Does anyone here have any luck pushing side work during Fall/Winter?

soloscaperman

LawnSite Gold Member
After learning that the winters are sucking more and more every year money flow gets slow and you can't rely on plowing. Well I talked to my customers and told them that It would mean a lot if I can do side work like tree/brush removal. Well do any of you guys have success trying to tell customers in the Summer that there your packed or would be better to do large side jobs in slow season's? I tried that and most of my customers are rich and want things done ASAP. I even tried handing out a discount if one customer can wait till late fall but wanted some tree work done late summer when the weather was around 80F-100F.

It's nice doing work in the winter because it keeps you in shape and your tools from sitting too long :)
 

tony b

LawnSite Member
After fall cleanups are finished I usually put out about 100 lawn signs. Usually offering a winter special on shrub trimming etc. This has helped to keep employees working enough to avoid unemployment. I also have a small farm where we cleanup downed trees to sell for firewood. It keeps my place looking nice and my unemployment rates down. Do I make money? Not much. If I were solo I would but with employees not really.
 

Richard Martin

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Greenville, NC
I get people in the summer that say they want things done in the winter. This has been going on for almost 20 years. Then when it comes time to do the work they've changed their minds or already had it done. I don't depend on them. I pay some bills ahead and set money aside plus I have 12 month pay customers. I usually have about a 1 or 2 week period in late December where money gets tight but it always eases up in January.
 

PROCUT1

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
TN
This is the mystery question that has gone on as long as Ive been in business.

Ive never figured it out either. It just seems when the cold weather sets in, any outside work, even stuff that the weather doesnt matter becomes the last thing on anyones mind.

I tried mulch specials. Not a single call. Then come may, I cant keep up.
Tried powerwashing in a "non freeze" area. Nothing, but as soon as I cant keep up with mulch, I have 100 powerwashing calls.

I do sealing and striping in the mid south now. I can stripe all winter even when I cant seal and there are plenty of striping only properties. I havent managed to get a single one of them. But I have plenty that want me to stripe in the spring right when I dont want to do striping only because im so busy with seal and stripe.

Ive tried everything I can possibly think of for winter work and other than snowplowing, ive never made it successful.
 

smallstripesnc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
I have been trying to figure out what to do during the winter as well. I constantly see lawn guys still out mowing properties but I can't seem to land any clients who want mowing in the winter months.

I see a lot of lawn guys that do tree work but I know right after Christmas is tough to get any business really. I post on craigslist daily and do everything I can to try and book clients for spring and even do late clean ups but no one seems to be interested. I haven't received a single call in weeks! I've been getting really discouraged but maybe its the time of year and no one wants to spend any money or even think about lawn care now.

Sorry to hack the thread. But back to your question. The clients I currently have (just a few) aren't interested in any side work. They all told me to just call in the spring when I'm ready to do the first mow.
 
OP
soloscaperman

soloscaperman

LawnSite Gold Member
I hear you procut it's like they either forget about you or spending money on outdoor work in general. The other I guess is they think we are busy or don't work in the cold weather lol. That's why during Christmas I stop by to hand cards and gifts. Then a little pass new year I stop by saying thanks for having me last year and this year as well. Too make it a big deal I give them a flyer with in bold letters HUGE DISCOUNT on TREE / BRUSH removal.

Well out of my 25-30 something customers 8 of them said just charge us normal price and do the work. They feel bad that it isn't snowing and I guess with the money they are saving there using on side work. I will be honest if a Tree job is worth $400 I will do it $100 cheaper if I know the customer is tight on money since I need steady cash flow and to get out of the house.
 

PROCUT1

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
TN
Its just a mindset

Im the same way.
Never bought snowplows in the middle of summer even when i was offered great deals.

Always planned on using the winter to "work on and rebuild my equipment" and always ended up doing the mad dash a week before mowing started. Even though i wasnt too busy all winter.

I could have gotten great deals on materials by buying them in the winter and storing until spring. Never took advantage of it.

Who gets a pool installed in the cold weather? Even in areas where its warm enough to dig.

Who services their furnace in the summer?

All stuff you would think people would do. Stuff you think people would take advantage of good pricing deals and sales. But most people just wont do stuff until the last minute.

Looking at my yard. I have trees that need work. I need mulch. i still need a cleanup.

But honestly. I dont even notice my yard all winter. I go from truck to house and house to truck and I could have to walk past a 747 in my yard and I wouldnt notice it.

Come spring when the windows are open and you get that first little taste of warmth, then your eyes open.
 
OP
soloscaperman

soloscaperman

LawnSite Gold Member
It's a natural human instinct I guess. If your in the house all winter you want remodeling since your inside all the time. In the summer people are out on their lawns with family and friends. My friend that does indoor remodeling gets more work in the cold months versus the warmer months.
 

ralph02813

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Charlestown, RI
All my customers are full service (I do no plowing, but shovel 1/2 dozen decks and side walks. So after fall clean ups i just access the work that needs to be done, I have a couple of wood lots to work on so I do that a couple of days a week, I dug some bushes here and there. We have had a very mild winter so I have streached this work out a little so I have something to do, in the meantime I am working on my strategic plan for spring, mulch, fertilizer, garden edgeing etc. followed by bush trimming, second applications of pre emergent in gardens, first apps of fertilzer, making sure I have my pesticide cert up to par etc. So bottom line trying to be in the best of shape so there is no down time when the curtain opens and the new show begins.
 

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