Hey Solos

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WJW Lawn, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Ya know...Ive been doing some thinking and research lately, and wanted to share some thoughts...and get some thoughts. Crunching numbers as I always do (and this applies more to solo ops I believe), but the lawn maintenance numbers don't seem to crunch so well. Ive been thinking alot lately of eventually phasing out cutting, and going more towards ferting and squirting. Oh sure...there are less cool toys, but the bottom line of running a business....is...well....the bottom line. After talking to a friend of mine who dropped cutting to focus on ferts, he has said what many others have said, "Its the best move Ive ever made."

    Now I know some guys like to use fert as an upsell, but for it to really be profitable I believe you have to put full attention to it. Plus...ive never liked the whole "jack of all trades" concept anyway. I kinda like specializing in one thing and doing it very well.

    When you look at ferts...there is a much lower overhead, and your time on a lawn is much less than mowing (especially for solos).

    It just seems like to remain solo...ferting is the way to go. Anyway...just my opinion...any thoughts?
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Alot of the ferts you have were cause you had the mowing first....actually many of the premium upscale services.
  3. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    Like Rod said, make sure you remember what got you there. I've often thought about cutting out residential accounts and going commercial only. But when I look back, my biggest landscaping installs were from residentials. I also thought about doing just pesticide/fertilizer applications only. But when I look back, all my fert. accounts are either from existing maintenance customers or people who've seen me working existing customers.

    Do I think what you're considering is a bad idea? No way. It actually may be "the best move you ever made" as well. But just make sure you think it out in-depth before jumping in. Consider the plusses and minusses and try your best to consider every scenario that might come your way; good or bad.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    I see very very few guys doing fertilize in our area.....the big companies advertise and advertise and more and more until i think they got the market cornered.
  5. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    ed2hess got it right.

    If you think competition is tough in the lawn maintenace side, wait until you go against all the big national firms with their multimillion $ advertisement budgets.

    Can you make it? Most likely, perhaps, maybe, IF you work hard at it.

    But just remember the old saying: "The grass is always greener....."
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    yea, I just dont see how you could make it.... But there again were in Texas.
  7. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

  8. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    well.. ive been planning to add fert .. i sub it and spraying out right now, and looking at the price sheet i have, after the set overhead of fert, income per hour would go up slightly, and the only wear and tear is on a $350 spreader.. which i bet lasts 350 lawns at least ... so thats nothin...

    i will start adding this to my mowing schedule, once that offer has settled in, i will drop anyone below $35 and not also a fert customer , then advertise fert alot. i really dont think there would be much of a response if i added fert to the list of things i do..
  9. KC MOW

    KC MOW LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 17

    Hey WJW Lawn, I have a question that doesn't pertain to the thread but i have a question about your everride hornet. I looked at everride's stand on model the scropion. Any way i was wondering about quality and service they provide.
  10. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 391

    I am a solo and the mowing is just a foot in the door. Fertilizer, mulch and planting are all upsells. More importantly they give you opportunity to show you have knowledge and build a client base. Good personal service will build your business for you. People will buy from people they know, like and trust. They will also refer you to others and a refered customer is usually an easy sell.

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