Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Southern Lawns, Nov 11, 2000.

  1. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    How many of you do JUST Lawn and Landscape maintenance and how many have included irrigation and landscape installs to their business. I'm just starting out and sticking with the maintenance for now but I've heard time and time again from the bigger company's in town that irrigation and landscape installs is where the real money is. I can handle small to medium landscape installs but don't know a thing about irrigation and not sure I want to. Do any of you sub the final grading and irrigation out and do the rest yourself or what? Just wondering what you guys that have been doing this stuff for years feel about it. Thanks in advance for all replys.
    Southern Lawns
  2. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I'm at the opposite end, doing only 95% construction with a occasional pruning/mulch/edging job here and there.

    I think the key is to become good at what you do first, then move on. What I mean is, if you do maintenance only, then stick to that until the day comes that you say, "this is too easy", or til you have a good system/good employees that can run the maintenance while you begin to concentrate on other aspects of the business.

    construction work does require a completely diff't set up. It also requires a lot of time to do well. You will find that hours upon hours of time our spent on estimates, plans, locating plants, scheduling supplies, mobilizing equip. etc, etc. If you don't have your act together in your maintenance division, then the time you spend doing constuction will start to affect the operation of your mowing crews.

    My opinion is that the real money is in construction, so thats why I stick to it. Not to say that there isn't money in maintenance, as there surely is, but the big money jobs for me come from construction. What is made in a week mowing can often be made in 2 days doing a install.

    The main thing is to stick with what you like. If maintenance is your thing, then don't think you have to move into construction because there's bigger $. If thats the philosophy you are using to make the switch, then why not become a stock broker instead, as construction work can be just as different of a business from maintenance as the stock market is.

    On the other hand, you already have the trucks, a majority of the equipment, and some of the basic know-hows to do construction, so it is somewhat of a logical transition.

  3. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Totally agree with steve. Six yrs ago I started with lawn cutting. Now Im going into bigger landscapes, lighting, etc. I like a challenge. The things I dont do (treework, irrigaton) I sub out. Just got done a bid that included the two. I know my limits and try not to bite off more than I can chew.
  4. T.C.O.B.

    T.C.O.B. LawnSite Member
    from Zone 9
    Messages: 47

    Do one thing, and do it better than anyone else! Do not try to be everything to your customers. Network and find those who do the things you don't, but with the same quality you offer. Then research, learn, and practice on friends and neighbors the things you want to offer. When you feel that you can offer that service to your customers on a quality level, do it, and then learn something new. Good Luck!!!
  5. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Thanks for taking the time with your post. The advice sounds great. I was getting this feeling that I was missing something if I didn't offer the full package. You brought up some very valid points about being over my head per say. I'm going to stick with the maintenance side of the house until it becomes second nature and then once I'm established I'll look at the other things like installs.I felt I was getting way ahead of myself but wasn't sure what to do, Thanks again.
    Southern Lawns

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