Do you do fine gardening?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jake Wolf, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. Jake Wolf

    Jake Wolf LawnSite Member
    from NYC, NY
    Messages: 37

    I'm wondering how lawn companies feel about partnering with a fine gardener to be able to provide extra services to their clients. In my area in NJ there are a few companies that really do a full service, but it seems that most guys just do the weekly cutting and once a year pruning.

    I'd like to be doing IPM, seasonal plantings, pinching, dead heading, dividing and pruning.
  2. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 236

    sounds like a niche market with low barrier of entry... i mean, if you could get on as a sub for 10-12 lawn companies with 4-5 clients from each one, and just bill the companies and let them bill the customers.... that would be great.

    but if you get into maintenance from that youre going to piss a lot of people off.
  3. Jake Wolf

    Jake Wolf LawnSite Member
    from NYC, NY
    Messages: 37

    I never thought about that. I've always billed clients directly. Is there a preference here for one or the other? What kind of rates should I be charging? This is for planting flats of annuals, 1 gal perennials, potted plants, and general flower garden care. I'm more than happy to be doing detailed pruning on ornamentals if needed as well. How much of a markup would you be charging if you were billing your client for my work?
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I would take a guess that you should be making 40.00 per hr possibly more as a sub doing the personal gardening service you mention.

    You will have to supply your own tools, sign a 1099 and show proof of insurance for most companies that hire you. There is probably a market for your service.

    They will probably also ask you to sign a non compete agreement. As far as mark up and the rest go you will have to figure that out your self based on the the hourly rate.

    You will need to provide a bill to your general contractor that he can just add his % to and produce a bill for the clients.

    Many homeowners will approach you about doing things for them on the side. I suggest you remember who is buttering your bread so to speak and refer them to the general contractor.

    I have a personal gardener sub that I work with and it is a win win for all involved. He is easily manipulated by the homeowners and has been taken advantage of out on his own. This is evident by the fact that he is 47 and still working in the field. After a year with me he is driving a nearly new truck and has taken his first vacation in years. He is a great gardener just a lousy businessman.
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    If you were local to me, I would offer your service to clients.

    we would come up with a price for your services between you and I.
    for arguements sake $95 per quarter on a given property and I would in turn charge the client $40 monthly added to their regular monthly bill, just like I do for fert.

    I invoice them, then pay you. They get what they want and so do we.

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