it isn't much smaller then the rest) at the bottom of the page that states that this price is for up to 5,000 sq. ft. each additional 1,000 sq. ft. is $10. This was a special we decided to run and it paid off. This price brought $200/hr gross profit. using a tow behind aerator and a Ryan walk behind for areas the tow behind couldn't get. also at the bottom is has a restriction that fences with gates smaller then 60" may have an extra charge. Our flier also advertises that we do double passes. This is one of the big selling points too, and since we used a tow behind aerator this is easily done. If the customer wants seed then the price doubles. If they only want seed in certain areas it is $10-12 per 1,000 sq. ft for 5lbs of seed.

    Like I said, it would have to be changed to fit your needs, but it also has information and pictures that explain what aeration is. If anyone wants this, PM me your email address*.

    *Must be at least 18 years of age to participate in the free flier give away :) I love stipulations......
  4. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    Your best source of business will be the LCOs who don't aerate. If all you are going to do is aerate and possibly top dress there are always LCOs who will give you referrals or subcontract your services. Build a relationship with these people and with the lawn chemical companies and you won't be able to handle all the work they will provide.

    You must not be planning to perform any other services that would cause a conflict with the people giving you referrals or contracting directly with your company. If you plan to use aeration as a stepping stone to get more involved with the services the LCOs provide and use the referrals for anything other than aeration, you will definitely have a serious problem.

    Learn how to locate the sprinkler heads!

  5. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Thanks for the information. I was about to move forward and leave a lot of money on the table. I like the idea about the flyer. Please email the flyer to me at Computerhelper22@AOL.COM.

    I'm passing through the learning curve real fast thanks tou you guy's. Just a few more newbie questions.

    I got a pull behind core areator from Sears. I tried it out yesterday on my lawn and it works pretty good. Not bad for my first one. If there are are better ones and I know their are, please let me know. I watch a guy doing a lawn with a little areator on his tractor and he said he has been doing this lawn for 7 years. If he could do it so could I. I went around the corner and a lady stopped me and asked "can you areate my lawn". She said when you're ready come back and see me.

    Please give me a few more tips since I'm new at this. I need a measuring wheel is that something I can pick up at home depot, I'll start looking around. I'm sure I could order one online. I want to start on Monday so I need one fast.

    Where can I find the best price on seeds, would that be a nursery or home center. What type of seeds are you guy's using in the Carolinas.

    Thanks for the tips on flower beds. Right now I'm just cleaning them out, trimming hedges and putting down mulch.
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Also Jennie's NEW & Direct Phone Number is 919-515-3113

    You can also down load the Application, etc off of the AG website.
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Use Saturdays to do your aerations. That is when everyone is home. When Mr. Johnson sees Mr. Jones getting his lawn done, then Mr. Jones will inquire about it. Don't be afraid to stop at the end of the driveway when Mr. Jones is standing in his driveway underneath the open garage door as you drive by. Ask him if he's interested, explain the benefits, and hand him a flyer.
  9. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I like the flyer. It really looks good. Is the price of 60.00 for up to 5000 sf plus 10.00 for each additional 1000 sf good here in the North Carolina or should I change the price?
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Will, I don't know about your area, matter of fact I don't know what guys are charging in my area. But the price I had on that flyer was a discount special I was running. It turned out to work great. Normally I charge $12 per 1000 sq. ft. with $60 minimum. So I decided to put the $60* (up to 5k) right at top and then give a break of $2 per 1000 for each additional 1,000 sq. ft. a 10,000 sq. ft lawn would be $110.00 and under the worse conditions can be done in under an hour. Most of the time it would only take 30 minutes using a tow behind. This includes double passes. That price is our rock bottom price. I have never aerated cheaper then that.

    To get an idea of what to base your minimum on, go to the local rental store and see how much they rent an aerator for. You defiantly don't want to offer this service cheaper then the customer could do it themselves for.

    I'm glad you liked our flyer. It only took me an hour to put it together and by including the price (first time I have done that). I landed 99% of the people that called about it. Which was 2% of the flyers I handed out. I will probably keep this flyer for next spring and hand out 3 times as many. I only handed out 1000 this fall. Aeration isn't real big in my area either. Only the big companies offer it like TGCL and Scott's along with a few others.

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