Michigan LCO's

Discussion in 'Network: Central' started by tiedeman, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    A buddy of mine has an online business - www.amishtables.com - and mentioned tonight he wants to start doing some local advertising, so I was just curious what a ballpark was for billboards
  2. macomb-lawn

    macomb-lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    If he's just promoting the website and not a "storefront" I'd say it's not a bad idea. If he has a store front, it's worthless. He's better off using like coupons or something. But, if he's just going to do the site, he's better off just doing a billboard that a ton of people will see. Tell him to keep it stupid simple though. Something like just the website address. People driving at 80 mph don't have the chance to read a bunch of clutter. Just the web address would work.

    Also, to promote online business DIRT CHEAP, tell him to use Google Local. There's a thing where if anyone within a area he specifies does a google search for let's say "furniture," his site will pop up on the side bar. He can specify a mile range from his zip code. The best part is it only costs pennies and only if someone clicks the link to his site.

    Here's a link. Dirt cheap advertising and you can enter thousands of key words that make your website pop up if someone enters them. For instance, if anyone in our area within 20 miles of our office does a search for "sod or lawn care" our website link shows up on the right side of the search page. Then, if they click that link, it takes them to our website, and it costs us $0.03. But, we set an online budget and we won't exceed that amount. We allow up to $50.00 to go to Google per month if someone clicks links.

    Here's a link to the info:

  3. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    Its a basic business tenet; marketing vs. advertising. Most of what you guys want to achieve is marketing. A billboard is advertising, which is not a good ROI for a small company trying to make the phone ring.
  4. keith_480231

    keith_480231 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    So Macomb you are telling me that your company spent that much money and really don't have a "firm" handle on wether you generated "income off investment" money???

    I have got one other question: Are telling me that you are basically a sub-contractor? By that I mean someone that subs out all of your work to other companies??? Just wondering be honest remember my step-son worked for you.:rolleyes:

    'Cause from what I see you are spending "tons" of $$$ and not getting anything on your return.:confused:
  5. macomb-lawn

    macomb-lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    We're about volume. We don't really cut grass. We have one lawn crew and they cut 2 days a week. We do more sod than anything. Yes, we subcontract alot. We subcontract Hydroseed, Sprinklers, and design. We have a professional landscape architect handle all our drawnings and that's all he does for a living. We spend a lot of our time on sub work, but we also do a lot of direct work. We do sod in house. Chances are, I can do sod for you cheaper than you can sub it right to the farm. We do approximately 8 to 10,000 yards of sod a week. That's between subing and direct sales. Direct sales would be new construction homes in subdivisions. We've subed for some people on this forum. We also sub alot for Rizzo Services. Rizzo Services subcontracted us to do the landscape installation and install 13000 yards of sod at Cranbrook Institute of Science. Things like that. Because we do so much volume in sod, we can do it cheaper for other companies than they can do it themselves. To give you an idea, this is what we charge for new construction sod installation:

    Grade Ready for Sod: $1.30 to $1.40 a yard
    Grading Required (we do the final grade): $1.55 a yard + depending on how bad the grade is and if we have to haul out junk.

    Then, honestly, I'll tell you what we pay for a yard of sod right from the farm. $0.90 a yard delivered on site by the farm. So, we buy for $0.90 and we sell it installed from $1.30 to $1.55 a yard. Our only requirement is a 1000 yard minimum for that site, which most new construction houses are. We also teamed up with H20 Irrigation. They do all our sprinkler systems, and we do all their sod. We exchange about 4 or 5 projects a week. Most the sites we do, we make money off both the sod and the sprinklers because H20 sells them to us at a cheaper cost than the direct customer, and we bump it to what it should be. So, we'll sub the sprinklers to H20, and then we'll make hundreds if not a thousand just for selling the job.

    More or less, we have 5 or 6 companies selling our stuff, and in turn we sell theirs, but we do as much in house as possible. We also have the equipment in house to do things rather quick. We have things like land rakes that can grade about 3000 yards in about 2 hours. That is finished grade ready for sod. I can bring 6 or 7 guys on site and install 3000 yards of sod by lunch. This is because of equipment. We also have bobcat attachments that can lay rolls of sod for huge sites.

    Some of the guys on this forum have seen this stuff, and we've subed for some. If they want to come forward, they may but I'm not going to say names...
  6. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    Dan, what's the scoop? I am waiting here on you for that salter. I have a brand new engine hoist I bought for the occasion. Clue me in, man.

    Messages: 71

    So For Example A 1,000 Yrd House Ready For Sod You Charge $1.35 Peryrd Done , You Pay $ 900 Plus Labor Of 4 Guys 1/4 Of The Day @ $ 150 Lets Say
    You Make $300.00

    Wow !!!! Thats Almost Free!!
    Im Just Curious What Sod Farm Sell Sod @.90

    Was That Westlake Sod You Laid In Castle Mar @ 23 & Card
  8. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I get great sod for like .90-.95/ yard. That's not unreasonable.

    But installing it at 1.40? WTF.
    I install at $5/ yard + depending on prep work

    Obviously if it's a large install 1000+ yards then I am going to discount the rate
  9. macomb-lawn

    macomb-lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Nope. Not Westlake sod. Right, we make $300.00 off the sod, but then add in what we make off sprinklers, which is usually about $400 or more, but it depends on the total number of zones. So, we make about $700-$900.00 on a job. Then, do a job a day, 6 days a week. $700 a day isn't too shabby. Plus we usually do a couple homes a day.
  10. macomb-lawn

    macomb-lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Here, I'll give you an actual job that we did:

    1350 yards of sod installed @ $1.60 a yard (included grading): $2160.00
    Weed Removal: $290.00 (it was a nasty yard, new construction covered in weeds)
    Berm Build: $400.00
    7 Zone Sprinkler System @ $265.00 a zone (hunter and rainbird): $1855.00

    Customer Total: $4705.00

    Then, this is what it cost us:

    6 employees at $12.00 an hour average for 5 hours: $360.00
    1350 Yards of Sod @ $0.90: $1215.00
    6 yards of topsoil: $58.00
    Subcontract 7 Zones @ $215.00 a zone: $1505.00
    Estimated Fuel: $100.00

    NET PROFIT: $1467.00

    Now, we do two a day usually, sometimes 3 or 4 if the houses are next door to each other.


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