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Is no lawns possible?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Flipperneck, May 19, 2005.

  1. Flipperneck

    Flipperneck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    I just started my own Lawn and Landscape business about a month and a half ago. I have been Landscaping for 10 years now. I never cared for the lawn side of the business but always just assumed you needed the lawns to get the landscaping, which hasn't been the case for me so far. I have 9 lawns and even though they are mine and I do an awesome job on them but I still have no desire to do my route when it comes around. I have been making a hell of alot more with the Landscaping side so far. I have been working about three days a week Landscaping and only one day cutting. I got most of my work from homemade flyers printed up at kinkos and place at local stores. I put some money in to get the basics so far and am showing profit already I came into some money awhile ago and have been saving it. Now my dilemna is most of my profit comes from landscaping and I'm still showing a loss on the lawns(I know its only been a month). I am going to invest in more equipment in July I would rather buy a used skidsteer and drop my lawns all together but am wondering if lawns are just something you have to do to fill those voids between jobs.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    That's totaly up to you,there are no rules when it comes to crossing over,you gotta go with your gut is the only advice I can offer you.Well really that I will offer you on this subject.
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Most guys started with maintenance but we are the other way around.

    We didn't do any maintenance until around 4 years ago ...it's about 10-15% of our gross now. Glad we have it but it wouldn't be the end of the world if we didnt.
  4. Flipperneck

    Flipperneck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    The other thing I was thinking was I can spread my area out and when certain areas do well I can concentrate my advertising to the best paying areas. Too the Landscaping is always easier to catch up on then the mowing. So its just really a risk question. Thanks for your input....
  5. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    By doing the lawns you will get the extras from those customers and you will also maintain your visability. However you should look at your projections, if you look ahead and you see that you will continue to lose money on the mowing side, then you either need to raise their prices or land some more profitable accounts. You also may be able to find somebody (who is like me) who prefers mowing over landscaping. He could send jobs your way and you could send jobs his way, possibly work in a finder's fee arrangement if one of you is referring more work than your getting from the other guy.
  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    <i> but am wondering if lawns are just something you have to do to fill those voids between jobs.</i>
    Heck no.The largest landscape company near me does no mowing,no shrub maintenance,etc.,,They are constantly busy.They do landscape installs and irrigation only.The way I see it,only doing installs,they have freed up alot of overhead.No routes to maintain,less gas,less equipment,less employees.So,if they get one good landscape job per week,they can make payroll.
    I'd say drop the mowing and get with some builder/developers.The newly built homes will provide more profit than mowing and the residential installs will be the "real" icing.If you get into irrigation,all the better.You can sell installation and maintenance to residentials as well as commercial and the big thing now is installing for developers,knocking out 100 irrigation installs at a time.Alot of new homes in my area are including irrigation.
  7. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    For me it was a no brainer to drop maintenence. Too many guys in NJ are running around cutting lawns. The profits are low, the overhead is high, and collections are always an issue. Construction and design is highly profitable, After my second year of only design and construction, Im on a 100% referral base with no advertising needed. I also do sub work for several contractors that I deal with. 9 lawns is not bringing you much profit to live on. Im sure that it barely pays to run the machines. Figure out you profit margins and do quialty work, and stick to your pricing and everything will fall into place.

  8. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I wish I had focused more on learning and building the construction end of the business. I just took on too much lawn maintenance and didn't have the time to do much else. I scaled back a lot this year and I am much happier.
    Now I run one crew for construction and a 3 man mowing crew. I'm not interested in taking on any more maintenance.
    The beautiful thing about having your own business is that you can structure it any way you want. If you don't have any passion for mowing, drop it. You may struggle a bit because you are just starting out, but if you build a good name for yourself, the work will come.
  9. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    you could do what a friend of mine does. He was in the same shoes as you. But he just gave all the lawns to me and he does the landscapes and i cut. Works out perfec. I bill him and he pays me. Customers happy i'm happy and Mike is happy. :)

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