expanding services, need ideas

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Zed, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Zed

    Zed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I own a small cutting/landscaping company in Ottawa, Ont. It will be my second year in business. Last summer I cut for 2 days a week and did mostly dirt jobs after that, a bit of hedge trimming, removed some small trees. I like the profitabilty of the dirt jobs (topdressing, beds etc), and the fact they are quick.
    I sometimes hired a friend to help, and would be able to hire more if possible. I have a 3/4 ton pickup and trailer.

    Just looking for some ideas to drum up more business.
  2. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    You going full time?
    I would advise not hiring anyone until you absolutely have to. When you start hiring people you have about twice as much paperwork to do, and then you have to be making enough to pay them, and their workmans comp. then pay yourself as well.

    Mulch would be real easy for you to do. I don't know how much experience you have but retaining walls have been pretty big for me. I'd definitely look into spring cleanups.

    Those are a few ideas. If you give us more details we could help you out a little more.
  3. Zed

    Zed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Well my brother runs a spring time aeration company. He has at least 20 guys out going door to door with an aerator for about 30 days as soon as 90% of the lawns are melted of snow. I am one of the drivers. I drop off guys in their respective neighborhoods. Now, these guys are going to be carrying fliers for my company, and will put one in every mailbox whether a door is answered or not. And, if anyone asks about other services they will get my cell# and I will be right over to chat. So yes I get free advertising, and I am ready to follow up on calls asap. The guys who are the tops in sales will then form dethatching crews and work into may.

    So basically I am going to be swamped. My brother thinks I should be booked for the summer. I'm not looking to get into anything too technical or time consuming, just quick in and out jobs. As for spring cleanups, I'm thinking perhaps I might have to have a guy with me to take advantage of actually doing spring cleanups in the spring, as I will be quite busy doing estimates.
    I did a few little mulch jobs last year, and liked them, so I will definitely want to do more of those, and it's easy to talk people into mulching the beds once a spring clean is done.

    so in a nutshell, here's what I have so far( and have done)

    spring cleanups
    mulching beds
    making beds
    topdressing and reseeding
    tree(small) and shrub removal
    hedge & shrub trimming
    river stone

    I'll be looking to pick up maybe 10 more easy (read ride) lawns.
  4. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    A Commercial pesticide licence would be a good thing to obtain.
    You could do some applications for Ornamental & Turf pests.

    The knowledge is the main thing you need and it is not labor intensive,you could do it by yourself.
  5. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Here are a few more ideas:
    Gutter cleaning
    Bee/wasp extermination
    Tree trimming/pruning
  6. Zed

    Zed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    great ideas LIG, actually last year I did a bunch of nest removals from dryer vents (starlings), but I was a little late in the season to take advantage of it. I charged $50 a nest, that included a new vent with mesh on it to prevent re-infestation. It's easy to spot the houses with the nests while driving around, they usually have a streak of crap below the vent, and there is the male on the roof singing. As soon as you scare the homeowner with stuff like "avian flu, lice, burned out drier" they cant wait to see you on a ladder. I use a broom handle with a couple of hooks made out of coat hanger. Push the hooks past the nest and pull. Presto. Drop everything into a yard bag.

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