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full service vs mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ilovethisgame, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. ilovethisgame

    ilovethisgame LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Just wondering how many of you folks especially solo opperators are doing full service ie. shrub care, weed control, clean up work... versus just a mow, edge/trim, blow and go type of service? I've recently moved back home to the SF bay area the land of postage stamp lawns and cluttered landscapes. You know where 21" mowers aren't called trim or push mowers? Anyhow, my delema becomes do I try to cram a ton of mow blow and go type of jobs and do pruning and weed control at an extra charge on non route days or just angle for full service jobs w/ bigger money contracts. I'm at the full service end of things but, for some reason I seem to be the only indy opperator in my area who works this way. Thanks for any help or advice.

  2. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    ahh the land of postage stamps... i prefer the mow blow and go route and have recently started dropping all customers who want all the extra stuff done..i'd rather do 14-20 houses a day then do half that and have to trim bushes and pull weeds every day... for the customers that have the extra stuff that needs to be done once in a while, those get scheduled usually on saturdays for me so the regular routine don't get screwed up...i guess it really depends on what you enjoy. bottom line is do what pleases you and then charge accordingly..
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    well ideally ,every acct would be
    the full package. then u can really practice your trade. also really make a name for u self. but HERE IN THE REAL WORLD,
    as mr jackson says it aint that easy at all.
    with the number of lawncare trucks ever-increasing, u just do what ever u can get to work.imho
  4. agrostis palustris

    agrostis palustris Banned
    Messages: 117

    I prefer to be full service and let the people who just want mow and go find somebody else. I don't do many lawns, they each take a lot of time to do though, and to do them right at that. I have several places where I can leave somebody for a day and charge for it if I have nothing better to do. Those are the types I would much rather have. To heck with mow n' go.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    I guess it all depends upon individual situations.

    If someone is just part time, then they can tend to be more choosy on what type of accounts they take on.

    But a full time LCO that has no other source of income and doesn't live with their parents knows they must do what it takes so the ship doesn't sink.
    Which means just starting out, I don't see how it would possible to just pick up all full service accounts. Not everyone is going to be able to be sold on fertilization, aerations, hedge pruning etc.
    Some just want their grass cut.

    What we did in the beginning was take on the accounts even if it was only for mowing.
    4 years later, we are slowly but surely getting more and more full service accounts where we fertilize, aerate, spring and fall cleanups, and hedge trimming.
    But it didn't happen overnight.

    Full service accounts aren't just going to jump in your pocket if you are looking for quantity. We need quantity accounts since this is our only source of income. Now the quality accounts are landing in our pockets now too.
  6. Around 3/4 of ours are full service about a 1/4 we just mow.
    Also have 15 or so we do nothing but there bushes and mulch their beds every year.
    Also have quite a few we arerate twice a year
  7. Just Cut

    Just Cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    I make more money per hour offering mowing, string trim, edge, blow packages to residentials than I do on the commercial accounts that I service as there is alot of competition in the commercial market, I also offer seasonal clean up, gutter cleanup, and pruning to add length to my season, My bread and butter is the residential market in which most people are just looking for weekly lawn care which includes mow, string trim, blow clippings off walks and drives:)
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    If you want to specialize, you'll usually gross more, and often net more money if you streamline your business for your specialty. To provide full service requires more outlay in equipment and education, and usually results in lesser overall compensation because of changing hats frequently.

    That's just common sense, but I'll always love the full maintenance accounts. I can control the whole property: no mulches spilled in lawn I have to mow, no grass clippings blown into beds I maintain, shrubs pruned properly for efficient cleanups, etc. And a nice lawn looks a lot better with decent shrub work next to it, and with a proper feeding schedule.

    Of course, you can specialize in full service, and streamline your operation to that purpose. Mowings Mon(comm), Wed & Thur (res). Time to fert, can squeeze that in on mowing days, or bump a couple of mowings one day. Heavy shrub work to do on a Thur account, hold it for Fri and do it all in one stop. Can really do well with full service by cutting the number of trips, but it needs to be well planned.
  9. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    major. this is where the drought has really done the damage.
    i do a lot o fixed income folks so thats a different deal. but i finally had a good pt of my others subscribing to full program.
    now this d-- drought and all id accomplised in that direction is pretty much dn the tubes. meaning their ideas
    of lawn care have gone back to, what ever it takes to controll it ,rather than focusing on a real well kept lawn.
    :cry: :cry: :cry: i know ,u take it as it comes ,or u better.
  10. ilovethisgame

    ilovethisgame LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I had worked for a full service lco for many years and my crew had around 45 full service residential and small commercial accounts in a four day week w/ Friday open for clean up work. Of course back then I had a helper so this wasn't too tough. There are literally thousands of folks in my business spread over a one hundred mile radius so I'm really trying to distance myself from the pack. Of course around here the ability to speak english pretty much does that for me. I agree w/ the folks saying a nice yard looks better than a nice lawn. I think I'm just going to experiment w/ new customers and see how rediculous I can be w/ mow blow & go bids before they escort me off the property.:p


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