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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by landscaper22, Mar 26, 2009.
Read post #10. I understood where your thinking was from the get go. Our industry is always under attack like that. There are just too many one-toothed wonders out there that gives this industry a bad rep.
The question is what education is really needed to mow grass? There are other avenues that would require some education. Chem apps, irrigation, but that is about it. Fertilizing heck you can take a sample send it to your ext office and they will send a detail anaylsis. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure what you need to adjust the soil. Even if you had no clue you could take the anaylsis to a nursery and they will hook you up.
As far as sod, sowing grass, again a book at home depot could give the basics and you are on your way with no education needed. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying that someone starting out using these methods are going to produce the same results, but it will be a starting point with no real education needed.
As much as I love money I also know that this business is not going to make me rich. Nor should it. As far as I'm concerned after your expenses you shouldn't be making more than 30/hr pre tax in this business.The skill set is just not there, it's just mowing grass. Anyone with half a brain and some work ethic can do it.
Thats the labor part now as far as running the business that comes in all shapes and sizes some may have a business degree and I have seen some business owners not even complete the 6th grade and still be a prifitable business after 20 yrs.
O.k. let the bashing begin.
I think that we get treated like we want to be treated... Show up on a job site in old jeans and a t-shirt with holes and stains, you can expect the us vs. them. I purchase polo shirts and they can wear kakhis or green work pants. Boots must be clean and neat. If my sales staff goes out to visit a client or make a sales call they are in pressed shirts and cabella's dress kakhis. We look the part, we are professional and we have a professional image. You will see that you are looked at in a different light.
Longtime ago when I was a single owner opperator, I always had a clean shirt and pants in the truck for the calls I made during my work day. Bottom line its all how you carry yourself and the image you project. Not snobby or arrogant, just think it helps promote our industry as a profession rathen than a bunch of guys cutting grass.
Ed again, education is only a small part of this industry. Take a guy without a high school degree and yes in many cases he can become profitable in a very short time, but with some common sense and bulinding on industry education and business classes, he can stay profitable and compete evenly across the board. I have a BS and a Masters, but i still read this site and attend training classes and aks lots of questions.
This is what seperates the wheat from the chaff. I have a guy working for me, started cutting lawns in high school, I purchased his accounts, brought him on board and he makes about 50k a year without a degree. He's got drive, common sense, and for 30 years old, great decession making skills. Not a bad living with weekends off and 4 weeks paid vacation a year.
I fully believe in education and seminars and the whole deal. Puting in landscaping is actually alot more than just the digging of a whole and throw it in. Perc. testing, Location, Soil and Light Conditions, Mature hieght and width etc. For much more indepth, Take Arboriculture, Pest and Disease Mgt., Soils, Environmental Geology and Landscape Design. I am being taught things that I have never heard of.
Too many people treat with out a diagnosis and that's not only negligent, but asking for a malpractice suit.
I am sorry if I sound like I am bashing here, rest assured, I'm not trying to attack anyone. It's the last thing I would ever do.
I wholeheartly agree. There are more avenues to get into and learn. I was only commenting on the basic mow, blow and go. I myself thought it best to enroll in the turfgrass magmt program at the local tech school. Very basic knowledge but I did learn a few things I did not know before.
The thing I notice is some lco's who do have extensive knowledge in soils, and turf, chem apps are the ones who complain more about the "lowballer" than others. The so called lowballer usually is just a mow and go guy so he will present a smaller price which may get him the customer. Now I do agree that he should not be applying any chems without the proper lic. I don't do any chem apps, (only straight fert) I looked into the testing and such and right now having to have the extra ins I don't think it would be worth it.
Bottom line is we all have different # for a break even point that I believe is what should set somone's price higher than someone else. That is being competitive. I try to present myself in a professional manner, work hard, and give my clients honest advice at an affordable price. So far it has worked in my favor. I'm not the cheapest but I'm by far not the most expensive.
I am marketing my services for managing the whole landscape, not just a mow, blow and go. If the customer wants me just for that, it's automatic 15.00 more to cut, price of my gate-drop fee goes up too.
I would have a minimum of 30.00 to cut, gate drop fee told not to cut is 25.00. For the customer whole landscape maint.
For the mow, blow and go, 45.00min. Gated drop fee is 40.00