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How To Make $$$ In Winter Months?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by young1255, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. young1255

    young1255 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I've searched the previous threads and am seeking info on a critical issue! What happens in the winter months, if you don't live down south or on the west coast?

    Seriously, we in certain parts of the midwest (Kansas City) don't recieve much snow or ice anymore. Any suggestions on income producing ventures?
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Holiday decorating.

  3. drobson

    drobson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    Try to get more complete property maintenance contracts. That will keep you busy all year, or at least keep a steady income. Even without lawn growth people still need their yards to be clean and presentable.
  4. Dave_B-The_Grass_Guy

    Dave_B-The_Grass_Guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Advertise X-mas lights hung, I heard 1 company gets about $60 minimum for a standard 1 story residential house, another charges $300 on up for some of the nicer neighborhoods. Nowadays X-mas lights are really cheap, so with a minimal investment($2.00 a string, 6 strings minimum per house, extension cord and the necessary disposable gutter clips, maybe $20.00 per house), a ladder and some creative fliers, 1 can make themselves a few grand or more working solo between thanksgiving and Christmas. I even have seen lawn care companies advertise holiday decorations in the yellow pages. Most homes only require a extension ladder, but if the job calls for it, 1 could rent a man lift for a day at a commercial rental outlet. This is where that liability insurance can help out to your advantage, as many homeowners don't want an uninsured contractor with a ladder climbing around their homes, so be sure to mention it in your ads.

    Then there is the ever popular part time evening job, such as pizza delivery person(my personal favorite, you get to eat your mistakes) or (Grrr, Argh! :realmad: )telemarketer. This allows you to maintain the few accounts you may have hung on to and still make money to survive the winter months.

    Put your truck and trailer back to work. If your like me, a jack of all trades, you have several skills such as house painter, minor home repairs, fence repairs/installation, freelance auto mechanic, hauling off garbage to the dump, etc...

    Try to sign on with home builders and developers installing landscaping if you can. In my area, most builders want to see state licensing or certification, and while Texas doesn't require or regulate the lawn care/landscape industry, it is offered. A lot of commercial businesses do have need for landscaping contractors year long, while they may not make you rich, they can help you survive the struggle to springtime.
  5. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    I live on the West coast and I need to know what to do in the wintertime here! We get about 3" of snow right here in town, so snowplowing is out. Any of you guys do Christmas trees?
  6. jasond

    jasond LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    During the winter, (from mid-November until mid-January) we maintain properties in the mornings (until about 11) and then I have the guys work on my Christmas tree lot. We open at noon and stay open until 9 at night. It helps get them the hours they need, plus it is a great way for my customers to get to know my employees. Also, I get names and addresses for the following years to mail coupons...works great as a mailing list for potential customers.
  7. young1255

    young1255 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I've got an idea of putting my 7x18ft trailer to good use by hauling away junk of any type. Possible delivery service also.
    Probably shouldn't be advertising my ideas, but hey!, there's plenty of wealth$ to spread around.
    Unless of course, you live in Kansas City and happen to read this post ( just kidding)!
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    snow removal, christmas decorating. Customers love a service company that can provide year round service to them
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Depending on when your leaves drop and how you advertise for fall cleanups, you can be doing these well into December.

    We also offer exterior Christmas decorating. We start marketing this in October because you need to get this work scheduled and done by Dec 5 in case theres an early winter like last year.

    Re: snow removal, we have several one and two stage blowers. We also start marketing this in early October. We choose to not offer plowing as it can tear up trucks way too fast. The snow service is mostly residential and small commercial. I;ve found allot of snowplow guys dont want to get out of their warm and cozy truck to clear building entrances and sidewalks so we fill that niche. The downside of snow removal is that you are "trapped" in that you must always kind of be "on call" and you can't leave town for more than a couple days unless you are sure theres no snow in the forecast. Unlike the land/lawn side of the business , you can't push work to the next day. As soon as the snow stops, you are expected to get every property done asap. We're debating about getting out of the snow business for this reason. It can be more of a hassle than it's worth.
  10. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    You can do interior house painting

    as well as some of the above mentioned possibilities

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