How many of you guys left mowing for fert & squirt?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by WJW Lawn, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    How many of you guys left mowing for fert & squirt? Has this proved to be a good thing for you? If so...what were the benefits? I hear alot of guys mention better so? This may be a long term goal of mine as I go into to take my exam. I've read a ton, and tried to educate myself on it, while practicing on my own lawn. Im just interested in exploring this side of the business more. Or maybe its best to keep maintenance and lawn care?
  2. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    I guess not many have made the switch lol really must have sucked.
  3. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    No more mowing for me....

    Yes, a very good thing for me :)

    Benefits are more profits yes, as well as far less competition from newbies that are poor business people in the mowing game.

    Profits how so you ask? $35-$50 man hour gross grounds maintenance, Vs. $150 + man hour gross for tree/turf care.

    Before you expect to become a fert/squirt/tree expert, you should work 2- 3 years for a small/medium sized company with focus on quality. Try to move up/advance and get into the office to learn the management numbers game too.

    Take classes as much as possable starting NOW, and in 3 years you can be on your own, with enough exp. to make a PROFIT, and also not have to deal with "Misapplication" Error potentional.

    The older members here have a lot to offer, so listen and learn :)

    Good Luck!

    Pete D
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Yes I made the switch but maybe not quite like you are planning too. I started in Mowing and kept getting bigger and adding services. But after a hurricane and a few other problems I quit the business all together and retired. For two years I did nothing. Now I am back doing Fert & Squit part time for Pin money to supplement my retirement. I do not advertise and charge just a little more than my competitor because my ego says I am worth it. but I have manged to pick up several of my old customers by word of mouth and seem to be picking up more each week.

    Fert & Squirt depending on your marketing area can in fact be a very competitive thing. Heavy Marketing can be very costly. Like any business the one band will do well or the 7 truck route will do well. but the 2 or 3 truck route will always be a loser or not as profitable. Networking with Mowing contractor can be a good way to gain customers. But if you drop mowing be sure you have enough Sprays to at least survive. Profit Margins are much better with Fert & Squirt and Equipment expense and maintenance is a lot less. Material costs are your biggie after marketing. But I believe a one man band can do well in Fert & Squirt.
  5. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Ric, Heritage, and Vic...thanks for the great advice! Right now Im like a sponge reading as much as I can, and surely getting employed by a reputable fert company would be ideal for experience.

    I just get frustrated with mowing sometimes---lack of respect...spring time rolls around and every Tom, Dick, and Harry heads to Home Cheapo to start their own mowing service!

    I like the fact that Fert takes knowledge...and its REGULATED!!!! Thats the biggy...REGULATION!! That just scares the warriors away. Of course lower overhead makes a ton of sense.

    I currently run my lawn maintenance around being a stay at home dad--the wife makes killer money, and years ago when I was laid off...I decided against daycare for my little I started into lawn maintenance (I guess like Tom, Dick & Harry!! Only I was legit and didnt lowball). I plan on keeping that going for now...because it brings in nice extra income and I service 40 accounts. But Im thinking once I pass the exam...I'll set up a seperate business --- different name ---business license-- all that, and move slowly with it. Like I said...I have time to grow it. Anyway...these are just thoughts. How many of you took jobs to learn this stuff before doing it?? Its a great idea...but I dont know if I can at this particular time.
  6. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    I do both. I'm trying to make the switch. I hate mowing because it's worth peanuts compared to treating properties.
  7. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Sure does seem like it with all the gas...maintenance...oil...blades...down time for repair...on and on.
  8. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I love not having to worry about sharpening blades, or scraping mower decks. I couldn't be happier now that I'm an application only outfit.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    WJW Lawn

    From one Mr Mom to an other, Good for you. Yes my Ex wife is a professional and I got started in this business to make my own schedule for the kids. After the divorce I had to actually make a living and managed to do so very well. I kept the children and raised them. Now I am starting all over again in Fert & Squirt, But this time is to make my own schedule for my benefit. Only want part time and I still need a few customers to fill my bill. I do kick myself in the butt sometimes for selling off my accounts with the rest of the business. I didn't have a real big route but I could or should of handled it.
  10. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    The only way you learn is by experience. I'm still learning new stuff EVERY day! I laugh at what I knew last year, and can't wait to see where I'll be next year.

    If you don't know, be honest. Tell the customer you'll get back to them. Ask friends (in the business) or your materials supplier for advice.

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