commercial vs residential

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Vanderhoff Landscaping, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. xstatikplus

    xstatikplus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 299

    I have no issues with late payment on any commercials I do. All of them are also smaller. All obtained by bidding before the season begins be it summer or snow
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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Asking to go commercial is too vague of a question.

    Before the economy took a dump in 2007. Many Landscapers claimed that the profit was higher in commercial.

    Since then in many areas the profit is now higher in residential.

    So in the past the status to be doing mostly commercial implied you where making big money. Now it is not a guarantee.

    Then there is commercial and there is commercial. The dentist that turned a house on a 1/4 acre into his office where he turned the back yard into a parking lot and there is only a 1,000 SF of lawn left. Or Disney World.

    The guy that lost his business because he lost two contracts was a bad business man.

    The loss of anyone customer should not cause a business to fail. I never heard of a number given but I think that no customer should provide more then 10% of one's billing.

    Also many commercials are now done through middlemen aka the nationals. I heard too many horror stories to work for a national.

  3. xstatikplus

    xstatikplus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 299

    Agree on the bad business man in ways in other ways just a matter of putting all eggs in one basket type thing. He held both contracts for several years and banked on past relations with the decision makers only to get under bid by 6-7000 dollars per year. That can happen to anyone. The bad business man part was the spending everything as money came in. Not reinvesting wisely. Leasing hummers to plow with instead of say dura max diesels.....list goes on.
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  4. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,392

    Well, neither are that great...

    HOAs aren't terrible. But they're all bad. Lol

    I prefer densely routed residential
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  5. chefj

    chefj LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Who are these Palin's that you speak of?
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,404

    Sarah Palin, former governor of alaska. Former mayor of Wasilla, former running mate for presidential candidate of the United States.

    Those Palins.
  7. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    anyone who buys a hummer to snowplow with should be extradited and his contract should go to the next guy

    I recently picked up my first commercial properties, only worth $30/wk mowing but i installed a $500 mulch job and have a landscape plan in worth almost $2k...i feel bad for the last guy that didnt show up often enough
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  8. ManuelMowing

    ManuelMowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    We do a mixture of both. Commercial jobs can be easier because they will generally tell you what they want. You will almost always have a contract with everything they want told to you. It is easier to plan with commercial because they typically want the property done on a schedule the entire year. Residential yards there is the problem of people leaving things in the yard, birthday parties, somebody had to pay bills, or other family matters.

    I've found that residential yards will often lead picking up more work, trimming bushes, mulching, or neighbors / friends seeing you work. Residential yards, in my cases, tend to pay more. At commercial properties they are always trying to get the lowest prices where residential properties often have a relationship with you. If you can get big commercial accounts it can lead to a lot of work but you often don't get the best price because you have other people giving bids and trying to undercut you.
  9. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    A lot of commercial work is through the large property management companies, like your walmart's Home Depots national pharmacies ect.

    Generally commercial work can pay up to 90 days out, and it can be a pain to collect from time to time. You're also talking about big money accounts, so sometimes you're mowing and maintaining blowing through Capitol just to wait around on a check. Depending on your operations size, your best bet would be to get your feet wet with some small locally owned accounts.
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  10. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    Another point, commercial is all about price in my opinion, very few seem to care about quality. I'm going to post pics of the mulch job the quick Checks by me just got. It took everything in me not to go up to the idiot doing it and ask him what he was doing. No trimming, no weeding, didn't even spray the weeds, just a mess of black mulch all over
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