Discussion in 'Network: South' started by BearWise Landscapers, Mar 26, 2010.


Where are you located in Florida?

  1. North Florida

  2. Central Florida

  3. South Florida

  1. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Space Coast Beachside
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Exactly Chuck,

    I mean just us guys here in Central Florida that post on here - no matter how small anyone is - you put (I think it was 28 votes on Central Florida) of us together and we go down to Howards fertilizer and demand fertilizer at X price. Wow the saving could be huge. Same holds true on many of the issues you mentioned. We might not get True Green prices - but a couple dollars here and there sure adds up fast.
    Especially on Equipment. Fleet pricing is SOOOO much better from what the few dealers I deal with have quoted me. Throw in Plant price discounts above and beyond the generic landscaper discount. Gas - just like the cities have a agreement with chain gas stations - we could possibly get discount at one chain. Insurance like CK stated - correct Drew?? Advertising materials. Ad space etc etc etc etc... I really think the possiblities are endless. Not sure about right now as everything is in full swing but sometime soon.
    So again - I ask is anyone here interested in pursuing this?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  3. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    I think it's a great idea. Let alone the pool of tallent you have at hand. Most folks cant design. I mean really design not just some straight rows of Viburnum. Others cant spray. Some cant trim trees. Then you got big jobs where you may not have the man power. Many GC want guy's with their own workers comp exemptand if you need 10 guy's on a job thats a big bill to foot for a solo opp. But if you got some business owners you got people for the job. I have a GC bidding on a sea world landscape now and this will be the biggiest issue in completing it. I would not make even close to what I would with a bunch of 80 bucks a day labors but I could never afford the workers comp or bump in Liab.
  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Chuck and others,

    You guys know that you can not get "Orange Jasmine" anymore as the State has banned the sale because they have been show to be a host for Orange Canker.

    This was a easy sell to customers once they smelled it. Going to miss this one.

  5. skennedy04

    skennedy04 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Ocala here.......Hi All
  6. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    I completely agree. I highlighted a few sections of your comments above. Cooperatives can be very beneficial and I imagine it does not have to be that big to start getting some discounts. Even if a few of you needed some mulch, it wouldn't take much time to call around to a few distributors in town and ask for a discount if all of you purchased mulch there for the remainder of the year. Even a 10% discount for each of you adds up. I imagine some distributor in town would agree to boost their revenues.

    As far as insurance, we are already starting to see possibilities of group purchasing power within the industry. Our landscaper/lawn care specialty program was only started a little over a year ago. In those 14 months, we have picked up 75 new clients in the landscaping industry. A couple of weeks ago, the carrier we write most of our clients with told us we could manually apply a 10% discount to their liability rates for landscapers because we have a specialty program that gives them assurance that the businesses we place with them are correctly rated and do not do tree trimming. We simply place the tree trimming businesses with a couple of other insurance carriers. Imagine what you could do if you had a group of clients that were committed to safety and correct business practices. Insurance carriers would throw discounts at the opportunity to write that potentially profitable group.

    With workers’ compensation insurance, we have a carrier that approached us about setting up a group program for landscapers. In Florida, work comp rates are government mandated, but there are opportunities for carriers to compete on price by what are called ‘dividend plans’. A dividend is used on businesses with large premiums to return a percentage of their premium if they have no claims for the year and to return different amounts of premium for each level of claim costs. We can easily find insurance carriers that would write an association or collective group of businesses in the same industry that would all have individual policies, but would receive a percentage of their premiums back at the end of the year if the claims for the entire group were below a certain threshold. This would really be beneficial if all members of the group were committed to preventing employee injuries. You would also have to have enough total premium in the group to avoid the possibility of one freak accident offsetting the loss ratio and it would also have to be large enough to justify the carrier setting it up.

    To boil all of that down to one statement: In order to receive group discounts in insurance, you would need to have high standards of who is in your group so that everybody is on the same page of controlling claims costs and making it profitable for the insurance carrier. Those profits could be passed on to you if leveraged correctly and if it ever turns into something large, you could consider a self-insurance fund or work your way towards that end.

    I imagine the discounts for equipment, mulch, and other items would be much easier to obtain and would come along the way. I would be happy to reach out to our current clients and inform them of your collective purchasing group. I also have a database of 2,000 landscape businesses in Florida that we could send a letter or otherwise notify of potential discounts.

    Let me know how I can help with insurance information or anything else. I like this idea and fully support it.
  7. Ground Effects Landscape

    Ground Effects Landscape LawnSite Member
    from Orlando
    Messages: 14

    Let me know if all of you form a purchasing group. Thanks for the information on insurance, BearWise Landscapers. I will call for quotes when our current policies renew.

    I'm in Orlando, but I'm originally from Miami.


    Tampa Bay and Jacksonville don't have a chance...
  8. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    It would be nice if one of the many associations that want us to pay for membership could make this happen :usflag:
  9. Jupiter, South Florida reppin right here! Palm Beach County, what what....i think you guys up in C. Florida doing a co-op is great. The one thing I need right now as a solo is reliable helpers. I plan on booming this year and I need at least one experienced, good worker. I already have a great spray company and a guy for stump grinding and tree felling. I do palm trimming and smaller hardwoods. I push the big tree work to this guy.
  10. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Who is an Orlando Magic fan?

    I think they can go far again this year in the playoffs and have a good chance at winning it. Click here to visit the thread in the 'Off Topic Forum' about the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

    GO MAGIC!!

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