Hardscape guys, with a couple lawns..

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mrusk, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Here is the deal. My business started with lawn care and before it ever even got off the ground i was out there doing walls and pavers. I have 10 lawn accounts worth about 500 bucks a week. Real tight route. Last year i would mow them all on saturday solo. Well i got 2 calls today for lawns from people i know. Those two lawns would ad 300 a week to my lawn route.

    Now i hate mowing lawns. I planned on dropping them entirely. But i feel bad dumping customers that really helped me get off the ground in the being.

    Now i only have 1 mower a 60in exmark lazer liquid cooled. Now those 2 extra lawns will push me over the 1 day mark. I refuse to go mow lawns solo and i do not think i could do well jsut sending out 1 worker solo. We have big lawns here, so i just can't have one guy trimming one guy mowing.

    Most of my lawns are just mow and go, but some are very profitable per a hour. I am bidding some high end hardscape/plant installs were i could easily walk into the 'landscape maintence'.

    Please do not move this into the lawn section. I KNOW there are other hardscapers out their facing this delimma.


    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,668

    Must be some big houses to average $150 a week.
  3. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Matt- We have 2 other divisions that handle that type of stuff. A mowing division and a Maintenance division. What you may want to do is hire a guy or two to do the mowing/maintenance and then in their downtime they can help the install crews or maintain equipment, wash trucks, get you coffee, etc.:walking:
    It's hard to let the maintenance end go, because it does lead to add on services and it helps w/ cash flow.

  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I should try to build it up to have a guy do it for 2-3 days. Then use him for fillin work.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I think so.

    I mean we mow commercial and started residential this year. There are a ton of add on jobs including hard-scape.

    We want to get enough maintenance to basically pay for the guys then have them for free two other days to pick up more profitable work. Problem is we keep filling up the maintenance schedules.

    It is a horrible problem to have. Not really but there is always that awkward time in the growth period. I think after I get about 5 crews that awkwardness will go away.
  6. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I stopped maintenance 2 seasons ago and have mixed feelings about it. i do miss the spring clean ups and quick cash in march. also it is nice to have clean ups and trimming to do in the slow times. i just couldn't handle the headaches though. i would be on a $25k hardscape job and get a call that my crew forgot to blow the grass off the porch of a $25/cut, $600/year lawn. i think in a couple of years when i am more settled i will start a new lawn business from scratch where i am not as involved. that was the prob. my customers where use to seeing me there every week and when that stopped they started looking for things to complain about. CG is right about it being a good source of leads though. that i know i am missing out on.
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Beat this. last year i got a call from a very good referal. Guy wanted a 18k hardscape job and a lawn maintence program. I lost the job because i told him i was not interested in the maintence!!!!!! He wanted 1 guy.

    I think it would be better to pickup maintence accounts from hardscape jobs vs hardscape jobs from maintence accounts.

    I think Mckee is on to something about customers getting used to seeing YOU there. i think when customer see you there they think all you do is mow lawns. So when they have the big patio coming up, they call in someone else.
  8. chesie

    chesie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I can understand where you are at. We dropped mowing and leaf removal services 3 years ago and have never looked back. We still do lawn apps and landscape maint.

    I waited to make this move until I found another company who only mows lawns and has absolutly no interest in anything else. He sends us all install and app work and we send him all the mowing. It might not be for everyone but it has worked very well for our company.

    I have no interest in ever getting back into mowing. It just never fit well with us.
  9. markam70

    markam70 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 223

    same here. we provided maintenance for over 12 yrs. never enjoyed it but it paid the bills. sold the maintenance equipment and contracts 3 yrs ago and i couldn't be happier. more money & less headaches due to scheduling problems(weather, breakdowns,etc).
  10. chesie

    chesie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I should add that our business is 80% Design/ Build. Apps and landscape maint. are the only maint. related services we offer.

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