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Getting started and building a clientel in Florida

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jphag, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. jphag

    jphag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    I am relocating my business from colorado to florida and need some help.

    Here's how it works in colorado:

    1. lawns are bid by the square foot and degree of difficulty. does this apply to fl as well? what are the going rates?

    2. What services are provided? ( mowing, aerating, power raking, etc.)

    3. Do you use contracts? and if so when does a contract normally start and when does it end? Jan 1 - Dec. 31?

    4. Do you bag grass clippings and if so do you charge extra? How do you dispose if clippings and tree debris?

    5. What are normal payment schedules? weekly, monthly or yearly.

    6. If you have any suggestions that would be helpful I would greatly appreciate them

    Thank you,

    John :) :) :blush: :blush:
  2. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 458

    I can't help you with Florida Specifically but I would try and time the move in the winter so your set up for spring. (Does Florida even have a Winter)

    Get a local cell phone and run a test ad to see what kind of response rate you'll have. Learn the demographics of the area you are moving too.

    Sell ALL your heavy coats !
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I am in Florida and just started my business this spring and there is no shortage of work.

    I bid my jobs based on time needed to complete so in a way it is by square footage and difficulty. Understand that there are a lot of idiots that think we should work for free. But there are plenty of others who don't really care about price, just do a good job.

    I mow, edge, weedeat, blow as basic service.
    do shrub and ornamental trimming as an add on, do weeding as an add on
    ala carte services include sodding( including soil prep and grading), fertilizing, yard clean ups, irrigation testing and maintenance,
    so far no one has asked about power raking or aeration.

    I run a perpetual contract that starts when ever they sign up. Payment is monthly, one month in advance.

    Don't even own a bagger and have no interest in buying one. almost no one bags. yard waste guy wont pick it up so people are used to mulch or discharge. Tree trimmings go to the dump. In my county it is free to dump that.

    Start wearing your winter coats now and maybe you will be able to stand our summers. I am used to them and yesterday it was only 89 degrees with 96% humidity. I drank 1.5 gal of water and gatorade and was still a touch dehydrated at the end of the day.

    Buy a big sunbrero and lots of sunscreen.

    they say LCO's fair better along the coasts than in the interior of the state. Lower density of rednecks.

    42 cuts per year April - Nov weekly Dec - Mar EOW
  4. Del9175

    Del9175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Get you a good pair of hedge trimmers and be prepared to trim every couple months in the summer. I really enjoy cutting grass, but the amount of trimming I have to do down here drives me nuts. Oh well, what can ya do.

    What part of FL you planning on moving to?
  5. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    :cool: What part of Florida will you be calling home?
  6. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Lots of work, but not a lot of money in it. No bagging is necessary or wanted in most areas. Avoid Bahia Grass lawns. They are a pain to mow. Most of your customers are likely to be retired and will want monthly billing. Mowing is performed all year from central part of the state and areas further south. From April until November I mow every week. From December thru March mowing slows to every other week on most lawns. Still plenty of work in the Winter doing clean-ups, mulch installs, landscape work...etc.

    Just don't expect to get the kind of money for lawn work that you get in other areas of the country. Good luck!
  7. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    It would be helpful if we knew where you are planning to hang your shingle.

    Florida has wide ranging circumstances.
  8. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 649

    GeeVee, let me ask you this: where in Florida can an LCO charge the highest hourly fees?
  9. jphag

    jphag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate it.

  10. jphag

    jphag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Thanks. I am moving to the daytona area.


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